Victoria Lyczak, a Management Consulting and Theology double major, shares how the Business Honors Program opened her eyes to the possibility of a Ph.D.
Published: May 23, 2023 / Author: Brandi Wampler
Professor Iffland said, ‘So you’re interested in the Business Honors Program?’ and I said, ‘Sure!,’ when I literally didn’t know what it was.”
That conversation would kick off Lyczak’s journey into the program and change the trajectory of her future.
As a part of the BHP, students are required to take certain classes including an advanced course within their major. The course Lyczak chose was Research Methods in Management, which happened to be a part of Mendoza’s newly launched Ph.D. in Management program. Professor Otteson and Iffland encouraged her to try it. So she reached out to Jason Colquitt, Director of the Ph.D. in Management, to see if she could add it to her schedule.
“I knew it would be challenging and a lot of work being the only undergraduate student in a class with four Ph.D. students, but the description truly interested me, so I gave it a go,” said Lyczak.
She went in understanding the course would be a huge time commitment, requiring careful attention to make sure she grasped the course concepts. But Colquitt and the students took Lyczak under their wings, welcoming her and showing what it could look like being a Ph.D. student at the University of Notre Dame.
“I remember on the first day when the Ph.D. students and Professor Colquitt asked me if I was thinking about getting my Ph.D.,” said Lyczak. “At the time, I had not really considered it but that course revealed a whole new realm of possibility.”
Now, Lyczak is planning to pursue a Ph.D. in Management. She has continued down this path by looking into a research project with a Mendoza faculty member in the areas of ethics and leadership — topics that have interested her long before coming to college. The incorporation of ethics in her education was actually one of the reasons she chose Notre Dame over other institutions.
“I knew both ethics and business for the common good was going to be focused on in our classes at Mendoza. I felt like that was a piece that was missing at other colleges,” she said.
Through the BHP, she’s been able to work at the intersection of theology and business, applying Catholic social teaching. In ways she never imagined, stumbling into the BHP tailgate has helped Lyczak find a way to pursue all her passions.
“Through a second conversation with Professor Iffland, I realized being in the BHP was exactly what I wanted. It aligned so well with what I was trying to create for myself with my two majors. It made so much sense,” said Lyczak. “Sometimes I feel like God just leads you to things and even if you have other plans, maybe He has plans for you.”