News at Smith

Online MBA Presentation Leads to Job Offer

Nov 07, 2017
Experiential / Reality-based Learning


Anthony BotosSave-A-Lot executives did more than listen to a capstone project from online MBA students at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business. The supermarket chain created a new position and offered it to team member Anthony Botos, OMBA ’17.

“The Smith MBA program gave my team and me the skills needed to sift through a lot of data and make connections between the information and the company’s strategy,” Botos said.

The presentation in April 2017 was part of the Action Learning Project, a graduation requirement that allows online MBA candidates to apply the knowledge and skills they acquire at Smith to address real-world corporate challenges.

Botos and his teammates chose to focus on Save-A-Lot, which operates more than 1,300 stores across 36 states. The project addressed challenges associated with the marketing and merchandising of Save-A-Lot’s private label products.

As director of distribution for Save-A-Lot at the time of the project, Botos took great interest in the success of the capstone project. “The project was a top priority for me because it had my name on it, and I wanted it to bloom,” he said.

The day after Botos and his team presented their marketing plan to the Save-A-Lot executive board, the company had a change in leadership. The new CEO wanted to transform the company’s relationship with its customers, and one board member recommended that he hear the Smith School presentation.

As a result, the company flew Botos to Save-A-Lot’s headquarters in Earth City, Mo., where he presented the capstone project to the CEO in a one-on-one meeting.

Shortly afterward, the CEO created a new Customer Experience department and offered Botos the position of Director of Customer Experience. “It speaks a lot to what we did in the project,” Botos said about the job offer.

Botos has been with Save-A-Lot for more than 10 years. Through a series of promotions, he became director of distribution. Then he decided to pursue his interest in marketing.

As a father, husband and full-time employee, Botos needed an MBA program with flexibility. He researched his options and chose Smith’s online MBA program with a concentration in marketing.

After two months as Director of Customer Experience, Botos was promoted again to Vice President of Distribution in Missouri.

“My favorite part of my job is developing a positive culture in the organization,” Botos said. “This means connecting, interacting with and motivating people throughout the organization.”

— Mamayaa Opoku, Smith School communications writer

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.