Meet the MBA Class of 2024: Ferdie Larson Dsouza, Notre Dame (Mendoza)

Ferdie Larson Dsouza

University of Notre Dame, Mendoza College of Business

“I am a principled individual and a night owl, you get the best of me after the sun goes down.

Hometown: Udupi, India

Fun Fact About Yourself: People have a hard time pronouncing my name properly and Ferdie is not short for Ferdinand.

Undergraduate School and Major: National Institute of Technology, Karnataka – Electronics and Communications Engineering

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Centre for Advanced Learning, Program Coordinator

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? Academics, Collaboration, Mission, and Football. The Mendoza program has fostered a strong sense of community with the broader Notre Dame family through many events. Professors, faculty, and your fellow classmates all want you to succeed and will actively help you towards your goals. You are welcomed to try on different things that fit you as a person and help you develop into the person you want to be. 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? “Grow the good in Business” aspect. I have worked in the education industry to provide quality education to students in tier 2 and 3 towns in India. The focus of Mendoza is on developing ethical leaders who have a broad vision of the world and understand how to use business to improve local and global communities. This aspect was in line with my values, which led me to choose Mendoza.

What course, club or activity have you enjoyed the most so far at Mendoza? Problem solving course (led by Viva Bartkus). This is one of the best courses you can take in the MBA. The course is challenging and super demanding, but the learning curve is huge. The course teaches the art of problem solving and makes you face any challenging business problem in a confident manner.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: My biggest accomplishment was creating a product to help students from rural towns get into premium institutes in India.

Describe your biggest accomplishment as an MBA student so far? Adapting to the school environment in a new country after a long break. Another achievement is managing time – being able to fit academics, community events, work, club activities, football, recruiting and networking.

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? My mission is to step into the business world and solve meaningful problems. Notre Dame is helping me understand how companies in different industries operate and how to be a quality leader in that space. Mendoza’s focus on ethical business and on how to be a tender, strong and true leader is shaping me to be a force for good in both my professional and personal pursuits.

What has been your best memory as an MBA so far? The Notre Dame-Clemson game. After a slow start to the football season, Notre Dame had little chance of beating the No.4 Clemson team at the time. Notre Dame manhandled Clemson for 60 minutes to win the game 35-14, one of the biggest victories I have seen. After the game, the entire student section storming the field is a sight I will never forget.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into the Mendoza MBA program? Take time to reflect on yourself. Figure out why and where you want to be in a couple of years. Draw a roadmap for yourself and see how Mendoza helps you achieve that. Once you are convinced then you need to convey the same to the admissions team. If the admissions team sees that you are genuine and fit into the Notre Dame culture, the team will welcome you into the program.


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