News at Smith

Smith School Student Wins National Leadership Award

Mar 31, 2001


Leader is a word often used to describe this years recipient of the Graduate Business Foundations Student Leadership Award, Kelly Nelson, Smith MBA '01.

The full-time MBA student is co-founder of the eNGAGE Intensive Interviewing Program, co-president of the MBA Consulting Club, member of the schools first-place Rutgers MBA Invitational Case Tournament team, and Equity Analyst in the Mayer Fund. Nelson also works part-time at Northrop Grumman as Lead Communications Specialist. She graduated from Yale University in 1993 with a Bachelor of Arts in psychology and studies in the environment.

Kelly has been an exceptional leader, mentor and student at the Smith School, said Marlene McNamee, Smith MBA Candidate 2002 and incoming president of the MBA Association. She embodies the leadership and innovation that our students can achieve.

Each year, members of the Graduate Business Foundation (GBF) recognize a student or student team for their outstanding contribution to leadership and innovation in the graduate business community. The Student Leadership Award was inaugurated in 1991 by the GBF to recognize leadership and innovation at the graduate business level. This honor is bestowed annually upon a student or team during a commemorative banquet at the Graduate Business Conference (GBC). Representatives from top business schools are asked to nominate up to two members or teams from their student body for this prestigious honor. (Full Story)

McNamee and Amy Wilk, Smith MBA Candidate 2002, highlighted four of Nelsons accomplishments on the student leadership nomination form: creating Internship Edge Program for first year students, organizing eNGAGE Program for second year students, organizing the Smith MBA Consulting Forum and creating a sponsored case competition for first-year students.

Stressing the importance of networking and pursuing interests outside the classroom, Nelson said, There is a certain argument that the outside activities are really critical to performing well in the classroom and in your post-MBA plans. Knowing (and liking) your classmates well help make course work (especially teamwork) go better. And its undeniable that these folks can be your support system, advisory board and sounding boards both through school and beyond.

The Tuesday preceding the Graduate Business Conference, held March 29 - April 1, Nelson was interviewed as a finalist for the Student Leadership Award and then later that same day was informed that she had won. I had seen bios of previous winners and there were some fantastic accomplishments, said Nelson who was thrilled with her victory. Its great company to be in.

The award was presented to Nelson March 31, 2001, during the GBC at Cornell University. Nelson is the first recipient from the University of Maryland.

Nelson graduated this spring and has a job lined up at Boston Consulting Group, based in Bethesda, Md. Smith has prepared her well. I think this is a school that allows and fosters both innovation and individualism, she said. Ive really benefited from this program because you can make your own path.

Three ways that Smith has best prepared her: 1) Quantifiable business knowledge and frameworks for thinking through business issues that I just didnt have prior to coming back to school, 2) A great network of peers, alumni, faculty and administrators that Im comfortable going to for advice, help or feedback now and in the future, and 3) A lot more confidence in my own abilities than I had before.

Congratulations to Kelly Nelson and good luck to all of the Smith School graduating class!

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.