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Nickolas Parker, MBA 2018

“As a career transitioner I knew I would need a lot of help from both faculty and fellow students and I have not been disappointed.”

Focus Area: Consulting
Hometown: Asheville, NC
Education: University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Before Smith: AT&T
Extracurricular Activities: Consulting Club, Toastmaster Club

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

For me, Smith became my top choice during my campus visit and interview. The program already has a great reputation and strong connections with my target companies, but during my campus visit I was really impressed with the culture of teamwork and overall desire to see everyone succeed. As a career transitioner I knew I would need a lot of help from both faculty and fellow students and I have not been disappointed. The mantra of “Terps helping Terps” is the backbone of the Smith culture and is exactly what I was looking for in a MBA program.

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

Aside from the culture, Smith is unique in that it is a smaller program located in a very large university. This allows for students to bond closely with their fellow classmates and create a strong network without sacrificing the resources a large university has to offer. The diversity of the class also sets the Smith school apart from other programs and gives you a chance to work with people from very different backgrounds. Finally, the most unique thing about the school is the level of respect for the Smith brand—alumni are well respected in their fields and are a great support system as you begin your Smith MBA journey.

What advice would you give to future Smith MBA candidates?

Looking back, I think the most important thing to do is really spend time reflecting on your work experience before Smith. This is important because it helps you define your brand, which will be very important during your time at Smith and beyond. I would also say that your fellow classmates are the greatest resources to your success in the program, and you are of the same value to them. Lastly, I would say, be open and ready to learn a lot about business but even more about yourself. Oh, and have a ton of fun.