Student Profiles: Meet Atisha Kika

Posted on April 10, 2015 in Uncategorized by Stefan

photoHometown: Gweru, Zimbabwe

Undergraduate Institution: The University of Texas at Dallas

Track: Financial Reporting and Assurance Services

Why did you choose to attend Notre Dame MSA?

I chose to come to Notre Dame because my sister came her six years ago and she always told me what a beautiful campus Notre Dame had and only had positive things to say about the program. After walking around on the first day I arrived, I will agree with her. Notre Dame has the best campus I have ever seen and every time I walk on campus I have a sense of belonging, and I know this is  exactly where I am supposed to be.

Which class do you enjoy the most this semester?

The class I enjoyed the most this semester was Healthcare Management. I found this class very interesting because it was a discussion based class centered on solving problems that our healthcare system faces today. It was easy to relate to the issues, and it was a nice change from taking all accounting and finance related courses.

What is one of your favorite experiences in the program thus far?

One of  my favorite experiences in the program thus far was attending a football game. There is a great atmosphere on campus and many traditions that take place on a game week end that has made my Notre Dame experience memorable.

What are your postgraduate plans?

After I graduate I will be working for EY Chicago in the assurance service line

What is one of your favorite places to visit around campus? 

One of my favorite places to visit around campus are the two lakes. After a long day, or when I feel overwhelmed I love to take a walk to the lakes and clear my mind. It’s a great place to be alone and appreciate nature.

Fun fact: I have tried Zebra jerky. It was yellow, did not taste like chicken and I will probably never eat it again!

A Tale of Two Cities: MSA Goes to South America

Posted on March 24, 2015 in Study Abroad by Stefan
Renaca Beach

Renaca Beach

By: Shakaila Jones

Pisco Sour, por favor! This seemed like the only thing that I could say in both Spanish and Portuguese that was accurately comprehended in South America. On the contrary, while I did consume many of these delicious alcoholic beverages, they were but just one indulgence of the many things that made up one of my best life experiences. Traveling to both Santiago, Chile and Sao Paulo, Brazil with the Mendoza School of Business was an opportunity of a lifetime. Here is my brief tale of the two cities.

3M Company Visit in Brazil

Notre Dame MSAs and MBAs at 3M

The trip was eye-opening into many of the progressive features of the countries, in addition, to numerous key issues facing them. Over the duration of our stay we had the opportunity to visit several companies and listen to various speakers who were able to give us an insight into these areas. Those that stood out the most were in regards to the poverty level and education system. In both Chile and Brazil there is a substantial amount of the population that live below the poverty line. Many of them are forced to live in areas known as favelas, which are slums within the city. In Chile the education system is broken into non-profit and for-profit institutions. This segments the quality of education for the children in the country as poorer families cannot afford to pay for their children’s education. So in a way, poverty and education are linked.

Nonetheless, I am sure the fun part of the trip is what everyone wants to know. In South America the fun was endless. Horseback riding up the Andes Mountains was exciting and terrifying, but the view at the top was absolutely breath-taking! Visiting the DeMartino Chilean winery was



beautiful and intoxicating! And we had to visit the beach while we were in 80-90 degree weather! Other activities included white water rafting, zip lining, and visiting many of the amazing tourist sites on bike or foot. Some included historic statues and buildings, such as Cathedrals or Govt buildings, and an unquantifiable amount of street art! We also attended a Brazilian futbol game, which is something that I will never forget. The daytime events were adventurous and most nights, if we had enough energy, we roamed the cities to find new restaurants, bars and night clubs to get to know the locals and have a bit more fun before we called it a night in our 5-star hotel!

Horseback Riding

Horseback Riding


This is only a glimpse of the amazing South America Study Abroad Trip! The 2 weeks spent out of the US were beyond anything I could have ever imagined. I recommend traveling to South America to anyone who wants to venture to a new country.  As a side note, while I learned so much about Chile and Brazil, I discovered that studying abroad made me more aware of the many privileges and luxuries that we have as US citizens that often times go unnoticed. Because of this, I challenge myself and others who fall into this category to make a conscious effort to show more gratitude and also help improve the living conditions for the less fortunate in our own country. Love other countries, but Be Proud to be an American!

Andes Mountain 2

Andes Mountain


Student Profiles: Meet Matt Allison

Posted on March 3, 2015 in Uncategorized by Stefan

UntitledHometown: Lakeland, FL

Undergraduate Institution: Georgia Institute of Technology

MSA Track: Tax

Why did you choose to attend Notre Dame MSA? I grew up loving Notre Dame. First it was a love of the football team when I was a little kid, and later, when I realized what a special place Notre Dame is, it became a love for the University. Notre Dame’s commitment to academic excellence and spiritual identity has always been impressed me. I was able to attend another university that I love (Georgia Tech) for undergrad, and when I realized that Notre Dame offered the masters program I needed, there really wasn’t any other choice. The fact that the program is so highly ranked is a nice bonus.

Which class do you enjoy the most this semester? For the fall semester I would have to go with Taxes & Business Strategy with Professor Seida. While at times grueling and stressful, TBS challenged me and helped me to approach business problems in a different way. For the spring semester, I have really enjoyed Academic Research in Accounting with Professor Ricchiute. The class is a sort of introduction to academic research, and Professor Ricchiute brings great insight and passion to the class.

What is one of your favorite experiences in the program thus far? Hanging out Thursday nights at Corbys with friends has been a great weekly tradition. Its a lot of fun to get to know people outside of class, and to relax. Also, football games are pretty awesome.

What are your postgraduate plans? I will be returning to Atlanta, Georgia to work for Deloitte in their International Tax practice. I plan on applying to PhD programs in a few years.

What is one of your favorite places to visit around campus? Any recommendations for students new to South Bend? The Grotto is an amazing place, and I walk past it every change I get. I’m also a pretty big fan of the Library, and there are some great views from the upper floors. I would recommend that new students get to know the area. While not a bustling metropolis, South Bend has some neat stuff to offer.

What was one highlight from your public accounting internship experience? During my second busy season I worked with a small team on a hospitality group in Atlanta that owned and operated a number of hotels, restaurants, and bars. After a particularly brutal busy season, our group left work early and went downtown to hang out at some of the restaurants and bars we worked on. It was a cool way to end the project.

Fun fact: I’m a pretty good cook.

China Study Abroad

Posted on February 15, 2015 in Study Abroad by Stefan
Great Wall

Melissa Garza, Emily Kopetsky and Patrick Cross at the Great Wall

Many thanks to MSA student Melissa Garza for her great reflections on her Study Abroad experience to China! This trip is open to all MSA students and usually occurs during the Fall Interterm.

With Spring Break right around the corner, it is crazy to imagine that just a few months ago I was on my way to spend my Fall Break in China.  MSA (Master of Science in Accountancy) students are given the opportunity to participate alongside MBA (Master of Business Administration) and MSM (Master of Science in Management) students in a 12 day immersion program that highlights the business and cultural differences between China and the United States and gives students an insight as to how to overcome them.

China was never a country that I anticipated visiting at such a young age.  However, when the opportunity presented itself I could not pass it up!  My colleagues and I were fortunate to have been able to hear the perspectives of business leaders from companies like Kodak, Lenovo, and Kimberley Clark among others.  Some of the leaders we spoke to were expatriates, many of whom candidly spoke of their initial challenges adjusting to a new culture.  In contrast, we also had the opportunity to hear the perspective of business leaders who are Chinese citizens.  They informed us of various aspects of government regulation and cultural norms.  Overall, I gained valuable insight that was not only relevant to adapting to conducting business in China, but to any other foreign location.

While there, we visited several well-known landmarks like the Great Wall, the Temple of Heaven, and the Bund.  Although those experiences are very valuable to me, some of my favorite moments of the trip took place in seemingly ordinary places.  From visiting grocery stores to walking down the street, every moment was an opportunity to take in the culture and understand the daily lives of the locals.

Due to the fact that the trip is organized by the University, it gave me the ability see the sites and visit companies that a normal tourist would not be able to visit.  The trip was an unforgettable learning opportunity that was much more valuable than if I had visited on my own.

Temple of Heaven

MSA Students at the Temple of Heaven









Tianamen Square

Tianamen Square


MSA Concession Stand – Notre Dame vs. Stanford

Posted on October 5, 2014 in Uncategorized by Stefan

By: Laura Savoie, MSA Class of 2015. Thanks to Laura for her contributions to the blog and her efforts in organizing the fall fundraiser. What a thrilling 4th quarter win against Stanford! If interested, enjoy a recap of the game.

The MSAA Concession Stand is the primary fall fundraiser for the program.  It is a great opportunity to get the entire class involved in raising funds for various program events throughout the year.  The MSAA has an excellent location right in front of the stadium in the library quad, and the stand was held during a big game against Stanford.  Despite particularly cold and wet weather for this past year’s game day, the concession stand was a hit and raised a lot of money!

The process for setting up and running the stand is set by school standards and past MSA experience.  Materials are given to class officers to guide the MSAA in pulling off the fundraiser.   Certain items (meat) must be ordered from the school to abide by health safety requirements.  For other items such as soft drinks and cheese, a group of students can go to GFS or a similar low cost store to buy the items in bulk.  A student with a large car will need to pick up the items ordered through ND early on game day morning and the items purchased elsewhere will also need to be loaded and brought to the stand site.  A grill can be rented from one of the undergraduate dorms for a reasonable price.  Tables will be at the stand site that morning.  Vicky Holaway, MSA Manager of Events and Special Projects, has other supplies stored for the day that will need to be brought from Mendoza to the stand site that morning.  MSAA Officer materials include guidance on order quantities and sales pricing.

Lots of volunteers are needed in shifts to run the stand all day and divide the responsibility so everyone is able to enjoy game day festivities.  The first shift will set up and the last shift will close and clean up.  Shifts are 2 hours and have about 6-8 students working at a time.  Overall this event is a critical fundraiser for the program but also a lot of fun and typically a big success.  The funds are used for the annual MSAA Christmas party and grad week events among other smaller expenses to pull off a great program!


South Bend Color Run 2014

Posted on September 12, 2014 in Community Service by Stefan

By: Kate Johnson

color run 3

On September 27th, 2014, the Color Run came to South Bend, and the MSAs ran it! The Color Run was a very memorable event! Not only was it everyone’s first Color Run experience, but also, it was a few of the MSA’s first 5-K experience! We all ran in groups and crossed the finish line together.  Because we had only been in classes for about a month, it was a great way to get to know each other outside of the classroom. I highly recommend the Color Run for next year’s class, which will occur on September 12, 2015!

The Color Run was founded in March 2011 as an event to promote healthiness and happiness by bringing the community together to participate in the “Happiest 5k on the Planet”. It is the original paint race and has created a completely new genre of running events that continues to grow exponentially. It is now the single largest event series in the world. The fun continues after Color Runners complete the race with an unforgettable Finish Festival. This larger than life party is equipped with music, dancing and massive color throws, which create millions of vivid color combinations.

The Color Run has traditionally partnered with charities to help shine a light on their amazing work within society and highlight the causes they stand for. To date, they have raised donations for more than 80 local and national charities since 2012 totaling $3 million of donations to charity.

Source: “The Color Run.”



Inter-Term: Green Mountain Coffee

Posted on March 15, 2014 in Highlights by Hannah

Many thanks to MSA student Kate Johnson for her great reflections on Spring inter-term! This week offers several exciting opportunities for students and industry leaders to collaborate on cutting edge projects while networking with fellow MSAs and MBAs. Read below about Kate’s experience with Green Mountain Coffee:

The MSAs at Notre Dame have two weeks of Spring Break, beginning with an inter-term week. During inter-term, students can elect to spend a week on campus in a course of their choice, where they work hands-on with Professionals and current MBA students at Notre Dame for one credit of a general elective. Over the past week, I had the privilege of being one of 5 MSAs who were given the opportunity to spend their inter-term week with Christopher Stevens, who currently serves as vice president of Corporate Relations of Keurig. Chris was one of the four people to develop and launch the Keurig Premium Coffee Systems in 1998. It was such a remarkable experience, as each team was given two and a half days to come up with recommendations on where Keurig and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters should focus its product development efforts and/or what acquisitions Green Mountain should make. These recommendations were presented to the class on the final day of the course.

kate johnson

Kate with Professor Chris Stevens

On the first day, Chris presented company details and information relative to our research and laid out his expectations for our presentations. The teams of five were then given the rest of the day Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday to work together to present a written recommendation and a PowerPoint presentation. On Thursday, each team presented their ideas. While I definitely think having three Keurig machines fully stocked with every K-cup imaginable was definitely a perk of being on this inter-term project, the best part about all of each teams’ hard work was that every presentation was sent to Green Mountain Coffee and Keurig corporate, who would carefully consider all of our ideas as a possible decision for Keurig. Throughout the week, Chris remained stationed in the Mendoza College of Business so that if anyone had questions about anything in the company, they could directly ask him. The opportunities given to us in the MSA program at Notre Dame are absolutely remarkable and are definitely a unique feature to the MSA program at Notre Dame. Having the ability at such a young age to be immersed in projects with MBAs and ultimately having my ideas considered by some of the most successful individuals in business was an honor and an experience I will never forget.

Snowy South Bend

Posted on February 18, 2014 in Snapshots by Hannah

Midterms Are Coming.

Posted on February 13, 2014 in Highlights by Hannah

It’s pretty unbelievable that midterms are already around the corner! This semester is flying by, so I thought I would take a few minutes to give you the big updates/highlights of Spring term thus far:


For those of us on the assurance track, this semester is characterized by a couple required classes: Valuation and M&D (measurement and disclosure…think of it as Intermediate Accounting III). Our valuation course requires each of us to spend the semester studying and valuing one specific company, so I spend a good portion of my time learning about General Motors. M&D is a case-based course, which is extremely practical and a huge help for real life audit team assignments. Prof Fuehrmeyer’s 27 years of experience with Deloitte make him the perfect teacher for the course, and I know my memo writing and codification research skills are already drastically improving thanks to those cases. For my electives, I am currently studying Multinational Finance (an MBA course), Business Law II, and Academic Research in Accounting. The academic research class is a unique offering of Notre Dame and one that I highly recommend to prospective MSA students. Professor Ricchiute gives students a behind-the-scenes look at what it means to be an academic in the field of accounting. Several of my classmates are considering PhD’s, and this class definitely provides much needed background on how to approach research studies, academic journals, and the PhD process in general.


The MSAA is already busy planning grad week activities and organizing other events for the remainder of the semester. We kicked off the new term in January with a dinner in the Joyce Center to welcome the new Spring starts and hosted an MSA lunch just this past week to provide a good meal and a casual time for students to socialize with the professors and MSA staff. Our next event is the upcoming Relay for Life, where we are partnering with BAP to raise money for the American Cancer Society – looking forward to some creative fundraising (I believe a bake sale is in the works) and a great event!


This may not seem like a crucial update, but for someone who spent the last four years in Texas, this is a big deal. I will admit the cold temperatures and constant snow are a little rough, but we did enjoy a couple snow days (more like ice/extreme cold days) and it seems like we are finally approaching the last of the snow storms (fingers crossed).

Well, those are all my big updates for now. Wish us luck on midterms! Spring Break is just around the corner…

Like us on facebook!

Posted on January 19, 2014 in Highlights by Hannah

Want to keep up with the latest blog posts and get all the updates on admissions, student life, and program activities? Then “like” our new facebook page! blog