Diamonds in the Rough: Experiential Learning Projects at the Smith School of Business

Ranked number 24 in the United States by the Financial Times in 2013, the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business is a rising star of hands-on education. A notable highlight of the school’s immersive curriculum is The Smith Experience, a six-credit experiential learning program selected from across five different project focus areas: consulting, global, social value creation, investing and entrepreneurship. The program includes opportunities for finance-minded students to manage a $2.5M portfolio; for those interested in social value creation to work with 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations, social enterprises or government agencies; and for aspiring entrepreneurs to compete for a $10,000 cash prize in the China Business Plan Competition. In addition, for those interested in gaining global business and consulting experience, Smith is part of the U.S. Department of Education’s network of Centers for International Business Education and Research, which provides support to four different internationally oriented project options within The Smith Experience program.

Smith’s robust experiential learning environment also benefits from the school’s proximity to Washington, DC, conferring networking and learning opportunities with nearby companies, organizations and government offices. As one recent alumnus attested on Bloomberg Businessweek’s 2013 profile of the school, “Smith’s blend of collaboration and entrepreneurial spirit is what makes the program unique. Additionally, College Park is inside the DC beltway, one of the best places to be searching for jobs in this economy.”

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