Mendoza School of Business

MBA Student Perspective – Erin Bierbusse

Published: October 10, 2019 / Author: Erin Bierbusse

When I decided to pursue an MBA, Notre Dame had always topped my list. As a third-generation member of the Notre Dame family, the Fighting Irish have been a part of my upbringing and traditions for as long as I can remember. Fortunately, I found that my inherent love for the university paired perfectly with what I was looking for within an MBA program experience – the iconic football team was an added bonus! When I decided to pursue an MBA, I did not have a clear picture of what my ideal career path would look like and as such, was seeking a place that I knew I would grow as an individual, leader, and teammate.

As I am going into my second year of the program, reflecting on my prior year experience, I can wholeheartedly say that my objectives of personal growth have far surpassed my expectations. The Integral Leadership Development (ILD) program, which is facilitated with your fellow incoming classmates prior to the start of the academic year, allowed me to take a deep dive into my strengths and weaknesses as both a teammate and a leader. The unique opportunity to delve into your experiences, personality quirks, leadership skillsets, and teaming tendencies with your small academic learning team early in the MBA experience enables teams to get to a deeper and more personal level of understanding with one another to build strong, high performing teams.

While my large state school undergrad experience was exactly what I was looking for at the time, the ability to genuinely build relationships with our MBA faculty is something that is completely feasible, if not expected. My career coach has been a patient and wise sounding board through my career search, informational interviews, navigating offer timelines and professional coaching. In terms of professors, we are fortunate to have professors that listen to the needs and wants of students, which is evident through the creation of a gender equity in business class this past spring to reflect our interests and desires as students to have candid discussions as we prepare to be business leaders.

In addition to the connections formed through my learning team and amongst faculty, our smaller program size has truly allowed me to foster relationships with classmates that I have full confidence will remain lifelong friends. Notre Dame’s MBA program has brought me friends that I likely would have never met otherwise and now cannot imagine life without. While I have spent my life knowing the truth behind the Notre Dame family, it has been an honor to get to experience this first hand in the relationships I have seen blossom in the past year. From baby showers to dog sitting to bachelorette parties to weddings all from the first year of friendship with some of the most outstanding individuals, it has been a gift to see my classmates see the truth behind the cliché.

Topics: Student Life