Mendoza School of Business

Success has many faces

Author: Glenn Hanzlick (BBA '85)

I am extremely grateful for the top-quality, cost effective education and “life” experiences I received at Notre Dame’s business school.

I was an accounting major. I had the unique opportunity to have closer contact with fellow accounting students, the professors, and the accounting industry because I was the treasurer of the beta alpha psi accounting fraternity.

The officers spent time together planning events for the fraternity — mostly recruiting events with the Big 8 accounting firms (that was how many there were back then before all the consolidation). It was amazing how far you could stretch your budget with quarter beer night at Senior-Alumni bar and generous industry supporters. These generous supporters made me look like a Rockstar Treasurer with a seemingly unlimited budget (making up for our poor showing at the refreshment stand during football weekend).

One of the happiest days in my young professional career is when I received an offer to be a summer intern at Ernest & Whinney in their firm headquarters in Cleveland. I was from Cleveland. My dad had worked as a CFO down the street from the firm. When we were kids, we would, on special occasions, visit his office to watch the St. Patrick’s Day parade from his office.

To actually now work there–what a thrill! Previously, I had sweated it out working at dusty, hot, grimy warehouses to earn money to pay for Notre Dame. As a testament to the power of a Notre Dame education, in the summer of my junior year, I went from being a grunt to a professional working in an air-conditioned, high rise with all the accoutrements of such a role.

When I started my internship, it was the infancy of the PC. As such, my job was to assist in preparing and testing software to assist the field teams in completing audits. We developed and tested software applications such as lease amortization schedules, etc. We thought this stuff was really cool even though the the tools that exist now are infinitely better.

I get a “portable” PC as part of the job, which was an accordion sized-Compaq computer that weighed over 50 pounds. I was so proud of that PC that I lugged it onto the bus going to and from work. I carried it with pride even though I frequently shifted hands and leaned to the side carrying the PC.

Unlike Bill Gates, I had no vision of the power of the PC even though it was staring me in the face with its eerily green hue. That’s why he is a gazillionaire and I am not.

I went on to work the following summer at Coopers in the audit group and passed the CPA exam.

However, my eyes were on law school and I never practiced accounting other than those two summers.

Even so, the business education and the experience I had prepared me to eventually become an IP attorney and work at such tech giants as Microsoft, AMD, VMware, etc. I would not have had those opportunities without the ND business degree and the early career experiences I had because of it.

Success has many faces. In my case, I confess that even after studying accounting, I can’t quantify the value of the wonderful, life-long experiences I had because of the many doors the Notre Dame diploma key opened. To quote the marketing jingle, “priceless.”

Topics: BBA