Nov. 2-3, 2017, nearly 200 students from the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business traveled to New York City for the annual “Smith in the City” trip. The trek featured visits to about three dozen companies and an alumni networking event, where students were able to connect with about 130 alumni.
Terps Take Manhattan
Students apply to attend the event, which is organized by the school’s Office of Career Services (OCS) and the Smith Undergraduate Student Association (SUSA). Undergraduate students are divided into tracks of functional areas: accounting, business analytics, consulting, entertainment, entrepreneurship, fashion, finance, and marketing. Undergrads in the Senbet Fund and MBA students in the Mayer Fund also combined for the trip.
“What a tremendous welcome we received from Smith alumni in New York City,” said Patricia Reich, assistant dean and executive director of the Office of Career Services. “It was wonderful to see so many undergraduates step off the bus with their best foot forward, and I am thankful to our alumni and employer partners who allowed them to see what the future may hold for each of them.”
Each track has a student leader and faculty advisor who work together to plan the company visits and related logistics. Students meet before the trip and prepare questions for the companies as well as strategies for networking with alumni. Students stayed at the Grand Hyatt New York, which was also the site of the alumni networking event.
Alumni Panel & Networking Event
On Thursday evening, Nov. 2, Smith’s Office of Development and Alumni Relations (DAR) organized a captivating panel that discussed successful strategies to be innovative in the workplace. Dean Alex Triantis kicked off the remarks and the panel was moderated by Nadine Payne, MBA '15, who is a management associate of Consumer Business Operational Risk and Control at Citi and chair of SmithNY Alumni Club. Panelists included: Kim Boulmetis '92, managing director at Capital Markets at Incapital; Tyrone Brooks '96, senior director of Front Office and Field Staff Diversity Pipeline Program at Major League Baseball; Mark Elenowitz '92, CEO at BANQ; and Elizabeth McCourt '91, president at McCourt Leadership Group.
After the panel, students were able to interact with alumni to get career advice. To make it easier for the students, alumni were identified by functional area. For example, alumni who work in marketing had a blue dot on their nametag so students interested could easily identify whom to target for a conversation.
Student track leaders organized the company trips – many times through alumni connections – to about three dozen companies, including: EY, PwC, Facebook, IBM, iHeart Radio, Ross, Goldman Sacs, Edelman, and more. Site visits included a variety of activities: meet and greet with alumni, company overview presentation, summary of current projects, panel discussions, and tours.
Zane Adoum, MBA/MFin candidate 2018, joined the trip with the Mayer Fund team. The Mayer Fund is a yearlong, limited-enrollment advanced finance seminar for second-year full-time MBA students. The students visited the companies of five board members known as Friends of the Fund: Lowenstein Sandler, Park Avenue Equity Partners, John Boyle, JPMorgan, and Houlihan Lockey. Adoum said the students received great advice during the trip. At the visit to Park Avenue Equity Partners, Bill Mayer, former dean of the Smith School and founder of the Mayer Fund, encouraged students to discover their unique gifts. Leaders are those who know how to figure things out, he said. Learn about yourself to become your best.
“The NYC trip is a great way for students to fully understand where their studies can take them,” said Juliette Carnevale, class of 2018 marketing major. “I've been on the trip twice and decided to be a track leader this year so I could become even more involved. This year we visited Edelman and Code and Theory, which allowed students to see contrasting office work spaces and company cultures within their desired field of marketing. In my prior experience with the trip, I kept in contact with one of the companies I visited who were able to connect me with their Cape Town office. When I was volunteering in Cape Town last winter, I had the opportunity to visit this company's office and meet the employees there. Being able to see how a company can differ from continent to continent was a valuable experience that I never would have had if it weren't for the connections I made on the NYC trip. This trip has not only shown me what my future career could look like, but also how far networking can take you, whether that be through the alumni event or the office visits.”
Check out more highlights on social media at #SmithInTheCity.
- Alissa Arford ’94, MBA ’10, Office of Marketing Communications