2021 Best & Brightest Business Major: Megan Whelan, Notre Dame (Mendoza)

Megan Whelan

University of Notre Dame, Mendoza College of Business

“I have a passion for detail, scant patience for mediocrity, an unquenchable thirst for knowledge.”

Fun fact about yourself: I have never had pop/soda

Hometown: Munster, Indiana

High School: Bishop Noll Institute

Major: Marketing and History

Minor: Real Estate

Favorite Business Course: Applied Digital Marketing

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College: Howard Hall Alumni & Traditions Coordinator – Spring 2018 to Present; Dean’s List, Spring 2020; Senior Fellow for Notre Dame International – Summer 2020 to Present; Intern for the Fitzgerald Institute for Real Estate – Fall 2019 to Present; Manager for the Varsity Softball at the University of Notre Dame – Fall 2017 to Fall 2018

Where have you interned during your college career? I interned at Creek Lane Capital in Chicago, Illinois during the summer after my junior year.  The internship was in person and lasted 12 weeks, which I am extremely grateful for because of the pandemic and the number of cancelled internships across the country. While at CLC, I evaluated new investment opportunities, primarily focused on build-to-core development, by performing market research and financial modeling. I aggregated third-party data in order to compile market rent comps for multifamily and office property types, and I utilized Microsoft Excel to analyze and consolidate data into standardized formats. Finally, I also assisted in the writing of investment packages used to solicit capital for investment opportunities.

Where will you be working after graduation?  I will be working in the University of Notre Dame’s Investment Office as an Investment Analyst.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? The biggest lesson I learned from studying business involves perseverance, patience, and attacking every challenge that stands in the way of my goals. I know there will be dozens of roadblocks in the way of my end goal; however, I know I have the strength and willpower to get there on my own because the most important skills come from being determined and passionate about the project.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? The biggest piece advice that I always share with freshman in Howard Hall involves going to office hours and getting to know your professors. I have learned so many invaluable lessons from my professors, and I have developed relationships with many of them as individuals. I have created relationships that I can rely on and utilize if I am looking for other perspectives.

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? I think the most surprising part of majoring in business involves understanding the overlap between academia and the real world. The ideas and concepts I have learned about in my classes will be practical and helpful when working in the real world after graduation.

Looking back over your experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently in business school and why?If I had the opportunity to go back and start my college journey over, I would take a few more courses in each of the different business majors because I think each major has the opportunity to make me a better business professional. Also, I would also have taken the undergraduate negotiations class as a sophomore or junior because they did not offer it during my senior year.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? I am most proud of my academic performance during the spring semester of my junior year. I took 21 credits, which turned out to be extremely challenging because my school and schools across the country shut down because of the pandemic. However, I managed to make it on the Dean’s List, and I did not Pass/Fail any of my classes, even though it was an option for everyone.

Which classmate do you most admire?  I admire my friend Emily Eagle. She is an incredible person and her story involves being legally blind. She is one of the most independent, giving, and smart people that I have had the pleasure of meeting while at the University of Notre Dame. She has never complained about her circumstances in life, and she faces every challenge with grace. She is also extremely driven and talented in regard to her schoolwork and extracurricular activities, and she is planning to attend law school after we graduate in the spring. She has been a tremendous role model throughout my four years at the University of Notre Dame.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? I want to think my parents for my success because they pushed me to be a better person and student every day. They supported me during grade school and high school by driving me to activities and watching me play in all of my different sports activities; afterwards, they would support me in my academic endeavors by taking me to tutoring sessions. Their support allowed me to accomplish my dream of attending (and graduating) from the University of Notre Dame. They were exemplary role models that showed me how to work towards goals that mattered to me without giving up or quitting when challenged by difficult decisions.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list? The first item on my professional bucket list involves working internationally; in particular, I would love to work in Rome because of the numerous incredible historical sites within the city. When I studied abroad in Rome, I loved walking by the Coliseum and the Pantheon every day. The second item on my professional bucket list involves owning and operating my own business because I have always been entrepreneurial including running a popcorn and lemonade stand when my neighborhood hosted a garage sale.

What are your hobbies? I love reading and traveling. As a history major, I love visiting sites that I have read about over the years including the Coliseum in Rome and the Bayeux Tapestry in Bayeux, France. Over quarantine, I started a Wine Instagram to share my love of wine with my friends and family. I would love if you checked out the Instagram page at FineWines_PourDecisions.

What made Megan such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2021?

“Megan is a graceful and inspirational young leader and someone who is deeply focused on changing the world for the better. She is an intellectual powerhouse that is driven, embraces challenges, and lifts up those around her. I’ve had the distinct pleasure to see Megan grow throughout her time here at Notre Dame as she has been a student in two of my marketing courses.

Megan’s extraordinary positive impact in the classroom and beyond is perhaps best exemplified by her work in my experiential learning Applied Digital Marketing class. While being the only junior in my class among all seniors, she took on a leadership role and her team aptly developed, deployed, and optimized an innovative digital marketing strategy to grow the good in business.

Their best-in-class strategy was deployed across the digital ecosystem and was instrumental in helping to elevate the brand equity and graduate program class profile of Notre Dame Mendoza College of Business through inspiring female candidates to learn about and ultimately decide to enroll in graduate education. Megan and her team were awarded the top honor from a panel of external digital marketing industry experts as her team was assessed as leading in innovation, applied learnings, and results. The learnings from her team’s efforts have been extended to several graduate programs to further enhance the diversity of the graduate student body.

When Megan is not shining in the classroom, she is giving of herself to others, through tutoring, organizing events to promote internationalization, and helping alumni feel welcome and remain connected to Notre Dame. She is a compassionate global citizen who champions diversity and is dedicated to helping those around her. Megan’s infectious optimism and courageous spirit make her the type of student who makes teaching truly special and impactful.”

Tim Bohling
Marketing Professor and Chief Marketing and Graduate Enrollment Officer


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