An Unconventional Journey Pays Off
Published: September 29, 2020 / Author: Mark Jackson
Mark Jackson (MBA ’21) isn’t your traditional MBA candidate.
Read why he chose Mendoza’s accelerated One-Year MBA program, and learn how its cross-disciplinary offerings are helping him achieve his entrepreneurial goals.
Finding the Right MBA Program
I chose Mendoza’s One-Year MBA program for two major reasons. The first contributing factor was my stage of life – as I was slightly older than the normal student entering traditional two-year programs – and I was not concerned with changing industries.
Given those factors, my opportunity cost was high for a two-year program and, thus, the One-Year MBA’s accelerated format minimized my risk.
The second factor was the strong alumni foundation that gives back to the school through fellowships and aid. I was fortunately able to benefit from their generosity and I intend to reciprocate that generosity once I’m in a similar place financially.
Uncommon Threads, Common Goals
As a diverse student body, those in the One-Year MBA program naturally have very different experiences that have led them to Notre Dame. That diversity carries over into our view of how ethics are applied in the real world.
Notre Dame’s One-Year MBA program curriculum is somehow able to center all students around an absolute sense of ethics that can be used to “grow the good” in business. Knowing that my peers are graduating into a professional environment and driving towards the same sense of integrity assures me that I’m part of a powerful community every day.
Leveling the Playing Field
When considering any MBA program, I was concerned about the ability to be recruited for full-time positions without a corresponding internship that one would receive through a [traditional] two-year MBA program.
However, after joining Notre Dame’s One-Year MBA program, I’ve seen an abundance of career development/recruiting resources that actually levels that playing field. I’m now confident all one-year [MBA] students at Notre Dame will have an equal opportunity to attract a full-time offer post-graduation.
I most appreciate the close-knit relationships our students have with Mendoza’s career development staff. Offerings such as tailored executive coaching have helped me to empower strengths and defend against weaknesses in my professional development.
Practical applications of recruitment strategies are absolutely essential to receiving post-graduate job offers and the career development staff provides students with detailed frameworks that ensure success.
In larger programs, I think it’s easy to be “lost in the crowd”, but not in Notre Dame’s MBA programs. You are a known member of the class at all levels of the organization.
Finding A Sense of Normalcy
I’m most impressed with Notre Dame’s handling of on-campus course offerings during the pandemic. After leaving a full-time job to join the program, I anticipated the standard post-graduate experience filled with on-campus recruitment opportunities and international project immersions.
Once pandemic restrictions took full effect, I was disheartened with the possibility that I might not even set foot on campus during the program.
Notre Dame’s commitment and investment in creating a safe environment on-campus, along with exceptional communications, have salvaged a near-normal experience and for that I am forever grateful.
Skills Development for Long-Term Returns
My favorite experiences have actually taken place where I’ve challenged myself to take courses related to marketing and entrepreneurship disciplines. My background is heavily concentrated in finance, strategy and operations.
In order to reach my goal of eventually leading an organization or business as CEO, I knew that I would be required to at least understand concepts best concentrated in those disciplines which I had little experience.
Courses such as Brand Strategy with Jon Hall and Innovation & Design Thinking taught by Professor Wendy Angst have challenged me to be creative in ways I never thought possible.
I’ve been able to leverage my strengths uniquely and bring a fresh perspective to recurring challenges, all while strengthening my knowledge of a business in its entirety. Those experiences are testament to Notre Dame’s commitment to providing a diverse and challenging set of course offerings.