Carlos Jimenez’s father and grandfather both went to Georgetown University, so the Puerto Rico native always knew he’d go there, too. But unlike his father, who studied biology, Carlos had his eye on the McDonough School of Business from the start.
It’s a decision he’s never regretted.
“The business school was great because the building itself was pretty new when I got there, so there were brand-new facilities, and the experience was great,” says Jimenez, member of the McDonough Class of 2014. “I lived on campus all four years, and I really enjoyed my classes — not just the business school classes, but I was able to take the electives I was interested in the more liberal arts side of the school, too. So it was interesting because it was not one of these small, only-business-school universities —they just have so much to offer in the college.”
Jimenez double-majored in finance and marketing and interned with J.P. Morgan before his senior year. The firm hired him after graduation, and he works for them now in New York as an investment management analyst.
A WILLING ‘GUINEA PIG’
Jimenez enthused about his whole experience at McDonough, No. 4 in the inaugural Poets&Quants undergraduate business school rankings, but he saved his greatest praise for the study-abroad semester he spent in Spain in the spring of his junior year, when he studied at ESADE Business School as only the second group of Georgetown students to go on exchange there.
“It was my first time in Europe and it was extra interesting because I went with a good friend of mine,” Jimenez tells Poets&Quants. “They basically required fluency in Spanish for this new program since we had to figure a lot out for ourselves while there.” Besides some wifi difficulties and the usual travel obstacles — finding an apartment, opening a bank account — he and his friend had an “amazing experience.”
“I was able to travel throughout Europe and even made it to Morocco for 10 days,” Jimenez says. “One of the highlights was making it to El Clásico, the famous rivalry soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona. Most importantly, I made connections with friends from all over the world, many who I still keep in touch with.
“Once I returned to Georgetown, a younger student from ESADE studied abroad at Georgetown and I connected with him as soon as he got to Washington, D.C to help him integrate as well. It’s definitely an amazing part of the Georgetown experience and it was exciting to attend a relatively new study-abroad program and sort of run with it as one of the first guinea pigs.”
DOZENS OF STUDY-ABROAD OPPORTUNITIES
Georgetown offers 105 semester-abroad programs, of which 40 are business-specific. In the last few years, some exciting developments have occurred in the realm of McDonough’s global program, says Patricia Grant, interim senior associate dean for undergraduate programs, including expanded opportunities for immersion in global business through the Global Business Experience elective in which students consult for companies abroad. Among the other offerings: the Global Business Fellows Program that partners with the School of Foreign Service to engage students in fundamental business principles and international affairs; the Global Social Internship Program that takes students abroad to consult for entrepreneurs seeking to grow their businesses; and the addition of a custom summer study-abroad program in strategic management at CUHK in China, as well as custom summer programs in England and Spain.
“We have for many years been able to send our MBA students and executive students on global business consulting engagements, where in the class context they’re dealing with very interesting subject matter and applying that to particular challenges that they receive from multinational corporations,” Grant tells Poets&Quants. “As the semester progresses, they work in teams to develop solutions to those particular challenges on the corporate end and have an opportunity to present their proposed solutions to those executives while abroad.
“A few years ago, we were able to bring that experience and opportunity to our undergraduates, where they’ve been able to go to Barcelona in partnership with ESADE and spend a week digging deeply into issues relating to a particular live case challenge or real-time case challenge, and then present those solutions to the executives. And it has been one of the most high-impact educational experiences we’ve been able to offer in recent times.”
With dozens of semester-abroad opportunities from Cape Town to Berlin, Beijing to Sydney, 60% of McDonough students graduate with some global experience. More options are coming, Grant says, as the school plans a forthcoming expansion to Mendoza, Argentina.
GETTING IN THE SWING OF THINGS AT McDONOUGH
McDonough students have the world at their disposal, Grant says, and that starts at the beginning — and even before, as students are introduced to a “fairly robust” orientation program that gives them a foundation for what they’ll be studying over the next four years. That includes an on-boarding program the week before classes start in the fall called Business Undergraduates Invested in Leadership Development, or BUILD, which uses academic modules taught by faculty to help students gain an understanding of what the eight McDonough majors offer. Moreover, Grant says, in BUILD students are exposed to a variety of career options through corporate visits and the ability to gain insights and information from peers.
“Because we’re able to have them start the business curriculum and their business education right from day one, and even before day one, we capitalize on that as much as possible,” Grant says, pointing to the 48 hours of pre-orientation programming McDonough offers before the formal start of the academic year. “BUILD is really a jewel of what we do. It brings together a very broad cross-section of students from a variety of backgrounds, and they form very strong bonds the last throughout the four-year program. It really makes a difference for our students.”
Another difference-maker is the First Year Seminar, a “launching pad from the curricular side” that serves as an introduction to business in many ways, Grant says. The program includes strategy and leadership seminars and puts the students to work on a case competition to help a local nonprofit.
“The First Year Seminar allows students to pursue particular passions that they may have within business,” Grant says. “It’s a very popular and useful offering.”
REAL-WORLD EXPERIENCE OPPORTUNITIES ABOUND
The First Year Seminar case competition is one of many experiential opportunities at McDonough, Grant says. Additionally, a variety of companies come to campus regularly to engage students in competitions both within the B-school and in relation to other schools in the area — a core aspect of the experiential dimension of the program, Grant says. Executives come to talk in practical terms about business decisions, “allowing students to really interrogate those decisions and peel back on some of the rationales,” and the school’s MBA students also interact with undergraduates to have what Grant calls “an even more robust interaction and conversation.”
Experiential education at McDonough doesn’t end there. In November, the school announced the formation of a new real estate investment fund, and GUSIF, the Georgetown University Student Investment Fund, gives students an opportunity to manage a portion of an endowment worth millions.
Then there are any number of experiences through McDonough’s Entrepreneurship Initiative, including interactions with incubators and participation in competitions. The initiative, led by founding director Jeff Reid, teaches students about entrepreneurship through the experiences of accomplished entrepreneurs, and connects students to a community of entrepreneurs and innovators on and off campus.
“We’re happy to have some of the most engaged faculty, in terms of research, on any number of topics, as well as faculty who really care about the students and their futures,” Grant says. “The combination of that in the Jesuit context means the faculty really tailors their conversations inside and outside of the classroom to benefit the students and their particular intellectual curiosities.”
2015 GRADS ALL FOUND WORK WITHIN 6 MONTHS
“We have a very interested and energized community, both on the student and faculty sides,” Grant says, and the upshot of that is that McDonough students go on to be employed at a very high rate post-graduation: 100% of 2015 grads had jobs within six months, at an average total compensation of $76,868 (2016 figures were not available at press time). Top employers were PwC (17 McDonough students employed from the Class of 2015), Oracle (14), Barclays (12), Bank of America Merrill Lynch (11) and Ernst and Young (11), with Deloitte, Goldman Sachs, and J.P. Morgan Chase each hiring 10 newly minted grads.
It’s no wonder, then, why McDonough placed 4th in outcomes in the P&Q survey, or why alumni seem so pleased, scoring the school highly enough to land it in seventh place among the top 50. Additionally, McDonough placed 6th in inputs, with admits scoring an average SAT/ACT of 1426/32, with just 543 students granted admission out of 3,309 applicants, for an acceptance rate of 16.4%.
McDonough is not cheap: An estimate of the total cost of attendance for four years beginning this fall is $279,190, explaining why more than half of students — 55.2% — get some form of financial aid. But most, like Carlos Jimenez, come away saying it’s worth it.
“It’s a great place to learn and network,” Jimenez says. “I’m still meeting people from Georgetown all the time, and the power of the network to help alumni out is amazing.”
Adds Grant: “Students get a very well-rounded education and what we hear quite often from employers and even parents is that they see the difference in the Georgetown student versus others they may be exposed to. The Georgetown student is very well-rounded and analytical and has a breadth of knowledge that compares very favorably with graduates from other schools.”
What Alumni Say:
“In the summer abroad program in Barcelona, Spain, studied International Marketing and Global Entrepreneurship. Made new friends, experienced a new culture, learned more about how international businesses function across multiple countries.” — Class of 2014 Grad
“Global Immersion at ICADE, Madrid Spain was eye-opening. Taking business classes in Spanish with students from all over the world was a critical component to my International Business major.” — Class of 2014 Grad
“I studied abroad at Oxford University, which gave me the ability to better understand business from another’s country’s perspective. I also participated in a case competition held in the Netherlands, where I was able to apply what I learned in business school to real-life business situations.” — Class of 2014 Grad