On sharing, generosity and mentorship
Author: Monserrat Miramontes (BBA '10)
Without the Notre Dame and Mendoza networks, I would not be where I am today. Throughout my personal and professional journey, Notre Dame and Mendoza have meant sharing, mentorship, and growth to me. The generous mentorship and guidance I have received through the network have been pivotal in all of my life success and I am incredibly grateful for the Notre Dame community and network.
My Notre Dame journey didn’t begin in Mendoza. Like many bright-eyed freshman students, I eagerly signed up for science/pre-med classes my first semester and quickly realized that chemistry lab and all things scientific were not my calling. Thankfully, my Notre Dame network quickly stepped in to help me discern the direction of my career.
Towards the end of first semester, I was blessed with the opportunity to talk to the upperclassman women in Pangborn Hall, many of whom had enrolled in Mendoza. These women spoke highly of the business college, told me all about their courses and professors, and opened my eyes to the opportunities within the college. By the end of first semester, and thanks to these women, I knew that I wanted to pursue my education within the business college. I wanted to be able to be able to make an impact in business, as well as do good within business. This was the beginning of my story in Mendoza.
The next year, I found my first “real” mentor at Notre Dame. She was my resident assistant, and a Mendoza senior who was on her way to a full-time job at a Big Four accounting firm. She encouraged me to take advantage of the opportunities made available to me as a Mendoza student. My R.A. encouraged me to continuously strive to do my best and to use all the generous resources Mendoza and Notre Dame made available to students. She encouraged me to build relationships with my business professors, to visit them during office hours, and to attend the events provided by the Career Center. Being open to this helped me build relationships with professors and it encouraged me to do well in my classes and opened my eyes to all the impact Notre Dame professors, students, and alumni have in all realms of business.
My R.A.’s mentoring and encouragement was invaluable to me. I grew up as the child of Mexican immigrants who were unfamiliar with the ways American higher education worked. I also am the oldest of five sisters and I wanted to show my four younger sisters that it is possible to achieve your academic and career dreams. Along with Notre Dame, my R.A. gave me the foundation I needed to set the stage for a strong professional career. She also taught me that sharing your knowledge and expertise and being willing to mentor others truly can make a material impact on others’ lives.
Even though I no longer tap into the network in the hallways of my dorm, I have continuously leaned on my Notre Dame network when making important life decisions within my career. For example, I have always had a passion for the healthcare industry, which is why I started out in pre-med in the first place. After working for a few years in corporate finance, I decided to transition to healthcare consulting to make my dreams a reality. To begin my transition, I reached out to Kevin Monahan, the former associate director of the career center, who was willing to review my resume and provide guidance on how to make the transition. He also encouraged me to lean into the Notre Dame network and to reach out to alumni working in the healthcare consulting space. I reached out to alumni on LinkedIn and was pleasantly surprised to find that so many alumni were generous with their time and advice. Although at the time I was already two years removed from my undergraduate years, Kevin Monahan and the alumni network were eager and willing to help, and I was able to get the right guidance to transition into healthcare consulting. A Notre Dame alumnus recommended me into her company and I was able to get my first experience in healthcare consulting.
Then, after nearly eight years in healthcare consulting, I wanted to make a pivot into the healthcare technology space. I saw a lot of growth and opportunity within this space and the power of technology to impact patients’ lives. I was hesitant to consider this move during a pandemic and the first place I turned once again was to my Notre Dame network. The Notre Dame network made the transition a lot easier than I originally thought it would be. I first reached out to the Notre Dame Alumni Career Services. Two recruiters at Notre Dame generously provided advice and guidance ranging from networking tips to resume review. I am incredibly grateful for the guidance from the team at Notre Dame, including Sharon Keane, Susan Hlade, and Adrienne Anderson. I also reached out to alumni within our IrishCompass portal. Just as before, so many alumni were generous with their advice, time and guidance. By January 2021, I was turning a new chapter in my career in healthcare technology thanks to the Notre Dame and Mendoza network.
Though it has now been over a decade since I graduated, I am continuously energized by the Notre Dame and Mendoza network. I have made lifelong friendships and mentorships through Notre Dame. I can reach out to former classmates or fellow Notre Dame alums from other class years knowing that I will be supported. I, too, am always open to conversation and sharing advice – whether it is with an undergraduate who is considering a career in healthcare business or an alum interested in connecting. I also recognize the importance of paying it forward to maintain the energy and generosity of our network. I see the future in our Notre Dame network in continuing our spirit of generosity in both our own network and in our communities. Notre Dame and Mendoza have instilled in me the values of sharing, generosity, and mentorship, and I recognize the importance of my giving in keeping these values alive. I found an organization in Chicago, HFS Chicago Scholars, where I can pay forward what I have learned to a high school student within my community. Since 2018, I have been volunteering at HFS Chicago Scholars and have been mentoring a student who is now a junior in high school. My goal is to work with my mentee to teach her a lot of the goals and values I have learned from the Notre Dame community. I truly believe our Notre Dame network is special and the spirit of generosity is what makes it unique. Thank you, Notre Dame and Mendoza, for all that you have given me. I hope to give the same to others – go Irish!