January 2016

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When I first started to investigate b-schools for my MBA, there was a number of criteria I wanted to follow (not in any particular order):

  1. Close to home – Picture Rocks, PA.
  2. Tuition cost – Mitigation through scholarships, graduate assistantships, or fellowships.
  3. Family friendly – School and community, as I am married with two boys.
  4. Healthcare concentration – Absolutely required.
  5. Institutional ranking – Must be a well-recognized and accredited.


After I had been accepted to Penn State Smeal, I didn’t even wait to hear back from all the other schools to which I had applied. I knew it was the best fit for me, my family, and my career.


It seemed like an eternity before August finally rolled around in 2015. I was so excited to start the program after being accepted! Then almost as soon as the first semester of my graduate experience began, it was over. It seemed like time had been accelerated, just like I hoped my career would be by obtaining an MBA. My days were jam-packed with classes in the morning followed by my graduate assistantship office hours in the afternoon. But that wasn’t it. Afterwards, I would have career fairs, company information sessions, networking events, career coaching, association meetings, and many other MBA related enterprises. I was totally immersed in the program. There was no lack of activities to fill my time and prepare me for the future.


Overall, the first semester went very well. I acquired an internship for summer 2016 with Deloitte Federal – Technology Services. I did well in all my classes and in most aspects, the program has surpassed my expectations. I like the class format and the courses we take the first semester. We have great classroom facilities and ample study space designated as MBA-only space, too. If you ever get a chance to visit campus, be sure to check it all out.


I love the Penn State, Smeal MBA program and I’m not just saying that because of the generous tuition waiver or the amazing community setting that is State College. Penn State Smeal meets and exceeds all of my MBA requirements. The program is engaging, it stretches me, it enables me, and perhaps most of all, every time I walk onto this campus, I know there are over 600,000 alumni that have my back. I also know that if I give the program everything I have and properly utilize the vast resources available to me I will be successful. Thanks, Penn State Smeal for a great first semester!

Henry O’Connor
Class of 2017 MBA Candidate

O'Connor 2 9-22-15