From SHC to the University of Notre Dame, Chris Masoud ’08 went out of his comfort zone and came back to the Bay Area with a new perspective on his life goals.

What do you remember about high school? Which instructors were most influential to your development?

I grew up in San Francisco, and SHC has a powerful connection to the city that comes from being located in the heart of San Francisco. Other high schools disassociate themselves with the challenges and issues of living in an urban community. Rather than shelter students, SHC embraces the opportunity to expose students to those challenges, using them as opportunities for students to grow and become active, responsible stewards of San Francisco.

I greatly benefited from that experience. Whether it was taking the MUNI to baseball practice at the Moscone fields or handing out sandwiches to the homeless on Saturdays with Lasallian Vincentian Youth, I was asked to interact with the San Francisco community on a daily basis. I think that loyalty to the City is very unique.

Besides being very knowledgeable, the teachers take the time to help students foster and develop an interest in a subject. Managing a class towards a great grade point average is practical, but making an impact and developing an individual rapport with students lasts much longer.

I was fortunate to be a De Paul Scholar. Freshman year, we had a literature class with Dr. Ken Hogarty ’66, and somehow his description of ancient Greek text made the subject relatable to fourteen-year-olds.

My senior thesis project focused on the history of San Francisco, and I created a documentary that I filmed, edited and narrated. It was the equivalent of writing a senior thesis in college, and prepared me well for the types of research projects that I was asked to complete in college.

Probably my most memorable moment in high school was in junior year, and missing the team bus to our baseball game in Sonoma. I figured out a way to get to the field using public transit, and three connections and six hours later, made it to the second game of the doubleheader. Coach immediately put me in to pitch the last inning, and I closed out the win. Those little moments are what stick with you years later.

Why did you choose Notre Dame?

I wanted to leave California for my college experience. We grow up with so much diversity, but seeing something new and meeting new people in a different part of the country was critical for me.

I was deciding between the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Notre Dame, and I decided I needed to put myself in an uncomfortable situation to pursue a unique opportunity. It was sort of a leap of faith, as move-in day was the first time I had ever been on Notre Dame’s campus. But participating in clubs and reaching out to different people made the transition much easier. That, and Notre Dame football and tailgating is something everyone can get behind in the Fall.

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Describe your proposal for the McCloskey Business Plan Competition.

My roommate and I came together as freshmen to develop a business plan. It was really new to us. Our idea was an integrated notification network for people on campus to connect at activities. At the time there wasn’t just one solution for discovering what was happening on campus and where to go, what to do. We made it to the semifinals, much further than I thought we would go, and it really acted as a stepping stone for my future business school activities.

As a sophomore, I was fortunate enough to be accepted into the Mendoza School of Business. I had an inkling that I wanted to get into business after graduation, and from conversations with professors and ND alumni, I discovered how I could apply my skills in the right field when I graduated.

Describe your experience working for The Observer.

I worked at the student newspaper, The Observer, covering mostly Notre Dame sports. By the time I was a senior, I had worked my way up to become one of the assistant managing editors. I remember writing articles on the women’s basketball team that played in the national title game, and traveling to places like Kansas City and Washington, DC, to cover road games. Writing for the paper was a great medium for me to get my voice out there, as well as learning to manage teams of people to accomplish a goal. It was also a great way for me to step back from the books and participate in an activity completely unrelated from my major.

What have you been doing since graduation?

I now work at Symphony Technology, a private equity firm that invests in software and other technology-enabled businesses. I’ve worked there for a little over a year now. It really fits in nicely with what I wanted to do after graduation—learn how to invest in great businesses and great people. One of the businesses we support provides hospitals, doctors and healthcare plans with tools to manage the risk and cost of their patient populations, helping to reduce the overall cost to the healthcare system.

We partner with executives to create market-leading businesses by providing operational expertise and investing in innovation. In my role, I help analyze new opportunities and work closely with our companies to execute our shared strategy and business plan.

What advice do you have for young professionals?

Keep an open mind. I think the only way you can figure out what career path to take is to keep a very open mind and talk to a variety of people—you would be surprised how willing and generous people are with their advice and time.

I also think it’s important to identify and work with a close mentor who can provide you with unbiased advice. Finally, don’t be afraid to take big risks, and avoid taking the path of least resistance. Challenge yourself. I can live with the failure of taking a smart risk and failing, but I can’t live with the risk of being passive and wondering if I had challenged myself and succeeded. I follow that mentality in all my decision making.

Located in the

Heart of the city