2024 Best & Brightest MBA: Nishant Makhijani, Georgetown University (McDonough)

Nishant Makhijani

Georgetown University, McDonough School of Business

“A fun-loving, sarcastic person passionate about empowering others and creating positive change.”

Hometown: Godhra, Gujarat (India)

Fun fact about yourself: I grew up with 13 first cousins who lived under the same roof.

Undergraduate School and Degree: University of Illinois at Urbana – Champaign, B.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? Kripa Group, Associate Director, Strategic Projects

Where did you intern during the summer of 2023? EY – Parthenon in New York City

Where will you be working after graduation? Consultant at EY – Parthenon in New York City

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

  • President, Out@MSB (Georgetown MBA LGBTQ+ affinity club)
  • Reaching Out MBA (ROMBA) Conference Student Organizer – I was part of a cross-school student team that helped plan and organize the 2023 ROMBA Conference and planned the sessions in the consulting track.
  • Peer Advisor, MBA Career Center – I advised students interested in consulting careers and students pursuing diversity recruitment opportunities.
  • Leadership Fellow – I was part of a team of second-year students who acted as coaches for first-year MBAs during their core Leadership Communications course.
  • ROMBA 2022 Consulting Case Competition – Second Place
  • MBA Admissions Interviewer
  • Cohort Representative, Student Government Association
  • Vice President, Georgetown Consulting Club
  • MBA DEI Board

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? As President of Out@MSB, my main focus was to create a sense of community for LGBTQ+ students and advocate for resources that empower them. This past year, the Out@MSB board helped revive an annual Georgetown tradition: Identity Stories, a platform for LGBTQ+ students to share stories about their queer identities. It also offered our classmates and allies a glimpse of what it means to be a member of the LGBTQ+ community.

The event featured four speakers who shared personal stories about the ups-and-downs of what it means to be a queer person today, leaving the audience of over 250 with tears of acceptance, joy, and lots of laughter. An electrifying performance by a local black drag artist, Cake Pop (who was overjoyed by the generous tips she received from Dean Malaviya), brought together a perfect celebration of what it means to be part of an accepting and supportive community. A few weeks after Identity Stories, a 20-person Georgetown crew went to Chicago for the 2023 Reaching Out MBA Conference, a chance for students to connect with companies interested in recruiting LGBTQ+ talent. For the first time, we successfully secured institutional funds to offer travel scholarships for student attendees. We also improved student success metrics through coaching coffee chats and resume reviews with second-year students. In addition, we revamped a diversity conference prep boot camp and invited a supportive group of second-year attendees to the conference to coach the first-years. I hope these events and opportunities continue to create a safe space for LGBTQ+ students at Georgetown to feel welcomed and supported in the future.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? As a development officer for the University of Illinois, I traveled around the U.S. to work with the University’s alumni and friends on their philanthropic goals. Starting this job on my 23rd birthday, I didn’t realize that, in addition to attending many fancy events and dinners, I would connect with some extremely successful entrepreneurs, professionals, and business leaders on a personal and human level. These open conversations often led to vulnerable discussions that taught me how these alumni reached the heights of success, and I was able to learn from their mistakes and reflections. Every meeting I had taught me something new and made me challenge or strengthen my beliefs and values.

Even though I was evaluated on how much money I raised annually, my personal success metric remained the knowledge and inspiration I gained from each interaction. As an MBA who has edited too many resumes, I know the power of quantifiable metrics, so here is what I am proud of. In three-and-a-half years as a development officer, I raised over $4.6M for student scholarships and infrastructure projects, traveled to over 15 U.S. states, connected with over 250 alumni and donors, and created lifelong relationships I continue to nurture years later.

Why did you choose this business school? People. As cliche as it sounds, every interaction I had with a Georgetown student, alum, faculty, or staff member before the decision date inspired and energized me. It starts with Assistant Dean of Admissions, Anne Kilby, whom I met during a campus visit, or Dan McMahon, then Out@MSB President, who guided me as I battled the decision to be fully out on my application materials. Professor Matt Cypher patiently answered too many questions about the school’s highly respected real estate program. My admissions interviewer, Alex Clements, was curious and kind, making me feel comfortable about being myself and supporting me throughout the post-admissions process. I can highlight countless other instances and people who made me feel that I would be accepted, cherished, and empowered at Georgetown. Every Hoya encouraged me to dream big about my post-MBA professional aspirations and assured me that the community would unselfishly give their time and energy to help me succeed. Becoming a Hoya would mean joining a community that looks out for each other. As I look at graduation ticking closer, I can safely say the Georgetown community has stood up to every challenge, and I am glad I came here.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? My favorite MBA professor is Volodymyr Babich. I took his Global Supply Chain Management course, one of the few post-lunch courses in which I was fully awake and engaged. Professor Babich has an extensive background in operations management, and his teaching style, which combines theoretical concepts with relevant examples and practical exercises, has helped me learn a great deal about a critical industry concept. I will miss his calm and collected demeanor and dry and sarcastic humor, which made for some enjoyable memories However, I am sure I will apply many of the skills I have learned in the class in my consulting career.

What is the biggest myth about your school? Since Georgetown is located in Washington, D.C., it is fair to assume it is a school for folks interested in working with the government. Many of my friends are indeed eyeing careers at the intersection of policy, government, and social impact, but countless others are going into finance, consulting, or tech. I have also been impressed by the resources available for students interested in pursuing an entrepreneurial venture. In the past few months, some friends have started ventures to solve the challenges associated with providing eldercare, and another is working on a dating app that recommends connections on similar interests and potential date ideas.

What did you love most about your business school’s town? I have loved living in Washington, D.C., because I am in the heart of where decisions are made, and I get a chance to meet people solving the world’s most challenging problems. I have enjoyed connecting with government officials, foreign diplomats, and non-profit leaders, inspiring change in the U.S. and globally. I have been fortunate to take advantage of Georgetown’s opportunities that enhance academic understanding and professional growth through its relationships with Washington’s power-makers. At the same time, I have had unfettered access to art, culture, and delicious Ethiopian food.

What surprised you the most about business school?  I was most surprised by the similarities of people’s business school experiences regardless of where they go to school. Being part of the Reaching Out MBA community, I met MBAs from different programs in the country, and it was impressive to see how intelligent and motivated everyone was. Our conversations made me realize that they received very similar professional opportunities and faced the same recruitment challenges as I faced as a Georgetown applicant. The challenges an MBA student faces are very similar, which binds us together. At some point, it is our responsibility to take advantage of the resources and people around us to be successful. I wish I had known that when applying to schools and stressing about not getting accepted into my dream program.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? During my first few weeks on campus, I met Connie E, who went out of her way to introduce herself to everyone while focusing on creating deep and meaningful relationships. She has been a steadfast friend, supporter, and ally to me and countless others throughout the MBA program. Her leadership in the Graduate Women in Business (GWiB) Club and Asian Business Student Alliance (ABSA) – and as a cohort diversity representative – showcases her commitment to supporting the Georgetown community and inspires me to give back. Having been on study teams, the cohort leadership team, and case competition teams with Connie, I have seen her put others before herself as she strives to help them with their personal, professional, and academic pursuits. Connie has a calming presence and a gifted ability to tackle the most complex situations without stressing out or losing focus on the objective. I cannot wait to move to New York City later this year as we start in the same consultant class at EY-P!

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

Be the keynote presenter at a professional conference.

Start or join a social impact venture addressing climate change and/or gender inequality.

What made Nishant such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2024?

“It is difficult to pinpoint one specific thing (there are many!) that made Nishant Makhijani such an invaluable member of the Georgetown McDonough Class of 2024, but I can say with confidence that he is leaving an indelible mark on our community and the many leaders that nominated him for this recognition. He has been a standout member of our MBA program and deserves to be recognized for his exceptional contributions, leadership, and advocacy.

My first interaction with Nishant was at New Student Orientation. I still remember thinking that he was someone who would contribute to our community in meaningful ways. I was confident he would bring insight, energy, and humor into his interactions, but would also expect honesty, integrity, and accountability; I was not wrong. Working with Nishant over the past two academic years has been a privilege.

Like many MBA students, Nishant was heavily involved in co-curricular activities. He served as the VP of Finance for a very active Consulting Club, was a popular Career Peer Advisor, and he was an exceptional Leadership Fellow. He also represented his cohort as the liaison between students and faculty/administration. Nishant is a skilled communicator. He does not shy away from difficult conversations but approaches them directly with integrity and respect. In his first semester at McDonough, he earned 3rd place at the Reaching Out MBA (ROMBA) 2022 Consulting Case Competition.

I believe Nishant’s greatest contribution, however, is what he has done to enhance Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, particularly for the LGBTQ+ community, both at Georgetown and more broadly. He was elected president of Out@MSB, a student club serving LGBTQ+ students and allies. In this role, he revived Identity Stories, providing a space and empowering LGBTQ+ students to share their stories. He also partnered with our Admissions team to recruit LGBTQ students, collaborated with DEI club leadership to advocate for resources for diversity conferences, served on the DEI Board, and expanded Georgetown McDonough’s attendance at ROMBA. Nishant worked closely with the McDonough Career Center team to enhance the diversity conference and career expo preparation for students across the MBA program – a testament to his initiative and leadership. Finally, he was a ROMBA conference organizer and curated all consulting sessions for the 2023 conference.

After graduation, Nishant will join EY – Parthenon in New York City as a Consultant.

Nishant has been instrumental in our ability to support students from traditionally marginalized backgrounds through his open feedback, strategic thinking, and hard work. We are a stronger community because of his leadership and commitment to meaningful change. It is an honor to nominate him for this recognition.”

Kerry J. Pace
Associate Dean, MBA Programs
McDonough School of Business
Georgetown University


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