Meet the Class of 2022: Lucas Turner-Owens (MBA’22) on Using Educational Experiences to Gain Holistic Business Perspectives
As the spring semester comes to a close, Georgetown McDonough is pleased to commemorate the accomplishments of the Class of 2022. This year’s graduating class demonstrated immense resiliency and determination to reach this milestone, and we are proud to recognize their achievements as they start their next chapter as Hoya alumni. To celebrate, Georgetown McDonough is spotlighting several of the exceptional students in the Class of 2022 as they share their personal stories, reflect on their time on the Hilltop, and preview what’s next after commencement.
Since his first day in the Georgetown MBA program, Lucas Turner-Owens (MBA’22) has been engaged in a wide range of activities to support his professional growth. As a first-year, Turner interned with an alumni-founded venture capital firm, TMV, to support financial mobility for low-to-moderate-income families. This, along with experiences as a Leadership Fellow, as a facilitator for meditations in the business school, and as an engaged Hoya on campus has helped him develop a holistic view of how to apply the skills he’s learned at McDonough in his professional career after graduation.
Turner shared his proudest moments at Georgetown, the people who supported him along the way, and his next steps after crossing the commencement stage on May 20.
What is your favorite memory or proudest moment from your time at Georgetown?
My proudest memory from my time at Georgetown was as a Leadership Fellow. During the adjournment of the Leadership Communication course, I went around the room to complement each first year in my cohort on the progress they had made, and I could tell that this experience truly impacted them and made a difference.
How do you plan to apply the skills you have learned at Georgetown in the next phase of your career?
In my post-grad career in venture capital, I will use such a wide range of skills that I learned at McDonough, from the foundational class in venture capital taught by Professor Gupta, to financial modeling with Professor Comer, to design thinking, sustainable operations, consumer behavior, tech strategy, finance, coaching high-performance teams, and growing entrepreneurial ventures.
What is one of the most important lessons you have learned while at Georgetown?
One of the most important lessons I have learned at Georgetown is how to develop a level of comfort and competence across a wide range of areas. There isn’t one specific business model that made the greatest difference, but instead, it was the ability to build the general confidence and skills to digest and then apply those lessons to a wide range of content. This training has prepared me for a variety of settings like board meetings for portfolio companies of the fund I will be joining, where my core responsibility in the room is to give strategic feedback, make connections, find solutions, and move with awareness of the broader strategies.
Is there a particular person in the Georgetown community that has been instrumental to your success?
Each of my study groups played a large role in my success at Georgetown. I think the kindness and compassion of my fellow first years in those groups is what sticks out the most. A close second is the community of meditators that I joined and eventually co-led as a facilitator in weekly meditation sessions held at the business school.
How has McDonough and the MBA program helped you achieve your professional goals?
I interned from day one at Georgetown with two Hoyas who went to Georgetown for undergrad and who later started a venture capital fund called TMV. I will be joining their venture capital firm after graduation as a principal. Georgetown opened the doors to that relationship that I forged over LinkedIn in the summer before starting the program. The content of the MBA program gave me the breadth of perspective I needed to be a key player on my team. Having worked in economic development, public policy, and lending, I had seen pieces of the broader impact investing landscape, but coming to McDonough and meeting my peers allowed me to see the whole chessboard.
Tell us about your time at TMV? How has your Certificate in Sustainable Business from Georgetown influenced your work?
My time at TMV has been amazing because of the faith they put in me and the responsibility I have been given over time. I led several of the firm’s investments for Fund II – one focused on environmental impact in the built environment and the other focused on financial mobility for low-to-moderate-income families. I have officially joined the board for the second of those two portfolio companies. The level of trust and camaraderie I have felt at TMV has been special, and I feel lucky to be on a team with such strong shared values and to have the opportunity to apprentice under a talented team of general partners and venture partners. My day-to-day experience at TMV included 15 hours a week spent interviewing founders to learn about their business model, market, differentiation, and go-to-market strategies to determine which of the countless companies we heard from should be considered for investment.
Applying my skills from McDonough, I would often have to do detailed scenario analysis to indicate the potential returns we might see if any assumptions were to change in a company’s projections. And because we are an impact-focused firm I also would analyze the social and environmental impact that could come from our investment and the company’s growth. The MBA Certificate for Sustainable Business gave me the skills to assess a business’s scope 1-3 emissions and CSR strategy, and the broader MBA program strengthened my financial analysis and modeling skills allowing me to lead due diligence for several investments.
What advice would you give to the next class of MBA Georgetown students?
My advice to the next class of McDonough students is to find out what you would do for free. What’s the work that you find intrinsically motivating? Or to put it another way, what’s the work that refills your cup while you’re pouring it out? Find that passion and then bring all your skills to bear and never stop learning.