Meet The MBA Class Of 2020: Profiles In Courage

Michael Wall

University of Notre Dame, Mendoza College of Business

Father, husband, student of leadership, and dedicated teammate.”

Hometown: Scituate, MA

Fun Fact About Yourself: I learned how to fly planes before I learned how to drive a car

Undergraduate School and Major: Mechanical Engineering from the United States Military Academy at West Point.

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Mechanical Engineer in the U.S. Army

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: In October of 2017, I helped establish the headquarters for the US Army Corps of Engineers recovery efforts in Puerto Rico following hurricanes Maria and Irma. Being able to deploy within the United States and serve Americans was a unique opportunity that I will always be grateful for. Beyond the service aspect of my time in Puerto Rico, I gained a much better understanding of how the nation responds to a natural disaster and an appreciation for how large and complex the national response framework is.

What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? My classmates are outstanding teammates. We have people from all over the world converging on the small city of South Bend and there is an abundance of support from within the class to ensure that everyone is set up to succeed in the program.

Aside from your classmates, 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 settled on Mendoza because it the service-oriented approach to business. I don’t think there’s a program that does a better job of delivering the MBA coursework while also encourage a mentality of service to the community.

What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? I’m looking forward to participating in the MBA Veterans club. It’s an opportunity to stay connected to the military community and help other veterans through the process of transitioning into civilian life.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career?  I chose to pursue an MBA at this point in my career because I saw the program as a great capstone to the transition between military and civilian life.

How did you decide if an MBA was worth the investment?  I see an MBA as a long-term investment in my career. When I look at the opportunities that are immediately available after graduation, it is tough to justify the cost of two years of school.  When I look at where I want to be in ten to fifteen years, I see that having an MBA is increasingly important and the investment is easily justified.

How did you determine your fit at various schools? I moved with my family, so location and cost of living were very important to me. I also looked for programs that included the families of the students in the program because my family is just as committed to our time here as I am. As for career goals, I looked at job placement, salary, and companies that recruited from the school to judge if the program would help me accomplish my goals.

What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are?  My defining moment was my time spent as the leader of a combat engineer platoon

What do you plan to do after you graduate?  I am pursuing a career in management consulting after graduation.

 Where do you see yourself in five years?  In five years, I plan to be leading a team of consultants.

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