McDonough School of Business
Social Impact Consulting Projects (SCIP)
News Story

Undergraduates Present Real Business Solutions to D.C. Nonprofit ‘Bread for the City’

As part of the First Year Seminar Program’s Social Impact Consulting Projects (SCIP), undergraduate students at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business worked with the local nonprofit Bread for the City to propose solutions to real business challenges and present their findings. 

Bread for the City is a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit that offers clothing, food, advocacy, healthcare, legal services, and more to residents with low income to reduce the burden of poverty. McDonough first year students were tasked with enhancing the nonprofit’s visibility, overall impact, and scope in the Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia region. 

After working in teams to complete tangible and comprehensive recommendations to Bread for the City leadership, 13 students presented their findings to a panel of judges with expertise across areas of innovation, strategy, and social responsibility. Among the judges were Mahogany Thomas, chief program officer, and Stacey Johnson, senior special projects manager of Bread for the City.

“I was pleasantly surprised by the dedication and passion that the first year students from Georgetown exhibited throughout the process,” said Thomas. “Their research was thorough, they put their best foot forward, and they presented completely fresh perspectives.”

The consulting projects, which are led by Professor of Management Robert Bies pull on Georgetown’s Jesuit values to provide an in-depth look at the role business leaders play in the social and economic welfare of local communities. Bies explained the significance of the SICP for the students, and Bread for the City, as they strive to provide better access to highly desired services in D.C. and beyond.

“Our first year students had the opportunity to see what social justice in action looks like, as Bread for the City aligns with our Jesuit values. Moreover, working with Bread for the City is truly an example of our D.C. advantage.” 

After seeing the SICP firsthand, Bread for the City leadership highlighted the students’ sincere commitment to contributing to the organization’s mission and dedication to creating meaningful impact. During the presentation, students shared similar key takeaways with Bread for the City, which included the need to enhance the nonprofit’s social presence. For example, the student groups recommended strategies to make Bread for the City’s programming, such as its medical services, more widely known online. 

“The students recommended strategies to improve organizational visibility, emphasizing the importance of branding and expanding outreach to broader communities,” Johnson said. “The recommendations presented by students revolved around technological advancements, particularly leveraging voice AI to enhance the organization’s capabilities. Additionally, the students’ proposals were deeply rooted in Bread for the City’s mission of caring for neighbors and communities.” 

Reflecting on her judging experience, Thomas said “the winning team stood out for their clarity in their strategies, attention to detail, strategic thinking, and well-defined plans.” 

Piper Frankiewicz (B’27), one of the winners of this year’s SICP with Bread for the City, shared her key takeaways from the experience and the importance of working together as a team to achieve optimal results.

“When I was assigned to my team, I barely knew anyone,” said Frankiewicz. “It took us time to get to know each other, but then we hit it off. We ended up working extremely well together, and this experience has taught me to never walk in with preconceived notions.”

Other students said that taking the time to reflect on and revise their presentations and recommendations was paramount to their success and ability to learn from the experience.

“Collaboration and effective communication are very important,” said Nyla Campbell (B’27), a member of the first runner-up winning team. “Another big takeaway was the reflection piece. We often had to revisit and become self-aware of the things that were and were not working so that we could change and revise aspects of our presentation. I’d say we were humbled, but in the best ways possible.”

Students in the winning group said they are proud of the strategic contributions they are making to Bread for the City and hope their SICP creates positive change. 

“It was rewarding to know that all of the hours we had put into the project were worth every second and that Bread for the City found our ideas valuable,” said Frankiewicz. “As the project progressed, it became increasingly important to me, and my team, to make the most out of our time. Overall, this mindset made the journey even more satisfying for us all.”

Read about previous Social Impact Consulting Projects at Georgetown McDonough.

Undergraduate Program