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Spring 2020 Grads Reflect on the Journey

May 26, 2020
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As they celebrated their graduation from the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business, six students reflected on what the moment – and the achievement – mean to them.

Here is what they said:

Brooke Rankin ’20“Graduation is the culmination of our Smith journey, encompassing each moment – from changing our major, studying all night, joining clubs and organizations, and pondering what we want to do with our lives. Graduation is about looking back on our journey and thinking about the unique moments that made it our own. It is about cherishing this moment with our family, friends, and Smith family who have supported and sacrificed so much to help us reach this milestone. We can take the skills we learned and the experiences we have had and strive forward to the next step in our journey.”

–Brooke Rankin ’20

Miranda Taylor, MBA ’20“When I quit my job and moved 1,000 miles to Maryland in 2018, I didn't know a soul. Two years, many classes, and one MBA later, I have changed. I know more about the world, am many experiences wiser, and increasingly aware of how much there is left to explore. On this graduation day, I'll quote Jonathan Goldsmith who said, ‘We don’t know everything and that’s what keeps us going.’ I'm excited for what's next.”

–Miranda Taylor, MBA ’20

Ashraf Khan, MBA ’20“Graduation is a celebration of all the sacrifices made that allowed me to get to this point. It’s about the hard work my mother has put in to raise me and give me the opportunity to succeed. Graduation is a way to celebrate perseverance. It’s about having the will and determination to get through all the ups and downs, the long days and nights, the challenges and obstacles that came my way. Lastly, graduation is about looking forward to being able to apply the things I have learned throughout my journey to make a positive, lasting impact in the world.”

–Ashraf Khan, MBA ’20

Xiecheng (Dan) Yuan, CFA, Master of Quantitative Finance ‘20“I left my job and had very specific goals when I was applying for my Master’s program. Smith offered me more than I could have hoped for. My favorite part of this journey is the aspirations I learned from my classmates and our long-lasting personal connections. Graduation marks the beginning of a new chapter. As we Terps start writing this new chapter all over the world, remember, Stay Fearless!”

Xiecheng (Dan) Yuan, CFA, Master of Quantitative Finance 20

Sydney King, Master of Information Systems ’20 and Bachelor of Science Degree in Information Systems and Marketing ’19"Starting off as a Plus 1 student in undergrad then converting to a full-time master's student was a challenge, but I must say I am so grateful for the experience. I have seen so much growth within myself and have met great classmates who have also enhanced my time at Smith. Graduation is not only a time of celebration but also for reflection. I have learned so much from this program and cannot wait to apply my skills in the real world. Smith will forever have a place in my heart, and I can't wait to come back and visit!"

Sydney King, Master of Information Systems ’20 and Bachelor of Science Degree in Information Systems and Marketing ’19

Ivy Ruyun Feng, PhD ’20"My PhD journey at Maryland was an amazing period of my life. It stimulates my love of intellectual pursuits and desire for a deeper understanding of the field. Research is often a lonely endeavor that takes a long time to reach fruition, but it grows my resilience, persistence, and patience. I learned to approach things with an open mind and understand that the creation of knowledge is a forever ongoing process that never comes to an end. To me, graduation embarks a new start rather than an end. I look forward to the next chapter of my life."

–Ivy Ruyun Feng, PhD ’20

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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 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.