James Hart (EMBA’24): Transferring Skills Between the Army and the Executive MBA program
In honor of Military Appreciation Month, Georgetown McDonough recognizes the many students on the Hilltop that have dedicated their lives to service in the U.S. Military.
For James Hart (EMBA’24), his military career was spent as an aviation officer in the Army where he piloted AH-64D Apache helicopters around the country and overseas. Today, Hart has used his military experience to effectively manage his time as an Executive MBA (EMBA) student, to overcome life’s unexpected challenges and setbacks, and to be a successful leader.
Learn more about Hart’s journey as an active service member, along with the new lessons he’s learned while on the Hilltop, as he expands his educational tool belt and is challenged by new perspectives, experiences, and curriculum.
Why did you choose to pursue your Executive MBA at Georgetown McDonough?
When I left the Army, I could choose for myself where to live for the first time. I chose Washington, D.C., because I wanted to interact with strategic leaders from all walks of life and from all over the world. I chose to pursue my Executive MBA at Georgetown McDonough for similar reasons. I liked the international business aspects of the curriculum and the diversity of experience within recent cohorts. Another key selling point for me was the fact that my classes are hosted on the main campus, which in turn helps me feel connected to the greater Georgetown community.
What has your overall experience been like as a student in the Executive MBA program?
While I have been happy with the quality of the faculty and curriculum, my experience has been defined by the outstanding group of people that makes up my EMBA cohort. Not only have I learned from my classmates about business through their diverse professional experiences, but I have developed lasting friendships as well. Especially considering that many of my friends come from military backgrounds, this program has proven to be a great way to expand my horizons and build a more diverse network.
What branch of the U.S. Military did you serve in?
I served as an aviation officer in the U.S. Army. I piloted AH-64D Apache helicopters and led aviation units around the country, as well as on several overseas deployments.
How did your experience in the military prepare you for your time at Georgetown?
My experience in the military taught me about time management and gave me confidence that I could overcome significant setbacks and challenges. Perhaps most importantly, my experiences in the Army gave me a valuable perspective on the value of service and what truly matters in my life.
What advice would you give to other members of the military who are thinking about pursuing education?
If you see value in a degree program, or technical education, or whatever else it might be, do not hesitate to take it on. Many of us are fortunate to have earned generous education benefits, and they can be a great tool to enrich your life. Have confidence that the skills and traits that helped you succeed in the military will do the same in a higher education setting. Once you are pursuing a degree in higher education, appreciate the diverse thought processes and perspectives your civilian peers bring to the table.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with the Georgetown community?
I am proud to call myself part of the Georgetown community, and that is due mostly to the talent, positivity, and spirit of service I have observed from the people in it. Thank you, Georgetown, for opening this community to me and my fellow veterans.