Smith Business Leadership Fellows

Smith Business Leadership Fellows

Exceptional Learners. Fearless Leaders.

The Smith Business Leadership Fellows (SBLF) Program is a 2-year program designed to provide students with a unique, rewarding community within the Smith School of Business during their time at the University of Maryland - College Park. We aim to promote an exceptional co-curricular experience through our cohort model, which is designed to build a strong sense of community throughout the program. Through SBLF, students will gain a superior understanding of business, participate in noteworthy experiences, and develop a distinctive value proposition they can utilize during their undergraduate careers and beyond. The end result of this program is for Exceptional Learners to become Fearless Leaders.


All first-year applicants admitted to the Robert H. Smith School of Business are automatically considered for invitation to SBLF; there is no separate application for SBLF. Students admitted into the SBLF Program will be notified in early February. Email with any questions.


To complete the SBLF program and qualify for the transcript notation students must complete the four courses outlined below in their first 4 semesters of college. Additionally, SBLF Students have access to specialized sections of required business courses.


BMGT162: The Future of You, Business and Society | 3 Credits

This course is designed to help you explore the future of you, business, and society. Even as the nature of business (the how) evolves with technology, the purpose of business —to create individual and social prosperity (the why) —remains the same. This course will integrate the “why” and the “how” to prepare you for the future of work. You will learn the foundational concepts of how to lead yourself with purpose and develop win-win relationships. You will also learn how organizations solve unmet needs in society, and how they develop and leverage the power of technology and new business practices to create value in a sound and ethical way.


BMGT262L: The Enterprising Leader | 3 Credits

This course is designed to help develop your leadership skills so you can identify your personal and professional purpose with an entrepreneurial mindset, and create strategies that will help you develop your abilities and achieve your aspirations by collaborating within teams and organizations. A “Scholarship-to-Practice” course designation is being sought for this course because it applies insights from recent scholarship in entrepreneurship, leadership and strategic management.

This course fulfills a Scholarship in Practice and Big Questions General Education requirement.


BMGT263: Challenge your thinking, Challenge the Conversation | 3 Credits

“Challenge the Conversation/Challenge your Thinking” is an important component of training the next generation of leaders to address the Grand Challenges of today. It is designed to help you challenge your own thinking, and also challenge conversations you encounter within business and socio-economic settings to create meaningful change. You will learn conceptual frameworks and engage in experiential opportunities to develop an active mindset, create psychological safety within yourself and in team environments, and engage in rational and respectful discourse on “hot topics and issues” of the day.


BMGT264: Capstone Project | 3 Credits

Provides students in the Smith Business Leadership Fellows Program (SBLF) with a capstone opportunity to learn in teams in a real-world setting. Companies engage teams of SBLF students with meaningful organizational challenges and dedicate resources to help students address these problems. Student teams enhance their skills in critical thinking, collaboration, negotiation, quality management and communication. These teams then apply these skills to offer value to a client. In the process, students will improve their teamwork skills.

Smaller sections of required Major and General Education courses are available to SBLF Students.

  • BMGT110L: Introduction to Business Value Chain
  • BMGT220L: Principles of Accounting I
  • BMGT221L: Principles of Accounting II
  • BMGT230L: Business Statistics
  • COMM107B: Oral Communication: Principles and Practices (fulfills Oral Communication General Education requirement)

Meet Our Team

Our acclaimed faculty and staff combine real-world knowledge with hands-on learning to help our students not only succeed, but thrive during their time in the Robert H. Smith School of Business.

SBLF Faculty and Staff

Program Activities

Fellows are provided with unique opportunities to engage in community throughout their tenure in SBLF. From hosting talks by industry experts, to social events, to study sessions, to exclusive opportunities to network and connect with esteemed faculty and Deans who work at Smith, we constantly provide Fellows with opportunities to connect with their peers, grow their professional network, and hone essential skills for the future.

2023 Freshman Mentors

“I help with SBLF because I saw the positive impact that was made on the cohort last year and their excitement to get involved in Smith. I want every Smith student to get the most out of Smith just like I did.”

Campus Involvement: DSAC, QUEST, UMD Tour Guide, ZBT

Eric Blackman
SBLF Mentor Coordinator
Finance & Operations Management/Business Analytics

“The community at Smith is like no other! During my freshman year, I found a mentor in the same club and academic major as me. She was undoubtedly one of the most influential people I have met in my (almost) four years at Smith, guiding me to personal and professional opportunities I would never have pursued otherwise.
Stepping into the Mentor Coordinator role in my Senior year at Smith, I look forward to getting to know the second SBLF cohort and following their successful Smith journeys!”

Campus Involvement: President - American Marketing Association, Marketing Strategy Lead - Center for Social Value Creation, Digital Media & Marketing Lead - Office of Experiential Learning, Alpha Chi Omega, Strategic Design Fellows

Sarah Taylor
SBLF Mentor Coordinator
Marketing & Supply Chain Management

“I wanted to be an SBLF mentor to share the knowledge I have gained through numerous experiences I have had with incoming Smith freshmen, such as: being a TA for other courses, on-campus jobs I have held, and internship experience.”

Campus Involvement: QUEST Honors Program, Resident Assistant, Account Specialist in SORC Finance Department

Jordan Abraham
SBLF Mentor
Finance with a Technology Entrepreneurship Minor

“Making a profound impact on people's lives is one of my top professional goals, and I couldn't be more excited to be a mentor for SBLF. I'm passionate about helping others reach their full potential. In the past, I've mentored first-year students in my UMD living-learning community, and it was an amazing experience to witness their growth and offer guidance every step of the way.”

Campus Involvement: Smith Office of Career Services, UMD Panhellenic Association, UMD Athletics Department, Terps Against Hunger

Emily Jackson
SBLF Mentor
Marketing & Supply Chain Management

“I wanted to pay it forward to the Smith community. Helping students out earlier on in college can really help them get the most out of their time at Maryland.”

Campus Involvement: Emerging CFOs Fellowship

Andrew Kodsi
SBLF Mentor
Finance & Information Systems

“My primary goal is to help Cohort ‘23 professionally develop and become the future faces of the Smith School of Business.”

Future Employment: Incoming Analyst @ Deloitte
Campus Involvement: Alpha Kappa Psi (President), TA for BMGT 207 (Technology, Society, and the Future of Humanity)

Darius Nejad
SBLF Mentor
Information Systems & Management

“I chose to TA for SBLF after working closely with students as a mentor last year. Being a mentor provided the unique opportunity to help SBLF students not only pursue their goals, but define them as well. This is such a crucial part of being a freshman in college and it is very rewarding to see students cultivate new interests and passions that you can help them grow.”

Campus Involvement: President of the Black Business Association, Portfolio Manager of Markets and External Relations for the Lemma Senbet Fund, Teaching Assistant for BMGT 340, 345, and 162, Wealth Management Analyst at Morgan Stanley

Dasha Robinson
Teaching Assistant
Finance & Economics

“I want to help incoming freshmen feel at home at Smith and find the community and support they need to best succeed!”

Campus Involvement: Smith Deans Student Advisory Council, VP of Campus Programming for the Student Alumni Leadership Council, VP of Omicron Delta Kappa, Supervisor at Eppley

Alexa Stimpson
SBLF Mentor
Finance & International Business

“I wanted to be a TA so I could support new students on their professional and academic journeys and give them a smooth and less anxious transition into college. So far, I have learned how to communicate better and help them online and in person by serving as a role model, peer, and guiding eye.”

Campus Involvement: Sports Business Society, American Marketing Association, Intramural Basketball

Danny Tisser
Teaching Assistant
Marketing & OMBA

“I want to provide ease of access to opportunities for SBLF students. During my freshman year, I felt that I didn't really have anyone to go to for advice about Smith and possible career paths. I want to be that resource for SBLF students and help them grow into the future leaders of Smith.”

Campus involvement: SUSA, Controller for Alpha Kappa Psi business fraternity, Honors Humanities Honors Program, OCS student worker

Rebecca Zhang
SBLF Mentor
Finance & Information Systems

Contact Us

If you would like more information about the Smith Business Leadership Fellows Program, please contact:

Amy Bielicki
Program Coordinator, Smith Business Leadership Fellows

Back to Top