Q&A: Meet GAMBLE President and Future CEO Aaryn Taft (B’22)
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.
Aaryn Taft (B’22) is committed to creating professional opportunities and pathways for minority students in her time at Georgetown and beyond; and as the current co-president of Georgetown Aspiring Minority Business Leaders & Entrepreneurs (GAMBLE), she is making this mission a reality. We spoke with Taft about her experience at Georgetown, her career goals, and her vision for the future of GAMBLE and the McDonough community.
Why did you choose to pursue your undergraduate degree at Georgetown McDonough?
I chose the McDonough School of Business to pursue my undergraduate degree because I knew that the time and money that my family and I invested in it would pay off. Honestly, there is a high return on investment.
Are there any professors or mentors in the McDonough community that have made an impact on your experience at Georgetown?
Dean Patricia Grant and Professor George Comer have both been major parts of my support system here at Georgetown. Whether it be a discussion about GAMBLE or my experience as a minority in a predominately white space, they’ve both served as a beam of light in a space that can feel dark and lonely for minorities, and a step beyond that, for minority women.
What are you hoping to accomplish as president of GAMBLE?
I hope to help create a pipeline that starts from middle school – with the help of Georgetown Reach – all the way through their time at Georgetown, their professional careers, and into the GAMBLE alumni network.
Ideally, as president, I would like for minorities interested in business to have a strong foundation and be educated on the opportunities Georgetown offers. This school will never be more diverse if we don’t seek minorities out. Many minority high school students may not even consider Georgetown for their education because frankly, they don’t know about it or it doesn’t look welcoming. It’s expensive, elite, and predominately white, but as a club, it is our duty to make this space more welcoming so that in the future, minorities can take up more space – and when we look around in class, we don’t feel small but instead feel equal.
What are your career goals? How has your experience at McDonough prepared you for your postgraduate career?
I have many career goals and I’m sure they will change as I learn and grow, but one that has remained is my goal to become a chief executive officer (CEO) of a firm. When I first established this goal, it didn’t mean starting my own firm but instead meant running a Fortune 500 firm.
Through my tenure as president for GAMBLE, my interests have shifted slightly. Yes, I still want to be a CEO, but of a firm that resembles the goals of GAMBLE. I would like to be CEO of a firm founded by fellow Georgetown minority business students that can help educate minority undergraduates on professional opportunities since our journeys to post-grad life often differ from those of non POCs.
What is one of the most important lessons you have learned while at Georgetown?
Overall, I’ve learned that everything around us is multifaceted. Nothing is simple. As it relates to business, there is no one solution that solves everything. Two people can have the same problem, but the same solution won’t apply to both of them. Because of this (so many solutions for one problem), business forces you to think outside of the box, which is something I believe I’ve been able to master during my undergraduate career.
Anything else you’d like to share about your story?
If it wasn’t for the movie College Road Trip with Raven Symone, I would have never known about Georgetown.