Kendall Deighan (MBA’23) on Enhancing the Monetization Model and Marketing Strategy of a Vietnam-Based Nonprofit
Kendall Deighan (MBA’23) is in the final year of her studies for the MBA program at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business. This past March, Deighan traveled to Vietnam as part of the program’s signature Global Business Experience (GBE), where she met with street apparel manufacturers, ate delicious Vietnamese cuisine, and consulted with international clients on issues related to empowering the lives of women and children in the region.
Every year, MBA students participate in the GBE course, where they work on consulting projects at multinational companies or small organizations to learn how businesses operate in different parts of the world. Working in groups, students partner with executives to find solutions that address complex business challenges.
Deighan’s team traveled to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam to help an organization construct a monetization model and marketing strategy. Here, she shared some of her most memorable experiences while traveling abroad and her biggest takeaways from working with an international client.
First, tell us a bit about yourself. Why did you choose to pursue your MBA at Georgetown McDonough?
I decided to pursue my MBA at Georgetown McDonough for several compelling reasons. First, the university is located in an urban setting, providing me access to a diverse range of opportunities, experiences, and exposure to the business world. Second, McDonough offers a variety of experiential learning programs that allow students to apply their knowledge in real-world situations. And finally, the GBE, which is a capstone opportunity for all MBA students at Georgetown, provides a unique and valuable opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the global business environment.
In regards to your GBE, what was the main objective of your project and what did you hope to accomplish?
Our company, a nonprofit, focuses on empowering the lives of Vietnamese women and children through education and modern slavery prevention. The main objective of our project was to help build a monetization model and marketing strategy for their Vietnamese mobile application to help attract grants and investors.
What were some of the main takeaways from your time working on the project both on campus and in Vietnam?
After weeks of virtually meeting with our client, it was amazing to see the value in the face-to-face interaction we had on the ground in Ho Chi Minh City. We were able to set up meetings to conduct employee interviews as well as focus groups to help support our final recommendations and project objectives.
Walk us through one of your days in Vietnam. What were your favorite experiences of the trip?
I had two favorite experiences while in Vietnam. The first was visiting the UnAvailable factory outside Ho Chi Minh City. The factory is a street apparel manufacturer for companies like Drew (Justin Bieber’s brand), Kith, Madhappy, and other top streetwear brands. We toured the facility with the CEO, Paul Norris, who shared his philosophy on putting corporate social responsibility at the forefront of his business.
My other favorite day in Vietnam was the day of our final presentation. After my team presented to our clients, they took us on a local tour from District 1 to District 2 in Ho Chi Minh City. A few of us daredevils rode on the back of our client’s scooters to a beautiful restaurant overlooking the Saigon River, where we tried my new favorite Vietnamese dish, Bánh Khọt.
How important has global travel been to your time at McDonough?My global travels have been the highlight of my MBA experience. McDonough strongly encourages international travel through different opportunities like study abroad, a London Real Estate trek, an Emerging Networks and Markets trek to Ghana, and so much more. I’ve been lucky enough to travel to Kenya, Colombia, Mexico, and other locations abroad with classmates during my time in the MBA program.