Adam Rao

"Carlson has exceeded my expectations in every way."

Your Story

I believe that my purpose is to lead organizations that transform people's lives. In the midst of a successful career in non-profit entrepreneurship, an emerging belief drove me to reconsider my career journey: I believe that the future of social impact is in for-profit social enterprise. I knew that to achieve the long-term impact I want to make, I needed to gain a formal business education to complement my existing skills.

Why Carlson?

I was looking for a competitive yet collaborative MBA community that would push me to achieve while supporting me as I explored my own, unique career journey. I chose Carlson for its small class size, strong sense of community, and its position as the leading business school in the Twin Cities, which has a vibrant and growing social business community. Carlson has exceeded my expectations in every way: Our students land positions with elite firms and start amazing businesses, we support each other every step of the way, and I can genuinely say that my classmates are my friends.


Team Collaboration as a Carlson MBA Student

I was part of the winning 2015-2016 Net Impact Case Competition team -- and got food poisoning during the competition! (You can read about my experience on the full-time MBA blog here.) Working on a team is always challenging, but the best teams rely on the unique skills of each individual to achieve something greater than any one person could on their own. I've been privileged to work on several teams during my time at Carlson that have expanded and challenged my thinking, further developed my business and leadership skills, and helped form and deepen friendships as well.

About Adam

Dayton, Ohio
Undergraduate Institution
University of Colorado-Boulder, B.A. Music, 2007; Bethel Seminary, M.Div. Theology, 2011
Co-Founder & CEO, Lakeside Church; Founding Executive Director, Exodus Lending
Carlson Activities
Net Impact, Graduate Volunteer Consultants (GVC)
MBA Intern, Innovation & Government Relations Intern, Sunrise Banks
Professional Interests
United Theological
Job Title
Chief Financial Officer / VP for Finance, Administration, and Strategy