Immersive International Exposure: The Georgetown Residency

21-09-2023 / ESSEC Executive Education / Source: ESSEC Executive Education
Immersive International Exposure: The Georgetown Residency

As a true career accelerator, the ESSEC & Mannheim EMBA program is designed to help candidates develop a 360° perspective on business through workshops, group projects, and two core international residencies. These residencies include one at Georgetown University in Washington D.C., with a focus on strategy, geopolitics, lobbying, and the ties between politics and business. The other residency is at ESSEC APAC in Singapore with a focus on regional geopolitics, negotiation, and Islamic business practices. In our latest Georgetown Residency, the ESSEC & Mannheim EMBA Class of 2024 benefited from an immersive, insider experience in the US.

Speakers and company visits of note

The ESSEC & Mannheim EMBA’s international residencies generally feature morning sessions, guest speakers and company visits, all focused on the local business landscape. At the most recent Georgetown residency, our participants appreciated the luxury of learning from outstanding speakers such as Dr. Sam Potolicchio, a professor specializing in government, leadership and political communications; Major General (Ret) Charles Bolden, former NASA Administrator; Ms. Amna Nawaz, co-anchor of PBS NewsHour; and Capricia Penavic Marshall, former Chief of Protocol of the United States. Participants also had a chance to visit the Atlantic counsel, a think tank focused on geopolitics.

What stood out for participants was the access they are granted to these people and institutions of note. Not only were they able to learn about business and politics from industry insiders, but they were also able to network and ask questions. In the words of Jiayun Zou, Class of 2024: “They are all genuine people and they talked with us truly, simply and in a way that was down to earth. Beyond insights into the global political landscape, they provided perspectives that will benefit us for a lifetime and help us develop authentic leadership.” Underscoring this sentiment, Caroline Grangier, fellow Class of 2024 participant added that, “Attending guest-lectures from such a renowned list of participants was outstanding as such, but being granted some time with each one of them, exchanging on a variety of topics, was a rare luxury.”

New global perspectives

Through their one-week residency in Washington D.C., participants delved into the complexities of the American perspective on business and politics. For participants coming from other parts of the globe, the residency is an opportunity to dive into the spheres of power – private and public – operating in the United States. It provides current and historical context for how business strategy and practices develop.

”There is no better place for this experience than Georgetown University in Washington D.C.,” says Rodrigo Cardoso Lopes ('24). “Furthermore, the United States is an excellent place to understand business practices within a multicultural environment. Americans, especially in Washington, consistently consider the impacts on international relations, making it a valuable vantage point.”

Key takeaways

With a week of rich programming in Washington D.C., ESSEC & Mannheim EMBA participants learn valuable lessons and skills when it comes to leadership and business practices. Some of the key takeaways, transmitted directly from highly professional, experienced individuals, include essential lessons in doing business the American way, networking and making impactful speeches.

Caroline Grangier (‘24) sums up a week in the heart of American politics in just a few short but impactful words illustrating the power of a strong network: "sometimes, it comes down to who knows the D.C. handshake, and who doesn’t". 

Jiayun Zou (‘24) appreciated the “truly simple and down-to-earth” advice like: keep the door open for the new-comers, or keep your nose down and do your job. “Rather than insights into the industries or the global political landscape,” Zou explained, “these are things that will benefit us for a lifetime and help us develop authentic leadership.” Caroline Grangier ('24) echoes this as she outlines one of the key learnings: to guarantee success in your undertakings, you should come prepared, "do your homework and leave little to improv'".

According to Rodrigo Cardoso Lopes (‘24), “The good thing is that the topics we delved into are present in our daily lives and in almost everything we do, providing many opportunities to put these to use and get better at them.” 

Other notable takeaways from the Georgetown residency include the importance of humility for a leader and how to let your values and vocation guide your work. As Rodrigo Cardoso Lopes ('24) shared, “I observed that possessing (and practicing) strong values has been a defining factor for great leaders and high performers in achieving their career success. For instance, Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch exemplified impeccable integrity. She argued that integrity is non-negotiable and must be upheld at all levels.” On the more unexpected side, participants also learned the importance of embracing chaos and being able to say “I don’t know” while maintaining dignity and control.

Explore the ESSEC & Mannheim EMBA program

Overall, the executive-friendly ESSEC & Mannheim EMBA program aims to train the global business leaders of tomorrow. An essential component of that training is the international residency program that brings participants right into the heart of the action, whether at Georgetown University for a focused American perspective, or to Singapore for a more Asia-focused lens. The residencies are eye-opening, immersive experiences for participants, and rare opportunities to gain insight from world-class professionals across sectors.

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