Every year, Forbes magazine releases their 30 under 30 lists. Within these lists, the 30 most accomplished people in their fields under the age of 30 are highlighted. This year, seven Notre Dame alumni were included.
In order to address national housing issues, Colin Devine, a 2016 graduate, co-founded and acts as chief operating officer of BotBuilt. The company sets out to use robotic technology to make the homebuilding process more efficient.
Raquel Dominguez, an alumna who graduated in 2016, works as creative executive of OBB Media. In this role she is able to help A-list celebrities such as Hailey Bieber, Kylie Jenner, Demi Lovato and Kevin Hart with their content. Along with this, she works on the show “Who’s in my Bathroom?” that has hosted celebrities like Kendell Jenner, Gwyneth Paltrow, Keke Palmer and Emily Ratajkowski.
A 2017 graduate, Jackson Jhin, acts as co-founder of Protege. He left his position as chief financial officer of Cameo in order to pursue this passion. Protege works to connect the average person to their role models, allowing them to get advice from celebrities such as DJ Khaled and Florida Georgia Line.
Natalie Marshall, a 2019 alumna, has earned the nickname “Corporate Natalie” for her humorous social media content on experiences in a professional work environment. Her posts on Instagram and Tiktok have allowed her to gain nearly 900,000 followers. On the side, she still acts as an advisor for start up entrepreneurs or aspiring social media creators.
DxTx and Spine was co-founded by Mack Mazeski, a 2015 graduate. The goal of the company is to find better treatments for back pain that do not rely on opioids or surgery. They aim to find the root cause of these issues, rather than to simply suppress symptoms.
Former Notre Dame women’s basketball player and 2019 graduate Arike Ogunbowale acts as a founding member of LeBron James’ More Than a Vote initiative. The initiative stands to improve voter turnout among Black people and reduce their voter suppression. She is also an investor of Just Women’s Sports.
Chas Pulido is currently on leave as a Notre Dame student and is founder and general partner of Alix Ventures. This company aids startup companies that focus on advancing the science of human health.
Gratitude for success and advice for others
Jhin credited the roundedness of Notre Dame’s liberal arts approach to education as helping his career.
“Interestingly, everything helps,” Jhin said. “All of the extracurriculars, a lot of things that aren’t necessarily towards your professional tract, if you’re passionate about it and you get really good at it or you learn a lot about it, it does come back to help.”
Notre Dame’s fine arts requirement allowed Dominguez to find what she was truly passionate about. By taking an elective in the Film Theatre and Television (FTT) department, she was able to find the major that would help her career as a creative executive.
“Well, I went in thinking I went in as a political science and economics double major, but then like, my first year, I really did not enjoy it. So, I took an elective in the film in the FTT department and I really liked it,” she explained. “My sophomore year, I dropped economics. I kept political science, which did get better … but I added FTT as a second major.”
Devine credited Notre Dame’s holistic curriculum and the University’s academic atmosphere as preparing him for the workforce and its turbulent realities.
“My time at Notre Dame taught me how to learn difficult things extremely quickly, which is of central importance as a non-technical founder at a startup because your job varies so much from day to day (and hour to hour),” Devine said in an email.
The alumni on the Forbes list attributed their career success to having been pushed forward their support systems, including professors, friends and coworkers. Further, many of their nominations for the list came from these groups.
Dominguez, however, said that it was also nice to hear from those in her past who she has had a hard time staying in touch with, but is nonetheless happy to hear from. She moved to California for her career, but can still feel the support of those in her hometown in Ohio.
“It’s kind of exciting. Like, my high school crush sending me an Instagram DM, we love to see it,” she said.
Jhin suggested that students should make a conscious effort to Notre Dame’s mission to be a force of good in the world while picking their professors, advising others to look at an Ikigai circle diagram. The diagram reveals to its users four intersecting categories to guide their career choices: passion, skill, necessity and profitability.
“If you’re missing any of these circles, you’re not going to feel fully fulfilled,” Jhin explained.
Devine, on the other hand, did not simply pick his career with that mission, but aimed to create a business that emulated the Notre Dame mission.
“One of the reasons I have had deep conviction about BotBuilt from the first day is because of our mission to use technology to solve the housing crisis,” Devine said. “Just about all companies now tend to claim that their mission is positively impacting the world, but being surrounded by people at Notre Dame who live its mission with such courage and wisdom made me want to work on a project that was actually having a profoundly positive impact on the world.”
Domiguez said success comes to each person in different ways, but it is essential to have grit.
“It’s really about being scrappy and working hard and finding your own path because everyone does it differently,” she said.
Jhin’s advice to others discerning their career paths revolves around risk-taking, which he said is essential for success.
“I would encourage people to take risk as much as possible,” Jhin said. “Whenever there’s something where you’re like, ‘wow, I really want to do this, but I’m scared that I could fail,’ I think that is the quintessential type of risk that I’m talking about.”
Contact Emma Duffy at firstname.lastname@example.org.