2023 MBA To Watch: Elizabeth Shaya, Georgetown University (McDonough)

Elizabeth Shaya

Georgetown University, McDonough School of Business

“Loud and proud Baltimorean who loves to hike, travel, bake, and hang out with her cats.”

Hometown: Baltimore, Maryland

Fun fact about yourself: I take Halloween very seriously.

Undergraduate School and Degree: BA from Johns Hopkins University and MHS from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? Associate at Flexport

Where did you intern during the summer of 2022? Tishman Speyer, New York City

Where will you be working after graduation? Tishman Speyer, Senior Associate

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School: Hariri Scholar, Forte Fellow, Poland Fellow, President of the Georgetown Real Estate Society, Peer Advisor, Teaching Assistant for Real Estate Private Equity Courses, and Cohort Community Representative.

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I am very proud of receiving the Poland Fellow Scholarship. I have worked very hard during my time at Georgetown to help advance the real estate program at the school. I have been very fortunate to learn from students and alumni ahead of me and have loved advising the newer students. 

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? As a career switcher coming from shipping technology and trying to break into the real estate world, I am very proud to be joining a company like Tishman Speyer. I worked hard to learn everything I could about the real estate industry and feel very accomplished and excited to be joining such strong industry leaders at Tishman Speyer.

Why did you choose this business school? The two main reasons I chose Georgetown McDonough were the amazing Steers Center for Global Real Estate and the wonderful people and culture. After speaking with multiple students, it was clear that Georgetown fosters a collaborative and supportive community that creates an environment for creativity and ambition.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? Professor Matthew Cypher was my favorite MBA professor. He is incredibly accomplished, engaging, responsive, and supportive of students. I was genuinely excited for every class session and was able to directly apply my learnings during my internship.

What was your favorite course as an MBA? My favorite course as an MBA was my Meditation and Leadership course. The benefits of meditation in everyday life, along with how to become a strong leader, were not things I had explored before and I have already seen changes in my personal and professional life from these practices.

What was your favorite MBA event or tradition at your business school? My favorite event is the Real Estate Society’s career trek to New York City. It is an amazing opportunity for us to visit companies and learn from experienced leaders in real estate as well as a very fun opportunity for the members of the club to bond and build lasting connections.

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why? The one thing I’d do differently would be to be more involved in the social and sort of “just for fun” clubs.

What is the biggest myth about your school? The biggest “myth” about Georgetown is how international it is, which certainly turned out to be no myth at all. The student body is incredibly international and there’s a focus on international studies through courses and the Global Business Experience, where we work with a company in another country for one semester and then travel to that country for one week to work with them in person (I’m very excited to be working with Atalink in Vietnam).

What did you love most about your business school’s town? I love that D.C. is surrounded by beautiful nature to explore. Whether it’s hiking trails, waterfalls, or rivers – there are so many fun outdoor activities throughout and surrounding the city.

What surprised you the most about business school? What surprised me the most was how involved the alumni are. I knew that Georgetown had a strong alumni network, but it’s amazing how much the alumni go out of their way to help the current students and each other.

What is one thing you did during the application process that gave you an edge at the school you chose? I had a very clear intention for pursuing my MBA to help equip me with the skills and tools to make a career transition. I think that clarity in my reasons for the MBA and how it would help me accomplish my career goals helped give me an edge in the application process.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? The classmate I most admire is Matt Pohlen. He is incredibly intelligent, driven, hard-working, kind, and funny. He holds multiple leadership roles and has done so much for the real estate program and the school at large. Beyond his formal leadership roles, he has committed a great deal of his time (even on weekends) to help the first-year students in school and their recruitment processes.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?

1. Head up and lead a new investment strategy.

2. Lead the development of a mixed-use community.

What made Elizabeth such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2023?

“Elizabeth Shaya embodies the best qualities of McDonough’s MBA students and enabled the success of her classmates while pursuing her own career goals. She joined the McDonough School of Business with a focus on real estate, which can be a challenge for career changers such as herself. She engaged with the Steers Center for Global Real Estate and partnered with the center to create a pre-MBA project under the Steers Advisory Services, allowing students to get a head start on their practical education. Through dedication and hard work, she secured an internship and a full-time offer at one of the top real estate firms, Tishman Speyer.

As president of the Georgetown Real Estate Society, Elizabeth helped to ensure that incoming students had the resources needed to develop industry expertise and network with alumni and other industry professionals. As a Career Peer Advisor, she helped to ensure that fellow students were well-prepared for the recruitment process. Elizabeth embodies the best of Georgetown McDonough and our Jesuit values and is an example of what is possible when you remain focused on your goals and community.”

Maureen Cleary (C’90)
Assistant Dean, McDonough Career Center, MBA


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