Mendoza School of Business

Joining a new community

Ryann McTague, a Business Analytics and Psychology double major, explains her path to the Business Honors Program and the camaraderie of “Honors 911.”

Published: May 23, 2023 / Author: Brandi Wampler

The meaning of “honorable business” has completely changed for Ryann McTague (BBA ‘25).

Ryann sitting in a chair in the Mendoza atrium

Ryann McTague (BBA ‘25)

Before joining the second cohort of the Business Honors Program (BHP), she thought she understood the concept. But that changed after she took the course Theology and the Noble Vocation of Business with John Sikorski, assistant teaching professor of Business, Ethics and Society at Mendoza.

“That was my first BHP class. I probably think about the readings from that class every single day.”

Before the class, McTague thought that ethical and honorable business were the same, and that not committing fraud was the extent of it. But the idea that it takes more than being ethical and that honorable business means to add value to people’s lives through business struck her hard.

McTague would share their readings from class to her friends at Notre Dame and other universities. And to this day, a semester after the class ended, she still finds herself talking about it to people, unsolicited.

She wasn’t always this enthusiastic about the program. At first, she wasn’t quite sure if the BHP would be the right fit, but was interested in an academic challenge. It took several of her older peers to encourage her to apply. Those juniors, however, weren’t in her cohort.

“We started out as a random group of sophomores, not knowing how this was all going to turn out. Now, we pride ourselves on knowing one another by name and our ability to have really meaningful conversations together,” said McTague.

Part of that was made possible by the BHP exposing students to one another in so many different environments. From the classroom to lunches and dinners, volunteer activities to formal dances, students can build connections that will last long term. BHP calls this, Honors 911.

Created by BHP Faculty Director Jim Otteson, Honors 911 is a truly distinctive aspect of the program that calls on students to be available at any time of day if their fellow honors students are in need. By being in the program, students are committed to picking up the phone and answering 24/7. It’s all about being there for a community that has come together for the same goal.

“What I’ve learned in the BHP is that it’s more than a theory that business can be honorable. It’s taking it upon ourselves to go into business and making it a more honorable and ethical place.”