The McDonough School of Business Dean’s Office will launch the Undergraduate Women in Business Group, an initiative that provides academic and pre-professional support for women in the MSB, in January.
The group will host events, workshops and mentorship programs for its initial cohort of around 60 selected students, though it also plans on organizing events for all MSB students. Applications will open in January to female freshmen, sophomores and juniors in the MSB.
The group is co-chaired by MSB Associate Dean Patricia Grant and Associate Director of the MSB Dean’s Office Michelle Sheahan. Bridget Morton (MSB ’16) and Caroline Murphy (MSB ’17) will serve as the student co-chairs.
According to Morton, the group will invite former alumnae to speak to current students and hold resume and interview workshops and tutoring sessions.
“[Being part of the cohort] is going to be a great chance to make some friends and work on project skills,” Morton said. “Women are certainly the minority as far as demographics go, so we’re looking to create a vibrant community of [women].”
Female students compose around 40 percent of the MSB.
Morton said that she initially conceptualized the idea of forming a group after she transferred to Georgetown from Babson College, where she was involved in a similar group called the Women’s Leadership Program. In August, Morton began working with Sheahan and Grant to create the group.
“I was looking for more opportunities to engage more thoughtfully with mentorship and with leadership opportunities,” Morton said. “I was able to connect with some of the deans of the business school … [and] combine some of my efforts with theirs.”
Currently, Morton and Murphy are in the process of interviewing candidates for their inaugural student board, which will supervise aspects of the group like marketing and outreach.
According to Morton, the group will not focus solely on an applicant’s GPA or major, but rather seek to accept a wide range of undergraduate women looking to develop leadership skills.
“[I] am very passionate about gender equality and I know that when there is a sisterhood among students in an academic environment, women thrive,” Sheahan said. “[Women should] support one another in their success while they are here and when they are out in the workforce.”
According to Sheahan, other similar organizations such as The George Washington University’s Women’s Leadership Program and Harvard University’s Undergraduate Women in Business have been created in the past few years.
Sheahan said the MSB should also establish an association to help its female students.
“There has been a need for some time for there to be a undergraduate women in business group here at McDonough School of Business,” Sheahan said. “We would like to make sure … [our students] have that student group.”
Sheahan explained that the group will partner with other groups in support of female leadership on campus, such as Georgetown University Women in Leadership.
According to Sheahan, these partnerships will help strengthen the group by providing a greater range of potential activities than business-related matters.
“We will make sure to partner with … the other women student groups on campus,” Sheahan said. “[We need women] who are committed to the cause [of] supporting the success of the student group.”
Morton also said the group will not seek to replace the efforts of other women’s groups on campus, but rather grow alongside them. She said she hopes the group will provide female students with more opportunities than before.
“I’m really excited about [the group]. It’s a program that we should be really proud of,” Morton said. “This is creating a more vibrant community for women on campus.”
Katherine Cole (MSB ’18) said the MSB could benefit from the establishment of the group.
“I think it’s definitely needed,” Cole said. “Even though Georgetown is 55 percent female, the business school is definitely not 55 percent female, so we are definitely less represented.”
Cole also said that the group partners well with existing groups such as Georgetown University Women in Leadership to create a resource for female students.
“We have [GUWIL], but I think it’d be good to have something specifically focused on the business school,” Cole said. “I think it’s beneficial and would help us. We would have a backbone of support.”
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