Amanda Harmon

The Carlson School is home to thousands of students, and welcoming more each year. Meet three newcomers to the community.

Intrigued after GopherBusiness

Born and raised in Burnsville, Minnesota, Amanda Harmon first learned about the Carlson School after her accounting teacher recommended she apply for the GopherBusiness program, a week-long business immersion workshop for high-potential high school students.

After completing the program, Harmon knew the Carlson School was for her. She is currently enrolled as a freshman. “The main reason I wanted to attend the Carlson School is because of its amazing reputation and because it does its best to make sure each student is successful,” she says.

She plans to major in either accounting or finance. “I hope to gain an ample amount of knowledge in my field so I can transition more easily into the working world after college,” she says. “I am interested in accounting or finance because I like to work with numbers and I am a detail-oriented person. I also took a class in high school called Career Investigations, and we took a lot of quizzes on what career would be good for our personality type. I was usually recommended careers in those fields.”

Harmon says she also was intrigued by the Carlson School’s education abroad requirement. “I love to travel, so having the opportunity to go to another country to learn sounds like a lot of fun,” she says. “It would be one of those experiences that you would always look back on and never forget.”

The Carlson School’s close proximity to many Fortune 500 companies was another selling point. “The Carlson School has many connections with companies in the Twin Cities that I can use to my advantage when applying for jobs and internships,” Harmon says. “It also keeps students informed about what companies look for in employees and does its best to prepare them for anything.”

Harmon says her current goal is to complete a couple of internships in her field of study, and she hopes to have a job at a large company after she graduates. “I am interested in Deloitte, as my previous accounting class had mentors there. I like the atmosphere of a large company, and since it is international, it would be nice to travel to different clients,” she says. “I just would like to contribute my own personal skills and knowledge to the business world and try to become as successful as possible.”

All Roads Lead to the Carlson School

Sudhanshu Jena

Sudhanshu Jena was born in India to a family that moved often—and he loved it, making new friends, visiting new cities, and trying new foods. His family’s legacy continued as later he himself moved to Canada, Mexico, and the U.S. on study and work assignments.

He started his corporate career in retail, and over the course of the past six years, was exposed to various intricacies in the consumer markets. “My international work assignments have given me a vista of opportunities to access various challenges such as complex consumer-shopper behavior, retail consolidation, emerging markets, and sustainability,” he says. “I worked for big players like Kraft Foods in Chicago and Target in Minneapolis before enrolling at the Carlson School.”

Jena says living in the Twin Cities and not knowing about the Carlson School is like living in Rome and not knowing about the Romans. “The strong presence of U of M grads in the Twin Cities is very impressive,” he says. “Many of my friends are current students at the U of M, and joining Carlson felt like homecoming.”

Jena is now enrolled in the Full-Time MBA program. “I plan to upgrade my skillset in increments of quality, work on my weak areas, and focus on strategic management specialization,” he says. “From this MBA education, I want to learn more about the intricacies of running a business, methodologies to sustain it, and skills to make it profitable. I want to make lifelong friends in class and want to learn about their experiences, and hope to share mine.”

Coming Back for Another Degree

Amy Jolly

Amy Jolly completed her undergraduate studies at the Carlson School, earning her BSB in 2009. Upon graduation, she entered a sales leadership development program at General Mills’ Convenience and Foodservice division and has been working there for the past five years.

When it came time to think about going back for a graduate degree, the Carlson School was an obvious choice. “As an undergraduate alum, I have seen the power of a Carlson School education firsthand. The curriculum gave me a solid foundation to understand the business world and helped me to become an effective employee immediately upon entering the workforce,” she says.

Jolly has enrolled in the Full-Time MBA program and plans to focus on brand marketing. “Since I have spent my career in sales, I am looking forward to shifting my focus and applying my knowledge in a real-world setting during an internship position next summer,” she says. “My short-term career goal is to gain acceptance into a marketing leadership development program at an industry-leading CPG [consumer packaged goods] company. Long-term, I want to be a hands-on marketing leader overseeing the direction of a brand, product category, or channel.”

For more on students and alumni, check out the Carlson School magazine