MBA Program Set to Expand
Published: Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Updated: Thursday, October 3, 2013 16:10
The McDonough School of Business is awaiting approval to extend its MBA programs to the Tysons Corner Center in Vienna, Va., for what would be the MSB’s first expansion outside the immediate Washington, D.C. area.
Space limitations and the desire to reach a new pool of applicants are the main motivating factors behind the potential addition, with business opportunities in Tysons Corner identified by a committee of adjunct faculty, students, staff and alumni contributing to the choice of location.
“Tysons Corner quickly emerged as the right location … as a booming business community experiencing tremendous growth, and it is in close proximity to the Dulles technology corridor,” MSB Dean David Thomas said. “It is also an area where high-scoring GMAT test-takers live and work, and many of those individuals have expressed interest in our program.”
Although the MSB originally considered constructing a new building in response to the MBA program’s popularity, The Tower Club Tysons Corner building, located at 8000 Towers Crescent Drive, in the Tysons Corner mall emerged as a viable option. The Tower Club includes a private dining room, a lounge, a library and conference rooms.
“This was just the right collection of amenities that also allowed us, just from an accounting standpoint, not to have to invest in bricks and mortar right now,” Senior Associate Dean for MBA Programs Elaine Romanelli said.
Although the MSB does not yet have an official contract with The Tower Club, it has offered to enhance the building’s A/V equipment and provide furniture to meet possible classroom needs.
MSB professors who would have to commute to the new location gave input on the proposal, and Georgetown is now waiting on the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools for approval. In addition, Georgetown is working with the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors to obtain a special exemption to expand The Tower Club’s zoning permit to include educational use.
Expansion Committee student representative Selman Altun (GRD ’13) said he was originally apprehensive of the plan.
“My first concern was that the quality of the program and students be maintained,” Altun said. “My second concern was related to maintaining a campus atmosphere that allows networking among students. And last, because it is related to my profession, potential challenges with respect to the faculty getting to and from the new location were an area of concern.”
Altun said that he also recognized the benefits of the expansion, which would further the Georgetown brand beyond Washington, D.C.
“It will introduce us to new students that cannot be with us due to traffic, commute time, job and home location reasons but that are just as good as the current Georgetown students in a rapidly developing area in the heart of Northern Virginia,” Altun said.
Others have shared Altun’s concerns about the loss of prestige due to the increased number of applicants, Romanelli said, but she believes that the expansion would have the opposite effect. The MBA program itself would see no changes; both the curriculum and the professors that teach it would remain.
“There is a highly qualified market that, for a variety of reasons, we’re not tapping into,” Romanelli said. “I don’t think exclusivity is about numbers — exclusivity is about the caliber of students who are here, and we think that they will be absolutely equal.”