Meet the MBA Class of 2023: Katie Kern, Notre Dame (Mendoza)

Katherine (Katie) Kern

University of Notre Dame, Mendoza College of Business

“Passionate businesswoman looking to solve problems using expertise from previous experiences and an MBA education.”

Hometown: Barrington, IL

Fun Fact About Yourself: My middle name, McCorkindale, is my paternal grandmother’s maiden name.

Undergraduate School and Major: University of Wisconsin – Madison, majored in Risk Management & Insurance and History

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Willis Towers Watson, Senior Client Manager

When you think of Notre Dame, what are the first things that come to mind? How have your experiences with the Mendoza program thus far reinforced or upended these early impressions? Mendoza MBA program is truly community-based. Professors, faculty, and your fellow classmate all want you to succeed and will actively help you towards your goals. This support system allows me to get outside of my comfort zone and try different things I never thought to try before.

Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of the Mendoza MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? I chose Mendoza because the curriculum required a solid base of classes from which you build upon. I was nervous about starting an MBA program where you jumped into your specific major classes without a foundation. I had taken those core classes as an undergraduate, but I had been in the insurance industry for 8 years and was exposed to little else. I appreciated the fact that Mendoza ensured everyone was starting from the same place.

What course, club or activity have you enjoyed the most so far at Mendoza? I found the industry “Deep Dives” to be incredibly helpful. They were hosted by Career Development and designed to educate students on the specific jobs within industries with presentations by Mendoza alums from top employers. As someone who did not know what they wanted to do, it gave me an opportunity to discover what careers were out there within the industries I was interested in. It gave me the guidance I needed to decide on my majors and career path.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Moving to a new city without any contacts right after college and being able to establish a successful career.

Describe your biggest accomplishment as an MBA student so far? Being nominated and elected to represent my class as one of four first-year representatives to our MBA student governing body.

Mendoza is known as a purpose-driven MBA program that asks students to “Grow the good in business.” What is your mission and how has Mendoza been helping you realize it? I believe the most effective and fastest way to grow the good in business is through technology. Every day, we are inventing new ways to solve the world’s problems through tech and I want to be a part of it. I do not have a technical or analytical background. Mendoza is giving me the tools to make a successful transition into the world of tech so I can realize my vision of solving problems by utilizing technology.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into the Mendoza MBA program? As part of the admissions process, you will have to put together a 4-slide deck about yourself. Have fun with it! It is not meant to be a professional pitch. This is your chance to show the admissions committee who you are outside of your resume and your essays. Play up your other interests, show off your personality, and include some fun photos.


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