Meet the MBA Class of 2024: Dayina (Connie) E, Georgetown University (McDonough)

Dayina (Connie) E

Georgetown University, McDonough School of Business

“Curious, global-minded, and relationship-driven professional who is passionate about social impact and environmental sustainability.”

Hometown: Shanxi, China

Fun Fact About Yourself: I’m from a Chinese ethnic minority group named Daur, hence I have a unique last name with one letter “E”.

Undergraduate School and Major: Northeastern University, Economics (minors in Social Entrepreneurship and Political Science)

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Senior Account Executive, Edelman

What excites you most about studying in Washington, DC? Growing up, I dreamed of becoming a diplomat and representing China on the global stage. Being in D.C. is a dream come true because I am close to where the “action” happens in the business and policy world.

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? The emphasis on the Jesuit value of cura personalis – every aspect of the MBA experience encourages us to not only seek success in our own careers, but also care for others and the world. This deeply resonates with my personal values.

What course, club or activity excites you the most at Georgetown McDonough? I’m most excited about Professor Evelyn Williams’ Leadership Communications course where we practice and improve our ability to influence outcomes and motivate others. As someone who aspires to become a change-maker in business, I understand the importance of communicating across the aisles and managing stakeholders with various interests. They both require the ability to influence, lead, and build relationships.

Georgetown McDonough programming focuses heavily on instilling a global mindset. Why is exposure to global diversity so critical to business success? I left China at 17 to go to school in the United Kingdom and studied abroad in four different countries during college. Those experiences made me a more empathetic person who can relate to and appreciate different cultures. In my most recent role as an Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) advisor, I leveraged those intercultural and interpersonal skills to help clients effectively manage global stakeholders with various interests and priorities.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I led the creation of Northeastern University’s impact investing fund, which invests in mission-driven companies that address social and environmental challenges in Boston and beyond. The fund is one of the first student organizations in the business school to actively involve students from all majors and backgrounds. It is now five years old and completed three successful investments to date.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point and what do you hope to do after graduation? I was a liberal arts major during my undergrad and had to teach myself the basics of business and finance through my previous roles. An MBA gives me the opportunity to systematically study the business fundamentals such as finance, accounting, and strategy. After graduation, my plan is to pursue management consulting with a focus on helping Fortune 500 companies accelerate their decarbonization journey towards Net Zero.

What is one thing you have recently read, watched, or listened to that you would highly recommend to prospective MBAs? Why? The “Business Breakdown” podcast dives deep into some of the most successful companies’ history, business models, competitive advantages, and what makes them tick. I’m a business junkie and always try to understand how firms like Walmart and Berkshire Hathaway get to where they are. The podcast offers an engaging and informative way into just that.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into Georgetown McDonough’s MBA program? Be as authentic as possible and try not to be swayed by what you think a “typical” MBA candidate looks like – everyone in the program is “non-traditional” in their own ways. I would encourage you to embrace what you care and are passionate about throughout the application process and use that to gauge your fit with the school and its program.


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