Summer Spotlight: Robby Gerlach (MBA’21)

Robert Gerlach at his PwC internship

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Each year, Georgetown McDonough students spend their summers working with corporate, nonprofit, and government organizations, volunteering, and pursuing their passions. While summer 2020 presented never-before-seen challenges, McDonough students rose above and made the most of an unprecedented summer.

Tell us about your summer.

To begin the summer, I recruited a team of fellow Georgetown MBA students to collaborate as Post-Pandemic Strategy Consultants. The four of us ultimately chose to work with the pizza restaurant chain Sbarro. Over the course of three weeks, we worked with executive leadership to develop a strategy for maintaining revenue growth during the shutdown. After this engagement, I proceeded to work with PwC’s Advisory group where I focused on risk and regulatory matters for large financial institutions. I had the opportunity to work closely with clients from a remote setting and help PwC craft a point of view for new business development. 

How did your internship relate to your professional or personal interests or aspirations?

My background is in bank liquidity regulatory matters, and I ultimately chose Georgetown because it sits at the intersection of government policy and corporate strategy. I specifically pursued this PwC consulting internship opportunity because it also aligned with my interest in regulatory policy and strategy. 

How did you find this internship? 

I learned about this internship through Georgetown’s Career Office and became more interested in it after attending the PwC informational and networking events throughout last fall. 

What was the most interesting or impactful thing you worked on?

I had the chance to create a deck for new consulting work related to the impacts of COVID-19 on financial institutions and how they must adapt. Toward the end of the internship, another intern and I presented the materials to a group of PwC partners.

How was internship adjusted because of coronavirus?

The internship was shortened by three weeks and was moved to a virtual setting. I was able to serve as a Post-Pandemic Strategy Consultant with the additional time so it all worked out in the end. 

What did a typical day look like?

A typical day started with an internal standup call that served as a checkpoint for the engagement. Some days would have client meetings, but most of my time was spent preparing client materials and working on other PwC initiatives. At the beginning of the internship I spent a significant amount of time networking, which led to many opportunities for work outside of the project that I was initially staffed on. 

Any advice for other students?

Use the Career Office as early and often as possible. The Career Office Team helped me refine my story and deliver it well to the hiring managers. Once the internship begins, start by networking as much as possible during the first week and you will have ample opportunities to prove yourself.