Undergraduates Receive Business, Leadership Opportunities through BUILD Pre-orientation Program

Build Students gather at MSB

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A group of 34 first-year students got a head start on their business education this summer as part of the Business Undergraduates Invested in Leadership Development program, or BUILD, at Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business. 

BUILD was started in 2013 as pre-orientation program for incoming McDonough undergraduates from diverse communities. The one-week program helps new students transition into their time at Georgetown while presenting them with an intensive business and leadership development curriculum. It is one of many pre-orientation programs at Georgetown that allow incoming students to connect with others and learn about a specialized topic. 

The program includes instruction from McDonough faculty in various areas of business, career development lessons, mentorship activities with upper-level BUILD peers, visits to well-known organizations like Google and Deloitte, and lectures from top corporate leaders. 

Bryce Badger (B’21) participated in BUILD as a first-year student and now acts as a coordinator for the program. 

“BUILD made the Hilltop authentic for me,” Badger said. “One thing that plagues a lot of students when they come to Georgetown is they overcommit to things they don’t actually want to be involved in because they’re looking for some form of community. BUILD prepped me by giving me my own community before this pressure kicked in.”

Jeremiah Hakimian (B’23) experienced BUILD for himself this summer and appreciated the combination of academic and real-world preparation.

“Professor Cypher told us to prioritize networking over anything else…[he said that] the connections you make will shape where you go and where you’re headed. It was a great mix of life lessons and business lessons,” Hakimian said about conversations with Matthew L. Cypher, Atara Professor of Real Estate and director of the Steers Center for Global Real Estate. 

“It was a lot more transformative than I expected,” he said, adding that he subsequently enrolled in Cypher’s First Year Seminar and that he met many of his closest friends in the program. 

Hakimian encouraged future students to take advantage of the opportunities offered by BUILD and the variety of memories it creates for those new to Georgetown. 

“BUILD is extremely special and really different from the other pre-orientation programs at Georgetown,” he said. “While other pre-orientation programs are more like an introduction to Georgetown, BUILD is an introduction to the real business world.”