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Meet the MBA Class of 2022: Meghan Lally, Notre Dame (Mendoza)

Meghan Lally

University of Notre Dame, Mendoza College of Business

“I’m like a movie score—a dynamic storyteller who helps to keep the plot exciting.”

Hometown: Overland Park, Kansas

Fun Fact About Yourself: I’ve spent the past year studying and implementing a mindfulness practice called Dynamic Neural Retraining System, learning to center myself, stay in the moment, and manifest the type of magical life I hope to live, rather than waiting for it arrive on its own.

Undergraduate School and Major: The University of Missouri/Journalism

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: D Magazine, Associate Editor

Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of the school’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? In addition to the wonderful people, I also selected Notre Dame for its faithful foundation, dedication to using business in service to the world, and academic excellence. I hope to use my career in service to others, ultimately to bring honor to God, so finding a school whose mission aligned with these values was crucial. Furthermore, I also wanted a rigorous curriculum that would prepare me to conquer any challenge I face during my career, and the Mendoza College of Business has already begun to prove it will do just that.

What quality best describes your MBA classmates and why? Servant-hearted and humorous. I don’t remember the last time I’ve been this inspired or entertained this much. There has been a myriad of heartfelt discussions, but there have been even more laughs.

What club or activity excites you most at this school? Without a doubt, I am most excited to immerse myself in Mendoza’s Women in Business Club. When these next two years are all said and done, not only do I hope to have a great job that sets me on the trajectory towards achieving my goals, but I also hope to emerge from Notre Dame with a roster of role models and confidants that I will be able to lean on for the duration of my career—and life! I have no doubt Women in Business will help establish those relationships and provide great inspiration for all the wonderful ways business can be used to better the world, especially as a woman.

Mendoza is known as a purpose-driven MBA program that asks students to “Ask More of Business.” What is your mission and how will Mendoza help you realize it? Because of personal health experiences, which I touch on more below, my mission is to help others rediscover their own health and happiness through natural and functional medical solutions. I hope to use my career to serve others, sharing with them the great path to health I was fortunate enough to discover nine years ago. I’m still discerning exactly how I will do this, but I have several ideas that range from becoming a lobbyist to starting an insurance company that covers functional medicine. Not only will Mendoza give me the practical business skills I need for any of these endeavors, but its mission also ensures I will leave equipped with the knowledge of how to lead ethically and effectively serve the world.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: My biggest accomplishment thus far is the fact I remained flexible in the wake of being laid off during the coronavirus pandemic. I am no doubt grateful for all of the wonderful places where I’ve worked so far. In my eyes, success is not merely measured by position and accolades. I believe success is also measured by how your character evolves and improves with time. My personality is one that likes predictability and having a plan, so though I am ultimately grateful for having been laid off because it brought me here to ND; the fact that I did not have a concrete plan for three months truly tested my faith and the extent to which I am willing to surrender to God. Although the journey was challenging, I feel my character was refined over those couple months, and I am confident in my ability to face any challenge—whether personal or professional—moving forward.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? My desire to help others improve their health has been at the forefront of my mind for a while—I originally attended the Missouri School of Journalism with the hope I would be able to use a publication’s platform to write about health and wellness. But after about two years in the magazine industry, I realized I was not accomplishing my goals as quickly as I had hoped or in the way I had envisioned. As a result, I went back to the drawing board and began brainstorming new ideas.

And though I began formulating new ideas for my career path, I remained dedicated to my writing/editing position, as I wanted to move prudently and pragmatically. However, as I mentioned, I was let go during the coronavirus pandemic, which really gave me the permission I needed to pursue new paths. After taking a closer look at the ideas I had formulated, I realized I needed to pursue an MBA in order to gain the skills and the knowledge necessary to explore new positions and career paths. And though in this next chapter I will be shifting away from traditional journalism, I plan to continue using my storytelling skills by focusing on the marketing field and learning how creativity, business, and healthcare can all intersect.

What was the most challenging question you were asked during the admissions process? “What challenges will you face following graduation from [this] MBA program?” This was particularly challenging for me because I’m still discerning exactly what I want to do, so being able to predict specific challenges was difficult.

How did you determine your fit at various schools? Not only did I do personal research online to find a faith-filled school whose mission aligned with my core values and goals, but I wanted a school that wanted me. My admissions process was unique in the fact it happened very quickly and very late in the game. I was laid off in late March. After some deep discernment, by mid-May, I confidently decided to return to school, so I studied and took the GMAT, submitted applications, and completed admissions interviews over the course of about a month-and-a-half.

The admissions committee at Notre Dame was extremely compassionate and treated me as if I was the first person to apply to the program, though I’m most certain I was one of the last. I knew that the admissions process was a window into how I would be treated once I enrolled and was on campus, and this has proven true. Now that I’m here at Notre Dame, everything has only gotten better.

When determining my fit at schools, I also evaluated the people I knew who had attended the various institutions to which I applied. The handful of people I knew who attended Notre Dame were all people I considered some of the finest role models. I knew by attending ND, I would be surrounded by people just like them, and hopefully even begin to emulate them myself.

For all these reasons and more, Notre Dame swiftly moved to the top of my list. After a whirlwind few months, I am still pinching myself that each day I get to look out my window and see that gleaming golden dome.

What was your defining moment and how did it prepare you for business school? For me, my defining moment came when I was a sophomore in high school. I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease back in the fifth grade, but after six years of struggling with the illness, I made the decision to begin treating it naturally at age 16. By introducing diet and lifestyle adjustments, my health rapidly improved, and to this day, I still treat my Crohn’s through natural and functional medicine methods.

Using these alternative treatments has refined my perseverance and dedication, both of which I am now bringing with me into business school. Additionally, my health challenges also informed my career path—as I have mentioned many times, I hope to use my career to help other rediscover their health, and I never would have discovered this calling or felt compelled to pursue an MBA without my own experiences.

What is your favorite company and what could business students learn from them? My favorite company is called Gundry MD. The founder, Dr. Steven Gundry, is a world-renowned cardiologist turned integrative MD who now treats his patients through diet and lifestyle adjustments. He has built an absolute empire by helping others get to the root of their illnesses and rediscover their health. He has written books and cookbooks, started a podcast, magazine, and YouTube channel, and has developed supplements all based on his intense personal research. Although he is an MD and took a much different career route than I have, his end goal is the same as mine, and he serves as a perfect model for the type of impact I hope to have on this world. Furthermore, I believe business students can look to him and see how positive impact and profit are definitely not mutually exclusive.

DON’T MISS: MEET NOTRE DAME MENDOA’S CLASS OF 2022