McDonough School of Business
News Story

MBA Program Selects Class of 2021 Leadership Fellows

The MBA Program has chosen its 2021 Leadership Fellows in a highly competitive application process. The fellows will participate in a three-course experiential coaching program for the spring semester, working alongside expert faculty like Evelyn Williams, teaching professor of Management at Georgetown McDonough, to shape, develop, and mentor first-year students. 

Fellows will be taught in three courses: 

  1. Leadership Communications
  2. Coaching High Performance Teams and Individuals
  3. Advanced Coaching

When considering applicants, in addition to strong interpersonal and communication skills, a great emphasis is placed on those who want to coach and develop others. Due to the large service component involved in this leadership role, the program looks for students who are committed to their own leadership development, as well as building a feedback-rich, inclusive laboratory for others.  

“This year’s class is a standout for stepping forward during a pandemic to help develop the first-year class,” said Williams. “We always talk about how impressive our learning community is here at McDonough, and these students set the standard for giving something back to their fellow students.” 

Given the highly experiential nature of the program, the transition into online learning has occurred seamlessly — with faculty ensuring to blend focused exercises with time for team connection and culture development.

The Leadership Fellows specifically work to coach students through the required Leadership Communications course, which culminates in the Executive Challenge — a daylong competition where student teams role play live cases with alumni judges as their final exam. Leadership Fellows help create a tailored, customized small-group learning experience for all first-year, Full-time MBA students — and most students state during their internships that the leadership and communication skills they learned in Leadership Communications have given them a clear competitive edge over their counterparts from other schools.

“Helping first-year students grow as leaders and impactful communicators will not only be a personally rewarding experience, but also an invaluable professional experience as I start the next phase of my career in consulting upon graduation,” said Trey Lauletta (MBA’21), one of the selected fellows.

Through the fellows’ collective coaching efforts, the program sees first-year students challenged in every class and even more prepared to tackle their internships in the summer months.  

“A large part of management includes the ability to not only communicate effectively, but interact well with others,” said Catherine D’Ascoli (MBA’21). “There is only so much you can learn by studying concepts, so I’m looking forward to the experiential learning aspect of the Leadership Fellows program where we will immediately apply advanced coaching techniques with our squads of first years to help them embrace feedback, grow as stronger communicators, and be more confident as they prepare for their summer internships and post-MBA life.”

According to Kerry Pace, associate dean of MBA programs, the Leadership Fellows program has a far-reaching effect on the MBA program.

“These student leaders become a part of an enduring legacy program at McDonough — one which denotes service to creating a feedback-rich learning community that challenges all our students to become impactful leadership communicators,” she said. “We look forward to witnessing all the incredible work that occurs over the next few months and the positive impact the Leadership Fellows will have on our community.”