Business as Unusual

Author: Ceci Guarnuccio


The Mendoza College of Business here at the University of Notre Dame is recognized as one of the best undergraduate business programs in the country. Home to faculty at the top of their fields and founded on a commitment to “Grow the Good in Business”, Mendoza graduates have found great success in their post-graduate lives, earning job placements at top consulting firms, investment banks, and accounting firms. However, some of us have chosen to take a more unusual route as we begin to build our career paths.

Here at Notre Dame, I am majoring in Marketing and Film, Television, and Theatre with a concentration in Television Studies. This combination of majors already drastically sets me apart from the plethora of finance and accounting students within Mendoza. Throw in the FTT major, and even within the Marketing major I am considered a more “unique” student.

I knew from the start of both my college and career discernment process that ultimately, I wanted to work in marketing within the entertainment industry. Notre Dame offered the fields of study that would equip me with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in such a role, so Notre Dame was the perfect fit for me. However, once I began to look for internship opportunities during my sophomore year, I became worried that due to my more niche career interest, Notre Dame might not have the same resources or network for me that they might have for a traditional business student. Thankfully, I was quickly proven wrong.In the fall of my sophomore year, I logged into my IrishCompass account (which I like to describe as LinkedIn but specifically for the Notre Dame network) with the hope of finding an alumnus working in a position that I would be interested in. Within a few hours, I had not only connected with an alumna working at NBCUniversal, but we had already


scheduled a time to meet during the next week. During our call, the alumna shared an internship opportunity that she had completed during her time at Notre Dame. By the end of the week, I had applied to the same position and was accepted. This opportunity was to intern at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France. While there, I was matched with an American film sales company and worked with them for the duration of the Festival, all while still being able to attend Festival screenings myself. To aide in my ability to complete this internship, I was awarded an internship grant from the Nanovic Institute of European Studies here on campus. Upon my return from France, I spent my summer in NYC working as a Digital Marketing intern at Def Jam Recordings, the rap and R&B label within Universal Music Group. I spent my time collecting data and feedback on artists’ performances and social media presences, launching the Def Jam Discord server, and ideating TikTok campaign ideas for new releases. 

If you are like me and know you don’t want to go to a Big Four accounting firm or be an investment banker, Notre Dame (and Mendoza) are still for you. The Mendoza education and larger Notre Dame education you will receive as a student here prepare you to not only enter but thrive in any company or industry you want to work in, no matter your major or career path. While it may seem like everyone in your Finance 1 class is going to a top consulting firm and you’re all alone in your niche career interest, know you are not. There are so many resources on campus and alumni off campus that want to help you pursue your passions no matter how unusual they may be.  So, if you want to work at a film festival, or a music label, or anywhere else, do it! Notre Dame will help you get there.