Alum Ingrid Hirte Living Her Dream as Medical Student


Emma Zankoul, Staff Writer, Journalism I

“Every year of my life has been better than the one before,” said Ingrid Hirte, a former NDA student who is now in her third year of medical school.

Hirte graduated in 2016. She was always into volleyball, but she could not make varsity her sophomore year, so instead of being on JV, she decided to become the assistant coach/ manager of the men’s volleyball team.

“It was my favorite part of high school,” she said. That is because she could talk to people who were not in her friend group and get out of her comfort zone.

During her senior year, Hirte only applied to two schools: UW Madison and the University of Notre Dame. Although she was accepted at Madison, she was still waiting for the University of Notre Dame’s response.

“I actually did not like the school at first,” she said. “My mom forced me to tour it, and when I saw the campus I knew I belonged there and I loved it.”

Hirte was deferred and waitlisted, but a former NDA student who attended the college at the time advised her to do something creative which would make her stand out from other applicants and get in.

“I then wrote a poem,” said Hirte. “It was about why I was worthy of getting in, and they ended up accepting me!” After that, she attended the school as a pre-med major which has always been her dream career.

“I’ve wanted to be a doctor since third grade,” she said. “My mom, who is a nurse, started teaching me about the human body every night when I was little, and it was always so interesting to me.”

Hirte also always liked math and science classes and was “kind of a chem nerd.” That passion led her to become the person she is today, and soon to be a doctor.

“But college was very hard,” she said. “There was a lot of studying, and I had barely any free time with the community service and extracurriculars I did.”

Hirte says physics was very rough for her, but Notre Dame prepared her for college and helped her a lot. It taught her to be independent and responsible, which got her through her four years of pre-med, and she made many friends along the way.

She graduated college in 2020 and says it was “definitely worth it.” Ever since she entered med school, she has had more free time for herself which is why her life has gotten more and more fun.

“Work hard in college because it truly pays off,” she said. She had a really tough time at first, but now she is working her dream job.

Hirte is planning on becoming an anesthesiologist because it “combines a whole bunch of fields of medicine.” 

“It is not really being a surgeon, but you are still in the OR and have to know everything they know which is great,” she said.

Although she has many years of residency coming, Hirte still has fun because she likes what she is learning. “I don’t really think about how much work there is because it’s my passion and I enjoy it,” she said.

She is currently in Phoenix at Mayo, one of the best medical centers in America. 

“It’s very different from here,” she said. “There aren’t all the seasons, and it’s extremely hot.”

But Hirte is still enjoying her life in the city. She is also currently dating her high school crush,  which is another reason she likes her life so much. 

“Back then, he thought I was too smart for him, and I thought he was too cool for me, but we laugh about it now,” she said.

Hirte sees herself someday returning to Wisconsin because it’s “fun to move away for a while, but after the new experiences you miss your home.”