Georgetown University McDonough School Of Business

According to national and international rankings of our school and programs, Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business has a reputation for its post-graduation career success, academic excellence, faculty leadership, and student satisfaction.

Georgetown McDonough offers a top-notch business education with the benefit of access to the city’s thought leaders in Washington, D.C. Additionally, the university’s top programs offer interdisciplinary opportunities for students to study at the nexus of business and other fields of study. The Jesuit values of the institution connect through academics, research, and experiential learning with the chance to serve the greater good.

Our Background

The McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University, founded in 1936 as a bachelor’s degree program within the School of Foreign Service, is now a world authority on business studies, business ethics, and social responsibility. In 1981, the university began offering an MBA program. The coursework included the four cornerstones on which the program was built: business/government alliances, ethics, international business and communications, and functional areas like management, finance, marketing, and accounting. It was cutting-edge to include topics related to international business in each course at the time.

Top Employers:

  • Amazon
  • Capital One
  • Boston Consulting Group 
  • Citi Group
  • EY
  • Goldman Sachs
  • IBM
  • Microsoft 

Application Essay Questions:

The candidates must answer one essay and one video essay question as part of the application.

Short answer essay question 

Essay Option One

Principled Leadership: Georgetown McDonough emphasises moral leadership, providing curricular and co-curricular opportunities to strengthen your leadership skills. Describe when you led a team in a professional environment to implement a new idea or process. What leadership characteristics did you utilise? What could you have done to be more effective? And most importantly, what skills will you be able to bring to the teams you lead at McDonough? (300-350 words)

TIP:  This essay’s main goal is to describe a professional leadership ability that involves a novel concept or method. They will also be looking for the lessons you picked up along the way (i.e. how you could have been more effective). However, it will be crucial to pay attention to the preface and its focus on moral leadership that includes social and shareholder obligations when choosing a topic. As a result, we urge candidates to choose an illustration that complements these two touch points.

After you have chosen your example, we suggest using a straightforward STAR structure for your response. Before getting into the task: what you are required to accomplish in your leadership role, start by describing the situation, the players, and the stakeholders involved as well as any challenges or barriers you anticipated. The action should then be discussed, giving a detailed account of your progress through the task or procedure. Finally, it would be best to discuss the outcome, including the success of your leadership efforts and how the plot was resolved. The applicants should then list the qualities they drew from and consider what they could have done better in a concluding section. Finally, discuss how these traits and lessons have benefited them and how they set up the candidate to contribute significantly to the Georgetown MBA community.

Essay Option Two

Georgetown McDonough is a multicultural, international community. We try to understand how your unique background might benefit our neighbourhood. You may want to discuss any difficulties you have overcome, educational, familial, cultural, economic, and social experiences that have influenced your educational and career goals. You can also discuss how your background (for example, being a first-generation student or a resident of another country) or activities (for instance, community service and leadership) will benefit our community, as appropriate. (300-350 words)

TIP:  This is your chance to introduce yourself, your background, and your values. It is also a good place to emphasise instances of resourcefulness and perseverance and to reveal one’s level of maturity and collaborative nature on a personal and professional level throughout a narrative. An effective strategy might be briefly describing the initial challenge or experience and its general implications. Then discuss how you overcame it with the help of a brief illustrative example before reflecting on the lessons you have learned and how they have influenced who you are today.

They will be interested in learning that you will be a helpful and cooperative student body member while attending McDonough. Applicants should attempt to link their past with how they might benefit McDonough. Establishing the frame of reference is crucial before connecting to how you would contribute, whether you decide to draw on your professional, personal, or academic life. Consider how you can apply your experience and appropriate lessons to involvement on the Georgetown campus as you approach the contributions. You will be able to present a consistent and understandable picture of your candidature, as well as your professional and personal interests, by connecting your past and the potential future of the program. You will give them more justification for admitting you if you can be more specific about how you would contribute (by taking on a specific role in planning a specific annual event, for example).

Third Essay Question 

Hoyas for the Common Good: Georgetown McDonough personifies that individuals and groups can and ought to work toward a greater good. The admissions committee is interested in learning more about how you have demonstrated these values in particularly trying circumstances. Describe a time when you put someone else’s needs or the bottom line ahead of your own. We are interested in hearing more about the difficulty you encountered, the special qualities you brought to the situation, and the lessons you took away from it. (300-350 words)

TIP:  Picking an instance where you actively participated and supported someone makes sense. In light of this, candidates might want to reflect on management or mentoring relationships that produce fruitful outcomes. You might even have a peer-teamwork story to share. Regardless of the type of relationship at the centre of the narrative, it will be crucial to talk about one’s actions, interactions, and outcomes. What difficulties did you encounter? How did you respond to them? How did success appear? What did you discover as a result? Perhaps you spent some of your days mentoring a new intern, who later accepted a full-time position at your company. Or perhaps one of your team members struggled with time management, and you stayed up late to assist in finishing a task. Other examples include contributing to your neighbourhood, such as volunteering at the Boys and Girls Club or contributing financially. 

Video Essay

The admissions team highly values developing a cohort of diverse and distinctive people. We want you to be completely yourself when you visit Georgetown McDonough. We have learned much about you as a professional and leader from your application. Finding out what your interests are outside of work is equally important. Please briefly describe a passion, pastime, or something you like to do in your free time, along with its motivation.

TIP: It would be worthwhile to read our advice on video essays before hitting the “record” button to comprehend the overarching objectives of a video prompt. Regarding McDonough’s video essay specifically, we advise applicants to take advantage of this chance to highlight aspects of their personality characteristics and candidacies that they will not have the chance to do in their other application forms. The McDonough team even explicitly encourages you to investigate a passion, hobby, or leisure activity. Perhaps you can talk about an extracurricular activity that you found particularly interesting or a personal achievement you are proud of.

Do not be afraid to practice your response to ensure it will be delivered within the allotted time. To get better before the final recording, you should also record your response and watch it afterwards. The main caution is to avoid having a robotic or excessively rehearsed final video due to the practice.

Optional essay

If you have additional information to add to your application that you have not already, kindly do so. (About one page, double-spaced, 300–350 words)


Candidates should use this opportunity to address potential issues or liabilities with their candidacies, explain any unusual recommendations or employment gaps, or discuss extenuating circumstances that may have affected past performance. It is best to keep this essay brief and to the point, given the word limit.

Upcoming deadlines

The application deadline for the Full-Time MBA Class of 2023 is: 

  • Round 1: September 28, 2022 (Decision December 8, 2022)
  • Round 2: January 5, 2023 (Decision March 21 2023)
  • Round 3: March 30th, 2023 (Decision May 4th, 2023)
  • Round 4: May 2nd,2023( Decision May 31st, 2023). 

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