DID YOU HEAR? . . .

"It's a bad agreement ... not worth the paper that it's written on."

-- Mobil Chairman Lucio A. Noto, lashing out about the Kyoto agreement to reduce emissions during what is likely to be Mobil's last annual meeting.

MBA ABCs

The Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland is out with its look at its MBA class of '98. Here are some facts about the school's more than 200 graduates and the jobs they found.

Average age: 27

Average years of work experience: 4.5

Top employers (these companies are among those that extended offers to two or more 1998 graduates)

* Allied Signal

* Bell Atlantic

* Fannie Mae

* Intel

* Lockheed Martin

* Manugistics

* Marriott International

* US Airways

* World Bank

Percent of students choosing various careers

Finance 34%

Consulting 22%

Marketing 17%

Information systems 17%

Management 6%

Salary breakdown for chosen field

* Finance: $70,000

* Telecommunications: $68,000

* Consulting: $65,000

* Transportation: $64,000

* Computers/electronics: $58,500

Hmmm. The biggest percentage of students chose the field that pays the most. We knew these grads are smart.

-- Tracy Grant

Hot, Hot, Hot

Business Week has compiled its list of the 100 hottest growth companies, and nine of the names are very familiar to those who keep track of the local business community. Business Week rankings are based on three-year results in sales growth, earnings growth and return on invested capital.

Rank

Company (ticker)

Location

Business

8

Metro Information Services (MISI)

Virginia Beach

Customized software

22

Maximus (MMS)

McLean

Administers government programs

38

Strayer Education (STRA)

District

Business and computer college

39

RWD Technologies (RWDT)

Columbia

Worker productivity

42

Best Software (BEST)

Reston

Personnel, asset, budgeting software

74

Softworks (SWRX)

Alexandria

Systems-management software

80

Software AG Systems (AGS)

Reston

Software for large corporations

83

American Woodmark (AMWD)

Winchester

Kitchen cabinets

94

Micros Systems (MCRS)

Beltsville

Computer systems for hotels, restaurants

-- T. G.

Sowing the Seeds

Allied Capital Corp., which prides itself on being a lender to small but growing businesses, put the emphasis on the "small" as a sponsor of the Citywide Business Plan Competition.

Earlier this month, 13 local high-school students who had won competitions at their schools presented their proposals to judges at Allied Capital's headquarters in the District.

Each of the winners gets seed money to help start the business. The business plan competition is part of the Greater Washington Regional Youth Entrepreneurship Coalition, which includes D.C. public schools, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington, Montgomery County schools, the D.C. Chamber of Commerce, the Potomac Region Education Partnership and the Greater Washington Board of Trade.

Remember you read it here first when these companies are worth millions in a few years:

* First place ($1,000): Wayne Philips of Laurel High School, for Show Biz Sports, a hand-painted clothing and fashion business;

* Second place tie ($500 each): Angel Waddell of Cardozo Senior High School, for Wrap-It-Up, a ladies' accessories and fashion design company;

Hope Mabry of Wilson Senior High School, for Sweet Tooth, a treat business.

* Third place ($250): Ronald Williams of Dunbar Senior High School, for Video Games and Things, a business to create video games and amusement park tickets.

-- T. G.