Smith Start

For all incoming first-year students

Smith Start

As a new member of our Smith family, you'll be joining our dynamic Smith Start community. Through small, linked courses and co-curricular programming, Smith Start aims to prepare you for the next four years and beyond. Smith Start will challenge you to engage, explore, and experience all the Smith community has to offer you as a student and emerging business professional!

All students admitted to the Smith School as freshmen before the Fall semester will automatically be considered members of the Smith Start Program.

Kristin LaRiviere, Assistant Director in the Smith Undergraduate Program Office, oversees the administration of the program.

Completion: Students who complete BMGT 110F and 367F, together with the co-curricular activities offered each semester will receive recognition at the end of the year.

Smith Start Calendar

Semester 1: Understanding Business, Self & Society

Presentation to Freshman Class 2018

By the end of the semester, you will have a broader knowledge of the issues facing contemporary business and the communities they serve. You'll also be reflecting on your role in business and in your community.

Required course: BMGT110*, Introduction to the Business Value Chain

*Most students will take BMGT110 in the (F) section; Students in the Business, Society, and Economy Program as part of College Park Scholars will only be required to participate in co-curricular events. Students with BMGT110 transfer credit will coordinate program participation with Kristin LaRiviere.

Co-Curricular Requirements:

  • Smith Leadership Institute: Your Smith Start adventure starts with our Smith Leadership Institute (SLI). At SLI, you'll connect with your cohort of peers, along with Smith upperclassmen, staff, and corporate partners. During the event, you'll be learning and exploring the landscape of contemporary business and the challenges you'll face as a budding business professional. Sponsored by EY
  • Bridging the Skills Gap: Our Smith Office of Career Services (OCS) and corporate partners discuss strategies to make the most of your opportunities in college so you can be best prepared for a competitive job market.
  • Major Mash-Ups: Formatted in an interactive style, you'll learn from faculty, staff, students and corporate partners about Smith majors. Discussion will focus on course/major topics and potential career tracks.
  • One Community: You'll engage in dialogue about the importance of communities to business. Emphasis will be placed on diversity and inclusion, and how supporting various forms of community is important to business success at micro- and marco-levels.

Semester 2: Developing My Personal Brand

Freshman Networking Night

At the conclusion of the year, you'll know more about your personal brand as well as expectations of you as a budding business professional. From writing a cover letter and resume to how to best approach small talk, you'll focus on becoming a polished professional.

Required course: BMGT367F, Career Search Strategies in Business

Co-Curricular Requirements:

  • Personal Branding 101: In this high-energy session, you'll learn exactly what it means to develop and refine a personal brand.
  • Networking Day : First, you'll learn the intricacies and etiquette of networking. Then, you'll practice your skills with corporate partners and alumni.
  • Global Young Professionals Institute: At Global YPI, the Center for Global Business will introduce you to the Passport to Global Mindset, a tool to help you identify and take advantage of all the global opportunities at UMD and the Smith School. You will then visit embassies in Washington, D.C. to learn first-hand about the global market and how to become a culturally conscious business professional. 
  • Etiquette Dinner: For the times you may have wondered which fork to use or which glass is yours, our etiquette training during a three course meal will leave you feeling like a polished professional.