Hometown: Dallas, Texas
High School: Highland Park High School
- 2013: IRONMAN
- 2014: Devon Energy
- 2015: Protiviti Consulting
Full-Time Employment: Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors, LLC – Growth Private Equity Associate, Los Angeles
Catherine Williams wasn't sure where her path at Notre Dame would lead. Through the guidance of mentors, a strong finance curriculum, and enlightening internships, she found her career path leading into the fast paced, the technology-focused world of growth private equity.
Finding a path:
"Mendoza’s innovative curriculum helped me build a strong foundation to start my career. I learned to navigate a financial model in a class on mergers and acquisitions and was immediately able to build upon that knowledge in both internships and my full-time job. Through the NDIGI's Global Portfolio Management class, I learned from some of the most innovative thought leaders in finance. The most incredible professors and mentors guided me throughout my years and Notre Dame, and I would not be sitting where I am today without them."
"One of the incredible parts of Notre Dame is the multidisciplinary approach; most students are chasing at least one or two minors, if not a double major. Personally, I chose to study both theology and finance, two diametrically opposed fields. A willingness and eagerness to challenge your perspective is instrumental to success at Notre Dame."
Gratitude for the journey:
"As a runner, I see my career (and my life) as an incredible journey. I was lucky enough to call Notre Dame my home and begin my career path in the shadow of Touchdown Jesus' open arms. I will carry the foundation of humility, intense work ethic and persistence as I follow this crazy journey from South Bend, Indiana to Los Angeles and beyond."
Ben Fouch (BBA FIN '17)
Hometown: Brownsburg, Indiana
High School: Brownsburg High School
- 2014: Catholic Charities USA Immigration Specialist
- 2015: Independent Financial Research [Europe, Washington D.C.]
- 2016: PwC Management Consulting Intern, Financial Effectiveness
Coming from semi-rural Indiana, Ben Fouch was far removed from the world of finance when he entered Notre Dame. Three years later he has had the chance to explore the field in detail. From performing research into Bitcoin across Europe to organizing a personal finance lecture series that attracted almost 800 students, he found his passion. It was only possible with the help of the world-class faculty and support from the Mendoza College of Business.
The learning opportunities for undergraduates are the best in the country.
"Every day that I walked into Global Portfolio Management (an NDIGI sponsored class) I knew I was going to experience two hours of insights from one of the top performing investors in the world. To be able to engage with so many different experts gave us invaluable perspectives into the investing world and life in general that would have taken decades of experience to cultivate without guidance."
"The sign of a great business curriculum is one that fosters both practical skills and critical thinking. The NDIGI's Applied Investment Management class pushed us from the first day to improve our technical analysis abilities and investment savvy. Being challenged to make real investment decisions with real funds grown by previous Notre Dame students made deep thought and reflection a must. This is a powerful combination that predisposes any graduate for great success."
An environment where thoughtfulness and curiosity are encouraged.
"When you throw so many bright and talented students into a room, you’d likely expect there to be some friction. I find a clash of egos to be the exception, rather than the rule here. More important than where you’re from or where you’re going to work are what insights and contributions you bring."
"Notre Dame has selected students who they believe to have the ability to take the general exhortation to 'Ask More of Business' and make it particular through their work. That is our responsibility, and I see students carrying out that responsibility every day."
"The best experiences I’ve had at Notre Dame have come from being curious. You are rewarded for asking good questions here. Communicating my interest is what led me to exciting experiences both on campus, across the country, and across the world."
An education focused on giving back.
"Life is about more than a paycheck or a title on your resume. Students here seem to understand that. At the end of a long day of classes, most students are preparing to go off and volunteer or work with student clubs. Giving their time and talents extremely valued, and we see this same focus reflected in our alumni who are so quick to help."
Noreen Fischer (BBA FIN '16)
High School: Vincentian Academy
- 2014: Eaton Corporation, South Bend, Indiana
- 2015: J.P. Morgan Private Bank, Chicago
Full-Time Employment: J.P. Morgan Private Banking Analyst – Global Wealth Management, New York City
Noreen Fischer, the recipient of the 2016 Mendoza Dean’s Award, recently graduated with a degree in Finance and minors in Entrepreneurship and Theology. Throughout her four years at Notre Dame, a highlight for her was utilizing her well-rounded education to plan and orchestrate Notre Dame Right to Life’s annual trip to Washington, D.C. for the March for Life for over 700 students. In addition, she spent her time as a Resident Assistant in Pasquerilla West Hall, Mendoza peer mentor, and building manager at Rolfs Recreation Center. Now, her sights are set on immersing herself into a new city and career with J.P. Morgan’s Private Bank.
Ask More of Business, but more importantly, ask more of yourself.
"Throughout my four years at the Mendoza College of Business, I always heard or read our motto of “Ask more of business.” What became more evident as the years went on was that the College not only engrains certain core values in its students, but the administration, faculty, and staff continually urge their students to ask more of themselves on a daily basis. We each are called and encouraged to do our part of having a positive influence on our world."
"The culture of Mendoza emphasizes the fact that doing good and doing business are not mutually exclusive. Rather, they go hand in hand. In Mendoza, all are encouraged to combine their interest in business with their passion for positively impacting society. This is one of the most beautiful aspects of receiving a business degree from Notre Dame. Not only are you receiving a premier education, but the intellect is never developed at the expense of the heart and soul. Mendoza produces well-rounded young men and women who have received a legendary advantage. In return, we each are expected to go forth and use this as an asset in all aspects of our lives."
Leaping confidently from the classroom into the business world…
"For years to come, I know that I will always be motivated by the ambitions and accomplishments of the Notre Dame community. My Mendoza education did a wonderful job of bridging academia to the business world. What immediately comes to mind is my experience taking the NDIGI's Global Portfolio Management course taught by Scott Malpass (CIO) and his trusted investment team in the Notre Dame Investment Office. Throughout the semester, our class had the opportunity to directly learn from world-class investors who have had years of experience and success in portfolio management across all asset classes and locations across the world. Everyone involved was not only extremely smart, goal-oriented, and dynamic, but also humble, intellectually curious, and generous with their time and talent. At the end of the semester, I left having had real world exposure to the global financial industry, in addition to being excited about the impact that my future career can potentially have on our society and future Notre Dame students."
"As a woman in Finance, I can confidently say that receiving a Business degree from the University of Notre Dame has been the best investment of my life. It has provided me with the opportunity to begin a career at a firm where I can continue to surround myself with humble and intelligent individuals who will challenge and teach me on a daily basis. It has also given me the skill set and worldview to repeatedly ask more of business and ask more of myself. For all of this, I could not be more thankful!"
Grant Ebenger (BBA FIN '17)
Hometown: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
High School: University School of NSU
- 2014: IrishAngels, Chicago
- 2015: Tegean Capital Management, New York City
- 2016: PJT Partners, New York City
Full-Time Employment: PJT Partners, New York City (2017)
Grant knew he had an interest in investing, but he did not anticipate how Notre Dame’s eager student body would help develop and cultivate this interest into a passion and eventually into an identity. Now, as a leader of many of the groups that once inspired him, he looks forward to helping others follow a similar path.
"Learning is best done through experience. This adage first resonated with me as a member of the Student International Business Council (“SIBC”), where I worked on a leveraged buyout recommendation for GTCR, a leading global private equity firm. The recommended company was later acquired by TPG. While I was initially upset our suggestion was not acted upon, I later realized that the experience gave me both a skill set to value companies and a desire to learn more about investing. And that is what mattered."
"At Notre Dame, these opportunities present themselves every day. For instance, in the NDIGI's Global Portfolio Management ("GPM") class, we met with speakers at the forefront of the investing world each week. By keeping in touch with many of these business leaders, I continue to learn about investing and develop my own investing philosophy. I know the opportunities Notre Dame has provided me in the investing field will enable me to meaningfully contribute to the NDIGI's Applied Investment Management (“AIM”) class this coming semester. What Notre Dame has given me in education, I hope to give back in returns."
"The Notre Dame approach depends on collaboration. Each year, top juniors and seniors reach out and mentor business-oriented underclassmen to help them better understand the world of investing. This phenomenon creates Notre Dame’s one-of-a-kind global network. In my experience, mentors pushed me to join SIBC as a freshman, motivating me to pursue other opportunities like GPM as a junior. Grateful for this community, I hope to inspire and empower future like-minded students as others at Notre Dame did for me."
Tyler Harris (BBA FIN '18)
Hometown: Palatine, Illinois
High School: Saint Viator High School
- 2015: ISSLP – Endeavor South Africa, Johannesburg
- 2016: Glynn Capital, Menlo Park, California
Tyler seeks strenuous experiences that combine his passions for finance and social entrepreneurship to cultivate an integrated vision for the future that takes a sustainable, human-centered approach to problem-solving. He recognizes the necessity for unwavering open-mindedness in the face of complex or uncomfortable questions and problems. Studying both finance and theology at Notre Dame, Tyler strives to advance his understanding of investment strategies while deepening his awareness of and conviction for Catholic social teachings.
Invigorated by the power of social innovation to transform communities
"I wholeheartedly believe that financial success follows when one takes an integral and holistic approach to the human experience while tackling a human need that truly matters. During the summer of 2015, my experiences with a global entrepreneurial accelerator in South Africa revealed the power of timely, simple innovations to disrupt and transform communities in a positive way. Engaging the accelerator’s network of entrepreneurs and business mentors refined his understanding of businesses that truly matter and enhanced my passion for venture capital and social entrepreneurship."
Take an integrated perspective on the world
"While in South Africa, for the first time in my life, I was forced to grapple with very personal and disconcerting topics in an open and honest way. And through it, although a painful struggle at times, I learned that uncomfortableness is necessary: we need to be comfortable with discomfort if we are to effectively address injustice. As the future business and policy leaders of tomorrow, we must cherish our time at Notre Dame as a rare opportunity to constantly challenge ourselves to think and see things differently. We are called to embrace with conviction the multifaceted and frustrating socioeconomic challenges that others would rather avoid."
Joe Schmidt IV (BBA FIN '15)
Graduate Studies '16
Hometown: Orange, California
High School: Mater Dei High School
- 2014: First Source Bank, South Bend, Indiana
- 2015: University of Notre Dame Investment Office
Full-Time Employment: Accel Partners, Palo Alto, California
Five-year-old Joe Schmidt had three dreams: go to the park with Dad, go to Baskin Robbins and play football for Notre Dame. He was able to live his dream and attend the number one business school in America where he realized his passion for pursuing a career in business.
"The time I spent in NDIGI's classes, and more broadly with the Notre Dame Investment team, was the highlight of my experience at Notre Dame. Global Portfolio Management (GPM) provided an extremely rare and unique insight into both how the best money managers in the world think and act."
"I was originally drawn to GPM because I wanted to have a greater understanding of investment management and how certain people are able to excel. What I learned is that there is no specific set of skills and that everyone has their own unique path to success. The class was a much more holistic experience that exposed me to the idea and benefits of compounding knowledge and learning over the long term."
"There was no class, experience, trip, or seminar that was more valuable to my overall development than Global Portfolio Management."
Hometown: Western Springs, IL
High School: Saint Ignatius
- 2015: First Trust Portfolios
- 2016: William Blair / BMO Financial Group
- 2017: Morgan Stanley
Tyler came to Notre Dame without a strong understanding of the financial services industry. Over time, through guidance from faculty and senior mentors, he found his path and developed a goal of adopting a global perspective as a lifelong investor. This process was driven through experiences with the Notre Dame Institute for Global Investing including the Global Portfolio Management Course, the Venture Capital Investment Competition, and the International Portfolio Management Practicum in London.
Learning to work toward continuous improvement
One of my greatest lessons at Notre Dame has been the message that there should be no end to the learning process. It is difficult to grasp at times, but every successful investor I have met has dedicated themselves to a constant process of improving and refining their approach. Beyond that, there is an incredible alignment of personal and professional qualities among those at the top of the finance field. The opportunity to progress toward this alignment is especially present in the courses and programs that are sponsored by the NDIGI. I would encourage every underclassman to take advantage of such a diverse curriculum to the fullest extent possible. There is no set endpoint to a student’s development in Mendoza—or in life—if the willingness to learn and to explore new opportunities is preserved.
The value of an independent perspective
Each of the programs sponsored by the NDIGI has the potential to introduce students to a career in finance that they have never before considered. There are so many wonderful opportunities that are available in this industry, if students are only willing to fully explore and take time to develop an organic interest. My experience in programs such as the Venture Capital Investment Competition and the International Portfolio Management course has been extremely valuable as an introduction to fields that were not covered in great depth in more traditional classes. NDIGI’s network in each of these and other related programs is impressive and bodes well for students who would like to dive further into a specific field of interest.
An increasing industry emphasis on experiential learning
The competition for internship and full-time positions in finance is more competitive than ever. Accordingly, firms are shifting their focus in order to better identify top students. While clubs such as the Wall Street Club and SIBC are an important resource for Mendoza students, the NDIGI’s broadened opportunities for experiential learning are a chance to truly stand out among peers. These opportunities are bound to become more numerous in the coming years, and the benefits of this curriculum will only increase through further commitment from students.
Hometown: Santa Barbara, California
High School: Santa Barbara High School
- 2015: GFI Brokerage
- 2016: Citigroup
- 2017: Citigroup
Harry had always been passionate about investing, but did not know how to navigate the wide world of finance. The guidance of NDIGI helped him find his path, broadening horizons and showing him the breadth of options available. The institute opened doors and gave him once-in-a-lifetime opportunities that will serve as a launching pad for his future career.
Gaining Real World Experience
“NDIGI bridged the gap between the classroom and the real world. In Investment Management Practicum (IPM) the institute took us to London, the heart of global finance, for a week of hands-on learning. Partnering with one of the worlds top money-managers, we were able to apply the skills we learned in the classroom to a live investment case. Working directly with some of the best in the business, we learned what it truly means to work as an investment professional. We also had a great opportunity to bond with like-minded students, developing friendships that will become the foundation of our professional network. IPM has been a highlight of my time at Notre Dame.”
Finding Your Path
“Mendoza and the Institute work hard to help younger students find the right academic path for them. While I knew I wanted to study finance, I had also always been passionate about mathematics. Mendoza made it easy for me to pursue both of these interests through the applied mathematics supplementary major. NDIGI has also helped me share this experience with younger students, connecting me with freshman who were considering studying both finance and applied math. I would not have found this perfect academic path without great mentors, and it's been a joy to return the favor by speaking with these younger students.”
Launching Your Career
“Not only has the institute provided academic guidance, but it has served as a great compliment to the career center’s services. The professional experience of the NDIGI team has made them invaluable career mentors, helping me navigate the complicated world of internships. Having the advice and guidance of the institute has been instrumental to making the most of the internships opportunities that are available”