Meet Notre Dame Mendoza’s MBA Class of 2018


Tom Jones

University of Notre Dame, Mendoza College of Business

Describe yourself in 15 words or less: “Creative, technical leader and inspirer, West Pointer, extremely passionate about energetic team building and group dynamism.”

Hometown:  South Bend, Indiana

Fun Fact About Yourself:  “Jack of many trades, master of none” (musician, engineer, athlete, helicopter pilot, former military officer, salesman)

Undergraduate School and Major: U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Aeronautical & Mechanical Engineering

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation: U.S. Army – Bridging Engineer Platoon Leader, Aviation Operations Officer, Helicopter Troop Commander, Afghan Air Force Advisor Team Leader.

Hunting Dearborn Inc.- Manufacturing Sales Account Manager and Customer Service Rep

Engility Corporation- Kabul Air Wing Training Manager and Process Advisor

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: It was commanding a Kiowa Warrior Air Cav Helicopter Troop (A/6-6 Cavalry Squadron) in the most dangerous region in Afghanistan. I was blessed to lead the best team in the world, populated with the best people in the world. We brought every “Alpha Trooper” home, never lost a bird, and supported the efforts of our beloved infantry brethren in a very big way.

Looking back on your experience, what advice would you give to future business school applicants?

GMAT: Take as many computer-based practice tests as you can; timing is critical and simulating the actual test will focus your study efforts from a time-management perspective.

Essays: Be yourself. Rather than focus on what you think will impress the admissions staff, have confidence that your unique personal experiences will shine through, enabling them to best assemble that dynamic team they’re looking for.

Recommendations: Reiterating the above, find someone who knows you well as opposed to someone with a prestigious title. The admissions staff is trying to gauge how you work, your personality, and your way of thinking. This will build that perspective for the admissions staff.

Interview: Be confident and relaxed. My experience was very comfortable based on the interviewer’s pleasant demeanor and utmost professionalism. Have a thoughtful question prepared for them if and when he or she gives you the opportunity toward the end of the interview. The type of question you choose to ask is important for them to get to know you and the way you think.

What led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA?  Notre Dame’s emphasis on service-oriented business, their focus on ethical decision making in a “world full of grey,” and their deep and diverse alumni network.

Tell us about your dream job or dream employer at this point in your life? My dream employer is one that values creativity and teamwork. As an example, after I read Team of Rivals, which is a book about Lincoln’s presidency and his incredible wisdom and leadership during that volatile time, I was inspired by those creative, wise, and personally secure leaders. In short, Abraham Lincoln surrounded himself and populated his cabinet with different-minded people, valuing candor and diversity in order to seek out creative solutions to some extremely complex political situations. My goal is to work in a very challenging environment with a vastly diverse group of people, solving intricate problems utilizing each member’s unique God-given talents.

What would you like your business school peers to say about you after you graduate from this program?  I would simply love to help inspire someone to become the best version of their “business self” that they can be, for as many of my peers that would be kind enough to let me get to know them.  

Comments or questions about this article? Email us.