Today, we are getting to know Elie Farhat.
What is your role at Georgetown? How long have you been working here?
I am the associate dean of admissions and career management for our executive degree programs. I am entering my seventh year at Georgetown.
What do you enjoy most about working with executive education students?
I most enjoy the lifelong connections I make with students and seeing the impact that the Georgetown McDonough education has on their careers and lives.
As someone who has spent more than 15 years in higher education, how have you seen the landscape change or evolve?
The executive education landscape is constantly changing. Our student population is getting younger. Eighteen years ago, the average age of executive MBA (EMBA) students was around 41, and today it is around 35. We also have seen a decline in company sponsorships. When EMBA programs started 40 years ago, the entire class would be fully sponsored. Today about 1/3 of the class is. The most visible change has been in the area of technology which is disrupting the entire industry. We have more online offerings which has brought more convenience for students who don’t have to miss more days from work. At the same time, it has created challenges for higher education institutions in terms of adapting the teaching methodology for traditional faculty and building the I.T. infrastructure to support such offerings.
You travel all over the world recruiting for Georgetown’s executive degree programs. How many countries do you visit each year? Do you have any “travel hacks” or tips you have learned along the way?
I usually visit about eight countries each year. The tip I like to give to travel enthusiasts is about cultural openness. I would encourage travelers to go out of the hotels and avoid pre-planned trips. Instead, they should mingle with the native population to get a sense of the mœurs (societal customs, manners, and morals) and the richness that each country has, and appreciate the differences in our world.
Compiled by: Carolyn Kirshe