Monthly Archives: November 2012

MSPM Program Hosts Chris Scolese, Director of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

The MSPM program, in collaboration with the GWSB Department of Decision Sciences, is pleased to host Christopher J. Scolese, director of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, to discuss the challenges faced by NASA on large-scale projects.

Christopher J. Scolese, Director of Goddard Space Flight Center.
Photo credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls.

Mr. Scolese assumed his current post on March 5, 2012.  Previously, he served as NASA’s associate administrator at NASA headquarters in Washington, DC, the agency’s highest-ranking civil servant position.  Mr. Scolese has been with NASA since 1987.  His previous experience included work in industry and government.  For a full biography of Mr. Scolese, visit NASA’s website.

The event is free and open to the GW community.  Current MSPM students have been provided advance notice of the event, however.  Space is limited, we encourage all attendees to arrive early to guarantee a seat. Holiday refreshments will precede the event from 5:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.

The event will be recorded and shared with all MSPM students following the event.

What:  A discussion on large-scale projects with the director of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and refreshments.

When:  Monday, Dec. 10, 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Where:  Duques Hall, Room 255

2201 G St, NW

Washington, DC 20052

*RECORDING NOW AVAILABLE:   Chris Scolese, Director of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

To Study or Not to Study (Abroad) – An MSPM Candidate Shares Her Experience

To Study or Not to Study (Abroad)

As a first year MSPM student and recent MBA graduate (GWSB 2010) I assumed that balancing school and work would not be very different from my time at GW as an EMBA candidate. While there are some similarities, attending class at night has had a larger impact on my ability to balance life, work and school, than attending class one eight-hour day a week. I began to reconsider my 6 credits-per-semester plan that I had developed to finish my degree in two years.

I found my answer in Dubai; specifically through the GWSB study abroad program in Dubai. I was able to take two three-credit courses, Strategic Brand Management and Advanced Marketing in Dubai and finish my spring semester on January 27, 2012. A few disclaimers:

  • This program is a lot of work and not for people who plan to treat the trip like a vacation.
  • This program starts in early December, while you are finishing your fall semester final exams.
  • Traveling in the UAE is amazing and I highly recommend it.

I am an experienced traveler, but even for those who are not; this was not a complicated endeavor. You need to be open to trying new food, willing to risk taxis and subway systems with signage in other languages and take changes in the itinerary with a grain of salt; if you can do that you will have a blast. We had assignments and pre-work due before we left for Dubai and deliverables due during the trip and once we returned home. The course work is a great blend of traditional course curriculum and of the culture and traditions of the UAE. We were encouraged to evaluate and describe our perceptions of marketing and branding concepts that we experienced in Dubai and define how successful the implementation was.

Consulting Practicum – This was one of the most valuable experiences of the trip. We were divided into groups of five and assigned a customer to work with. Customers ranged from finance institutions, to media clusters and sporting organizations. Teams were created by interest and customers. Each team developed their own project schedule and met with customers remotely and on-site in Dubai. We identified issues that customers were interested in solving, developed recommendations and presented solutions. It was very interesting and challenging work, but also very rewarding.

Our days were very full with meetings and discussion sessions but we all found time to see the sights and many remained in the UAE for a few more days after the session to see more of the country. Dubai is only one of the locations the GWSB offers for foreign study. If you have any inclination to travel for a few weeks, put in a lot of work and see the world, I highly recommend you check out

Have a great trip!

Fiona Saunders, MSPM candidate