Thanks and Giving


My first MBA term flew by more quickly than I ever could have anticipated. The number of late nights and long hours spent studying for courses that challenged me over the past few months outnumbered any term I spent in my undergraduate program. I know, without any hesitation, I could not have succeeded without the support from a tight-knit cohort – a cohort filled with people I genuinely enjoy.

Last weekend, in advance of Thanksgiving break, I had the opportunity to attend two different events planned by people in the cohort who value creating connections across the class. First, the first-year women gathered for brunch and then the entire cohort came together to host the first-ever SmithsGiving Potluck. Each event iterated the importance of building a community within your cohort, regardless of where you choose to pursue your MBA.

Curriculum, internship searching, career planning – all these things play a pivotal role in where you attend for your MBA. All these factors, however, become ancillary if you cannot truly enjoy the people joining you in each of those experiences for the two years you return to school.

This Thanksgiving season, I am truly thankful for the relationships I’ve built during my first semester at Smith. More importantly, though, I look forward to giving to the program – and the people – during the rest of my time at Smith. I look forward to serving Smith as a community as a current Terp and as an alum in the future.

–By Virginia Pierrie. Pierrie is a 2021 MBA Candidate and a Dean’s Fellow. Pierrie is originally from Raleigh, N.C., and worked for four years in corporate communications for Bank of America Merrill Lynch in New York before coming to Maryland Smith.