At the Center of It All

GWSB Undergraduate News

August 1, 2012

Welcome, Jenna Tesauro!

Meet Jenna, our new Program Coordinator here at GWSB! She recently sat down with Usama Khan, one of our Student Development Specialists, to chat a bit about her background and why she is so excited to join us on the GWSB Undergraduate Programs staff.

Usama: Where are you from?
Jenna: I am from Mullica Hill, NJ. It’s a small town in South Jersey with a lot of peach trees, not much else!

U: Where did you attend college? What did you study and why?
J: I attended Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. I majored in Psychology and minored in Biology and Philosophy. I have a strong liberal arts background; I really enjoyed taking classes in every department at Bucknell!
As for why I chose pysch and bio, I am really interested in how people operate, and Psychology and Biology really complemented this interest of mine. I even took an Animal Behavior class at Bucknell working in the Primate Lab with Capuchin Monkeys! I believe my knowledge and experience in these areas will help me work with and effectively communicate with students and office administrators.

U: Where else have you worked?
I worked at Bucknell in the Alumni Relations and Career Development Office. I had a brief one year stint with the Red Cross’ AmeriCorps Program in Philly. I also worked at The Wharton School while I was earning my masters in Higher Education at UPenn.

U: Why GWSB?
I was really attracted to the sense of community, the feeling of being a part of a school within a school. The students at GW are highly motivated, and I really enjoy interacting with undergrads with that kind of personality. I’m also excited to teach FYDP, work with the co-curricular programs, and help out the GWSB student orgs as much as I can.

U: What do you hope to bring/contribute to GWSB as the new Program Coordinator?
Well, I think I’m going to spend a bit of time learning and listening at first. Students at GW have a lot of really great ideas. I feel there’s a huge amount of entrepreneurial spirit in the business school, and I want to harness that to improve existing programs, as well as design new ones. I also want to increase student involvement in the business school, especially our student orgs.

U: Where do you see yourself in the future?
What a stressful question! Right now, I am happy to be working with undergraduates. I definitely see myself working in higher ed, and getting a PH.D, possibly at GW.

U: Tell us something interesting about yourself!
Umm… I have an identical twin sister! We are eerily similar, except that she is an aerospace engineer.

U: Anything else you'd like to say to the GWSB community?
Stop by! I love to meet students, so please stop by to introduce yourselves! I am looking forward to the start of the school year this Fall!

GWSB Access to

We are excited to announce that all GWSB faculty, staff, and students now have full access to the Financial Times' interactive web portal,! It can be accessed from any campus computer.  provides electronic access to the Financial Times' news content.  In addition, recently added new educational tools to enhance the business curriculum.  We are hoping that full-text access to and Education Tools will a very useful supplement for courses for the next academic year. Education Tools

FT Education features applications such as Clippings and MBA Newslines. Clippings can be set up to bookmark and store relevant articles and materials for reference, while also using comments to help explain aspects and facilitate discussion. Newslines is an annotation tool that adds notes to articles to provide background or explanations of key concepts and implications. Both of these applications can be used to facilitate discussion and debate over articles and emerging stories. Another key piece of the education learning tool is the research service with years of archives and data for reference.
Other features in addition to the Education platform include the ePaper and FT Lexicon. The ePaper is a digital copy of the full print addition with the ability to save, store, and share articles in PDF format. FT Lexicon is a reference and glossary of investment, financial, and business terms with explanations and examples.

Interview with Max (Zixiang) Chen, Winner of the White House Youth Sustainability Challenge Project

Max (Zixiang) Chen

1. What is the White House Youth Sustainability Challenge Project? How did you find out about it?
The White House Youth Sustainability challenge is a contest dedicated to showcasing the best sustainability efforts by young Americans. Nancy Sutley, chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, and Lisa P. Jackson, administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, launched the White House Youth Sustainability Challenge in May. They asked youth from around the country to show they are doing in their communities to foster sustainability in the form of a video. I found out about this contest through Net Impact.

2. How did you come up with ideas for your video? What was your brainstorming process like?
The inspiration of using a tree to tell my "growth" actually came to me while I was running in Dumbarton Oaks park one day. Immediately, I ran to the nearest bookstore to buy a notebook and a pen, sat down in the Starbucks next door, and wrote out my entire script in 2 hours. Most of the other videos were about one project that the other contestants are working on, but my video is more about my growth as an individual: from when I started an environmental community service group in high school to my current role as VP of Green GW. I love to tell stories, and so I just felt as though a story represented myself better than just an individual action.
I shot the video at grove of trees near Roosevelt Island. I taped pictures of my "growth" to the trees, using different branches to symbolize different things I've been involved in. I recorded the narration beforehand, and then just played the recording as I panned from picture to picture.

3. What was it like competing for votes? What did you do to gain a competitive advantage?
I think I get my competitive spirit from having run varsity cross country and track in high school. As a result, I oftentimes imagine challenges as track races in my mind, and I keep myself motivated with race quotes from track (silly, I know, but it works!).
I entered the contest about a week later than most of my competitors. However, within less than 48 hours, I went from 11th place (last) to 3rd place with 140 votes. The next day, I reached first place. Ever since then, I kept going back-and-forth with the other top three entries until the end. In order to gain more votes, I tried tapping into every connection and network I had. I created Facebook event, asked people I’ve met at sustainability conferences, posted in LinkedIn and Facebook groups, used so many email newsletters, tweeted at influencers, and asked all my friends and family... and their friends and family. I was obsessed because I wanted this so badly.
The final tally of votes was me-691, Johns Hopkins-489.
However, when you take a closer look at it, what I won was popular vote, not judge's choice. So, yes, all my experiences in sustainability were important, but what mattered much, much more was all the friends I was able to gain through those experiences.

4. How did your business knowledge help you during this contest?
The School of Business is just phenomenal in terms of teaching us how to communicate ourselves effectively, and that’s really what this contest was all about. Additionally, GWSB has been so supportive in all my business and sustainability endeavors, and I couldn’t be more grateful for it. For example, last year I had the opportunity to represent GWSB at the Athgo International’s Climate Change & Constructive Entrepreneurship conference at the World Bank and at William & Mary’s Corporate and College Collaborative on Sustainability conference.

5. Why do you think it is important for business majors to learn about sustainability?
We all live in a changing world where the topic of sustainability is unavoidable, especially in terms of business because business is how our society functions. Business majors have a huge advantage in affecting change in society because businesses are unlike nonprofits in that business managers work from the inside-out. As a result, business has the potential to be a powerful catalyst for positive change in our society. Business is a set of tools, whereas sustainability is a set of values, and the combination of business and sustainability gives us the ability to act upon our values in a convincing manner.

6. Now that you've won, what happens next? What's the prize/reward?
In addition to the honor itself, my video was shown at the recent Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development, and I will be attending a special event at the White House on August 31 that features the winners!

7. What are your future goals/plans?
Career-wise, I definitely want to do something business and sustainability related, but am still not sure what it is specifically; the possibilities are endless. I would love work in an environment where I can justify ethical and sustainable decisions with business knowledge.

8. Anything else you'd like to share with the GWSB community?
I would love to see more business and sustainability courses available for undergraduates in the School of Business since there currently are (shockingly) none! If anyone is interested in the same, please contact me.

NEW! Student Highlights Section: What I did on my Summer "Vacation."

Abigail Howard

Abigail Howard

I am a rising sophomore, majoring in International Business. I received the Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) from the U.S. Department of State by applying this past fall and getting selected from a large pool of aplicants. CLS is a summer program for American undergraduate and graduate students to learn critical languages for the United States in order to create a new generation of foreign language speakers; Turkish is one of those languages.

This summer I am in Izmir, the third largest city in Turkey, which is on the Aegean Coast in the west of the country. I am studying at TÖMER Ankara Üniversitesi, the most commonly known foreign language school in Turkey for 8 weeks. Every morning during the week I have Turkish class. Several afternoons a week we have cultural activities including cooking and dance classes, spending time with Turkish university students, and day trips to museums or nearby towns, such as Ephesus and Didim. We have the opportunity to travel independently on the weekends and by the end of the summer I will have gone to Bodrum, Istanbul, Antalya, and Samsun. Also, I am living with a host family, which is great for practicing my Turkish skills and learning about the culture. 
The biggest cultural difference for me to adapt to was the difference in gender roles. Turkey is very diverse in that it is very liberal and modern in some places, but conservative and traditional in others. The gender roles however seem to stay constant throughout the country though where women are the ones that do all of the housework and typically the men are the breadwinners. Several times I have not been able to participate in an activity or have had to stay home just because of the fact that I am a woman, which is frustrating.
I have learned that knowing English while doing business in Turkey very important, so I am very fortunate for already knowing the language. However, knowing Turkish can be extremely advantageous for foreigners doing business in Turkey because one can understand what goes on behind the scenes. It is helpful to know that one is being treated fairly by picking up on cultural innuendos. Speaking the native language allows business to be conducted easily and thoroughly.

Ben Leighton

Ben Leighton

I am a rising senior, majoring in Business Economics and Public Policy. This summer, I am interning at, Inc. My office manages the day to day operations of over 2,000 call center employees in the United States. I focus on ensuring that the attendance policy is followed and that agents are held accountable for their attendance. I have also created a mock-up for an automated attendance voicemail and am creating and analyzing reports related to attendance by department and unapproved overtime by supervisor.

It's very interesting and exciting to work for a rapidly growing company. I'm learning about the workings of a call center and how to manage one. Being the main employee overseeing the attendance policy for the call centers is a lot of responsibility and work, and it is exciting to be able to "own" a project. Being in a management position is a great way to use some of the skills that I've learned in school and learn more skills that will help me later in life.

Sean Lynch

Sean Lynch

I am a rising junior, majoring in Information Systems. This summer I am interning as a Data Management Intern at Blackbaud in Washington, DC. Blackbaud ( is a market leader in building products and providing services for the non-profit industry. I have been working on projects such as building a time entry system, integrating two intranets, and improving a ticket prioritization process.

Additionally, this summer I attended the Deloitte National Leadership Conference from July 8 – July 11. The conference was held at Deloitte University, which is Deloitte’s brand-new state-of-the-art leadership and learning center in Westlake, Texas. 403 participants attended the conference, 13 of us represented Deloitte’s federal practice. At the conference we learned about building our personal brand (check out Deloitte’s new app “I Want to Be.”), making moments that matter, and also various leadership skills. The conference was also a great opportunity to network with students and Deloitte professionals from across the country. I highly recommend GWSB rising sophomores to apply to attend this conference next year.

The GWSB F. David Fowler Career Center helped me greatly with these two amazing opportunities that I have had this summer. Set up an appointment with a career coach when you get back to campus, for they are always available to help students find great career opportunities.

Updated: Opportunities for Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU)

About the REU Program:

The Research Experience for Undergraduates program in the School of Business cultivates and supports research partnerships between undergraduate students and School of Business faculty members. The REU program provides opportunities for undergraduate students to work as part of the team on a faculty member's research project or to participate in a case competition requiring intensive research. The REU program engages undergraduates fully in the learning process and enables them to gain an appreciation of the role of research in business. For the academic year 2011-2012, we have 19 undergraduate students participating in the program working with 16 faculty members on diverse research projects.

The Office of Undergraduate Programs is accepting REU applications from GWSB faculty members and undergraduate students for academic year 2012-2013. For faculty members who would like to have a research assistant, please contact Dr. Joelle Davis Carter at for detailed information. For undergraduate students who are interested in being a research assistant, please click here to view available opportunities and submit your application form to Duquès Hall, Room 455.

Current Open REU Positions:

  • • Professor Paul Swierczis looking for a student to help him with a case study on the Peace Corps:

Research Description:
Research in support of a case on staffing policies of the Peace Corps.
Working Title: Peace Corps.: The Shortest Career You Will Ever Love. The Peace Corp is unique because it has a strict limit on the length of appointments for professional staff. We will investigate the origins of this policy and its consequence for Peace Corps performance.

Preferred Student Qualifications:
Library/ archival research
Interviewing skills
Project management
Word and Power Point familiarity

Length: one semester or until project completion. 5-10 hrs per week 

  • • Professor Edward Cherian PHD is looking for a student to help him continue his Healthcare IT research in the Spring of 2013.

Please contact him at

Or, if there is another topic you have in mind, feel free to grab a professor and submit a proposal!
E-mail for more information!

GW and GWSB Summer Reading Program

The George Washington University requires all incoming Freshman students to participate in a summer reading program, and students enrolled in the School of Business have additional reading assignments. This year, all Freshman students University wide are required to read War, by Sebastian Junger, a New York Times Bestseller.

In addition, GWSB students are required to read Pour Your Heart Into It: How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time, by Howard Schultz, Chairman and CEO of Starbucks. These books will prepare incoming students to think critically during their studies at GW. These books will be integrated into the First Year Development Program, which all GWSB Freshmen take.

For rising Sophomores and Juniors, two other courses for the Fall '12 semester have new required summer reading. Students enrolled in the fall semesters for BADM 2003W, Analysis of Business Issues, and BADM 3001, Career Management Strategy, have required reading, and received information regarding the programs via email. These required summer readings and assignments are designed to establish links between Liberal Arts and Business education, and foster a higher learning experience.

Questions about the reading requirements can be directed to or by calling (202) 994-5214.

GW Tutoring Initiative

GW Tutoring Initiative provides tutoring services for GW students in a variety of courses. In addition to individual sessions, we also have drop-in sessions that students can utilize throughout the semester free-of-charge, and online tutoring through Smarthinking. Please visit the GW Tutoring Initiative website for more information.

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NEW! Welcome, Jenna Tesauro!

NEW! GWSB Access to

NEW! Interview with Max (Zixiang) Chen, Winner of the White House Youth Sustainability Challenge Project

NEW! Student Highlights Section: What I did on my Summer "Vacation."

Updated: Opportunities for Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU)

GW and GWSB Summer Reading Program

GW Tutoring Initiative

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