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ALUMNI PROFILES: Larry and Jane Arseniadis (MBA '78)

by Christine Cox

July 28, 2014

Tag: Alumni

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Jane and Larry Arseniadis, both MBA '78, were married in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart in 1979. Now, they volunteer at the Basilica each fall.

Each fall, Larry and Jane Arseniadis make time to serve as Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. It’s one way they show their gratitude for a lifetime of blessings that started on campus, specifically at the Mendoza College of Business.

They met in an accounting class the first year of their MBA and started dating their second year. They married in the Basilica in 1979.

Two of their three children graduated from Mendoza: J.T. Arseniadis (ACCT ’05) and Rob Arseniadis (ACCT ’08 and MSA ’09). Their daughter, Katie Arseniadis, graduated from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, in 2006.

These days, Larry and Jane divide their time between South Bend and a home outside Orlando, Florida. “Our agreement is that as soon as we see the first snowflake fall in South Bend, we are out of here!” Larry says.

In these Q&As, Larry and Jane share more about their lives and their love for Notre Dame and Mendoza.

Larry Arseniadis (MBA '78) 

Why did you choose Notre Dame for your graduate degree?
My undergraduate degree was from Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Maryland. Afterward, I was accepted to several MBA programs. Of all the schools where I was accepted, I thought Notre Dame was the best fit. The ND brand was significant on an overall basis in 1976, though the business school had not yet earned the recognition that it enjoys today. I actually visited campus during my spring break in 1976 and met with the director of admissions. We spent about two hours together, and the one-on-one approach definitely helped.

What did you do after receiving your MBA?
I began a career with IBM in the area of materials management with a heavy focus on procurement and logistics. When I retired from IBM in 2009, I was the global director of service parts operations. After I retired I took a position as VP & COO of a division of Geodis, a French logistics company. Geodis had bought the logistics operations from IBM so I was recruited to help run it. I was with Geodis for five years.

What did you enjoy most about your career?
The thing that I enjoyed the most about my career was my interaction with people. I had the opportunity to work and live in Asia during some exciting economic times, so I got to experience cultural diversity firsthand along with the challenges that come with that diversity. I enjoyed seeing my staff's personal and professional development and being a part of it. My international experience was not limited to Asia as I eventually had direct reports in all the global geographies. The personal interaction also involved people outside my companies in both customer and supplier roles.

How do you stay connected to Notre Dame and Mendoza?
I do this in multiple ways. First, my wife and I live in South Bend during part of the year so we are able to attend various events on campus. One of our classmates, Harv Humphrey (BA ’76 and MBA ’78), is the coordinator of ministries at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart so he has recruited us to serve as Extraordinary Ministers there. I also have begun my first term on the Mendoza Graduate Alumni Board. By residing in the area for part of the year, I am able to participate in Mendoza’s career services events, such as etiquette dinners and practice interviews. Notre Dame’s various communication channels also help me maintain a pulse on what is going on at Notre Dame.

How did your ND graduate business student experience shape your life in general?
This is a fairly easy question for me. My student experience allowed me to meet my wife of 35 years and began providing a foundation for my personal and career goals. As I reflect back over the years, many of my great personal and professional experiences have had a Notre Dame connection at the core. It has led to a full and rewarding life with a great amount of memories and satisfaction.

What is one of your current goals, either personal or professional?
I retired in December 2013 after 45 years in business. I am not sure I will stay fully retired, but at this point I am enjoying a daily life of very little structure! My personal goals are to contribute to community, church and school organizations in various volunteer roles that fit both the organizations’ needs and my skill set and interests. 

Jane Arseniadis (MBA '78) 

Why did you choose Notre Dame for your graduate degree?
I majored in science at Saint Mary’s College, but I knew business was the best option for me. During my senior year, I received an application for the Notre Dame MBA program, so I applied, had an interview and was accepted. Frankly, I wasn’t ready to leave the Saint Mary’s/ND community after four years and I was excited to be a Notre Dame student. 

It was an exciting time for women in the field of business when I graduated in 1978 — we were definitely in the minority!

How do you stay connected to Notre Dame and Mendoza?
My husband and I stayed connected to Notre Dame through the local ND clubs. We have met some fantastic friends and fellow alums. We became more connected to Mendoza while our two sons were attending ND and studying at Mendoza. We met former Dean Carolyn Woo while she was at Notre Dame and have maintained a closer relationship to Mendoza since then.

How did your ND graduate business student experience influence your professional experience?
While at Notre Dame after receiving my undergraduate degree at Saint Mary’s, I was in a larger community with much more diversity (males, foreign students, etc.) and I learned how to appreciate these new relationships. At Notre Dame I learned the value of working with — and for — others toward a common goal. I also believe the core values of a Notre Dame education helped shape my experience in my professional, faith and community work.

These skills were very valuable for my professional career. I worked for a year in Chicago as a management trainee at North American Car Corp., a railcar leasing company and subsidiary of Tiger International. Larry and I moved to New York after we got married, and I worked for IBM’s federal systems division for 3 1/2 years as a cost engineer. 

How did your ND graduate business student experience shape your life in general?
After the birth of our first son, Larry and I made the decision for me to be a stay-at-home mom for a while. Shortly thereafter I became pregnant with our daughter and the rest is history! I have never regretted our family's decision. 

Certainly the emphasis on our Catholic faith has shaped my life as a wife, mother and community member. The priority of making a difference in our world has guided my decisions in all that I have been involved, especially my personal life. 

What is one of your current goals, either personal or professional?
One of my current personal goals is to strengthen my spiritual life. Being in the Notre Dame community for five to six months a year has made this goal a bit easier. There are always opportunities on campus to do so, whether it is attending daily Mass at the Basilica, online devotions at FaithND.edu or attending lectures or programs on the Notre Dame campus. 

Another personal goal is to be present and supportive to our adult children and our grandchildren, our first is due in September. Another future Domer and graduate of the Mendoza College of Business? We can only hope!