MBA Student Matt Born: What's in Your Bag?

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Desk Displaying Matt's Items

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 post 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.

MATT'S ITEMS (what a list! he is prepared for anything):

  • Shoe shine
  • Wireless keyboard attachment
  • USB charger
  • Mouse
  • Back-up computer charger
  • Tide pen
  • Foaming cream
  • Dayquil 
  • Rolaids
  • Financial calculator (HP 10bll+)
  • Water bottle
  • Coffee thermos
  • Sunglasses
  • Earphones
  • Umbrella
  • Computer (Acer S7)
  • Power adaptor
  • Collar stays
  • Cellphone (a Samsung S5)

Question: What would you say are your most important items, other than your computer or your phone?

Matt: The coffee mug. That’s definitely my fuel for the day. Other than that, I would say my earphones. They’re handy for riding the bus, walking the skyway, and for general productivity.

Black Leather Bag

Did your work habits change when you entered the MBA program?

I knew that jumping into the MBA program would require me to be really organized. I wanted to serve part-time in the military during the program, currently have three kids (Angie, who is 8, Luke, who is 5, and Eva, who is 2), knew the job search would take a lot of organization, and have just gotten a little older, so the memory isn’t quite as sharp as it used to be. 

As a result, I’m uber-hyper organized in the cloud. I don’t like notepaper or notepads; I hate all that stuff! I keep everything online in a certain program. I use Trello, suggested by fellow student Eddie Kingman, and I haven’t looked back since. It’s been great to keep basic notes and to-dos with Trello. Plus they have a few other features…

[Matt enthusiastically goes through the app for a while]

…if they ever go out of business, I’m going to be in a world of hurt.

I used to have an iPad, but it died. And as I only had 6 more months in the program, I didn’t replace it. But I used to take notes on it with a stylus, and used a few programs on that to organize and file my work as well.

When was the last time you picked up a pen for school then?

If you don’t count in-class tests, or writing on a handout (just post it online, professors!) – I honestly have not taken one note on a piece of paper during my entire time here in the MBA program.

So what brought you here to Carlson?

I came from a military background and then bounced around a little bit trying to figure out my next steps. I came to the Twin Cities in 2012 and began to work at Merrill Lynch. I enjoyed finance, but didn’t like my specific role in that world. I called Carlson to look at the part-time MBA program, but got in touch with Chip Altman, who talked to me about the full-time program. He convinced me to go all-in and I haven’t looked back. The program has been great – and challenging. 

How long were you in the military for?

I spent in 2 years in the Army Reserve, 8 years on active duty for the Air Force, and then have spent 3 years in the Air National Guard, which is essentially the part-time service activity I do now. 

Why business then?

When I was deployed in Kuwait in 2009, I did a little “hobby” investing, and thought that business would be really interesting. The military is great and I absolutely love it, but I wanted to experience business and learn how that operates in the world. I’m now going to be working at US Bank after graduation, as a Commercial Banking Portfolio Manager. I’ll be working with middle market loans that support working capital for clients that are around $50M to $500M in size. I’m really excited to enter this role.

What do you like best about Carlson so far?

The quality of people and the student environment. Its been great to interact with the students and the faculty here at Carlson. 

And it’s actually been really fun to ask my kids how their day at school was – and then for them to ask me how my day at school was. In many ways, we’ve had the same experience: needing to interact with teachers, having activities, being able to work on homework together, and needing to make new friends. I’ve loved sharing these moments together with my kids.

Matt Born at Carlson School

A big thanks to Matt for sharing a bit of his life - and his bag - with us. And no, neither he nor I are paid sponsors for Trello.