This Q&A has been edited and condensed.
What is your undergraduate major(s)?
Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance
What are your career goals and aspirations?
I want to combine my experience, knowledge and love of music with my business education to pursue a career in arts administration. One day, I want to be the director of a major performing arts organization.
Why did you choose Smith’s MS in Business and Management? How do you anticipate that it will help prepare you for the career you want to pursue?
I chose Maryland Smith’s Master of Science in Business and Management (MSBMGT) program because I knew it would provide me with a wide range of skills and experiences that would be directly applicable to the business environment I wanted to enter post-graduation. The program provides you with real-world experiences and working knowledge of all aspects of business ranging from accounting to ethics. I anticipate that my degree from Smith will help me to bridge the gap between what I know about my field and how I can be successful and make a difference in that field.
What did you learn that was most helpful?
I learned how to articulate my ideas and thoughts. The program gave me countless opportunities to practice voicing my thoughts and opinions to groups of peers, professors and professionals. Through team interactions, class presentations and discussions, I have learned how to apply concepts, articulate my thought process and effectively communicate to an audience.
Did you do any hands-on projects that helped broaden your understanding of the business world?
Over the course of the program, we completed many simulations and group projects that were extremely valuable to my growth as a team member and leader. During these experiences, we were given the opportunity to play certain roles to mimic real workplace situations where the goal or lesson of the exercise was often revealed at the end during the debrief. Everyone could think about how they thought they might have acted versus how they acted after being unknowingly placed in the situation. These simulations are a huge part of what makes this curriculum special and impactful.
What was the classroom experience like? Did you make good connections with your classmates?
The classroom experience was enjoyable, intimate and unlike any undergraduate experience that I had. The professors are amazing and interact with students on a level that you can’t reach in a class of a hundred or more students. I learned so much from my classmates through their combined experiences and made amazing friendships that I will hold onto well past graduation.
What part of the program (course, teacher, experience) had the most impact for you?
The course that had the most impact on me was Data, Models and Decision Making. My strengths have never been in statistics, math or excel and I knew it was going to be a challenging course, but looking back, this class was instrumental to my understanding of all other business concepts. Professor Tunca made this course extremely interesting and I am most thankful that I was able to perfect those skills in a classroom setting with him rather than on the job.
Would you recommend this program for others? Why? Who would find it most valuable?
I would most definitely recommend this program to others. I approached it as an extension of my undergrad and an opportunity to temporarily shift my focus away from my major and passion to learn how to best apply myself in order to achieve my goals. This program is extremely valuable to someone who has extensive knowledge in a field but wants the business acumen to pursue a successful career in that field.
For the alumni who had a non-business undergraduate background: What advice would you give to students like you who didn’t study business in undergrad, but are considering a business and management degree?
It is absolutely worth it. I have loved every second of my undergraduate music education at the University of Maryland and my business degree has only added to that. In the MSBMGT classes, you’ll learn to think differently, in a way that mimics the work environment. You’ll gain an entirely different set of skills that only complements your other degree and the expertise that you bring with you. And if you are like me, and want to pursue multiple ventures down the line in your own teaching or coaching business, research or entrepreneurial endeavors, these are skills that will help you.
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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 flex MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, business 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.