Victor Mullins, Associate Dean of the Undergraduate Program at the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business, recently asked Ankit Sheth '20 to discuss how his Smith journey has helped him find his passion and provided the opportunities to pursue it. Ankit is double-majoring in finance and accounting with a minor in education and human development.
What does the SMITH JOURNEY entail? Involvement with colleagues, professors, professionals, clubs and organizations here at the Smith School, across campus and in the outside “real” world of business. Here is what students are challenged to do in each of their four years at Smith:
Freshmen: “Build Your Brand” through the SmithStart program.
Sophomores: “Pioneer Your Path” to success by focusing on an overall academic and career strategy.
Juniors: “Command Your Career” to ensure that you are well positioned for your professional journey.
Seniors: “Embrace Your Experience” with an arsenal of tools, knowledge, and networks, so that you are able to embrace your experience and celebrate your success.
Dean Mullins: What is important to you? What motivates you? What is your passion? Why?
Ankit: I am passionate about making an impact on my community. As a student, aspiring professional and community member; I strive to empower others in creating the impact they want to see. It’s important that I am able to apply my educational background to my passions whether it be through extra-curricular activities or internships or just daily conversations.
Dean Mullins: When and how were you able to identify this passion?
Ankit: While my passions have motivated many of my actions, I have been able to better understand the impact that I envision through the mentors in my life. I am blessed to have a strong group of people at school and outside of it who guide me through many of the challenges I face. Having strong mentorship has not only helped me be more empathetic but has helped me develop as a strong mentor within the community.
Dean Mullins: How have you been able to connect your passion with coursework, involvements and/or activities?
Ankit: Connecting passion with coursework has involved diversifying my interests and stepping out of my comfort zone. In terms of coursework, I try to take a balance between business, entrepreneurship and self-expression classes to grow as a person. Along with coursework, getting involved has helped me understand the application of my passions. I have recently started my own radio show and am also joining entrepreneur incubation spaces around campus to continue to grow while empowering others.
Dean Mullins: What are the highlights of your Smith Journey thus far?
Ankit: It’s the idea of taking everything one step further. At Smith, you can develop basic knowledge in potential interests and then take a deep dive to learn more. Being interested in learning more about consulting, I joined the QUEST Honors Program which has helped me learn but also truly understand the nature of consulting. As a student who is interested in entrepreneurship, I frequently visit the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship or the Center for Social Value Creation. There are so many opportunities and it’s unbelievable as to how much you can learn when you put yourself out there.
Dean Mullins: What advice would you give to your fellow Smith peers and community?
Ankit: Do what you might not have ever done. It is important to step out of your comfort zone. The Smith community offers many opportunities at this. From the variety of clubs to the diversity of cultures, I encourage you to try new things and meet new people. You will be pleasantly surprised to see what you discover. I discovered some of my best friends by just showing up to events with no clue what to expect.
Dean Mullins: Why are you passionate about the Smith School?
Ankit: As a curious learner and passionate community member; Smith is important to me because it feels like a really big team. I have found such supportive peers, professors, faculty and staff who truly believe in me. I have engaged in meaningful conversations with recruiters who will remember and reach out to me. We all work together here to face challenge and celebrate success; I am truly proud to be a part of this community.
Find out more about the Smith Undergraduate Program at http://www.rhsmith.umd.edu/undergrad