BackgroundInterview Date:June 2017
Gender Identity: Male
Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual
Graduation Year: 2017
High School Experience: Private school in Baltimore, MD with a graduating class of about 100 students.
Majors: Marketing and Management Double Major
Extracurricular Activities: In a fraternity, held leadership positions in the Marketing Association, and played Club Lacrosse.
What impact did Greek Life have on your experience?
Given that clubs, teams, and organizations are where a lot of the social life comes from at Georgetown, if you don’t feel like being part of that in your early years it’s nice to join Greek Life because that gives you a base. My roommate was an athlete and he always had people to hang out with and things to do early on because of that, so I was able to find that through my frat.
What is your weekly coursework like for your major?
Primarily a lot of group projects. McDonough School of Business (MSB) is group project heavy. I think just in general business schools are group project heavy. The group projects could have any sort of different components but mostly ended in final presentations where you’re expected to dress up and treat it like a real business presentation. The goal with that is to prep you for those experiences in the business world.
Did you especially like or dislike anything about your major’s department? Did they do anything especially well or poorly?
Anyone at Georgetown MSB will say that it’s very finance dominated. The students that want to do banking or consulting are the main focus of the undergraduate program. That’s primarily because there’s a high rate of job placement in those industries and then those students give money back to Georgetown, creating a positive feedback loop. MSB also has good relationships with companies in those areas, so there’s almost a quota of students going to those places every year. There was much less structured recruitment process for marketing majors. In some ways this was difficult, but that’s also just how the industry is overall. Georgetown has an undergraduate professional development office that was very helpful and that I used a lot. [For the Class of 2017, the top three industries for job placement were Financial Services (21.9%), Consulting (18.5%), and Information Technology (9.2%).]
How would you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s competitive or collaborative?
The business school is entirely graded on a curve, so you are constantly competing against everybody in your class. Some people don’t like to study with others and share their notes because of this, but if you want to study in a group with your friends it’s possible to do so.
What was your favorite class in your majors?
Branding – I found it interesting because it had pretty unique subject material. It gave a different view into marketing and provided an interesting way to look at companies, the decisions they make and their positive and negative effects.
What was your least favorite class in your majors?
Marketing Intelligence. It was a requirement. It’s a heavily data-driven class. I predominantly didn’t like it because the professor, but also didn’t think it was that marketing focused.
Why did you pick your majors? Are you happy with your choice?
I went to Georgetown thinking of doing finance, but pretty early on I realized that I thought finance was interesting but was not the career path I wanted. In the fall of sophomore year, I took a Principles of Marketing course and that drove me to become a Marketing major. I was required to take a certain number of courses within all six majors in the business school. I’m not sure if I would have chosen that in college if I had not been required to take it. Georgetown is a structured curriculum that forces you to take classes in a subject area that they didn’t have an interest in, a lot of my friends ended up taking courses they really liked because of it too. I’m happy with my choice.
On and Around Campus
Where have you lived on campus?
Freshman: Village C West in a standard freshman double.
Sophomore: An apartment in Village B with 3 roommates. We shared two bedrooms, had a bathroom and a living room.
Junior: An apartment in Village A. First semester I had one roommate and second semester I had 3. It was the same set up as sophomore year.
Senior: I had a single bedroom in a house in Burleith with 5 other housemates. My bedroom was tiny. I had to hang my clothes around the wall because there was no room.
What was your favorite living situation?
Village B was really fun because it was just a little off campus and we had a huge living room. Senior year having a single was super nice and having a house was game changing because I could have a car and had way more freedom to be in charge of your space.
Can you describe the level of safety you’ve experienced on and around campus?
I was never actively worried about anything. I was always more cautious and aware late at night walking places. The areas where we go out to bars are crowded so you don’t have to worry there. There is some crime in Georgetown just in nature of it being so close to D.C., but it’s just stuff from people not being smart late at night.
How walkable is the area around campus?
The campus isn’t that big. You can walk from the Potomac side to the hospital side in like 15 minutes. Outside of campus, there is the really nice M street area and places that branch off of that. I will say a big downside of Georgetown is that there isn’t a metro stop so public transit is much more limited.
What is your favorite off-campus restaurant?
The Tombs is a classic answer. I think the food is pretty good and it’s a college-y place. But I think my favorite restaurant is Farmers, Fishers, and Bakers on the waterfront.
What is your favorite place to get away from campus?
Going to the monuments area is pretty fun. Sometimes we’d go just because you felt like you were in a different world. If you want to go to a different area to go out at night, Adams Morgan is fun.
Pros and cons of being in Georgetown?
Pros: (1) It has really good surrounding shopping and dining.
(2) Georgetown actually has a defined campus, unlike many city schools. It’s pretty much enclosed from the city.
Cons: (1) There’s no metro stop. You end up finding yourself in a bubble at times because you are more limited in what you can do.
(2) Parking is an extreme luxury and very difficult to find. Between that and the lack of metro stop, you’re pretty limited on transportation opportunities until you have a house. Until then you’re heavily dependent on Ubers.
What kind of nightlife or weekend activities do you like to participate in?
The business school doesn’t have class on Friday, so we always went out Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night. Once we got to be 21, Tuesdays became a thing because you could go to Adams Morgan and see kids from George Washington University and other schools. By the time we were seniors any night was fair game really. Wednesday night was senior night at Tombs. Within Georgetown there are fluctuations in the academic schedule, there will be weeks when you might be going out 4-6 nights a week, and weeks when you’re just going out Friday because of work. Freshman year we’d go to parties on Friday and Saturday night, but once we became upperclassmen we almost never went to parties at night.
What are your favorite times at Georgetown?
Three come to my mind as super memorable. Homecoming is a huge deal. It’s fun because it’s in the fall. It’s the type of thing where you might go to the football game for a bit, but you really just want to tailgate. Alumni also come back so it’s fun to see them. Georgetown Day is also super fun. It’s the last day of classes and every social organization or club has a big party for it. Georgetown basketball games are also pretty fun. They play at the [Capital One Arena] so it’s fun to get out and explore D.C. a little more. You can get kind of isolated in Georgetown because there’s no metro stop there. Overall, anytime when you’re able to branch out and see different parts of D.C., whether it’s going down to see the monuments, or exploring different neighborhoods, or going to museums is fun. It’s cool to have that in your backyard.
What is the impact of clubs and organizations on nightlife?
There are space issues at Georgetown because the houses are so small. You have so many people in your organization, so you can only allow a certain amount of people outside of that to come to a party or event. It’s one of those things that makes it so you sometimes feel uncomfortable being there if you aren’t part of the organization. It’s kind of an unspoken rule to not delve into other social circles’ events unless you’re invited or wanted.
How happy were you with the weekend options at Georgetown? Is there anything you would change if you could?
It’s pretty fun and certainly, once you’re older, there are a lot of opportunities. Maybe I wish there were more things for underclassmen.
How did you meet your closest friends?
It’s a mix of people I’ve lived with, people from my frat, and people from the business school.
How would you describe the social scene?
It’s very fragmented in the sense that, since there’s no officially recognized Greek Life at Georgetown, people socialize based on membership of groups they are a part of. This can be as broad as being part of the business school, or as narrow as a certain club or service in the Corp. It is a very cliquey school and it’s difficult to mix friend groups. It’s uncommon to mix groups of friends, especially in terms of the ability to have events in Georgetown and the size of those events. The houses are small, so that makes it exclusive because you can’t allow all the people you want at a party.
Do people of different races and sexual orientations mix socially?
Yeah, definitely, but I think it depends on your personal perspective. I think because Georgetown is a Catholic school it is more conservative than some. It depends on the group that you’re looking at and hanging out on. In my fraternity, we had a gay person and people from multiple races, and that’s not atypical from any group on campus. I do think that there is probably less mixing than other more liberal schools.
Do people seem happy with Georgetown by senior year?
Yeah, I think typically, yes. People get frustrated with certain aspects of the school, like the fact that there are no big-time sports on campus other than basketball. In terms of quality of life, academic experience, and social life, people are pretty pleased with it. I know very few people that regret going to Georgetown. Nobody I was remotely close with transferred, and then I know a few people that transferred to Georgetown and like it much more in comparison.
Has the alumni network helped you find internships or jobs?
Yeah, that’s how I got my job essentially. I was connected with an alumnus who was working at my current company and he recommended me to the HR department for an interview. I didn’t get the job he initially recommended me for, but it led to a second interview for a different job, which is my full-time job now.
Advice for Prospective Freshmen
What is something you wish you knew about Georgetown before entering as a freshman?
I wish I knew more about the different strengths and weaknesses of the business school. I picked Georgetown because it has a strong finance program and that’s what I thought I wanted to do. When I switched to marketing, I realized that it isn’t the focus of the business school – it may not be the focus of business schools in general – but I wish I had a better understanding of that.
What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
If you’re strictly going on a campus tour and don’t know much about Georgetown, Walk M street and the surrounding Georgetown neighborhood. That’s where you spend a lot of time, where you live as an upperclassman, and where the activities you do and places you go are. If you didn’t see that you’d have an improper view of what the school’s like.
Reasons to attend Georgetown:
1) Academics, I felt like they were very high quality. I definitely learned a lot while I was there.
2) Professional opportunities. It’s a school that is pretty well known by people, and it certainly helped me with my internship and job search. Because it’s a bigger school, the alumni network is large and spans most industries you’d want to be in.
3) School spirit. Even though our athletics may not have been at their strongest while I was there, people are passionate about Georgetown. The community is connected by Georgetown both on campus and in the outside world. Even though it can feel exclusive at times, the Georgetown community is stronger than the big state schools we compete against because it’s not that big in comparison.
Reasons to not attend Georgetown:
1) Social life is more limited than a bigger school. There are more limited opportunities than you would find at a state school.
2) I think it’s incredibly expensive, not just as a school but living in D.C. costs a lot of money, too. Rent, food, and going out costs are expensive.
3) The student population is not very socioeconomically diverse. It never detracted from my experience but it was something that was noticeable to me and something that I felt was bothersome in certain scenarios. [Socioeconomically, 21% of students at Georgetown come from the top 1%.]