Smith Start

Smith Undergrads Are Getting Down To Business… Immediately

Starting off freshman year of college is easily one of the most nerve-racking experiences of one’s life. You could feel the eager and anxious energy as the Class of 2021 made their way to the steps outside the Xfinity Center. This nervous energy turned into laughs and smiles as they gathered around their classmates for their class picture, a tradition for all incoming classes. The fall semester kicked off on a beautiful Saturday morning, where the new freshmen were officially welcomed into the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business family during this year’s Smith Leadership Institute, Aug. 26, 2017.

Smith Freshmen Go Global

Every year, the town of College Park, Md., sees an influx of thousands of new students from every corner of the nation and even the world. You step into a classroom and you may find a student from Minnesota, Japan or Panama. The teachers that mold and inspire the great minds of the future here at UMD come from all parts of the globe: Lebanon, Germany, India, China, Romania, Nigeria, the list goes on and on. The companies and organizations that are studied meticulously in the classroom, from Pepsi to Apple, from KPMG to Samsung, are global entities with a global workforce and global assets. Take a stroll through Van Munching Hall, and you’re guaranteed to hear more than just the English language. So why is the global mindset so important? The answer is much closer to home than you think.

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 graduation.

Smith Start Calendar

Semester 1: Who Am I as a Business Professional?

Presentation to Freshman Class 2018

By the end of the semester, you will be able to articulate your 'value proposition' and express clarity in the knowledge of the different sectors of business, and what your role is in a global economy.

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 being crafting your personal brand statement. Sponsored by EY
  • The War on Talent: Our Smith Office of Career Services (OCS) will assist you in setting up your HireSmith account, preparing your resume, and learning exactly what to wear to business events.
  • Critical Thinking 101: Formatted in an interactive workshop style, top Smith School faculty, leadership and corporate partners will discuss the importance of utilizing critical thinking in the classroom and beyond.
  • Global Professionals Institute: Whether you fill your passport traveling to various destinations or working with classmates on campus, the ability to work with others who are different from you is critical to successful business interactions. At YPI, we'll discuss best practices of how you can become a well-rounded and culturally conscious business professional.

Semester 2: What are the Expectations of the Business Profession?

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:

  • Networking Day : First, you'll learn the intricacies and etiquette of networking. Then, you'll practice your skills with corporate partners and alumni.
  • 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.
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