MBA Students Maintain Strong Sense of Community Through Virtual Socialization
For MBAs at Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business, the community and network they build is a crucial part of their student experience. To maintain a sense of community during the COVID-19 pandemic, MBA students have migrated many social activities that are hallmarks of their Georgetown experience to the online environment through Zoom and other platforms.
The annual McDonough Cup, a month-long competition between the MBA classes in events like a scavenger hunt and field games, has been moved online and renamed McDonough Month. Each week in April features a different theme: Wellness Week, Creativity Week, and Game Week.
During Wellness Week, for example, students participated in a yoga session over Zoom, discussed ideas for going outdoors to keep healthy, and found resources to keep their mind and body strong. Every week ends with Community Friday, where MBA students continue their commitment to community service by highlighting ways Hoyas can make a virtual impact.
“McDonough’s biggest strength is its sense of community, and that has never been more apparent than in this time of uncertainty,” said McLain Gore (MBA ‘21), vice president of social for the MBA program’s Student Government Association.
In addition to McDonough Month, many of the weekly social events at Georgetown McDonough have been moved online. KEGS, a weekly beer and wine social mixer, has been moved online and takes advantage of the platform’s breakout rooms, where hosts can organize students into smaller groups.
“I’ve barely felt any sense of disconnection thanks to all the hard work by everyone in our community. Half the battle is setting the events up, but the other half is the buy-in from the community. So many of these events would fall flat if participation was low, but that has rarely been an issue,” Gore said.
MBA student Sandy Stewart (MBA’21) said the ease of access to online events has actually allowed her to become more social.
“I can go to more events than before because I don’t have to worry about transportation or money — or wearing something other than pajama bottoms. Before I started joining the Zoom social events, every day was the same and I expected the following day to be just as dull. Now my friends and I say things like ‘I’m so excited for tomorrow!’” Stewart said.
In addition, MBA students can compete in weekly team trivia nights, daily happy hours, and online board and card games.
“Everyone has proven eager to keep the community alive and I don’t doubt that that commitment has proven to be a pillar of support for many struggling to get through these tumultuous circumstances,” Gore said.