Mendoza School of Business

Landing a promotion: Grad says MSF helped move him up at UnitedHealth

Published: May 10, 2017 / Author: Christine Cox

Mulkum Mursalov wasn’t looking to switch companies when he entered the Notre Dame Master of Science in Finance (MSF) in 2016. He had a great job as a senior financial analyst with UnitedHealth — a career that integrated his finance skills and lifelong commitment to helping people.

“Ever since I was a kid, I wanted to help people,” says Mursalov, who was born in Azerbaijan and moved to Chicago as a teen. “I was always good at math, so a career in health care finance lets me use my talent to serve people.”

Mursalov’s undergraduate degree also was in finance, but his work schedule prohibited him from getting the most out of it. “I always worked three jobs at once during undergrad,” he explains. “I’d work 8- or 10-hour days, and didn’t go to bed until 4 a.m. I never had student debt, and I’m pretty proud of that. But I always wished I’d had more time to study.”

His wish to learn more about finance eventually led Mursalov to the Notre Dame MSF.

“In every way, the program was great,” he says. “The staff were extremely helpful when I got accepted — they answered every weird, multiple-part question that I emailed them. They always made me feel welcome.”

His classmates? “We had every kind of person in our program: from young people to entrepreneurs who had bought and sold companies,” Mursalov says. “Many of them were the most accomplished people you’d ever meet, but they were so humble and dedicated to helping people like me.”

The faculty? “Mind-blowing,” Mursalov says. “[Program director] Gianna Bern and Walt Clements were the two most interesting people I have ever met. And they were never too busy to help.”

The result? Mursalov ended up getting a promotion to financial consultant at UnitedHealth even before he graduated. And the hiring process only took five days. He now works in greater Minneapolis.

“It means something to say you have a master of science in finance from Notre Dame,” Mursalov says. “It means you worked hard and you made it.”

Learn more about the Notre Dame MSF at