In our ongoing new series, MBA Admissions Brief, we catch up with leading business schools to bring you their tips about the admissions process and insights into what to expect from their full-time MBA programs. This week, we hear from Shelly Heinrich of Georgetown / McDonough, where she oversees the admissions team’s operational strategy and marketing as Associate Dean of MBA Admissions and Director of Marketing.
Georgetown University is located in Washington, D.C., which means students of the McDonough MBA program can enjoy studying at the intersection of business, government and international relations. Jesuit values also run through the MBA program, which drives its mission to prepare “disciplined and discerning business professionals with a clear sense of purposeful leadership.”
Read on for more about the Georgetown MBA program at the McDonough School of Business and how you can best prepare to apply.
What would you say to someone who’s applying next fall and just getting started in the MBA application process now?
If you are looking to apply next fall and have already started to prepare, you are ahead and will set yourself apart from your peers. By starting this early, you can apply to round one of your preferred schools, which is a smart move. Typically, round one has a lower application volume than round two for many schools so you are able to introduce yourself to your preferred program and show them you’re interested before the large rush in round two. Additionally, applying early in round one gives you the most flexibility and time to improve your application in case you receive a place on the waitlist. At Georgetown, we offer coaching calls for candidates waitlisted in round one who were on the borderline of admission to provide feedback on how the application can be more competitive. If there are things like a standardized test or proof of quant ability that you can improve, then you have a few months to do so before we finalize our class.
What’s the one thing MBA candidates should know about selecting a recommender?
We don’t necessarily care about the title of the recommender. It’s more important that the recommender selected can write in detail about you. We have received recommendations before from very senior level people, CEOs of major companies, Congressional Representatives, etc. and they are generic and short. They don’t hurt your application, but they don’t help it either. We want length and detail that can build your profile and allow us to determine your fit.
What’s your program’s most exciting change, development or event coming up in the year ahead?
Over the last few years, we’ve taken a strong look at our leadership curriculum and optimized it to be more innovative to train leaders for the new world of work, adding programs like the Executive Challenge and Leadership Fellows. This year we also have rethought orientation. What used to be a week of administrative logistics is now an immersive leadership class called Leading Teams for Performance and Impact. It is meant to develop the strong community for which Georgetown’s MBA program is known while also addressing key skills students need to know to thrive as leaders in our program and beyond. Skills like giving and receiving feedback, understanding implicit bias, establishing confidence, and managing your peers in a team. We’re excited about the next evolution of this curriculum.
Of the big trends in business education right now (tech, globalization, analytics), what are you doing or innovating in one (or all) of these spaces?
First, I think the launch of our Flex MBA last summer with the first class to start this fall is very innovative. The Flex MBA is the next evolution of our Evening MBA and we’ve infused flexibility into our curriculum in duration, schedule of classes, and the introduction of hybrid courses. For these hybrid electives, students don’t need to come to campus 100 percent of the time. Some parts of the classes will be virtual, allowing for more work/life flexibility. This addition of technology into the classroom is a fantastic step in the right direction.
We’re also addressing technology trends in our courses, including new electives on FinTech, data science, data visualization, computer programming, and social media marketing. “R” is now the new standard coding language in stats and other courses and all core faculty will include 1-2 sessions/cases on tech topics. We also have our Certificate in Consumer Analytics and Hoyalytics Student Organization in which students can get involved.
What would you like to highlight about your post-MBA career placement success?
This year we’re proud to announce remarkable career stats, setting records for salaries and placements. Georgetown McDonough also received high marks across the board in a new analysis of recruiter responses to the annual Bloomberg Businessweek MBA employer survey, scoring first in the world for having the best-trained graduates in addition to being listed in the top seven of all six categories:
- 1st in the world for having the best-trained graduates,
- 3rd in the world for having the most creative graduates,
- 3rd in the world for showing exceptional entrepreneurial skills,
- 4th in the world for the value of the school’s brand,
- 4th in the world for the school’s reputation for entrepreneurship, and
- 7th in the world for the diversity of the recruitment pool.