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The tradition lives on!!  MBA students from Penn State again participated in the Duke MBA Games, which raises money and awareness for the Special Olympics of North Carolina (SONC).  Since 1989, teams from top business schools have enjoyed a weekend of friendly competition while positively influencing the lives of adult athletes, spending time with and encouraging them during athletic activities.

During the past 26 years, the event has raised over $2.2 million for SONC!  In 2014, the Penn State team fundraised over $2.5K.

It was an action-packed weekend.  On April 10, there was a social mixer where we could meet the teams we would be competing against during the weekend.  The schools included: Carnegie Mellon, Maryland, Duke, Rice, Babson, UPenn, Pittsburgh, Purdue, Texas A&M, and Vanderbilt.

On April 11, our team participated in the optional events (Golf outing, Hash Run) as a warm-up to the actual events.  Later that night, there was an opening ceremony to officially welcome us to the Games.  Each team also performed a choreographed dance routine.  Thanks to the direction of 2nd year MBA, Deramus Griffin, Penn State came in 4th place!

On April 12, the real fun began.  We were able to greet our Special Olympic athletes, Kristin and “Birdman.”  We were lucky to have them on our team for the 2nd consecutive year in a row.  For those going next year, watch out for these two: Kristin is the ultimate prankster, while Birdman loves to put on a performance!

Throughout the day, we competed in many fun events, such as tug of war, business suit relay, briefcase toss, dizzy bat race, soccer relay, bean bag toss, and knockout.  Penn State won the soccer relay thanks to a team comprised of Javier Bathen, Mike Bassani and Ray Banks!

After the fun-filled day, we were able to mingle and relax at a pool party before the Closing Ceremony.  During the Closing Ceremony, we were shown a video that highlighted the funniest events of the day.  We were also able to hear directly from the Special Olympians about how much fun they had with their respective teams.  Later that night, we all celebrated at the White Party sponsored by the Duke MBA Latin American Student Association.

On April 13, we were able to say our goodbyes and prepare ourselves for the 8-hour road trip back to State College just in time for class on Monday.  Remember, we’re still conscientious MBA students after all!

For more information about Duke MBA Games, please visit their website at

-Anthony Cheng, Penn State Smeal MBA ‘14


The Cricket season in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic is drawing to an end. With winter approaching, it is that time of the year when we cricketers move on to play other sports like Volley Ball, Swimming etc.

For Penn State Cricket, 2012 had been a great year so far. Following some good performances during the fall 2011, and spring 2012, the club was awarded the “Most Improved Club Sport Organization.” This was made possible through the sincere and dedicated work of all the club officers, and the support from the University community.


Most Improved Club Sport Organization – Penn State Cricket

During the month of August, the students had all returned from their internships and summer vacations. The Penn State Cricket Club immediately swung into action by putting together various training and practice camps. We also organized a display for the “Involvement Fair” at the HUB for the new incoming students to invoke interest in Cricket.


Poster at the Involvement Fair – 08/27/12, at the HUB

Subsequently, the club held the Fall 2012 Cricket Tournament at the Turf Fields in September. This tournament featured various teams from within Penn State and two visiting teams from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania. The team “Bomb Squad” featured many players from the Smeal Business School. The school was represented by Anshul Sharma and Harihara (MBA ’13), Prof. Raj Grewal and Prof. Hari Sridhar.


Fall 2012 Cricket tournament trophies

The weather was perfect for Cricket. The tournament was conducted during the weekend organized as both day and Day and night games.



Tournament in progress

Bomb Squad did really well and won four games in a row to move on to the finals. In the finals, the team beat the ‘Jager Bombers’ (Penn State Under grad team) by a margin of 134 runs to take home the trophy.

The Bomb squad team (L) and the captain, David Chakravorty (R) with the trophy


Penn State is special and close to our heart for many reasons. One of those reasons is that – Over here, you get to do what you like the most. People are always willing to help, and as long as one has the passion to do something, he/she gets to do it.

As an international student from India, I had my misgivings about getting to play Cricket (which I am very passionate about) here in the US. I quickly learnt that there are quite a good number of students, from different nationalities, who shared the same passion. We put together a team, and contacted the Club Sports at the university. In no time, the Cricket club was activated without any delays, which reinforced our enthusiasm, and not to mention the fact that we also found sponsors who were willing to spend money for us to live our passion. The faculty and officials motivated us so much that I started wondering whether it is true that Cricket is not so popular in the US.

During the month of October 2011, the American College Cricket Association conducted the BIG 10 Cricket Championship at Ohio State University Grounds. It was a proud moment to wear the jerseys that had Penn State Cricket written on it. Suddenly everything seemed right in this world.

The Nittany Lions roared their way back into the American College Cricket scene. The team had an excellent camaraderie that I have never experienced in the past. The Nittany Lions did really well in the BIG 10 Championship, and therefore, qualified for the National Championship that is to be conducted at Fort Lauderdale, FL during the month of March 2012. This tournament would feature 32 teams (four teams from each of the eight zones across the country) from across the nation. The Penn State Cricket Club is working on putting together practice sessions, and training to prepare for this tournament. The faculty and club sports are helping us, as they have always, in every way they could. With this support, and the community cheering for us, I am confident that the team would put up a great show in Florida.

In a nutshell, what I like the most about PSU is that it offers everything and anything we want. I never thought that I would get to play cricket while pursuing MBA in a business school in the US. This school has the right people. It has the right atmosphere. For me, this is the place I wanted to be at. This place offers me the right mix of everything – education, sports, arts, culture, friends, peers – that I wanted. I am so happy to be here. No wonder this place is called ‘Happy Valley’. We are Penn State!!!

Cricket: the smell of the pitch, the beauty of an expertly bowled spinner, the crack of ball against bat, and the cheers of the team when a six has been hit. Indeed, there is not a more pleasant way to spend a blustery fall day in State College.

Alright, I admit it, I’m an American. I have no idea what I’m really talking about.

But that didn’t stop me from trying to learn when, on Friday, October 24th, some of our classmates from India held an informal “Cricket Clinic” to teach everyone what we were missing. The day started with a presentation that went over the rules (I’m still fuzzy on the concept of overs), bowling techniques (my poor shoulder will never be the same), and batting and fielding (just like baseball, right?). We even had the opportunity to watch some video clips of normal and unusual outs, skilled bowling, and famous catches. I still can’t believe the fielders catch the ball bare handed – that’s just insane!

Of course, you can’t just sit through a presentation and watch some video clips to get a feel for the game – the best way to learn cricket is, of course, to play it! So for the next two hours that’s exactly what we did. We didn’t have an official pitch and we used tennis balls instead of a cricket ball, but regardless of the trappings we still had a lot of fun and everyone got the opportunity to bowl, bat, and field. It was a cold day too, but after about an hour a group of undergraduate business students brought us hot apple cider as part of a class project. That’s the kind of class project I can definitely get behind.

As for myself, I think with just a little more practice I might be able to actually hit the ball before it skips past my bat, but I assure you that no amount of bowling practice will ever allow me to consistently hit the wickets. Still, I truly enjoyed the event and the game, and while I don’t foresee going to any matches in the near future, I can at least say that I’ve wielded a cricket bat, bowled an out or two, and hit a few sixes. Which is a lot more than most from the U.S. can boast.

Mike Waldhier
Smeal MBA Class of 2009

Mike is originally from Chicago, where he never played cricket. Primarily concentrating on Supply Chain Management, Finance, and Strategic Leadership, he is aiming for a career in strategy consulting.

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Cricket clinic!!

Cricket is a religion in India and 15 out of 104 first year MBA students are from India. MBAA hosted a cricket clinic and a friendly cricket tournament to help us share our passion for cricket with other MBA students. What better way to interact with the fellow MBA students outside the classroom than over a friendly game of cricket on a nice fall day.

On October 24, 2008, Varun Abraham, first year MBA student, taught the basics of the game to the audience in a classroom. The visuals supported by “Youtube” clips helped clarify basic rules and concepts of the game. After the presentation and yummy lunch, Rolly Polly sandwiches, we headed to the lawn outside the Business Building to put into practice what Varun taught us. Though I grew up in India and watched cricket for years, I have never played cricket. It wasn’t’ as easy as it looked on Youtube. For one, the bat was really heavy for a tiny girl like me!! I tried my hand at bowling too and it was a disaster. The ball barely reached half way through the pitch. I pity the batsmen!!

Overall, the cricket clinic was a wonderful experience. We shared our passion for cricket with our classmates and got to interact with them in a more informal setting.

Minaz Mavany

Smeal MBA Class of 2010

Minaz is originally from India and has a background in finance. She plans to pursue a career in corporate finance and has prior work experience with JPMorgan.

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PSU vs. Buffalo

A Penn State Football Game (From a New Student’s Perspective)

This week I attended my first Penn State Football game, and for anyone who considers themselves a college football fan, it’s definitely an experience you’ll want to check off of your “must do” list before you die.

I awoke at 6:00am to go pick up one of my fellow MBA classmates who came to Penn State from India. He was already waiting with a coffee mug in hand, eager to find out what the American Football experience was like. After loading up a few items, we drove over to the tailgate around 6:45am and were about the 15th car in line. I couldn’t believe that people were already lining up to get their tailgate spots for the day! We drove into the tailgate grounds around 8:00am and put together the tailgate spot for the MBA class. One great advantage of being an MBA at Penn State entitles you to an absolutely free place to grab some drinks, food and hang out with some friends before the big game.

I’d approximate in the hours before the game, there were at least 30,000 people around the stadium tossing the football, listening to some pre-game music, and generally socializing and having a good time. People are so friendly that, as you walk by their tailgate, it’s common to have someone toss a football to you or share some barbecue from their grill.

At game time I was excited! A couple students and I walked into the stadium and grabbed our seats. I’d say there were about 100,000 fans in the stadium for the game. After every touchdown, students will select and raise a student into the air pushing them up to the sky for every point on the board. Student pride and spirit was all that it was hyped up to be, as ESPN once again ranked the student section as the ‘Best Student Section in the Country’ for 2007.

Getting a ticket to the Penn State football games can be tough, but is definitely doable. I recommend any potential student or college football fan make it out to Penn State for a football game; I promise you won’t be disappointed.


–Dave Noreen
I traveled 2600 miles across the country from Seattle to be part of the Smeal 2009 MBA Class. Before attending Smeal, myself and two other individuals founded ShareBuilder 401k (, an all online 401k plan designed specifically for the ten million small businesses in America who could not afford to offer a 401k plan for their employees retirement. Dave also worked in sales for F5 Networks (, one of Forbes Magazine’s ‘2007 Fastest Growing Companies.’ F5 is a technology company headquartered in Seattle, Washington that helps businesses keep their mission critical applications fast, available and secure.


This past weekend, I went to my very first college football game. Just reading that, you must be wondering where I’ve been all this time. Well, I’m from Thailand. And they never had American football over there. So naturally, I didn’t understand what all the hype was about when I first came here. And don’t even ask about the tailgates, I’d never even heard of them before!

I wasn’t able to make it to the first game of the season. No big deal, I thought. I wasn’t very excited about football yet. The following week, it just so happened that I was given tickets to the Penn State vs. Notre Dame game, THE game that everyone was talking. So I figured since everybody’s talking about it, I should take the opportunity to go and see what the excitement was all about.

After going to that game, I can now honestly say that you’ve never actually experienced Penn State until you go to one of the football games! Just the sight of over 100,000 people wearing white, waving pom-poms in the air and cheering on the Penn State name was absolutely captivating. I think it was there that I truly felt the blue and white spirit of Penn State run through me. I had no idea how the game is played (and I still don’t!), but the experience was incredibly exhilarating nonetheless. I’m addicted now…

Now the burden that lies ahead is trying to find tickets for the upcoming games!

–Kat Arjaree Keeratiprapa

keeratiprapa.JPG Originally from Thailand, Kat attained her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration there and has over three years working experience in the advertising industry, where she found her passion for brand management. At Smeal, Kat plans to focus on Product & Market Development and Strategic Leadership.