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Business Class

BY Michael McCarthy | September 9, 2016 | Feature Features

George Washington's Errol Williamson touts the luxuries of his school's executive MBA program.
SEASON OF CHANGE Errol Williamson at the Four Seasons in Georgetown

Memories of grad school typically include tiny apartments with a steady diet of convenience-store ramen. Errol Williamson and his team at George Washington University have a different option: international study... and luxury. The home base for the school’s World Executive MBA program is Georgetown’s Four Seasons­—not just for an occasional student-faculty event, but for everything: every class and meal, as well as accommodations for students. It’s a level of educational opulence that matches the ambitions of those enrolled in the program, says Williamson, who is the director of recruiting and admissions. “We wanted a unique and world-class experience for students,” Williamson says about the matriculants, who typically are 35 and older with 10 to 15 years of experience. Students include senior managers and directors of private firms or government agencies, and entrepreneurs. Each 16-month session has 35 students who each pay $115,310 to register.

“Students get the chance to experience our direct partnerships with the IMF and the World Bank, and they’re able to see how the wheels of change and the legislative process work,” says Williamson, who also notes that the 16-month program includes two international residencies with accommodations equal to that of the Four Seasons. The combination of esteem and luxe have a distinct draw, and 20 percent of the students enroll from other countries. Williamson says one recent student is the CEO of South Africa’s version of the Federal Aviation Administration, and he commuted every other weekend to DC for classes. Partnering with the Four Seasons—there’s even a dedicated Bourbon Steak menu—certainly made branding easier, but Williamson is quick to point out it’s all about the quality of the education and the city itself. “What you’ll be able to see and do here, you wouldn’t be able to experience on any other campus.”

Belgian loafers sans socks, Tumi luggage, Opus X cigars, Four Roses whiskey, Bourbon Steak burgers, fall-winter

Pork, cheap cigars, mean people, every single cable company, judgmental people, summer heat

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