Meet Notre Dame’s MBA Class of 2017

Joanna Tooker

Joanna Tooker

University of Notre Dame, Mendoza College of Business

Hometown: Phoenix, AZ

Undergraduate School and Major: Arizona State University, BS Supply Chain Management, BS Marketing

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:

  1. American Airlines – Commodity Manager; Sr. Commodity Manager
  2. PriceWaterhouse Coopers (PwC) – Experienced Associate
  3. United Airlines – Sr. Category Manager

Recalling your own experience, what advice do you have for applicants who are preparing for either the GMAT or the GRE? Study early and focus on making yourself a well-rounded student since the GMAT can cover so many topics. Also, plan on taking the test more than once and make sure you allow enough time between the test and application so that you’re able to dedicate the right amount of energy and focus to applications.

Based on your own selection process, what advice do you have for applicants who are trying to draw up a list of target schools to which to apply? I would also recommend making sure that the core values of the school align with the students’ core values and promotes a culture they would be comfortable being in where they could be open and honest in their school journey. If a student knows specific companies they are targeting to work for after school, it’s beneficial to understand if the school is visited by the employer or a target school for hiring.

What advice do you have for applicants in actually applying to a school, writing essays, doing admission interviews, and getting recommenders to write letters on your behalf? In applying to schools and writing essays, I would recommend starting as early as possible so that students can dedicate adequate time and focus to putting together the best application they can and have it be something they’re proud of.

When I was asking for letters of recommendation, I tried to align the questions and requirements from the school to who I thought would be best to speak to topic honestly. This helped me explain to the recommenders why I was asking for their assistance and why I thought they were the right fit so they know that I was not just asking without consideration for their time. I also limited my requests per person, so that nobody felt overwhelmed with the number of letters I requested.

When it came to doing admission interviews, I practiced with colleagues, friends, and mentors. In some cases, I was also able to meet with current students to get their insights and inputs on what the school looks for in a candidate. This was also helpful in me confirming a school was a good fit for me, should I be accepted into their program.

What led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA? Notre Dame’s strong reputation in ethics and social commitment made them standout to me among the top MBA programs.

What would you ultimately like to achieve before you graduate?  I would like to take time to give back to the community and have it become part of my normal routine and daily activities so that I can continue service after graduation and into my career. I definitely want to take advantage of all of the opportunities Notre Dame brings (and encourages) to do better for the community and society while in school and to carry that theme outside of the University after graduating.

Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.