Brian Dondanville

Class of 2011, McMillan Doolittle LLP, Retail Consultant

In July 2009, I had the opportunity to represent the SIBC at the Lucca Leadership Conference hosted at the De Beers Family Villa in Lucca, Italy. There, I met like-minded young leaders from all over the world—many with whom I am still in touch today. At the conference we talked through our personal strengths and opportunities and how we might leverage those strengths in order to lead. Today, I draw from many of the leadership lessons I learned and still regularly practice a mental exercise known as a "STOP" which is a meditative break in the day to remind myself to be present. I am forever grateful for this transformational experience.

From a career standpoint, the SIBC was the single most formative and rewarding aspect of my Notre Dame experience. As an undergraduate, I collaborated with and presented to presidents of global corporations. I thrived under the SIBC’s unique student-run model coupled with the generous support of our benefactor Mr. Frank Potenziani who insisted the Council be run for the students, by the students guided by a vision of Peace Through Commerce. In the 1980s when Potenziani and Fr. Ted Hesburgh co-founded the Student International Business Council, global commerce was the last chapter of business textbooks. Fast-forward to today—it’s the first. This remarkable foresight will always inspire me, as I hope it will inspire members of the SIBC for years to come. 

My SIBC experience laid the foundation for my professional network and launched my career. Following a semester-long Kentucky Derby promotional project with NBC Sports & Olympics, I interned as a production assistant behind the scenes of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and the fourth hour of the Today Show with Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb.

Following a semester-long Hispanic Market case study with Target Corporation, I interned in Global Sourcing where I am now a full-time Sr. Analyst in the Home segment. I came into internships and a full-time career with real-world business experience that allowed me to apply what I learned in the classroom to project-based, client-facing work on a global scale. The work ethic, team management experience, networking skills and passion for business that was instilled in me during my years on the Council will continue to impact my own career—and what I hope will be the good that I am able to contribute to the global marketplace at large—for the better.     

If I had to describe SIBC in two words, they would be Formative and Invaluable. 

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