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Real Humans of Georgetown McDonough’s MBA Class of 2022

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Ronald Guillen, Georgetown McDonough MBA Class of 2022

Age: 29
Hometown: San Jose, Costa Rica
Undergraduate Institution and Major: The Pennsylvania State University, B.S. Mechanical Engineering.
Pre-MBA Work Experience (years, industry): Worked four years at Jacobs Engineering located in Austin, Texas as part of their Energy & Power (E&P) Division designing infrastructural E&P systems for data centers around the globe.

Why business school? Why now?
After practicing mechanical engineering for several years, I decided to pursue an MBA on a full-time basis in order to supplement my career and have important cross-functional knowledge. Timing was an issue to consider since it is best to start an MBA with a few years of experience under your belt.

Why Georgetown McDonough? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
The location was a major selling point! Washington DC offers not only a tremendously diverse community but also an enticing academic ambiance with well-prepared individuals from a wide array of career paths. Georgetown’s Jesuit origins and Cura Personalis (“care of the whole person”) approach to education perfectly merges values I hold close to my heart – diversity, inclusivity, and a safe academic environment in which all students feel encouraged to exchange ideas and grow together as a community. Put simply, my choice in Georgetown was crystal clear.

What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to the Class of 2022?
A valuable trait I bring to the table is the fact that I am a Third Culture Kid (TCK) – I am very open-minded and inquisitive in nature. I find enormous pleasure in meeting new people with different opinions and life experiences. Additionally, I thoroughly enjoy connecting with people in both professional and personal settings. This might be viewed as idealistic, but I genuinely believe everyone is interesting with valuable stories to tell and that no one is a “potato without salt”.

Fun fact that did not get included on your application?
I completed an Olympic bobsled half-course at a Winter Olympics training facility used by the US Team.

Post-MBA career interests?
Anything that has to do with financial strategy in tech, consulting, operations, or manufacturing addressing sustainability and climate change.

Advice to current prospective applicants:
–One thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process?
Take your time while writing your college essay as it is an iterative process. One thing that helped me was keeping a notepad close by for jotting down sporadic ideas that could help construct my story.

–One thing you would change or do differently?
Get personal feedback (strengths/weaknesses) from a wide array of people both in my professional and personal spheres.

–Part you would have skipped if you could – and what helped you get through it?
Specifically, the verbal portion of the GRE/GMAT exams as it felt like I was learning a new language, perhaps a course in Latin! A tactic that helped me immensely was taking it step-by-step and learning a word daily; mnemonics were tremendously helpful as well.

What is your initial impression of Georgetown McDonough’s student/culture/community?
Honestly, I was very nervous going into a virtual setting mostly because I had never experienced this format before. Having experienced it now and all the associated challenges that come with, I can confidently say that there is no better group of people like Georgetown students to navigate such uncharted waters. The level of comradery and understanding is heartwarming and has turned this chapter into a positive one.

Thing you are most anxious about in your first year?
The idea that I had never taken any business classes at an MBA level before and coming from an entirely different career path made me initially quite nervous! Luckily, Georgetown has a supportive community and great professors that help you not only understand the material well but also appreciate the power behind it.

Thing you are most excited about in your first year?
Meet new people of course! The MBA experience is short and one that I intend to make the best out of it by fully immersing in Georgetown’s diverse community.

Christina Griffith
Christina Griffith is a writer and editor based in Philadelphia. She specializes in covering education, science, and history, and has experience in research and interviews, magazine content, and web content writing.