Ethan Muehlstein: 2016 Best and Brightest

Ethan Muhlstein Notre Dame

Ethan Muehlstein

University of Notre Dame, Mendoza College of Business

Hometown: Kerrville, TX

High School: Our Lady of the Hills Regional Catholic High School

Major: Information Technology Management and Political Science (Double major)

Favorite Business Courses: Application Development, Quantitative Decision Modeling, Systems Analysis and Design

Extracurricular Activities/Leadership Roles:

Peer Advocate, VOICE Board, Center for Social Concerns, Univ. of Notre Dame

Co-President, Texas Club, University of Notre Dame

Teaching Assistant, Mendoza College of Business, Univ. of Notre Dame

Sustainability Intern, Office of Sustainability, University of Notre Dame

Student Employee, Dean’s Office, School of Architecture, Univ. of Notre Dame

Class of 2016 Council, Student Government, University of Notre Dame

Campus Ministry Representative, Student Government, University of Notre Dame

Freshman Retreat Leader and Mentor, Campus Ministry, Univ. of Notre Dame

Spring 2015 Semester abroad in Dakar, Senegal

Summer 2013 Summer abroad in Wales, United Kingdom

Community Work/Service:

CSC programs in Salem, West Virginia; Austin, Texas; Green River, Utah

Michiana Ronald McDonald House, South Bend, IN, 2013-present

Communications Assistant, Bégué Coco, Dakar, Senegal, 2015

Sisters of St. Francis Orphanage in Dakar, Senegal, 2015

Catholic Charities of San Antonio Refugee Resettlement Department, 2014

Notre Dame Urban Plunge with Mobile Loaves and Fishes in Austin, TX, 2014

Notre Dame Appalachia Seminar in Salem, West Virginia, Spring Break 2013


2015 Notre Dame Digital Badge, Silver ePortfolio Excellence Award, Best Junior

2015 National Political Science Honor Society, Notre Dame chapter

2015 Boren Scholarship, Alternate, Dakar, Senegal

2014 Andrews Scholar: Scholarship for students who are engaged in service-learning projects

2014 College Delegate, Catholic Social Ministry Gathering (Washington, D.C.)

2013 US-UK Fulbright Summer Institute Participant in Wales, UK

2012 Irene S. Wischer Scholarship

2012 Elks Most Valuable Student Scholarship

2012 Texas Boys State, American Legion Scholarship

2012 Lowe’s Scholarship

Where have you interned during your college career?

Sophomore Summer: Green River Positive Action Community Team (PACT) Nonprofit, Green River, UT, Summer Intern and Counselor

Junior Summer: Camp Lonehollow, Vanderpool, TX, Digital Marketing and Photography Intern

Describe your dream Job: I hope to be the next Steve Jobs in the CleanTech industry. Through innovation, I hope to meet the triple bottom line that helps consumers do more with less. I believe that social entrepreneurship and sustainable technology is the future of businesses, and I hope to be at the forefront.

What did you enjoy most about majoring in a business-related field?  Because I am majoring in a business-related field, I have been afforded many opportunities I would not have been granted otherwise.  I enjoy the practice experiences, preparing me to work in a variety of settings. I enjoy the leadership development and personal discovery. I enjoy the comprehensive overview of various business disciplines. I enjoy the relationships I have made with executives, entrepreneurs, professors, and fellow students, as these relationships have helped me to refine my passions and interests.

Where would you like to work after graduation? Google, gTech Rotation Program

What are your long-term professional goals? My dream is to do well enough professionally, so I can give back socially through service and provide as good of a life as I have had (or better) for my future children. To achieve this goal, I hope to always continue to learn (something new, something interesting, every day). Because risks offer the opportunity for reward, I hope to take risks in my career. Most importantly, I hope to always stay grounded. Therefore, my professional decisions will always be centered in my faith, so I will always consider the concerns of all stakeholders, the environment, and potential implications. Business has the power to do good, and I hope to use the power of business to make this world a better place.

“I knew I wanted to major in business when…I took a class on information security technology, and I realized that business technology has the power to do more than create system efficiencies. I have always been a people person, and business allows me to follow my passion to connect with others, while interacting and engaging with new technologies and systems. Business technology provides protection and facilitates connections.”

“If I didn’t major in business, I would be…a computer science major with a minor in sustainability (but I would probably end up earning a MBA eventually).”

What was the happiest moment of your life? During my internship with Green River PACT, I was able to travel to some of the national parks in the surrounding area. I absolutely love hiking and traveling, so seeing these national parks for the first time was incredible! As the sun set over Goblin Valley in Utah, and dusk became dark, I can remember the conversations I had with my friends sitting atop the highest plateau in the park. The beauty (of nature, in the conversations, with my friends) that surrounded me at that moment was what I could define as the happiest moment of my life. Needless to say, Utah has become my second favorite state (after Texas, of course).

Which academic or personal achievement are you most proud of? The achievements I am most proud of are never individual projects or achievements. I am most proud of the work I complete through collaboration. Therefore, I am most proud of my work as a Communications Assistant with Bégué Coco during my study abroad experience in Senegal. Because I wanted to gain international business experience, I reached out to an online company focusing on sustainability while I was in Dakar. While collaborating with other employees and community organizations, I successfully created a marketing campaign for the Indegogo Crowdfunding platform. I consider this experience an achievement because I learned how to conduct business in a global context, I learned French business vocabulary, and I followed my passions, which helped to ensure the success of the crowdfunding campaign.

What animal would you choose to represent your professional brand (and why)? I would choose an elephant to represent my professional brand because elephants are my favorite animals. As a child, I became fascinated with elephants because my favorite movie was Dumbo. Additionally, elephants naturally live in some of my favorite regions of the world, and elephants are traditionally characterized as having high levels of intelligence. Elephants demonstrate concern for members of their families, and because my family is incredibly important to me and has supported me in all my endeavors, I would want my brand to illustrate the importance of family.

Who would you most want to thank for your success (and why)? Growing up in a family of five children, success was always relative. Who did what first? How can I do that and more? How do I follow in the footsteps, but make my own path? However, my older sister, Katie, has always encouraged me to find my own successes, to follow my passions. I would like to thank her because although we may have encountered many obstacles together, she has never doubted my potential and has always challenged me to follow my dreams and to take risks. I try to imitate her courage and her humility, which I consider my biggest success.

Fun fact about yourself: During my junior year in high school, I competed in the national championship for wool judging, where my team won the national championship, and I won the championship as high point individual.

Favorite book: There Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Hurston and Night by Elie Wiesel

Favorite movie: I can never pick just one movie, as I am a movie buff, and I love pretty much any movie. However, two of my top movie choices currently are The Descendants and No Reservations.

Favorite musical performer: James Bay! I love his voice, the beat and pace, and the emotive lyrics in each song.

Favorite vacation spot: I love the mountains, so Big Sky, Montana, in any season!

What are your hobbies? Hiking/camping, swimming, running, rock climbing, reading, watching movies (especially foreign films), visiting art galleries and museums, having deep intentional conversations with friends, baking, daydreaming, traveling

What made Ethan such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2016? “Ethan’s accomplishments speak for themselves–his academic excellence, including membership on the Dean’s List; his various honors (such as a scholarship for international study in Senegal; Fulbright Summer Institute in Wales; American Legion Texas state scholarship; etc.); his extracurricular service and leadership (including the Notre Dame Center for Social Concerns VOICE Board; Peer Advocate for Notre Dame FIREstarters; ND Class of 2016 Council member; president of the ND Texas Club; Morrissey Hall Council, In-Hall Commissioner and Historian; etc.); his community service (greater than 5000 hours working with Catholic Charities of San Antonio Refugee Resettlement Department and other Catholic community programs); his work in theological and pastoral ministry through the Campus Ministry Office, taking advantage of many pilgrimage opportunities and retreats both at Notre Dame and nationally, such as SEEK, Poland Pilgrimage, etc.; and, on top of all of this, his work as my former TA and other campus jobs!

Rather than going into all of that, I want to write a few words about my experience with Ethan when he was my student and, later, my TA. He stood out in class for his thoughtful engagement in class, his hard work on both individually and in group assignments, his excellent performance on exams and other classwork, and his conscientious and friendly personality. As a result of this combination of excellent student traits, I asked him to be my TA; and he remains one of the best TAs I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with.

The more I worked with Ethan, the more I appreciated his strong faith, his stellar work ethic, and his conscientiousness as a scholar and a TA. He is thoughtful, careful, and invariably quick with a friendly smile; and though he does not speak constantly about his strong faith, its importance in his life is abundantly evident in his actions, attitudes, and extracurricular activities. It was a great loss to me when Ethan left campus to study abroad in Senegal; but I know that he grew academically and spiritually in that program, as well as, I am sure, left an indelible mark on that and the myriad other programs with which he has been involved in the year since I worked with him.

Ethan is an intelligent, committed, service-oriented, conscientious, wonderful student, who has already contributed so much to the school I once heard him refer to as “my beloved university” and the broader community–locally, nationally, and even internationally. He loves Our Lady’s University; and Notre Dame loves him.”

Marie Halvorsen-Ganepola
Management Professor
University of Notre Dame, Mendoza College of Business

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