International Treks (ITreks)
Through treks, MBA students travel domestically and internationally to network with alumni, learn about specific industries, support local organizations, and engage with different cultures. The overall goal of international treks (ITreks) is to enhance the student experience, while also complementing the Global Business Experience.
ITreks are student-run and some of the trips have received partial financial support from McDonough’s MBA Alumni Advisory Council (MAAC), and other donors. McDonough student organizations periodically submit their ITrek applications and, once approved, the MBA student community can register to them following the student organizations’ instructions.
The MBA Program Office and the Global Business Initiative provide operational guidelines through the ITreks Committee. Recent ITrek locations include: Colombia, Israel, Mexico and Tanzania.
Most ITreks are run by the collection of over 40 approved student organizations.
MBA Students Apply Business Skills in First Service Trek in South America
A group of 14 Full-time and Evening MBA students traveled to Soacha, Colombia, to volunteer for two local non-governmental organizations that aid high school and college students. Full-time MBA Program Student Government Association (SGA) and Evening MBA Program Student Government Association (ESGA) arranged the trek.
Students partnered with Colegio Integral Femenino (CIF), an all-girls school whose mission is to educate women to have a positive impact in their families and the community, and Mentors4U, an organization that works with students who are graduating or have recently graduated from college and connects them to mentors that can help them successfully navigate the job search process.
This trek was the first time Georgetown McDonough students volunteered and applied business skills to service the community in South America.
“We worked directly with both organizations to design activities that would allow us to utilize our skills to further an aspect of their mission or address some of their key organizational challenges,” said Chancey Rouse (MBA’19), who was a trek leader.
“This included hosting round-table discussions to map strategy with the nonprofit boards, fostering student workshops for creating a business strategy, negotiating a job offer, and mentoring,” said Ugochinyere Okwu-Lawrence (MBA’19), who was also a trek leader.
For Tyler Johansson (MBA’19) the trip was eye-opening for its lessons in global education.
“The transformation facing our education systems around the world to move to a digital classroom is daunting, both from a resources standpoint and how to position for the long term as technology advances so rapidly,” said Johansson.
His favorite part of the trip was hearing the business plans of high school students from CIF. “They were really good, well thought out ideas. I hope we get to see them come to fruition.”
Julie Ferguson (MBA’19) enjoyed working with the people in both organizations. “My favorite part of the trek was watching the eyes of the people we were there to help light up when we provided an idea they hadn’t thought of before. The leaders of these organizations are intelligent and passionate people who have dedicated years working toward fulfilling their organizations’ missions. It was amazing to be able to provide new ideas and advice that was genuinely useful to them, and to see how incredibly grateful they were to receive it.”
The students are planning to meet again in order to discuss next steps and reconnect as a group.
“I really felt like we made a difference during this trip, and I hope we can continue to do even more,” said Ferguson.