Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business Q&A with M.S. in Environment and Sustainability Management Program Director, Dr. Kerrie Carfagno

Dr. Kerrie Carfagno, the Program Director for the M.S. in Environment and Sustainability Management at Georgetown McDonough, recently sat down with MetroMBA to share insight into the M.S. Program.

MetroMBA: How does this program differentiate from other offerings at your school and other programs in the GME space?

Georgetown McDonough Environment Sustainability

Dr. Kerrie Carfagno, Program Director MS-ESM

Dr. Carfagno: The M.S. in Environment and Sustainability Management (MS-ESM) program is a STEM designated interdisciplinary degree offered through the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Earth Commons Institute, and McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University. This interdisciplinary approach provides a unique curriculum that combines the principles of environmental science with a foundation in business management. Our program operates on a cohort model, meaning students learn from each other and their professors as they complete the 11-month program in the same classes on campus. A unique attribute about our program is the cohort tends to skew more female with 80% of the current cohort identifying as such.

MetroMBA: What is the typical profile of a student who would benefit most from this program and what characteristics are your admissions team looking for?

Dr. Carfagno: We take a holistic approach when reviewing applications for admission to MS-ESM. We look for students who are eager to learn and make a positive impact, have a passion for sustainability and the environment, and a collaborative mindset that embodies the Georgetown spirit. Typical students who benefit most from this program tend to fall under three categories: recent graduates, career changers, and life-long learners. Recent graduates have a strong interest and academic background in either natural sciences or business. They are looking to develop their skills in the environment and sustainability management space further before entering the workforce. Students that fall into the career changers category are looking to switch from their current industry to sustainable management. And finally, life-long learners are those who currently work in a position related to sustainability and want to continue their education to be industry leaders in the field.

MetroMBA: What types of financial aid are available to students?

Dr. Carfagno: The MS-ESM program provides partial, merit-based scholarships to qualified candidates. While the scholarships do not fully fund the program, they do provide partial tuition coverage assistance. All students are automatically considered for the partial, merit-based scholarships at the time of their application submission.

Additionally, as a stem-designated masters program, there are plenty of outside funding opportunities students can pursue as well.

MetroMBA: How does your school assist in finding job opportunities and how does your program enhance a student’s profile as a job applicant?

Dr. Carfagno: The MS-ESM degree furthers one’s knowledge of sustainability and combines principles of environmental science with a foundation in business management, which can help prepare one for a variety of jobs within most industries. Throughout the program, students have the opportunity to work with a career management professional. Students work directly with the Assistant Director of MS-ESM Career Management to identify career paths, discuss career goals and receive career coaching to elevate networking and interviewing methods. Students have exclusive access to one-on-one career coaching appointments, workshops and career sessions tailored to support them in developing an effective job search strategy. They may also access many resources at the Graduate Career Center within the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, as well as attend select career events offered through the McDonough School of Business Career Center.

MetroMBA: What is one insider tip you can provide prospective applicants about applying to this program?

Dr. Carfagno:  An insider tip when applying to this program would be to make sure your passion for environment and sustainability shows through in your application. We are interested in knowing where your passion for the field stems from and how you will help bring about change to help solve the pressing environmental issues affecting our world today.


Lightning Round

What is one restaurant every student must visit and why?
The Tombs is a classic in the Georgetown neighborhood. It’s delicious and they have great deals throughout the week. Georgetown students love to spend time there after classes and on the weekends.

Where is the best cup of coffee on campus?
The best cup of coffee on campus can be found in our library at Midnight Mug. The Midnight Mug is a community space and coffeehouse where students can take a break from studying and hang out with friends and professors in a relaxed atmosphere.

What is the best ‘hidden secret’ on campus?
The best ‘hidden secret’ on campus would be the Heyden Observatory and gardens. The observatory is one of two Georgetown buildings included in the national register of historic places in the United States. It’s a beautiful space where you have fantastic views of DC and the overall campus.

Read more about the Georgetown MS-ESM here.

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