Paul Quildies (MBA’23) on Leveraging Community to Achieve Your Goals
As the spring semester comes to a close, Georgetown McDonough is pleased to commemorate the accomplishments of the Class of 2023. This year’s graduating class demonstrated immense commitment, discipline, and determination to reach this milestone, and we are proud to recognize their achievements as they embark on their next chapter as Hoya alumni. To celebrate, we’re spotlighting several exceptional students in the Class of 2023 as they share their personal stories, reflect on their time on the Hilltop, and preview what the future holds after commencement.
Paul Quildies (MBA’23) has always known that it takes a village to reach your goals, and during his time at Georgetown, he’s seen firsthand the importance of building community and learning from others.
Here, Quildies reflects on his most treasured moments at Georgetown and shares his advice for the next cohort of MBA students at McDonough.
What is your favorite memory or proudest moment from your time at Georgetown?
My proudest moment was receiving a full-time job offer, not just because of the accomplishment itself but also because of the opportunity to share the news with so many people at Georgetown who supported me throughout the process. It takes a village to succeed in the recruitment process, and the sense of community and support among students, faculty, and staff at Georgetown is truly exceptional. I was thrilled to be able to call the second-year students who spent countless hours helping me prepare for interviews, classmates with whom I practiced endless cases and mock interviews, and professors and career coaches who gave me invaluable advice.
How do you plan to apply the skills you have learned at Georgetown in the next phase of your career?
I would say that keeping the big picture in mind will be crucial. Especially at the start of a new career, it can be easy to become consumed with climbing the corporate ladder. During those moments, it will be essential to remind myself of the valuable lessons in strategy, ethics, and decency that I learned throughout my MBA experience.
Additionally, I have developed a ‘can-do’ attitude throughout the MBA program, which I plan to bring to the business world. McDonough provides students with opportunities to step out of their comfort zones and I aim to apply a positive attitude throughout my career.
How did the Global Business Experience (GBE) enhanced your learning beyond the classroom?
It was awesome! Interacting with people who have vastly different backgrounds was enriching, and seeing the world from a completely different viewpoint broadened my horizons significantly. One of the most important lessons I learned throughout the MBA program was prioritizing a great team environment over a specific location or industry, and this lesson came directly from the GBE experience. I had the pleasure of working with fantastic people on both the client and Georgetown side of the project, and it made the experience much more impactful for me.
What is one of the most important lessons you have learned while at Georgetown?
One important lessons I learned is the value of having an exceptional team. Working alongside kind, intelligent, and motivated people surpasses the allure of a flashy industry, working on the latest trends, or earning the highest salary. I believe that true growth, both personally and professionally, comes from overcoming obstacles, and during challenging times, working collaboratively with a great team can make all the difference. It’s crucial to strive to work for and with remarkable people.
Another important takeaway is that a robust set of moral principles and business ethics creates genuine value. The Georgetown MBA program does an excellent job of contextualizing ethical behavior within the realm of business and promoting an understanding of the consequences of unethical actions. I firmly believe that an organization cannot achieve long-term success if it lacks a foundation of clear ethical principles.
Is there a particular person in the Georgetown community that has been instrumental to your success?
There are too many individuals to name, honestly. The sense of community at Georgetown is one of the program’s biggest strengths, which also means that there are numerous people I need to thank for their support. I would say that the majority of people who truly helped me succeed were other students. For instance, second-year students in the Georgetown Consulting Club volunteered endless amounts of time to run through case prep with me, and my friends have pushed me to become a better person by demonstrating excellence and tenacity.
What are your post-graduate plans?
I am going to work for a strategy consulting firm in Washington, D.C.
What advice would you give to the next class of Georgetown students?
Adopt a ‘pay-it-forward’ mentality. The strength of the Georgetown community depends on the willingness of its members to contribute. Stay engaged, accept new challenges, and support those around you whenever possible. It may be tempting to kick back and relax once you’ve secured a job offer, but the MBA program will fly by, and you’ll regret the opportunities you missed more than the ones you pursued. Additionally, surround yourself with exceptional people. I believe that I am the sum of the people I surround myself with and having so many exceptional people at Georgetown has motivated me to constantly improve myself.