2020 MBAs To Watch: Ben Moore, Notre Dame (Mendoza)

Ben Moore

University of Notre Dame, Mendoza College of Business

Big Ugly.”

Hometown: Kingsburg, California

Fun fact about yourself: I lived in a van this past summer while selling fruit and t-shirts out the back door.

Undergraduate School and Degree: Azusa Pacific University – BA History

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? Big Ben Farms – Owner; United States Army – Infantry

Where did you intern during the summer of 2019? The Ugly Company – Kingsburg, California

Where will you be working after graduation? The Ugly Company – Kingsburg, California – https://www.theugly.company

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School: MBA Veterans Club – McCloskey New Venture Competition 11k Prize Recipient

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? That’s a split decision between 1) earning my B- in Accounting and 2) The Ugly Company’s products getting on shelves at Whole Foods Markets in Southern California.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I am most proud to have been an Infantry Platoon Leader in the United States Army. Everyone who has served has faced their own form of adversity. I faced mine, and I can proudly say that I served honorably. My time in the service was the greatest period of my life. I love the United States Army and would readily serve again given the opportunity.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? Professor Jeff Miller is my favorite professor. He spent an extra two hours per week throughout the semester teaching me, one-on-one, how to understand the fundamentals of accounting. He is deeply invested in his student’s future success outside of the classroom. He continues to mentor me regularly and help with my business — over a year after completing his accounting classes.

What was your favorite MBA event or tradition at your business school? The first home football game during the ’18 season versus Michigan was my favorite event. Burnsy made a gin bucky and everyone at the MBA tailgate was taking pulls from the turkey basters. All of South Bend was sending it hard. I had a moment where I thought I didn’t have the endurance to make it to the game. Everyone made it, in some form or another, and our team pounded Michigan to cap off the day. Right then, I knew I’d made the right decision to come to Notre Dame.

Why did you choose this business school? I chose Notre Dame first and foremost for the school’s values and culture. I wanted to learn from and be part of a network that shares nearly identical values to my own. I believed that the MBA program at Notre Dame was the best place for me to launch The Ugly Company.

What is your best advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program? Determine if you love our culture or not. If you love it, apply and be yourself.

What is the biggest myth about your school? The biggest myth is that there’s a myth. I don’t know anything about these myths. I expected to come here and be challenged, to work hard, and to be a better leader when I left. That is exactly what has happened.

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why? NO REGRETS.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Dan McGue. Dan is as much a friend to me, as he is a mentor. He is a humble and quiet professional. His work ethic is relentless. He is the strongest and most respected leader I have ever met.

Here is the best example I can give to sum up my admiration for Dan: He left the US Army – most recently serving as an Infantry Company Commander – before our MBA program started. He worked the midnight shift at a Taco Bell drive through for three months to learn how to best serve his future employees. Respect.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? I was most influenced by my vision for the future and the need to become a better leader, rather than being most influenced by a single person. I set my goals for The Ugly Company, and knew that I needed to learn the fundamentals of accounting, finance and branding before I could expect to effectively lead my new venture. Pursuing an MBA at Notre Dame was the clearest path to begin accomplishing my goals.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?

1) To end food waste at farms in California.

2) To farm with my dad full-time once item #1 has been accomplished.

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? Big Ugly — the loud guy who gave Professor Sarv a neck massage before the stats final.

Hobbies? I enjoy reading military history, welding, driving truck, operating heavy equipment and coaching high school football.


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