How to Ace the Georgetown Alumni Interview

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

 

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Georgetown University, nestled in the heart of Washington, D.C., is renowned for its commitment to educating global citizens who are academically proficient and socially conscious. The admissions interview at Georgetown serves as a unique opportunity for applicants to expand on their written applications and showcase their personality, passion, and alignment with the university’s values. Keep reading to learn what the interview entails and how to ace it.  

Are All Applicants Required to Have an Interview? 

Interviews are frequently a part of the college admissions process, and Georgetown University is no exception. All first-year applicants are required to interview with an alumnus unless there are no alumni interviewers available in their geographic area.  

Students who apply as transfers to Georgetown are not required to interview. It is optional; however, we strongly recommend taking advantage of an interview opportunity if one is available.  

What Is the Purpose of the Georgetown Interview? 

The admissions interview is an opportunity for you to share additional information about yourself that wasn’t in your application and further demonstrate your interest in attending Georgetown. Additionally, you can learn more about academics and student life directly from someone who experienced them. Most importantly, the interview can help you determine whether Georgetown is a good fit for you. 

IvyWise counselor Judy, former Senior Associate Director of Admissions at Georgetown University, discusses the importance of fit. The school you choose “is not just a name on a piece of paper,” she says. “It’s a community that you will become part of and that will stay with you for the rest of your life.” The alumni interview can go a long way toward helping you decide if you can see yourself at Georgetown for the next four years.   

Where Do Georgetown Interviews Take Place? 

Fortunately, you will not be expected to come to campus for your interview. You will have an in-person interview with an alumni volunteer in your local area — there are no virtual interviews or phone interviews. According to Georgetown’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions, alumni interviewers are available in every U.S. state, some U.S. territories, and in several foreign countries. 

You will receive an email with the contact information for the person assigned to interview you, and it is your responsibility to reach out and schedule a meeting. You and your interviewer will then coordinate an interview location and time to meet.  

Who Conducts the Interviews at Georgetown University? 

Interviewers are part of the Alumni Admissions Program (AAP), a diverse group of more than 6,000 alumni volunteers. They may have attended Georgetown as undergraduate or graduate students — some are even recent graduates of the university. Your interviewer is volunteering their time to get to know you as an individual so they can understand how you will contribute to the Georgetown community.  

Is the Georgetown Interview Hard? 

While a report of the interview is added to your admissions file, it typically won’t make or break your chances of being admitted. The interview should be conversational in nature and will likely take less than an hour. You will be much less stressed if you arrive well-prepared. Find a friend or trusted adult to conduct mock interviews with you so you can practice your responses to common interview questions and get feedback on your body language and facial expressions.   

Of course, you are expected to come with your own questions — just think of questions that aren’t easily answered by looking at Georgetown’s website. Read our guide on college admissions interviews to help you prepare and put your best foot forward.  

What Questions Are Asked During the Georgetown Interview? 

Every interview is unique. The interview questions you are asked will depend largely on your interviewer and whether your responses generate follow-up questions. However, you should anticipate questions about your academic interests, family background, career goals, extracurricular activities, and your interest in Georgetown. The questions below are commonly asked in college admissions interviews.  

Tell Me About Yourself. 

This is a common question in both college admissions and job interviews, so it’s important to prepare a response ahead of time. IvyWise counselor Robin suggests briefly describing your family background, academic interests, extracurricular activities, and future aspirations when you answer this question — as demonstrated in this example: 

I come from a close-knit family where the values of education and curiosity were instilled early on, so I spent my childhood exploring a variety of subjects. It wasn’t until my adolescence that I developed a passion for understanding how businesses operate on a global scale. This curiosity has driven my academic journey, and I’m interested in exploring how to bridge the gap between these two disciplines. 

Outside of the classroom, I’ve been actively involved in Model United Nations, where I’ve honed my negotiation and diplomacy skills. Additionally, I took on leadership roles in our school’s debate club, which allowed me to articulate and defend my viewpoints effectively. These experiences have not only enhanced my understanding of global affairs but also reinforced my commitment to being an engaged and articulate member of my community. 

I’ve had the privilege of interning at the Global Impact Initiative, where I gained invaluable firsthand experience in the practical application of international relations principles. Working closely with the dedicated team, I was involved in projects aimed at addressing socioeconomic challenges in underprivileged communities worldwide. 

These experiences inspired my aspirations to pursue business and international relations. I believe that through this academic and experiential journey, I can play a meaningful role in fostering positive change on a global scale. 

Why Georgetown? 

You likely responded to at least one “Why This College?” essay question while you were applying to the colleges on your list. It’s also one of the most popular interview questions. This is your opportunity to show that you’ve done your research on Georgetown by mentioning specific courses, faculty, and student organizations that are relevant to your interests.  

I am fascinated by how business, government policy, and international relations intersect. Washington, D.C. encapsulates these elements, so Georgetown’s location is definitely a factor. But my main interest in Georgetown is the joint degree program in business and global affairs. No other school offers a program like this, which I find incredibly exciting. I am particularly drawn to the cohort model and the experiential learning opportunities around D.C. and abroad. And I love that the program offers signature courses that I wouldn’t be able to take otherwise. I plan to enroll in the School of Foreign Service before I apply to the BGA program, but I am also eager to learn from the faculty at the McDonough School of Business.  

The BGA cohort is a close-knit group, and I think learning with the same people for the duration of the program will motivate me. I thrive academically when I have a strong support system, and what can be stronger than a group of students completing the same courses and experiences together, collaborating, and encouraging each other?  

That said, I plan to get involved outside of the BGA program. Since the program has a language requirement and I’ve already been studying French, I plan to improve my speaking proficiency with the Georgetown French Cultural Association. It will give me a chance to meet other Francophiles and immerse myself in the language, food, and culture. As a first-year student, I plan to participate in First Year Orientation to Community Involvement to learn how I can contribute to community service and social justice initiatives.   

As I was researching schools, it became clear to me that Georgetown has everything I’m looking for to thrive and succeed academically and personally. I also love how Georgetown honors its Jesuit heritage by welcoming everyone and helping students live a life of deeper meaning and purpose regardless of their beliefs.  

Why Did You Choose Your Major? 

This question gives you an opportunity to explain how you became interested in the academic area you wish to pursue. Use specific examples to illustrate how your interest was sparked and then developed.  

The pandemic first made me really think about how we’re interconnected globally — maybe not in the most positive way — but it piqued my interest in how economies and governments around the globe were impacted by this experience. My high school coursework in economics and social studies allowed me to explore more of these global connections, and my interest grew from there. 

My involvement in Model United Nations and debate further fueled my interest in international relations and business. These experiences provided a platform to explore simulated diplomatic scenarios, which only heightened my desire to explore the intersection of business and international relations in a more formalized academic setting. My internship with the Global Impact Initiative allowed me to see how the concepts I learned impacted in the real world. My time with GII confirmed my decision to pursue international relations and business at the college level.  

In essence, my journey toward pursuing this major is a culmination of a passion nurtured through academic exploration and validated by real-world experiences. The prospect of studying these disciplines in tandem is not only an academic pursuit but a personal commitment to understanding and contributing to the complex and dynamic global landscape. 

What Do You Look for in a Community?  

Hopefully you’ve already given this some thought as you put together your balanced college list. What is your ideal campus community? How does Georgetown University align with this ideal? Provide specific examples of how Georgetown provides what you’re seeking in a community.  

I envision a community of individuals united by a shared commitment to intellectual growth, cultural diversity, and service to society. You can, of course, say that numerous colleges and universities offer this type of community. But more than that, I want to be part of a community that honors each person’s individuality and supports them holistically. This is where Georgetown really stands out to me.  

Georgetown values cura personalis — care for the whole person. The idea of cura personalis is not just about academic and professional development but also about the wellbeing of each individual. I look for a community where students are supported in their personal growth, where mental health and self-care are not only acknowledged but actively promoted.  

I’ve read about the steps Georgetown has taken to increase mental health services, support first-generation and low-income students, and advance gender equity among faculty. The university is committed to making the campus environment a welcoming, equitable, and inclusive place for everyone. A sense of belonging is very important to me in terms of what I look for in a community.  

How Will Attending Georgetown Contribute to Your Growth?  

If you are asked this question, try to respond from a holistic perspective. Provide specific examples of how Georgetown will help you grow intellectually, professionally, and personally. Read the example below for inspiration:    

Attending Georgetown will contribute to my growth in several ways — including ways I can’t even anticipate. In terms of my intellectual growth, the opportunities to learn from distinguished faculty, engage with a diverse student body, and navigate the complexities of global issues in Washington, D.C., will help me become a better communicator, researcher, and thinker. If I am accepted into the BGA program, I will have the opportunity to work and study abroad, which will help me grow as a global citizen.  

Georgetown’s emphasis on experiential learning and its robust network of alumni will provide me with the practical insights, connections, and mentorship opportunities that are crucial for my growth. The chance to intern in the heart of the nation’s capital, interacting with influential organizations and policymakers, will shape my perspective and contribute significantly to my professional development.  

I am eager to contribute to and learn from the diverse perspectives that Georgetown’s community fosters, which will undoubtedly broaden my worldview. Attending Georgetown will be a transformative experience that will allow me to grow significantly as a scholar, professional, and human.  

Useful Tips to Get Into Georgetown 

Admission to Georgetown is highly competitive — even if you submit a strong and compelling application, it’s no guarantee you will be admitted. This is true even of students who have the benefit of preferential admission consideration, such as legacy admissions status. Consider these tips to help you get into Georgetown: 

  • Take the most rigorous classes available to you and maintain the highest GPA possible. Georgetown does not report the GPAs of their enrolled students; however, their Common Data Set for the 2022-23 academic year shows that 84% of the first-year students they admitted graduated in the top 10% of their high school class.  
  • Invest the time in preparing and practicing for standardized tests. Georgetown requires test scores as part of their application, so submit the highest scores possible. This may mean taking the SAT or ACT more than once.  
  • Start your essays as early as possible. The Georgetown Application requires you to write three essays. The earlier you start drafting them, the more time you have to proofread and revise.  
  • Select a teacher who knows you very well to write the required recommendation letter describing your academic performance, character, and the contributions you have made to your school.  

Learn more about how to get into Georgetown

How IvyWise Can Help You With Your Interview at Georgetown 

At IvyWise, we offer expert guidance for every stage of the college admissions journey — whether you’re just getting started or you’re already immersed in the application process. IvyWise counselors are former Deans and Directors of admission at some of the top colleges and universities in the U.S., so they know what admissions committees are looking for. Schedule an Initial Consultation to learn how we can help you achieve your academic goals.   

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