MBA Program: Mendoza College of Business, University of Notre Dame
Current Location: Rockville Centre, NY
Current Company and Title: NBCUniversal, Head of the Center of Excellence & SVP, Sales Effectiveness
Why did you choose to earn your MBA at this business school? The program at Notre Dame provides values-based leadership training. Going into “business” sometimes seems less-worthy than some of the more valiant roles in society, such as being a first responder, a health care worker, or a teacher. The Mendoza College of Business understands there is a vocation in business, that business can be a force for good, while also doing well. The leader I learned to be at Mendoza was one who is driven, while also looking to find how to make the most good for the most amount of people.
Pretend you are an ambassador giving a tour at your business school. Name one place you would show a candidate and why was it so important to you? There is one physical place and one virtual place that I would show a candidate. The physical location would be the Grotto. This is a quiet place for deep reflection. Developing the leaders of tomorrow means not only learning about business growth opportunities, but also about personal growth and development. The Grotto is a place to go when you want to reflect on what matters most, when you need extra strength to get through a challenging time, or when you just need a quiet moment of clarity.
The virtual place I would show the candidate is the online database of alumni from Notre Dame. The Notre Dame family is a strong network of people who understand the transformational experience of attending the University and are always willing to lend a helping hand to students and alumni. The database includes business leaders in all disciplines, most of whom have received help along the way and therefore heed the calling to pay it forward.
What was your favorite class and what lesson do you use from it in your role? It’s been 20 years since graduating. As a leader in a Fortune 100 company today, I still use some foundational learnings from my time at Mendoza. In Ethics, I learned that the black-and-white scenarios are a matter of law and fact, but the grey area is where the most challenging ethical scenarios will reside. People will have differing views, none clearly right or wrong. In grey areas, you need to understand your personal values while respecting the opinion and values of others, even if they are not ones you share.
In Negotiations, we not only learned but embraced the value of expanding the pie. Business can create MORE for everyone and. as a leader I’m always looking for a way to create even more value for all parties.
What was your best memory during your MBA program? Using the “excuse” that we are students looking to learn, I sent a cold email to Ken Schanzer, then President of NBC Sports, to have breakfast with our Entertainment and Media Club. He agreed immediately and even gave all of us his cell phone number to encourage us to continue to network!
What is one thing about the MBA program that you wish you had known when you applied? I wish I knew that lifelong friendships and business relationships would be formed and that there was so much to learn from my classmates. I especially wish I spent more time with our international students.
What has been your biggest professional achievement? Being named a “Working Mother of the Year” in 2019 was special to me, not only because of my achievements at work, but because it let other women know that you really can have it all – an executive role, a young family while also contributing to your community. Women should not have to choose between an executive position and having a family!
What advice would you give to a prospective student to help them earn a spot in your business school? Leadership is a form of service. When was the last time you built something or left an organization better off than when you started? These are the leaders we are looking to educate at Mendoza.
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