2018 MBAs To Watch: Greg Baesa, Georgetown University (McDonough)

Greg Baesa

Georgetown University, McDonough School of Business

“[Insert witty response here.] – And yes, that’s my real answer.”

Age: 32

Hometown: Malolos, Bulacan, Philippines

Fun fact about yourself: I grew up in Singapore and my 2nd grade teacher gave me a Chinese name, which is phonetically spelled as He Ma Tian. It was not until business school that I learned that name roughly translates to “hippo farm”.

Undergraduate School and Degree: University of Maryland, College Park – B.S. Finance and Economics

Where did you work before enrolling in business school? I was a Business & Data Analyst for Bloomberg BNA at Arlington, VA.

Where did you intern during the summer of 2017? I interned at Deloitte with the firm’s commercial Technology Strategy & Architecture practice in Chicago.

Where will you be working after graduation? I will be returning to Deloitte as a Sr. Consultant after graduation.

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

  • Co-Director of Consulting Day – Georgetown Consulting Club (GCC)
  • VP of Student Organizations – MBA Student Government Association (SGA)
  • Peer Advisor – MBA Career Center
  • Leadership Fellow (2nd year student coach for Leadership Communications and Executive Challenge)

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? Working alongside my good friends Josh Bloch and Yola Yu, I am most proud of being one of the Co-Directors who organized Georgetown Consulting Day 2017. After nine months of planning, countless emails, and getting locked out of the office on the night before the big day, Josh, Yola, and I successfully hosted the largest career day at our business school – with over 25 firms, 100 practitioners, and 150 1st-year MBA students participating.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I am proud of successfully completing my summer internship with Deloitte. As a career switcher, I was a bit nervous if “I have what it takes” to make it as a consultant. I have never worked with external clients and it takes me an inordinate number of hours to build a deck. But thanks to kind and patient mentors who guided me along the way, I met the demands on the job and had a very rewarding experience. It affirmed my choice of switching into consulting and I am excited to grow in that field.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? My favorite professor at Georgetown McDonough is Arthur Dong. His lectures are engaging and time well-spent; not once did I leave Prof. Dong’s class and felt that I did not learn anything. His insights and frameworks are highly informative, relevant, and practical. Plus, it does not hurt that Prof. Dong has a few good jokes up his sleeve.

What was your favorite MBA Course? My favorite course is Economics of Strategic Behavior taught by Professor Dong. The course “debunked” buzzwords, such as first mover advantage, that are often overused (even abused) in b-school. I, myself, am guilty of that. After the course, I walked away with a better understanding of the true engines behind successful companies. We also examined why seemingly good “strategies” are in fact the opposite. As an aspiring business leader, I hope that I won’t make a mistake that will land me as a case study for bad strategy for this course.

Why did you choose this business school? I chose Georgetown McDonough because I genuinely believe this business school is a rising powerhouse. Compared to other top programs, Georgetown McDonough is relatively young – with the full-time MBA program founded only in 1981, a mere 35 or so years ago. And the school – from administrators, to faculty, and to students – is aware that it can do better. As the finance kids would say, “you’d want to buy low.” I am confident that ten years down the road, Georgetown McDonough will break into the upper echelons of business schools. And I want to be part of the generation of students/alumni who helped lay the foundation for that rise.

What is your best piece advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program? Do not rush into applying! Take your time. My application journey – from the moment I decided to research business schools, to taking the GMAT (twice), and to finally hitting that submit button – took more than a year-and-a-half. Those 18 months allowed me not only to put extra care into my application, but also enriched my professional experience. And that richness of experience is what bring you to the table. How have you handled a tough project? How have you demonstrated leadership without holding a title? How have you managed difficult co-workers? How have you challenged yourself professionally? And those experiences can only be bought with time. The MBA program, particularly at Georgetown McDonough, is truly collaborative in nature. The best way we learn is through each other. And the best lessons you can share with your peers are those that you have been through.

What is the biggest myth about your school? Because of our strong roots with the Jesuit tradition, many may think Georgetown McDonough is a conservative, traditional school. In fact, we are global-minded, and we champion the diversity of thought and ideas. Through our several student-led treks into countries such as Israel, China, and Tanzania, many of my classmates have explored and gained a better appreciation of the intersection of business and culture. Further, Georgetown McDonough student clubs go beyond professional development. Our affinity clubs such as Out@MSB, Georgetown Women in Business (GWiB), McDonough Military Association (MMA), Latin American Business Association (LABA), and others are among the most active organizations on campus.

What was your biggest regret in business school? Honestly, I do not have any regrets. This program has stretched and challenged me in multiple facets: academics, career, leadership, and even my social and personal life. Sure, there were a couple of missteps along the way, but I learned and grew. Even if I am given a chance for a do over, I would not change a thing about my business school experience.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? The MBA classmate I admire the most is Maddy Stokes. We were in the same study team for our pre-term classes. I have the deepest respect for Maddy’s work ethic. She is unbelievably efficient with her time – she can run a couple of miles in the morning, cook a healthy breakfast, do accounting problem sets, attend classes, and have time for a drink at the end of the day without sweating it. Above all, Maddy is deeply thoughtful and committed about doing what is right. Among her many achievements, Maddy co-led a philanthropic campaign to support our classmates who interned in the social impact space and developed a pilot workshop against implicit biases.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? My former boss at Bloomberg BNA influenced my decision to pursue an MBA. As I was leaving work one day, she pointedly asked me what my career plans are, and I did not have a definitive answer. She told me to “get an MBA.” Although, I later learned that she had hoped that I will pursue the degree part-time and stayed with the company. Still, it was that conversation that triggered the decision to attend business school.  

If I hadn’t gone to business school, I might have been a teacher.”

If you were a dean for a day, what one thing would you change about the MBA experience?

If I am the dean for a day, I will create opportunities for the MBA and Executive MBA programs to interact and learn together. Members of the Executive MBA program are seasoned business leaders who can impart real-life lessons from their wealth of experience. It will only behoove both programs to start developing meaningful relationships while they share the same building.

What are the top two items on your bucket list?

  • Re-learn how to speak and write Mandarin
  • Spend a night in an arctic glass igloo and fall asleep watching the northern lights

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? “That Greg, he’s alright (just alright).”

What is your favorite movie about business? The Internship – I like this movie for a variety of reasons: you’re never too old to reinvent yourself; taking risks will always be scary but it’s better than getting stuck into old habits; and you can always bounce back from failure. Plus, it does not hurt that the movie is not serious and makes for good laughs.

What would your theme song be? This is a tough one. I have terrible taste in music. Also, it depends on my mood (I know, classic b-school answer) but Lupe Fiasco’s The Show Goes On and Maino’s (ft. T. Pain) All The Above are my go-to pump-up songs.

Favorite vacation spot: Hawaii’s Big Island – I highly recommend night snorkeling with manta rays!

Hobbies? Hiking, reading snippets of different government systems and medieval history, and daydreaming

What made Greg such an invaluable addition to the class of 2018?

“Greg Baesa has brought significant positive change to the co-curricular community at Georgetown University. Greg led over 45 MBA student organizations through his role as Vice President of Student Organizations. Through this role, Greg led the Student Organization Review Committee, which oversees the policies and procedures of all MBA student organizations. Greg streamlined many processes, including a standard election procedure for all clubs and expanded the inclusion of MBA Evening Program students in student organizations by supporting the creation of VP of Organizations in our evening student government. Lastly, Greg was instrumental in formalizing our partnership with Graduate Student Government, which in turn allows for greater access to graduate students and their respective organizations across Georgetown University.

Greg also has been selected part of the inaugural class of Leadership Fellows, an experiential learning program where the students will shape, develop, and mentor first-year students. Greg will serve as a graduate assistant for one of the courses.

Greg was Director for Consulting Day. In this role, he was the Georgetown Consulting Club’s lead for planning the day-long Consulting Career Day, which provides students with an opportunity to gain a better understanding of the consulting profession by attending panel sessions, small group firm-level presentations, and hearing from a prestigious keynote speaker. MBA students interacted with consulting professionals from the 28 consulting firms that participated and had a chance for one-on-one networking at the networking reception that concluded the day.

Greg was also a Peer Advisor for the Georgetown MBA Career Center. In this role, he worked in the same capacity as the full-time career coaches and met with students to review application materials and help them prepare for interviews. Greg was highly sought after for his strong ability to help students prepare for case interviews.

Greg had a consulting internship in Deloitte’s commercial technology practice and will return to Deloitte after he graduates in May.”

Lauren Gagliardi
Associate Director, MBA Program Office

 

DON’T MISS THE FULL LIST:

100 MBAS TO WATCH IN THE CLASS OF 2018