Registration for SMPS University is currently open and I thought I'd share some insights on who should NOT attend SMPS U. First, I'm a graduate of the 2014 SMPS U cohort. Second, I have several friends who are graduates of the program. However, SMPS University is not for everyone. I like lists so I've created a list of who should not attend SMPS University at the University of Maryland.
- Anyone in the C-suite. SMPS University is designed to give up-and-coming leaders the tools they need to be a valuable asset to their firm. If you are already at the climax of your career then I'd recommend you encourage potential leaders in your company to attend SMPS U. What they'll bring back to your firm will be extremely useful if they have your support to implement. Plus, SMPS U will give them a head start on their leadership potential.
- Non-abstract thinkers. SMPS U nor the University of Maryland will give you the answer. The program will give you resources to find your own answer as well as the fortitude to do your own research. It is very much a graduate level program. It is meant to stretch your mind and question the status quo (i.e. "We've always done it this way.") Abstract thinkers are needed in our industry and they'll gain the most knowledge from the program.
- Your company made you go. If you are forced to go to SMPS U then this program will be a waste. The individuals in the program are eager to be there. If your firm is making you go ask yourself why. Maybe leadership sees you as the next generation to lead. If that does not fit your career goals then tell leadership so they can send someone else.
- You don't influence progress. If you can't influence decisions at your company discover the reason why. It may be that there are so many levels at your firm that decisions are held at the top. Or your manager doesn't want your input (I've been in that situation). If you want to be a change agent then SMPS U is for you but maybe you are not for your position/department/company. If you don't want to be part of the change then take a pass on the program.
My company encourages me to take on leadership roles and implement hard changes. SMPS University was worthwhile for me and my firm. The resources, friendships, and knowledge I received from the program are utilized every day. I would wholeheartedly recommend this program to anyone who wants advanced leadership training, extensive business acumen, and to be a resource for bettering our industry.