All Entries

May 19, 2017

I studied biology in undergrad with plans to work a couple years before going back to school to become a Physician Assistant. A few months after graduation I landed a job in laboratory sales, fell in love with the business, and never looked back. After four years of working as an inside than outside sales rep, I felt it was time to develop my business skills, so I started the part-time MBA program.

February 2, 2017

Carlson school of Management prepares its graduates to excel in leadership and management roles. There are many opportunities, both in class and outside, where we can learn about and practice how to be a good leader and a group member. 

December 12, 2016

I have to be honest, networking was one of my major concerns when deciding to do the part-time vs. full-time MBA program. To me, a lot of the value of completing your MBA, in addition to the coursework, is the relationships you build during the program. The part-time program doesn’t have cohorts like many full-time programs do, but I was still able to get the networking opportunities I wanted during my part-time MBA program, perhaps more than I would have if I was in a full-time program.

December 5, 2016

I’ve wanted to get an MBA for a long time, but a couple things made it difficult:

First, there aren’t any higher-ranking MBA programs near where I live. Many of the things I want out of the MBA experience (a social network of future leaders, a reliable financial return on my investment, a degree that dramatically sets me apart from others) isn’t as easily garnered from smaller, more regional schools. So I had perceived my options as either (a) getting degree that wasn’t as close a fit with my needs, (b) uprooting my family and moving to a new area or (c) not pursuing an MBA.

October 12, 2016

When I made up my mind that I was going back to school, I had a very (somewhat!) clear picture of what I wanted. I wanted a brand name. The best brand name available in Minnesota. Carlson is the best brand in business school in Minnesota. Period. The reputation and name of the Carlson brand do not even come close to any competitor in the state. My choice was simple.

May 17, 2016

My advice: compartmentalize and engage with your classmates.

May 11, 2016

Getting your MBA is not cheap. In addition to costing you your time and effort, obtaining your MBA also represents a significant financial expense. But you get what you pay for, right? Earning your degree from Carlson is an investment in yourself as well as your career.

May 3, 2016

In the last month I finished my last class at the Carlson School of Management.  Taking time to reflect I found the experience very rewarding.  Let me tell you what I did right and also about the opportunities I should have taken advantage of from the start.

What I got right:

One of the best pieces of advice I can give to any prospective student is to spend some time working with your boss and significant other to agree to expectations.  Let me give you my two examples:

March 30, 2016

As I begin my final year at Carlson, I look back on what I consider to be the most important decision of my professional career.

Five years ago I made the decision to return to school to pursue my MBA, after a 10 year gap in college.  At the time I was a retail general manager with a fortune 100 company, and I wasn't quite sure how I would juggle such busy schedules between work and school.  

What helped set my course was:

March 30, 2016

There is no doubt that going to school while having children at home is a challenging feat, but not impossible.  As if life doesn’t move fast enough, throw school work in with two kids under the age of three and the months roll off the calendar.  As I write this post, I am currently half way through my MBA curriculum at Carlson and am living proof that it can be done, but getting this far has not been easy.  It’s been a slow progression of simple tradeoffs and establishing a routine that is developed over a few semesters.

February 22, 2016

As a Part-Time MBA Student, studying abroad is the single best course experience you can take while in your program at the University of Minnesota. It offers a major resume builder, a life experience, and relationship building you simply won’t get in class.

The ugly part first – it’s expensive. Really expensive. It’s roughly twice the cost of a normal 4-credit class. You’ll be paying for your own plane flight, program fees, and anything you choose to do while you’re over there. So start saving now, it’s worth it.

February 3, 2016

The stories of successful teams that accomplish seemingly insurmountable tasks are so ingrained into the American culture that without even thinking we can name examples ranging from the moon-landing to designing the iPhone to the “Miracle on Ice” gold-medal hockey team. More importantly, we’ve all seen examples of the damage that infighting, rogue decision-making and poor communication can do to a company. So since we know how critical teamwork is, why don’t more organizations make it a priority?

January 25, 2016

I don’t want to sound contradictory, but my education within the Carlson School of Business during my University of Minnesota Part-Time MBA has benefited from concentrated, specific business classes, as well as a general breadth of classes that diversify my business learning. Currently, I am more than half-way through my Part-Time MBA, and have absolutely enjoyed classes so far. I’d like to give you a glimpse into my favorite class so far: MGMT 6004: Negotiation Management.

December 15, 2015

As I connect with friends, family, and classmates, I often get asked how do you do it all? The truth is it’s not easy, but I make it work and so do my many amazing classmates. The answer is being clear about priorities, setting boundaries, and utilizing my time as efficiently as possible. My challenges are trying to balance a job that travels once a month, caring for 8 month old daughter with a working wife, serving on a Church Council monthly, and trying to stay healthy (sleep, eating, exercise, fun, etc.).

Make your schedule work for you

December 10, 2015

The MBA Experience (with more than 10 years of work experience)

I was recently asked about my personal experience in the MBA program, especially from the perspective of someone that decided to work for 10+ years before starting the Part Time program.  The question made me realize and reflect that everyone makes the commitment to start their MBA in their own time, for different reasons.  

November 16, 2015

We all have competing priorities in our lives. Work. School. Family. Friends. Raking the leaves. The list goes on.

November 9, 2015

For a large portion of our Part-Time MBA community at Carlson, their undergraduate experience is a not-so-distant memory. Many young professionals are going back to get their MBAs much sooner than their B-School predecessors (all you have to do is google “MBA Millennial Generation” to get a wide range of articles and studies on the trend). I belong to the “less than 5 years’ work experience” demographic at Carlson, having begun my MBA journey just over 2 years after hanging up my undergraduate cap and gown.

November 3, 2015

Back to school.  Exciting!  What does that mean?  To me, stepping back onto campus and starting the MBA program at Carlson brought back a flood of memories from my undergrad experience.  I reflected on what was important to me back then and realized my approach to school this second time around had shifted.  The often spoke of, but hard to identify, life experience must have happened in the last ten years.  I was worried I might not be able to speak the language of business.  My career up to this point had been as a Marine Officer and while there are many similarities between the corporate

October 21, 2015


October 6, 2015

My name is Stacia and I am a little over halfway through the MBA program and I travel for work about 50% of the time. Although those travel weeks are crazy, it is definitely doable. Obviously, online courses work best for me, but I also find a lot of value from my peers and the networking experience class brings. I can accommodate Thursday and Saturday courses since I can be back by Thursday late afternoon. Although I thought I’d hate Saturday class, the atmosphere is much more laid back and everyone seems to have more energy since they didn’t just work a full day. 

October 6, 2015

Life is busy. While putting 100% of my focus and efforts every day on furthering my education would make me a great student, it’s unrealistic. The reality is, like most of my fellow students at Carlson, I have commitments and priorities on top of my schoolwork that need my attention. Between providing for my family, staying ambitious in my rigorous career, hobbies, a social life, and my schoolwork, there is a lot to juggle. Being successful all of these areas of my life is my goal, but balancing them is a challenge.

May 7, 2015

Like most students in the Part-Time MBA program, I have other commitments outside of class. While I wish I could focus all of my efforts every day on furthering my education, it’s not possible. At the end of the day (or the beginning, depending on how you look at it) I have a family. I am a husband to my wonderful, supportive wife; and I am a father to my 18 month old daughter. Since starting my MBA, I have had to learn how to balance my time to ensure that my family, my career, and my education all get the attention that they both need and deserve.

April 28, 2015

As a part-time MBA student, I am often asked “How do you do it all? With work, school, family, and life in general how do you manage?” The answer is that I don’t do it all. Nobody does. There is no such thing as work/life balance where every day consists of equal time spent with family, at school, and at work. The truth is that nobody can do everything with limited resources, and so we each make choices about our priorities.

April 21, 2015

After I received my law degree from University of Minnesota and passed the Bar, it was my husband’s turn to get his next degree. MBA was the perfect choice since it matched his goals, skill sets and complemented his technical education and experience. I have been given the opportunity to share my perspective on what it is like being married to a Carlson MBA student. Before entering the program, my husband and I discussed what our expectations were in making the situation work.

April 8, 2015

Are you a career accelerator or a career switcher? This is a question that someone first asked me during part-time student orientation. In other words, did I intend to stay at my current company and to obtain my MBA with the hope of getting promoted or was I looking to get my MBA in order to change careers? My response was to get all wide eyed and panicked. How was I supposed to know what I would be doing with my degree? I had not even started my classes.

March 30, 2015

The maximum amount of time a student can take to complete his or her MBA program is 7 years, but most people graduate in 5 years or fewer. In this blog post, I’d like share why I chose to take the full 7 years to complete my MBA. The downside of the 7 year plan is obvious to most people. There is a risk of losing momentum, and some people just want to “get it over with.” If you are interested in an on-campus recruiting position or other position that requires an MBA, you cannot apply for those jobs until your last year in the program.

March 20, 2015

When I decided to go back to school a year and a half ago, I thought I was going to put my social life on hold for a few years. I travel about 50% of the time for work, so my weekday social life was already limited and I was sure school would consume the rest of my time. Much to my pleasant surprise, I was wrong. By protecting my time, I proved to myself that I really could get it all in without getting completely burnt out in the process.

March 9, 2015

Have you ever questioned the card in your hotel bathroom that asks you to reuse your towels? After taking Professor Vladas Griskevicius’ Persuasion and Influence course (to the right), I learned to question the reasons why we say yes. The course provided insight to become more influential in your professional and personal life by applying principles from Dr. Robert Cialdini’s book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, with whom Professor Vlad had previously studied under for his doctorate degree.

February 28, 2015

I knew I wanted my MBA from my junior year of college, sometime around 2001. 2002 came along and I had my undergrad in electrical engineering. The job market sucked. I started taking masters level classes while I looked for work. By the end of 2003, I had a master’s degree in electrical engineering and my first full time job.

February 17, 2015

I like my job and hope to stay with the same company upon graduation. When I started the MBA program, I didn’t realize that networking with my classmates could actually help me advance in my current role. Like most new students, I thought the purpose of networking was to find a new job at a new company. Boy was I wrong!

February 12, 2015

I can’t believe my first semester of my Part-Time MBA at Carlson is complete! I feel like the semester was over in the blink of an eye. While I am relieved that finals are over, I already feel that the Carlson experience has influenced my life for the better, and I am looking forward to future classes and future semesters.

February 12, 2015

I can’t believe my first semester of my Part-Time MBA at Carlson is complete! I feel like the semester was over in the blink of an eye. While I am relieved that finals are over, I already feel that the Carlson experience has influenced my life for the better, and I am looking forward to future classes and future semesters.

August 7, 2014

About 6 months ago I suddenly realized that I had reached the tipping point in my MBA career. For 4 years I had been trying to squeeze more and more value out of the MBA program - expanding my network...

July 28, 2014

This is officially my first blog and I am super excited. For many years I have been wanting to pursue a full time MBA. I have had some very pointed recommendations from well-wishers suggesting that the FT MBA experience is...

July 9, 2014

Today as I was thinking through my to-do list for the rest of the week, I realized that it's difficult to picture how I would spend my free time without the work and time I invest in my part-time MBA coursework.

As part of my first blog post for the Carlson MBA Admissions summer blogging team, I should first introduce myself. My name is Elizabeth Ward, and I am a Project Manager for Target Corporation, in the Technology Services pyramid. I am also a part-time MBA candidate, and plan to graduate in December of 2015.

July 8, 2014

In a previous blog I wrote about the reasons I originally chose the Carlson MBA, but the reasons I love the program now are different than the reasons I picked Carlson initially. I would choose Carlson again based solely on...