In The Age Of Covid, Georgetown MBA Mentorship Program Normally takes Off

Georgetown McDonough Faculty of Small business

Catherine D’Ascoli wasn’t just looking for an internship or a position. She was looking to create a lengthy-term relationship with an individual she could change to throughout her career. And a new program at Georgetown McDonough Faculty of Business gave her the implies to do just that.

D’Ascoli, who will graduate with a McDonough MBA this year, was amongst the very first cohort in a plan launched in late 2019 that pairs 1st-yr graduate students with alumni. The intention is to assist youthful graduates with their occupations, but also to share know-how about more than the points you learn in company college — crucial extensive-time period things like balancing life and work, existence-prolonged understanding, and implementing what you have learned.

In the wake of coronavirus, which has disrupted practically all of D’Ascoli’s MBA encounter so far — particularly her ability to community — the connection has been priceless.

“I was seriously fascinated in connecting with somebody who had been in my situation before and could pay attention to my interests, concepts, doubts, worries, and help steer my path based mostly on her experience and abilities,” D’Ascoli says. “It worked out to be a wonderful practical experience for me.”


Prashant Malaviya

The McDonough mentorship application introduced in December 2019, starting with a match of 16 pupils — together with D’Ascoli — with 15 alumni. Partly in reaction to the onset of coronavirus very last spring when the application was just having underway, and partly in response to participant enthusiasm, by the fall it experienced grown to a strong offering that has paired 133 complete-time MBA learners with Georgetown McDonough alumni. Which is extra than 50 percent of the complete-time MBA Course of 2022.

As Assistant Dean of the McDonough MBA Job Center Maureen Carpenter says, the new program has turn into a prospect to foster local community in a time of disconnection.

“Our purpose with the mentorship method is to join our learners with the whole-lifestyle experiences of our alumni in a way that aids them navigate the MBA application as effectively as what daily life will be like for them in the many years after they graduate, like function-existence equilibrium and intergenerational marriage developing,” Carpenter suggests. “Long-time period, the system will greatly enhance and bolster our alumni and scholar connections throughout our overall local community.”

Provides Prashant Malaviya, dean of the McDonough MBA: “The basic philosophy that we agreed on that would generate this method was encouraged by our Jesuit roots and our Jesuit heritage. The major just one for us is educating the full person. What educating the total human being intended in this mentorship program was truly about not just giving people vocation support or occupation leads, but truly supporting the particular person expand as an individual, conversing to them more about factors that are, in simple fact, not about your job. We ended up incredibly very clear that this is not an extension of our Occupation Administration Staff.

“These alumni are there as mentors for life and for career, not for positions. We created a distinction involving career as opposed to a job and claimed that, sure, if they can assistance you with your work and occupation lookup and all, which is wonderful. But this is about imagining about your occupation, pondering about your daily life, imagining about how you make an effect and genuinely stay just one of the ethos of our Jesuit custom, which is girls and men in services to others. So how do we build individuals? While we do that in the classroom, in the curriculum, on campus, having our alumni do it in concert with what we do and as a enhance to what we do was really what created us quite enthusiastic about the program.”

McDONOUGH ALUMNI FROM AS Considerably Back AS THE 1980s Provide AS MENTORS IN THE System

The idea for McDonough’s mentorship plan emerged from the Mentoring Subcommittee of the MBA Alumni Advisory Council, and its users assisted start the pilot in late 2019. In excess of the summer months, McDonough’s MBA Vocation Centre and Alumni Relations groups partnered to get to out to the school’s alumni to recruit mentors for the plan. As a end result of what the faculty has characterised as “enormous” response from alumni, final drop the software accommodated each and every total-time MBA university student who requested a mentor.

The present-day mentor pool includes McDonough graduates from as early as the 1970s who operate in a range of industries, most prominently monetary products and services (30%), technological innovation and new media (22%), and consulting (16%). They also symbolize consumer items, instruction, power/cleantech, entertainment, govt, health care, hospitality and tourism, production, internet marketing/revenue, nonprofit, community relations, true estate, and telecommunications. McDonough MBAs from as considerably again as the 1980s are in the application as properly, Malaviya tells Poets&Quants.

“The bulk of our mentors — I would say 95% of our mentors — are MBA alumni,” he claims. “The very first MBA alumni graduated in 1983, so there are some who are from the ’80s. A the greater part of them are from the ’90s and also a important range from the 2000s. On the other hand, there are a pair of undergraduate alumni who are not aspect of the MBA system, who are from the ’70s, who place their hand up and mentioned, ‘Hey, we would really like to be a mentor. This is a terrific initiative. Excellent strategy.’ We are delighted that they are part of the group and we are grateful for them, due to the fact obviously they bring a amount of wisdom and a degree of historic comprehension of not just organization, but also the university and the establishment, that the relaxation of us do not have. So we are actually happy to have them. They are pretty much mentors of mentors, and they are my mentors in lots of strategies. So we are delighted that they are portion of this method.”


The increase of the new method coincides with a silver lining of the profound disruption of coronavirus. Applications for the eventual MBA Class of 2023 have been by the roof in round one and have continued to be strong as the deadline nears for spherical two, Malaviya says.

“We have last figures for spherical a single applications, which we shut in December, and they were rather strong,” he says. “I assume at last we were being up close to 30% on the complete-time side and about 20% on our component-time side. Spherical two is ongoing ideal now — it will shut in a couple of times, really. As of now, we see the figures at this level larger than last yr. Now, no matter whether they are solitary-digit bigger or double-digit bigger, we really do not know. That we will see in a few of weeks’ time when all the late applications and every thing closes down. It is seeking healthier. We are pleased with what we are looking at. The excellent of the applicants is really amazing. So we’re seriously happy with that.”

He claims simply because of its popularity — accelerated by coronavirus — the mentorship method could 1 working day develop into a core section of the curriculum.

“I assume a person of the good reasons why we required to speed up was that it was clear from interacting with our students that they have been hungry for extra social interaction further than just this two-dimensional area that we now occupy,” he suggests. “While they ended up participating with their friends and their college and their personnel, acquiring our alumni also associated in that social house was a enormous motivator and surely led to the velocity-up. It possibly is a motive why we bought this sort of robust uptake from our pupils. I hope that it can increase. We have a full of 900 MBAs and a begin with 130 is incredible. But I would like to see this expand to 500, 600, 700 pupils obtaining on this method.

“Whether it gets to be the main component of the method or not, I think we will continue to study from the experience of the mentors and mentees. I’m quite a great deal about becoming college student-led in some of these initiatives — so if the college students and the alumni say that this should be element of the curriculum, then we will absolutely glance at it. But as of now, it is an extension of the curriculum and it will keep that way until the responses suggests that it need to be anything else.”


Catherine D’Ascoli is one particular of the early achievement stories of the McDonough mentorship software. There will be other people.

D’Ascoli, who realized she was fascinated in functions but was uncertain of her field choice, found her mentor — Tania Galarza, senior director of advertising and marketing approach and efficiency at Marriott International and a 2005 McDonough MBA — priceless in navigating her direction during the program.

“Tania assisted me emphasis on what I did know she recommended me to feel about the ‘non-negotiables,’ which means points that I ought to have in my up coming job. These were being extra values and features of a corporation as opposed to the sector,” D’Ascoli suggests in a information story on the McDonough site. “This considered work out assisted make my self confidence to attain out to alumni and set up information interviews, improved inform my tale, and in the end land a summer time internship through connections.”

She ongoing to flip to Galarza as a sounding board to think by means of her internship give and how to make the most of the knowledge, and then yet again halfway by way of to evaluate how it was likely. They linked yet again through drop recruiting.

“At the conclusion of the working day, a mentor’s only motive is to stimulate and assist a mentee. I experience like I obtained so a great deal practical aid and feedback from my romantic relationship with Tania,” D’Ascoli says.

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