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Life at Georgetown University – A Dublin High School Gael Meets Jack the Bulldog

June 26, 2014
Ina (left) with friend Adriana

Ina (left) with friend Adriana

On a regular December morning  two years ago, I was sitting at my desk, studying for my Microeconomics exam, when my mom walked in with a very thin envelope in hand and a serious expression. I tore open the deceptively small envelope and sighed, fearing the worst: a rejection letter from Georgetown University, my dream school. As I pulled out the folded white letter, I pictured myself walking through the historic front gates of campus like I had every day since I first set my eyes on the campus, a short year before.

My hands were shaking and my heart was beating as I read the letter, over and over again, in disbelief.

“Congratulations!” it read.

“Ecstatic” doesn’t even begin to explain how I felt. I was relieved to know that my four years of hard work in high school paid off. Weeks of anxious anticipation regarding the status of my application all culminated in this one moment. I was honored—honored that I landed on the right side of a 13% early action acceptance rate to Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business!

McDonough School of Business

McDonough School of Business

Not a day goes by where I do not look back on my past two years at Georgetown and feel incredibly lucky. I am lucky not only to be receiving such a fantastic undergraduate business education (Georgetown’s undergraduate program in Finance was recently ranked #1 in the nation by BusinessWeek), but also lucky to be living in nation’s capital, enjoying all that “the Hilltop” has to offer. I absolutely love it here. I love the constant aura of rewarding positivity that balances the challenging coursework, the unmatched energy at the Verizon Center after a 61-39 win against Syracuse, bumping into Vice President Joe Biden on the way to my Financial Accounting class,  receiving life advice from Warren Buffett and attending a lecture by none other than President Bill Clinton, a Georgetown alum! In addition, during my freshman year, I had the once-in-a-lifetime experience of attending inauguration with my friends. Even though I felt like a sardine pushed against thousands of other people on Constitution Ave. as I walked toward Congressman Eric Swalwell’s constituent gathering, it was a day I will never forget.

“Why Georgetown? Why leave California?”

Ina Deljkic (left) at the Dublin High Commencement Ceremony

Ina Deljkic (left) at the Dublin High Graduation

This is a question incredibly perplexed parents of my classmates or current students at Dublin High School tend to ask me. If I could share one piece of advice with any current Dublin High School student, it’s this: be limitless and don’t be afraid to go against the norm. The University of California school system is phenomenal, but remember— the popular route may not be the right fit for you. It wasn’t for me. Leaving my beloved small town of Dublin, CA to study on the East Coast has been the most rewarding experience of my entire life. Not only have I become an independent person, I have also been exposed to a completely different style of living. I find that the fast-paced nature of the East Coast complements my personality very well. Last semester, I had the pleasure of attending a 2-day program at a financial services firm I hope to work at post-graduation. Not only did this visit open my eyes to the opportunities I have in front of me but it also allowed me to speak with and learn from other people who have found success in the industry. Being just a short train ride away from the financial hub of the United States excites me, especially as I begin to pursue a career on Wall Street.

Georgetown University's The Corp

Georgetown University’s The Corp

Aside from its academic prestige, Georgetown was initially attractive to me because of the opportunities outside of the classroom. Georgetown actually reminds me a lot of Dublin High School; the students are very involved! On campus, I have found work and home within Students of Georgetown, Inc., known as “The Corp” on campus, a vibrant and popular student organization. “The Corp” is the nation’s largest and most successful entirely student run 501(c)3 non-profit corporation with over $5,000,000 in annual revenue. Everybody from the CEO to the new hires are undergraduate students who serve students through eight subsidiary services. Initially hired as a caterer, I have worked at two coffee locations and now serve on the Upper Management as Director of Finance of the Corp’s newest venture, The Hilltoss.  In addition to my experiences in “The Corp,” I am involved with Georgetown University Women in Leadership, where I serve as the Director of Logistics and Finance. This past semester, as an entirely student-run organization, we hosted the first annual “Own It” summit which was a huge success! Georgetown University Women in Leadership (GUWIL) seeks to empower women to set high goals, own their opinions, “raise their hands” and control their success. This year, we hosted Anne Finucane, Norah O’Donnell, Dee Dee Myers, Yvonne Cagle, Steve Case and Maria Shriver, among others, as speakers at the summit.

I am convinced that the friendly spirit and infectious drive for success at Georgetown are unmatched. At Georgetown, you aren’t just another student. Your professors will get to know you personally. Your major advisor, who you know has twenty other meetings during the day, will sit down and have a forty-five minute conversation with you about your background and your plans of the future. He’ll also remember your name when you run into him at Uncommon Grounds, one of The Corp’s coffee shops. A Jesuit Father will offer to take you to the dining hall in his golf cart because it is pouring rain (even though you have an umbrella), you’ll receive a handwritten Christmas card from the university after your acceptance referencing your personal statement, and your professor will invite your class over to her house for dinner. You’ll also meet the best friends of your life—friends who share your passion for knowledge, well-rounded nature, and involvement in the global community. You’ll meet the friends that push you harder, the same friends who will walk in your wedding someday.

Georgetown Orientation Advisor Program

Georgetown Orientation Advisor Program

While I have had a blast with friends and extracurriculars, Georgetown University’s undergraduate business program hasn’t been easy,  by any means. My classes, which are graded on a bell-curve, are demanding and have pushed me academically in ways I had not imagined. But they’re worth every late night of studying! Because Georgetown is such an multinational school,  I am constantly surrounded by so many perspectives, making class incredibly engaging and enjoyable. The intelligence of my peers and what we all are capable of accomplishing together never cease to amaze me. The professors are also genuinely helpful and make themselves available outside of class to answer questions.  Another perk is that the courses at Georgetown are smaller than at most universities and class discussions are a primary focus, especially at the business school. That being said, I can confidently state that the Advanced Placement program at Dublin High School prepared me for the rigor of Georgetown University. During high school, I took around 16 Advanced Placement and Honors courses and had some of the most encouraging teachers, who I am forever thankful for.

The past two years, I have learned to think critically independently and make real-world business decisions. I am currently honing these skills at my internship within an investment firm in San Mateo, CA, where I am an analyst. This summer my responsibilities include or will include researching and analyzing acquisition opportunities and target industries, managing all projects and interacting with intermediaries (i.e. investment bankers, investors and business brokers).

Even two years later, I’ll occasionally catch myself glancing up at historic Healy Hall, when the bells chime at the hour, and I don’t believe I’m here. It is so surreal. I could not be happier to attend Georgetown. I am so incredibly lucky and proud to be here! Hoya Saxa!

At the Dublin High School 2012 Senior Awards Night Ina Deljkic was recognized as a Dublin Lions Club Student of the Month (November), was named a California Scholarship Federation Life Member, earned a Gael Scholar and President’s Gold Award for Education Excellence and earned Dublin High School’s Advanced Scholar Diploma. Ina was also Treasurer of the Dublin High School Student Body (ASB).

Other articles in the Life in College series:

Georgetown University Healy Hall and Front Gates