Mika Rhabb (EMBA’24) on Georgetown’s Embodiment of Cura Personalis
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.
Mika Rhabb (EMBA’24) is a senior embryologist at Shady Grove Fertility, one of the nation’s leading reproductive science healthcare centers, with over eight years of experience in human oocyte and embryo handling.
Last year, she decided to pursue an Executive MBA (EMBA) at Georgetown McDonough to grow her leadership skills and gain the business principles necessary to advance her career.
This Black History Month, Rhabb discusses her experience as an EMBA student, how she embodies Georgetown’s core values, her career goals, and the ways she and her family celebrate their Black culture and identity.
What has your experience as a Georgetown EMBA student been like?
I decided to begin my journey to obtain an EMBA degree at Georgetown McDonough early last year. I knew the degree would provide me with the opportunity to grow and develop my leadership skills and learn business principles that would allow me to advance my career. While there were many universities to consider during my search, Georgetown was my top choice.
My experience as an EMBA student has been remarkable. Since the beginning of my application process, the admissions team made themselves available to me and swiftly responded to all of my questions with kindness and concern. Ever since I received my acceptance letter, Georgetown has made every effort to show me that I was meant to be a Hoya. Georgetown truly embodies the true meaning of cura personalis, or care for the whole person. When I started the EMBA program with my cohort, I was amazed to experience and witness how Georgetown as a community is a place that nourishes the entirety of a person. The faculty, fellow classmates, and opportunities at Georgetown guide you along the way to grow into your better self.
Every student in my EMBA cohort was meticulously selected to represent diversity in culture, ethnicity, gender, profession, and thought. We learn from, lean on, and continually push one another in academic and personal settings. The core curriculum is rigorous and exciting, helping me continuously learn new business management concepts and develop different perspectives on thinking about all situations.
Georgetown also provides executive coaching to guide students through their professional journey, bringing in prominent speakers to campus; exposing EMBA students to the real-life applicability of the concepts they learn in the classroom. Georgetown also provides access to recruiters and a global network that ensures success on many fronts. Although my journey as an EMBA student has just begun, I am excited for the rest of my time on campus and all of the opportunities I will encounter post-graduation.
What have been some of the program’s highlights, and how have they impacted your post-graduate career goals?
The highlight that stood out to me the most during the program was our opening residency. Our cohort was separated into eight groups and tasked with consulting for eight telecommunication companies. With minimal business acumen and knowledge of business concepts, I remember thinking, “What on earth did I get myself into?” My undergraduate major in communications prepared me for public speaking; however, I usually understood what I would be speaking on.
During the opening residency, we had one week to learn everything we could about the telecommunications industry, the companies we were assigned to, their operating styles, and the strengths of our teammates. Then, we had to deliver a proposal presentation to a board of executives from the companies we were assigned to. This exercise has been instrumental in my experience as an EMBA student. Not only did it expose me to what I did not know about business management and my weaknesses, but it also fortified my relationships with my teammates and cohort.
My teammates brought out the best in one another. We stayed up all night researching, practicing, perfecting our speeches, enjoying laughs, and cherishing bonding moments as a cohort. Moreover, we learned how to operate effectively as a team, taking the experience we gained and the camaraderie we built during the exercise into all of our subsequent classes.
Within a short amount of time, Georgetown has helped me prove to myself that I could overcome whatever obstacles that might come my way. The experience also taught me how teamwork is precious and that there will be endless opportunities post-graduation. After only one week, my team and I learned much about the telecommunications industry, expanding our knowledge base. In addition, I learned that by leaning on my network, I could accomplish more than I thought was possible.
In what ways are you personally recognizing or celebrating Black History Month this year?
My family chooses to celebrate Black history throughout the entire year by supporting Black-owned businesses, supporting Black culture and creativity, and continuing to learn about Black figures and their contributions to the United States. However, this year, the theme of Black History Month is ‘Black Resistance.’ To commemorate this theme, I am consciously choosing to celebrate “Black joy” like many other members of my community. For me, it is an effort to embrace my true self and to choose to be joyful while encouraging others to do the same. According to Kleaver Cruz, “Black joy” is a form of resistance and an ancestral responsibility. I believe it is imperative to honor my ancestors by being thankful and joyful for paving the way for me today.
How can Georgetown students and the greater Washington, D.C. community commemorate Black History Month?
There are so many ways to commemorate Black History Month. One way is to educate oneself about the contributions of Black Americans to our historical landscape. It is also important to acknowledge, accept, and celebrate diversity through supporting Black-owned businesses, reading books by Black authors, donating to Black organizations and charities, and being true to equality – these are just a few ways to do so.