Liz Lupton, MBA‘18, is one of about 20 D'Amore-McKim School of Business MBA students who spent their spring break learning about the U.S. government's inner workings during a popular, weeklong residency in Washington, D.C.
Coordinated by The Washington Campus, this immersive program offers part- and full-time MBA students from fewer than 20 graduate schools around the country the chance to see firsthand how government and business work together.
“The regulatory environment is very important and highly interesting to me from a business perspective, especially because it can be hard to predict macrotrends,” explained Lupton. “I wanted that hands-on experience to get a better feel for what really happens in D.C.”
Lupton, who worked in the marketing and PR field for 10 years before enrolling full time in the MBA program, participated in a packed week of high-level guest speakers, rubbing elbows with business and regulatory committee members, lobbyists, media representatives, and more.
“Some of the most exciting elements were the hands-on group projects,” said Lupton. “While in D.C., we worked in groups with students from other schools to think about creative ways to solve immigration and visa issues in a business-friendly way.”
“Then, when we were back at Northeastern, our cohort completed a final group project—a lobbying plan that took everything we'd learned throughout the week and brought it all together,” she said. “A big transportation infrastructure bill was being written in D.C. at the time, so we took on the persona of the MBTA's government relations office to show what we would do to make sure that it kept the MBTA's best interests in mind.”
In addition to the incredible experiential learning opportunities, students also earn three elective credits for the residency program, while also enjoying some travel with classmates.
“We always encourage students to take advantage of this program if they can,” said Gail Justino-Miller, the assistant dean and director of Graduate Programs and Student Services. “For domestic students, it's the perfect way to learn about how their government works and how it can affect them in a professional capacity; for international students, it allows them to see a new part of the U.S. and learn how our legislation differs from that in their home country.”
“The goings-on in D.C. have this mythical quality, even if you read the news everyday,” said Lupton. “My time during the residency gave me a better understanding of how business works with the legislators, and I came away with a very positive view of government. People on both sides truly want to work together to get things done.”