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Meet the Notre Dame Mendoza MBA class of 2023

Excellence, respect, integrity, teamwork and accountability.

The core values ​​of the University of Notre Dame. Timeless and inalienable – the highest expectations and the deepest promises. It was founded by outsiders seeking to merge Catholic values ​​with the rigor of the Enlightenment. Over time, Notre Dame became a journey, a refuge for seekers who wanted to develop the habits and judgment to become forces for good. It meant embracing their potential – and the requirements necessary to reach and sustain it. More so, it required students to approach problems with a mixture of curiosity, reasoning, and love that ultimately produces action.

Faith, Family, Academics, Service… and Football.

Call them the characteristics of the Notre Dame experience. Students come to Notre Dame, to paraphrase coach Lou Holtz, to “become someone as much as to learn something.” Each year, business students answer a call to pursue careers with a higher purpose – a spirit defined by uplifting others rather than enriching oneself. This “Cultivating Good in Business” philosophy guides the Mendoza College of Business MBA program. Here you will find servant leaders who seek to make their world a better place; they may not yet know how, but they understand the why and what behind it. So they come to South Bend with a mission – a mission that is intimately tied to their beliefs, their experiences and their identity.

The Hesburgh Library with its famous “Touchdown Jesus” mural is a favorite place for students to study and congregate on campus. (Photo by Peter Ringenberg Photography)

A CLASS SHARES ITS MISSIONS

This has certainly been true for Nicaragua Napoleon Astorga Solano, previously an in-house lawyer who joined the Mendoza MBA graduating class of 2023. worse),” he wrote. . “It motivated me to do good business – not only in terms of profitability, but also in terms of contributing to employees, customers, suppliers and ultimately to society as a whole… I didn’t know how to put my ideas into practice ; thanks to the Mendoza program, I was able to understand the impact of companies on society, what best practices can be implemented within the framework of the company so that everyone is better off by the existence of your company and how to motivate other people like you an idea.”

Overview: Notre Dame’s legacy is to nurture students who thrive after graduation, inspiring by example and making a difference in ways big and small. For Annie Crider, professor of theology in the Diocese of Jefferson City, it means developing one’s talents to achieve the greater good. In Solano’s experience, it comes down to always looking for a better way, mobilizing communities around causes, and setting a vision that motivates people through setbacks and doubts. These factors make MBAs in Mendoza all the more great after graduation.

“As a finance professional who will be working in the healthcare industry, my mission is to make medicines and treatments more affordable for patients,” notes Chloe Yang, previously a private wealth advisor. “Mendoza prepares me with the right knowledge – both financial and moral – to contribute to humanity.”

Fall Social MBA at Zoo 031 Social activities such as outings to local Zoom and other area attractions allow students, faculty and staff and their families to have fun and learn about each other . (Photo by Peter Ringenberg Photography)

A DIVERSIFIED CLASS

This mission is also not tied to cultural or religious traditions, adds Songee Barker, a 2022 graduate and P&Q Best & Brightest MBA. “Because Notre Dame is a Catholic university, I think some might think there isn’t a lot of diversity here. During my stay in Mendoza, I had the chance to work and to know people of all religious backgrounds, all geographical locations and all professional backgrounds. Notre Dame attracts top talent from so many different places, which creates a diverse experience in so many ways.

Various? Now, that’s an understatement. Watch what the class of 2023 is doing outside the classroom. Funmi Owopetu – a self-proclaimed native of Nigeria, Calgary and Houston – already holds four degrees. Speaking of well traveled, Christian Montgomery has visited 43 countries (and owns 300 pairs of shoes). In terms of contrasts, Raghav Agarwal is a financial director and author of more than 60 poems, while Natalie Kvochak is an environmental scientist who has been part of a capella groups (and currently sings in the liturgical choir of Notre-Dame).

And you could say that Dan Chapman was destined to reach South Bend one day. After all, his first tattoo read “Play Like a Champion Today” – the locker room slogan made famous by Notre Dame football. In the same way, one could say that business school was definitely in the cards for Napoleón Astorga Solano.

“As a child I pretended to play to be a banker,” he wrote. “I would put on my blazer (the only one I had) with my most professional shorts, grab an empty cardboard box to use as a desk, and serve my only imaginary client – Mrs. Vortex (inspired by a character from the show of Jimmy Neutron cartoons).

The famous “God, Country, Our Lady” plaque is installed above the door of the Basilica of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, which serves the spiritual needs of students, faculty and staff of the University as well as members of the larger South Bend community. (Photo courtesy of the University of Notre Dame)

TO HAVE AN IMPACT

Unsurprisingly, Solano ended up in a bank – the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI) – after earning his master’s degree in law from Harvard Law School. Previously, he ran a program designed to provide loans that improved agricultural practices and technological capabilities of small and medium-sized farms.

“We have achieved exceptional results for this program which would open channels for similar programs in the future: The program has had more than 3,000 beneficiaries with an average loan of six thousand dollars, a significant improvement in productivity indicators and a default rate below average. in the national financial system for funded industries.

Ms. Vortex would be proud!

And James Harden too… by Christian Montgomery. Most recently, Montgomery served as senior product manager at adidas, where he focused on football apparel. However, he had his greatest impact in basketball, designing country-specific shoes for players in China and Japan. Staying in Asia, Raghav Agarwal co-founded a non-profit organization, Rise for Humanity, in India. For eight years, this organization funded empowerment programs, such as education, for women. Education is also Annie Crider’s passion. Now an intern at McKinsey, she recently built a comprehensive curriculum for her junior high students.

“The content required earning the trust and respect of my students, as well as their parents, by building meaningful relationships,” she said. P&Q. “Creating a culture where my students feel valued and wanted took time, but was the most rewarding aspect of my career because students started coming to me with their struggles and trusting me to help them. . They were also more willing to do what they were asked because they thought I had their best interests at heart.

Stonehenge on a misty morning..Photo by Matt Cashore/University of Notre Dame

TURNING A PASSION INTO A BUSINESS

In a school that seeks difference makers, several class members really fit the bill. Dan Chapman has become a partner in his capital markets team at CBRE. Funmi Owopetu helped her company double its customer base by leading a global certification process. At IG Wealth Management, Chloe Yang led a team that catered to high net worth clients.

“My typical clients were successful business owners who had immigrated to Canada from China. In 2020, my team’s net cash inflow ranked #1 in the entire Quebec region in my business. Assets under management were $50 million before I joined Mendoza.

Temitayo Ade-Oshifogun made a name for himself in cryptocurrency. Fired at the advent of COVID, he turned to God, which led him to a crypto startup, where he doubled the number of investors. From his early days in Mendoza, he launched his own crypto strategy startup. “It gives me so much joy to see people learning about crypto and the many use cases for the technology that is driving the space,” he told P&Q. “This is just the beginning, and I’m so grateful for the lives I’ve been privileged and honored to positively affect!”

Mendoza College of Business Dean Martijn Cremers chats with students during the orientation breakfast for the new 2-year MBA class (Photo by Matt Cashore/University of Notre Dame)

“HONOR GOD, SERVE OTHERS AND BE A FORCE FOR GOOD”

Ade-Oshifogun wasn’t the only one with some impressive accomplishments over the past year. Tannic Philogene, a wine enthusiast and former Morgan Stanley associate, was elected as the student government representative. For Napoleón Astorga Solano, getting top marks in his finance and financial accounting classes was his highlight in Mendoza — that and receiving congratulatory emails from his teachers for his performance. And Raghav Agarwal’s efforts will reverberate far beyond South Bend.

“I partnered with a student entrepreneur and helped him pitch his startup for $3 million in funding in a Silicon Valley competition. The pitch attracted interest from various groups of investors.

You could describe the Class of 2023 as catalysts, each with a personal mission that resonates deeply with their ideals. Kyle Fiebernitz, a father and U.S. Navy veteran, sees his MBA as an extension of his calling to empower others to grow both personally and professionally. “Mendoza allows me to pursue this mission outside of the military by helping me reframe my previous experiences to apply them more appropriately in the business world and by equipping me with the tools and skills necessary for a leader. company.”

Natalie Kvochak pursues a similar path, the only one with a deeply spiritual element.My mission in life is to honor God, serve others, and be a force for good in my professional and personal pursuits. Our Lady helps me with this by teaching me the inner workings of business and how to be a quality leader. Mendoza’s emphasis on ethical business and the plethora of spiritual opportunities at Notre Dame also help me deepen my relationship with God, use business to serve others, and learn to be a force for good in the world.

Next page: An exclusive interview with the Dean of Studies

Page 3: Profiles of 12 members of the Class of 2023