Change of plans
Author: Nicole Delmoro (BBA '96)
I was an unusual Notre Dame student in two significant ways. First, I was a transfer student joining the Notre Dame community as a junior. Second, I was a local and lived 45 minutes away with my family. Like many students in the 1990s, I was the first one in my family to go to college. Attending college at Notre Dame was the first time I did something completely independent and being a shy kid who lacked self-confidence this was a big transition. While I knew I would receive a great education at Notre Dame, it did not occur to me just how much more I would gain by going there.
In my 2 ½ years at Notre Dame, I did get an amazing education. My teachers and students were always very supportive and helped me succeed; however, I did start off by failing my very first exam. It might have had something to do with watching a certain popular TV show rather than studying. This was a bad habit I had developed prior to attending Notre Dame. I was devastated and upset with myself. Luckily, my professor gave me a second chance and weighed my later and much improved exams more heavily than my first failure, ultimately resulting in my earning high marks. When I look back on this incident, I realize it taught me to own my mistakes and make the changes needed so they did not define my future. This is something I carry with me today. Notre Dame also taught me how to think differently, by not just teaching me facts or a specific process but challenging me to think about what I was doing in a way that I could apply to other areas in life. I graduated with an accounting degree and a new sense of who I was and who I wanted to be in the future. I went on to earn my CPA license and easily found a job in public accounting through Notre Dame. I ultimately transitioned from accounting and started my own business in an unrelated industry. I do believe Notre Dame gave me the basic skills and the confidence I needed to be successful opening a business in a new industry.
More recently, my life has taken a new turn and Notre Dame has also had an influence on what I am doing now. After owning my business for several years, I was fortunate enough to sell and take an early retirement. Since retiring I have dedicated my extra time to volunteering in the school system with children that need extra support. This is the most fulfilling stage of my life. My path to Notre Dame started with a bad case of mono and the need to move home and go to a school close to home for support, but I do believe getting sick was one of the best things that ever happened to me or I would have never transferred to Notre Dame. Thank you, Notre Dame for all you have done for me and you continue to do for others!