Meet the MBA Class of 2024: Hannah Isabella P. Chan, Georgetown University (McDonough)    

Hannah Isabella P. Chan                             

Georgetown University, McDonough School of Business                             

“I am a lawyer with a passion for learning and leading with impact in the Philippines.”

Hometown: Las Piñas City, Metro Manila, Philippines

Fun Fact About Yourself: Almost a decade ago, I climbed Kota Kinabalu in Sabah, Malaysia, knowing very little about climbing, and the preparation needed for it. It was a tough experience physically and mentally but the journey was worth it.

Undergraduate School and Major: English Studies and Juris Doctor, University of the Philippines

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Director IV at the Office of the President of the Republic of the Philippines

What excites you most about studying in Washington, DC? It is how history is unfolding here in Washington, D.C., amidst various global movements and disruptions, and definitely being right where the action is in terms of law, policy, and business.

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 heart of Georgetown’s MBA Program: cura personalis – care for the whole person. Rooted deeply in the Jesuit tradition of the school, cura personalis not only means being attentive to the unique circumstances and concerns of people, but also meeting them wherever they are and helping them flourish. This is the kind of society and leadership that I aspire to. Having worked for more than five years in Philippine government, I learned that every day brings opportunities to bring positive impact to others, in big or small ways. To be able to intentionally structure or integrate that aspiration into how I can lead, and to learn from peers and their experiences, are critical in the formation of any ethical leader.

What course, club or activity excites you the most at Georgetown McDonough? I look forward to joining various clubs at Georgetown, including the Finance Club, Consulting Club, Georgetown Christians in Business (GCiB), Graduate Women in Business, and MBA Volunteers. It’s great that there are specialty clubs catering to various interests and there’s definitely a lot to be learned from other students and their experiences and perspectives.

Georgetown McDonough programming focuses heavily on instilling a global mindset. Why is exposure to global diversity so critical to business success Global diversity means diverse thoughts, perspectives, and ideas are brought to the table, and this allows for wider market reach for organizations and businesses, and for government, more polished, well-thought policies. In my last pre-MBA role, we partnered with leaders and experts from various countries, including New Zealand, towards the development of the first asset management policy and plans of Philippine government. We benefitted from the exchange of information and ideas and best practices of countries with a deeper understanding and experience with asset management.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: With guidance from my mentor, I helped craft a wide array of policies and executive issuances related to fiscal prudence in my last pre-MBA role. This included one which created a single agency for state guarantee finance, to enable financing access of more than 250,000 beneficiaries, and one which standardized and rationalized the compensation system of over 80 government corporations.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point and what do you hope to do after graduation?  To me, an MBA degree is a chance to solidify and provide structure to everything I have learned from the time I started working, until my last government role, and ultimately to learn to think in new ways and to have a framework and mindset to understand industries. I also hope to learn about finance, economics, accounting, strategy, and leadership. I am interested in consulting and working in the Philippines or in Asia after graduation.

What is one thing you have recently read, watched, or listened to that you would highly recommend to prospective MBAs? Why? I would recommend the book Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday. Among the most important things I learned from that book is to be a true student, to always be self-motivated, and self-critical, having no room for ego.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into Georgetown McDonough’s MBA program? Prepare early and build your profile and narrative. The application process is a tedious time and you would be saddled with deadlines and exams, but understand that it is a time to reflect and look into yourself, your values, your accomplishments, and your unique story, and how all that fits culturally with Georgetown McDonough’s MBA program.


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