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May 6, 2018

Read Part One of Up-Close Experience

The Job Search- Network, Network, Network

May 6, 2018

Before diving into the Up-Close experience, I would just like to touch upon the culture at Carlson. In the 3 days that I spent at Minneapolis, meeting and speaking with people from the school, these were the pervasive underlying themes: warmth, inclusiveness and an inclination to help.

March 23, 2018

International experience is a requirement of the Carlson MBA program. That can take the form of a study abroad program or a “glocal” course focused on global commerce. The most popular choice among full-time students is to go on a two-week faculty-led trip over winter break of their second year. That’s what I decided to do, but choosing between Argentina, China, India and UAE/Oman was difficult. All of them were appealing in their own way, but I figured the one place I might not go on my own would be the Middle East, so I chose UAE/Oman.

March 4, 2018

I registered for the Argentina/Chile study abroad because I wanted to bridge the gap between the theory and application of my marketing knowledge. The location appealed to me as well as I had studied Spanish for 6 years and have a strong appreciation for Latin American culture. The Carlson school had a very thorough preparation class prior to departure. In it, we discussed the political, social, and economic climates of the countries that we were going to visit. The professor arranged a series of guest speakers, training modules, and culture assessments to help us orient ourselves.

February 21, 2018

I recently traveled to China through the Carlson Global Institute’s Global Business Practicum in China. On this trip, I spent seven days in Shanghai, four days in Guangzhou, and one sleepless night in Hong Kong. I won’t bury the lead; it was an incredible, eye-opening trip. Have I piqued your interest? Then allow me to take you on a journey to China.

November 30, 2017

Before enrolling in Carlson’s FT MBA program, I knew I wanted to advance my career quickly by stepping into a management role with a larger corporation but didn’t know which path I should take. As a career switcher, I hadn’t decided on my industry or function even after my first semester and admittedly didn’t know “what I want to be when I grow up.” The Carlson Consulting Enterprise has allowed me to explore a variety of interesting career paths including management consulting, supply chain operations and product management.

November 11, 2017

The Carlson School’s trailblazing focus on weaving experiential learning throughout its core curriculum was the perfect fit for my MBA goals. Prior to Carlson, I worked as an urban planning consultant in the transportation industry. As a career-changer looking to move into CPG brand marketing, I knew it was going to take real experience to bridge my knowledge and skill gaps. The Enterprise program, especially, set me up for success to land my MBA dream job as an Associate Marketing Manager at General Mills.

November 6, 2017

I am a career accelerator in my MBA journey, I have done B2B marketing in my past work experience and would be doing the same post my graduation. However, like most marketing specialists I didn’t join Brand Enterprise but rather selected Ventures.Why did I do so? Enterprises at Carlson to me are mini-organizations or rather playing fields that give you an opportunity to experiment and practice business problems in a laboratory setting. They are like real-world simulations, where you have a real business with a real problem but the one thing that is different is ‘risk’.

September 11, 2017

For MBA candidates pursuing an internship in consulting, a lot of (read: every waking second of every single day from the time you show up on campus in August through mid-January) focus is placed on preparing for interviews. I was definitely no exception to this rule, especially going into recruiting as a candidate that passed straight to grad school without taking time to build what is commonly referred to as “experience,” but looks a lot more like two years at a job you sort-of hate. I digress.

August 28, 2017

Why Consulting? There is no right or wrong answer to that question. Personally, I was fascinated by Consulting due to the exposure one can gain about various industries and the opportunity to impact organizations on a large scale. After repeatedly hearing how difficult it will be to work in Consulting and to work with Consultants and then experiencing it first-hand, I am happy to say that I did it. It was not a smooth sail, as you will find out as you read ahead, but it was a great learning experience.

August 17, 2017

I spent this summer as a brand management intern at Starbucks in their Food Strategy & Innovation group based in Seattle, Washington. A group of less than 20, the team had recently splintered away from the core food team and focuses exclusively on future state development of the food business. A key part of the company’s strategic plan, growing food was an exciting place to be, especially with recent food program launches across select markets: Mercato menu & the FoodShare program.

July 27, 2017

For this summer, I accepted a position with Schwan’s Co. as an MBA Finance Intern. Before matriculating at CSOM, I spent six years as an intelligence analyst and Arabic interpreter for the U.S. government via the U.S. Navy and for the year-and-a-half before military service, as a Client Services Manager for automotive digital marketing leader Outsell, LLC.

July 12, 2017

This summer I am interning at 3M in their Strategy & Marketing Development (SMD) program. The program employs 15 interns and ~30 full-time strategists, who work as internal consultants on strategy, marketing, and business development projects across 3M’s 27 business groups. 

June 21, 2017

Before business school, I worked as a project manager in the medical IT world. For most of that time, I traveled and implemented electronic health records at healthcare organizations across the country. Eventually, I found myself wanting a position that required a little more creative problem-solving and strategic thinking which is how I wound up in business school at Carlson, concentrating in marketing.

March 1, 2017

Carlson is famous for its academic rigor. Unlike other schools, the first semester at Carlson is much more intense as we have 20 credits. It is time consuming, stressful, annoying and made me wonder at times whether I am at a school that quite weirdly lays focus on a lesser important aspect of B-school – academics. However, I am so happy to be proven wrong. As I am typing this blog out, most of the schools are closed for the winter break. 

February 9, 2017

Before arriving at Carlson, I started hearing the rumour that, “The grades don’t matter.” I had never heard of such a thing in any previous academic context. I had always fought hard for a 4.0 GPA, and I didn’t see myself doing any differently in Business school. I wasn’t about to take this phrase that was being tossed around at face value.

December 5, 2016

I have seen Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol on over a dozen occasions, but last weekend, at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, it was as though I was seeing the show for the first time. The fantastic set of cobblestones and storefronts transported me from my theater seat in 2016 straight into Victorian England to consider the story of Ebenezer Scrooge.

November 29, 2016

Dear Prospective student,
I was in your position the same time last year reading blogs of different schools and scheduling calls with current students and alums. My favorite questions during my calls were :
1. What were their biggest pleasant surprise and shock joining the program? & 
2. What was one thing they wish they knew before joining Carlson?

October 31, 2016

Carlson grads land at top-tier consulting firms; our alumni are executives in Fortune 500s; and, we have people in tech startups, in government, in non-profits, and more. If you’re interested in building a great career, Carlson is a fantastic place to be.

September 28, 2016

This summer, I had the opportunity to intern at Microsoft in a product marketing role. Being a Minnesota native that has spent the majority of my life in Minnesota, I was extremely excited for the experience.  Not only did I have the opportunity to work for one of the biggest tech companies on the planet, but I also had a chance to live in Seattle.

July 18, 2016

Dear Incoming MBAs:

Your first year of business school is rapidly approaching! Soon, you’ll be moving from thinking about b-school to thinking about the details of b-school: your class schedule, recruiting deadlines, networking events, and more. Before you reach that point, here are three pieces of advice I wish I had been given as I headed into my first year.

June 20, 2016

I'm looking back on the recent closing of Up-Close event with fond memories. What a great ending to an awesome, well-organized event! It was a delight to see and meet new faces filled with enthusiasm and energy. I had signed up for and attended the last dinner event at TCF Stadium on Friday. So my encounter with the prospective/committed students was brief but enlightening.

June 20, 2016

One of my favorite experiences in business school has been the study aboard component. I chose to take a class that focused on South American and was called “Marketing in the Mayhem: Why Chile Thrives and How Argentina Tries.” I was excited to learn more about why two countries that are so close geographical are so different economically. In our class leading up to the trip we learned that many of these differences were driven by their global trade policies.

June 8, 2016

“I’m a full-time student – Carlson is the school”. Once again, I’m in an interview with an investment bank, trying to explain the Carlson Funds Enterprise and that I’m “not a full-time analyst”. Bank of America, Jefferies, Citibank – every time I walk someone through my resume, no one seems to understand what an “experiential learning student managed fund” means. The reality is, no other MBA program has anything like the Carlson’s enterprise program.

June 8, 2016

This past week our class had the opportunity to canoe down the Mississippi as a final event before we head off to our internships or to start our new ventures.  One of the things that struck me about the canoe trip was how it was a microcosm of the MBA experience.  You are all in the same boat going down the same river, your teammates’ efforts can have a significant effect on your experience, and once you land everyone goes off to pursue their own adventure.  Canoeing is a perfect analogy to the MBA experience because we are all in business school, our efforts on our core and enterprise tea

May 31, 2016

One of the best parts about business school are all the friends you make and the fun social things you do. From weekly happy hours, to Follies and Prom 2.0 (as I call it), there is no shortage of fun things to do with your classmates and blow off some steam. Here are some of my favorite memories from my MBA experience at Carlson.

May 31, 2016

Ahhhh!  The end of May is almost here and the roller coaster ride of first year MBA is nearing the end of the track. Now, each of us will have a chance to set aside the books for a time and get a taste of the corporate world. It’s that time of the year—some of my classmates are already at work, and most are getting ready for their summer internships. The MBA program provides a unique opportunity to implement what we’ve learned throughout the year; a chance to trot out our fledgling management skills adapted from school to test them in the corporate world.

May 17, 2016

On April 29th I joined over 400 women at the 12th Annual Women’s Leadership Conference held at and put on by Carlson. For the women in attendance it was a one-day event that provided them with the opportunity to get out of the office and connect with other professional women while finding inspiration in the speaker sessions. For me and the rest of the Carlson graduate and undergraduate students on the planning committee, as well as some amazing Carlson staff, it was the culmination of months of planning. 

May 17, 2016

I am about to graduate in a few days, and it would be unfair to not write about the Lab/Class where I spent the maximum amount of my time over the past two years i.e., the Carlson Funds Enterprise (CFE). I must mention that I spent most of my time there not because CFE always entailed a lot of work but because it was also my ‘default’ place in school to sit and work, though I did have my fair share of busy days because of CFE. Carlson Funds Enterprise runs a student managed fund with approximately $37M worth of assets under management.

May 11, 2016

When I decided to attend Carlson I knew that my education would be supplemented with experiential learning via the Enterprise Program. However, I didn’t realize how in-depth the Enterprise program would be or how many opportunities I’d have to learn outside of the traditional class environment.  In fact, some of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned thus far have occurred outside of the classroom.

May 11, 2016

For those of you who are going through (or have gone through) the MBA admissions process, there are three questions that almost every program will ask. In fact, there’s a good chance that you know them so well by now that you can recite them in your sleep:

May 3, 2016

Carlson has a history of going west (i.e. to San Francisco, Bay Area and Seattle) as part of its career treks for students interested in the tech industry. On Friday, the 25th of March the students had their first local tech trek visiting the tech startups in the Twin Cities. 

May 3, 2016

When people ask me why I chose to come to Carlson, there are lots of reasons, but one of the strongest is the Enterprise Program. If you aren’t familiar with the Carlson Enterprise program, allow me to tell you about it.

April 11, 2016

Surrounded by “Fortune 500” companies and in one of the “most highly banked areas” of the country, Carlson gets a lot of amazing speakers. As a finance major, I’ve heard from the CFO of US Bank, the CEO of Wells Fargo (a Carlson alum), corporate M&A execs for 3M and Medtronic, private equity founders, investment bankers, even a former executive for Enron…but no “speaker” has ever come so close to the #onceinalifetime awesomeness that is Warren Buffett.

April 6, 2016

The Carlson School is well known for its Experiential Learning experience, in which students get the chance to solve real world problems for top corporations.  But very few people know that students at Carlson also get a similar chance to solve real world problems for the society.

April 4, 2016

I’m a second year MBA student due to graduate in two months and any account of my MBA journey is incomplete without a talk about GBSA. GBSA stands for Global Business Students Association. It is a student led and managed club with a mission to provide a global mindset to current students. It takes a two pronged approach for doing it – by organizing social & cultural events such as celebrating international festivals and by organizing talks and sessions with professionals with experience in the global business arena.

March 29, 2016

One of the things that sets Carlson apart from almost every other MBA program across the country is the experiential learning component, which comes to life through the Carlson Enterprise Program. For those of you unfamiliar with the Carlson Enterprise Program, it’s a pretty neat idea: starting in the second half of their second semester, all full-time MBA students have the opportunity to act as external consultants, partnering with companies of all sizes to tackle real-world business problems.

March 29, 2016

While I’ve written about the Carlson community in the past, I think it is appropriate to revisit the subject and point out the impact that Carlson students have on the greater Twin Cities’ community.  A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to attend the Carlson Charity Auction and I was extremely impressed.  I was taken not only with the fact that less than a dozen students put together a formal event to rival any that I’ve seen, but also with the generosity of students, alumni, faculty and sponsors.

March 21, 2016

Before arriving in Minneapolis, I had only seen snowfall on television. Coming from the western part of India, where the average temperature in the winter is 68 F, the Minnesotan winter is way too cold for me. During my first few interactions with the domestic counterparts at school, one specific thing from the conversations that bothered me a little, was the cold weather that I was going to face in the winter. For the first time in my life, I heard words like blizzards, layers and wind chills. I was excited and a little concerned to experience snow.

March 21, 2016

A warm welcome to the new semester all my virtual friends! As the days begin to grow longer and our hearts bask in the few extra hours of sunshine; we hit the books once again, rejuvenated! May be a tad bit wiser from all we learned over the last semester and the break. Along with the knowledge, we carry with us the saplings of all the networking accomplished in the previous semester. This is the time when they start bearing fruits in the form of interviews and tangible opportunities.

March 15, 2016

My cousin Billie is applying to business school. In fact, as I write this, she is sitting across from me, studying a GMAT textbook industriously. So it seemed fitting that for my last blog post, I write about what is on her mind, rather than my own. As I am about to go off into the world and begin (arguably restart) my professional life, her thoughts on the experience seem a whole lot more relevant to this blog than my own. 

February 22, 2016

With this blog post, I am announcing my retirement from case competitions. Like many great athletes of my generation, I am going out on top: I have, in fact, never been part of a losing case competition team; I’m leaving before ever tasting defeat. But the toll this sport has taken on my body can no longer be ignored. It’s time for me to call it quits.

February 10, 2016

At Carlson, we are continuously reminded of the world outside of our classroom. Through Enterprise projects or opportunities to consult for non-profits, we are constantly pushed to think bigger, better and beyond just the theoretical. 

February 10, 2016

One of the most important factors in selecting the right MBA program is assessing what full time and internship opportunities exist through both on-campus recruiting and working with your career center. I believe that this is one of the many areas where the Carlson School really shines. The program has two important things going for it: its location and its incredible Graduate Business Career Center (GBCC).

February 3, 2016

Are you passionate about the Tech world? The world which is innovating and changing with every second! I am back with an amazing experience of another trek. This time with a new city and different mix of companies. We discovered Seattle this time, the city known for the Space Needle, the Pike Street Market and the future of technology innovation!!

February 3, 2016

This January I went on a two-week trip to Argentina and Chile with my classmates as part of Carlson School’s international experience requirement. The main goal of the trip was to teach us about the differences in how businesses operate in these two very distinctive cultures in South America. 

January 25, 2016

Fans of the Harry Potter series know what I’m referring to, but for anyone else who is confused about what a sorting hat is, I’ll take a moment to explain.  In the world of Harry Potter, specifically at the school that Harry Potter attends, there are different houses to which students belong.  The sorting hat comes into the picture because instead of choosing a house, students try on the hat, which then decides for the student.

December 15, 2015

I have been thinking a lot lately about the Admissions process. Now, this may seem like a strange topic for a second-year MBA student with a job lined up to ponder. However, this fall, my younger cousin, or “sister” as we think of ourselves, began the arduous process of taking the GMAT and applying to business school. Her questions, coupled with the questions I receive as an Admissions Fellow prompted me to reflect a bit more deeply on the application process. 

December 15, 2015

With finals and the end of the term case competition over, the dust has finally started to settle on a crazy, yet amazing start to business school.  Over the past sixteen weeks I have had a lot of stress, a number of late nights, and a lot of fun.  In between all of that was an infusion of knowledge.  

December 9, 2015

If you’ve spent some time on the Carlson School MBA website or have attended any of our events, you can probably tell we have a great program, both academically and socially. But you might still be left with one lingering question, “could I survive a Minnesota winter?” Yes you can! It’s not even the coldest state in the US (okay fine, it’s the 4th coldest). But luckily Minnesotans have made the best of it! Here’s a list of some of my favorite things that a Minnesota winter has to offer:

November 24, 2015

One of the first things I learned when I began business school was that we used a lot of frameworks. For marketing we had the 5 C’s and the 4 P’s. In strategy there are Porter’s Five Forces and the concept of the value chain. Finance has NPV and Enterprise Value and even Ops has six-sigma and total quality management (If you have no idea what I am talking about right now, fret not, you too shall learn). No matter your field of study, frameworks abound and you grow quite used to thinking about monumental business problems in relatively small, digestible pieces. 

November 16, 2015

As I was evaluating schools, community was a word that came up quite a bit – both at recruiting events as well as in conversations with current students.  At the time, I took it for granted, not because I thought people were being disingenuous or exaggerating, but because I didn't realize what it meant to be a part of the Carlson Community.  I thought that coming back to school would mean spending some time studying with classmates, but that I would still go home at 5 p.m.

November 9, 2015

Are you interested in cool gadgets and latest technology or do you want to make a difference in Tech industry? Do you want to know why San Francisco is called "Silicon Valley"? Being in Carlson you can get that experience in the "Carlson Goes West" treks!!

November 5, 2015

There is no better way to learn about the Carlson School of Management than through a campus visit. However, if you’re unable to make a visit happen, a tour through iPhone quality photos will have to do! You are cordially invited to shadow me as I go through my typical Wednesday as a second year MBA at the Carlson School!

October 21, 2015

Over 20 years ago the United States Congress established the first full week of October as a national week to create awareness about mental health.  Here at Carlson, we are continuing the tradition and recently launched a successful, second annual, Mental Health Awareness Week. When we speak about mental health, we refer not only to individuals suffering from illness—we include general wellness practices that improve the quality of life for individuals and businesses alike.

October 12, 2015

Over 50 full-time MBA student along with staff and faculty gathered to hear David share leadership lessons from both his military experience as well as nearly 25 years with Mortenson Construction.  And of course, with him having responsibility for U.S. Bank Stadium construction, the group enjoyed hearing about progress on the Vikings new home.

October 7, 2015

I am incredibly grateful to the Graduate Business Career Center at the U of MN and Carlson alumni at Medtronic for helping me land a summer internship as a Leadership Development Rotational Program Summer Associate at Medtronic Surgical Technologies. I could have not done it without their assistance. The growth opportunities and experiences that my internship afforded me are invaluable.   

October 6, 2015

There comes a time in life when every girl becomes a woman, every boy becomes a man and every first-year becomes a second year. 

Though a natural progression, this transition can be confusing and unpredictable. Things start happening and new people start appearing out of nowhere and suddenly: YOU ARE A SECOND YEAR. 

And if you were anything like me, you were totally and utterly unprepared for this experience. 

September 24, 2015

What a hoot it was to work with the Minnesota Chapter of the Paralyzed Veterans of America (MNPVA).  From the start, their President Ken Klein and Administrator Naomi Lorence set the tone for a terrific working relationship with Carlson 4 Community (C4C). 

As a student managed organization, C4C worked with MNPVA, to learn more about the resources required to support those who have suffered paralysis due to spinal cord injury or disease.  Through the process, we learned a great deal about their amazing members and families – affection for this organization grew quickly. 

September 14, 2015

“Be Prepared!” The most famous of mottos in the US for young people, notably attached to the World Association of Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts.  Translated in over 100 languages, there must be something really important about this idea of preparedness. 

August 17, 2015

Five weeks ago, I moved to Boulder, Colorado from Minneapolis, Minnesota to start my MBA summer internship as an LDRP Summer Associate at Medtronic Surgical Technologies. Make no mistake. A summer internship is a three month long interview. You need to be on top of your game for 90 days in order to receive a job offer at its conclusion. You are being evaluated on cultural fit, team collaboration, enthusiasm, initiative, work ethic, intelligence, skill set, diversity of thought, and leadership potential.

August 2, 2015

I am what MBA Admissions Offices refer to as a “choosey, high-intensity MBA seeker.” I planned to get my MBA for five years. I studied for the GMAT for months. I made an excel spreadsheet of all the existing variables for my 10 plus potential MBA schools and created a formula that weighted each variable based on level of personal importance. I was determined to make an intentional and sound investment by choosing the best school given my preferences and financial situation. I was choosey.

August 2, 2015

Everyone knows that moving to a new city, state, region or country is challenging. You wonder how you will fit in, what sort of friends you will have and how you will find out where the coolest restaurants are. You’re far from family, friends and pretty much everything else familiar. Little things like knowing where to find the best pho, or where to get your haircut are no longer a given and often, it can feel overwhelming. 

June 29, 2015

Tomorrow, I will begin the fifth week of my internship with General Mills. In many ways, it’s hard to believe that I have been there for more than a month now. Everything still has that shiny, new feeling to it. But in other ways, I already feel more seasoned.

June 16, 2015

When I received my offer as a Leadership Development Rotational Program Intern at Medtronic, the Medtronic MBA Campus Recruiter said, “We’ve had the opportunity to get to know you over the past year. We like you. We want you. Your interview was simply a formality.” On-campus recruiting can be..

June 6, 2015

That would be our family’s new slogan while living off student loans. Please enjoy… The Top 10 Free Family-Friendly Activities in the Twin Cities Area:

June 5, 2015

In just six short months at school, my life has changed! The hectic full time MBA program hardly allows for a slow moment, however it’s all been leading up to this moment. This week we all started our first projects within our respective ‘Enterprises.’ The biggest reason I chose Carlson:

June 5, 2015

This is not a spring break post. It is a “one of the best dates ever” post, and it happened in Minneapolis. Okay, so these “escape rooms” are springing up all over the States – you can find them in LA and Milwaukee, Denver and New York, but if you, like me, are new to the concept, here is our experience:

June 5, 2015

Minnesota is home to many successful companies that leverage business analytics and innovative solutions to attract talent and increase consumer engagement. More specifically, the Twin Cities have become a hub for both startups and Fortune 500 companies involved in tech leadership, IT solutions, and e-commerce services.

June 5, 2015

You know what they say, hindsight is always 20/20. The past one year has been an incredible journey. There have been some truly enjoyable moments, and there’ve been learnings. Looking back, I wanted to share the three things that I wish I had known starting out.

May 26, 2015

Although I took my last final exam the week before, I considered my last day of school Monday, May 11, due to a final project I had to complete for the Carlson Brand Enterprise. The CBE allows students to apply knowledge from the classroom to develop solutions for real clients with a 7-week project.

May 26, 2015

Matt Born is one of the friendliest and most approachable students in the Full-time MBA Class of 2015 – and is, allegedly, one of the most organized. I had heard rumors of some sophisticated online filing system and that no one had ever seen him with a pen – making him a perfect candidate for a What’s in your Bag blog post (see Sarah Walsh's and Tim O'Neil's posts as well). And as you’ll see, the rumors were pretty accurate; Matt is one of the most organized and most prepared MBA students you’ll ever meet.

May 17, 2015

On the first day of MBA orientation at the Carlson School, students are presented with some interesting statistics about the makeup of their class. These stats serve to give students a sense of where their classmates are coming from and where they’re headed. They include the class’ average GMAT score, average years of work experience, career interests, and other interesting facts. One of the statistics that really struck me was the fact that only 25% of our class was female! Perhaps even more surprising is that 25-30% female enrollment is pretty average in Top 30 MBA Programs.

May 14, 2015

What’s a week in the life of a Carlson MBA you ask?  Apart from a couple of core classes, all the MBAs are now busy taking electives tailored to their career choices. Plus there’s something new and interesting happening every week at Carlson. So I say, there’s no such thing as a typical week here! Within just two weeks, here were the highlights of what yours truly has been up to.

May 7, 2015

It was touch and go there for a while, but this week our clan is spending most waking hours out of doors. There is nothing – NOTHING – like a Minnesota spring. Well, maybe a Wisconsin spring. You know.

April 28, 2015

10 contestants, a 100 judges. “Let’s hope this doesn’t turn out too bad” I thought as I prepped for the event. I took great care to ensure that the measurements were just right. The timing had to be precise, and I had a stop-watch in my hand to ensure that I had it nailed down. No no, I’m not talking about me prepping for a case competition. I’m actually talking about the best chef competition for the Global Gala, in which I was a contestant!

April 21, 2015

Moving to a new country is never easy, especially as a graduate student. You are expected to be independent – so no halls of residence; and settling into a new culture is difficult as hell. Everyone speaks English but the cultural contexts and nuances take a while to understand. That makes bonding with people even harder. All in all the first few months in a foreign country have the added feeling of battling constant loneliness over and above the school work and energy that goes into finding and hunting for a new job.

April 14, 2015

Picture a crowded arena, the buzz of a restless crowd, and the sounds of “We Will Rock You” echoing off the rafters. No, the scene I’m describing is not that of a Minnesota Wild playoff game or a WWE Smackdown event. You couldn’t be blamed, though, for expecting to see a folding chair or two smashed over someone’s head, given the electric atmosphere in Carlson’s 3M Auditorium on this particular afternoon. But you couldn’t even find tickets to this event on Stub Hub if you tried, because the only cost of admission to this showdown was being a full-time Carlson MBA student. And what was the event, you ask? Well, it was the annual Net Impact Faculty Case Competition, of course!

April 14, 2015

It is hard to believe that we, the Class of 2015, are only about 30 days from graduation! I am someone who takes A LOT of photos. Therefore, I have included some photos from my MBA journey in this post to reflect on some of my MBA experiences over the last two years. My MBA journey was especially challenging in the first year because it took time to get used to being a full-time student, taking a full load of classes, searching for a summer internship, and figuring out how to balance school and personal life (my partner, Kaizen Yang, is also in the program). Although I have a more flexible class schedule for my second year of school, it came with a different set of challenges.

April 11, 2015

How is it that every year, the Carlson School MBA program is able to get the full time, part time, executive education, alumni, faculty, staff, and families into one room? And have a great time while raising money for a worthy nonprofit? While potential responses may include the food, drinks, entertainment, or catching up with old friends – it is due entirely to the annual Carlson 4 Community MBA Charity Auction.

April 3, 2015

As I was looking at my to-do list this morning, I noticed that a significant portion of the items listed were related to the end of my first year in the MBA program and the beginning of my second year – registering for classes, researching global discovery options, preparing for the start of the enterprise program – and it became very clear that time had passed much quicker than I had originally expected.

March 27, 2015

I think the best way to show the true Carlson fulltime MBA experience is through pictures, so I’ve picked my favorites from each month of school. I realized mid-blog that I was missing some key pictures, so I did some photo-shopping. I’ll let you decide which ones are real.

March 23, 2015

February 27th and 28th 2015. Two days; two new experiences that I will cherish. February had been a pretty cold month, with temperatures sometimes striking the sub-zero Fahrenheit range. Rather than restrict myself by staying warm indoors (a tempting option), I decided to embrace the snow, and have a great time while at it. I signed up for an alpine skiing, and a curling event organized by the Outdoor Adventure Club, and the Carlson Marketing Network respectively.

March 20, 2015

…are born from great opportunity.”* I’ve always loved the movie Miracle, and the day we got the acceptance letter from Carlson, I went out and bought it. I’m sentimental like that. After all, ice hockey is the official state sport of Minnesota. Spend a winter here and you see why – every rec center field, neighborhood pond, or back yard could be turned into a hockey rink.

March 12, 2015

No, this blog post is not about the 2013 movie starring Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson. This post is about the long and winding road that I took to find my summer internship – a key component of any MBA program – and I’m sure one that many of you are familiar with if you’re considering returning to school to pursue an MBA.  

March 9, 2015

Vice President of Community for our student government, Board member for Carlson 4 Community, an interview coach for the Graduate Business Career Center, a Carlson buddy, and a representative for Carlson during recruiting, Sarah Walsh (FT MBA ’15) is one of my favorite people at Carlson–and, as you might have concluded, is one of the most visible around.

March 1, 2015

Hello Darling,

We are at the end of a two-week separation. Oh, you and I are good. You’re just on a field trip. In China. Meanwhile the babies and I are weathering another January here in Minnesota. We have actually grown quite hardy; it was 24 degrees out yesterday and we didn’t even zip up our coats! I do not know what’s happened to us – I used to be such a wimp. Anyways, now seems like an appropriate time to say what has been on my mind in your absence: YOU.  Are awesome.

February 24, 2015

Global Discovery, an academic experience that is part of the FT MBA program, is one of the highlights of the 2nd year. All students go abroad for two weeks to better understand business experiences around the world. This year, students could go to Chile/Argentina, China, or UAE/Oman. I was able to go on the Chile/Argentina trip, and without a doubt, spending two weeks between those countries was not enough time! Even though we were in each country for only a week, we were able to immerse ourselves into the Argentinian and Chilean cultures quickly. We truly enjoyed and appreciated everything they had to offer. Everyone that we met from both countries was extremely kind, helpful, and hospitable. The desert climate was so welcoming to our Midwestern, frozen bodies that we didn’t want to leave!

February 17, 2015

For many people, “hitting the books” doesn’t sound as fun as spending time with friends, going to new places, or experiencing new things. While returning to school does require diligence in the classroom and dedication to further professional development, it doesn’t have to be completely structured or solitary. Getting involved in the various Carlson school-sponsored clubs and organizations can be a great way to continue the learning outside the classroom but in an enjoyable and meaningful way.

February 12, 2015

Unlike many second-years, Tim O’Neil (FT MBA ‘15) is not looking to become a consultant, or looking to manage an investment portfolio, or wanting to market a product line for a CPG. Rather, Tim is the founder of Fidelis Co, a business focused on selling high quality bags and accessories–making him a perfect candidate to talk about his bag and what he brings to Carlson everyday:

February 7, 2015

Ice fishing? Saturday? In the middle of recruiting season? Sure. I doubt there’s any better use of your time in winter. If you have no clue, have the patience to read through "Ice Fishing 101" from your fellow fisherman. So what exactly is this sport? Wikipedia informs us that "ice fishing is the practice of catching fish with lines and fish hooks or spears through an opening in the ice on a frozen body of water, like a lake." So once you factor in the 10,000 lakes, along with the sub-zero temperatures, it makes sense as to why this sport is so quintessentially Minnesotan.

February 2, 2015

First semester: complete. It was a wild four months–full of long days, even longer nights, and many self-deprecating moments where it seemed like everyone else was discovering the secret key to life…and I just felt lucky to find the keys to my apartment. However, as with all of life’s biggest moments, hindsight grants you a completely new perspective. It allows you to step back, re-watch the events unfold (maybe see some replays you wished you could fast-forward), and come to the conclusion that it wasn’t all that bad. Admittedly, it was tough, but it was rewarding. I did a lot of great things and met a lot of amazing people.

January 22, 2015

Linh Gilles, our MBA Admissions Director, recently gave an interview at MBA Crystal Ball to talk about a variety of things, including post-MBA careers, the overall admissions process at Carlson (including comments about the GMAT!), financial aid, and other general topics. If you're looking to apply to Carlson, take a look at the interview; there's definitely some good tips from Linh.

January 22, 2015

The first semester of the MBA program came to an end with a big bang. The program started with a case competition and it was apt that it ended with one. It is amazing how much we had learned in just three short months – analyzing financial statements, forecasting future growth of companies, understanding strategy and recommending solutions to problems like launching a new product in a saturated market. The final case competition exemplified how an MBA enables young professionals to have a great grasp of business concepts and also a true confidence in their decision-making abilities.

January 2, 2015

This past October, I participated in a three-day career trek hosted by the Graduate Business Career Center at Carlson. Students were given the option to travel to Seattle, San Francisco, or Nashville to attend site visits to successful and influential companies in the area. The career center also facilitated networking opportunities with professionals throughout the city. The trip was extremely valuable in that it allowed many of us to learn more about companies in another region of the United States and gain diverse perspectives from successful business professionals in our industry or function of interest.

December 29, 2014

There are lots of housing options, if you know where to look, in the Twin Cities. We came from out-of-state and we didn’t know where to look. Where to settle our family of 4 on a budget which was both close enough to campus that the kids could see their dad once in a while and culturally authentic enough to feel like we got a Minnesota experience? With these priorities in mind, we took a few weeks the summer before and searched everywhere from Dinky Town to nicer residential areas in St. Paul. We did a brief drive-by of the student co-operative housing, but ultimately were seduced by the charm of the old neighborhoods on Grand Avenue and set our sights there.

December 28, 2014

And the holidays are upon us! The curtain is dropping on the semester and I am looking forward to the luxury of sleeping in a bit late. Last four months had been quite something and as I look back, its mostly fond memories with a garnish of embarrassments and frustrations. Let me exercise my liberty and bore you with the academic challenges. For the pleasure of the first years, the semester had been thoughtfully designed to be extremely challenging and intense. There were two terms and a total of seven palatable courses for us to experience the full spectrum of MBA flavors. But fret not, it was not all books and research.

December 18, 2014

“Good afternoon–step right up! Take a look at the options and pick what you want!” These were the lines that we heard recently right outside the Carlson School of Management in Minneapolis… Did we visit a carnival? Not even close. But did we walk away with amazing food from brightly colored vehicles with music? Absolutely. This past week at Carlson, we were fortunate to have a visit from the owners of two food trucks that operate out of Minneapolis – Hot Indian Foods and O’Cheeze.

December 12, 2014

As mentioned in another post, the class of 2015 had the chance to participate in many fantastic internships. To shed more light into what my class did during this summer, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to interview a few more fellow second-years:

November 29, 2014

Minnesota boasts a wide selection of seasonal attractions. At the top of the list: apple orchards, pumpkin patches, and (drumroll)…corn mazes! The Sever’s Corn Maze is one of the biggest in the area. Along with an intricately designed corn maze, there is an exotic petting zoo, pony and camel rides, pumpkin blaster, pig races, corn pits (where, actually, we spent the bulk of our time), magic and music shows, tire mountain, hay bale maze, and a long line of food vendors. Roasted corn: do it! Just get an over-priced but piping hot ear, dripping with butter and sprinkled with sea salt and tell me it isn’t worth it – I dare you!

November 23, 2014

So you think you've cracked it, don’t you? Got into a premier US B-school, so the hard part is surely over? Well, not exactly! In fact one of the first things they teach you here is that it’s going to get a lot tougher, so buckle up for a ride. It’s been barely a month since I landed in the US and it really does not feel out of place. While that is partly due to the fact that you hardly get any time to be home-sick, mostly it is due to the amazing people you have around you. The staff, professors, alums and fellow students all chip-in to make you feel right at home. If you want that ‘personal touch’ from your program, you have come to the right place.

November 14, 2014

Bananas? Ninja Turtles? Human Jelly Bellys? If you have celebrated the one day of the year where you get to dress up in a costume, then you know the joys of Halloween. Or maybe that day for you is St. Patrick’s Day, in which case you relish the chance to show off your kilt – which we’ll leave you to it and just focus on Halloween for now. If you have participated in Halloween, then you can recall running around through your neighborhood as a kid, going door to door and filling up on candy and goodies. Once high school hit, trick or treating and wearing costumes were definitely not the things to do, and anyone who did was obviously an adolescent. What better time to brush off those costume wearing skills then when in a full time MBA program?

November 9, 2014

I am sure that many of us who have made the journey to the Twin Cities (or those that are considering it) are familiar with the initial reaction from friends and family when declaring your intent to move:

Something along the lines of –

“….Minnesota? ….Doesn’t it snow there, like, 90% of the year?” 

Or maybe something a bit more Midwestern – 

“Are you going to start saying things like ‘ya der hey’ or ‘you betcha’?” (Thanks Fargo).  

October 28, 2014

A truly global experience! Getting a global business environment experience is a vital part of any world class MBA program today. The world has moved from globalization to transnational companies that have no boundaries. The customer is a global one and it has become even more important to understand the customer from specific cultural lenses in order to be successful in this new playing field.

October 27, 2014

A truly global experience!

Getting a global business environment experience is a vital part of any world class MBA program today. The world has moved from globalization to transnational companies that have no boundaries. The customer is a global one and it has become even more important to understand the customer from specific cultural lenses in order to be successful in this new playing field. 

October 27, 2014

One of the hottest topics of conversation at Carlson, and I imagine at any MBA program, is centered on people's summer internships. Who got what? Did they enjoy the experience? Did they get an offer? Will they still be recruiting this fall? Even for a small class like Carlson’s, it is a subject of endless discussion. To get ahead on the gossip, I decided to cut straight to the source – and interview a few of my fellow second years to get their official account of their internship experience.