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Meet The Team: Shari Hubert, McDonough School of Business

Associate Dean of Admissions Shari Hubert tells us what you need to know before applying to Georgetown, what the ideal candidate looks like and what separates their MBA from other top US b-schools

By  Seb Murray

Mon Aug 12 2013

Prior to joining the admissions team at Georgetown McDonough School of Business, Shari Hubert worked within the US Federal Government's Peace Corps, where she was responsible for recruiting 4000 volunteers a year. Before that, she was Vice President of Campus Recruitment for Citi’s Global Bank in North America. And before that, she worked at GE's Corporate Headquarters, where she served as Manager, Campus Relations in Corporate Recruiting and Staffing. It is fair to say she knows a thing or two-dozen about recruiting.

Now, she has the power to make or break prospective MBAs dreams at the Washington, DC based university. She tells us what you need to know before applying to Georgetown, what the admissions team looks for in a candidate and what separates the McDonough School of Business from the rest of the top b-schools in the US. 

What are common mistakes that you see MBA applicants make?

Sometimes, candidates do not think about why they are interested in pursuing the MBA. We look for students who are able to articulate that in an essay. We value students who are really honest and who take an assessment of their strengths and how they feel they can quantify those into other areas in post-MBA life. It’s important that they articulate what the MBA will do for them.

We look for inconsistences in the different aspects of the application process. Applicants should not be able to submit the same application for multiple schools. We can tell if someone is copying and pasting the same information for different business schools and just changing the name of the school. Make sure the essay is tailored to the school.

What do prospective MBAs need to know about Georgetown?

A lot! They need to know about our graduate heritage: we are a Jesuit institution founded in 1789 with a rich tradition of service to others. We really live our values and that makes Georgetown very unique. Our class size is a bit smaller than other MBA classes, and that means that students really feel a sense of community. They have access to faculty and faculty care about them, not just the grades that they get in class, but also how well they are doing overall in the program – it is a very collaborative environment.

What does an ideal Georgetown MBA candidate look like?

We develop principled leaders who will make an impact in both business and society; people who care not only about what they do but how they get it done. We are looking for people with a strong executive presence, who have conviction in terms of what their aspirations and goals are, and confidence in their ability to achieve them.

We want students who are prepared to participate in the classroom and who fit into our classroom dynamic. We want people who can demonstrate cultural awareness and sensitivity, because our program is so global. They do not need extensive travel experience, but they should have an appreciation for different cultures. We want someone who will make Georgetown proud; someone who can be an active and engaged alumnus is important for us as well.

What are some tips you have for impressing the MBA admissions team at Georgetown?

The admissions process is a holistic assessment, and we look at everything from the admissions essay to resumes, recommendations and the interview. It’s not just one individual aspect that makes a great candidate; we look at the entire person as a whole and decide whether that person is going to benefit from the MBA and be able to be successful in future endeavours.

Can you tell us a bit about the interview process?

In the interview, we focus on the individual applicant to help them decide if Georgetown is the right fit for them. The interview is both an opportunity for us to evaluate an applicant and an opportunity for the applicant to evaluate us. I would encourage prospective students to ask us the hard questions as well.

People should relax and look at the interview as a conversation and really try to get to know the admissions person in front of them. It’s the applicants’ opportunity to tell us and show us what is unique about them, and how they will stand out and be successful in our program!

What separates Georgetown from other leading American Business Schools?

I think we are on par with all the top business schools in terms of the calibre of education and types of courses. What’s unique about us is our curriculum: it is very integrated, global in scope and team-taught. Our philosophy is based on learning and knowledge to put into practice, as opposed to just for knowledge’s sake.

I would also say that we have really good entrepreneurial and real estate initiatives, and various centres focused on ethics, financial markets, social enterprise, and business policy. For an individual looking for a particular type of industry, these initiatives and centres are run by top-rate faculty who really care about students and their ability to secure internships and full-time jobs.

Through our entrepreneurship initiative, we run an incubator during the summer and tons of events throughout the school year; we also have a venture capital competition so MBAs can pitch their ideas to firms. A lot of support is provided so that students at Georgetown are able to succeed.

What are some of the best things about getting an MBA in America?

In America there are a lot of great institutions such as Georgetown that really provide you with a great foundation in management and business administration - not just in theory, but in practice. By virtue of being in the United States, there are great, successful companies. It is a benefit of studying not only at Georgetown but in the United States. Business education as an industry is very mature.

What are some of the types of roles MBA graduates from Georgetown go into?

The top industries are the typical MBA careers such as finance and consulting. But it’s interesting that we have started to see students entering social entrepreneurial areas as well. We have a strong Net Impact student club and Global Social Enterprise Initiative, and we see a lot more students coming from the social sector or going into non-profit types of opportunities as well.

How does the career services department at Georgetown help MBAs get jobs?

A lot of our students want to stay in the United States for at least a couple of years post-MBA. We are proud of the fact that from our class of 2012, 71% of international students got paid positions in the United States.

All of our students are assigned a career coach. There are career coaches who focus especially on international students, helping them develop a two-pronged strategy to obtain internships and full-time jobs - focused in the United States and at the same time in their home country.  

We also offer lifetime career services for our alumni. Last year, 92 per cent of our students were employed within the first 3 months of graduation, with the average starting salary close to $100,000, and 70 per cent of our rising second-year MBAs found internships directly as a result of the career services office.