Faculty & Departments

Student Profiles

Catherine Soler

Catherine Soler

Junior
Accountancy

Last year, Catherine achieved one of the most prestigious honors at any university or college: She was elected student body president. This year, she’s putting her heart and soul into the job.

“I hope that I am able to make a positive impact for my classmates and also be a resource for them on a variety of issues,” she says. “One of the greatest attributes of this university is the capabilities the students have to make a difference and the respect they have from administration.”

Catherine also serves as chair of the Campus Life Council and Council of Representatives. She was president of the Sophomore Class Council and has helped organize fundraising activities on and off campus.

No doubt these leadership experiences are laying a foundation for a bright future. After graduation, Catherine plans to earn her certified public accountant license. Ultimately, she’d like to work in corporate social responsibility or nonprofit management, possibly even with the United Nations Global Compact or a similar organization.

“Mendoza has challenged me, and also opened my eyes to new opportunities,” she says. “I am motivated by the ability of commerce to make peace and fight for justice, and love Mendoza's emphasis on these powers of business as well as the ethics behind all business decisions.”

Eva Binda

EVA BINDA

Accountancy/Political Science
Class of 2010

When Eva says, “I like to keep busy,” no one disagrees with her. In order to graduate a semester early, she has taken 24 credit hours each of the last two semesters. Not only that but, in addition to a double major, she is minoring in Art History.

When not studying, she enjoys being a campus tour guide, tutoring accounting students and serving as the 2008 Accounting Director for the Student International Business Council (SIBC). She was awarded a Crimson Summer Exchange (CSE) fellowship, normally given only to students from Yale, Harvard or Cambridge universities. Eva was the only one outside this group to receive a fellowship, and taught and mentored high school students for five weeks last summer in Zhejiang Province, China.

She was also part of the ND team – the only team from North America – to present a project to KPMG in Dubai in April 2008.

This summer she will intern in London, working with a corporate tax firm. Eva plans to use this experience after graduation as she pursues a job in accounting, perhaps as a precursor to returning to school for a law degree. Eventually, she would like to work for the World Trade Organization or the United Nations.

Braden Turner

Braden Turner

Notre Dame MSA Program
Class of 2009

“In the MSA program, the expertise, skill, and experience of the Notre Dame faculty have been incredible. The professors have the real world stories and business experience to illustrate the concepts and principles they are teaching. Most students begin the program straight out of undergrad, and it’s critical to have professors who can take the material out of the classroom setting and teach it in a way that will help us in our accounting careers,” says MSA student Braden Turner. Braden, who grew up in a family with six kids in Fort Wayne, Indiana, vacillated between engineering and accounting before eventually settling on a major in accounting.

For Braden, who enrolled in the MSA program with nearly two thirds of his Notre Dame undergraduate class, the advanced training has been invaluable. In addition to the classroom training, Braden participated in multiple external audits of banks and investment firms during an internship with PricewaterhouseCoopers last summer. During the summer of 2007, he worked at BKD in Fort Wayne in both the assurance and tax departments, performing internal and external audits and compliance tests as well as preparing taxes, reconciling assets, and valuing investments.

that the current business climate has reinforced the need for ethics in business today, Braden says, “The MSA program is geared toward helping students begin a career in public accounting. Many of us will begin in auditing, and I appreciate the MSA program’s overarching ethics emphasis. As independent auditors, we need to act ethically, and the right blend of ethics and technical knowledge will serve to make us reputable accountants.” As Braden begins his career as an auditor with PricewaterhouseCoopers in September, he hopes to do so with an understanding of the finer elements of accounting, an ability to see the big financial picture, and a greater ethical awareness – skills he has honed at Notre Dame.

Chantal Ottino

Chantal Ottino

Notre Dame MSA Program
Class of 2009

Chantal Ottino could be called the cheerleader of Notre Dame’s MSA program. A Notre Dame fan for as long as she can remember, Chantal calls her Master of Science in Accountancy degree “a dream come true,” and says that she would have paid three times the tuition to go through the program again. Her MSA journey began after she earned an undergraduate degree in Accounting. Hearing about the benefits of a Notre Dame education from a neighbor as well as a mentor from the University of Arizona, Chantal visited the campus and was impressed from the moment she arrived. Invited by a professor to sit in on a class, she immediately felt a part of the program.

After she became a student, Chantal soaked up the teaching at Notre Dame. “Two years ago GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) was in vogue; today, it’s IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards). The professor taught both ways, which was helpful as we move forward in international business,” says Chantal. “In an auditing class, we explored cases the professor himself had experienced and witnessed the outcome of each.”

In March of 2008 Chantal and many of her classmates took a trip to China, where they visited accounting firms and other financial institutions, in the process learning much about banking and finance. The trip to Beijing and Hong Kong blended both educational and tourist activities. In a visit to the Great Wall of China, one of the highlights of the trip, Chantal ran into a group of tourists at the top, only to find that they were fellow Notre Dame graduates. Now at Ernst & Young in Phoenix, Arizona, Chantal says, “From Phoenix to South Bend, Indiana, to the Great Wall of China, you never know where you will meet fellow alumni!”

Sarah Geisman

Sarah Geisman

Notre Dame MSA Program
Class of 2009

After graduating from Notre Dame with a major in Accounting and a minor in European Studies, Sarah Geisman decided to pursue a Master of Science in Accountancy. The faculty and administration in the MSA program greatly influenced her decision: Sarah was impressed with their accessibility, finding each one more than willing to spend extra time going over class issues or career questions.

For Sarah, who likes to look at each company “as a big puzzle to analyze,” the auditing field is particularly appealing. In two summer internships with PricewaterhouseCoopers, Sarah helped organize and perform audits and engaged in client-specific accounting research. Though she worked in two different cities, Chicago and Washington, D.C., and with different clients, Sarah worked primarily with non-profits, concentrating mainly on colleges and universities. Though she’d like to broaden her scope of experience, Sarah found her work with higher education clients to be very rewarding.

Rounding out Sarah’s training has been a student employee/internship position at Notre Dame, where she has been responsible for creating reports, gathering and analyzing documentation, and processing fund expenditures for the university’s property, plant, and equipment. While in this position, Sarah participated in a committee working to implement new databases for the university’s financial information.

This fall, Sarah will begin a one-year FASB/GASB Fellowship program, where she will be participating in the financial accounting standards-setting process. Eventually, she is interested either in pursuing a career in academics or a role within the international business arena, having studied in England for a semester during her undergrad and having recently visited China in conjunction with her MSA studies. The possibility of combining accounting with global business offers Sarah unparalleled opportunities for a career that already appears to be on the fast track.