Brian Jeselnick MBA ’05 didn’t waste any time pursuing a career at the happiest place on earth. As soon as he started his Mendoza MBA program, he began reaching out to Notre Dame alumni at The Walt Disney Company. “I built a network of Disney contacts before even joining the company and one of those, a fellow Domer, was able to connect me with a team that was a good fit and the rest is history.”
In this Q&A Jeselnick talks about his unique workplace and what makes it great.
What do you do at Disney and how long have you been there?
I am a manager of corporate brand development. Our team is tasked with helping to identify strategic opportunities and issues across The Walt Disney Company. More specifically, our responsibility is to guide brand strategy and product development as well as build deep consumer behavioral insights through primary research to shape marketing and growth strategies.
I’ve been in this role since September, but prior to this I spent eight years in various roles with the Parks & Resorts segment of our company.
Every role at Disney has been great because at the end of the day we’re continually trying to find new and better ways to entertain people as well as make their lives a little more fun and enjoyable.
Why did you choose Notre Dame for your graduate degree?
I had been interested in going to school at Notre Dame since I was in high school, but what really attracted me to ND for a graduate degree was the combination of two things:
1. The one-year MBA program is not very common (especially at great schools), but was a perfect fit for me and my goals.
2. I knew the alumni network that Notre Dame provides would serve me well in finding a job after school as well as staying connected for my entire career.
How do you stay connected to Notre Dame and Mendoza?
I’ve tried to stay connected to both Notre Dame and Mendoza in a few ways. I sit on an advisory board for Graduate Business Career Services that keeps me involved semi-annually. I also try to mentor current students as well as help those interested in a career at Disney. And, lastly, I try to make it back to campus once a year.
How did your ND graduate business student experience influence your professional experience?
My experience as an ND graduate student helped prepare me for working with teams that bring a diverse set of backgrounds and knowledge. Despite inevitable differences of opinions and backgrounds, one learns that a team can be much more effective than an individual and the ND degree does a great job at preparing one for that.
How did your ND graduate business student experience shape your life in general?
My student experience had a positive impact on my life in general by instilling a sense of pride and responsibility to Notre Dame that inspires me to stay connected to and engaged with the University and College whenever I can.
What is one of your current goals, either personal or professional?
A fundamental professional goal of mine is to always be learning and be ready for new roles and opportunities that not only challenge myself, but also create an opportunity for me to provide value and assistance to any team I join.