The Carlson Part-Time MBA Program exposed Samantha Abbott, ’16 MBA, to a wide world of possibilities for her career in business. Prior to the program, Abbott earned a BA in psychology and began working in higher education.

She joined the Carlson School with plans to advance her career within higher education—then she discovered a passion for medical devices and steered her career in an entirely new direction.

“Through the MBA program, there are many different opportunities to get promotions within your current role,” she explains. “But there are also opportunities to make a career transition and get the roles outside of what you’re currently doing.”

The Carlson MBA offers courses and programs for students to explore a variety of industries, from marketing and finance, to healthcare and consulting, and beyond—regardless of their backgrounds. A substantial portion of graduates pursue careers in entirely new fields, and are well-prepared to make the switch.

“I went from having no experience in business, to feeling very confident in business. Now I'm able to go into any opportunity feeling confident, capable, and ready for a management role in the future,” she says.

The Carlson School is well-connected to the Twin Cities business community—and students get unmatched access to a plethora of companies. For example, Abbott built a network of leaders in the healthcare community, took part in on-campus recruiting with potential employers, visited local companies, and earned an internship with Medtronic.

“The network here is incredibly important. Everyone has been really willing to be both a mentor and a friend to me,” she says.

That internship led to a full-time position with Medtronic. And despite the winding path her career has taken, Abbott couldn’t be happier in her new role.

“I wake up every morning, excited about what I'm going to be doing that day,” she says. “I encourage people to start the program, and keep an open mind about all the opportunities within business. Because what they end up doing might surprise them.”