Meet Notre Dame Mendoza’s MBA Class Of 2020

Olivia Feldpausch 

University of Notre Dame, Mendoza College of Business

“Highly motivated, self-aware, strong, independent and fierce yet kind hearted, generous, considerate and passionate.”

Hometown: Shelby Twp, MI

Fun Fact About Yourself: I do jiu-jitsu.

Undergraduate School and Major: Michigan State University, B.S. Mathematics

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: United States Air Force, Program Manager

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Getting competitively selected to be sponsored by the Air Force to go back to school with a follow on assignment to instruct at the US Air Force Academy.

What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? Motivated.

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? Character. As a military officer, I am accustomed to being surrounded by people who live by service to others while leading with integrity first. In choosing to pursue an MBA at a civilian institution, it was my mission to find a school that embodies the values that I live by in the military. The undeniable parallel between the core values of the United States Air Force and Notre Dame was my determining factor in my selection.

What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? Veteran’s Club

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? I was selected to go teach at the United States Air Force Academy and require higher education to do so.

How did you decide if an MBA was worth the investment? I recognized that limitless potential that an MBA affords to a young professional.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? University of Minnesota, Arizona State University, University of North Carolina

How did you determine your fit at various schools? The factors I prioritized for school choice was adherence to core values. I wanted a school that aligned the values of the Air Force (integrity, service and excellence). I reached out to the Veterans Clubs at various schools to get a feel for what they’re like. Notre Dame provided me with the clearest vision of helping me get where I want to go.

What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? I come from a military background. My Dad selflessly devoted 23 years of service in the United States Marine Corps. He has always been my hero, my provider and my protector…as well as the nation’s. There was never any doubt in my mind that I wanted to continue the legacy, thus leading me to join the ROTC Detachment at Michigan State University. My defining moment was this: MSgt (Ret) Gerald Feldpausch (my Dad) presenting 2nd Lt Olivia Feldpausch (me) with her first salute of military service at her commissioning ceremony. This symbolic gesture represented to me a passing of the torch from dad to daughter and continues to motivate me as I navigate through my military career. I am honored to continue my family’s military service, and have the perfect role model to lean on for advice, wisdom and leadership.

What do you plan to do after you graduate? Teach at the USAF Academy.

Where do you see yourself in five years? I will be finishing up my tour at the USAF Academy and preparing to embark on my next assignment in the Air Force.

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