Addressing tomorrow’s grand business challenges begins with preparation in the classroom today. And that’s what students at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business have been doing through the Smith Business Leadership Fellows Program.
Launched in fall 2022 alongside the Interdisciplinary Business Honors Living-Learning Program, SBLF welcomed its first cohort of 109 students to the UMD community.
Over the last year, fellows have gained a big-picture perspective of the business world through accelerated core business courses unique to the program, including BMGT198D: The Future of You, Business, and Society, and BMGT198E: The Business of You.
The program, part of Maryland Smith’s strategic initiative to reimagine learning, also exposes students to industry executives through discussions, lectures, internships and networking opportunities. The experience also grants fellows access to private meetings with industry executives to gain impactful leadership insights and learn of the relevant issues their issues face.
For Joan Morningstar ’26, SBLF has catalyzed making connections and creating opportunities since stepping on the UMD campus. She says it’s partly thanks to the highly-regarded professors and ambassadors that empower students like her to reach their full potential and make the most of their UMD experience.
“The most memorable moments in SBLF were the small ones,” says Morningstar. “Having special sections of classes for this program, which are smaller than the regular sections, gives students a unique opportunity to make personal connections with students and professors, making the Smith School and the University of Maryland feel like home from the very beginning.”
The access to professors and mentors also proved valuable for Jimmy Miller ’26 as he adjusted to college life. It was particularly relevant toward the end of his first semester at UMD as he and his peers consulted on a project for Smith’s Center for Global Business.
“Getting hands-on experience with this type of project in class was something that was unique to SBLF for me,” says Miller. “I also got to work with other fellows and meet more people in the program through this project.”
As she enters year two, Morningstar looks forward to continuing to capitalize on SBLF’s offerings in and out of the classroom, which she heavily recommends that students in the incoming cohort do as well.
“Take advantage of every opportunity given to you,” says Morningstar. “From your ambassadors to professors to guest speakers, this program will provide you with endless opportunities to learn and grow as a student and professional, but it is up to you to make the most of them.”
For more information about the program and how to apply, visit the SBLF website.
Media Relations Manager
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.