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Change Your Career with the Georgetown McDonough Flex MBA

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The Flex MBA at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business is a catalyst for professionals looking to pivot their careers, offering a comprehensive curriculum and career support tailored to individual goals.

Designed for working professionals, the Flex MBA degree is delivered on a timeline—24 to 60 months— that allows students a seamless balance among school, life, and work. The program is taught by the same faculty, follows the same core MBA courses, and confers the same degree as Georgetown’s full-time MBA. Moreover, the MBA Career Center is there every step of the way for Flex MBA students, providing on-campus recruitment, career conferences and treks, and a career coach tailored toward your career interests. The Flex MBA Class of 2023 reported myriad changes in their careers. Within four months of graduation, 58% had changed company, 92% earned a new job title, 54% held a new function, and 36% worked in a new industry.

In this special feature, two Georgetown McDonough alumni recount their Flex MBA experience and how it empowered their successful transitions into new roles. Tommy Hastings, Flex MBA ’20, credits the McDonough Career Center, student network, and more from the Flex MBA program for his progress from finance to a tech management role. Georgetown McDonough also prepared Ha Young Shin, Flex MBA ’21, to tackle diverse projects in management consulting after four years in higher education/finance. Read on for their stories.

Tommy Hastings, Georgetown McDonough Flex MBA Class of 2020

Age: 37
Hometown: Leavenworth, KS
Undergraduate Institution and Major: United States Naval Academy (USNA), Physics
Pre-MBA Work Experience: Submarine Officer, US Navy, 7 years; Six Sigma Project Manager, TAMKO, 4 years, Manufacturing

Why did you choose Georgetown University? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
I was focused on a career switch with my MBA. I chose Georgetown University because I needed an MBA program that would provide a strong academic environment while also providing post-MBA career support. Touring the campus and sitting in on classes confirmed that McDonough had everything I was looking for. I was immediately impressed by the faculty and the students attending and knew right away that this was the best place for me.

Why did you choose the Flex vs. Full-time MBA program at Georgetown McDonough?
I chose the Flex MBA program because I needed to the option to continue working while pursuing my MBA. 

Tell us about your work experience prior to joining the Flex Online MBA program. And, what are you doing now?
After undergrad from USNA, I served as a Submarine Officer for seven years, supporting two overseas deployments and qualifying as a Navy Nuclear Engineer. I transitioned out of the Navy in 2016 to take a project manager job in manufacturing, but was frustrated with the career opportunities that I found. I decided to pursue an MBA to support a career switch into finance. McDonough opened the door for me to join Amazon’s Finance Leadership Development Program (FLDP). I joined Amazon after graduation in June of 2020 as a finance manager. During my time as a finance manager in Amazon, I gained experience supporting Amazon Music and three different AWS services. After completing the FLDP in 2023, I decided to pivot to a technical program manager role in AWS. My current role focuses on managing the global portfolio of networking capacity infrastructure in data centers to support Machine Learning and GenAI products.

What McDonough Career Center resources did you leverage to make that switch?
I leveraged the McDonough Career Center a great deal (shout out to Maureen Carpenter!) to help create a strategy for my career pivot, get access to job opportunities, and to prep for interviews. I utilized one-on-one meetings, attended networking opportunities hosted by the career center, participated in workshops to learn about difference industries, and an embarrassingly large number of interview prep sessions.

During the program, how did you network and meet employers while working full-time?
My networking focused on three areas: using the McDonough Career Center, personal outreach from my professional network, and leveraging the classmates I had during the program. The most fruitful connections I had came from in-person meetings. I tried to prioritize in-person career center events, which were great for making new connections and learning the good and bad about target industries. My classmates also provided great insights into their industries and were generous in helping me grow my network.

Georgetown provides its Flex MBA students with access to the Career Center in a way that other top MBA programs don’t. Did this influence your decision?
Yes! A huge factor in my decision for a Georgetown MBA was the full-time support and access given to students in the Flex program. The career center resources more than lived up to my expectations when choosing Georgetown.

If a person wants to make a career switch coming out of the Flex program, what advice do you have for them?
Maximize the time you have in the program, be honest with yourself on what interests you, and make as many friends as you can. I had a winding path because I started my MBA with three equally weighted target industries for my post-MBA career. I was able to narrow this down by attending McDonough events that gave me deeper understanding of a career in those industries, and which one excited me the most. Then, I used insights from classmates to identify the best entry points after my MBA, plus they kept things fun and engaging. Then, the career center provided the support I was looking for to increase my network and prep for interviews.

Anything else you’d like to add?
Hoya Saxa!

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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.