We had the opportunity of interviewing Maddie M., Georgetown University '21, about: Getting into Georgetown
Maddie is a recent French-American grad from Georgetown University where she pursued American Studies. She's completed three marketing internships at SAP Concur, a software company. In high school, Maddie was enrolled in the French IB Diploma Program, served as the student government co-President, and held various leadership positions in Model UN in addition to receiving multiple awards.
Key points Maddie made:
"I prioritized my grades in high school, since I had heard that a college applicant’s transcript is a very key part of their application."
"...whenever I face failure, I think about how I’ve failed before but managed to keep going, and I remind myself that failure is temporary."
Q: Georgetown is a very prestigious university known for its political science, international relations, and business. What about it stood out to you in particular?
A: I’ll start with a geographic reason why Georgetown stood out to me - I’m from Washington State, and I knew I wanted to ideally go someplace far away for college. D.C. seemed like a great place to be. Also, I liked that Georgetown was very close to the exciting neighborhoods in a big city and still had a typical college-campus feel, with nice lawns and everything. The DC museum scene is also a great way to spend my time. Finally, back when I was choosing colleges, I thought I wanted to study political science and international relations, so academically, Georgetown was a great fit, since the school is known to be strong in those areas.
Q: On the other hand, what do you think made you stand out for Georgetown?
A: My transcript and extracurriculars likely helped me stand out - I had strong grades in high school and also had several leadership positions in extracurricular groups.
Q: What type of student do you think would fit well going to Georgetown?
A: In my opinion, Georgetown, being a fairly large school, has many diverse communities and people with all sorts of interests. So, I think many types of students would enjoy Georgetown. I will say that an incoming Georgetown student should be prepared to work hard academically. Also, a lot of Georgetown students are into politics, but certainly not all.
Q: What type of campus culture does Georgetown have?
A: Social life centers around clubs, for many people. That’s not always the case, though - sometimes, a freshman floor becomes a strong friend group, or people from a small major can become very close.
Q: How did you find internship opportunities, study abroad programs, and extracurriculars to participate in?
A: I found opportunities through word of mouth and through internet research. For study abroad programs, it was really helpful to discuss different locations with advisors from the study abroad office.
Q: What were your priorities in high school? Did you set them to help you go to a particular school or was it based solely on how you felt at the time?
A: I prioritized my grades in high school, since I had heard that a college applicant’s transcript is a very key part of their application.
Q: Where did you find inspiration for writing your essays (reading other essays, reading literature, etc.)
A: A wonderful English teacher at my high school curated a collection of examples of strong essays and not-so-strong essays, which I read attentively. It was very helpful to see possible directions I could take with my essays.
Q: What are some strategies you used when writing your essays?
A: I front-loaded my essay work as much as possible and spent time the summer before my senior year drafting essays. I also did my best to avoid overusing clichés, since an important goal is standing out. Finally, I had a lot of people proofread my essays - my mom, my English teacher, and a college admissions advisor.
Q: Can you describe the Bilingual (French) International Baccalaureate Diploma?
A: Yes, the International Baccalaureate diploma is a rigorous high school program that helps students gain cultural awareness and an international perspective and focuses heavily on writing. In the bilingual program, students pursue literature courses in another language in which they are fluent. Outside of classes, we also completed a Creativity, Action, Service project and wrote an Extended Essay.
Q: How do you think this program has benefited you as a person?
A: My writing skills improved greatly due to all of the practice that is part of the IB program, and I also improved on my time management skills, since the IB program required a good amount of homework time.
Q: How did you determine what courses you would take in high school? (GPA, interest, etc.)
A: As part of my high school’s honors program, many of my courses were prescribed to me. I had more choices during junior and senior year, so for those choices, I selected courses based on my interest levels in the subject matter and based on what I’d heard about teachers.
Q: Did you have a road map or check list for all the courses you wanted to take or did you “go with the flow”?
A: I did not really have a road map of courses, beyond making sure I completed my graduation requirements; I selected courses each year that fit my goals and desires at the time.
Q: How do you think your leadership positions, including Director of Club Affairs, Director at King County MUN, Assistant Director at Pacific MUN, have influenced your college admissions and college life?
A: My high school leadership roles likely showed colleges that I had passions outside of school and was dedicated to them. Also, after focusing on Model UN in high school, I was involved in Model UN in college, which helped me make friends and feel connected in a new college environment.
Q: What stood out to you about Model UN that made you want to become a part of it?
A: As a French-American person, I liked that Model UN focused on learning about different countries and cultures. I also appreciated its focus on interpersonal skills and relationship-building. Finally, I thought the competitive aspect was fun and motivating.
Q: Can you describe your experience in a foreign country while studying abroad in Morocco during your college semester in 2019?
A: It was a really wonderful experience that challenged me, and I’d been seeking that challenge. I absolutely experienced culture shock in a good way and got better at letting go of things that I couldn’t control. I feel like I grew as a person. If you’re interested, I wrote about my time abroad here: https://berkleycenter.georgetown.edu/people/maddie-mousseau.
Q: What would you say played a bigger role in your success? The environment or self-motivation?
A: Both were important. First, I consider myself a fairly motivated individual. My environment played a secondary, but still key, role - I was part of my school district’s honors program, so I had a lot of driven, hardworking peers who pushed me to strive for academic success. This environment was stressful at times but overall it was positive in that it pushed me to work harder in my classes and aim for strong grades.
Q: Do you have any final words of advice?
Whenever I felt unmotivated, I reminded myself to think about my future self; I knew my future self would be thankful for the work that I was putting in. And whenever I face failure, I think about how I’ve failed before but managed to keep going, and I remind myself that failure is temporary.
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