Q&A: Lauryn Lewis (MiM’22) on Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone and Transitioning Career Paths
During the month of February, Georgetown McDonough joins the nation in commemorating Black History Month. To celebrate, we are spotlighting several of our exceptional Black students in the McDonough community who are creating impact and exemplifying the Georgetown spirit through their academics, careers, and personal lives.
After graduating from Spelman College, Lauryn Lewis (MiM’22) set her sights on an accelerated master’s program at Georgetown McDonough to make the transition to a new career path in the tech industry. In addition to pursuing a master’s degree, she also donates her time to her sorority, several nonprofit organizations, and as a public speaker to empower underrepresented students to pursue professional opportunities in STEM and business.
We talked with Lewis about her experience in the Master’s in Management program and her plans for the future as she “crosses the finish line” in May.
Why did you choose to pursue your Master’s in Management degree at Georgetown McDonough?
I chose to pursue a Master’s in Management (MiM) degree at Georgetown McDonough primarily because I wanted to supplement the incredible education I received at my Historically Black College and University (HBCU), Spelman College.
While at Spelman, I studied sociology, and afterward, I briefly worked at a tech company in Dallas. After working full-time for about a year or so, I recognized I wanted to make a career transition that a sociology degree couldn’t facilitate on its own.
One of the things I love about the MiM program is that it’s catered toward recent grads from any discipline. I felt confident that the program would provide the foundational business and technical skills I needed to increase my capacity for innovation and transform the way I approached my career. This, coupled with Georgetown’s centrality to one of the most influential cities in the world, was also a huge plus.
What are your career goals? How has your experience at McDonough helped you achieve your professional goals?
Going into the MiM program, I don’t think I quite understood the magnitude my experience at McDonough would have on my professional goals. The great thing about participating in an accelerated master’s is that I’ve had the opportunity to complete classes in various subject areas, expand my skill set, and pursue career paths I hadn’t previously considered. Following my graduation in May, I want to continue my track record in the tech industry by transitioning into project management or client success.
Are there any professors or mentors in the McDonough community that have made an impact on your experience at Georgetown?
All of the faculty here at Georgetown McDonough have been nothing short of amazing. Progressing from a social science background into an intensive graduate-level business course load on top of balancing the job search and life outside of school was challenging.
Our program leadership always describes the MiM program as a “sprint.” My ability to run the race has strongly been influenced by professors making themselves available after class, answering questions during office hours, and cheering us on to the finish line. They genuinely want to see all of us do well, both at Georgetown and in our post-grad endeavors.
Outside of your academics and career, are you involved in any extracurricular activities?
Outside of my academic and career endeavors, I’m a proud member of the first Black Greek letter sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. In addition, I actively partner with billionaire Robert Smith’s nonprofits, the Fund II Foundation and internX, where I deliver keynote addresses centered on empowering underrepresented students to pursue professional opportunities in STEM and business.
What is one of the most important lessons you have learned while at Georgetown?
One of the most important lessons I’ve learned throughout my time at Georgetown is to reconceptualize my comfort zone as an area for growth and improvement. Stepping foot on the Hilltop after coming from a small women’s college of approximately 2,000 students was a massive upheaval in terms of what I knew as “normal.”
Since starting the program, I’ve grown in ways I didn’t think were possible, whether it was through interacting with people in my MiM cohort, putting myself out there for opportunities, or participating in a consulting project through Global Business Experience.
If someone were to tell me a year ago that I would be doing the things I’m doing present-day, I’d be shocked but immensely proud of myself at the same time. I believe most of that can be attributed to the culture that Georgetown McDonough fosters; it’s meant to stretch yourself, serve as a safe space to make mistakes, and encourage you all at the same time.