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Alumni Lifelong Learning

Featured Alumni

Jessica Grounds pic
Name: Jessica Grounds
Program and class year: EML ’12

Current Position: Executive Director, Running Start;
Founder and Principal Strategist, Solid Grounds Strategy

Why did you decide to pursue an executive degree at Georgetown?
Most traditional business programs took me out of my networks in Washington, D.C., or were focused on areas of study that only mildly intrigued me, but the Executive Master’s in Leadership (EML) program seemed to be the perfect fit of personal leadership development, business strategy, experiences and conversations that could help hone my strengths as a leader and open up my thinking to new concepts for the work I do to empower women to lead in politics.  

What is the most rewarding aspect of the program?
First, the program has given me incredible tools and language to enable my natural leadership tendencies to be even more effective. Before, I just led a number of organizations using my natural abilities, but the EML program helped me understand how and why I lead and manage people in the manner that I do, and it helped me better understand the complexities and challenges of leading an organization. Second, my classmates teach me so much. They are diverse in so many ways and bring to the table energy, passion, and interesting perspectives. They are a great, new network of connections that I value.

What is your most memorable experience from the program?
On our international trip to Cape Town we were tasked with consulting various companies and NGO's in the country. My team produced research and a presentation for a fascinating NGO doing work in South Africa and around the continent of Africa. It was wonderful to get to know a country's challenges and culture through the process of helping an organization there. I also learned so much about the history and hurdles that South Africa has faced and still faces.

How has your Georgetown education affected your career?
I found my passion early in life, but this program has helped me to hone energy on my next career step. For my Capstone Project, I have written a business plan to start a new company for women leaders in politics and business. The program has helped me to blend my various strengths and develop avenues to my next professional role.

What would you say to a prospective student thinking about enrolling in the same program?
This program is wonderful if you have a strong sense of who you are, but you want to be challenged to find your next step. It will make you stretch and grow in ways you will not know until you have experienced the program. I am more than thrilled with my experience at Georgetown's Executive's Master's in Leadership program.



Name: Charles Lilly
Program and class year: Georgetown-ESADE Global Executive MBA ’11
Current Position: Executive Vice President; Asset Resolution Officer – PNC

Why did you decide to pursue an executive degree at Georgetown?

I decided to pursue the Georgetown-ESADE Global MBA for many reasons. The main reason was to better myself as a person and develop my skill sets in a manner that would afford me opportunities to achieve greater things in my chosen profession.

Most large financial institutions require years of banking experience to reach senior levels. I had attained an executive role within the bank as the market strategist over commercial, retail, mortgage, builder finance, and other lines of business, but to attain a higher role, I felt I needed to enhance my skill set with qualitative and quantitative attributes.
What was the most rewarding aspect of the program? 

By far, I most value the experiences along the journey. Four continents and eight countries in 15 months were exhausting, yet exciting. The friendships and relationships with faculty, staff, and most importantly, fellow GEMBA colleagues have proven to lead me down a path I never thought I would have chosen.  I came in a banker; I left as a global leader. 

In some ways, the most rewarding aspect of the program has yet to occur. I am working alongside two fellow GEMBA graduates to provide sustainable aquaculture and medicine to the country of Sierra Leone. This opportunity would have never been offered to me had I not applied to and graduated from Georgetown. However, a funny thing happened though during my 15 months in the program. I realized that life was not banking and banking was not life. The reasons I applied to GU were no longer the reasons why I longed to graduate from GU. 

What is your most memorable experience from the program?
First and foremost, all the modules were spectacular. I would have to say that from an academic perspective, Buenos Aires was the most memorable. From a cultural experience, India was by far the best module. From a personal experience and social perspective, Barcelona could not be topped.  

How has your Georgetown education affected your career?
The GEMBA program taught me that there is so much to life. There is a whole world out there waiting to be discovered. And more important, at the end of the day, doing the right thing counts for more than anything else. Georgetown instilled into me the desire to help those who are asking for help and to those who may be less fortunate. I also learned that rewarding yourself emotionally is more satisfying than rewarding yourself monetarily. Georgetown prepared me to adapt to many environments, and to take the basic view that, at the end of the day, we are all just human beings sharing some time on this planet.

What would you say to a prospective student thinking about enrolling in the same program?
If you are looking for an executive degree program that offers diversity, new experiences, whether they be fun (like Barcelona), exciting (like Buenos Aires/Sao Paolo), or at times trying (like Moscow), there really is no other alternative but to pursue the GEMBA program offered by Georgetown University and ESADE. The GEMBA program allows participants to develop skill sets in the ever present arena of global enterprise while developing lasting friendships and introducing new opportunities to those participants.


Alumni Lifelong Learning

While graduation marks the formal end of each of our degree programs, alumni are encouraged to continue learning through Georgetown University for the rest of their lives. Alumni of our degree programs may audit elective courses on a space-available basis. It is our goal to create a community of continuous learning across time, giving alumni ample opportunities to reengage with Georgetown’s Executive Degree Programs.   

Outside of taking classes, alumni always are welcome to engage with current students through guest lectures and teaching, as judges for case competitions, or as advisors to students on business planning and entrepreneurship. We also host several alumni events, including an annual family picnic and holiday party, to reconnect with our alumni and to meet current students.

Other resources available to executive degree alumni are:

Hoyas Online

McDonough School of Business Alumni Office