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ROI of the Georgetown University MS-ESM Program

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The Georgetown University Master of Science in Environment and Sustainability Management (MS-ESM) is a transformative program that merges scientific expertise with business acumen, empowering individuals to tackle pressing environmental challenges and contribute to a more sustainable future within diverse organizational settings.

Developed collaboratively by the Earth Commons Institute, the McDonough School of Business, and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the MS-ESM program recognizes the pivotal roles of both scientific understanding and business principles in advancing sustainability goals worldwide.

In this article, we hear from two MS-ESM alumni who are now making waves in the realm of environment and sustainability. Through their narratives, we uncover the unique facets of the program, its interdisciplinary approach, and the impact it has had on shaping their careers as principled leaders in this critical field.

Read on to learn how Georgetown’s MS-ESM program equips aspiring environmental champions with the knowledge, skills, and networks needed to effect positive change and create a more sustainable world.

Daniel Haghjou, Georgetown McDonough MS-ESM Class of 2023

Age: 25
Hometown: Germantown, Maryland
Undergraduate Institution and Major
: Texas State University- BS in Health Science/Biology
Graduate Business School, Graduation Year and Concentration: Georgetown MS-ESM, Class of 2023 (first cohort)

Pre-MS-ESM Work Experience: In undergrad, I worked in the medical field. From being a medical scribe in the ER during the COVID crisis to working as a surgery assistant for a urology surgeon. During MS-ESM I worked as an operations supervisor at DC Bouldering Project (a climbing gym) 
Post- MS-ESM Work Experience:
I work as a sustainability planner for Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW)

Why did you choose to attend Georgetown University? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
It had always been a dream of mine to attend Georgetown University. I remember being a little kid and running around the campus, I was absolutely fascinated by the campus, and told myself that one day I would be a student. For grad school, it came down to accepting my Georgetown offer or Johns Hopkins offer. I decided to go with Georgetown not only to quell my childhood dreams, but also because I was interested in the cross-section of environmental science and business, as well as being able to be part of the first cohort.  

Please elaborate on your current professional role. What about your MS-ESM experience prepared you for it?
I thoroughly enjoyed the cross-coordination of the curriculum. It was very evident that the professors had gotten together to fully integrate and plan out their lessons so that there would be beneficial overlap. As a science nerd, I enjoyed the environmental science classes the most, but I found myself particularly engaged in the business courses taught by professor Agrawal, as this was a whole new landscape to me that was incredibly mind-opening.

The career talks were most beneficial to me, with professionals in their given industries coming to discuss what they do and how they got there. The ability to be there in person with them, and pick their brain of useful real-life information was very influential to my growth in my professional life.

Career Services
Georgetown’s career services provided some good tools to shape up my resume.

MS-ESM Alumni
I am still friends with most of my fellow peers from the program, and each and every one of them is open to connecting and helping each other out in any way possible.

Why did you choose your current company? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to work?
I applied to quite a number of jobs across the nation. I had some offers that were financially appealing but were not in an ideal location. Some opportunities were in a place I could thrive with a great company but pay was less than ideal. It took time, but finding a good middle ground on ideal place, ideal pay, and ideal organization is what set WDFW apart. Additionally, I could tell in the interview process, that they were not solely looking to fill a role or check a box. They truly care about the environment and had very ambitious plans that excited me to join them.

Advice for prospective applicants: What is one thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process to the MS-ESM program?
For applicants, be true to yourself. You might think that your experience or background won’t line up perfectly, but the program is not looking for a perfect fit. MS-ESM truly seeks a truly diverse applicant group with people from many different backgrounds and fields.

What do you think has been the ROI of the MS-ESM program, for you? 
The connections I have made through the program have been most valuable to me personally. Not only with fellow cohort members and professors, but also guest speakers and professionals in my sector that have been made through my time at Georgetown University.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Study hard but don’t forget to have fun!

Lauren Wakal
Lauren Wakal has been covering the MBA admissions space for more than a decade, from in-depth business school profiles to weekly breaking news and more.