Christopher Arseneault (MA-IBP’23) on Gaining Firsthand Experiences in International Business and Policy
As the spring semester comes to a close, Georgetown McDonough is pleased to commemorate the accomplishments of the Class of 2023. This year’s graduating class demonstrated immense commitment, discipline, and determination to reach this milestone, and we are proud to recognize their achievements as they embark on their next chapter as Hoya alumni. To celebrate, we’re spotlighting several of the exceptional students in the Class of 2023 as they share their personal stories, reflect on their time on the Hilltop, and preview what the future holds after commencement.
As a soon-to-be graduate of the interdisciplinary M.A. in International Business and Policy program (MA-IBP), Christopher Arseneault (MA-IBP’23) is leaving the Hilltop with a comprehensive understanding of international perspectives on business, financial services, and capital markets, as well as a robust network of friends and connections he’s made along the way.
Here, Arseneault details why the MA-IBP program has been an instrumental component of his professional and personal development and encourages future students in the program to seek new opportunities and never say no to an adventure.
What is your favorite memory or proudest moment from your time at Georgetown?
The opportunity to learn about international business and policy through firsthand experiences was invaluable. I learned about international trade while spending time at a cacao farm in the Dominican Republic and contrasted that with the rapid development of the ports and tax free zones in other parts of the country. Thereafter, I was able to pick the brains of leaders at the European Central Bank and hear from entrepreneurs from Frankfurt’s vibrant startup ecosystem. The breadth of experience to witness the impacts of globalization showed me how interconnected the global economy is and how great things can be accomplished by putting the right policies in place.
How do you plan to apply the skills you have learned at Georgetown in the next phase of your career?
During my time at Georgetown, I learned to take a more international perspective to the businesses and macro environment that I work in. As a result, the tools I gained through the McDonough School of Business, in tandem with the School of Foreign Service, have enhanced my financial acumen for my continued success in financial services and capital markets.
What is one of the most important lessons you have learned while at Georgetown?
I cannot pinpoint only one lesson that that shaped my time at Georgetown, rather I developed a new way of thinking through challenges. This lesson in particular has reinforced my excitement for the future of global trade in the advent of new technologies.
What are your post-graduate plans?
The MA-IBP program has broadened my perspective on how to assess risk and see opportunities in an international context. After graduation, I plan to continue to build my career in private equity and venture capital to help companies scale at some of the most pivotal times in their organizations’ histories.
What advice would you give to incoming Georgetown MA-IBP students?
One piece of advice that I would like to give to incoming MA-IBP students is to embrace impromptu adventures. Adventures with your fellow classmates can lead to new perspectives, friendships, and self-reflection.
When reflecting on your time at Georgetown, what were some of the most pivotal experiences you had during the MA-IBP program?
The most pivotal experience I’ve had while studying at Georgetown is the connections I’ve built with my classmates from all over the world. They challenged my understanding of business, trade, and international relations. We also had a lot of fun — whether it was our 3 a.m. salsa lessons in a German park, seeking out an Irish pub, building a convoy of e-scooters in Frankfurt, or having healthy debates on every subject under the sun.