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Maryland Smith Trio Among Poets & Quants’ 2020 MBAs to Watch

Jun 01, 2020

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Vanessa Chang
Vanessa Chang

Poets & Quants has selected and profiled newly graduated Maryland Smith Full-Time MBA students Jeremy Stratton, Vanessa Chang and Snigdha Sinha as among its class of “2020 MBAs to Watch.”

The news website devoted to the global coverage of business schools quoted Chang, who is moving into a role of senior manager for Amazon Web Services’ CloudPath program. “Call them distinctive and eclectic – and rarely conventional," he said, describing his group. "Their storylines aren’t always perfectly linear and clear. Many are still finding their way. For them, business school sometimes involved a rocky transition, a feeling out process where they gained confidence as time went along. In a nutshell, the MBAs To Watch are the students with the courage to bet on themselves – or, in the words of the University of Maryland’s Vanessa Chang: ‘When facing tough choices, I always choose the riskier one.’”

Poets & Quants, in its main article, further highlighted Maryland Smith profilees Sinha, now a senior product manager for Amazon, and Stratton, who is joining IBM Global Business Services as a senior consultant in talent and engagement:

Many MBAs To Watch gained their first exposure to leadership in military service. Andrew Hoverson trained nearly 1,900 military personnel as a Close Quarters Battle Instructor. As the Curriculum Director and Course Chief of the program, the U.C. Irvine grad literally wrote the book on the subject. Hoverson could probably add some lessons from Jeremy Stratton into the programming. His outnumbered platoon beat back a Taliban assault on a remote outpost – one where bullets “kicked up dust 8 inches from where we took cover” and where RPGs “landed a few feet away.” Still, the experience – harrowing as it was – taught Stratton some critical lessons about what to expect in business. “In a tech-driven economy, firms are consistently fighting for a competitive advantage,” writes the University of Maryland MBA. “This requires flexibility, maneuverability, and creative solutions to compete and succeed in a complex market.”

…These ups-and-downs are one reason for the "work hard, play hard" ethos of MBA students. At the University of Maryland, Snigdha Sinha talks about the “party bus” tradition – in which students hit D.C. after completing fall semester. Rather than being an exercise in boozing and cruising, the party bus represents something far more profound and lasting. “The first semester is often termed as 'drinking through a fire hose' and that is not an exaggeration by any means,” Sinha writes. “It truly tests you and sometimes can leave you down and out. The party bus is a celebration of not just surviving those brutal months, but also how we are all in this together and are each other’s safety nets. You look at the faces in that bus and realize –- we are part of one fabric, these are my people, and this is my family.”

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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 part-time MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, specialty 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.