Carlson School

My Carlson MBA Experience Thus Far...

Friday, January 29, 2021

I never thought booking an Uber ride would be one of the most challenging tasks when I landed at the Minneapolis airport. A 25-hour flight journey from Chennai, India, followed by the airline losing my luggage and struggling to link my credit card with the Uber app - it has been an eventful journey from the start. Looking back at the past year and a half since it has been a thoroughly enjoyable experience at Carlson.

Taking a short tour of the Twin Cities, visiting the TCF Bank Stadium, and going on a Downtown Scavenger Hunt was a fun way to start the MBA program. Being in a core team with four others and working with them on numerous projects over a semester helped me get accustomed to the US's different working styles. This experience also set me up for success when I was working with diverse teams during my internship.

TCF Bank Stadium

As a career changer looking to move into marketing, the Carlson Brand Enterprise was a key draw for me when deciding on schools. Working on exciting projects with companies and helping them solve real-world problems has been a great learning experience. From learning how to run surveys and analyze consumer data to create strong PowerPoint slides with key takeaways, the enterprise program has provided me with the hands-on experience that I wanted to pivot into a marketing career. My projects have exposed me to clients in the entertainment and non-profit spaces. This has helped me understand how marketing works across different horizons, something I wouldn't have experienced otherwise.

And then there was COVID! After having my internship postponed due to the pandemic, I set about looking for other opportunities and quickly found a role as a Product Marketing Intern at a tech startup. The skills and resources that I gained through the Brand Enterprise helped me hit the ground running, not least learning how to work with others in a digital setting.

Getting to hear from guest speakers and industry experts, both in class and other events, has been another aspect I've enjoyed at Carlson. One such event was a 1st Tuesday Speaker Series event (back in pre-covid times), where I had the opportunity to listen to Diana L. Nelson, Former Board Chair, Carlson and Mike Roman, CEO at 3M, speak about their experiences. 

I look forward to surviving my second winter in Minnesota, getting better at Celsius to Fahrenheit conversions, and entering the marketing world after my MBA!

By Venkatesa Prasath, Full-Time MBA, Class of 2021