Betsy Busch ’10, MSA ’11 and her husband Garrett ’09, MBA ’10 stay pretty busy running the family winery, Trinitas Cellars, in Napa, along with the Meritage Resort and Spa. Despite running the operations for two tasting rooms, managing a sales team and national distribution channels, both continue to stay connected to ND as much as possible.
Why did you choose ND for your graduate degree?
I chose Notre Dame for my graduate degree because I enjoyed my Notre Dame undergraduate experience so much that I wanted more and felt ready for the next level of challenge. The caliber of professors and class content offered combined with an incredible community and student life balance made it an easy decision. I also took full advantage of the flexibility of the MSA program, which allowed me to begin classes in January so that I could graduate sooner while still participating on the Women’s Water Polo team!
How have you utilized your graduate degree in your career?
Where haven’t I used my graduate degree?! I’ve found uses for not only the actual curriculum of the classes I took in my financial reporting and assurance roles, but also the soft skills I acquired in the Mendoza School of Business, especially my project management, negotiations, public speaking and networking skills. I’ve even found unique opportunities to leverage some of the electives I took such as real estate fundamentals and commercial banking! Going that extra step to pursue a graduate degree at Notre Dame not only allowed me to increase my expertise on certain subjects but also provided me with great opportunities to understand a variety of businesses, work on real-life projects and develop the necessary problem solving and people skills that have been priceless in every role I have worked in since graduation.
How do you stay connected to ND as an alum?
My husband and my sister are both fellow Double Domers, my brother is still finishing his undergraduate degree at ND and with constant communication with my past classmates, professors, roommates and teammates at ND, it is impossible to stay too far away. The people, community and Notre Dame family are what brought me to Notre Dame in the first place and that’s definitely what keeps bringing me back! I stay connected anyway that I can, through the local ND alumni club in the SF Bay Area, by serving on the Young Alumni Advisory Committee, attending any and all football games possible, reading the magazines, newsletters and emails, etc. Notre Dame is in my blood, if I don’t get my daily ND fix I start to go a little crazy!
Is there a professor who had a significant impact on your time at ND?
Absolutely. I learned so much from the incredible professors at Notre Dame, both in the undergraduate and graduate programs. One such professor that really encouraged me was Professor Brad Badertscher. Brad was my undergraduate professor for my first-ever accounting class and really got me intrigued in the whole profession in general. What stood out about Brad was his incredible knowledge of the field and patience in teaching what can sometimes be a daunting subject to new business students. Not only that, but Brad exemplified a unique kindness and care for his students and their learning. This is a trait that so many of the professors at Notre Dame exhibit and one area that I believe really sets ND apart from other schools. Professors are accessible. They are helpful. They care about you. Not just about how you are doing in their class and if you have mastered the material, but even more so about the big picture and what it is that you are really interested in or the path that you are considering taking. Brad was extremely influential in not only getting me to take that first step toward becoming an accounting major in undergrad, but beyond that, remained a friend and confidant through my entire time at ND and to this day is someone that I seek advice from, whether it is related to a specific accounting issue or more often than not, related to life in general!
What is your favorite memory from your time in your graduate business program?
My favorite memory from the graduate business program was probably presenting my final project for Professor Easton’s Valuation class. This was a semester-long project that I worked on with three other incredible ladies and a semester’s worth of work culminated into one big presentation. It was a tough project, but incredibly rewarding to complete! Not only did I learn a lot from the project and the valuation we performed, but even more about challenges, teamwork, project management and made three great friends in the process!