Meet Notre Dame Mendoza’s MBA Class of 2018

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Sir Martin Cortez

University of Notre Dame, Mendoza College of Business

Describe yourself in 15 words or less: I make seemingly boring things like the power industry surprisingly sexy.

Hometown: Quezon City, Philippines

Fun Fact About Yourself: My parents naming me “Sir” is a usual conversation starter for a shy person like me.

Undergraduate School and Major: University of the Philippines — BS Economics

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:

National Transmission Corporation, Senior Corporate Planning Specialist

National Grid Corporation of the Philippines, Head of Billing Settlement and Management

AES Philippines, Commercial Planning and Regulatory Director

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Back in 2013, I was involved in the minority sell-down of our company’s Philippine business. This transaction required our team to present a comprehensive but on-point pitch to various investors to be our strategic partner. Specifically, I was heavily involved in the preparation of the info memo, financial models and extensive Q&As. The transaction successfully brought on an established partner with broad footprint in Asia and $445M cash. Within a year, these benefits enabled the Philippine business to commence its 50% capacity expansion, introduce large-scale battery energy storage in Southeast Asia, and execute on a pipeline of diverse projects.

Looking back on your experience, what advice would you give to future business school applicants? Going to business school was not something I planned when I started my career, unlike so many of my fellow MBA applicants. I wondered if this may not work for me because b-school admissions and inteviewers I met tend to ask how obtaining an MBA fits in with every career decision you have made so far. I think that, as long as you can show you have exhibited growth throughout your career, this would present a story that does not just show your competence but also a unique way for admissions to determine how you can fit in with your prospective classmates.

What led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA? Mendoza’s strive for excellence while holding organizations and individuals to a high ethical standard greatly appeals to me. I can also leverage on Notre Dame’s strong and well-known alumni network. I also want to make sure my two “gap years” are as enjoyable as possible and witnessing the Fighting Irish spirit firsthand is something I have been enthusiastic to experience for years now.

Tell us about your dream job or dream employer at this point in your life? I plan to have a career in consulting, where I advise private and government organizations to pursue uncharted “territories” that can be entering a new market, banking on a very new technology or even urban planning that would make a city even more dynamic for the next generation. Helping a client determine and execute a grand vision appeals to my view of professional success and intellectual curiosity.

What would you like your business school peers to say about you after you graduate from this program? I only hope that my peers would not hesitate to call me because I am someone they would be enthusiastic to do business with…and join them in tailgating before Irish home games.

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