Archive for December, 2011
Monday, December 19th, 2011
Contrary to what some MBAs may tell you, despite the amount of time you will spend in the Business Building during your MBA program, you actually can’t “live” here! While your time out of the Business Building might be limited for the 21 months you spend studying at Smeal, you will still need a place to call home at Penn State.
The University Park/State College area offers a variety of living options as diverse as the student body itself. There are both on-campus and off-campus housing options available to graduate students at PSU. If you are re-locating on your own, or with a spouse and/or family, you will need to take the opportunity to investigate what will fit you and your lifestyle best. From studio apartments, to houses with yards, State College living runs the gamut. Do you want roommates? Do you have a pet? Is central air conditioning a “must have”? What about parking? In general, most living options are either located in walking distance of the Business Building or a 10-15 minute drive or bus ride away. Some students choose to live a bit further from town in neighboring locales such as Bellefonte (about 10 miles from school). Remember, after class, team meetings and professional development activities, think carefully about what kind of a commute you want to add to your daily schedule. Even 20 minutes can seem like a long time after an action-packed day as an MBA.
It’s important to determine your budget and your needs well in advance of coming to school. Most importantly, you MUST begin your housing search EARLY! Some of the more popular locations tend to fill up quickly and start waiting lists in very early spring. Talk to the current students and see what they have to say. They are great resources to point you in the right direction. Housing questions are a great topic to bring up during one of our MBA for a Day events or during an individual visit. You are also welcomed to post your questions on Facebook.
Another factor to consider is “need” vs. “want”. If you are transitioning from the full-time work force to the life of a student, your budget for housing and amenities may need to be adjusted considerably. While most students can still live comfortably in affordable housing, the days of an on-site pool, cathedral ceiling, and Ethan Allen living room furniture may be a thing of the past—at least for the two years in an MBA program! Compared to many urban areas, State College is generally a fairly affordable area.
Some resources to kick off your search:
Happy Housing Hunting!
–Stacey Dorang Peeler
Thursday, December 15th, 2011
December is here in Happy Valley and that means so is winter. Although it’s reasonably mild outside today winter in this area means snow. I find that the older I get the less I like the snow, but the snow I always enjoy each year is the first one. It lays white and pure before, as winter goes on, being buried by more snowfall and debris from shoveling and plowing.
It reminds me of what many of our students go through after arriving here, pure of mind, ready to take on the MBA Experience, and prepared to better themselves. But as the semester “piles on” with class work, studying, team meetings, case studies, exams, social events, interviewing, career workshops, and networking one can easily feel “buried” underneath it all. Not that they don’t do a terrific job of managing it all, but sometimes, a few lose sight of their big picture goals trying to do so.
I hope they all take their break over the next month to “thaw out” and remember the great opportunities they have ahead of them to better their careers, educations, and lives. Before they left for their time off, based on the amount of smiles I saw, I am sure they will do a great job putting it all back into perspective.
- Scott Sylves
Friday, December 9th, 2011
Often, when we speak of the Penn State Smeal MBA Program, we talk about our small class sizes. We usually brush over the fact and move on to the next great way to describe our program. However, it was brought up in a meeting this week by our Managing Director, Carrie Marcinkevage, that our small size really distinguishes us from other programs.
Each year, our new class typically numbers between 80-100 students. That number can vary on any given year. For example, we have had graduating classes of 107 and currently have a class of 79. However, on average the 80-100 number holds true. We divide our 1st year MBA class into two sections. This means that you will never had a first year class with more than 55 students. Also, as students choose their elective and concentrations in the second year, the class sizes actually become even smaller.
But what is the true benefit of these small class sizes? There are several. The first is that you will never be invisible here at the Penn State Smeal MBA Program. The faculty who teach our classes like to get to know all of their students, by name in the least. You have the opportunity to engage with the faculty, and learn about their research and their interests. Second, you have the opportunity to get to know ALL of your classmates well, and grow your own network as you learn. A lot of the learning that takes place here happens in study teams, where students share their experiences, culture and knowledge. Finally, the size of our classes is what fosters our sense of community. Because students know everyone in the program, the faculty and the staff, the MBA Program feels like an extended family.
So, if you are looking for an MBA program where you are more than just a number, and if you want to get to know your professors, classmates and the program staff personally then I invite you to explore more about the Penn State Smeal MBA Program and all that we have to offer.
-Ann Mallison, MBA ’02
Tags: admissions, application, business school, Community, experience, faculty, MBA, MBA search, network, networking, Penn State, Penn State MBA, program, Smeal MBA
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