MBA Student Tim O'Neil: What's In Your Bag?

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Tim O'Neil
Tim O'Neil's Items on a Desk

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:

Apple Macbook Air
iPhone 5
- Evernote Moleskin Notebook
- 2 pens
- Sunglasses
- A fancy folder
- Hill-Side bandana
- Dsptch laptop bag
- Fidelis Co. Field Pouch
Fidelis Co. ALCON backpack

Other than your computer and phone, what is the most essential item here?
Tim: That’s tough. Probably something amongst the sunglasses, the chapstick, and the gum. I suppose if you ask me to whittle it down even further, the gum is probably the most essential item. I always need something to chew on.

Why Fidelis?
Tim: The business started as a one-off, somewhat random collection of items. I was interested in making stuff and selling tangible products that people would use. But as I’ve gone through my Carlson experience, I’ve learned about some of the capabilities that can make businesses sustainable in the long-term and so have looked to implement them in Fidelis. I’ve tightened my product spectrum to bags, particularly for younger professionals who need a bag that transitions from the weekend to the workday. 

Why Carlson?
Tim: I did the service thing: I was in the Marines for 7 years and they sent me to Minneapolis in 2010. My wife became a resident at the Mayo Clinic, so we decided to stay here. By then, I had started Fidelis, but realized that while the service taught you key intangibles–like leadership and discipline–I wanted to improve my business acumen. That was the primary factor on why I choose business school and Carlson.

You can read more about Tim, his business partner Brandon Jernigan, and Fidelis Co here