Mendoza School of Business

MBA Student Perspective: J.R. Nemelka

Published: April 9, 2019 / Author: J.R. Nemelka

In determining which MBA program would be right for me, I focused on three pieces of criteria: it must feel like home; it must have a mission to serve; and I must be excited to tell others about it. After visiting a handful of schools, I made a list of the ones to which I’d apply. That’s when I received a mailer from Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business inviting me to join an informational webinar about its MBA program. I logged on to the session out of curiosity, and from the beginning of the presentation I knew Notre Dame had something different.

It must feel like home
J.R. Nemelka wearing gray suit and blue tie outsideFor its students, Notre Dame is known as “our home under the Dome,” and it’s the truth. My wife and I feared the move from Utah to South Bend would be a challenge, but the support and camaraderie from other students made us feel like we belonged. The campus is very student-centric, where activities for students and family members range from gym classes and community service projects to trivia nights and football games. The $3 movie nights on campus aren’t bad either.

It must have a mission
One of the biggest takeaways from the MBA webinar was the emphasis that Mendoza places on its mission, which is to “expect more from business.” The reason I chose to a pursue an MBA in the first place is to provide for my family — and for families in need. As a Notre Dame MBA student, I have the chance to get involved in many service projects – some benefiting the local community and some benefiting developing communities all around the world.

For example, this year I volunteered to help a local baker establish a business model for growth and open a store location in South Bend. I plan to be even more involved in the future and am proud to belong to a program that shares the values I cherish.

I must feel excited to tell others about it
The reaction I receive when I mention where I go to school is usually a combination of raised eyebrows, a short gasp and a smile. It seems as though everyone I speak to has heard of Notre Dame and is aware of its reputation. I take every opportunity to talk about my experience here because people who hear about Notre Dame get excited, but those of us who experience Notre Dame love it.

Maybe the criteria I used in searching for the right MBA program may not be typical of the average business student, but they were important to me. I encourage anybody considering business school to establish their own unique criteria and search for the place that fits them best. It will be a challenge to find a program that values an individual’s goals and pushes them to reach for even more–the same way Notre Dame does.

Topics: Student Life