Alumni-Student Connections

FOR STUDENTS

Many alumni and faculty members have submitted concepts for the McCloskey Business Plan Competition. Each alumni/faculty team advancing to round 2 will need to invite students onto the team to help with the business planning process. They need your help!

How do I find out more about the alumni concepts?

Two Ways:

1. All concepts will be posted to the McCloskey website, once teams advancing to Round 2 is announced the first week in December: you can find brief descriptions of each concept here. These teams are expecting students to reach out to them directly, so once you find an interesting concept, contact the leader using the contact information provided.

2. Alumni are responsible for adding students to their teams for Round 2. If you are willing to help, simply fill out this brief questionnaire . ​You will add useful information, i.e., degree information, major, areas of expertise, and areas of interest.  You will also provide a link to your resume.  ​By registering in this ​directory, you are not obligated to participate unless you find an alumni concept that interests you, and you agree that you’d like to help the team. It is then the alumni responsibility to reach out to you. 

How do I work with alumni?

We strongly recommend that once the team has been assembled, you find a regular time for weekly working sessions with the alumni to discuss progress made.

In an early planning meeting, we recommend that you establish roles, deliverables, and project timelines for the entire team.

Should I seek compensation for this work?

This is an important conversation to have with the alumni very early in this process. The primary goal of the McCloskey Competition is that it be an exceptional experiential learning opportunity for our students. Our goal is also that every business entered in the McCloskey Competition will take important steps toward launching successful businesses. This collaborative arrangement between alumni and students regarding compensation is unique to each team and should be discussed from the outset.

Regarding the possibility of winning prize money: a decision should be made clear as to how any potential prize monies will be disbursed. For example, teams may all agree from the outset that any prize money won in April will be divided equally among all team members. OR all team members may agree that all prize monies should be given back to the business, devoted to helping the business move forward. OR, in the event that prize money is won, teams may agree to provide some compensation for the time students have devoted to the project (as “consultants,” for example, recognizing that the student effort has helped win the prize). This decision is completely up to each team, but is a decision that should be discussed from the outset.

Again, our primary goal is that this be an exceptional learning opportunity for each student. Compensation is secondary and is entirely the decision of the team.

FOR ALUMNI

Alumni and faculty teams selected to advance to Round 2 may continue in the Competition as long as a current Notre Dame student is invited into the process to lead the team effort for the purposes of the Competition: student(s) must be integrally involved in the business planning process, including the development of the business model, writing the business plan and presenting at subsequent rounds of the Competition. The alumni/faculty essentially become advisors to the team as the students develop the business model. Please note, at least 50% of the team members must be affiliated with Notre Dame.

How do I find students with the appropriate skills and expertise?

You have 2 options to pursue to initiate the connection process. We recommend that you pursue BOTH of these options:

1. Interested students can consider your venture through the alumni showcase page on Pitchburner. This will allow students to view your public summary, your Pitchpage overview and contact information. Students then can reach out to your directly.

2. You can also connect with students who have expressed a willingness to work with alumni and/or faculty teams. These students have registered their interest in Gigot Connections, indicating their skills and areas of interest. You are welcome to review these profiles by using this link to Gigot Connections.(Please be patient, this may take a minute to load) Feel free to reach out directly to students of interest.

How do I build a student team?

As alumni, you are responsible for selecting and building the student team. We recommend having short phone interview conversations to identify those that are well suited to your team needs. Using the options discussed above, simply reach out to the student directly to begin a discussion.

Once you have identified students, please update your submission with their names. You can update this submission by logging into your Pitchburner team profile. ALSO please notify the Gigot Center for Entrepreneurship – we are not notified when you update your team profile, and it is crucial that we have the correct information!

How should I work with students?

We strongly recommend that once the team has been assembled, you find a regular time for weekly working sessions with the alumni to discuss progress made.

In an early planning meeting, we recommend that you establish roles, deliverables, and project timelines for the entire team.

Should I provide compensation for student work?

This is an important conversation to have with the student(s) very early in the process. The primary goal of the McCloskey Competition is that it be an exceptional experiential learning opportunity for our students. Our goal is also that every business entered in the McCloskey Competition will take important steps toward launching successful businesses. This collaborative arrangement between alumni and students regarding compensation is unique to each team and should be discussed from the outset.

Regarding the possibility of winning prize money: a decision should be made clear as to how any potential prize monies will be disbursed. For example, teams may all agree from the outset that any prize money won in April will be divided equally among all team members. OR all team members may agree that all prize monies should be given back to the business, devoted to helping the business move forward. OR, in the event that prize money is won, teams may agree to provide some compensation for the time students have devoted to the project (as “consultants,” for example, recognizing that the student effort has helped win the prize). This decision is completely up to each team, but is a decision that should be discussed from the outset.

Again, our primary goal is that this be an exceptional learning opportunity for each student. Compensation is secondary and is entirely the decision of the team.