Class of 2018 graduates Staci Bank and Sean Gilson represent the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business in Poets & Quants’ “100 MBAs to Watch in The Class of 2018.”
Bank, with her MBA focus on data analytics and a Smith bachelor’s degree in marketing and supply chain management, works for Johnson & Johnson as a procurement leadership development program associate. Gilson, a finance manager for American Express, focused his MBA study on banking, corporate finance and securities law. He was an advisor during 2017-2018 for the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship and a Mayer Fund financial sector equity analyst.
Here are samples:
Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school?
Bank: One of the reasons I came to Smith was the experiential learning opportunities that the school has to offer. These opportunities provide students with a hands-on experience to apply what is learned in the classroom to real-world problems. One option, designED, was the graduate level version of Quest, a revered program at Smith undergrad. I always regretted not taking Quest during my years at Smith the first time, so I was determined to apply to designED. In this class, students learn design thinking techniques, build business development skills, and perform consulting projects. When I received my “congratulations” email from the previous cohort, I was thrilled and exhilarated. I knew that I could add value to this class, and that it would provide me with new skills to take with me into the workforce.
Why did you choose this business school?
Gilson: I chose Smith because of the small class size, experiential learning coursework, and tight-knit student body. I have made lifelong friends from Smith through experiential courses such as the Mayer Fund. The Mayer Fund, our student-run actively managed endowment, allowed me to form close friendships with my fellow fund members while also relying on them for constructive feedback when I am biased toward a particular stock.