Georgetown Students Participate in Case Competition to Improve D.C. Public Schools
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Georgetown University students Patrick O'Donnell, Jim Campbell, Michael Lee, and Megan Aghazadian will participate in the 3rd annual Education Leadership Case Competition to improve D.C. Public Schools. Sponsored by the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, the competition, which takes place Feb. 21 in Berkeley, will challenge teams from 10 top U.S. business schools.
The groups will look at several aspects of the school district's reform efforts, evaluate its successes, and propose solutions for shortcomings.
First-year MBA student Patrick O'Donnell organized the Georgetown team, which includes three students in the University's McDonough School of Business and one student from the Georgetown Public Policy Institute.
"I heard of the competition last year when Haas worked with New Orleans," says O'Donnell. "I used to work at Teach For America, and I'm passionate about education reform in the U.S. I heard that Berkeley had this competition where smart, talented people come together to develop solutions to issues in the school districts. So when I started at the business school, I got a team together and applied."
O'Donnell's classmates, Lee and Campbell, both have experience in the education field. Lee has trained and managed teachers in Korea, and Campbell was working in investment banking before moving to Ecuador to teach. Public policy student Aghazadian, an educator who has worked with Teach for America, rounds out the team with her focus on education policy. Regarding his teammates, O'Donnell comments, "It is in the spirit of the competition to have people with all different backgrounds come together to tackle issues in education."
Aghazadian hopes the competition will benefit the D.C. schools. "I am eager to see how the real problems facing the district can be addressed by people in other fields. This is a unique opportunity to see some people with backgrounds in business apply their brainpower and see how they approach these problems."
O'Donnell, who shares her enthusiasm, remarks, "I can't wait to meet students from the other schools who share an interest in urban education. I am competing to win, but I'm also looking forward to hearing the other teams' ideas. We can learn a lot from them."