Sam Smith '09 - MBA


While passing the 25-year employment mark at Altria Sales & Distribution in Mansfield, Mass., Sam Smith, unit manager, considered his future - and that led him to Curry College.

"While finishing my bachelor's degree in 2005 as a continuing education student, Curry's management department chair Ernie Silver asked if I would be interested in pursuing an MBA if it were offered," says Sam. "My response was yes because I really like the culture at Curry, and I knew the MBA would be a great benefit to me in the future." Two years later, Sam graduated from The Curry College MBA program. "The time went by fast," says Sam. "From Day 1, everybody was enthusiastic and committed to working hard, students and faculty alike. All the students wanted to be there, and the faculty wanted to give you the best they had, so it was a very motivating environment."

Sam's MBA also created options for a new career direction in teaching. "When Curry offered me the opportunity to teach undergraduate management courses part-time, I was thrilled to join the faculty." Sam continues to work full-time at Altria and plans to retire in 2011.

In addition to the comprehensive management training and extensive experience he received working at Altria, Sam saw immediate benefit from what he learned in the Curry MBA program, including improved strategic management and problem-solving skills. "By studying all the typical business disciplines, I gained significant knowledge in key areas such as finance, analysis and statistics, among others." In addition, the diversity of Sam's cohort group brought him together with people from many different companies and backgrounds. "We worked in teams on case studies to demonstrate how our learning applied to the situation at hand. The variety of perspectives from our team members added real value to developing workable solutions."

For his Capstone project with Professors Gail Arch and Anthony Fabrizio, Sam and his teammates consulted with ECCO Shoe, a European company with U.S. headquarters located in New Hampshire. The students interviewed ECCO staff at the New Hampshire facility, determined opportunities for improvement in the supply chain and developed and presented an extensive three-part marketing program to company executives. During a trip to Berlin, Germany, Sam and his MBA colleagues toured the manufacturing facilities at Phillip Morris International and visited with executives. At the editorial offices of an independent newspaper in East Berlin, the group spoke with reporters.

Sam was impressed by the faculty who teach in The Curry MBA program. "The range of their business experiences added value to each of the disciplines taught in the program. The professors offered many practical examples of solutions to business problems managers must handle. Coupled with teaching methods that are well suited to working adults, their experiences provided students with both knowledge and perspective." In addition, Sam felt that Dr. Gail Arch's leadership set the tone that made the Curry MBA program remarkable and exciting, which enabled everyone to grow. "My cohort members and I felt a sense of accomplishment from an unforgettable, worthwhile opportunity."

Recently, Sam was invited to join the board of directors at The Hyde Park Savings Bank in Hyde Park, Mass. "This opportunity came my way because of the knowledge and confidence developed from my career experience, the MBA program and the wonderful people I met during my time at Curry," says Sam.

Sam speaks highly of Curry. "I've recommended The Curry College MBA to several people, including colleagues, friends and relatives. I've made lasting friendships where we help each other personally and professionally. Whether considering a career change, an initial degree or simply for expanding one's knowledge, Curry is a great place to learn."


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