Mendoza School of Business

IDEA Center intern stories: Caroline Fulmer (ND ’19, MSM)

Published: May 1, 2020 / Author: IDEA Center


Caroline Fulmer

As soon as Caroline Fulmer (ND ’19, MSM) heard about Notre Dame’s IDEA Center, she knew she wanted to work there. With a background in biology and previously on a pre-medical track while an undergraduate at Otterbein University, Caroline was looking to transition from her experience in the sciences to an applied technology and business route. While pursuing her Masters in Science Management through the Mendoza College of Business, Caroline became highly involved in Notre Dame’s business community – including the world of startups. Caroline started working as a technical analyst in the IDEA Center under Kunigunda Szentes, the IDEA Center’s New Venture Development & Invention Program Manager. “Working with people like Kunci and Tim Joyce (IDEA Center Manager of Technology Validation) was an amazing experience because they picked projects that got me excited,” says Caroline.

“When I came to Notre Dame, I knew I wanted to tie healthcare life science with business and didn’t know exactly what that looked like. Through my position at the IDEA Center and getting involved in the consulting club, [I discovered that a career in] consulting is a great opportunity to connect technical skills with people skills.” Now Caroline works as a Strategy and Consulting Analyst at Accenture where she actively applies the experience she gained during her time at the IDEA Center in her day-to-day work. Not only does this include the critical basics of how to build a comprehensive slide deck and collaborate with her peers but she also how to communicate effectively with high-level decision-makers. “Through the IDEA Center I had the opportunity to talk to a CEO of a small company or a surgeon or a hospital director; to be able to go to them and articulate my questions about their business or problem is a super valuable skill I use today. I am not afraid to reach out to anybody at a CEO level.”

While working as a consultant at Accenture, Caroline has also had the opportunity to work on projects out of the venture capital arm of the firm called Accenture Ventures. Caroline insists that the building blocks of entrepreneurship still apply “whether it be for Accenture Ventures or any other client project. You have to understand the start-up landscape and what there is to offer, be able to look at what the problem is, decide whether this is a good solution, and get the answers.”

It’s never been the easy work that’s motivated Caroline; as a technical analyst, instead it was conducting due diligence for fundraising, working through constructive criticism, and being constantly pushed to get answers. “I’ve learned there are many ways to ask a question and the one that you choose affects the type of answer you get – those types of people skills are that last a lifetime.”

Originally posted on IDEA Center News.