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We Are Smith: Rajshree Agarwal

Sep 06, 2016
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Rajshree builds the future of innovation from the ground up.

Rajshree Agarwal, Rudolph P. Lamone Chair and Professor in Entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland, knows that being an entrepreneur isn’t just about starting a new company. The founding director of the Ed Snider Center, she looks at enterprise in a holistic way, inspiring the next generation to be creative and critical thinkers.

We embody the spirit of entrepreneurship. We are Smith.

Rajshree AgarwalWhat career achievement makes you most proud?

Receiving the PhD Mentor of the Year Award two years in a row (at the University and Smith School Level).  PhD students are the lifeblood of any research enterprise, and I truly enjoy watching them grow to their fullest potential!

If you could meet any historical figure, who would it be?

Ayn Rand

What is the most interesting thing you have in your office?

Teddy Bears.  My husband gives these to me at Valentine’s Day, and I started keeping them in my office to keep my toddler daughters away from them.  I have bears that sing, and bears that dance!

What drives your passion for Smith?

The focus on thought leadership.  And the integration of research, teaching and practice.  Smith truly fosters the synergies across the critical elements that define academia.

If you could give advice to a large group of people, what would it be?

Seek a lot of advice, but be judicious and independent about what you choose to follow.  My father once complained that I did not listen to him, and I responded—“It is not that I don’t listen, it is just that I don’t always do what you say.”

You have a completely open weekend – where are you and what are you doing?

At Cedar Point, Sandusky Ohio, riding the roller coasters!

Who are your heroes in real life?

The business leader that creates value, and is proudly unapologetic of it!

If money were no object, what one project would you tackle at Smith?

The Minor in Business and Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

If you were to die and come back as a thing, what would it be?

Myself, with all the wisdom that I have gained, and the time to use the information more wisely.

You have a lunch meeting at Ledo’s – what’s on your pizza?

Everything, except olives and anchovies!

What’s your favorite memory from your time at Smith?

My recruiting talk—I have never had so many different questions come at me from so many different people across all the research talks that I have given—it convinced me that this is the place I needed to be:  smart, hardworking colleagues who are a lot of fun, (and can play a mean game of volleyball at summer picnics too!)

If you won the lottery, what would you buy?

Right now, I guess a Tesla.  I got to ride one the other day.  I am not a car person, but I could see becoming one in that car! And I am very interested in seeing how the electric car industry evolves, cause I am a scholar of industry evolution and innovation diffusion.

The We Are Smith campaign highlights the dedicated faculty, staff, students and alumni at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business. Each person featured fits into one of Smith’s four brand pillars: world-class faculty and research; entrepreneurial spirit; experiential learning; and collaborative community. #WeAreSmith @SmithSchool on Twitter.

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.

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