Name: Michael Bergen
Currently living: Arlington, VA
Program and graduating class: McDonough School of Business (MBA), graduated in 2009
Tell us about your experience since graduating from Georgetown: After graduating, I had the opportunity to work at Deloitte Consulting for over three years focusing on international competitive intelligence. After that I moved to Toffler Associates, a boutique advisory firm in Reston, VA helping commercial clients plan, understand, and create their future. The work there is very interesting and I have the privilege of working within the highest levels of companies, but it is my most recent endeavor in which I am most proud of.
What are you currently working on/where are you working? Being a Marine Corps veteran, I am an avid shooter and sportsman. My best friend Bryan Stear is an astrophysicist working for the government and has had the ambition to open a shooting range that would change the entire industry. Last month I fulfilled one of my goals after graduating Georgetown of starting a business by partnering with Bryan to open Shoot Indoors LLC, an indoor firing range in the suburbs of Denver.
Bryan used his understanding of physics and mathematics to not only target the precise area to open his business based on population growth and traffic, but also design a new shape of the firing range that cut our building costs in half. Shoot Indoors Inc has a provisionary patent on this design and is currently in the process of filing for a full patent.
Shoot Indoors has just recently opened on January 11th 2014 to solid crowds. The 11,630-square-foot space near the intersection of U.S. Highway 287 and Commerce Street in Broomfield, CO outside of Denver includes ten 25-yard lanes as well as space for safety and certification courses. The facility accommodates handguns, rifles and shotguns with a focus on safety and a modern atmosphere. There are free introductory gun-safety orientation classes four nights per week and more in-depth firearms courses five nights per week for a fee.
Our plan is to expand in the future based off of current success with the possibility of franchises being available. Georgetown has given me a solid foundation for business and I hope to translate that into success in the real world. We believe in better Shooting through Science and it is my goal not to become a business case used at Georgetown MSB on why a company failed.
What is your advice for current Georgetown students as they graduate and moving into the business world?
Use your network. Beyond the first-class education you get at Georgetown, the best weapon you will gain when you leave is our network. Not just for finding a job, but for learning about a new market or finding colleagues around the world if you do business internationally. When you meet another Georgetown alum, you know they have been through the same academic gauntlet as you and that forges an instant bond. My other advice is go to more basketball games while you are in school, I regret not going to more.
What is your favorite memory from Georgetown?
I can’t narrow it down to just one, so I will take the easy route and list two things. First is the overall atmosphere of the campus. It’s the reason I came back from the West Coast to go to school here. There is a simultaneous energy and calm when you walk through the heart of campus. While I was in school if I ever needed inspiration, I would trek though school grounds to find motivation. Along the same vein, if I ever needed to clear my mind, nothing did that better than a jog around Georgetown in the early morning.
The second is more of a legacy and revolves around the connections I have made while I was at MSB. After being out of school for almost 5 years, it is impressive to see what my classmates have achieved in their careers and in life. When catching up with friends, I am awestruck to see the positions of influence and power they have ascended to in such a short time. It is these connections that are the foundations of your personal networks for the rest of your careers.