“Utah native, powder seeker, world-traveler, ambitious, competitive, creative and dependable.”
Hometown: Salt Lake City, Utah
Fun fact about yourself: I made my VH1 debut in a show with Donny Osmond at the age of 3 and my payment consisted of brownies instead of money.
Undergraduate School and Degree: University of Utah, B.S. Economics
Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? Charles Schwab Investment Management – Analyst
Where did you intern during the summer of 2018? UBS Investment Bank – New York City
Where will you be working after graduation? UBS Investment Bank, Financial Sponsors & Leveraged Finance Group – Associate
Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School: Volunteer – Boys & Girls Clubs of America, President – Finance & Investments Club, Portfolio Manager – Student-led investment fund, Judge – MBA Mini-case competition, Notre Dame MBA Fellow
Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? Having the opportunity to serve my classmates as President of the Finance & Investments Club has allowed me to interact with a majority of the student body. In one of our first meetings as a new leadership team, we decided to focus on skill-development and showcasing those skills to potential employers. Specifically, we wanted to grow our domestic footprint when it came to case competitions, allowing our members to compete with other top programs in the country. Seeing our members travel throughout the country and succeed in these competitions has been amazing and I feel fortunate to be able to learn amongst them each day.
What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? When I first started working full-time out of undergrad, I began volunteering with various organizations that aimed to teach financial literacy to young teenagers. Being able to share what I’ve learned from my education and throughout my career with young people so that they can make good financial choices as adults have been memorable, especially since many of the individuals I have worked with have come from families where financial literacy simply doesn’t exist.
Who was your favorite MBA professor? Howard Lanser. Professor Lanser’s dedication to his student’s success is unmatched. Concurrently working as an investment banker, Professor Lanser commutes from Chicago to South Bend regularly to teach. His ability to apply real-life scenarios that he encounters while at Robert W. Baird & Co. to classroom topics have accelerated my learning experience while at Notre Dame. Specifically, his Equity Valuation and Bond Issue Process classes were integral in helping me develop the skills necessary to obtain a summer internship at UBS and ultimately receive a full-time offer to return post-graduation.
What was your favorite MBA Course Ethics in Emerging Markets with Joseph Holt. Having lived outside of the United States (Brazil), I’ve been exposed to unique challenges and opportunities that I wouldn’t have been able to experience otherwise. Getting a taste for what life is like outside of the United States opened my eyes to the fact that everyone involved in business has been affected by the globalization of the marketplace. Companies and individual executives are regularly faced with particular challenges and have to find ways to address these challenges in ways that are economically, environmentally and ethically sound. Professor Holt’s personal experiences abroad brought a unique perspective to the table, and his ability to ask challenging questions allowed our class to engage in a number of meaningful dialogues. By taking a deeper dive into numerous scenarios, I was able to gain a better understanding of and appreciation for economic, environmental, ethical, and social best practices of companies operating in not only emerging markets but international markets as a whole.
Why did you choose this business school? My situation was a bit unique in that I only filled out one business school application. For me, there was only one school that checked off all of the boxes. In my application to Notre Dame, I stated that my objective was to attend a top-tier business school that not only challenged me academically but also maintained values in line with my own. Additionally, I wanted access to one of the largest and most loyal alumni bases in the world. The small class size was also appealing because I knew that I would be able to get to know all of my classmates on a more personal level. Needless to say, this school has exceeded expectations. Mendoza’s mission to ask more of business and of ourselves is something that each student takes to heart. It’s not enough to merely want to do the right thing. In the classroom, we’re constantly armed with the skills needed to tackle the world’s most challenging problems. Transforming the world for the better isn’t just something that’s talked about here; it’s expected from each of us.
Oh, and in my completely biased opinion, there’s also no better college football venue in the country. As the legendary Lou Holtz once said, “Those who know Notre Dame, no explanation’s necessary. Those who don’t, no explanation will suffice.”
What is your best advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program? While test scores and grades are certainly important, they are only part of the application. Strong candidates also exhibit leadership potential, maintain strong academic aptitude and buy into the mission of the school to use business as a vehicle to do good in the world. Take whatever time necessary to network with current students and alumni and ask them why they pursued an MBA at Notre Dame. Additionally, try to visit campus in person, if possible, to get a feel for what it’s like. That comes with a warning, though. Once a candidate arrives on campus, they won’t want to leave. There’s no place like it. Good luck with the application process and we hope to welcome many of you to your home under the dome soon!
What is the biggest myth about your school? That given its location, Notre Dame doesn’t attract many top companies to recruit on campus. Though South Bend is a smaller city relative to some of the cities where my classmates and I have moved from, the Notre Dame name carries tremendous weight across the country. Given the school’s consistent ability to produce top-tier candidates, many of the most highly sought-after companies consistently recruit on campus. Whatever job you’re looking to pursue, be assured that Notre Dame can help you obtain it.
Think back two years ago. What is the one thing you wish you’d known before starting your MBA program? That so much of the value-add of the degree comes from building your network on and off of campus. I feel like I had a taste of that coming in, but as I’ve been here, I’ve gained a greater appreciation for how far your network can take you. Notre Dame does an amazing job of bringing in professionals from all facets of business, including some of the most high-profile names in the country, and spending an evening attending a lecture or a happy hour can do more for you than you may think.
MBA Alumni often describe business school as transformative. Looking back over the past two years, how has business school been transformative for you? If you would have asked me two years ago what success would look like to me, it would have been to develop certain technical skills needed in order to compete for a front-office corporate finance role. Thankfully, I accomplished that and so much more. I will leave the program having substantially increased a number of hard and soft skills, allowing me to be a better all-around employee going forward. My time at Notre Dame has consisted of working in numerous groups, giving me the ability to learn from many classmates, all of which I have an immense amount of respect for. I have developed great relationships with so many people on campus and plan to keep in contact with them going forward. My MBA experience has truly been life-changing, and I couldn’t have asked for a better way to spend two years.
Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Terrell Hunt. He was one of the first people I met when I got to campus and I’m very glad because of it. Terrell is one of the most genuine people I’ve ever been around. He truly is the definition of a Notre Dame man, and the school will be lucky to have him as an alum going forward. His background is impressive in and of itself. For three years he worked as a management consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc. There he served in the Defense and Intelligence Group and specialized in business transformation and strategy & organization consulting. In his last role at the firm, he was a Senior Consultant and Team Lead advising the Command Element of the Defense Intelligence Agency. He then moved on to Nike, Inc. where he led Global Community Impact programs for the Converse brand. In that role, he managed employee volunteerism, community relations, charitable giving, and city affairs programming for over 3,000 global employees. After graduation, he’ll join the State Department as a diplomat in the U.S. Foreign Service. As a management-coned officer, he’ll serve as COO of U.S. embassies, consulates, and joint diplomatic missions abroad – simultaneously managing a wide-ranging portfolio of global logistics, human resources, financial operations, real estate, transportation, and IT. As you can see, Terrell is driven and ambitious. His desire to make the world a better place is embedded in the values that he lives day-to-day. Terrell is somebody who will continue to change the world after graduation, and I can’t wait to see where life takes him.
Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? My grandfather, Mark Willes, had a successful career in business. After graduating from Columbia, he worked many high-profile jobs, including serving a term as President of the United States Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. All throughout my life, he’s shown an interest in what I’ve been studying in the classroom. He constantly asks me about my classes and lets me pick his brain about his own career. Though he retired when I was relatively young, our conversations about business continue to this day. Besides being the smartest businessman I’ve conversed with, his life-long desire to use business to help make life better for others is admirable.
What is your favorite movie about business? The Big Short. First and foremost, I’m a huge fan of Steve Carell, and I thought he and the rest of the cast did an amazing job walking through some of the events surrounding the most recent financial crisis. Though a little bit of Hollywood may have been thrown into a scene or two, the overall message of the film was clear: the crashing of the US mortgage market was devastating. Even though a few people got rich off of it, many others were crushed. People lost houses and life savings, among other things. All in all, the movie was a good reminder that the day-to-day transactions we engage in as finance professionals have a bigger impact on people than we may think. It’s important that no matter the situation, we try our best to do business the right way because in the end, every choice that we make has a consequence.
What was the goofiest MBA term or acronym you encountered – and what did it mean? One of the priests on campus congratulated me for pursuing a “More Bucks Annually” degree. I got a kick out of that one.
“If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be… traveling the world, thinking about attending business school.”
What dollar value would you place on your MBA education? Was it worth what you paid for it – worth more or worth less? I believe the value of my MBA is priceless. Tuition at Notre Dame isn’t cheap, but the school is known to be one of the friendliest when it comes to providing financial aid. I couldn’t have asked for a better place to pursue an MBA between what I’ve learned in the classroom, the relationships I’ve built with other students, faculty, and alumni and the resources I’ve been provided with to help me succeed going forward. Not all MBA programs are created equal, so it’s important to find a place that will set you up for a bright future. Pursuing an MBA at Notre Dame has done that for me and so many others which is why the alumni base remains incredibly loyal.
What are the top two items on your bucket list?
- Visit all seven wonders of the world. I traveled to two last year (Chichen Itza and the Great Wall of China) and will be visiting the Roman Colosseum this summer.
- Golf at Augusta National
In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? As a hard-working, optimistic and supportive classmate who would do anything to help his peers succeed.
Hobbies? Backcountry snowboarding. Wakesurfing. Golfing. Reading. Traveling. Working out. Binge-watching The Office repeatedly. Attempting to become a better cook.
What made Joshua such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2019?
“Soon after his arrival at Mendoza in late summer 2017, Josh began in earnest his efforts to land an internship in Investment Banking. Ultimately, he was successful, accepting a summer offer from UBS in New York City.
This came after several networking visits to NYC, including attending the annual Wall Street Trek with fellow First Years. He was an active member of the MBA Finance & Investments Club, and later in the year, he was elected President of the club. Despite his hectic summer schedule, Josh helped set up a system that actively reached out to incoming members of the Class of 2020 looking at a banking career path.
This early mentoring prepared new MBA students for the Fall 2018 recruiting season and set the stage for their career searches once they arrived on campus. Josh and team actively guided First Years via interview prep, identifying key contacts at banks, and carrying out mock interviews. He worked closely with other MBA club leaders to provide consistent support for students, including organizing a multi-club networking trek to Chicago. The hope is the processes Josh helped put in place will carry on next year, after Josh graduates and starts his full-time job at UBS.”
Senior Associate Director, Graduate Business Career Services
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