Claudia Montoya (EMBA’24) on Celebrating Latine Culture and Hispanic Heritage at McDonough
Georgetown McDonough joins the nation in commemorating Latine culture and Hispanic heritage during Hispanic Heritage Month. To celebrate, we are spotlighting the exceptional students of Hispanic heritage in the McDonough community who are creating impact and exemplifying the Georgetown spirit through their academics, careers, and personal lives.
As a student from Colombia with a decade of international business experience under her belt, Claudia Montoya (EMBA’24) understands the benefits of learning and working alongside a diverse group of peers. Here, Montoya shares her perspectives on the significance of Hispanic Heritage Month, why she chose Georgetown McDonough to pursue her Executive MBA, and the value of being a part of a diverse global community.
What does Hispanic Heritage Month mean to you?
Hispanic and Latine Americans are the largest ethnic minority in the United States. From a business perspective, that means a consumption powerhouse and a fantastic talent pool that any company should tap into. Beyond business, all cultures should be acknowledged and celebrated as these initiatives contribute to our journey of becoming a more inclusive country.
Why did you choose to pursue your Executive MBA degree at Georgetown McDonough?
Education has played a crucial role in my personal growth, and a graduate program was on my list for a long time. However, I was not in a rush and wanted to pick an institution that aligned with my values and interests. Being from Colombia and engaging in international business for more than a decade, a global mindset and diversity were fundamentals that I was looking for. On top of the academic excellence, Georgetown McDonough offers precisely that, which motivated me to choose this school to pursue my Executive MBA. It’s not a coincidence that the International Consulting Project is what I’ve enjoyed the most about the program.
Are there professors or mentors at McDonough who have made a positive impact on your EMBA experience?
One of the speakers we had the pleasure of welcoming to one of our classes told us, “It’s all about the people,” and he’s right; this program is its people. It’s hard to choose, but Professor Jeffrey Macher made an impact on me along this journey. His ability to turn complex, mathematical economic concepts into practical business applications is remarkable. He masters the ability to adapt his communication style to the audience, and I find it fascinating, especially in a corporate setting.
In addition, I’ve found true inspiration within the cohort. I was lucky to share this experience with such a group of talented people, and above all, such wonderful human beings.
How can the Georgetown student body come together to commemorate Hispanic Heritage Month?
The best way for the school and the student body to commemorate Hispanic Heritage Month is to embrace its Latine peers, acknowledge their contributions, and leverage their knowledge about the region they come from. I recommend doing the same with peers from any other culture; there is much to learn from those who have lived in different countries or come from different backgrounds. They usually have a broader way of thinking and add a different perspective that can lead to innovative solutions.
Why is it important to highlight and celebrate various cultures and identities on campus?
Celebrating, accepting, and including every culture is a symbol of progress. Highlighting them in an educational setting helps challenge stereotypes and promote inclusion.
From a business standpoint, understanding other cultures is crucial to winning in the international arena, and it reinforces the global mindset Georgetown McDonough is known for.