From Chicago to Cupertino, via South Bend

Author: Ryan Millbern

Ten years into a successful career with Motorola in Chicago, Nate Lundgren was invited to join the company’s corporate strategy team, which operated as an in-house consulting group. “I didn’t have an MBA, which was an oddity as a member of that team,” Lundgren remembers.

Nate Lundgren


He struck up a conversation with a peer who was working in Motorola’s supply chain division and taking Executive MBA courses at Notre Dame’s Chicago campus at the same time. “He loved the classes and the format and that he was able to work and go to school simultaneously.”


Shortly after his wife gave birth to their first child in late 2015, Lundgren was accepted into Notre Dame’s Executive MBA program. It was a decision that would change the course of their family’s life forever.


Focus from day one

Lundgren experienced significant professional growth almost immediately upon enrolling in the EMBA program. “Right off the bat there was a 360-degree feedback session during the Executive Integral Leadership course,” Lundgren recalls. “Getting feedback from your peers and managers at work and then sitting down with someone who can show you your opportunities for growth as a leader based on that feedback was really valuable. After that, I knew what I needed to focus on and what I needed to get more exposure to during my time in the program.”


Study groups comprised of peers from diverse industries proved an invaluable resource for exposing Lundgren to new areas of business with which he was unfamiliar. “I had a couple of awesome study groups and I learned a ton from working with my peers. I got exposure to really talented people from different industries that was particularly useful.”  


Cupertino calls

While Lundgren was in the final weeks of the Notre Dame EMBA program, a recruiter from Apple reached out to him via LinkedIn and invited him to interview in Cupertino. “I was at the end of my EMBA program, doing my day job at Motorola, I had a young child at home and I had five to seven days to prepare to present a case study for the Apple interview,” Lundgren laughs. 


Fortunately, Lundgren’s work at Motorola—coupled with his intensive Executive MBA training—prepared him to thrive in his interview. Within a month of graduating from Notre Dame, Lundgren had accepted a position in World Wide Business Development at Apple and moved his young family to Silicon Valley to begin the next chapter of their lives.


“I couldn’t be more pleased with the personal experiences and relationships I formed during the program and the professional results that I’ve seen since I’ve graduated,” Lundgren says. “If someone was considering this program, I would say that they’re going to come out of this program a more well-rounded business leader and they’re going to develop great relationships.”


Lundgren and his family are continuing to develop strong relationships in California, thanks in part to the strength of Notre Dame’s alumni network. “I’ve joined the Notre Dame Club in Silicon Valley and we’ve met some great people out here. When you make the decision to go to Notre Dame, it’s a lifelong decision.”