Like most Notre Dame MBA applicants, I was delighted when my phone rang with a “574” area code and an invitation to join the program. Even though I was elated to be coming to Notre Dame, I admit that I had some reservations about making the transition from the big city of Denver to the small town of South Bend, Indiana. Fortunately, I have been pleasantly surprised with the quality of life in the South Bend area.
Fitness: A short drive from the Notre Dame campus is the Riverwalk in the neighboring town of Mishawaka. With several miles of paved trails on either side of the St. Joseph River, the Riverwalk is the perfect place for a walk, jog, or bicycle ride. With wide paths and gorgeous scenery, the Riverwalk provides a nice diversion from schoolwork.
Sports: One of my favorite things to do when I was living in Denver was to go to sporting events. There is just something special about taking in a ballgame on a warm evening with your friends. Although it is not Major League Baseball, the South Bend Cubs provide a fun experience at the intimate Four Winds Field. With cheap tickets and concessions, you can have the full ballpark experience for $20. Not a bad deal on a student budget! Continue reading “The top 3 highlights of living in South Bend”
Can you give an example of an instance in which you demonstrated outstanding leadership? You better, because every behavioral interview is bound to include some form of this question. Employers LOVE leadership experience (even if they are filling jobs that require blind obedience to a tyrannical middle manager).
So how can you improve your answer to this inevitable prompt? Unfortunately, there aren’t any short cuts. Crafting a compelling leadership narrative is both time-consuming and difficult, but the good news is that it’s pretty easy to avoid telling terrible leadership stories. Just avoid doing these things:
By all accounts, I don’t have a typical MBA background. In high school, I was crazy about theater and competitive speech. In college, I joined a seminary and got a philosophy degree. To this day, one of my favorite pastimes is binge-watching the year’s Academy Award nominees for Best Picture. Yep, I’m a liberal arts guy. It runs in the family. My dad is a high school English teacher, my sister is a music teacher, my other sister is a writer, and the list goes on. So why did I decide to get an MBA (other than to be different from my siblings)? My interest in business first emerged during my three years at Korn Ferry, the world’s largest executive search firm. I found business to be a thrilling arena in which competition, collaboration, and problem-solving all collide. Continue reading “The reason why business needs the liberal arts”
Poets & Quants explores the eye-popping salary potential for new MBA grads pursuing consultant roles in a January 2017 article titled What MBAs Earn at Top Consulting Firms. The allure of a $200K+ compensation package entices prospective MBA admits with aspirations of debt free, jet-setter sexy, problem-solving, solution-oriented careers. Sign me up!
Many classes in the Notre Dame MBA program (as well as other MBA programs) involve reading and analyzing case studies. For those of you not familiar with case studies, they often look like this:
John Smith, CEO of Pseudonym Inc., stared out his office window on a Friday morning. He had just gotten off the phone with someone who had conveyed a really dire business problem to him. Would Pseudonym Inc. go bankrupt? Do CEOs actually stare out the window every time they get a phone call?
Pseudonym Inc. was founded in the 1970s by Steve Gobs. It had a breakthrough product in the 1980s with the Banana II personal toaster oven. In the 2000s, it revolutionized the personal toaster oven category with the jPod and the jPhone, which fit in consumers’ pockets and allowed them to heat up individual nachos or small handfuls of chestnuts on the go. This poorly disguised company history will be of no help in solving the case. Continue reading “Here’s every case study that you will read in business school”