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Smart Start: A Springboard for Success

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Smart Start was launched this fall at Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business to prepare first- and second-year business undergraduates for academic and professional success. The year-long academic and professional development program was organized through the Undergraduate Program Office and serves students from underrepresented backgrounds.

The 25 student participants were paired with mentors from PwC, many of whom are Georgetown alumni, who meet with the students formally and informally between the semi-monthly sessions. The sessions have ranged in focus from building sound faculty-student relations to personal branding, global experiences, and civic engagement. Smart Start has been so successful that PwC has adopted it as a best practice and plans to collaborate with other universities in similar ways across the United States.

The students benefited from interacting with faculty and staff at Georgetown McDonough School, and three already have been offered a summer internship with PwC through Smart Start, an early talent-identification program.

"Smart Start has exposed me to the various careers in business," commented program participant freshman Abigail Femi-Ogunyemi. "Through guidance, monthly meetings, and several helpful office supplies, Smart Start has helped me polish my resume and has given me a cutting edge. Through the program I have formed closer relationships with my peers, as we participate in team building and mock-business activities. Finally, Smart Start has given me the access to available summer internships. I could not possibly express how grateful I am to be in the program."