Student Spotlight: Chau Hegg

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Listen as Class of 2015 graduate Chau Hegg talks about why she chose the Robert H. Smith School of Business online MBA program at the University of Maryland, program benefits and how the program’s faculty and curriculum has helped her toward achieving her goals.


I selected the Smith online program at the University of Maryland because of the renowned faculty and the great reputation that Smith has and the flexibility that online offers. There are so many benefits of coming to the UMD campus for residency. It’s very competitive, but it’s not cut throat. I’m able to meet and mingle with my cohort. We get to bond on a personal level, not just at an academic level.

I feel very lucky that I was a part of this cohort with such great faculty. They’re experts in their fields, they go out and advise and consult companies on their business tactics and they bring it back and share it with their students and encourage students to come out with their new ideas and to pitch it to them.

The online program was able to offer the flexibility and different options for when we can take the classes and courses. The online live sessions were recorded for each class. If I run into anything, any question I have, I can always go back to the recording. The virtual classroom and live sessions enhanced my learning because it was able to mimic the classroom. It was very easy to interact with my professor and fellow students on the online space.

The curriculum relates to today’s business community. A piece of this curriculum is a simulation of a startup business; we actually had to go through the motions of getting financing for the company to grow. The simulation had us pitch our tactical plan for the next 3 quarters to venture capitalists. I’ve learned many things in the UMD program to apply to my career. A good example is the negotiating class.

Negotiation taught me to ask the right questions, to understand my customers underlying needs and their pinpoints so I could better solve their problem, be more engaged in the conversation. I will use that every day going forward.

Once I get my MBA degree I’m thinking big, I want to start my own company, take what I’ve learned from the UMD program, apply it to my company and make it thrive and be successful. The Smith program has given me a solid foundation and a great set of tools to take out there and build my own company.