An ND MBA’s thoughts on the flexibility of business school

By: Alex Prosperi

Alex and his classmates celebrate a successful end to Mod 2 with a Secret Santa gift exchange. (Photo courtesy Alex Prosperi)

Prior to coming back to academia, I worked at a communications agency. “Agency life” requires an always-on mentality where your client’s wishes – regardless of the task itself or timing – are priority. I’m grateful for the invaluable personal and professional lessons I gained working in PR, but there comes a time when you know you’re ready for the next adventure.

I took about four months off between work and school. And after spending a month backpacking and hanging out with kangaroos in Australia, I was eager to get started in the Notre Dame MBA program.

What I somewhat expected – but what I’m absolutely currently experiencing – is the level of freedom and opportunity that business school offers. 

Early in the application process, I spoke with the Notre Dame MBA Director of Admissions, Kristin McAndrew, who told me that your GMAT score is simply a reflection of how many hours you put into studying. While that wasn’t the most comforting advice to hear at the time, Kristin was right, and that’s the attitude I took when I came to the Notre Dame MBA program. When you’re working, especially at an agency, your day is contingent on what your client needs – not what you need. At business school, you have the flexibility to squeeze as much as you can out of your two years. You can join clubs, be part of case competitions, take classes you’re curious about taught by smart and engaging professors, go on company treks to New York or San Francisco, enjoy Thirsty Thursdays at local South Bend pubs, visit China between Mods 3 and 4, and interview for a summer internship in a different area of work than you came from. Most importantly, you get to meet a ton of awesome people.

The freedom to shape your day into whatever it is you want is an incredible opportunity and the biggest – and best – change from the professional world to business school.

About Alex

Alex lived in New York City prior to business school. He is concentrating in business analytics and marketing, and attended the University of Michigan for his undergraduate studies. His favorite memory at Notre Dame is leaving South Bend at 6 p.m. to watch Game 7 of the World Series in Chicago, and making it back to South Bend in time for his 8 a.m. finance class the next morning. You can find Alex on LinkedIn.