Meet the MBA Class of 2024: Joshua Linhart, Georgetown University (McDonough)

Joshua Linhart

Georgetown University, McDonough School of Business

“Service-minded hospitality professional with a passion for data and problem-solving.”

Hometown: Denver, Colorado

Fun Fact About Yourself: I have climbed over 30 of Colorado’s “14ers” (peaks over 14,000 feet in elevation).

Undergraduate School and Major: University of Denver, Music (minors in International Studies and German)

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: OpenTable, Sales Development Representative

What excites you most about studying in Washington, DC? Washington, D.C., is a global destination for both public and private sectors which makes it so unique and interesting to me. I am also excited to be in such a culturally diverse environment with a fantastic food scene!

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? McDonough’s clear focus on developing service-oriented leaders with a global mindset really attracted me to the program and aligned with my values. In a globalized world, it is more important than ever to study business in a cross-cultural and international context and Georgetown stands out in making this a priority. I also knew I wanted to study at an institution that was academically rigorous with a collaborative culture and McDonough checks both of those boxes.

What course, club or activity excites you the most at Georgetown McDonough? With dozens of fantastic club and activity offerings at McDonough, it’s difficult to pick just one that I am looking forward to! Since I am interested in pursuing a career in consulting, I am excited to join the Georgetown Consulting Club to further hone my case interview skills and network with my classmates. I’m also excited to join the HoyAlytics, McDonough’s Data Analytics club. I have always been fascinated by how data can shape business and I look forward to exploring that in more depth. Lastly, as a foodie and trained sommelier, I am excited to be a part of the Georgetown Gourmet Society and Georgetown Wine Society!

Georgetown McDonough programming focuses heavily on instilling a global mindset. Why is exposure to global diversity so critical to business success? In our increasingly globalized society, it is critical to make global diversity a focus in the business curriculum. On an individual level, it is important for the future leaders of the world to understand how to work and communicate with people from various cultural backgrounds and develop an inclusive mindset that helps foster collaboration. On a larger scale, it’s important to understand how our decisions as leaders will impact humanity on a global level, which will help guide us in making ethical business decisions.

Having worked in the hospitality industry for many years, I worked with a very diverse staff and clientele from all over the world and each person had different needs that needed to be addressed in different ways. I always found the most success by being able to recognize these needs and show empathy. Being able to connect and empathize with people from all backgrounds is an important skill to have as a leader as it builds trust and understanding across teams.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: While working as a restaurant manager for Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, I led the restaurant to become the second-most profitable food and beverage outlet in Four Seasons Americas in 2019. After cleaning up internal systems used to collect sales data, I used the data to develop a menu engineering initiative with the culinary team to increase the profitability of the menu and conduct quarterly sales training programs with staff. It was exciting to see how data could be used to transform the business and make it more successful. This experience is ultimately what led me to pursue an MBA.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point and what do you hope to do after graduation? When the pandemic hit, I took some time to reflect on my career in food and beverage and thought about where I saw myself professionally in five years. After dissecting my previous jobs, I picked out what I enjoyed the most about each of them: exercising my problem-solving skills and interacting with people from diverse backgrounds. I also knew I wanted to explore careers in other industries outside of hospitality, but I felt limited by my experience and background. That’s when I decided it was time to pursue an MBA where I could build upon my problem-solving and people skills while strengthening my general business acumen. I hope to pursue a career in consulting after graduation where I can exercise these skills and be exposed to different industries.

What is one thing you have recently read, watched, or listened to that you would highly recommend to prospective MBAs? Why? Before deciding to pursue my MBA, I read Napoleon Hill’s classic Think and Grow Rich for the first time. The lessons taught in the book inspired and motivated me to turn thoughts into action and work to overcome self-doubt and fear.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into Georgetown McDonough’s MBA program? My advice is to be authentic. Every applicant brings something unique to the table, and Georgetown celebrates this global diversity, so really embrace who you are and let that individuality shine through on your application.


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