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Smeal Welcomes New Director of MBA Student Services

Penn State University’s Smeal College of Business extended a warm welcome this week to Erik Orient, its new Student Services Director for the MBA program.

In this position, Orient will head up the development and implementation of new programming, and also provide academic advising and counseling to student organizations and individual students. A catch-all position that follows students from admission through to graduation, the director of student services also works to build community among each new cohort.

Orient succeeds Robin Brouse, who retired from the position earlier this summer after 35 years at Smeal. Brouse made a point of attending student events and putting herself in a position to hear students’ needs firsthand, and Orient has expressed an intention to continuing that tradition. Orient indicates that he will aim to develop and understanding of the student experience and get to know each student on a level that will allow him to help them built an MBA experience that is personally rewarding as well as professionally advantageous.

Orient comes to this position with 22 years of experience in the Marines; prior to assuming this new role, he worked in a similar capacity with students in the Penn State Reserve Officers Training Corps. He’s indicated that he intends to leverage his connections to the broader university to enhance the experience of the MBA students during his tenure.

Among his goals for the first few years, Orient has mentioned strengthening the MBA program’s service component and more fully engaging Smeal’s alumni advisory board. He began his work in this position on July 1.

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