2023 Best & Brightest Business Major: Elizabeth Collingsworth, Georgetown University (McDonough)

Elizabeth Collingsworth

Georgetown University, McDonough School of Business

“My dog thinks I’m great (Hi, Finn!) but sometimes I question his judgment.”

Fun fact about yourself: I can bake the best New York Cheesecake you will ever eat.

Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia

High School: The Lovett School

Major: Finance and Operations and Information Management

Minor: Entrepreneurship

Favorite Business Course: It’s a tie between Real Estate Finance and Managing Entrepreneurial Ventures.

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

  • Student Staff Manager at the McDonough School of Business Technology Center
  • Senior Honors Thesis Candidate
  • McDonough School of Business Peer Ambassador
  • Teaching Assistant – Business Financial Management and Foundations of Entrepreneurship
  • First Year Seminar Social Impact Consulting Project Coach
  • Omega Rho Society
  • First Honors

Where have you interned during your college career?

  • Bank of America Global Capital Markets Sophomore Summer Analyst (Virtual)
  • Bank of America Global Capital Markets Summer Analyst (New York City, NY)

Where will you be working after graduation? Bank of America Global Capital Markets

Who is your favorite business professor? Matthew Cypher is the best professor I’ve had in business school. I’ve taken Real Estate Finance and an MBA-level Real Estate Multifamily Clinic with him.

Professor Cypher’s teaching style requires that students show up ready to roll their sleeves up and dig into the class material. He brings his professional experiences in the real estate industry to give a practical glimpse into the industry rather than a solely theoretical approach. I was initially intimidated by the industry, having no prior experience or exposure. However, I quickly found that his teaching style engaged me in thinking deeply about the material while having fun!

Professor Cypher creates opportunities for students to find success inside and outside of the classroom. If you walk by his office, you can almost guarantee he is working with students who want to jump into the real estate industry and get involved with Georgetown’s Steers Center for Global Real Estate. He has been a fantastic mentor to me this year, and I know that his support will follow me once I graduate. I am so appreciative of the positive impact he has had on my Georgetown education.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? Business is all about the people. Learning how to understand and best serve the people you interact with is paramount. There is only so much you can learn from data, so getting out into the field and taking a hands-on approach to understanding the world around you is necessary. The importance of understanding people and their motivations, whether they be customers, competitors, or colleagues, cannot be understated. Building relationships and strengthening your network of connections will lead you to success. You should take and create opportunities where you can meet people and learn from their experiences, even if it is not directly related to your field of interest. There is so much to learn from those with different experiences than your own and it will serve you to better develop a holistic understanding of the world in which we do business.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? Business programming often include lots of group work. In my experience, the best teams identify and draw on people’s strengths from the get-go. So, spending time with yourself to understand what you bring to the table on different teams will benefit both the product and the experience of group work. You’re going to be working on group projects throughout your career, so this skill will serve you both short and long term.

Looking back over your experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently in business school and why? At the outset of my Georgetown career, I had planned to spend a semester learning abroad. However, the COVID-19 pandemic limited the opportunities I had to do so. If I could do it all again, and hopefully avoid the global pandemic, I would have prioritized building a global perspective through abroad opportunities. Georgetown has awesome experiences available to students, so I would take full advantage. The business world is in no way insular to the United States, so developing a global mindset is imperative for a successful career. I hope that I will be able to do this by working abroad at some point.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of?  Although it is still a work in progress, I am proud of my senior thesis exploring the effect that Elizabeth Holmes, the famed and fraudulent founder of Theranos, has had on other female entrepreneurs. Because of the relative rarity of high-profile female founders, the actions of one may affect other female founders in a way that does not affect males. Female founders have historically experienced greater barriers to success when pursuing high-growth entrepreneurship and calling attention to the disparities in the venture capital ecosystem is paramount. The process of writing a thesis has entailed a great deal of effort and discipline, but it has ignited my passion for supporting women who want to start businesses, especially those catering to traditionally male-dominated industries.

Which classmate do you most admire? One classmate that I admire is Katherine Jacobe. I have had the pleasure of knowing and being in classes with Katherine since my first year at Georgetown. She is one of the most hard-working individuals I know; there is not a class she shows up unprepared for. Katherine’s work ethic and kind demeanor encourages everyone to bring the best version of themselves to the table whether it be in academic, professional, or personal arenas. Katherine selflessly devotes so much of her time to other people, and we are all better because of it. I am so lucky to have her in my corner!

Who would you most want to thank for your success? Ever since I was little, my dad has championed my success. There has never been a goal too big or too small that he did not think I could accomplish. I could not be anywhere close to where I am today had I not felt such love and encouragement from my dad (and mom, love you too!). My dad has helped me to get back up again when I’ve fallen time and time again. I couldn’t have asked for a better sounding board, mentor, and friend. I love you and thank you for being on my team.

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

1. I aspire to start my own company or sit in the C-suite of a female-founded company. It is so important for young girls to see prominent female business leaders, and I hope to be a role model in this way.

2. I hope to come back to Georgetown’s campus as a speaker one day. Though I’ll never be as famous as Bradley Cooper, I’d love to be able to engage with Hoyas and share the lessons I’ve learned as a woman in the business world.

What are your hobbies? I love going on long walks, especially at the National Mall; it is a great way to take time to be both introspective and appreciate the world around me. I also love photography, baking, and spending quality time with my roommates and friends!

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

“Elizabeth Collingsworth is a veritable Swiss army knife. In my 20+ years of experience, I have never encountered a student so versatile and adept as Elizabeth in doing pretty much anything she sets her mind to and at such an exceptionally high level. The performance to which she contributes and the range of ideas she generates are truly first-rate. Georgetown is an incredibly difficult place to stand out but Elizabeth does so in a way that is not competitive, not combative, but complementary to whatever the situation needs. If she is working on a group project, she is perfectly happy to be the group’s facilitator, the organizer, the notetaker, or even the simple and often overlooked, hard-working contributor. She can fulfill every role and excels at all of them. Elizabeth’s incredibly sincere demeanor and caring attitude draw people in and make collaborating with her a joy.

Elizabeth’s impact can be felt across campus. Distinguished Finance Professor, Matthew Cypher, shared the following: “Elizabeth approaches every day with a curiosity and positive approach that is highly effective in learning the material and incorporating the classroom experience into her knowledge base. She is the definition of an active participant which has served her so well as a student.” Furthermore, Senior Thesis Program Director, Professor Peter Jaworski, shared: “Amongst Elizabeth’s many exceptional qualities is a high level of engagement – not only with her work but with the work of others. Her comments have improved the work of her peers, and would improve my work as well.” Senior Project Manager/Building Operations, Rob Johnston, had this to say: “It is a sincere and great pleasure to work with Elizabeth. She’s the best student manager I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the years I’ve been here. The level of communication and collaboration she provides has been unmatched. There seems to be no job too big or too small, and she is quick to roll up her sleeves to help, no matter the task. Her servant-leadership style is one that those working for her respect and enjoy. We are lucky to have Elizabeth as a part of our McDonough community.”

Overall, Elizabeth Collingsworth embodies the best and brightest of Georgetown University and the McDonough School of Business. She is an inspiration to fellow students, faculty, and staff across our campus. Even with the uncertainty that lies ahead, the future of business has a bright future with a leader like Elizabeth front and center.”

Justin Smith
Associate Dean for Strategic Initiatives, Undergraduate Program


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