Maddie Jesser, ’19 BSB, was always good with numbers. Her family wondered if she would follow in her older brother Zac’s footsteps and pursue a career in science. But as she explored business through her high school classes, she started leaning toward accounting and finance.

Now after finishing her first year in the Carlson School Undergraduate Program, she’s considering a double major in accounting and finance and already has an impressive résumé. She says that because the Carlson School admits first-year students (a rarity for undergraduate business programs), she has all four years to grow, seek opportunities, and prepare for the business world.

At the University of Minnesota, she’s held leadership positions in the student group Women in Business, helped coordinate the Women’s Leadership Conference, worked as a Carlson Ambassador, and secured a position in Deloitte’s pilot freshman summer internship program. This builds on her involvement in high school where she served as president of the National Honors Society chapter, a captain of her cross country team, a freshman mentor, and more.

“You ask her to do something, it’ll be done times a thousand of what you would expect,” says her brother Zac. “Obviously, I know she’ll be successful—I don’t even have to hope about that.”

A supportive community

Maddie and her brother, Zac
Maddie attributes many of her successes to her mentors. She credits her eloquence and interpersonal skills to the preparation faculty have provided and the coaching she received from her Women in Business upperclassman mentor. She envisions her career goals with the help of Carlson MBA students who were willing to share their experiences.

But she cites her brother as her first mentor.

“I am continually inspired by his drive and his ability to balance so many different things in life—most of all, the genuine person that he is,” she says.

Zac uses the same sentiments to describe Maddie, and adds that she’s a better listener, a fantastic problem solver, and has a mental toughness that he envies.

Zac Jesser, ‘19 MBA, who is four years older, graduated from the University of Minnesota-Morris with a B.S. in biochemistry in 2014. He is pursuing his Part-Time MBA at the Carlson School so he can bridge the disconnection between the perceptions of the business managers at research companies and the scientists that work under them. Even though both siblings are busy, they make time to talk to each other at least once a week.

Choosing the Carlson School

Zac first encouraged Maddie to consider the Carlson School. As he was choosing where to pursue a graduate degree, she was graduating high school. Naturally, he mentioned her in his inquiries.

Everyone he talked to—friends who attended the Carlson School after high school, professional colleagues at Morris’ admissions office from his time as a student tour guide—couldn’t speak highly enough of the Carlson School’s Undergraduate Program. However, while these accolades got Maddie interested in the school, it wasn’t until she toured the campus that she felt connected to the community.

"I was amazed by the amount of passion and drive I saw in the students and ambassadors I met,” she says. “They had long-term goals so closely aligned with my own that I knew the Carlson School was the place I fit into—these people could truly inspire me to be my best."