NAC Scholars Attend University of Notre Dame Education Reception

On Saturday, April 11, more than 30 NAC Scholars visited the Center Club in Costa Mesa to attend a University of Notre Dame presentation, featuring Don Bishop, Associate Vice President of Undergraduate Enrollment for the University of Notre Dame. The event, which also offered appetizers and desserts before and after the presentation, was made possible by Dorene Dominguez, Chairman of the Vanir Group of Companies & University of Notre Dame alum, and Hector Barreto, Chairman of the Latino Coalition, a non-profit nationwide organization that aims to “develop initiatives and partnerships that will foster economic equivalency and enhance overall business, economic and social development of Latinos.”
Dorene Dominguez opened the presentation by sharing how University of Notre Dame helped shape both her personal and professional perspectives. Ms. Dominguez stated, “Notre Dame changed my life in so many ways,” noting that what she learned while at Notre Dame helped her continue to develop the Vanir Group of Companies, a highly successful, “full-service real estate development company specializing in the design, construction, lease and leaseback process.” When asked why she chose to attend Notre Dame rather than stay in California, Ms. Dominguez responded, “I thought an education should be more about an opportunity and experience, and not just about academics. It’s about who you meet there and the doors that open for you.”
Following Ms. Dominguez, Hector Barreto discussed the importance of choosing and attending the “right” college, claiming, “When you look for a college, it has to be one that really fits with your personality. When you go to college, it has to make sense for all of these reasons: Is it the best for your future? Does it match your personality? Does it match your values? Whether or not you go to Notre Dame, that’s the conversation you need to have with yourself to make the right decision.” Before welcoming Don Bishop to speak, Mr. Barreto reminded students to take note of what universities like Notre Dame have to offer: “What you’re getting ready to hear is going to open up your mind to all the possibilities.”
Rather than citing a list of statistics about University of Notre Dame, Mr. Bishop told stories from his personal and professional life to connect with students and touch on a variety of topics related to the college experience. He also offered advice for mentally preparing to get into college. For example, in contrast to aspiring to become neurotic achievers focused solely on being the best, Mr. Bishop encouraged students to “aspire to be a well-rounded person who works very hard and has goals and ambitions,” noting they should also “be impressed with your best efforts, whatever that is.” Mr. Bishop reminded students, “Any school that turns you down wasn’t smart enough to admit you.”
While explaining how his admissions department at University of Notre Dame decides who to admit, Mr. Bishop noted, “Through research, I’ve learned a lot about what really does factor into that success,” adding, “I’m here to tell you it’s not all about numbers.” Mr. Bishop then discussed the difference between IQ (intellectual quotient), EQ (emotional), and CQ (creative), to help explain how students are holistically evaluated for college admittance, and he encouraged students to work toward balancing the various quotients.
When one student admitted to sometimes feeling overwhelmed by the process, Mr. Bishop responded, “One of the things I will tell you about your life is you’re going to run into organizations where you want a job, or promotions, or you’re going to want to get into college or grad school, and you’re going to run into people better than you. Get over it. In fact, embrace it. You’re going to learn more from people who are better than you at stuff, than always being number one.”
After fielding questions from students about University of Notre Dame and the paths students should take to find fruitful careers, Mr. Bishop encouraged students to consider their interests when studying in college or choosing a profession. “Think about who you are and who you want to be, and have fun doing that.” Mr. Bishop added, “At one point, having fun to you might be as odd as wanting to become an econometrician.”

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