Marcie Bomheck (BA Marketing ’02)had always planned to pursue a career as a corporate event planner. Following graduation, Bomheck played pro volleyball in Spain and did some coaching before taking a position with Generac Power Systems, Inc. as an events coordinator - for 18 months. But her passion is volleyball and today Bomheck is the head women’s volleyball coach – one of the youngest in Division I - at Loyola University Chicago. As for that marketing degree, Bomheck says “I manage a budget, manage players, negotiate travel contracts, market our matches and sell our volleyball program to recruits. Definitely all of the knowledge I received from the Mendoza College of Business helps me on a daily basis."
Sandy Botham (MNA ’90, ‘88)is wrapping up her first decadeashead coach of the University – Milwaukee women’s basketball team. Botham began her coaching career as the first graduate assistant for the women’s basketball program at Notre Dame. Botham draws on her experiences at Notre Dame as she guides her players. “My background in my masters program was great because it was group dynamics; it was how to manage people. And the psychology aspect was communication, being truthful and helping each athlete to understand what her role is in being part of a team.”
Lindsay Knapp (MBA ’98, ’92)has channeled the lessons learned in winning both a national championship and a Super Bowl to compete in the challenging environment of bonds trading at Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Inc.. Asked about the demands of being a student athlete, Knapp replied “The preparation you have for game day, the pressure that you live under, I think those are all things that go into serving you well for the rest of your life professionally. The ability to budget your time when you have three to four hours of practice a day and then you come home to the dorm and you have to study for another four or five hours. It’s only going to make you stronger.”
Brooks Boyer (BA Finance’94)took a marketing internship position with the Chicago Bulls following graduation. The internship led to various marketing opportunities with the Bulls organization. In 2004 Boyer was named vice president of marketing for the Chicago White Sox. As for how his experiences at Notre Dame prepared him for today, Boyer said “Being an athlete, you learn how to compete. To take nothing for granted. It taught me to be prepared, always follow up and always have a back-up. Being a business student gave me the basic business fundamentals and principles that allowed me to get into the team sports world. It prepared me to be able to use what I had learned at ND and grow within the Bulls business environment.”
Brian Kalbas (BA Marketing ’89)has remained in collegiate tennis since graduating from Notre Dame. Following a stint as assistant coach for Notre Dame men’s tennis, Kalbas was the women’s head coach at the College of William & Mary and, in 2003, was named the women’s head coach at University of North Carolina. Kalbas credits both the mentoring he received while a player and assistant at Notre Dame, as well as his marketing degree with helping him to run his own programs. “You have to be able to relate with people, you have to be able to market your sport and get people to come out to matches …it’s a great experience being a college athlete, but it isn’t so special of nobody come out and supports you … you want to have your athletes being supported ...”
John W. Jordan III (BA Finance ’02) traveled from the Notre Dame gridiron to the RCA Dome in Indianapolis after graduation, where he continues to work in the scouting department for the Indianapolis Colts. On his experience of being a student athlete at Notre Dame, Jordan mentioned the importance of learning to manage his time and developing the work ethic to push through things that he might not want to do. His responsibilities today include evaluating college talent for the NFL and working with contracts.
Tony Suber (BA Finance ’97)is a sales manager for Liberty Mutual Group in Atlanta. Lessons learned at Notre Dame, such as camaraderie, time management, and not letting “a day go by without living the Notre Dame experience” have guided Suber’s business style and volunteer commitments. He credits his professors and coaches with developing his high level of expectation for himself and the team he manages. Suber is an active member of the Atlanta Alumni Club, and, through Liberty Mutual, sponsors a tournament to help fund the annual scholarship.
Julie Harris (BA Finance ’94)is director of the enterprise program management office in the IT strategy and planning group at Microsoft, leading a small team focused on planning and portfolio management. Being a student athlete at Notre Dame taught Harris “the value of hard work, teamwork, communication, leadership, discipline, following through on commitments, prioritization, time management and more!” Harris added “It was partly academics at Notre Dame and then the other part, for me, was having to balance the sports, the student and athlete piece. Both were a big part … It wasn’t as much what I learned getting a degree in finance; it was learning how to learn” that prepared her for her career.
Steve Orsini (BA Accountancy ’78) is currently director of athletics at the University of Central Florida and will take a similar position at Southern Methodist University on June 1, 2006. Orsini looks back at his decision to attend Notre Dame as the defining moment in his life. Orsini earned three letters in football, won the national championship his senior year –as a team captain – and earned a degree in accounting. “To have that opportunity to get a great education at Notre Dame and then to have the athletic success and be a key member of that team … I’m a big dreamer, but I never dreamed that I could ever do that,” Orsini said.
Reflecting on his professors and the difficult balance of academics and athletics, Orsini said “ … I want to thank them to this day, they never let me off the hook, they never said ‘Well, gosh, you just had a big weekend, Steve; you guys just beat Southern Cal and you’re celebrating, I’m sure. You don’t need to turn in your homework like everyone else.’ No. They would call on me and they would always make sure that I wasn’t being flippant. They did it for any student, but probably because it was me, they had to do it a little bit more. They cared enough to make sure that I kept up. And, boy has that paid off …”
—Peggy Bolstetter is the associate editor of this magazine