McDonough School of Business

International Consulting Project & Global Capstone

To become a global business leader, you must experience the world. The EMBA curriculum includes an international consulting project and a global capstone project to provide you with the experience to take on the world’s most complex issues.

Global Business Experience

In this signature Georgetown McDonough course, student consulting teams work together to solve a pressing business problem facing companies with operations overseas. Each year, the course focuses on one city in one country. Recent locations include Seoul, Istanbul, Delhi, and Dubai. 

After an on-campus module, students and faculty travel to the host city for a week of organized programs, culminating with EMBA teams presenting recommendations to their clients’ senior leadership. Past clients have included companies from deeply varied industries, including Boeing, IBM, Infosys, FedEx, MasterCard, Philips, Samsung, Turkish Airlines, Vodafone, and the World Bank.

What students say about their experience

My global residency was in Sao Paulo-Brazil, where I consulted for global aerospace giant Embraer. It was particularly exciting given my background in aviation. Even more exciting was the ability to be a part of Embraer’s eVTOL (Electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing) division, which I focused on during the second year of my EMBA program and have now incorporated this emerging industry into my new career.

Eddie Silva, EMBA’23

On our Global Business residency we had a tremendous opportunity to work for a Brazilian minerals company that was pursuing a strategy to enter North American markets. I was drawn to this client through my previous work experience in commodities and heavy industries. I enjoyed the work alongside my colleagues to gain an understanding of niche minerals markets and design a supply chain that would enable a successful go-to-market strategy. Our client’s management team was incredibly generous with their time, both virtually and while in-country, picking us up from the airport and transporting us to the mines for a tour, lunch, and discussion during our time in Brazil. They were pleased with our presentation and deliverable, and we have remained in contact since.

Blake Barfield, EMBA’23

Prior to joining the Georgetown program, I had extensive international experience, but my exposure to East Asia, particularly Korea, was limited. I had always admired the competitive spirit, perseverance, diligence, teamwork, and commitment to rigorous learning displayed by colleagues and friends from Korea, so the Seoul Global Business Experience Residency stands out as a significant experience for me. Participating in this residency provided a unique opportunity to bridge the gap between East and West, working together toward a common goal of accelerating decarbonization and understanding the shared economics necessary for making informed long-term business decisions. Witnessing our Korean colleagues and their unparalleled energy and passion, along with their culture and business environment, had a lasting impact on my personal journey. It continues to shape my perspective and understanding of global dynamics while enriching my emotional intelligence.

Jason Dodier, EMBA‘19

Global Capstone Project

This capstone course integrates the EMBA course curriculum through student-designed, in-country experiential, field research-based projects. Student teams explore and investigate practical challenges of global strategy through analysis of global industries and environments. The course consists of on-campus classes and team meetings, non-classroom library research, experiential field research conducted in a variety of locations around the world, and concluding presentations in the knowledge-sharing symposium.

Previous Projects Include

Below are abstracts from recent Global Capstone Symposium presentations by members of the Class of 2023.

Cybersecurity VC Israel

Drawing upon extensive research, data analysis, and interviews with key stakeholders, this project seeks to unravel the unique factors that have positioned Israel as a global powerhouse in the cybersecurity domain. The project applies an ecosystem framework that starts with examination of the Israeli business environment, emphasizing the factors that contribute to its vibrant startup culture. It explores the country’s technological prowess, supportive government policies, robust academic institutions, and the role of the military in fostering talent, innovation, and cybersecurity expertise. The study investigates the distinct characteristics of the venture capital ecosystem in Israel. It analyzes the strategies, networks, and funding patterns of venture capital firms that specialize in cybersecurity investments. One of the project’s focuses is the remarkable pool of entrepreneurial talent in Israel. The project explores how their unique blend of technical expertise, resilience, and creativity contributes to the high success rate of cybersecurity startups. An essential aspect of the project focuses on the Israeli government’s commitment to cybersecurity and the policies it has implemented to foster innovation and attract international investments. The project investigates the collaborative culture that permeates the Israeli cybersecurity ecosystem. It explores how the sharing of knowledge, experience, and resources among startups fuels innovation and accelerates growth. Additionally, it examines the role of cybersecurity incubators and accelerators in nurturing and supporting startups throughout their development stages. By synthesizing all these elements, the team aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the higher-than-industry success of venture capital investments in Israeli cybersecurity startups. The findings and insights of this project will not only contribute to the existing body of knowledge but also serve as a valuable resource for investors, policymakers, and cybersecurity enthusiasts around the world.

Moe Isaac, Komal Khan, Jon Sargent, Sushma Vaddey

Digital Health in India

In India, the significance of digital health has grown substantially, presenting a remarkable opportunity to revolutionize healthcare delivery, enhance accessibility to medical services, improve patient outcomes, and tackle prevailing healthcare challenges. This undertaking aimed to evaluate the impact of digital health on the delivery of care within health systems and explore the potential benefits for India by integrating digital health throughout the country. Our research encompassed interviews with key personnel at MAX Health, a prominent private hospital in Delhi, as well as an examination of health tech startups. The investigation primarily focused on the city of Delhi, India. Drawing on our research and interviews, we present recommendations on how businesses, health systems, and the government can collaborate to enhance access to digital health. Our findings underscore the intricate nature of India’s healthcare landscape, emphasizing the necessity for policy updates, robust data collection, and social responsibility.

Nickia Dorrough, Adam Hahn, Grant Hallmark, Daniel Sullivan

Energy ESG Investment

Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) investing has recently become a topic of debate both within the United States and between the U.S. and its allies. States like Florida and Louisiana have pulled their investments from major fund managers such as BlackRock, and sustainability subsidies in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) have emerged as a point of contention between Washington and Brussels. In this project, we explored the genesis of ESG investing standards and attempted to understand the differences in how ESG standards have evolved and been fostered in the two major adopters, the European Union and the United States. We conducted more than 30 interviews both virtually and in D.C., the United Kingdom, Denmark, and Norway with consultants, academic experts, trade organizations, and institutional investors. Our field research included the cities of London, Copenhagen, and Oslo. Our research shows that while broad consensus around ESG standards exists within the European Union, the United States, and their constituent territories, the proper application of ESG standards is a difficult problem that will require the cooperation of government, business, academia, and various other stakeholders to solve. With our conclusions, we hope to chart a possible path forward for all territories while recognizing the complexity of this politically charged issue.

Blake Barfield, Adam Lair, Carren Sunga, Ian Uhar, Pamela Wilson

EV Infrastructure

Developed countries around the globe are on a mission to curb carbon emissions to combat the realities of climate change. The transition from traditional internal combustion engines to electric vehicles such as cars, trucks, and buses is undeniably the way of the future but ensuring the infrastructure to support the dream of electric mobility is without a doubt a herculean task. Europe has been at the forefront of combating climate change. Our fieldwork led us to Norway, Denmark, and Germany where we examined each country’s national charging strategy and conducted a number of interviews aimed at identifying best practices and lessons learned with the goal of providing strategic recommendations for America’s evolving deployment.

Jonathan Branch, Sinead Guerin, Julia Roberts

Fintech Inclusion Africa

We explore the potential of fintech platforms to promote financial inclusion and economic growth in Africa, with a particular focus on Nigeria, in relation to Kenya and Tanzania. The project articulates a business model that serves as a basis for a fintech company in Nigeria. Our study seeks to understand the level of fintech penetration and the role of fintech in economic growth in these three countries. Essential support to our findings was data collation through focus groups, stakeholders’ engagement, and surveys. Our results suggest that fintech has the potential to significantly contribute to financial inclusion and economic growth in Africa, particularly for the large population of unbanked individuals. The study highlights the need for further research and development to expand the potential of fintech platforms to drive financial inclusion and economic growth in Africa and the importance of leveraging this technology to improve unbanked individuals’ lives to promote economic growth development.

Tein Jack-Rich, James Yim

Global Biodiversity Investment Marketplace

In response to the growing threats to biodiversity, there is a pressing need for business solutions that recognize the intrinsic value of the environment and the need for economic incentives and support mechanisms that reward conservation efforts. Through our partnership with BIOTA and FUNDECOR, we developed a go-to-market strategy for a global biodiversity investment marketplace that ensures environmental and social impact, starting within Costa Rica. We conducted market research, including stakeholder interviews and competitive landscape analysis. Our findings demonstrate the need for innovative financial instruments and partnerships to address the growing threats to biodiversity. Our project contributes to the academic discourse by presenting a business solution that has the potential to make a significant contribution to biodiversity conservation and sustainable development by considering the complex relationships between different ecosystems and factors that address the root causes of the problem.

Bryan Benavides, Roger Miranda

Microlending Development

SoLo Funds is an American fintech startup based in Los Angeles, California, that caters to the underbanked population by offering money lending services and financial management education. With over one million users on the peer to peer platform and operational throughout most of the U.S. market, SoLo is expanding internationally first to Nigeria, and then more broadly across Africa & Latin America.  The Georgetown University Microlending Project focused on developing an advocacy strategy for SoLo Funds’ full U.S. market expansion, and defining a market entry framework for the growing fintech markets in sub-Saharan Africa, via Kenya. The strategic advocacy identified economic policy within the state legislative framework, along with the regulatory environment approach to drive operational clarity.  While the African expansion focused on the product-market-fit for the entry and launch of SoLo Funds in Sub-Saharan Africa, it also covered regulatory considerations, risk mitigation approaches, and defined partnerships to facilitate successful entry.  The presentation will focus on the African expansion strategy. 

Abena Akuffo-Akoto, Tanya Stephens, Jenn Goodwin