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Five ND alumnae share career experiences, advice in panel

| Thursday, February 6, 2020

The Center for Career Development held a panel with University alumnae Wednesday evening in an event primarily directed to female students interested in business. Five Chicago-based women shared their career experiences and advice with attendees.

Katherine Berry Templin ’89, senior vice president of Northern Trust, led the panel. The panelists included Emily Kalish ’14, administrative business partner at Google; Melissa Krumdick ’16, of Belvedere Trading; Kaley Cohen ’17, sponsorship services coordinator at Intersport; and Kelly Cornelis ’96, chief operating officer at LaSalle Capital.

Approximately 20 people attended the event, mostly second-year female students. Attendees hailed mainly from Mendoza and Arts and Letters, and majors ranged from political science to architecture.

The panel was an effort to reach out to current undergraduates, Templin said. The alumnae wanted to tell students that even if they do not know what to do or what career path to follow, “it’s all going to be OK.”

The event started with Templin asking fellow panelists how and why they chose their majors in college.

Cohen started in Mendoza but said she did not enjoy her classes. Upon asking for advice, her brothers and her father all said they wished they had been in Arts and Letters to develop better communication and writing skills. So she changed to American Studies.

“Something I really liked about my major was that I could kind of tweak every class to write all my papers about the sports industry,” she said.

Cornelis began as an English major but “about halfway through Notre Dame … kind of started panicking.” She switched to finance her junior year, despite the vast amount of work she had to catch up on.

“It was a great decision for me, because it was a whole new world,” Cornelis said. “But I do think having the Arts and Letters underpinning is very important to what I do today.”

At Notre Dame, Kalish pursued a BBA in marketing and minors in sustainability and the Glynn Family Honors Program. Before that, however, she said she “took a tour de majors at Notre Dame,” trying her luck at engineering, pre-med, business and English.

She realized everything felt right when she was in her marketing class one day and she realized she wanted to do homework.

The panelists also shared how they got started in their career fields.

“All I can say from learning about things and networking is you just have to get in there and try it,” Kalish said. “That is, kind of, the key to success.”

Cornelis agreed with Kalish on the importance of networking on landing her first private equity job. Templin also underscored the value of networking and using tools like IrishCompass to connect with alumni.

After graduation and an unpaid summer internship in Boston, Templin came back to South Bend. She slept on her resident assistant’s couch for three months while she worked at a public relations firm. Afterwards, she became a temp at Northern Trust, where her boss was a Notre Dame alum.

Since then, she has worked for the company for almost 30 years.

“It just goes to show you that sometimes your career path is not going exactly where you think it’s going to go,” Templin said.

Kalish advised students to try to do something after sophomore year. If it is not an internship, working back home or at summer camps is enough, she said.

“Doing something is going to always better than doing nothing,” Kalish said. “Just keep that ball rolling and you’ll be golden.”

Templin encouraged students to apply for jobs in business even if they thought their liberal arts background prevented them from doing so.

Clara Saint-Denis, a sophomore majoring in political science and minoring in business economics, said she was brought to the panel by a friend but found it to be inspirational.

“It’s making me rethink my life,” Saint-Denis said.

Marty Whalen, Arts and Letters Career Program Manager, said most liberal arts majors do not realize employers are very interested in hiring students from Arts and Letters.

“If they did, they’d approach the career hunt with more confidence,” Whalen said.

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About Adriana Perez

Adriana is a Notre Dame senior from Guayaquil, Ecuador, majoring in political science and minoring in the Gallivan Program of Journalism, Ethics and Democracy. She is currently serving as Editor-in-Chief of The Observer for the 2021-2022 term. You can find her at @adrianamperezr on Twitter.

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