May 19, 2021

Maryland Smith New Grads Among Class of 2021 Best & Brightest MBAs

Maryland Smith New Grads Among Class of 2021 Best & Brightest MBAs

Jasmine Snead, Virginia Pierrie Selected by Poets & Quants as Among World’s Top 100 Graduating Full-Time MBAs

Jasmine Snead and Virginia Pierrie, representing the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business Full-Time MBA Program, are featured among the world’s ”Best and Brightest MBAs in the Class of 2021” by Poets & Quants, the digital news outlet dedicated to global coverage of business education.

Snead is founding operator of Aurora Tights, an inclusive performance wear company based in Washington, D.C. Pierrie is an executive associate in Business Banking Strategy for M&T Bank.

Both are profiled and separately recognized in the introductory article overviewing the honorees.

P&Q described Snead as “on a mission.” “Snead, for one, spent nearly two decades as a competitive ice skater. However, the University of Maryland MBA struggled to find gear that fit her skin color; she would even dye her tights in a bathtub before competitions to better align with her complexion. In response, Snead co-founded Aurora Tights in business school – a gender-neutral clothing firm that provides athletic wear in a variety of shades, styles and sizes. Last summer, the firm employed 10 interns, while helping Snead claim the school’s Entrepreneur of the Year award.”

Pierrie, according to P&Q, epitomizes an MBA adopting a fearless mindset. “The class president, Pierrie admittedly ‘artfully avoided’ math in college. Despite this, she rose to become an assistant vice president at Bank of America…in corporate communications. Come business school, Pierrie couldn’t escape the dreaded quant quagmires like finance, accounting, economics, and statistics. Pierrie won’t remember her first semester fondly, but the experience transformed her in a way that will reverberate across her career. ‘For me, the first semester was a hard-fought competition with myself. My first 14 weeks were about building resilience, growing comfortable with ambiguity, and understanding the value of pushing through challenges instead of avoiding them. I will never be a statistician. I will never have a job in economics or a passion for accounting. I will, however, leave Smith with an understanding that asking for help is never synonymous with failure. My first semester taught me the intangible qualities – such as perseverance and self-assurance – matter more than an exam grade ever could.’”

Wendy Moe, associate dean of master’s programs, told P&Q that, furthermore, Pierrie was a key team member in communicating decisions to the students and providing the administration with feedback on how her classmates were handling the COVID-prompted transition to virtual activities. “Early feedback helped both faculty and staff adjust and provide the best experience possible for our students,” she said. “In addition, she worked with her fellow MBAA board members and each of the individual clubs to transition their programming online.”

Moe credited Snead with designing and implementing the first-ever “Winternship Challenge” in partnership with the Office of Career Services. “This challenge helped motivate her fellow classmates over the winter break in their job search and was so successful that it was held again the following winter.”

Snead in her role of VP of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for Maryland Smith, Moe added, led the MBA Association to host events that educated her classmates as to the effects of systemic racism and what they could do as individuals to change it. “She has inspired many in the Smith community to do more for our program and the college to make sure that our commitment to diversity goes beyond the surface and starts to influence how we think about curriculum and the culture of the full-time MBA program.”

Read more: Jasmine Snead’s profile and Virginia Pierrie’s profile at P&Q.

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About the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business

The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader in management education and research. One of 12 colleges and schools at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate, full-time and flex MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, business master’s, PhD and executive education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The school offers its degree, custom and certification programs in learning locations in North America and Asia.

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