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Shortcuts to Key Insights from this Episode
- An overview of both Georgetown’s MBA programs and the MS in Environmental and Sustainability Management or the ESM.
- What distinguishes Georgetown’s program in Environment and Sustainability Management from other similar programs.
- Where graduates of Georgetown’s MBA program and the MS-ESM program find jobs.
- The types of academic backgrounds Georgetown is looking for in applicants to the MBA and MS-ESM programs.
- What an interviewee can expect if they’re lucky enough to get an invitation.
- A key piece of advice from Shelly Heinrich to all applicants.
- A common – but avoidable mistake – seen on resumes.
Shelly Heinrich, Associate Dean for MBA and MS-ESM admissions, and Director of Marketing at Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business, discusses everything applicants need to know about getting into Georgetown McDonough’s MBA program. [Show Summary]
Are you interested in sustainability? Also considering an MBA? Well Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business offers and outstanding MBA program AND an MS in Environmental and Sustainability Management. And today’s interview is with the associate dean of admissions for both programs. Pull up a chair.
Interview with Shelly Heinrich, Associate Dean for MBA and MS-ESM admissions, and Director of Marketing at Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business. [Show Notes]
Are you interested in sustainability? Are you also considering an MBA? Well, Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business offers an outstanding MBA program and an MS in Environmental and Sustainable Management. And today’s interview is with the Associate Dean of Admissions for both programs. Pull up a chair.
Welcome to the 512th episode of Admissions Straight Talk. Thanks for joining me. Before we dive into today’s interview, I want to give you a gift, Accepted’s free download, Fitting In & Standing Out. This guide will help you navigate the paradox at the heart of admissions. Realize that you need to show in your application simultaneously that you fit in at your target schools, and that you stand out in the applicant pool.
It gives me great pleasure to have back on Admissions Straight Talk Shelly Heinrich, Associate Dean for MBA and MS-ESM admissions, and Director of Marketing at Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business. Shelly has been leading Georgetown’s admissions efforts since 2014 and became Associate Dean in 2017. She earned her BBA from Texas Christian University, her Master’s in Educational Administration from UT Austin, and her Executive MBA from Georgetown.
Shelly, welcome back to Admissions Straight Talk. [1:52]
It’s wonderful to be back. Thanks, Linda, for having me.
Can you provide an overview of both Georgetown’s MBA programs and the MS in Environment and Sustainability Management or the ESM? [2:01]
Yeah. Absolutely. I’ll start it with the MBA. The good news is our three MBAs are the same in that we have a full-time, a flex in-person for working professionals, and a flex online for working professionals.
They are all 54 credits. You get the same degree, and you have access to the same experience at Georgetown McDonough, so it makes it very easy to talk about. Full-time is 20 months, like a normal full-time two-year program would be, and then the two flex programs are anywhere between two-and-a-half years to five years. But you’re taking the same classes. You have the same core for the first half of the program, and then you get to choose from electives in the second half of the program.
At Georgetown, we don’t require you to choose a concentration. We really feel that you should customize based on what is of interest to you and/or really, what your skill gaps are. There are so many hats that we wear in our jobs today that may be strategy or marketing, or finance or budgeting. We want you to fill those skill gaps in the electives of your choosing. Very briefly, that is the nuts and bolts of the MBA programs. I should say that the flex online is newly launched, so we will be enrolling our first cohort this coming fall. And we’re really excited.
Moving now to the Master of Science and Environment and Sustainability Management. It is a lot of syllables, so we do shorten it to ESM, but we welcomed our first cohort this past fall. We launched it a year-and-a-half ago, and our first cohort of 45 students started in August. It is an 11-month program, 30 credits, and it’s an interdisciplinary academic program at the intersection of business and science. It’s very unique for Georgetown McDonough.
We’re actually partnering with the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in this interdisciplinary format, which, for a university, is pretty unique. We’re really excited at the innovation in launching this degree. That’s very basic about the two programs.
One question we get a lot from applicants to part-time programs or to online programs, is the degree any different? Is there an asterisk after the MBA for the flex time or the part-time programs? Or is it just, you have a Master’s in Business Administration from Georgetown McDonough, whatever option you choose? [4:17]
Yep, that is what your degree says, is MBA. Even if you did our Executive MBA, it just says MBA. Students can be assured that they’re getting the same rigorous coursework, classes, and professors. It’s not a diluted version of any of the MBAs that you do with us.
If someone is interested in a sustainability and management business degree, who should go for the MBA and just customize the program so that it’s focused on sustainability, and who should go for the MS-ESM? [5:00]
This is one of the questions applicants really have to answer for themselves nowadays. You look back 20 years ago, it just used to be a degree. You went to business school, you got an MBA degree. Now, you have MBAs in all different flavors, and then you also have specialized master’s. The way to think about these two degrees is, specialized master’s are really good if you want to specialize in a certain topic. If it’s a certain function or industry area, you know for the short term or maybe even for the long term, that is what you want to do.
In a specialized ESM master’s, you know that you want to go into sustainability. You’ve decided upon that for your career, which is fantastic. I feel like sometimes some of us are still learning what we want to do even when we’re adults, but the classes are all going to center around that topic. The case studies that you would do, the group projects are going to be around that specialized topic. And you can guarantee that all the students in your class will all be interested in that same topic as well in a specialized master’s.
They’re typically shorter, so most specialized master’s degrees are a year or less. And therefore the cost, it reflects the shorter nature of the program. With an MBA degree, in most traditional two-year MBAs, you do a year of core courses, which are a breadth of topics. You do get exposed to a lot of different topic areas. And then typically, at least with Georgetown, in the last half of your program, you choose your electives. Someone at Georgetown could choose to do an MBA focusing on courses in sustainability. They can even actually get a certificate in sustainability at Georgetown through the MBA, and then participate in the various clubs related to sustainability.
This could be good for someone who thinks they maybe want to do sustainability, but maybe they’re not sure. And/or they want to leave the door open maybe three, five, seven years from now when they might want to pivot to something else. Because an MBA is that degree that can allow you to pivot long into the future, into another type of industry. It’s a little bit longer. Also, the cost reflects that, but it is a broader degree in scope.
What distinguishes Georgetown’s program in Environment and Sustainability Management from other similar programs? [7:41]
When we were doing the research, I was on the taskforce to launch this program. When we were doing research of what other schools were out there that combined science knowledge plus business knowledge, we noticed that there were degree programs that were either housed only in an environment school, so they were in a school of environment, the school of science, or we noticed what we just talked about. They were in a business school where it was a business degree with a little bit of a flavor of environmental sustainability.
What we saw lacking was a university saying, “No, we want it to be almost equal.” We want to have half professors from the environment and science classes in their pedagogy and half professors from business coming together for this interdisciplinary approach. I think someone outside of the academic world may say, “Well, that’s a no-brainer to merge.” But in the university world, merging schools at an institution like Georgetown, it’s pretty innovative. And so that’s what we did.
We said we’re going to take experts in the field of business, experts in the field of science and environment, and put it together into a degree. You can look at the curriculum chart and see half classes in each discipline, and then some classes that were what we call interdisciplinary, where the topics are being combined. What that also does is it gives students the best of both worlds. In many cases, they get access to different events and clubs at the McDonough School of Business. They get access to different clubs at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. They also get access to the Earth Commons.
We’re providing them more resources in many ways than had that degree only been housed in one school. It was a really exciting initiative. We didn’t know what to expect when we launched the degree, but in our first application round three months after launching, we had 100 applications and we had a total of four application rounds. It was really exciting to be a part of this growth at Georgetown.
How many students are in the ESM program, the MS-ESM? [9:54]
We have 45, this first cohort. It was funny. Last year, we set out saying, “Okay, we’re going to try to get 40 students.” And then after our first round, we had 100 applications. And then throughout the next three rounds, more and more and more. We actually got to a room capacity constraint where we could have enrolled a larger class, but classrooms that we were scheduled to be housed in had a fireproof capacity. Honestly, that is why we limited it to 45, which seems silly, but that’s actually the reality of what happened.
Any plans to add on to the room or expand the class? [10:31]
For this year, so far, we’re tracking ahead of last year, which is great. So we’ll see what happens in May. But I will say, in the future of this program, we may think of doing something for working professionals. Or we may think of doing something that’s more accessible virtually. But as of now, our goal is to keep the quality of the students high. And so I think for at least for this next year, we’ll probably keep it the same size.
You didn’t say it explicitly, it was implied that the MS-ESM is an in-residence program. [11:01]
Yes, I should say that. It’s an in-person program. Classes are during the daytime hours. We do have students doing internships and working at about 20 hours a week, so you can still work part-time while in the program. For example, if you’re working at one of these large environmental organizations in DC and they allow you to scale back and go maybe only 20 hours a week, you could still do the program in person while working part-time.
It must be pretty rigorous though. [11:33]
It is. Yeah. It’s a 30-credit, 11-month program, so it is rigorous.
Where are graduates of Georgetown’s, both its MBA program and its MS-ESM program, where are they finding jobs? [11:43]
With the MBA program, we’re very similar to a lot of traditional programs where we have our top three students going into consulting, finance and technology. Georgetown’s MBA also has a lot of diversity outside of those top three. We have students going into real estate, nonprofit, entrepreneurship, global organizations as well. There’s a little bit more diversity in the pie, if you want to say that, in terms of our post-MBA career outcomes.
And then for ESM, I think what’s exciting is, we haven’t graduated our first class, so let’s see where they’re going. But I will say, the green economy, when we started researching this, the World Economic Forum produced these predictions of the amount of jobs that will be produced in the green economy by 2030. And it’s in the multi-millions. I think 24 million rings, don’t quote me, but I think 24 million.
I started looking at these jobs and all of your major Fortune 100, 500 for-profit companies, but then NGOs have some type of sustainability positions now, and it’s incredible. You look at major sports apparel companies or major hotel brands, major food companies, and they all have sustainability jobs. The interesting thing though is, there’s not a lot of programs, degree programs that are producing graduates with the skills yet for these jobs, and so that’s I think where Georgetown has filled quite a niche and gap there.
You’re really at the forefront then? [13:23]
I’d like to think so, yes.
What kind of academic background are you looking for in applicants to both the programs, both the MBA and the MS-ESM? Much the same or somewhat different? [13:27]
Well, I would say so for MBA, I would say for both programs, we need to see some level of quantitative ability. When I say quantitative, having some knowledge of statistical forces is going to give you a head start. That’s been, I think, some of the classes where when people come in varying level of statistics abilities, that it maybe isn’t the best classroom experience. If you can come in having some basic stats class, you’ve done it online, you’ve done it for credit, that’s going to give you an even playing field coming into both of the programs.
In terms of the majors that suit best, for an MBA, we have all different kinds of majors. I think maybe a third of people for an MBA come from a traditional business major. After that, it could be humanities, liberal arts, engineering, science, really all over the map. I think what we’ve seen for the ESM program is, we had about 40% come from some type of environmental or natural science background, which was a large chunk. And then the other 60% were very diverse, everything from economics to government, to business, humanities.
I just think by the nature of who would be attracted to this program, we’re going to have some people that came from an environment or science.
In terms of experience, specifically work experience, what do you expect, again, for the MBA programs as opposed to the MS-ESM? [15:00]
For the MBA program, you have to have a minimum of two years at the time that you start the program. The average though, is typically between four to six years. That’s the average because that’s where employers say it’s the sweet spot when they come to hire. We have had students come in with 10 years work experience, but their career goals have to just be adjusted a little bit because they are going to be overqualified for some of the traditional MBA jobs. They’re going to have to be willing to do more just in time recruiting, one-off recruiting for the level that they’re qualified for.
Or perhaps they have their own business? [15:47]
Or they have a job waiting for them? [15:50]
Exactly. Or they’ve come out of the military and they’re looking to transition. That’s the age. For a specialized master’s degree, and in particular the ESM program, it’s skewing slightly younger. The average is just under four years of work experience versus an MBA, which is between four and six. We do allow people to come out of undergrad, right out of undergrad.
They do need to have significant internship or project experience in environment sustainability. They’ve got to be able to contribute in the classroom, and that’s going to come from a very engaged undergraduate experience. We have let some people right out of undergrad, but then we have people with 10 years of work experience, who perhaps 10 years ago, didn’t have any options for an environment or sustainability master’s because they weren’t there.
They’ve now come back to say, “I either have been working in this field and now want some formal education in it,” or, “I’m looking to pivot my field into this.” Yes, we have people of all different experiences. The one common thread is, they all have a passion for environment and sustainability, as you could imagine.
I noticed that tests are optional for the MS-ESM, and they are required, but waivers are available for the MBA. Why the difference, and is it really a difference? [17:11]
That’s great. It’s one of these things like seven years or eight years ago, we wouldn’t have been asking this question at all.
But it’s very relevant today. For the ESM program, it is optional, and we say it’s optional because truly, it is. You don’t need to prove anything. You don’t need to show anything. If you already have the test, great. Submit it. Or, perhaps, if your GPA is lacking and/or you don’t have a lot of work experience that’s substantial, then maybe that standardized test could help elevate your profile. But it is strictly, strictly optional.
For the MBA program, this year, we have moved to a waiver process. Now, there’s two different waivers. For our full-time program, you actually have to apply for the waiver and be accepted or admitted with the waiver, before you can then apply for the program. There are certain criteria.
You have to apply for the waiver first. It’s a very short form to say, do you meet the GPA criteria? Do you meet the quantitative work experience? It’s a short Google form you fill out and then we will say, “Yep, the test has been waived for you.” And now you can submit the application without a test. The reason for that is, we want to be fair to applicants. The full-time program, we get a large volume of applications. It takes people a lot of time to go through the application process.
You have to prepare for the test. [18:57]
Yeah. Exactly. And to write the essays and get the recommendations. We want to tell people right away, are you going to be eligible without a test or not? Because we don’t want to take your application fee, go through the whole process and then say, “You know what? You’re not eligible without a test, so you wasted your time.” We’d rather let them know upfront, save their time, save our time, and then move forward.
If they’re admissible without the test or you don’t need the test, why put them through the test prep and the test? [19:21]
Right. Exactly. Exactly. We want to be cognizant of their time and do that in the beginning of the process. With our flex program, if you meet the criteria we’ve listed on our website, you can submit without a test. It’s a lower volume of applications. Any part-time program in any MBA in the US is a lower volume than their full-time for attracting local audiences, not global audiences. What we look for in a flex part-time applicant is a little bit different. We’re emphasizing more of their work experience in terms of what they bring to the class. Yes, academics are important, but we’re looking at different contributions in the admissions process.
Both offer test waivers. At the end of the day, we want to know if an MBA student is going to be successful in the quantitative classes of the curriculum, finance, stats, accounting. People can show that through their standardized tests. They can show it through quant classes that they took in undergrad. Perhaps they have a CPA or CFA. Perhaps they do quantitative. We just want all of our students set up for success when they start the program, and that’s why, perhaps, there’s a difference between MBA and ESM. Because MBA is a more highly quantitative degree.
The essay questions for the two programs are really quite different, but you’re the one managing both of the processes, right? [10:44]
The video essay for the MS-ESM is about long-term career goals. The video essay for the MBA asked for a hobby, passion, or what you want to do for fun in your free time, and why. Are you doing an experiment on the two programs, trying to see what kind of responses you get? What is the reason for the different questions? [21:06]
Yeah. No, great question. For ESM, we’ll start with ESM. Just like it’s an interdisciplinary academic degree, we have an interdisciplinary admissions committee, so it’s a different process. We have people from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, we have faculty on the admissions committee, and then we have admissions professionals. So different structure entirely. But also, if you look at the questions we’re asking, we want to get to know this audience. It is a new program and we want to know, why are they interested in environmental sustainability?
We know at the school why it’s important and we know where these students are going, but we want to hear from them why they’re interested in this kind of new degree. And why are they choosing Georgetown versus some of the other programs out there? Because if we’re going to be spending 11 months talking about environmental sustainability, someone needs to be able to write an essay that says why they’re passionate about it. Because it’s a highly concentrated topic of interest and focus in the program. That’s why it’s a little bit of a different question, because it’s new and we want to get to know the audience. And then we want to know how they’re planning to use this in the future in environmental sustainability.
With an MBA, as we’ve talked about, it’s a totally diverse audience. People are going to all different types of jobs, industry, skills, they’re starting their own companies. An MBA is a well-established kind of degree. People know what they’re getting into and know why they’re doing it. We really want to get to know the diverse complexity of the student audiences, and we get to know that through the three prompts that we’ve provided. What I love about how we do this at Georgetown is, we don’t force people into one essay. We give them three, allow them to think about what sells their value proposition the best, and then answer that, the best one.
They also focus on our values. If you think of principled leadership, helping the common good, diversity in the Georgetown community, these are very strong values of Georgetown. And admitting people that are going to be a part of that thread of our community and value fabric is really important. In both programs though, we have video essays, and I love video essays because it allows us to get to know the candidate in a hopefully non-stressful environment. Sometimes the applicants get very stressed out by the interview experience. They shouldn’t. We try not to make it stressful, but they do.
The video essay allows them to re record and record that video essay as much as they want until they feel like it represents them. And then it allows us to see them in a very normal, non-stressed environment. And we get to know them a little bit outside of paper as well. That’s why we do the video essay. It’s helpful in the MBA because of the volume of applications and the volume of people in the admissions committee. In the ESM program, we don’t have an evaluative interview components, so this video essay is in substitution of it.
Any plans to introduce an interview to the ESM admissions process? [24:26]
Not at this time. But as with any new program, we, every year, evaluate and optimize and get feedback. Because it’s a smaller program, we’re already getting to know the candidates a lot in the pre-application process. Our admissions recruiter can almost go down the line of the applications and say, “Yep, I’ve met with that person, met with that person.” We just get to know them a little bit more. At this point, no evaluated interview, but we’ll see. We’ll see how that might change.
What can an interviewee to the MBA program expect that they’re lucky enough to be invited to interview? Is it all virtual now, or are you starting to do in-person? [25:01]
We are completely back in business, as I say. Yes, we are offering virtual. Certainly, it’s more conducive to people’s schedules and the travel cost, but we want people to come to campus. I think when you step onto Georgetown’s campus, and especially the Hariri Rebuilding, it’s a magnificent campus.
You really feel the weight of the history and the prestige, and so we want people to come to campus to get to know our community. But obviously, if it works better to do virtual, they can do that.
What can you expect? It’s 20 to 25 minutes. We give candidates a few minutes to ask some questions of us. It could be from a member of the admissions team or an alumni, or a student interviewer. We have a large team. We do that so we can reduce biases, by having multiple opinions and perspectives. We have a series of questions or topics we will ask students, but we also like to have the conversation flow. If you say something that’s of, really, interest to us, we may ask you to expand on that.
The goal is for us to picture how you’ll fit within the cohort from an academic perspective, from a giving-back-to-the-student experience perspective, from an alumni perspective. We’re trying to see how you really fit with the culture and community at Georgetown. But don’t be nervous. Just have a conversation with us. Get to know us as we’re getting to know you. It’s a two-way street, really.
They should also prepare questions for you, shouldn’t they? [26:41]
Absolutely. Absolutely. That is one of the, I would say, biggest mistakes that I’ve seen applicants make is I’ll say, “Do you have any questions that I can answer for you?” Some people will say, “Well, I’ve had all my questions answered from all of the students and admission staff that I’ve previously spoken with.” That may be the case, but still, ask a question anyways.
Because even if you already know the answer, think you know the answer, ask it anyway. Because it does show a level of interest in the school, and we are gauging the level of interest you have in us when we interview you. Again, just repeat something even if you feel like you know the answer.
Now, just to clarify, you said that you have a large team of interviewers, but the applicant is interviewed by one person, correct? [27:25]
Correct. Yeah, that’s absolutely correct.
It’s one interview with one person, so it’s one-on-one? [27:34]
The deadlines are March 30th and May 2nd for the MBA program, and April 3rd and May 15th for the MS-ESM. Is an applicant at a disadvantage if they apply in these later rounds? Are they better off waiting until next year? [27:44]
No, you’re not at a disadvantage. There is always room for good applicants. I would say, in particular, this year, we are very empathetic to these tech layoffs. I almost feel like in some ways, it’s mirroring the layoffs of 2020 and 2008. People from fantastic companies that are now saying, “Let me reevaluate. Am I in the right industry? Am I in the right function?” If the answer is, “I don’t know,” or, “No,” come to an MBA and reset and figure it out. Or come and do a specialized master’s to make yourself that more marketable to guard against potential layoffs maybe in the future.
Investing in yourself with a graduate degree will only help you in the future, but it can also give you some mental space to really think through, introspect in, what’s happening in your personal and professional life, and figuring out what’s right for you. And then you also gain a great network of colleagues as well. It’s not too late to apply. If you are ready, submit an application.
In a worst case scenario, let’s say we don’t have room for you, we love re-applicants. Re-applicants have a high percentage of admit rate. When we pull the numbers and we see re-applicants that have come back and maybe improve their application a little bit from the previous year based on feedback we give them, their admit rate is higher than just applicants in their first try. Have a conversation with us, we want to get to know you. And definitely apply.
Has Georgetown made any accommodations for the laid off workers, or are you just planning to, I guess, reserve more seats for the third and fourth round, given what’s been going on the last couple of months? [29:33]
Yeah. We did make accommodations in that we were going to only leave our full-time test waiver open in the fall. We decided to extend the test waiver into the spring because studying for a test can take three, four, five months. We know that this is affecting candidates right now. They may not have that time, so we just extended what we had already done in the fall.
If you look at our application fees, we have different criteria that we introduced about a year ago based on your income level. If you are under certain income levels, therefore if you were just laid off, you can qualify for different waivers or reductions. That’s something we’ve always been proud to do, to recognize people from different socioeconomic statuses.
Georgetown has always had four rounds, so I know I see a lot of other MBA programs adding a fourth round or adding a third round. We’ve always had four rounds, so for us, we will keep that, and then may extend some rolling flexibility right after the fourth round. We will just see how everything goes.
Let’s just focus on MBA and the ESM. What should they be doing? What should they be examining in their background to see if they need to improve something and be ready for the fall? [31:04]
Yeah. I can tell an applicant that has gotten to know us really well, because they have come to various events, even if they’re virtual. They have talked with some current students and they’ve maybe talked with some alumni. By doing all those conversations, by the time they get to the application process and the interview process, they can talk very naturally and very authentically about why they’re interested in Georgetown. And it comes through. It’s not like they’re memorizing facts from our resume. They just speak about it because they came to campus or they had lunch with this alum.
We can tell that authenticity, and that weighs in pretty heavily to the admissions and interview process. Because any school wants candidates that want to be at their school. I’m sure I could speak for any of my colleagues that would say that. So use this next six months to do that. Get to know the schools. Get to know Georgetown, because it will then further convict you if we’re the right school for you as well. It helps you and it helps us, so do that.
Come visit us. We have different in-person or virtual sessions. And we are back traveling throughout the world, so check out our website. We’ll be at, hopefully, a city or a country near you in the next six to eight months, and we’d love to meet you.
There were some really interesting projects that the ESM students were doing. Could you dive into that for a moment? [32:39]
Yes, definitely. This is the Capstone Project. In any of our graduate programs, there’s always a very hands-on Capstone experience. We just announced or about to announce the Capstone Projects for the ESM students. We have companies like Amazon, Department of Energy, Starbucks, that are going to be participating in this Capstone Project. Students will be in small teams, they will solve a problem for these companies and then present their recommendations to the company. Really excited about those for the ESM program, all very environment and sustainability focused. And it mirrors the Global Business Experience that our MBA students do, which also tackles and solves a problem for a current company.
In terms of other projects, just to add on for ESM, we have, even in this first year, students who have already published articles in the Supply Chain Management Review. The topic of this article was palm oil supply chain, and it’s just so impressive to say four months in, we have students publishing in a top journal. Lots of things that are hands-on in both programs.
You mentioned not asking questions in interviews. What else do you see as a common mistake that applicants make? [34:07]
A common mistake is underselling their accomplishments on their resume. There’s a lot of times where I see a student’s resume and I then speak with them, whether it’s an informational interview or if it’s an in evaluative interview, and they start talking about some of their experiences in their job. I’m looking at their resume and they’ve undersold themselves.
For example, I was interviewing a candidate one time and they talked about how they got promoted at this top consulting firm. I’m looking at their resume and their promotion is not on their resume, and they were at a top consulting firm. The person said, “Well, I just ran out of room.” And I said, “You never run out of room to say you’ve been promoted.”
Thinking through how to show those accomplishments, how to write a resume that is not bullets of responsibilities. Instead, bullets of accomplishments.
Quantify your accomplishments. What did you do to improve the process, the function, the department? That’s a big mistake that I see a lot of people making, to be very honest.
One way to guard against that is, go to the website. Go to your company’s website, or go to your competitor’s website and look at a similar job description to the one that you have, and think through. Oh, wow. Okay. Yeah. This is what I’m doing. This is the way I can position my responsibilities. Because sometimes, from a bird’s eye perspective, what you’ve written on your resume doesn’t really reflect the value and truly immense work that you’re doing for a company.
Because when you see that, then it tells us at the school that you’re going to go above and beyond in the program. You’re going to go above and beyond when you get a job as an alum. It builds a profile of who you are.
You’re in Washington DC. What does that add to the programs? [36:45]
Yeah. Washington DC is the nexus of everything in many ways. Fortune 100 companies, nonprofits, NGOs, government. There’s actually a statistic out there from the Chamber that says there’s the largest concentration of Fortune 500 companies is represented in DC. It may not be their headquarters, but there is a representation of companies that are out here. What that means for applicants is, when you’re networking, you don’t necessarily have to go to New York or Boston or Silicon Valley. There is going to be someone from an office that’s here in DC that can get you your foot in the door, that you can network with here, having coffee, versus having to necessarily take the train or take a plane somewhere.
I will also say that we have tons of large speakers and world leaders that are in and out of DC all the time to do whatever they do. But while they’re here, they often want to speak with students because it’s fulfilling for them as a leader. They often will come to Georgetown and they’ll speak to students. And so our students get exposure to literally world and corporate leaders.
I think every sitting president has spoken at Georgetown. Whether it’s the President of the Peace Corps or a chief in the military, or CEOs of a bank, or CEOs of consumer products, good companies come to Georgetown. That exposure from a learning perspective. Also, alumni are constantly in and out of DC. And so being able to network and build your network is helpful.
From a very work-life balance perspective, and I say this with a perspective, I’m from Texas, so I’ve lived in DC for a little bit of time now, but I’m originally from Texas, DC has a great work-life balance. There’s the Potomac River. You can go kayaking. You can go two hours west of here and be in the mountains and ski. You can go three hours east of here and go be on the beach. Short ride to New York. We’re just in a great large city with a small town feel.
What question would you have liked me to ask that I didn’t ask? [39:05]
Why Georgetown, maybe? Why Georgetown?
I love this question because I can talk about it with just authenticity, that I believe in it. What makes Georgetown unique, I guess, is how I maybe would even word it. We have a global focus. Because of our location in Washington DC, which is a very global city, and because of the students that we attract, we typically have over 40 countries in the MBA program. Even in the ESM program this year, we had over 20 countries, with 45 students.
You’re getting to be exposed to this global environment in a very short amount of time, the global nature of our professors. A third of them hold international passports. We’re talking about global companies and global organizations. Second is our Jesuit background. I didn’t know what a Jesuit school meant or what it was before I came to work at Georgetown. To be very honest, I am not Catholic, but I’ve learned to appreciate what being a Jesuit means.
There’s a real focus on taking care of the whole person and teaching in the classroom. We hire professors that actually want to teach and are motivated by teaching, not just researching. As an executive MBA student, I saw the stark difference going into the MBA classroom. These professors were almost like putting on a show. They were invested in this experience of the MBA, which was phenomenal.
I would also say we teach at the intersection of business and society and politics and environment, looking at a more bird’s eye view of what’s happening in the world. And then yes, being in DC, it is a part of your experience. Maybe in undergrad, I would’ve wanted to go to a more rural location. But if I’m in a professional degree program where my goal is to get a job coming out, I want to be where the employers are, where the alumni are, where the networking is happening. I want to be in a city, and so you obviously get that at Georgetown.
Shelly, thank you so much for joining me today. I really enjoyed learning about Georgetown’s MBA program a little bit more again, and the MS-ESM program. Thank you, again. [41:16]
Thank you. Thanks for having me. It’s always great to be on, Linda.
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