2017 Best & Brightest: Bserat Ghebremicael, Georgetown University (McDonough)

Bserat Ghebremicael

Georgetown University, McDonough School of Business

“As a first generation and low income college student, I identify as a <bold> woman.”

Fun fact about yourself: I’ve lived in eight different areas all across the United States, and once I move to San Francisco after graduation, it’ll be nine!

Hometown: Las Vegas, NV

High School: Southwest Career and Technical Academy

Major: Management, Leadership and Innovation

Minor: Justice and Peace Studies

Favorite Business Courses: Imagination and Creativity, Business Law, Social Responsibility of Business, Operations Management.

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College

Advisory Board for Affordability and Access (October 2016 – present)
Student Member

I’m working on reducing summer housing costs for low income students, as well as reducing medical costs and finding a solution toward food insecurity on campus. Only about 5-7 students are in the advisory board – the rest of the board is administrators and directors or representatives of offices. A report will be created at the end of the year for recommendations for the university to become more inclusive structurally of low income students.

Georgetown Scholarship Program Student Board (May 2016 – present)
Strategic Partnerships and Advocacy Board Member, focusing on multimedia and communications

As a scholarship recipient (only 150 students get selected each year from the student body), I have so much thanks for this program, the staff and the mentors. As a student board member, I’ve done the marketing and design requests for programming efforts. Alongside my team member on the Strategic Partnerships and Advocacy team, I have worked on the #GSProud campaign this year, recognizing students of first generation and/or low income backgrounds. This was a three-day event, with a social media campaign, a kickoff in Red Square, and a design thinking session with the Red House.

Georgetown Aspiring Minority Business Leaders and Entrepreneurs (August 2016-present)
Chair of the Diversity Dialogue Conference

This is the 4th year that the annual Diversity Dialogue Conference has been coordinated, and the first time I am the chair for the conference. We hope to increase participation from DC community members, and bring more intersectionality. Essentially, it works to bring more diversity into the workplace by connecting recruiters and students.

Center for Multicultural Equity and Access: Multicultural Graduation Ceremonies (May 2016)
Communications Coordinator

Per the communications role, I created the program and the marketing materials for 2016’s graduating seniors throughout the year and offered help for day of activities such as photography. These ceremonies focused on celebrating different communities of color and their intersections.

BRAVE Summit (April 2016-present)

As founder, this summit really speaks volumes to me—it focuses on celebrating black women and recognizing their work, connecting so many incredible leaders across the DC, Maryland and Virginia areas together for a dynamic event. I raised $17,000+ in sponsorships for the summit, organized a team to work on logistics, speakers, and marketing, and did the overall designs and publicity for the event. This brought over 300 people from both the DC and Georgetown community to celebrate black womanhood. We hope to increase this number to 400 this year, raise our sponsorships to $25,000, and get incredible speakers such as Mayor Muriel Bowser of DC.

The Corp (May 2015 – April 2016)
Board of Directors: Service and Outreach Chair
Corp Humanitarian Award (October 2016)

The Corp is the largest student-run business in the nation, with about $5.6 million in revenue and close to 400 employees. I planned service day events with outside organizations for our Corp employees and worked on internal hiring/diversity issues, while providing perspectives on larger company objectives. I worked with our HR team to re-evaluate hiring applications, begin conversations on changing the culture of storefronts to be more inclusive, and work with a diverse group of organizations on campus by providing funding and support of their events. I was awarded the humanitarian award for my work on campus after my term on the board of directors.

African Society of Georgetown’s Cultural Showcase: Abissa (April 2015-present)

Each year, I dedicate some time to help in running the showcase for ASG, and hope to do so again this year. From helping with stage managing to coordinating models for the fashion show, I’ve tried to be as available and flexible to help in putting on a show that brings about 400 or so people.

Ignite the Dream Summit (April 2015)

As co-founder, I raised $8,500 for the summit, found speakers – both student speakers and professional speakers, and did the publicity for the event as well. This event was focused on race and socioeconomic status, both at the national and local level. We were aiming to bring the discussion to Georgetown to see how we, as students and as a community, can structurally change Georgetown for the better.

Georgetown University Women of Color (May 2014 – present)
Publicity Chair (May 2014 – May 2016)
Vice President (May 2016 – present)

I was publicity chair for two years, helping to get the word out about our events at the intersection of race and gender. I’m now vice president of the organization. Our most famous event happens annually: Race at Georgetown, a forum for students to share experiences, in which we bring together around 400 students from different backgrounds.

Where have you interned during your college career?

Google (June 2016 – August 2016)
BOLD (Building Opportunities for Leadership and Development)  Intern: Content Marketing Specialist, Scalable Partners Group, Online Partnerships Group

During my time at Google, I planned and launched two marketing campaigns to drive new user acquisition and optimize current publisher accounts. I found unique ways in creating and designing content and then collaborated with different teams (product, sales, marketing) to distribute, which hasn’t been done before. I also helped in three localizations of our ebooks in Spanish, Japanese, and Portuguese. In addition to all of this, I partnered with Blogger to highlight an emerging market of Indonesian women who see blogging as a source of empowerment. Within the first week of publishing our first post, I outperformed content throughout the year by 15%+ engagement and 1000+ more pageviews.

Georgetown Scholarship Program Internship (August 2015 – present)
Social Media and Marketing Intern

During my junior year, I was a front desk assistant, helping and greeting students and working on marketing and design requests from staff. During my senior year, I am working to increase visibility of different events and programs available to students both that GSP plans and the larger Georgetown/DC community has to offer. I do the scheduling, designing, and content writing for the social media posts, and analyze the effectiveness of them with analytics programs. I also help with events here and there.

Beeck Center for Social Impact and Innovation (October 2014 – August 2015)
Student Board, Engagement Chair (October 2014 – April 2015)
Analyst (May 2015 – August 2015)

As a student board member, I first worked with them in terms of communication and event planning to see the intersections between social impact, innovation and the government. I also helped with some of their larger events, particularly one focusing on the disruption that women can cause to create social change. Once I became an analyst in the summer, I worked more around engaging students of different backgrounds with the center.

Association for Career and Technical Education (July 2013 – March 2014)
Marketing Intern

ACTE is the larger organization that works with magnet high schools, which my school in Las Vegas happened to be. Although Las Vegas was 48th in the nation in terms of education, we were ranked 1st in the school district. I worked with them in terms of marketing and promotions, and as a thank you for so much commitment to schools like mine.

Describe your dream Job: I definitely want to build my own company where I can merge innovation, technology and social justice together. Ultimately, I want to be disruptive in everything I do: bringing change and nontraditional means of thinking.

Who is your favorite professor? This is a tough one. I’ve had some pretty incredible professors so I can’t name just one, but three to highlight: Dr. Marcia Chatelain, author, podcaster, and founder of #FergusonSyllabus. I took her for History of Civil Rights Movements and it was the first time I took a class that taught me about all the black women who started some pretty incredible movements, but were forgotten over the course of history and replaced with the bigger, male names. Two others include: McDonough Business School Professor Robert Bies and Father Raymond Kemp, who teaches a course I’m currently in (Struggle and Transcendence). These two have taught me to be unapologetic, imaginative, and passionate in everything I do.

What did you enjoy most about majoring in a business-related field? I loved the flexibility of the classes I can take, as well as all the fields I was required to take. From business law to marketing to business ethics, I’ve had a hand in almost everything business-related and have learned so much from respectable professors.

Where would you like to work after graduation? The Google BOLD Internship actually resulted in a full time offer, so I will be working with the Online Partnerships Group as an Account Associate.

What are your long-term professional goals? I hope to get a JD-MBA; it’s been said that getting both degrees is somewhat of a dying need but a bit of everything in this world has to do with the law or business, so ultimately, I think it will help me in the best possible way. I also hope to stand as a bridge to bring in more women and girls of color to whatever field I’m in.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? Think strategically about the professors and classes you’re taking. Get out of your natural environment and take as many “uncomfortable” classes as possible that challenge you to think critically about yourself, your values and what you aim to do in the future.

“I knew I wanted to major in business when…I found my outlet of fun in marketing and numbers rather than organic chemistry.”

“If I didn’t major in business, I would be…”on the pre-med track still, on my way to become a doctor. Access to healthcare is just so messed up these days though—there’s a larger problem here we’re not addressing adequately.”

“Before I entered business school, I wish I had known…to take full advantage of the fact that I was in the same room with some of the smartest professors nationally and globally. I’ve connected with some I’ve truly valued, but I wish I had learned more about their journeys to success.”

What was the happiest moment of your life? The happiest moment was when I got an acceptance letter to Georgetown, with my financial aid essentially taken care of by the Georgetown Scholarship Program—a program that mentors, supports and provides financial assistance to low income and/or first generation college students—both of which are two proud identities of mine. I just couldn’t believe I had the chance to take advantage of a $70,000 education for such an inconsequential amount.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? I’m proud of the BRAVE Summit—an idea that really came about because of a need on campus to celebrate the identities of some pretty incredible leaders. I think I’m most proud of it because it turned from an idea to an action so immediately, was planned in about five months and led to 300+ people in attendance. It also inspired some high school students to create a summit of their own!

What animal would you choose to represent your professional brand? Oh this is easy—a lion, for sure. I’ve always identified lions as these strong, ambitious and bold animals that remain fairly calm until provoked several times. They are also strong willed and persistent—I feel that’s a pretty good representation of me.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? It really lies between two groups of people. First, my parents were a bit strict growing up, as most African parents are, but it was with their push that I always strived for more—something better than the average. It’s also almost close to graduation, and I’m really trying hard to find a way to thank my Georgetown Scholarship Program family for truly being a home away from home. Anytime I had difficulties paying for glasses, getting a winter coat, or struggling in classes, they were the ones I turned to for help and I received so much more. It’s so hard to thank a group of people for just loving me as one of their own and facilitating connections that have landed me at Google. What graduation gift says all of that?!

What would you like your business school peers to say about you after you graduate from this program? I’d like to be known for working hard and challenging the norm in everything I do. First generation and low income college students come from a world so different and unexposed to the average American. I hope throughout my time here, I’ve been able to shed some light on some of those struggles and how hard we work to be here.

Favorite book: Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me

Favorite movie: Gridiron Gang – such an inspiring film. Besides that, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York!

Favorite musical performer: John Legend and Beyonce. I also have a “Powerful Women” playlist on Spotify that gets me pumped up before interviews or new life events.

Favorite vacation spot: Ethiopia!

What are your hobbies? I love working out, finding new music and exploring different foods while catching up with friends.

What made Bserat such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2017?

“Bserat Ghebremicael embodies the mission of Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business by serving to create justice where there is injustice. While Bserat excels academically, she also passionately commits hundreds of hours of her time to social justice programs. Bserat is a model McDonough student, in service to business and society.”

Michelle Marie Sheahan, MBA
Associate Director, Undergraduate Program Office
Georgetown University, McDonough School of Business