2023 Best & Brightest Business Major: Tia Williams, Notre Dame (Mendoza)

Tia Williams

University of Notre Dame, Mendoza College of Business

“Child of Christ seeking to love and serve others.”

Fun Fact About Myself: A picture of my roommates and me was used in a Washington Post article about in-person instruction during the 2020-2021 school year.

Hometown: Kenner, Louisiana

High School: Haynes Academy for Advanced Studies

Major: Management Consulting; Education, Schooling, and Society

Favorite Business Course: Innovation and Design Thinking with Professor Wendy Angst! This course helped realize the mission and values of Mendoza College of Business through intentional work with Saint Bakhita Vocational Training Center. It challenged me to take what I learned about community- and people-centered business out of the classrooms and into the world with our partners in Uganda.

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

Activities and Service:

  • University Writing Program; Writing Center Tutor and Writing and Rhetoric Tutorial Teaching Assistant
  • Institute for Educational Initiatives; Education, Schooling, and Society Student Board Member
  • Robinson Community Learning Center; Literacy Tutor
  • Ryan Hall; Alumni/Parent Outreach Commissioner

Academic Research:

  • Relational and academic experiences of university women during the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic
  • Montessori education in Ireland
  • Public schooling and school choice in Post-Katrina New Orleans


  • Dean’s List
  • Gates Scholar (Cohort II)
  • Winter and Summer Research Fellow, University of Notre Dame Graduate School

Where have you interned during your college career?

Breakthrough Collaborative; New Orleans, LA; Teaching Fellow – 6th Grade Literature (Summer 2022)

University of Notre Dame; Notre Dame, IN; Summer Research Opportunities Program – Research Assistant to Dr. Maria McKenna in the Institute for Educational Initiatives (Summer 2021)

University of Notre Dame; Notre Dame, IN; Flatley Center for Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement – Research Assistant to Dr. Maria McKenna in the Institute for Educational Initiatives (Winter 2021)

Where will you be working after graduation?  I will be starting my doctoral study in K-12 Educational Leadership and Policy in the fall following graduation.

Who is your favorite business professor? I am constantly in awe of Professor Micki Kidder. In Strategic Human Resource Management, she appeals to the many careers that our class will pursue while encouraging us to advocate for ourselves in the workplace – with the promise that she will be in our corner, should we need her advice. Aside from academic work, Professor Kidder is boldly vulnerable and provides a space that is comfortable for her students to be as well. She lives Notre Dame’s mission, vision, and values in her interactions with all that are a part of our family.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? As a management consulting student, I have learned how much people are (and should be) at the core of all that we do as business students and leaders. With the mission of pursuing and engaging with ethical business, we must consider those around us and the role that they play in our world. Just as Notre Dame’s goal is to reach the heart and the mind, studying business in Mendoza has emphasized the need for genuine connection and communication with others.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? I would encourage them to be bold and open to learning far more than technical skills. Dare to learn how to exist in community with others as you pursue common interests and values.

Looking back over your experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently in business school and why? I would be more intentional in taking courses outside of my major within Mendoza College of Business and learning about my classmates’ passion projects. Although our coursework included a wide array of subjects, I believe seeing a certain issue or topic from the eyes of someone who is wholeheartedly engaged in it is one of the best ways to gain a better understanding. I also just love seeing others light up once they find something that they want to dedicate themselves to.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? In all honesty, I am most proud of graduating from the University of Notre Dame in May. Until about a month before Decision Day 2019, I never imagined I would leave Louisiana for college and especially not a university that has invested and believed in me as much as Notre Dame has. Though my undergraduate journey has not exactly been what I expected or intended, Notre Dame has provided me with a community that cares deeply and prays eagerly for well beyond four years.

Which classmate do you most admire? Karlie Liang, Class of 2023

Karlie is an Accountancy major and Sociology minor with whom I have had the honor of working with in several classes. As a student, she is attentive to detail, actively engaged in the material, and concerned with the work’s impact beyond the classroom. While working in groups, she would ensure that everyone felt comfortable with the project’s progress and was always willing to lend a helping hand.

Karlie is passionate about utilizing her education for the betterment of her home community in Miami and aligns her goals with those values. As the treasurer of Beta Alpha Psi and an aspiring accountant, she embodies Mendoza’s mission of “growing the good in business” through mentorship and service. I admire Karlie for her love of and dedication to others.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? I would like to thank my mother. She has been my biggest advocate in education and all my pursuits. She is a model of kindness, humility, and faith and can speak to anyone’s heart. My mom has challenged me to be brave and outspoken for what I believe in and to be bold in prayer.  She has seen me through every redirection, victory, and sleepless night. Everything that I am is a result of watching her.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?

  1. I hope to help strengthen the community and family connections to schools in my home state of Louisiana.
  2. I would love to publish a book!

What are your hobbies? Reading, singing karaoke, and spending time with my family

What made Tia such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2023?

“Tia Williams is an invaluable member of the Notre Dame Class of 2023. As a management consulting major with a supplementary major in Education, Schooling, and Society, Tia is both involved and engaged on and off campus, while maintaining top grades in her studies. Tia has served as a teaching fellow, a teaching assistant, a student tutor, and a research assistant with the latter already leading to publication in the Handbook of Montessori Education. Besides all her accomplishments, Tia is a pleasure to be around. I’m so fortunate that I got to know her in my introductory accounting class!”

Stephannie Larocque
Notre Dame Associate Professor of Accountancy and KPMG Faculty Fellow
Mendoza College of Business
University of Notre Dame


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