Meet Notre Dame Mendoza’s MBA Class of 2019

Zachary Leonard

University of Notre Dame, Mendoza College of Business

Describe yourself in 15 words or less: Multiracial, fun-loving, foodie, tattooed and pierced Californian with a simultaneously focused and laid-back drive.

Hometown: San Francisco, California

Fun Fact About Yourself: I spent a semester during my undergraduate studies in Rome without knowing any Italian beforehand.  

Undergraduate School and Major: University of Notre Dame, Classics (Latin and Ancient Greek)

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation: Franklin Templeton Investments, Proposal Specialist (2014-17)

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I am extremely proud of my jump from Classics major to working in marketing for a renowned investment manager. Many people were initially skeptical at what I was going to do after graduation. I have never regretted studying Classics as it is something that I thoroughly enjoy, but I had similar doubt. Nonetheless, I was able to excel in an unknown role and industry and I am excited to see what I can accomplish after completion of my MBA.

Looking back on your experience, what one piece of advice would you give to future business school applicants? Start studying for the GMAT earlier than you believe necessary. While some people can excel with self-study, it will generally be extremely beneficial to take an organized course. This will allow you to practice repeatedly, as well as focus on your weak points.

What was the key factor that led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA and why was it so important to you? I felt like Notre Dame truly placed an emphasis on ethics in business, which made it stand out from the other schools I applied to. All business schools place an emphasis on leadership development, academics, and social life, but I was looking for something that was different. Having worked for a few years now, I believe ethics is an important part of business (and any social interaction), so I believe I have made the right decision.

What would success look like to you after your first year of business school? Success for me, personally, would be working in a position that challenged me consistently and would allow me to continue to grow. But, it would also be engaging and enjoyable enough that I would look forward to being a part of it. Finally, this position would allow me to feel like I am genuinely making an impact. The most successful people that I know all have positions that are similar to the above.

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