Meet the MBA Class of 2024: Gabriel Sanchez, Georgetown University (McDonough)

Gabriel Sanchez

Georgetown University, McDonough School of Business

“I am a determined and curious Colombian, passionate about how organizations can positively impact society.”

Hometown: Bogota, Colombia

Fun Fact About Yourself: I graduated with my bachelor’s and master’s degrees with my wife. Now both of us are pursuing the MBA program at Georgetown McDonough.

Undergraduate School and Major:

Bachelor of Science in Economics – Universidad de Los Andes, Bogota, Colombia

Master of Science in Economics – Universidad de Los Andes, Bogota, Colombia

Most Recent Employer and Job Title:

Colombiana de Escenarios, a multipurpose venue developer

Job Title: Deputy CFO

What excites you most about studying in Washington, DC? Washington, D.C., is a city that offers a vibrant social scene while serving as an international hub for the private and public sectors. Being surrounded by the most important multilateral organizations, private companies, and think tanks, provides an unparallel opportunity to understand the dynamics of the world economy.

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? For me, a key aspect of McDonough’s MBA is that society is at the core of its mission. During the pandemic, I led an alliance with Colombia’s largest health insurer to transform the Movistar Arena into the largest vaccination site in Colombia. We were able to vaccinate 10% of Bogota’s target population. This experience completely changed my perspective about the role that private organizations have in society. I decided to come to McDonough because its mission resonates with my belief that business leaders have the responsibility to serve the common good.

What course, club or activity excites you the most at Georgetown McDonough? The real estate clinics allow students to engage with real estate deals. I think these clinics are cutting edge to prepare for a career in real estate as they offer hands-on experience for analyzing and structuring investment opportunities that big players in the industry are working on. McDonough is also offering an MBA certificate in Global Real Estate which is a great opportunity to signal to future employers that real estate is the industry you want to be in.

Georgetown McDonough programming focuses heavily on instilling a global mindset. Why is exposure to global diversity so critical to business success)? The company I used to work for was founded with Colombian and Chilean capital. Even though both countries are in South America, my work with coworkers from Chile went more fluid after I took the time of understanding their culture. Being able to interact with other cultures is something that should come naturally for a global leader and this is critical for organizations to keep growing.

After the first two weeks of my MBA journey, I can testify that McDonough’s MBA is truly global. Having the opportunity to learn from fellow students with such diverse backgrounds will be the most rewarding aspect of this experience.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: In my previous work, I originated and structured a deal to construct a concert arena in Medellín, Colombia. This was challenging because most cultural infrastructures are built over state-owned areas, as the land cost makes these projects unviable. I managed to secure the land for the project through a 30-year long-term lease signed with the Colombian government to construct the first concert arena in Medellín. This development will surely benefit Medellin, a city that is having a cultural and tourism activity boost.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point and what do you hope to do after graduation? The MBA experience will allow me to improve my analytical and soft skills, expand my network, and allow me to pivot to the real estate industry. At the end of the next two years, I would like to transition into the world of commercial real estate.

What is one thing you have recently read, watched, or listened to that you would highly recommend to prospective MBAs? Why? I would recommend a column published by The Economist called “The High Kingdom.” It describes how 2022 could be the last year of China being a middle-income country, and this article made me think about how the world economy dynamics might change soon due to the consolidation of China as a rich nation. As an MBA student, I consider it important to understand how the global equilibrium changes and how this affects industries and businesses.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into Georgetown McDonough’s MBA program? Engaging with McDonough Admissions Team was crucial to preparing my application. I recommend sharing with the Admissions Team your background and interests to understand how it fits McDonough’s purpose and program. For the Admissions Team, it’s very important to understand how McDonough will help you to become a better person and future global leader so be sure to highlight that while you are applying.


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