A CLASS THAT ASKS ‘WHY’
Outside of work, Austen R. Brower hosts Drip: A DC Coffee Podcast, where he talks to area “cafe owners, baristas, roasters, and regulars.” Daniel Hill’s passion is scuba dividing – and he recently dived between two tectonic plates in Iceland. If you were impressed by Danya’s Sherman’s entrepreneurial prowess, just wait until you get a load of this…
“I am a United States Figure Skating Association Gold Medalist in Ice Dance.”
How did the Class of 2021 prepare for business school? Not exactly how you’d expect. Sorin Ovreiu spent the summer restoring an early 1900s Baltimore house…learning basic electrical, plumbing, and flooring in the process. Katherine Jo made every last minute count this summer, with excursions that included “hiking on active volcano lava fields in Hawaii, swimming with wild dolphin pods in the Pacific Ocean, skydiving (twice!), flying to Berlin and Budapest on a whim, and successfully learning to drive manual in Hong Kong.”
In fact, Jo’s adventures epitomize the word that this class uses to describe their peers: global. “Most of my MBA classmates have had some experience living or working outside the United States,” writes Samuel Boafo-Arko. “This always brings a global perspective to class discussions.”
More than global, the class is diverse, adds Santiago Zúñiga, a clinical researcher. That further enriches the classroom experience, he notes. “MSB is full of students from all walks of life, from all over the globe, from all sorts of different and non-traditional backgrounds. It’s reassuring to know that no matter what you’re dealing with, there’s most likely someone in your class that has been in the same shoes.”
This embrace of differences imbues the class with a certain curiosity observes Austen Brower. “Curiosity permeates class discussions, team meetings, and conversations at the local watering hole. Their curiosity has pushed me to ask “why” more often and enjoy investigating the explanations.”
BIG JUMP IN FINANCE PROFESSIONALS
Overall, the Class of 2021 closely fits the profile of previous full-time MBA classes. It is comprised of 30% women, up a point over the previous year. The percentage of international students also climbed 1.5 points to 30.5%, with the class including students from 32 countries. Underrepresented minorities account for another 15% of this year’s incoming MBAs.
Like last year, Business majors comprise the largest bloc of students at 29% — three points better than the previous year. Economics majors take up 14% of the seats, followed by Math and Physical Sciences (12%), Government and International Studies (12%), Engineering (10%), Humanities (5%), and Computer Sciences (3%). Notably, the school attracted 5% fewer STEM majors than last year. By the same token, the Class of 2021 featured a surge in finance professionals in its ranks. 27.5% of the class worked in Finance and Accounting, up 9.5 points over last year. The class also featured declines in several key professional categories, including Consulting (14% vs. 7.9%), Technology and New Media (11% vs. 5.6%), Government (9% vs. 4.2%), Manufacturing (7% vs. 3.6%), and Non-Profits (7% vs. 3%). Some of these gaps, however, are filled by new categories, including Healthcare (5.3%), Consumer Goods (4.5%), and Construction (4.1%).
A PROGRAM ON THE MOVE
Overall, McDonough’s biggest strength is considered to be International Business, with deans and MBA ranking the school 5th among American programs in this category according to a 2018 U.S. News survey. The international dimension is considered so critical at McDonough that Structure of Global Industries is the first course taught in the MBA core. Even more, MBA students are required to finish a Global Business Experience, a mandatory, semester-long course where students partner with companies like Marriott and Citibank on projects that eventually require them to head overseas to present their recommendations to senior executives.
However, Georgetown McDonough is hardly one to rest on its laurels. Last year, for example, the school rolled out its MBA Executive Challenge. The final exam for the core Leadership Communication course, the Challenge brings together students, faculty, alumni and staff for a day-long competition. Here, students role-play scenarios and present cases to alumni judges. The school has also been busy heeding advice from employers, adding electives in AI and machine learning, blockchain, fintech, Python and R data management, SQL, data visualization, and Tableau says Prashant Malaviya in a 2018 interview with P&Q. At the same time, the school has opened a new Venture Lab space for entrepreneurs near the White House. Currently, the school is building a Master’s in Data Analytics to go along with degree programs in International Business and Policy, Finance, Leadership, and Management.
What else can applicants expect from Georgetown McDonough in the future? This fall, P&Q submitted several questions to Prashant Malaviya, senior associate dean for MBA programs at the McDonough School of Business. From new developments to how McDonough weaves Catholic philosophy and a global mindset across its curriculum, here were Mr. Malaviya’s thoughts…
A Q&A WITH PRASHANT MALAVIYA, SENIOR ASSOCIATE DEAN
P&Q: What are the most exciting new developments in your program?
PM: “Starting this year, we redesigned our Opening Term first week in a way that allows students to immerse themselves into issues of building their community and teams, with the goal of reinforcing our values of collaboration, respect, and empathy, where students work in teams that are impactful and deliver at peak performance.
To deliver on this promise, our management and leadership faculty designed this immersive week where students engaged in discussion and debate on civility in the workplace, the impact of bias on decision-making, fostering diversity and inclusion in their community, and developing mindfulness about cross-cultural differences. They learned how to give and receive effective feedback, how to enhance each other’s’ strengths while absorbing individual weaknesses, and how to develop and commit to team goals while also supporting individual objectives. The students engaged in various simulations, role-play exercises, and team-building activities, with the highlight of the week being a team activity in the format of an “Iron Chef” type competition.”
P&Q: What is the most underrated part of your program that you wish prospective students knew more about?
PM: “Every school claims to be global. At Georgetown McDonough, we offer a truly immersive global experience. All of our graduate students are required to complete a global consulting project with a client overseas and then travel to the location to meet in-person with the organization’s leadership and finalize the presentation. We also incorporate global themes and cases throughout the curriculum.
Additionally, our location in the global capital city of Washington, D.C. offers an immersive experience that includes access to embassies, interactions with global business leaders who travel to Washington, and research opportunities with organizations like The World Bank, IFC, Smithsonian, and the US Chamber of Commerce.”
To access 12 in-depth profiles of the Class of 2020, go to Page 3.