Mendoza School of Business

From the Playing Field to Finance

One alum’s journey from sports to finance exemplifies the intersection of passion and opportunity

Author: Katie Rose Quandt

Share to:

Lizzy Doherty (MSF ’22, ND ’21) initially applied to the Master of Science in Finance (MSF) program during her senior year at the University of Notre Dame to take advantage of an extra year of eligibility with the Notre Dame Women’s Lacrosse team. However, as she delved deeper into the MSF curriculum, her passion for the industry grew, and she made the difficult decision to leave lacrosse, though she remained the team’s biggest supporter.

Lizzy Doherty, MSF ’22, ND ’21

“Playing lacrosse at a high level was a tremendous part of my undergrad journey, and I’ll always be grateful for the experience,” Doherty said. “But this time around, I wanted to fully immerse myself in the Notre Dame experience — embracing social events, University traditions, and other opportunities I hadn’t previously explored as a student-athlete.”

Doherty’s decision to pursue an MSF at Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business wasn’t completely out of the blue; her interest in finance had been cultivated over time. “With my family deeply entrenched in finance — my mother, father, brother, and sister — all engrossed in the field, I naturally gravitated towards it,” she said. “Listening to their discussions, I found myself captivated. I really wanted to be a part of those conversations.”

Given her background in business analytics, Doherty found the Notre Dame MSF, which is designed for students from diverse majors seeking to broaden their financial acumen, to be the perfect finance career entry point. The program starts with a nine-week summer module solidifying foundational concepts in finance and accounting before delving into specialized topics, including investments, valuation, and modeling. This comprehensive approach equips students with a practical financial understanding in less time than other programs.

“The instructors strongly emphasized networking and career exploration from the outset,” Doherty noted. She highlighted the Bridge to Success course, which guides students through the job search process and offers tailored support for tasks such as crafting cover letters, optimizing LinkedIn profiles, preparing for industry-specific interviews, and creating effective networking strategies.

For Doherty, other highlights of the program included her class on wealth management. “I immediately fell in love with this topic,” she said. “I knew that this was my career path.” She also noted her quant class as being particularly interesting, thanks in part to adjunct finance professor Jeffrey Bacidore, who is the president of the Bacidore Group. “Learning from someone who’s active and successful in the industry makes such a huge difference,” Doherty said. “There’s a realness to the lessons that you don’t get from theory.”

Outside the classroom, Doherty enjoyed the close-knit bonds she formed with her cohort and the networking opportunities available throughout the broader Mendoza community. “Mendoza does a good job of opening up your network,” she said. “We always had events with the MBAs and students from the specialized master’s programs.“

By the end of the MSF program, Doherty had landed a financial analyst position with New York-based JP Morgan Private Bank. “This role is absolutely perfect for me because it allows me to use both my business analytics and finance skills on a daily basis,” Doherty said. “I love how seamlessly my degrees complement each other.”

Another thing she loves is helping fellow Notre Dame alumni who are considering careers in finance. “I loved my experience at Notre Dame, and having it on my résumé really differentiated me from other candidates in my field,” she said. “I’d love to help other alumni achieve similar success.”

Mendoza School of Business

Topics: Finance (MSF)