2020 Best & Brightest MBAs: Colin Miller, Georgetown University (McDonough)

Colin Miller

Georgetown University, McDonough School of Business

“Internationally-focused problem-solver making an impact on global challenges.”

Hometown: Marshall, Virginia

Fun fact about yourself: I first left North America when I was 21. Since then, I have worked or studied in over 20 countries.

Undergraduate School and Degree: Virginia Military Institute, B.A. International Studies, B.A. Arabic Language

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? U.S. Navy, Surface Warfare Officer

Where did you intern during the summer of 2019? Boston Consulting Group, Dubai

Where will you be working after graduation? Boston Consulting Group, Consultant

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

Assistant Coach, Special Olympics basketball; Vice-President, McDonough Military Association; Vice-President, Middle East Graduate Alliance; Captain, Georgetown Graduate Soccer Team; Career Advisor, Upwardly Global (Refugee career counseling non-profit); Student team lead, Team Afghan Power (Afghan solar power non-profit)

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? Balancing academic work and becoming a new dad to my daughter who was born in the summer of 2019. In the first few months of her life, I was traveling for my internship, taking a full course load, and helping my peers prepare for full-time job interviews. I had many sleepless nights while adjusting to my new life. My wife received generous maternity leave from her employer, Ernst & Young, which immensely helped us transition to our new life as parents and allowed us to continue on our respective career trajectories. Since she returned to work, I am the primary caregiver and attend class in the evenings. As a result of this experience, I now have a new profound respect for working parents and parents attending school. Someday when I am an executive, I will make it a top priority to ensure the company I lead has a generous and comprehensive parental leave program.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? As part of my naval career, I led a 15-person team that disrupted five Somali pirate attacks. My role was to converse with Yemeni fishermen to determine Somali pirate patterns. I then placed coalition warships in areas where we could respond quickly and save a merchant ship’s crew before the pirates took the crew hostage. Our effort to the multinational coalition contributed to a 68% reduction in piracy during our patrols in the region from 2011-2012.

What was your favorite MBA event or tradition at your business school? The Andy Byers Endurance Challenge, which is an obstacle course team event that MBA veterans host for our MBA classmates. The challenge was started by a Georgetown MBA green beret who served with Andy Beyers until Andy was killed in Afghanistan in 2016. The main theme of the event is a commitment to service and is aligned with Georgetown’s Jesuit value of service.

Why did you choose this business school? Georgetown provided me the opportunity to enroll in a dual degree program and earn an MBA and a Master’s in Foreign Service. By studying both business and foreign policy, I can combine insights from both programs to inform my perspective on global business challenges. For instance, I learned about technical aspects of an Initial Public Offering (IPO) in my MBA finance class and, in the same day, I spoke with a senior Saudi official about the Aramco IPO in my diplomacy program. Few programs globally can provide the business and diplomacy context as well as Georgetown due to its Washington, DC location and its prestigious alumni network of world leaders.

What is your best advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program? Chat with students and alumni from Georgetown’s MBA program. Recent alumni will be your best resource since they have experienced the MBA program in its entirety. Additionally, the alumni you talk to before starting your MBA may provide career opportunities like internships or full-time employment. Thank them for their time, keep them updated on your success, and remember to pay it forward when you are an alum.

What is the biggest myth about your school? McDonough Business School students do not branch out to other student communities. The truth is, many McDonough students have friends at Georgetown’s medical, law, foreign service, and public policy schools. These friendships come from a McDonough dual student introduction, taking a class in another Georgetown graduate school, or playing a pickup soccer match together on the weekend. Only the law school is in a different part of Washington, DC. The rest of the graduate schools are in close proximity on campus so it is easy to make friends or attend another graduate school’s event.

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why? I would have taken more finance classes as my schedule permitted in order to better understand global business transactions and financial movements. My classmates who pursued banking careers learned a lot in preparation for their interviews. The preparation was insightful even for the classmates who did not become bankers and ultimately chose a different career path. That said, I really enjoy consulting and I ultimately chose the right career path for me.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Andrew Miller. He is a fellow dual-degree between Georgetown’s MBA and Foreign Service programs. Andrew is heavily involved in African development finance and is always looking to help others. Whenever I meet new people, Andrew comes up in our conversation because of the wide positive impact he has made on others. After three years together, it will be sad to go our separate ways but I am sure we will end up working together again someday since we are both focused on emerging markets.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? My wife, Rhianna. During my undergraduate time at VMI, I decided I wanted to pursue a Masters in Foreign Service degree from Georgetown University. It was not until my mid-twenties that my wife convinced me to also apply for the MBA program. I am thankful for her persuasiveness because the MBA program has provided me with a more holistic way to look at the world, significant networking opportunities, and the MBA program ultimately provided me with a career opportunity at Boston Consulting Group as a Management Consultant.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list? First, I want to found my own company. After working in multiple industries in consulting I hope to find an industry that I am passionate about and identify a market gap where my company can fill that need. Second, I want to be a US Ambassador to a foreign country. Former Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel hosts a lunch each fall for veteran students and hearing about his experience weaving between business and diplomacy is the career path I hope to emulate.

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? “Colin is a serial networker and always willing to help others achieve their professional goals.”

Hobbies? Soccer, hiking, weight lifting, traveling, home improvement projects

What made Colin such an invaluable member of the Class of 2020?

“Colin is a dual degree MBA and Master’s in Foreign Service candidate at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business and Walsh School of Foreign Service. Previously a Naval Officer in the United States Navy, he has traveled around the world on two naval deployments where he fought Somali piracy, participated in the multinational search effort for missing Malaysian airlines MH370, and trained our nation’s allies. As part of Colin’s naval career, he was also stationed at the Pentagon where he worked with senior military leaders, defense executives, and Congress to develop and build advanced warships.

After six years of military service, Colin took every opportunity to gain civilian working experience while at Georgetown University. He volunteered with an Afghan solar power non-profit organization to build solar panels in a rural Afghan village, assessed Southeast Asian alternative energy storage projects for International Finance Corporation (IFC), and worked at Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC) to assist in growing the region’s largest Financial Technology (FinTech) accelerator.

At McDonough, Colin worked tirelessly to help his classmates succeed. As the Vice President of McDonough Military Association, Colin hosted consulting case interview preparation sessions and cased with classmates late at night after putting his newborn daughter to bed. He brought key leaders in the Washington, D.C. area to Georgetown University to discuss their experience in government and business. For instance, he hosted the Chairman of the US Council on Competitiveness to discuss how the US government creates technology policies to jump-start American productivity.

On the weekends, Colin spends time with his family and helps his community. He has volunteered with Special Olympics for over 17 years, and most recently coached a basketball team in McLean, Virginia. Additionally, he volunteers as a refugee mentor to help refugees in America develop their career narrative and prepare for job interviews. Colin can also be found on the Georgetown soccer fields on weekends where he plays pick-up soccer games with his classmates.

Following graduation, Colin will join Boston Consulting Group’s Dubai office where he will help regional public and private sector clients achieve their strategic goals.”

Lawrence J. Verbiest
Director, MBA Career Center
Georgetown University, McDonough School of Business


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