Dec. 2, 2010
NOTRE DAME, Ind. –
Throughout the 94-year history of the Monogram Club, the organization’s membership has proudly served Notre Dame’s current student-athletes, helping them enjoy and appreciate the shared experiences that personify what it means to don the Fighting Irish jersey and compete for Our Lady’s University.
Indeed, “bridging the gap between legend and legacy” remains a central tenet of the Monogram Club mission. Club initiatives that include career mentoring and hosting teams on the road benefit Notre Dame student-athletes each year and help connect generations of monogram winners past and present.
Perhaps the least publicized but one of the more important of these services is the Monogram Club liaison program. Begun during the 2006-07 academic year, the liaison program aims to enhance the lines of communication between the Monogram Club and the University’s current student-athletes by pairing a Monogram Club board member with one of Notre Dame’s 26 varsity programs.
This “liaison” for each team acts as an ambassador for the Monogram Club and provides insight to student-athletes about how to stay involved with Notre Dame athletics long after their playing days are over.
Working with the program’s sport administrator and coaching staff, the liaison develops a strategy for how to best influence and impact the team’s roster. By meeting periodically with players and attending home and away athletic events, Monogram Club liaisons build and foster relationships with current student-athletes and help a new generation of monogram winners to prepare for life after Notre Dame.
The liaison program already has produced a number of success stories, none more so than the relationship between Tom Galloway ’87 (football) and the Notre Dame men’s tennis team.
A three-year liaison with coach Bobby Bayliss’ squad, Galloway has consistently exceeded the expectations of the program to create a strong bond with the team’s 18 members.
What began as informal meetings with Galloway on campus has blossomed into a year-round communication network between the Baltimore, Md., native and a number of the team’s student-athletes.
Galloway’s liaison efforts have particularly impressed the team’s coaching staff.
“I think it’s great for our student-athletes to work with Tom,” Bayliss said. “He supports our tennis players in all facets of life and shows on a continual basis that he cares about them as people and not just as athletes.”
In addition to educating the tennis team on the mission and goals of the Monogram Club, Galloway is one of the program’s biggest fans, traveling four hours or more during the season to watch the squad compete on the road.
“Tom’s extraordinary efforts away from campus have made our athletes really appreciate the bond and the strength of the Notre Dame monogram,” Bayliss said. “With his assistance and support, they know that there’s help out there for them in the real world.”
Real-world experience and advice can be hard to come by in an academic setting, and Galloway serves as a kind of adjunct professor for the tennis athletes, critiquing their resumes, conducting mock interviews and building a professional network that they can look to for career advice.
Galloway’s services have greatly benefited senior Sean Tan, who took advantage of the liaison program to land an internship with financial services company Credit Suisse in New York City this past summer.
Galloway was well equipped to mentor Tan, with more than 15 years experience in the financial industry. And although he didn’t have any direct contacts at Credit Suisse, Galloway put the Lakewood, Calif., native in touch with his investment bank contacts throughout the country, particularly in the New York area.
Galloway also exchanged phone calls with Tan to perfect his resume and prep him for the company’s culture and work environment.
Tan interviewed well and received the internship, and after a successful summer with the company, Credit Suisse executives asked him to stay on as a full-time employee the following fall. As such, Tan secured a high-profile finance job before even returning to Notre Dame for his senior year.
That’s pretty impressive stuff.
“You can read articles online and you can talk to people on campus, but Mr. Galloway is in the industry right now,” Tan said. “When practicing for my interviews, he let me know what questions to expect and what types of topics to prepare for. Having that type of perspective is incredibly valuable.”
Although Galloway’s expertise is finance, that hasn’t stopped him from assisting student-athletes with other professions in mind.
After the Blue-Gold game this past April, senior Tyler Davis contacted Galloway for some networking advice. Davis was looking to attend medical school and wanted to develop a course of action that would best prepare him for the rigorous admissions process that defines the health industry.
As Baltimore is a medical research hotbed with the likes of Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland, Galloway was able to point Davis in the direction of monogram winners serving as respected doctors in the area.
He also put Davis in touch with a fellow Notre Dame alum who is the director of medical school admissions at Maryland. Through this connection, Davis was able to gain some insight into what admissions committees look for in a candidate and how to make a good impression.
Most importantly, Davis got to spend some time shadowing Dr. Mark Monahan ’96 in the emergency room of Memorial Hospital in South Bend.
While shadowing opportunities are often hard to procure in the medical field, Dr. Monahan played football while at Notre Dame and had developed a relationship with Galloway over the years.
After Galloway put the doctor in contact with Davis, Monahan was so impressed with the Notre Dame senior that he offered him the unique shadowing opportunity. The experience proved invaluable for Davis and it looked excellent on his medical school application.
Throughout the networking process, Davis felt privileged to work with a sport liaison as resourceful as Galloway.
“What was really nice about what Tom did for me was that I took one small step toward him to initiate the process,” Davis said. “After that, he made it really easy for me to get in contact with these guys. Everyone that he introduced me to was very willing to talk and give their time to help me out.”
Now well into his senior year at Notre Dame, Davis has already been accepted to the medical program at Vanderbilt University and is waiting to hear from some other fine programs.
With the help of influential board members like Tom Galloway, the Monogram Club liaison program has grown from its roots as an awareness tool into a full-fledged support system.
Along with the mentoring program, Notre Dame student-athletes can enlist the help of their sport liaisons to develop professional relationships with generations of monogram winners and prepare for a successful career upon graduation from the University.
“Once I’m done with them, they’re ready to graduate with a resume that works, interview skills that work and a network of mentors to help them along the way,” Galloway said.
“I start by handing out business cards and just making them feel welcome. By the end, they realize that being a member of the Monogram Club gets you a lot more than just a jacket.”