Kilandra Bass (MBA’24) on Cultivating an Inclusive Community and Increasing Representation of Black Students at Georgetown
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.
As co-president of the Black MBA Association (BMBAA) at Georgetown McDonough, Kilandra Bass (MBA’24) is passionate about building community with her peers; growing her professional and personal networks through service-oriented work; traveling alongside fellow MBA students, and creating an inclusive environment that represents people of all different backgrounds, identities, and interests.
This Black History Month, Bass explains some of her favorite moments, traditions, and experiences as a McDonough MBA student and how she hopes students in the program will continue to engage with the BMBAA’s mission-oriented and values-based work both on and off campus.
What has your experience as a first year MBA student been like so far?
It’s been very exciting! I have really enjoyed connecting with so many new people in the program and expanding my network has been important to me since arriving on campus as an MBA student. Additionally, I love the global aspect of Georgetown and it’s been great having the chance to experience different cultures and see different parts of the world with my classmates. This past fall, I went on an ITrek to Ghana and had the opportunity to connect with other members of my cohort, along with second-year MBA students, volunteer at Ghana University, and learn more about emerging markets in the continent.
What were some of your main takeaways during your time in Ghana, and how have they impacted you today?
The trip overall broadened my horizons. I learned so much about new opportunities related to how I can invest in the continent and what different industries are working on. For example, fintech is really big in Ghana at the moment. In the United States, we have so many things like Venmo and other cash apps, whereas over there it’s not as simple. There are a lot of regulations on the continent and there are people doing important work to make the transfer of money easier and more efficient.
What is the BMBAA and why did you want to get involved?
The BMBAA aims to increase the representation of Black students at McDonough, as well as in the greater Georgetown community, and essentially, we share the common goal of enriching the McDonough experience because diversity is so important in the business world. In terms of my desire to get involved, I would say it’s an organization that is true to my values. I am someone who wants to build community and I think it’s important to lift as you climb.
What are some ways McDonough students can participate in upcoming BMBAA events or meetings?
We are planning on having bi-weekly meetings, and then on top of that, we will host official BMBAA events at least once a month. At a minimum, we will have four events each semester and two of those will be service-oriented. For example, last year the organization volunteered at a local garden in a D.C. community center – that’s something that we might continue to do. We also are always looking to hear from students if they have any references on certain community centers that we should be reaching out to, local food drives we should be aware of, or if there are any other organizations that could benefit from our involvement. That’s essentially what Black History Month is all about: learning about our history, but also, paving the way for the next generation.
How can Georgetown students and the greater Washington, D.C., community commemorate Black History Month?
I would say to be curious and ask questions. Come talk to someone on the BMBAA board and see how you can get involved in the organization. If you are interested in certain events or have ideas of your own to share, please let us know. We want McDonough students to be excited about the work we’re doing and want people to participate.