Meet the MBA Class of 2024: Daniel Macdonald, Georgetown University (McDonough)

Daniel Macdonald

Georgetown University, McDonough School of Business

“U.S. Army bomb technician pivoting to the commercial real estate industry.”

Hometown: Papillion, NE

Fun Fact About Yourself: I’ve completed four coast-to-coast road trips across the U.S. On the most recent trip, I camped in various national and state parks along the way.

Undergraduate School and Major: Saint Louis University – Political Science

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: United States Army – Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Officer

What excites you most about studying in Washington, DC? As an avid fan of history, I look forward to exploring all the museums, monuments, and historical landmarks this city has to offer.

Aside from your classmates and location, what was the key part of Georgetown McDonough’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? As someone who is looking to pivot into real estate, the Steers Center for Global Real Estate at McDonough really caught my eye. Through my research and discussions with current and former students, I learned that the Steer’s Center truly takes the mentorship of their students to the next level. They emphasize individualized development to create future real estate leaders. Professional development with a personal approach is something that I value deeply.

What course, club or activity excites you the most at Georgetown McDonough? The McDonough Military Association (MMA). I am passionate about studying alongside fellow veterans who also wanted to pivot to a career in business. The MMA is a fantastic resource for veterans for tailored professional development to assist in their career transition.  Additionally, I look forward to participating in the various events they host to support the McDonough and veteran community.

Georgetown McDonough programming focuses heavily on instilling a global mindset. Why is exposure to global diversity so critical to business success? It is incredibly important because complex problems often require trusted partnerships. Our world is becoming increasingly globalized. Exposure to global diversity gives students critical experience working with dynamic teams, which I believe many students may experience at one point in their careers. Personally, I learned several valuable lessons partnering with NATO where I observed this firsthand. Our team could not have been successful without support from multiple countries and we made it a priority to integrate and synchronize our efforts to ensure our common goal was achieved to the highest standards.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: My biggest accomplishment in my career so far was having the opportunity to lead a company of bomb technicians in the Army.  As the company commander, you have a significant amount of responsibility not only to accomplish professional goals, but also to be personally responsible for the welfare of your soldiers. I deeply cherish this experience since I was able to work with the Army’s most unique and skilled soldiers. Although stressful at times, this opportunity afforded me the ability to draft my own vision, create a plan, and observe these plans to fruition. Although I enjoyed successes, I also faced setbacks which allowed me to grow both professionally and personally.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point and what do you hope to do after graduation? I knew I wanted to pivot to the civilian sector at some point, but I initially didn’t know where to land or how to do it.  After internal reflection, I realized that I wanted to start a new career. I saw the MBA program as a perfect tool to gain business skillsets and to build a professional network to make a career change from the military successful.

What is one thing you have recently read, watched, or listened to that you would highly recommend to prospective MBAs? Why? The Infinite Game by Simon Sinek. This book has a variety of great leadership concepts for any business leader, but my favorite ideas were those about building teams with the right culture and trust and how they can exceed expectations in tough times. I recommend this because it explores various leadership frameworks and ideas that future leaders in any business industry can benefit from.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into Georgetown McDonough’s MBA program? Plan your application strategy early and reflect on your strong suits and what your limitations are. This will allow you time to shore up some of the areas you may be lacking, but also to find better ways to market your strengths. Reach out to current students early! Make initial contacts in visits, webinars, etc., and follow up with an individual chat. So much of the application process anxieties can be relieved when talking to current students. Plus, you learn so much more about the program. I recommend connecting with those also interested in the same career path or those involved in clubs that you wish to join.


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