Just a decade ago, the first cohort of MBA Evening Program students set foot on campus to begin their studies at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business. These pioneering students would spend the next three years working with faculty to shape what has become one of the top MBAs in the country for working professionals.

In February, alumni, students, faculty, and staff gathered in the Hariri Building to celebrate the milestone in the program’s history, as well as the recent ranking by Bloomberg Businessweek naming Georgetown’s MBA Evening Program 4th in the nation and 1st in the region.

During the celebration, Prashant Malaviya, senior associate dean for MBA programs, shared what he feels are the most important factors leading to the program’s success – the faculty who set out to create a part-time program that could compete on a national level with other full-time programs, the alumni who helped shape the program and demonstrated its powerful impact on their careers, and the vibrancy, camaraderie, and electricity in the classroom experience not often found in other MBAs that draws from Washington, D.C.’s already well-educated population.

“At the heart of our success is that the MBA Evening Program was launched with a bold promise that our evening students would receive the exact same education as our full-time students,” Malaviya said. “We cut no corners in the curriculum, in the quality of your professors, or in your overall curricular or extracurricular experience – our MBA Evening Program students have exactly the same resources as our full-time students do. This is a promise we take very seriously and one many other business schools are unable to offer.”

Paul Randazzo, one of three members of the inaugural class of 2008 in attendance, reflected on the impact of this promise made by the program’s founders.  

“It is interesting that we were able to help shape the program,” he said. “We were given access to the same curriculum and professors – and that was important to us. That was the primary reason why most of us jumped at the opportunity. It’s no surprise the program has made leaps and bounds in the quality of students and in the rankings.”

Another member of the first class, Elizabeth Stanko, shared how she misses the conversations, camaraderie, and experiences she had as a student. But, she says, the alumni network she helped develop has been invaluable.

“I remember going to full-time program activities and reaching out to everyone to create the network that we all wanted,” she said. “To see the network we have built, not just within the Evening Program but with the Full-time MBA and Executive MBA, has been tremendous.”

During the event, David A. Thomas, dean of the McDonough School of Business, shared that he is proud to witness the vibrancy of student life within the Evening Program. This sentiment was echoed by class of 2008 member Mark Wooters.

“Listening to the dean’s comments tonight, the themes of friendship and a common mission of the school were evident from the very beginning,” he said. “It is what keeps us coming back and wanting to be part of this community.”

Dean Thomas also offered a toast during the event: “Tonight we celebrate the success of our MBA Evening Program during this 10th anniversary of its founding. I would like to toast to another 10 years in which we continue to challenge ourselves, to pursue excellence as a school, and strengthen our mission to develop and educate globally minded, principled leaders to be in service to business and society.”

The MBA program also announced that the school will be growing the size of the MBA Program this year and that it has launched a new program for alumni, students, faculty, or staff to recommend prospective students to Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business. The Refer-a-Hoya Program asks the Georgetown MBA network to help the school recruit even stronger classes for both the full-time and evening programs. Referred prospective students who have not yet applied will receive an informal interview, a reduction in the application fee, and priority interview consideration. Recommended applicants who already have applied will receive priority interview consideration.