The McDonough School of Business will debut its first undergraduate research journal, the E-McDonough Undergraduate Research Journal, with its inaugural issue in April. The new journal will feature student-produced scholarship on topics ranging from finance and accounting to management and marketing.
The quarterly journal will publish one issue exclusively online in the fall, winter, spring and summer and will feature research conducted by undergraduates during the MSB’s annual Summer Undergraduate Research Fellows Program, which pairs select students with university faculty who supervise their projects.
Dr. Steve D. Mobley Jr., founding editor of the journal and director of the SURF program, said each issue will contain four to six articles selected for their unique perspectives on a business matter. Mobley said the new research journal will highlight students’ distinctive interests outside of their classwork.
“Too often, McDonough students are viewed as a monolithic group largely interested in simply honing their business acumen,” Mobley wrote in an email to The Hoya. “This is simply untrue and our undergraduate research initiatives further confirm that our students have diverse interests and are highly innovative in a myriad of arenas.”
Mobley said the idea for EMURJ was initially conceived two years ago as a way to expand undergraduate research initiatives available to MSB students.
“I knew early on that I wanted to extend and grow our students’ research presence on campus,” Mobley wrote. “Prior to this time, there were few outlets within the McDonough School of Business where undergraduates could seek these types of experiences.”
Era Qian (MSB ’17), one of the students to be published in the forthcoming edition, said she was surprised to hear that her article, “A Historical Reading of China’s Foreign Exchange Reform and 1993 Currency Devaluation,” would be featured in the first edition of EMURJ, since it signified her
foray into formal academic research. Under the tutelage of Georgetown business professor Dennis Quinn, over the summer, Qian investigated China’s practice of manipulating currency to the detriment of American domestic industries.
“I was very surprised because initially after I finished the paper, I was like, ‘I want to get it published,’ but I didn’t know where or the publication process super well,” Qian said. “I think the MSB journal will be a great opportunity for all of us who do research and want to get our work out there.”
Qian, who hails from China but has attended school in the United States since age 16, conducted the bulk of her research over two months in Shanghai, consulting with local professors and visiting library archives daily. Qian said it was difficult to conduct her research because there is still little freedom of press in China today.
“We don’t have many reports about currency policy before 1996, and there is not enough research right now about devaluation before that year,” Qian said. “The information was not very transparent because there is not a lot of freedom of press in China and they don’t even allow Facebook, but I pulled all the information together to get a general picture, and as an Econ minor I checked the inflation that year, I checked the GDP that year, what’s the growth rate and how does currency devaluation help exports, and analyzed what is the impact for the future in 10 years.”
Sandra Waliczek (MSB ’17), whose research will also be featured in the inaugural issue of the new undergraduate journal, compiled data for her project “The Benefit of The Internationalization of Universities” with the help of professor Michael Czinkota. Waliczek consulted resources including the university archives, Google Analytics and Google Ngram Viewer. Using Georgetown as a case study, Waliczek found quantitative evidence supporting global programs at universities.
Waliczek said EMURJ is important for the university since Georgetown advertises itself as a research university.
“It’s really important that they’re allowing students to get engaged, because Georgetown is a research university and emphasizes that a lot, and giving undergraduate students an opportunity to pursue this gives them a skill that they might not necessarily know,” Waliczek said.
Waliczek also said the journal is especially interesting since it will promote business research, rather than science or political science research.
“I’m glad that they’re kicking off the initiative, because obviously there’s science research and at the School of Foreign Service they have their own journal, but when you think of business research that’s not what comes to mind first and I think this brings a lot more light to what you can do,” Waliczek said.
Qian advised aspiring student researchers seeking publication in the journal to not be discouraged if they are unsure how to pursue their projects.
“I would say start small,” Qian said. “When you do research, I picture myself as an engineer, so I put all the building blocks together, step one, step two. You’re not going to see a grand picture reached right away. Just like a detective, you’ll find results little by little.”
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