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Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Magazine Lists Two Female Georgetown Business School Students as ‘MBA Students to Watch’


Business magazine “Poets and Quants” featured Kanokbhorn “KK” Saha (MBA ’23) and Elizabeth Shaya (MBA ’23), two recent Georgetown McDonough School of Business (MSB) graduates, as MBA Students to Watch in an Aug. 21 list.

“Poets and Quants, a publication that covers business school news and rankings, selected Saha and Shaya to be part of a 135-person class after the MSB nominated the two students for the award several months prior. 

Saha is currently an associate at BlackRock, a top investment management firm. Saha said that she entered business school with recruiting in mind, but the community of the MSB distinguished its program from other similarly prestigious MBA programs.

“The MSB not only has amazing resources like its career advisors, but it also has a smaller-sized class,” Saha told The Hoya. “Outside of getting a career I wanted, building a community was one of my goals.”

Saha was involved in Georgetown’s Finance Club and Graduate Women in Business, where she was the vice president of finance. 

Saha said her favorite part of her experience with Graduate Women in Business was empowering other female MBA students by coordinating events like Finance Day.

“Business is a predominantly male industry and it can be hard for women to network and be noticed and get a job with big companies,” Saha said. “So I brought myself to the table to equip other women with programming to help out with that.”

Saha, who is originally from Thailand, returned to her home country after attending the University of Washington for her undergraduate degree, where she worked in private wealth management. Saha said that the MSB’s curriculum refreshed her basic accounting and communications skills after being out of school for a few years.

“Both the educational and social networking aspects of the MSB helped set me up for success,” Saha said. 

Saha was a teaching assistant for professor Lee Pinkowitz’s corporation valuation elective during her second year. Pinkowitz said that Saha was a valuable teacher who was a model MSB student.

“She was bright and inquisitive, but also willing to help her colleagues,” Pinkowitz wrote to The Hoya. “I think she epitomizes the quality of our MBA students, both academically, and more importantly, as a person.”

Shaya is on the asset management team for Tishman Speyer, a New York City real estate firm, and oversees several office buildings. Shaya originally comes from a public health background, having received her B.A. and M.A. in public and mental health from Johns Hopkins University. 

Shaya said that at a previous job in the shipping industry, she realized that she wanted to do something that had a larger impact on the world. She said her passion for real estate ignited after this epiphany.

“Real estate can transform communities and improve lives,” Shaya told The Hoya. “I remember seeing a building in Baltimore that transformed the neighborhood it was in, and then I did a lot of research into what went into play in order to build that building.”

Shaya decided to apply to the MSB to facilitate her career change. She said the Steers Center for Global Real Estate Education stood out to her with its international focus, resources and job outcomes, as well as its student community.

“Everyone had the same attitude of wanting to learn but in a humble and collaborative manner,” Shaya said. “They wanted to lift each other up.” 

Shaya was a Hariri Scholar and a fellow for Forté, a network for women at top MBA programs. Shaya was also the president of the Georgetown Real Estate Society, organizing events for students to prepare for interviews and setting up visits from real estate companies based in Washington, D.C.

Shaya said the MBA program’s networking was invaluable for her future career. 

“The MSB did an incredible job of connecting us with alumni and giving us a format to meet them. I was paired with a mentor who taught me everything I needed to know about real estate,” Shaya said.

Shaya added that the MSB’s classes were rigorous but provided her with a strong foundation to succeed.

“I didn’t come from a finance background, but I was able to compete in interviews with people from investment banking backgrounds because of Georgetown’s curriculum,” Shaya said.

Shaya was a teaching assistant for professor Matthew Cypher’s real estate private equities course. Cypher said that he was not surprised when he found out that Shaya was named an MBA Student to Watch, as she was intelligent, active and focused.

“She is the total package of what you would want from a graduate of Georgetown. She didn’t come from a real estate background, but she built herself from the ground over a two-year period,” Cypher told The Hoya.

Saha said that while she plans to stay at BlackRock long-term, another goal of hers is to help other women achieve financial literacy.

“I want to make an impact to help educate women in finance. I want to help them enter the industry just as Georgetown alumni helped me,” she said.

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About the Contributor
Catherine Alaimo
Catherine Alaimo, Senior News Editor
Catherine Alaimo is a sophomore in the College of Arts & Sciences from Scottsdale, Ariz., studying psychology with minors in journalism and French. She can perfectly impersonate Anna Delvey from "Inventing Anna." [email protected]
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