MiM Builds Virtual Community Prior to Program Start

Evelyn Williams

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In an effort to build the tremendous sense of community traditionally found at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business, the Master’s in Management (MiM) program created summer-long opportunities for incoming students to connect with faculty, staff, and one another before the official start of the program this fall.

“In these challenging times, it was important to us to make sure our students felt the warmth of the Georgetown McDonough community even though they were beginning our program virtually,” said Evelyn Williams, teaching professor of management and academic director of the program. “By exploring new ways to build our community, we launched our first module perhaps more connected than we would have been in a normal year.”

Starting in July, Williams and others offered numerous opportunities for the students to engage with the program in the areas of life sessions, reflections, and career preparation. In the four McDonough Life Sessions series, students heard from staff from throughout Georgetown to explore relocating to Washington, D.C., connecting with alumni, and practicing meditation before closing out with an open forum for questions. In the five Thursday Reflections sessions, Williams reviewed topics such as goal setting, gritty thinking, building resilient connections, staying energized and motivated, and time management. 

Dottie Ochoa (MiM’21) welcomed the ability to connect with her future classmates in advance, who she describes as “a young, diverse, energetic group of students who are interested to learn best business practices and how they can bring them into their future careers.” 

Concurrently, the MiM Career Center offered programming, including a six-week Consulting Bootcamp, case interview preparation, career coaching conversations, resume reviews, and using LinkedIn in the job search. School-wide, McDonough Career Services office organized a week-long Virtual Career Summit to help all students navigate virtual recruiting. 

Throughout the summer, Brian Cain, director of student services for MiM, met with nearly every student one-on-one to engage in conversations about their experiences and backgrounds. 

“These interactions provided me an opportunity to gain insights into each student’s personality and talents — things you have to meet someone to know,” he said. “It helped me tremendously in organizing their student teams in a way that sets each student up for success. And, I believe having this access to our program enabled each student to ask specific questions about the program as they prepared to begin.” 

He added that this level of personal and academic interaction was so much more important during the pandemic, and the value it created for the community has caused the MiM program to reflect on how to make these innovations a permanent part of the program moving forward. 

“I have truly appreciated the availability the program has provided,” Ochoa said. “It is comforting knowing I can pick up the phone and reach Brian for any program questions or concerns. It gives you peace of mind as a student to know you have someone on your team. The MiM program has so far been fast-paced, fun, and challenging.”