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Ariel Nathan, MBA & MPP 2018

Hometown: Niskayuna, NY
Focus Area: Social Value Creation & Corporate Social Responsibility
Education: Binghamton University
Before Smith: Repair the World
Extracurricular Activities: Net Impact, Smith Association of Women MBA, Jewish MBA Association

Why did you choose to attend the Smith School of Business?

I chose Smith for several reasons. Most importantly, I felt incredibly supported throughout the admissions process by the admissions staff. My questions were answered speedily and thoughtfully, and I felt that the admissions committee was always encouraging. Second, the community I experienced when I visited was warm and welcoming, and all of the students spoke so highly of the school and their experiences. Third, I felt as though I could see myself fitting into the landscape and the culture of the school. Fourth, I am pursuing a dual degree and I feel I am encouraged and supported at this school. Furthermore, Smith has a strong reputation that, coupled with the other reasons mentioned made attending a no brainer.

In your opinion, what makes the Smith MBA program unique?

The overall friendliness of the other students is one thing. I don’t think I’ve been at any other program, educational or otherwise where the people are as genuine. Also, I think the location and affordability of this program makes it unique in the mid-Atlantic region. I think the willingness of the staff and offices here to make each of our experience positive is something that Smith has to offer. I have been supported throughout everything from navigating my graduate assistantship responsibilities to trying to figure out the dual degree. Lastly, I feel as though I am part of the larger Maryland community, which is nice to feel even as a graduate student.

What advice would you give to future Smith MBA candidates?

I would advise them to think deeply and find a passion that can drive them through the admissions process. My experience during orientation has shown how diverse this class is, how many different interests people have, and how those different passions from each of us is going to create a well-rounded class. I would also advise future candidates not to stress (too much) about fitting the typical business school mold. I come from a non-profit background, and plenty of my classmates come from atypical experiences as well. Everyone has stories and interesting life experiences, and I would advise them to draw on that in their time here rather than trying to mold themselves into something they’re not.