Senior Plans: Life after ND

Author: Jeremy Dela Cruz

A career fair at Notre Dame

Inspired by the holistic philosophy of Blessed Basile Moreau, C.S.C., the founder of the Congregation of Holy Cross, Notre Dame seeks to educate the hearts and minds of students. Members of the Class of 2015 represent a new generation of servant-leaders called to share the fruits of their undergraduate experiences beyond the Golden Dome. Besides attending grad school, many seniors are also pursuing one of two post-graduation pathways: entering the workforce or participating in service programs. 
Daniel Sullivan, an International Economics major with a Spanish concentration, will be studying law at the University of Chicago, bringing him a step closer to fulfilling his dream of becoming a prosecutor. Although a member of the Humor Artists of Notre Dame, he understands that law school is no laughing matter and has spent the past four years testing the judicial waters via internships at different firms.
“During my sophomore year, the Center for Career Development let me shadow a patent lawyer, who got his BA from Notre Dame, in Dallas at a big corporate firm,” Daniel said. “I thought the work was interesting and exciting, and he helped me think about how to balance a stressful career in law with personal concerns, like family.”
He explains that the University’s alumni network was instrumental in his career discernment. With a global web of 267 alumni clubs, Notre Dame fosters a supportive exchange between current and former students.
“The summer between junior and senior year I was interning in New York and tapped into the Notre Dame alumni network in order to reach out to some lawyers in the area,” Daniel said. “They were extremely receptive, and helped me understand the  professional environment in virtually all areas of legal work and helped me assess my career goals.”
Originally from Brussels, Belgium, Sydney Rebne, a Finance major, is excited to work for Goldman Sachs as an Investment Management Analyst in New York City. Sydney credits the Mendoza College of Business for developing his high school passion into a tangible career. “During my time at Notre Dame, I have had the opportunity to intern across different areas in the finance industry such as wealth management, corporate finance, and asset management.”
Mendoza has been consistently ranked No. 1 by Bloomberg Businessweek, an honor that is due in large part to the balance of theoretical and practical learning present in its curriculum.
“I felt as though my internship at Goldman Sachs gave me good insight into what full-time work would be like and out of all the areas in finance, I found this firm and group to be the best fit for me,” Sydney said. “Through my experiences working on projects with our business clubs, I was able to build a marketable skill-set that was appealing to employers.”
In today’s increasingly interactive world, no marketable skill-set would be complete without expertise in an international language. French and Pre-Health major, Paulina Luna, intends to combine her two fields of study by engaging in health care work within Francophone countries where medical assistance is not readily available. 
“I do not want to work in these places as an outsider -- I want to truly be a part of the community I am serving, to appreciate the culture and the passions of the people in order to better serve and help them help themselves,” Paulina said. “Notre Dame has provided me with countless opportunities to better relate to others who share different cultures, whether it was through cultural events and clubs, travel, or service.”
After graduation, she plans to serve at Louverture Cleary School, an apostolate in Haiti founded by St. Joseph’s Parish (Providence, RI), and will be teaching middle school and high school students. “A gap year doing service in Haiti seemed like the perfect opportunity to not only prepare me for my future goals, but also to grow personally and in community.”
As an officer in Le Cercle Français, Paulina organizes various activities like French film events and crêpe nights to promote Francophone culture on campus. She has also received a travel grant from the Nanovic Institute for European Studies to conduct research in France. 
“My adventures through Notre Dame have taught me to be open to new cultures and experiences, making me a more compassionate and understanding person to people of every culture,” Paulina said. “This ability to connect with others will be a great asset as I embark on a new adventure in Haiti!”
True to the Fighting Irish spirit, Geoff Burdell, a Philosophy and Theology major, will also be setting out for an adventure, one that will take him to the verdant landscape of the Emerald Isle.
“I am planning on spending the next two years after graduation working for the House of Brigid (or Teach Bhríde in Irish), which is a recently established organization aimed at reinvigorating the presence of the Catholic Church in Ireland by means of pastoral and musical resources,” Geoff said. “The main incentive of the program is to get young and energetic post-graduate Catholics, who are excited about their faith, to share some of that exuberance with the Irish people, and in turn, we will receive a great opportunity to immerse ourselves in a novel culture and be exposed to a new way of life.” 
As the director of the House, Geoff will be living in an intentional community of three people and will help coordinate liturgical music, catechetical teaching for the parochial school, and event planning and community building in the parish. He will serve as the Campus Ministry resource for Notre Dame students studying abroad at University College Dublin. 
The mission of the House of Brigid complements several of Geoff’s interests: singing in the Folk Choir, the culture of Ireland, and vocational discernment for ecclesial ministry. “I think that music has become one of the most beautiful forms of prayer and reverence in my personal spiritual life, so I was very excited to share those musical gifts with the Irish people, in the hopes of elevating their hearts to God through something as beautiful as sacred music.”
Geoff summarizes his time at Our Lady’s University as a transformative opportunity to have become “a better student, a better friend, and a better follower of Christ in [his] Catholic faith.” He is grateful for his education, which provided him a rich human formation. 
“Whether it has been the friendly Campus Ministry environment that has allowed me to develop in my spiritual life in community, or the dorm life and responsibilities as an RA which has prepared me to live in communion with others from different backgrounds, I have found that my time at Notre Dame is exactly what makes me feel so well prepared for the coming years of service in Ireland,” Geoff said. “The manifold opportunities, both spiritual, academic, and otherwise, that Notre Dame has provided me are certainly the foundation for my applying to and hopefully thriving in a position with the House of Brigid next year.”