Archive for February, 2011
Monday, February 21st, 2011
This is the question MBA Admissions teams are asked repeatedly each year in each admission cycle. The answer is probably the same in many areas, but may differ in others for different programs. We are in a somewhat unique position here at the Penn State Smeal MBA Program. Becuase of our small class sizes, we take a very close look at our candidates’ applications and interviews. In general, the things we are looking for include (in no specific order):
- Teamwork- We want to know if you will be a good team player. Our curriculum has a large “team-based’ structure, so finding individuals who will work well together is important.
- Leadership- We want to not only educate the future business leaders of the world, but we also want students in our program who are willing to contribute and lead within the program.
- Academic Ability – We want to make sure that the student we bring into the program have the ability or the potential to handle the academic rigors of the coursework involved. The last thing we want is to set someone up for failure.
- Career Experience &/or Goals – We look to see if your past experience is in line with your future goals. If you are shifting careers, we look to see what skills and qualifications you have to make that new career successful.
- Diversity of Experience – We look to see what your career and life experience will add to the experience of your classmates and the program. We try to make our classes as diverse as possible, in every regard, so as to build a community of leaders who have the benefit of knowing life through what other people share.
As you can tell, we really do look at every aspect of every candidate’s application. We want to ensure that you are a good fit for us, and that we are a great fit for you.
Monday, February 14th, 2011
Let me begin this blog with a disclaimer that every current MBA student in our program will demand I mention: as a student of the Smeal MBA Program you will work harder and longer than you probably ever have in your entire life. Occasionally though, you will get to experience free time. As for what you can do in State College with your free time there are numerous possibilities.
As a large university Penn State offers opportunities for those who love music, cinema, the arts, and athletics. The Bryce Jordan Center on campus offers a variety of performers who make their way into Happy Valley every year. In February and March alone this year they will welcome Bon Jovi, Elton John, Yanni and Lil’ Wayne. That’s quite an eclectic mix! Meanwhile, other on campus venues such as the Center for the Performing Arts, the Palmer Museum of Art, and Eisenhower Auditorium offer performances, lectures and entertainment on a more intimate scale year-round. As for sports, Penn State is certainly known for football Saturdays in the fall, but sports fans can get their fix 7 days a week, year round, cheering on a wide variety of sports teams, or participating in intramural sporting activities.
As a small town, State College offers many options for those who are lovers of nature and the great outdoors. Camping, biking, hiking and boating are just a few of the things an outdoorsman (or woman) can find for themselves in this and surrounding areas.
If none of this interests you and you simply need the hustle and bustle that only a major metropolitan city can provide, all I have to say to you is pick one. In less than a four hour drive or ride on the Megabus you can find yourself in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington D.C or New York City. We really are in the center of it all.
Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011
“Love Makes the World Go Round” (Bob Merrill) is a famous song from the 1960s, which has been remade numerous times by other artists. My take on that song, as it applies to the Penn State Smeal MBA Program, is that “Students Make the Smeal MBA Go Round.”
A favorite part of my job is getting to know our students. I love hearing their stories, where they come from and where they want to go in their lives. It is exciting to be part of the admissions team who crafts the incoming class each year. It is fun to see how each student uses their background and strengths to make the most of their two years here.
Our students are the reason why we are all here. The students in the Smeal MBA Program run the associations. They work for the College. They volunteer their time (which is a precious commodity) both for the program and for the community. Smeal MBA students give back to the program with their time, talent and treasure while they are here, and continue to do so after they leave the program. This is what makes Smeal MBA such a strong community.