MBA Association

The MBA Association (MBAA) serves the full-time student body of the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland. The MBAA is the primary interface between the student body and the administration in order to enhance the Smith MBA experience. The MBA Association coordinates 14 student-run groups.

As the MBAA, we pledge to facilitate the continued growth of the Smith community by creating an environment of open communication and opportunities for both personal and professional growth. The MBAA is responsible for the oversight of MBA student clubs, management of finances, and implementation of new and existing policies or initiatives. In addition, the MBAA plans special social events throughout the school year to foster collaboration among Smith students, faculty, administration, and alumni.

MBAA CONSTITUTION

The constitution for the MBA Association outlines the operating policies and procedures for the the full-time MBA student population. It outlines the roles and responsibilities of the officers as well as the governing principles for the clubs.

Preamble

We, the members of the MBA Association, in order to improve the full-time Robert H. Smith MBA community, enhance the overall experience for its students, and maximize the value of the Robert H. Smith brand, establish this Constitution of the MBA Association.

The entire constitution can be downloaded here.

Board Members

 Virginia Pierrie
2020-2021 MBAA President
virginia.pierrie@marylandsmith.umd.edu

In my role as President of the MBA Association, I support Smith’s strategic vision for the development of the Full-Time MBA program. I help drive connection across the student body and throughout the broader University community. I serve as an advocate for the initiatives that Full-Time students value, whether they be academic, career, or professional development-focused. My work is done in partnership with student clubs, the MBAA Board and in coordination with the Dean’s Office, Masters Programs Office, Office of Career Services, and the Office of Development & Alumni Relations.

Smith’s diverse community allows students to leverage one another’s networks in order to enrich the student experience during the program and to drive the next phase in our careers forward. Over the next year, I will prioritize strengthening relationships with internal and external stakeholders, including facilitating meaningful interaction with the Part-Time and Executive MBA programs at Smith. I will similarly work to build stronger connections between the Full-Time community and Smith’s external stakeholders, so that we can continue building upon the relationships that can add value to our school and the broader community.

The decision to attend Smith was not one I made lightly. In my months of research, I continued to hear that the people mattered more than anything else. By the end of my first semester, I fully appreciated the fact that the people at Smith truly make this program. Each day, I am surrounded by a group of intellectually curious, ambitious people. People who have arrived a Smith from a wide array of different backgrounds, bringing diverse perspectives into classroom discussions. Most importantly, however, I have found a community of people committed to supporting one another through the intense two-years that is an MBA. I am humbled by the opportunity to serve as President for the 2020-2021 academic year. Our MBAA Board is dedicated to building a collaborative and inclusive community that represents our student body - and the Smith brand - authentically.

Outside of my role as President, I am pursuing a role in marketing within the financial services or technology industries. Prior to joining Smith, I lived for four years in New York City and worked in corporate communications for Bank of America, supporting its Global Banking & Markets business. I graduated with distinction from The University of North Carolina in 2015, where I double-majored in Journalism & Mass Communication and English.

Fun fact: When I was little, I wrote everything backwards (like Da Vinci). I got everything straightened out sometime between kindergarten and first grade.

 Balajee Chandrasekaran
2020-2021 MBAA Executive VP
balajee.chandrasekaran@marylandsmith.umd.edu

As Executive Vice President, I will strive hard to be a strong advocate for our clubs and student initiatives and efficiently bridge them with the various stakeholders. Student clubs and student-led initiatives are an integral part of the Smith community as they enrich the professional, academic and social experience of the community.

I commit to carrying forward the legacy of my predecessors in maintaining an organized and responsive official calendar of events such that students are provided numerous diverse opportunities to participate and deepen connections with peers, their families, and the faculty.

It is my goal to enable greater collaboration among the clubs and foster and develop sustainable initiatives that would provide the students with an opportunity to learn and experience beyond the curriculum. And in this regard feel free to stop me in the corridors or case rooms to share your invaluable thoughts, suggestions, and perspectives. Together let’s work towards enhancing the Smith Brand and Student experience.

 Chidubem Amechi
2020-2021 MBAA VP of Finance
chidubem.amechi@marylandsmith.umd.edu

As VP of Finance, I aim to maximize our resources by allocating funds toward events that serve the Smith community and enhance the value of a Smith degree. The events we host as a program play a significant role in our Smith experience, so it is imperative that we continue to fund them in a forward thinking and responsible way. 

As part of an initiative by the incoming board to increase transparency on all levels, I plan on working in a way that fosters this commitment and aim to make the entire process more inclusive and effective for students. 

I choose Smith because I wanted a school where I can get a great quality education while developing meaningful networks. Smith is known for its small tight-knit community and from the first day of classes, the school continues to live up to its motto of “Terps helping Terps”. 

I want to do my part contribute to this motto and I look forward to working with you in the coming year to identify events and ideas worthy of MBAA funding. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or comments regarding how we are spending our money or processing reimbursements.

 Audrina Chang
2020-2021 MBAA VP of Marketing & Communications
audrina.chang@marylandsmith.umd.edu

As Vice President of Marketing and Communications, I manage the communication strategy of all stakeholders to the MBA Full-Time cohort. This includes communications within the MBAA as well as between the MBAA and other stakeholders in the Smith community. I am a proponent of timely, streamlined and authentic communications, and will continue to advocate for each voice in the student body to be heard and considered from an academic, personal and professional perspective. In my official capacity I partner with student club leaders, Masters Programs Office, Office of Career Services and Office of the Dean (Executive Communications). I have enjoyed bringing our community events to life and showcasing the accomplishments of our Maryland Smith MBA peers while elevating the Smith brand.

I decided to attend Smith after visiting the campus and experiencing firsthand the welcoming, supportive and diverse student body. It was impressive to hear about Smith’s global alumni network and world-class faculty, and reassuring to see that there was still a spirited enjoyment of fun throughout the program.

Fun Fact: I’m hopelessly addicted to CNBC global market programming and episodes of “Shark Tank.”

 Prashanth Krishnan
2020-2021 MBAA VP of International Student Affairs
prashanth.krishnan@marylandsmith.umd.edu

As the VP of International student affairs, I understand how overwhelming moving here to attend school can be. I am excited about serving as an advocate for the international cohort. I will offer unwavering support to this community. I plan to enrich the sense of 'One Smith Community' and encourage an ever-lasting bond within this cohort by introducing new social events and career treks. I will launch a mentorship program that identifies alumni working in roles that align closely with the aspirational roles of current students. Through this, students can create an elaborate network that they can rely on for professional guidance.

My decision to attend Smith was not one I took lightly. I researched the curriculum, professors, and the class size. What drew me to Smith was the small but tight-knit cohort and the presence of alumni in almost every major firm in the US.

I look forward to working with all of you amazing people and listening to your stories. Go Terps!

Fun fact: I love to travel and learn about different cultures and food

 Niharika Gupta
2020-2021 MBAA VP of Signature Events
niharika.gupta@marylandsmith.umd.edu

As a VP of Signature Events, I am thrilled to support our MBA community by planning and organizing several exciting events throughout the year. One of the events I am most excited about is the Monte Carlo night, our annual formal event hosted in DC. It's an evening spent socializing with classmates and alumni. It also brings the students from all the MBA programs together. My goal is to provide fun escapes from an exhausting routine and create everlasting memories. 

I believe that this opportunity successfully captures the reason why I joined Smith. During my research on schools and programs, I was looking for one that provided me with a strong and diverse community. Here at Smith, I have made so many meaningful relationships that have supported me in my journey so far. I strongly endorse the belief that we’re the strongest when we’re one community and thus, through the signature events such as Dinner with Dean, Smith’s Got Talent, I aim to help build a cohesive and supportive community within our MBA cohort.

Fun fact: I have changed 8 schools and lived in 4 countries by the age of 14.

 Jasmine Snead
2020-2021 MBAA VP of Inclusion & Prof. Development
jasmine.snead@marylandsmith.umd.edu

As Vice President of Inclusion and Professional Development, I work cross-functionally with our student-run clubs, the Diversity Empowerment Council (DEC), and the Office of Career Services. In my official capacity, I work collaboratively with various University stakeholders to help create an equitable learning experience, prepare our student body to engage in critical conversations in the workplace, and embrace Smith's multitude of cultures and perspectives. For this coming year, it is my goal to provide impactful professional, diverse, and inclusive programming that supports each of us in our development as thoughtful and well-rounded business leaders.

I decided that Smith was the school for me after starting my own business. The University of Maryland is a global leader in entrepreneurial education with accelerators, mentorship programs, and school-sponsored pitch competitions. After winning the 2019 Pitch Dingman Competition, I knew I had to learn from Smith's award-winning faculty, connect with Smith's phenomenal alumni, and grow my venture in Smith's vibrant and supportive startup community.

Fun Fact: I am a lifetime figure skater and skated on the University of Maryland Figure Skating Team.

 Yonathan Berhanu
2020-2021 MBAA VP of Comm. Dev. & Social Value
yonathan.berhanu@marylandsmith.umd.edu

I’m a connector, so as your VP of Community Development and Social Value, I feel that it is my duty to continue to enrich the program’s close-knit social dynamic and create cohesion between incoming first-year and second-year students. Whether we are inundated with exams or deeply involved with the job search, I believe that community development initiatives provide an integral part of the long-lasting relationships we foster as a program. We, both individually and collectively, are better when we learn from each other, and the Smith FT MBA community provides the environment to interact on a deeper level. From Diwali and International night, we welcome and showcase the diversity and culture of our community, and in doing so become better educated professionals, future leaders, and people.

It is our shared experiences that make our community stronger. Our students move to DC from a variety of places, so it’s important to also know the community in which we live. Therefore, I plan to further our dedication to creating social value through a partnership with the Grassroot Project, a D.C. based non-profit that provides health literacy and social empowerment to underprivileged DC teens. This partnership will allow students across the MBA programs to connect with each other through service.

My reasons for joining Smith were primarily academic and career based. It was the community aspect that surpassed my expectations and inspired me to run for this position. I experienced first-hand how mending the skills gap and building the confidence comes not only from the classroom, but from your classmates. An invaluable benefit of the Smith community is being able to learn from each other and make each other better.

Fun Fact: I played soccer professionally in Sweden. 

 Casey Windmuller
2020-2021 MBAA VP of Student Affairs
casey.windmuller@marylandsmith.umd.edu

I am excited to serve as this year's VP of Student Affairs. While this role puts me in charge of two key events over the course of the year, the 2020 Orientation experience and the Student Satisfaction Survey, I also serve as the liaison between my classmates and Smith faculty regarding any and all academic or programmatic concerns. One of the many unique attributes of Smith is that our Orientation is student-led. Orientation is a key event for the first year MBA class. Taking place in August, it sets the stage for the entire Smith experience. In my role, I have the honor of working closely with the Orientation Committee to personalize and refine the program to ensure our fellow students are well prepared for the demands of their first semester. 

The other main event I look forward to leading is the Spring Student Satisfaction Survey, the primary mechanism used to ensure the Smith program is continuously improving. My goal is to accurately capture and convey the programmatic strengths and areas for improvement from the student perspective, giving the faculty a well-rounded view on what opportunities exist to further enrich the Smith program.

A series of interactions led me to Smith, and it was the people that brought me here. Smith is one of the few schools in the nation that offers my dual-degree program. It was the one school that did not put me in a box; it was clear I would be the driver of my own experience. Not only that, I’d gain a community to support me well beyond my time as a student.

Fun fact: I was the very first mascot at my high school!

Robert H. Smith School of Business
Map of Robert H. Smith School of Business
University of Maryland
Robert H. Smith School of Business
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College Park MD 20742