Mendoza School of Business

God, Country, Notre Dame

Published: November 13, 2017 / Author: Mendoza College

Mark Faldowski – Army


U.S. Army, 2009–2014

Rank: Captain

Duties: Army Ranger, fire support officer

Special qualifications: Army Ranger School and Airborne School

Inspiration to join the Army: After Sept. 11, I wanted to serve my country and I was fortunate enough to get recruited to play football at West Point. I knew that by attending West Point I would have the opportunity to serve, get a great education, and play Division I football.

Decision to pursue an MBA: Throughout my life I have been blessed to hold several leadership positions on athletic teams, in Army units, and as the co-founder of a nonprofit organization.

Similarities between the military and Notre Dame: The military and Notre Dame both place great emphasis on the team-based approach and camaraderie. Both serve as families which I take great pride in and am humbled to consider myself a part of. Students at Mendoza, like soldiers in the Army, push themselves as hard as possible to make others around them better and continue to strive to maximize their potential.

Decision to choose Mendoza: I was looking for a holistic experience and Mendoza was a perfect fit for me because of the people, the prestige of the University and the faith-based education.Throughout these experiences I have developed a certain set of skills that I wanted to transfer to the private sector. As a leader, I know the importance of knowing the technical side and learning from individuals with experience. Business school was where I wanted to start my transition.

Future plans: Pursue a career in investment banking.

Will Moran – Marines


U.S. Marine Corps, 2004-2015

Rank: Major

Duties: Helicopter pilot and forward air controller

Special qualifications: Division leader, joint terminal attack controller instructor/evaluator Inspiration to join the Marines: As a boy, I was always thrilled by jets, helicopters and anything military. The Marines consider themselves elite, so the Corps was the natural choice for me. I attended the Naval Academy and then served 11 years of active duty. I was able to do the things that thrilled me as a boy: I flew helicopters and airplanes, fired machine guns, rode in tanks, lived on a ship and deployed 3 times around the world.

Decision to pursue an MBA: Business is an extremely significant factor for our military. The equipment we use, training we conduct, facilities available — almost every facet of military life is affected by civilian contracts, procurement, budgets and business deals. Once I realized this, I knew I had to learn more about business once I made the decision to transition from active duty.

Decision to choose Mendoza: First of all, there are many Domers in my extended family. Moreover, the connection between Notre Dame and military service made the transition easy. Military veterans make up almost 20 percent of the MBA program, which is unequalled in any other business school. In the largest veteran community on campus, at a military friendly place like Notre Dame, sometimes it feels like I never left the service!

Similarities between the military and Notre Dame: The culture of the College embodies many of the same attributes that attracted me to serve. Fundamentally, I don’t think there’s much difference between Mendoza’s motto of “Ask More of Business” and the Marines’ motto of “Semper Fidelis” or “Always Faithful.” Both convey the high expectations of our members, that we fight for a cause greater than ourselves, and we do so with honor.

Future plans: I have just completed my first year of the MBA program, and this summer I am doing an internship in Whirlpool Corporation’s Global Leader Program. Going forward, I see myself in a cross-functional, general management role.

Shawn Pulscher – Air Force


Associate Director of Career Services, Notre Dame Graduate Business Programs

U.S. Air Force, 1999–2007

Rank: Captain

Duties: Intelligence Officer

Special qualifications: U.S. Air Force Weapons School

Inspiration to join the Air Force: My father served in the U.S. Army for 30 years, and he was on active duty when I was considering colleges. My parents and I started talking about how to cover the costs, and ROTC quickly became a serious option for me. Once I gained admission to Notre Dame (by far the most expensive college on my list), I ultimately decided to join the U.S. Air Force ROTC program. It was definitely the right move for me.

Decision to pursue an MBA: I majored in accounting as an undergrad at Notre Dame and maintained an interest in business. When deciding what to do after leaving the Air Force, a career in business — via an MBA program — made perfect sense.

Decision to choose Mendoza: As an undergrad, I knew Notre Dame was right for me as soon as I stepped foot on campus. When applying to MBA programs, I thought Notre Dame was neck and neck with a couple of other schools — until I started speaking to the fantastic admissions director. Once again, Notre Dame was the right place.

Similarities between the military and Notre Dame: The Air Force has three core values: 1) integrity first, 2) service before self, and 3) excellence in all we do. Mendoza’s values of community and responsibility, integrity, leadership, excellence, and spirituality are very similar. As a student at ND and an officer in the Air Force, I was constantly surrounded by people who willingly sacrificed personal aspirations for the good of the greater organization, consistently did the right thing, and relentlessly pursued excellence. I see the same things as a staff member at Notre Dame, and I’m incredibly proud to be part of the team.

Future plans: Now that I’m back at the University, I plan to do everything I can to make our graduate business programs the best they can be.

Jennifer Malherek – Navy


Active U.S. Navy, commissioned in 2010 at Notre Dame

Rank: Lieutenant

Duties: Currently teaching Naval ROTC at Notre Dame — sophomore class advisor and navigation instructor

Special qualifications: Surface warfare officer nuclear engineer

Inspiration to join the Navy: My family has a strong military history. My great-grandfather served in the Italian and American navies (and was kicked out of the USN when they found out he was only 14!). My grandfathers served in the Air Force. My parents served in the Army. My dad did Army ROTC at Notre Dame (’79) and my older brother did Navy ROTC at Notre Dame (’09). I distinctly remember when I decided to serve: It was the morning of July 7, 2005 — my 17th birthday. It was the same morning of the London bombings. I felt called (and still feel called) to serve my country.

Decision to pursue an MBA: The Navy has a lot of opportunities for MBAs, including the possibility of eventually getting involved with the business side of the military.

Decision to choose Mendoza: I frequently call Notre Dame my “one true love.” Fortunately, there was a position open to teach NROTC that allowed me to pursue an MBA at the same time. There’s something about the community and the classroom experience at Notre Dame that you can’t get anywhere else. It has been wonderful to be back!

Similarities between the military and Notre Dame: I’ve worked with a lot of amazing and driven people full of integrity and desire to serve in both the military and Mendoza. The bonds you make with your classmates is incredibly similar to the bonds with your fellow service men and women. Mendoza’s mission of individual integrity and the greater good really resonates with me.

Future plans: I will remain on active duty until April 2022. After graduating, I will immediately report to Department Head school in Newport, RI. Then I will report to a DDG (ship) to serve as the operations officer for 18 months. After that, I will complete a two-year tour as a reactor principal assistant on an aircraft carrier. After that, who knows! The world is my oyster!

James Hiltz – Coast Guard


U.S. Coast Guard, 2003–Present

Rank: Lieutenant Commander

Duties: Chief of contingency planning and force readiness at Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles Special qualifications: Search and rescue controller

Inspiration to join the Coast Guard: I attended the U.S. Coast Guard Academy after high school for several reasons. I knew I wanted to serve in the armed forces in some capacity and was interested in all of the nation’s service academies. I also knew I wanted to play basketball in college and I had the opportunity to do so at the Coast Guard Academy. I was also drawn to the Coast Guard’s mission, and the combination of those factors led me to choose CGA.

Decision to pursue an MBA: Business is the best step to continue to progress within the Coast Guard as I will serve in some financial role within the Coast Guard upon graduation from Mendoza. This step opens doors within the Coast Guard and in the business world after my service in the military.

Decision to choose Mendoza: Notre Dame was a lifelong dream of mine as I’ve always had great respect for the University. My father and two brothers attended. Once I received an offer of admission from Notre Dame, I knew this was the place for me.

Similarities between the military and Notre Dame: I actually addressed these similarities on my MBA application and during my interview. The tenets of Mendoza very closely resemble the Coast Guard’s core values of honor, respect and devotion to duty. Mendoza asks more of business just as the nation asks and deserves more from all who serve in the military.

Future plans: Continue to learn, improve and enjoy the experience at Mendoza. Use my skill sets acquired here to continue to serve as an officer in the U.S. Coast Guard.

Topics: Mendoza