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MBAs Focus on Diversity and International Fun

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“At Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business, everyone helps each other. It’s something that’s done, and not just said,” observed Julie Sender, a prospective MBA Evening Program student who attended the school’s December 7 Focus on Diversity Day.

Sender and 97 other prospective Full-time and Evening MBA students came to Georgetown McDonough for a day of diversity-related conversations, followed by the school’s annual International Festival, which is organized by the students in the MBA International Club.

Shari Hubert, associate dean of MBA Admissions, welcomed the group and encouraged them to take full advantage of the day, which she said “presents an opportunity for us to demonstrate our commitment to ensuring that the future of global business reflects the diverse faces, orientations, experiences and backgrounds represented in this room.”

Dean Thomas then kicked off the programming with a discussion on the importance of learning and doing business in a diverse community. Professor Marlene Morris Towns conducted a mock class on marketing, MBA Career Center Managing Director and Associate Dean Doreen Amorosa talked about career services, and an alumni and student panel shared their experiences.

The day also included keynote remarks by Fatimah Gilliam, founder and CEO of The Azara Group, on “Controlling Your Future through Influencing Skills.” Gilliam told the attendees to “embrace your diversity. Whatever is unique that you bring to the table. It’s important to distinguish yourself.” She then quoted Coco Chanel: “In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different.”

Gilliam charged the group to “proactively increase your influencing power. Balance your personal and your professional life. Take control, feel empowered. It takes time to build up these skills. You’ll flounder and make mistakes, but make them in a safe environment. A place like Georgetown is a perfect environment to try out your skills.”

During the day, attendees also broke out into sessions on:

  • Why an MBA is Valuable for Women
  • Why Diversity Matters
  • LGBT Identity Disclosure: When the Personal meets the Professional
  • How Military Backgrounds Enrich the MBA Experience

Sender attended the “Why is an MBA Valuable for Women” session, during which she said the panel had a candid conversation on the book Lean In and the New York Times article about how Harvard Business School is changing its culture to foster an inclusive community.

Aidan Gould, a prospective full-time MBA student from New York, attended the breakout session “LGBT Identity Disclosure: When the Personal Meets the Professional.” He is looking for an MBA program that will help him make a difference as a business leader who wants to work to promote equality for the LGBT community. “I’m looking for a program that will provide me with the skills to make the changes I want to make,” Gould said.

Robert Brewer, who has been working as a buyer with Ford Motor Company in Detroit for the past two years and is interested in advancing his marketing know-how, found the mock class of interest. As part of the Management Leadership for Tomorrow group, Brewer discovered Georgetown when he was looking at schools that are part of the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management.

“I am seeking a globally focused program, and Georgetown is right in line with what I want for my career,” Brewer said. “I’m looking for a school that has a great brand, international experience, and intimate setting to help me reach the next level in my career.”

Sender, Gould, and Brewer all talked about the importance of a school’s culture and about the significance of building relationships where everyone works together and everyone benefit.

Focus on Diversity Day is presented each year by the Office of MBA Admissions to introduce prospective students to the culture and offerings at Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business.