2021 MBAs To Watch: Rohan Shamapant, Georgetown University (McDonough)

Rohan Shamapant

Georgetown University, McDonough School of Business

“Service leader looking to infuse business with meaning, leadership with joy, and life with contemplation.”

Hometown: Orange County, California

Fun fact about yourself:
I rehearsed and played a full gig on bass guitar with a big brass band at the beautiful & historic Blue Nile venue in New Orleans!

Undergraduate School and Degree:University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) with a B.A. in International Development Studies & Minor in Political Science

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? Senior Manager for Partnership Engagement at Rockwood Leadership Institute

Where did you intern during the summer of 2020? Senior Consultant at EY-Parthenon (Mergers & Acquisitions Strategy and Operations) in Tysons, VA

Where will you be working after graduation? Senior Consultant at EY-Parthenon (Mergers & Acquisitions Strategy and Operations) in Tysons, VA

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

Co-President of Net Impact: As Co-President of our school’s largest club, Net Impact, I prepared MBA students to see social impact as a core component of business best practices. We orchestrated a range of unique programming, career support, academic events, and community-building efforts.

Co-Director Career Management of Georgetown Consulting Club: As a leader in the consulting recruitment space, I helped design and implement a full curriculum to support Georgetown students in translating their consulting interest into job offers at top firms. Our team of four supported over 100 students through case prep, interview practice, and general coaching support.

Male Allies Liaison for Graduate Women in Business (GWIB): Throughout my career, I have worked to amplify the efforts of women advocating for public health and education rights for women across the United States and India. In this role, I was able to advocate for gender equality by supporting GWIB programming and creating events specifically centered on male allyship at McDonough.

Student Cohort Representative (Full Time ’21 Class): I was elected to represent my cohort to the Student Government, serving as a voice for 70 talented and driven MBAs to the MBA program faculty and administration on issues of academics, programming, community service, and social networking.

Meditation Leader at the John Main Center (JMC) for Meditation and Inter-religious Dialogue: As a student leader at the JMC, I support Hoyas seeking to cultivate sacred space in their lives through meditation and contemplation. I lead weekly community meditations and help students practice presence during their academic experiences.

Graduate Assistant Peer Advisor, MBA Career Center: I support student colleagues on their recruiting journeys in consulting and social impact by helping them build a core personal narrative, preparing them to ace case and behavioral interviews, and providing them with resources to help them succeed.

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? As Co-President of Net Impact, I was part of a team that fundraised for Georgetown’s Social Impact Internship Fund (SIIF). When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, several of my colleagues suddenly lost internships that were secured, while others wanted to devote their time to help fight against the pandemic. We raised $150k in two months from students, faculty, administration, and alumni, which supported over 20 Hoyas to take on impact-oriented internships without compromising their financial security. I am proud to have empowered other incredible business leaders in a critical and uncertain moment.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? As Director of Operations for a reproductive health nonprofit, I helped lead a turnaround and scale up strategy during a financially challenging period for capacity building organizations like ours. I worked with our President to revitalize the internal resources, processes, and strategic goals that led us to tripling our organization’s impact and reach within a year. The scale of our success restored confidence with existing funders, supported additional fundraising efforts with new donors that secured a 3-year runway. This significantly deepened our important mission in the face of a challenging political environment.

Why did you choose this business school? I chose Georgetown for its emphasis on instilling a sense of service leadership in its students, by cultivating “men and women for others”. Having cut my professional teeth in the social impact sector, a core value I wanted to deepen in business school was how to live a life in service of others. Georgetown not only offered this through its programming, but also encouraged service leadership as a core element of its pedagogy and amongst my peers.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? Adjunct Professor Rory Smith taught a class on Private Equity, a subject that was very far outside my wheelhouse. His ability to combine academic understanding with his own rich experiences in the industry was captivating. In addition, his approach substantially stretched my analytical capabilities, curiosity, and attention to detail. Professor Smith did all this with incredible humor, approachability, and eagerness to impart hard-earned life lessons to this generation of business leaders – and for that I admire him.

What was your favorite MBA event or tradition at your business school? Before the pandemic, our school hosted a kegs party every Thursday evening after class. Not only was this my favorite event for the obvious reasons, it was also a great opportunity to meet classmates from other cohorts and years outside the classroom. I met some of my best friends through those weekly get-togethers and realize with the hindsight of COVID-19 how precious those opportunities to connect in life are.

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why? I would invite myself to invest more time and effort in connecting with peers in groups and communities that I was not as personally familiar with, or who may have been more introverted. I wonder if I could have done more to build a broader and more inclusive network by digging deeper with classmates I was not regularly connecting with on a weekly basis.

What is the biggest myth about your school? One of the central tenets of Georgetown’s pedagogy is cura personalis, which means “care for the whole person”. Rooted in the Jesuit tradition, it implies an education that focuses not only on academic excellence but also physical, mental, and spiritual growth. I heard this phrase repeated at several prospective admissions events and questioned whether any institution could live up to that principle. However, my experience at Georgetown has shown me that cura personalis is borne out not as a destination, but rather as a constant process towards self-fulfillment. I am grateful to have experienced my school’s commitment to this art of striving.

What surprised you the most about business school? I was most surprised by the character of my classmates. Coming into business school, I had reservations about whether I would be entering an environment of suits, focused exclusively on the bottom line. The most pleasant surprise of the program has been the curiosity, approachability, and supportiveness of the Hoya community. I am surrounded not only by the future best and brightest of the business world, but by some of the most creative and caring people seeking to make meaning in their lives and help others discover meaning, too.

What is one thing you did during the application process that gave you an edge at the school you chose? While I spoke genuinely about where my experiences working in the social impact sector made me a good fit for Georgetown, I was also honest about where I felt they left me lacking. I was able to get out ahead of a critical perspective on my application by demonstrating self-awareness of where I could grow, and how I planned to do that at Georgetown.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Kirby Horvitz. There is so much to admire about Kirby. In terms of intellectual curiosity and rigor, she stands second-to-none. She is always ready with an informed and thoughtful perspective, capable of reframing the lows into highs, and the highs into higher still. Kirby embodies service leadership through her incredible generosity of spirit. She is a true giver. I am always thrilled at how often her name comes up with old friends and new connections because of the impact she has made in all our lives. Despite the scope of her ambition and the scale of her achievements, she embodies an authentic and disarming humility. (She is also flat-out hilarious!)

Kirby has taught me to dig deeper than first impressions and inspires me to be the best version of myself.

How disruptive was it to shift to an online or hybrid environment after COVID hit? Shifting to a virtual environment was initially incredibly disruptive to my learning experience and ability to connect meaningfully with my peers. However, my perspective changed through conversations with friends who chose to see the light in this darkness. They helped reframe the initial disruption by grounding me in acknowledging and being grateful for the privilege I had to still have my health and be engaged in a learning process at all. As we began to understand how to navigate a purely virtual environment, I also recognized how many new opportunities were available only available because of this unique circumstance. I am trying to remind myself that when one door closes another one tends to open.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? My father – Venkat Shamapant. Since I was young, he was able to see things in me I had not fully seen myself – a yearning for meaning, a penchant for building relationships, and a potential often held back by self-doubt. He helped me cultivate these better attributes and supported my learning on how to mitigate the worse. With his unique blend of love and motivation, he inspired me to always ask how I can do more while always being proud of what I had accomplished. Like a sculptor who sees wondrous form in plain clay, his belief in the underlying art of my life and his conviction in my nature has inspired me to pursue what is both authentic and challenging to me. Thanks, Papa!

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list? First, I would like to host a podcast where I have conversations with people about how they have learned to make meaning in their lives, and how that intersects with their personal, professional, and spiritual selves. Second, someday I hope to have the privilege of teaching at a university. I have loved opportunities where I have been able to help others develop because that process has helped me grow substantially too. Getting to do that in a classroom setting would be a dream come true.

What made Rohan such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2021?

“What made Rohan Shamapant an invaluable member of the Class of ’21 was his embodiment of our Jesuit principles of “cura personalis” and “men and women in service to others.” As with most outstanding MBA students, Rohan has taken on many club leadership positions including roles in the Georgetown Consulting Club, Human Capital Leadership Club, Impact Consultants, and Graduate Women in Business. But his leadership as co-president of Net Impact provides the best example of his commitment and ideals.

In his Net Impact leadership position, Rohan was part of a team that significantly increased funding to support students pursuing unpaid or low-paid social impact internships. As a result of his efforts and advocacy, 22 McDonough MBA students – almost 10% of the entire FT21 class – were able to commit their summer to impact-orientated internships. He and his team increased available funds by over 50%, a truly remarkable achievement given the financial instability facing many individuals and organizations as a result of the pandemic.

Rohan’s impact on the McDonough MBA student experience extended beyond his club leadership roles. Over the past 18+ months, I have had the privilege of working closely with Rohan in his role as a cohort representative. In that role, Rohan has always been a strong advocate for his classmates. He is measured and thoughtful in the issues he raises, but also passionate and direct, showing a level of maturity and insight that is admirable.

Rohan exudes care and compassion for his peers; he gives his time generously to help others. As an example, Rohan took it upon himself to organize two comprehensive prep sessions over Winter Break for 36 first-year students who were selected to interview with EY Parthenon. He is also one of the most popular Peer Advisors and is thoughtful and supportive of students needing career guidance. Finally, through weekly mediation sessions he leads, Rohan has been selfless in his commitment to helping students find joy and connection.

Following graduation, Rohan will join EY-Parthenon as a Senior Consultant in the Mergers & Acquisitions Strategy and Operations group.

In these times of chaos, Rohan leads with calm, inspires those around him to find meaning in their personal and professional lives, and is a true example of service leadership. He has brought so much to our community and I am proud to have him represent Georgetown McDonough.”

Kerry J. Pace
Associate Dean of MBA Program
Georgetown McDonough



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