Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Georgetown Becomes The Consortium's 18th

Consortium Gets DC Footprint
On deck is Georgetown's McDonough School of Business.

This week The Consortium selected Georgetown's business school as the 18th Consortium school. Georgetown will join the other schools formally in July and start admitting Consortium students in the fall, 2014. Consortium Executive Director Peter Aranda made the announcement June 24, marking The Consortium's first new school in three years. Over the past five years, besides Georgetown, The Consortium has added Cornell, Yale, and UCLA and invited back UC-Berkeley after it departed in the early 2000s. 

Georgetown follows the footsteps of other prominent business schools affiliated with The Consortium, including such schools as Emory, USC, Yale, Texas, Dartmouth, Wisconsin, and North Carolina. 

What does Georgetown bring to The Consortium table? It gives the organization an immediate footprint in the Washington, DC, area.  Consortium business schools, often known nationally as top schools by just about anybody who ranks, rates or evaluates MBA schools, are scattered about the country with imprints in major metropolitan areas (e.g., New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta) and with a presence in most regions in the U.S.  But The Consortium had not had a representative school in Washington. The closest business school is Virginia's Darden School.

That attractive location is another plus for a prospective MBA student. Strong MBA applicants have well-reasoned criteria when they choose among top schools.  They examine and choose schools based on course offerings and curriculum, based on a school's strength in certain concentrations (finance, marketing, international business, e.g.), based on faculty and staff they meet in the wooing process, and based on a general vibe, a comfort feeling they are well-suited for the school.

They also may select a school based on geography.  Most strong applicants visualize their lives after school and try to determine where they want to launch careers, where opportunities will be plentiful and where they want to reside over the next decade.  Opportunities and lifestyle in Atlanta will, therefore, make Emory's business school attractive. Opportunities in technology entrepreneurship and Silicon Valley will make UC-Berkeley attractive. The lure of the Midwest will drive Indiana and Wisconsin to the top of lists. For years, NYU has benefited from being a long stone's throw from Wall Street.

Opportunities in international business and Washington being at the crossroads of critical activity in business, law, and government service make Georgetown attractive.

Georgetown's McDonough School is now under the helm of Dean David Thomas, who arrived on campus within the past two years after a heralded career as a professor at Harvard Business School. His specialty there for two decades was organization behavior and human-resource management.  He has already made impressions along the Potomac. For example, taking advantage of the university's strengths in international business and affairs, the business school now requires first-year students to spend three weeks studying the "Structure of Global Industries," which provides a blueprint for students to study all aspects of business from a global perspective.

Thomas apparently also figured the school could do better in diversity initiatives, starting with the student body.  Georgetown hired Shari Hubert as associate dean of admission to increase diversity in applicants and matriculating students. Hubert, an MBA graduate from Harvard, has extensive experience in recruiting in positions she held at Citigroup, GE Capital, and the Peace Corps. Joining The Consortium was an appropriate next step for Thomas and Georgetown.

The McDonough School's MBA program is of modest size by most standards with about 250 students in a full-time MBA class--about the size of Dartmouth's Tuck, not as big as the programs at NYU or Michigan.  (The school has about 1,000 MBA students--including part-time and executive programs--and about 1,400 undergraduates.)

Otherwise, its profile is as familiar as those at other Consortium schools.  Students typically have about five years of work experience and are about 27-28 years old on average. About 1,800 prospects apply to the full-time program with admission rates hovering around 35%.  About 30% of recent classes are women. Also like other top schools, a significant percentage of graduates go into finance (28% in a recent year) and consulting (26%).

This bundle of advantages will now make for tough decisions for the prospective Consortium applicant, who--if she decides she wants to remain on the East Coast--must ponder choosing among rich business-school experiences at Virginia, North Carolina, and now Georgetown.

Tracy Williams

See also:

CFN:  Cornell Makes 15, 2009
CFN:  Welcome Back UC-Berkeley, 2010
CFN:  California Dreamin': UCLA Joins The Consortium, 2010
CFN:  Is the MBA Under Attack, 2013?
CFN:  The Global Imperative on Campus, 2012

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