Community / October 21, 2021

New Smith Advisory Councils Convene

New Smith Advisory Councils Convene

On Friday, Oct. 15, the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business greeted roughly 100 alumni, corporate partners and researchers both in-person and virtually for the Smith Advisory Council Welcome, commencing the start of new partnerships that will equip Smith School students with the skills needed to succeed in evolving fields.

The councils, encompassing two undergraduate programs and nine graduate programs, are made up of 20 to 30 members with two-year terms and will work with Smith leadership to offer insights into desired skills from hiring employers and notable developments in the business environment.

The event presented an ideal opportunity for council members to learn more about Maryland Smith programs and how their expertise can benefit them. Council members were also able to discuss their respective roles and goals, as well as interact with Smith School faculty and staff.

For corporate partners, like Ozgur Dogen, CEO of Blend360, serving on a council offers another way for him to make a positive impact at Maryland Smith and within his company.

Blend360, which specializes in data analysis consulting, has recruited extensively from Maryland Smith’s master’s programs over the last four years. Dogen says his new role will present a setting where he can provide an industry perspective and contribute to the school.

“We’ve been very excited about the caliber of talent we’ve been able to recruit from Smith School programs and we wanted to get more involved in helping to design the curriculum by providing insights into critical skill sets needed in our field,” says Dogen. “It’s very exciting to be part of those discussions and shaping the programs in a positive way.”

Nadine Payne, MBA ’15, says she sees her new role with the advisory councils as just one more way she can give back to her alma mater. She previously served as co-chair for the New York alumni chapter, delivering speaking engagements.

Payne, senior vice president of commercial lending management at Citi, says it’s energizing to think about supporting students more directly in the classroom and through experiential learning opportunities.

“Part of being a Terp and a Smith School alum is about finding ways to reconnect and leverage what I’ve benefited from and make sure that those who follow us can take advantage of their own experience,” says Payne.

Smith Dean Prabhudev Konana says it’s been exciting to see the councils come together and envision their future impact.

“These advisory councils enable us to stay engaged with industry leaders and experts offering invaluable real-world experience that will help shape what our students learn in the classroom,” says Konana. “We hope this helps make our stellar curriculum even more suited to real-world needs, and widens the pipeline for internship and job opportunities.”

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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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