Georgetown MBA Students Receive Prestigious Bryce Harlow Fellowships for Government Advocacy

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Georgetown McDonough MBA students Sara Ribakove (MBA’21) and Michelle Smolarski (MBA’22) have received Bryce Harlow Fellowships for the 2019-2020 year. Fellowships are awarded to highly motivated part-time graduate students in pursuit of a career in professional advocacy through government relations or lobbying. Ribakove and Smolarski were among 10 Georgetown graduate students to receive the fellowship, out of a total of 22 awards given this year. 

Each fellow receives an $8,000 award to help cover the cost of tuition, as well as the opportunity to participate in the Bryce Harlow Foundation Mentoring Program, which pairs fellows with a foundation  board member. 

The Bryce Harlow Foundation honors Bryce Harlow, who worked in public service and private enterprise for five decades, including as a corporate lobbyist and advisor to various presidents. The foundation works to advance the integrity of government advocacy.

That mission was reinforced in Smolarski’s first weeks in Georgetown McDonough’s Flex MBA program. 

“Upon entering McDonough, students are required to take an ethical leadership course which couldn’t have been more timely and fitting in light of my new involvement with the Bryce Harlow Foundation,” Smolarski sad. “It became apparent that both my chosen graduate institution and the Bryce Harlow Foundation share similar goals of ensuring students are equipped to lead with integrity, whether this refers to business decisions or lobbying.”

Ribakove learned about the fellowship from the MBA Program Office. “I decided to apply because I always seek new opportunities to connect with experienced professionals who can provide career insights and other students who are working towards similar goals,” she said.

“Finding out that I was selected as a Bryce Harlow Fellow was very rewarding,” Ribakove added. “Being awarded the fellowship reassured me that my goals are achievable. I look forward to learning from my Bryce Harlow mentor and continuing to grow into the strongest advocate I can be.”