Faculty & Departments

Student Profiles

Matthew Zucker

Matthew Zucker

Finance/Political Science

A conversation with Matthew could go anywhere. From hockey to Wall Street to a live television show that puts him in the hot seat.

Hockey helped lead Matthew to Notre Dame. As a boy, he played hockey Saturday mornings and then watched college football on TV. He became an Irish fan and, eventually, a student pursuing separate degrees in finance and political science from Mendoza and the College of Arts and Letters, respectively.

Matthew started refereeing hockey matches in ninth grade and has more than 500 games under his belt, including two USA Hockey national tournaments. “I took to refereeing because of the adrenaline rush and power,” he says. “But with every game, I learned to see and react instead of looking for penalties. I learned how to carry myself and handle situations. I learned about leadership and mentorship and the importance of a hard-fought game.”

Matthew’s adrenaline rush comes with NDTV’s “Unnecessary Roughness” that has him and a co-host debating 10 to 15 sports, news and University topics in half an hour.

After graduation, "I'm motivated to work on Wall Street, but I'm keeping an open mind,” Matthew says. “Who knows – maybe I'll find something in the system I'd like to fix and I'll go into politics to help improve the global financial landscape."

Patrick Kissling

Patrick Kissling

Finance and Spanish

In a variety of ways, Patrick is learning how businesses, governments and people affect each other. And that’s just what he’s looking for. “I want to develop as a well-rounded thinker with an emphasis in business, as opposed to someone who can speak knowledgeably about business only,” says Patrick, a future investment banker.

Social consciousness is high on his list. In his freshman year, Patrick helped start Notre Dame’s undergraduate branch of Net Impact. The international nonprofit strives to improve the world through business, including increased corporate, social and environmental responsibility.

Studying Spanish in Chile is also shaping Patrick’s understanding of international relationships. The program includes an intensive program in a semi-rural town. “Here we live with poor families and are exposed to a way of life we have never experienced. It is incredible to receive such amazing hospitality from these humble families.”

Patrick also volunteers to teach high school English in one of the poorer areas of Santiago.

Living in Chile has given Patrick a chance to understand the United States’ influence there. “It has made me very proud to be a U.S citizen, but it has also shown me that we have an immense responsibility because of how many people depend on the United States, even outside our borders.”

Aaron Hernandez


Finance/Political Science
Class of 2010

Even though he occasionally looks down the road to life beyond the University, Aaron keeps firmly focused in the present. He has to. His “jobs” as a student and as Marching Band Drum Major seem to fill more than 24 hours a day.

His position as returning Drum Major involves at least 20 hours per week, and he says that he’s busier in the spring – selecting leaders for next year, helping with show selection, supervising logistics for games, and band camp – than he is during football season. In “the other season,” he plays trumpet in the basketball band.

Aaron sees a direct correlation between his class work and his extracurricular duties, particularly in relation to learning how to organize and how to deal with different personalities. He believes that “band is a lab for Intro to Management” because of the study of teamwork, strategizing, problem-solving and learning to be a leader, in addition to sorting through the politics involved with band logistics.

As the recipient of several scholarships, Aaron knows the importance of balancing his academic life and his other obligations. He credits Mendoza advisors for helping him stay focused, and knows that he can depend on them with he’s ready to join the working world.

John Jeffrey


Class of 2010

Speaking more like a Marketing major than a Finance/Economics major, Jake says he would like a little publicity for his business, asking ND students to go to www.dormdrinks.com. That’s where he and a partner take orders online in preparation for twice-a-week dorm deliveries of water, Gatorade, iced coffee, energy drinks and hot coffee.

Jake’s entrepreneurial adventure began during his sophomore year when he recognized a need for dorm-delivered drinks – a need with a projected $10,000 income this semester. While he intends to continue his enterprise next year, he’s already looking for someone to take over the business when he graduates.

Of course, there’s homework and study abroad to consider. Jake earned 15 credit hours during his Fremantle ’08 trip, with educational opportunities that included a trip to Singapore’s busiest port and a meeting with representatives of Deloitte & Touche.

His cultural experiences incorporated camping with Aboriginals, visiting a giant sheep farm and biking 60 kilometers a day for five days on a New Zealand bike tour. Although he says he wasn’t prepared for the rigors of the bike tour, he’s getting in better shape back on campus as he delivers dorm drinks.

While Jake is interested in investment banking, he realizes the current market situation, and for now is looking ahead to corporate finance or consulting.

Kevin Vater


Class of 2010

Kevin Vater is optimistic about the future. Not only his future, but the future of his peers. While others may struggle with doubts about job prospects in his chosen field of investment banking, he feels that his Notre Dame classes have prepared him for whatever lies ahead. He says that the Mendoza focus on problem-solving and exploration of possibilities will serve him well.

Involvement in extracurricular activities has also played a role in his preparation for life beyond the University. His membership in Student International Business Club, Investment Club and O’Neill Hall government allows him to interact with an “interesting variety of people and situations.”

Kevin’s study abroad experience in Fremantle, Australia, last year opened his eyes to a culture and country vastly different from the United States. He was able to visit with Aboriginals and immerse himself with their lifestyle, as well as explore the beauty of the landscape. He returned to campus having made what he calls “life-long friends.”

His advice for students: “Meet as many people as you can. There’s a reason you chose Notre Dame. It’s a caring school where both students and faculty know how special it is and work hard to always improve the University for those coming after them.”