Making an Impact

April 10th, 2015 - No Comments

Today we welcome Jennifer Crispell, Director of Alumni Relations as our guest blogger.

Making an Impact

Our alumni are eager to make a difference in the life of the college. I’ve known this for a quite a while, but on Friday, March 20 it became even more evident. The Smeal Alumni Relations Office and Alumni Society Board hosted the fourth Impact Smeal Day – a day where alumni can come back to campus to interact with the Smeal community. The event offers a variety of activities including hearing from student organizations, learning from professors, working in task forces on topics to assist the college, conducting mentoring sessions, helping students with important professional development topics, and hearing a college update from Dean Whiteman. Each event over the past four semesters has offered varying sessions, which has attracted both new and repeat attendees from across the country – 75 alumni, on average.


On March 20, we awoke to a hurdle that hasn’t ever been faced during the three prior Impact Smeal Days – snow. State College, and a good portion of the northeast saw about five inches of snow that morning, and I feared that the attendance for Impact Smeal Day would be drastically affected. I was amazed to discover that this was not the case at all – in fact, many of our alumni trekked into the Business Building, snow covered, and simply said with a smile “I made it, and I’m so happy to be here!”


I was so impressed by the efforts of our alumni that day. All of them took time away from their work and personal lives, and many braved the weather in order to spend a day at Smeal. Our alumni are so passionate about sharing their wisdom with the younger generation, as well as staying up to date on the life of the college. They truly have a sincere desire to make an impact for their alma mater.


Impact Smeal Day - Networking

Impact Smeal Day – Networking

Impact Smeal Day - Mentoring

Impact Smeal Day – Mentoring


Jennifer Crispell ’06

Director of Alumni Relations

Smeal College of Business, Penn State University

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International Women’s Day at Smeal

March 30th, 2015 - No Comments

Last week the Smeal College of Business celebrated International Women’s Day. In addition to many Smeal employees, faculty, and students attending the university-wide breakfast sponsored by Global Connections, the college continued the celebration with other awareness events, including exhibits and information tables in The Atrium, hosted by representatives from the Centre County Women’s Resource Center.

In addition to collecting donations for the CCWRC, information was distributed about how the center can help women in the community. Volunteers also handed out purple ribbons to promote awareness of women’s issues.

One of the hosts, Debra Greenleaf, was recognized earlier in the day for her commitment to women with the 2015 Spirit of Internationalization Award (presented by Global Connections). Debra and her colleagues teach and promote an activity called body-mapping. Body-mapping is a way for women to communicate their experiences by artistic expression, even when there are language barriers or other verbal communication obstacles.

Sarah Kern, a Prevention Educator at the CCWRC, encouraged people to stop by and show their support by leaving empowering messages for women to make great choices in their lives.

We hope the videos and pictures below encourage you to learn more about International Women’s Day and some of the resources available to help women live better lives for themselves and for others.

–Stacey Dorang Peeler


Learn more:

Debra Greenleaf–International Women’s Day at The Smeal College of Business

Sarah Kern–International Women’s Day at The Smeal College of Business


IMG_8131 IMG_8132 IMG_8133


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Direct Employer Contact — A Proactive Job Search Approach

March 18th, 2015 - No Comments

Direct Employer Contact — A Proactive Job Search Approach

By Mike Brown, Director, Smeal MBA Career Services


Through your exposure to Smeal MBA Career Services, you will learn, and hear it repeated often, that networking is the job search approach with the highest rate of success — 65% to 75%.


Statistically, the method that ranks second to networking, with approximately a 20% rate of success is direct targeted employer contact. When you consider that 75% to 80% of the job market is “closed,” “unadvertised” or “hidden,” this approach will aid you in uncovering unadvertised positions by making contact directly with employers of whom you are interested.


Furthermore, this self-directed approach puts you in charge of your search.


The process contains five simple steps:

  1. Compile a list of all the companies that you would consider.

Your criteria might include industry preference, geographic location, knowledge of friends or acquaintances who work there, familiarity with their product or service, their reputation, or the fact that they employ your job function. Consider the company culture you seek: mature or start-up, public or private, non-profit or academic, hierarchical or self-managing, large or small. Don’t be too concerned with the length of your list. You are casting a wide net at this point.


  1. Conduct research into each company. Read business and industry periodicals. Determine who is growing, experiencing organizational changes’, who being acquired, merging, relocating, or gaining new contracts. I’ve heard it repeated many times that the typical job seeker spends more time researching vacation destinations than potential employers. In addition to the company’s Website, access the research resources available through the Penn State Business Library


  1. Uncover the names of the people who have the power to hire you. These would typically be senior or executive-level managers. This step is essential. You may uncover the names of these people in your research. You may learn of these people in your networking. You may need to just call the company’s main telephone number and ask for the name of the Director of Finance or VP of Operations, for example. You do not, however, want the name of the Human Resources manager, unless that is your chosen field. The aforementioned databases are excellent resources for finding senior-level managers.

Safety valve: Always call the company to confirm the name, regardless of your source and how recently you acquired the name.


  1. Craft a marketing or cover letter, and send it directly to the person in your research. This letter should contain two focal points: a) what you have learned about the company, their direction, problems or opportunities, b) what you can do for them; your unique qualifications, experience and accomplishments. Clearly demonstrate what’s in it for them, by offering how your credentials, skills and expertise match their needs. This letter must be individualized, by name and title, to the appropriate person. Enclose your resume with each letter you send. Indicate your interest in meeting and your intention to follow-up to schedule an interview.


  1. Follow-up each letter with a telephone call within five days of receipt. Manage this step by sending only as many letters as you will have the ability to follow-up. Refer to your letter and request an interview. If the person isn’t interested, or is unwilling, request an informational meeting or the names of others who you might contact.


Your goal is to gain as many interviews as possible. You are presenting your skills, expertise and qualifications to as many interested people as you can.


Yes, you are also subjecting yourself to rejection. However, if the outcome is a “no” today, you are taking proactive steps to create momentum in your search, building a network and planting the seeds to future opportunities. Furthermore, you will distance yourself from many, many others in the job market who have not chosen to be as proactive.


“The status quo will no longer be the best way forward. The best way will be less comfortable and less easy, but, no doubt, more interesting — a word we often use to signal an uncertain mix of danger and opportunity.” Charles Handy, “The Age of Unreason”

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February 27th, 2015 - No Comments



This year the Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon (referred to as simply “THON”) raised over 13M for The Four Diamonds Fund, which helps patients and families battling pediatric cancer. Our MBA students were very active in contributing to the cause, and we’re especially proud of our dancers this year, Elizabeth Guiley and Dharell Mosby.


THON is not only an example of extraordinary support for those in need, but also a fantastic example of how thousands of people from all parts of the university community come together for a common cause.


Over the years, THON has grown and changed tremendously. As an undergraduate student, I danced in 1995 (20 years ago!) and was a member of the morale committee in 1996. At that time, the event was housed in the White Building (a much, much smaller venue on the University Park campus!). After that, THON then moved to Rec Hall, and then AGAIN to the BJC. Like Penn State pride, THON kept growing, and the love, compassion, hard work and dedication to the Four Diamonds kids grew with it. FTK—For The Kids—became a common acronym on campus and far beyond.


Penn State is a place for education. It’s a place for career mapping, and for soul-searching. It’s also a place where people want to give part of themselves to help a greater cause and make life better for those who may not be as fortunate as they are. We hope that there will be a day when cancer is eradicated, and events like THON are no longer needed, but, until then, PSU will continue to THON ON! WE ARE…FTK.


–Stacey Dorang Peeler

It's a Diamond!

Thon 2015-Arun and Rimsha make a diamond!

thon 1995

Thon 1995–White Building (Stacey far right)

THON 2015

Thon 2015-Tiffani, Elizabeth, Kevin and Dharell

THON 1995.2

Thon 1995-White Building

Career Fairs

February 26th, 2015 - No Comments

Career fairs are like going to a grocery store, but instead of shopping for food and sundries, you get to shop for jobs and internships! Having once worked in the CPG industry, comparing the career fair aisle to a shopping aisle is a natural analogy for me to make. And, I really do find it instructive viewing career fairs through this lens. Working in the employer relations function, I am always interested in seeing which employers are the most appealing brands to the student “consumer”. Conversely, I always de-brief several employers at each fair to listen to their stories of what students are doing to make themselves stand out (positively) from the crowd when approaching an employer’s booth.

This Spring Semester, a new fair of was held in the Business Building, an event informally branded as the International Career Expo (ICE). ICE was a new networking event that brought together students and employers interested in filling career opportunities based outside of the United States. Through the collaboration of multiple colleges and academic units, ICE attracted over one hundred students, plus a number of top employers such as Intel, EY, Reckitt Benckiser, and PricewaterhouseCoopers. With continued hard work, the hope is that ICE will evolve into our “grocery store” for global talent opportunities here at Smeal!

Paul Poissant, | Director, Employer Relations


Career Fair Students speaking with recruiters Career Fair in the Atrium of the Business Building




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Lunar New Year

February 23rd, 2015 - No Comments

It is customary to wear red when celebrating Lunar New Year, a festival celebrated at the turn of the Chinesecalendar. Red is a symbol of good luck and our students decorated the MBA Commons and atrium with lots of luck!


This is the first time I have ever participated in Lunar New Year. It’s one of the many culturally diverse experiences I’ve been able to join in since coming to the Penn State Smeal MBA Program. The evening began with appetizers followed by delicious entrees enjoyed by attendees. After dinner, our hosts Shuyuan Ling and Qing Liu, both first year MBAs, kicked off the event by introducing a live performance of the traditional lion dance. Two gorgeous lions comprised of Penn State Malaysian Club members performed synchronized dance while other club members provided movement cues through drums and cymbals. I’ve seen the lion dance on television, but it’s a different experience to see it live and understand the physical labor and discipline that goes into making it beautiful and meaningful.


Four musicians from the Penn State Asian Music Club performed Jasmine Flower, a time-honored song that captures the purity and beauty of the jasmine flower which is a symbol of China.


The Penn State Taiji Club provided a Tai chi demonstration, perfectly showcasing the economy of movement and discipline of this special art form. The most competitive event of the evening was the Chopstick Competition. Five students competed to move as many beans as possible from a bowl to a plate in one minute. After three separate rounds, the three winners included Alyssa Looney, Mark Joanow, and Skylar Haws.


The evening closed with a fitness demonstration and a fashion show. Every year MBA students participate in Global Immersion and one of our destinations this year, like in past years, is Shanghai, China’s most populated city. Hopefully the Lunar New Year celebration served as an introduction to the rich and exciting culture that awaits our MBA students who visit there.


On behalf of the staff of Smeal MBA, I wish to express our gratitude to the students who coordinate our Lunar New Year celebration for their hard work and thoughtful planning.

– Brenda Fabian, Assistant Director of MBA Employer Relations and Recruiting

Traditional Chinese New Year Performance Students Celebrating Lunar New Year Student Dancers


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Lunar New Year 2015

February 11th, 2015 - No Comments

Last night students from the MBA community welcomed friends, families, and guests to the Atrium for our annual Smeal MBA Lunar New Year celebration. The event kicked off with a bit of history about the holiday, which is celebrated in many Asian countries, followed by the traditional Lion Dance presented by the Malaysian Student Association. As the evening progressed and the audience enjoyed a feast of Chinese food, the entertainment continued with singing, dancing (modern and traditional), tai chi, a fashion show, and even a chopstick contest which required moving beans from one bowl to another! (If you’ve seen me use chopsticks, you will know I did not even attempt to participate.) The Smeal Lunar New Year celebration is one of those times during the year which everyone sits back a bit, takes a brief break from their studies and job searches, and just takes time to laugh with friends, both old and new, and enjoy their company. It never ceases to amaze me how different cultures from all over the globe can be, yet at the heart of them, many of the values are still the same—family, friends, and community. As we welcome the Year of the Sheep, best wishes to all for health and prosperity!

End of the Lion Dance

End of the Lion Dance


The Ribbon Dance


Traditional Music


The Lion Dance

–Stacey Dorang Peeler

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Women of Smeal

February 2nd, 2015 - No Comments

On Thursday, January 29th the Women of Smeal Steering Group hosted an open house/information session to allow the Penn State Smeal College of Business Community to learn more about what various groups in the College are doing to support women’s leadership initiatives. Attendees were invited to eat lunch, network and learn how they can participate in various groups or initiatives. The Lean In Discussion Circles, EMBA’s Women’s Leadership Forum, Women in Business, Women’s MBA Association, Multicultural Women’s Forum and International Women’s Day were just some of the initiatives represented.

The session provided an opportunity to see what is offered in the College, as well as a great time to network with colleagues from all different departments in Smeal. Thanks to the Steering Group for hosting the event, and we look forward to the next Women of Smeal event. If you would like more information about the Women of Smeal please view their YouTube playlist:

-Ann Mallison

Women in Business Display

Women in Business Display

Learning about the EMBA Women's Leadership event.

Learning about the EMBA Women’s Leadership event.

Lean In Discussion Group

Lean In Discussion Group

Networking at the Women of Smeal lunch.

Networking at the Women of Smeal lunch.

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Honor & Integrity Events at the Penn State Smeal MBA Program

January 28th, 2015 - No Comments

Today we welcome Jennifer Eury, Honor & Integrity Director at the Smeal College of Business, as our guest blogger.


The Penn State Smeal MBA Program hosts an Honor & Integrity Speaker Series, dedicated to promoting integrity and ethical behavior. The speaker series provides MBA students with the opportunity to learn about integrity in the workplace. Aaron Beam, founder and first chief financial officer of HealthSouth, served as the kick-off speaker of the semester. The photos below feature Aaron engaging in a question & answer session with the MBAs.


The following week Brigadier General Thomas V. Draude, (USMC Ret) visited the Smeal College of Business. During the course of his visit, he met with students of the Smeal undergraduate community, as well as Penn State students desiring to enter the military. He also delivered a presentation to students of the MBA community titled, “Leadership Lessons: From the Battlefield to the Board Room.”


This week, all students are encouraged to reaffirm their commitment to the Honor Code. The Smeal College of Business will host its spring semester signing, January 26-28, in the Business Building. Students, faculty, and staff are also encouraged to staff the Honor Code signing area.


For more information about activities taking place throughout the college to promote integrity, visit

Jen Eury 1.28.15 blog 2

Honor & Integrity Speaker

Aaron Beam, founder and first chief financial officer of HealthSouth

Jennifer L. Eury, Ph.D.

Honor and Integrity Director

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APEX Projects Launching this Week

January 14th, 2015 - No Comments

Today we welcome guest blogger David Lenze, Director of the Smeal MBA APEX Program.

APEX Projects launching this week

January brings more than just the New Year to the Smeal College of Business. It also brings the annual start of Smeal’s Applied Professional Experience (APEX) Program – the MBA capstone experience in which teams of second year MBAs take on real world business challenges as a way to hone and polish their business skills.

With over seventy projects submitted, there was no shortage of firms seeking to benefit from the insights and efforts of a team of Smeal MBAs. In the end, fifteen projects were selected as providing the best fit between students’ interests, the academic goals of the APEX program, and the business needs of the potential clients. This year’s clients, who range from start-ups to members of the Fortune 100, are…

AccuWeather, Alcoa, Blastrac Global, Cancer Care Partnership, DuPont (2 projects), EZ Kinetics, Ferguson Township, Hearth & Home Technologies, Mondelēz, Penn State Women’s Soccer, Reclamere, Siemens, Videon Central, Wright Beverage

Whether the industry is snack foods, medical devices, industrial equipment, or technology solutions, each and every APEX team will be working from now through April to develop actionable solutions for their clients. In doing so, the Class of 2015 will collaborate with each other, their clients, and with their faculty in a truly exceptional learning experience. 2015 looks like it is going to be a great year!

– David Lenze, APEX Director


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