Archana Mohan

"The Carlson community offered tremendous opportunities to network with like-minded professionals, technology evangelists and industry leaders."

Your Story

My interests in the field of Information Technology brought me to the United States in 2004, when I came to the University of Minnesota to pursue my Masters in Computer Science. While I began leading teams during my first job as a software engineer at Intel Corporation, I was also eager to understand the cross-functional factors impacting decision making. Consequently, I transitioned to an IT Project Manager role with Fortune 100 clients. However, the impact of my work was largely limited to projects that I handled and within the realm of IT. As the daughter of a Surgeon and the wife of a Research engineer that designs heart valves, I have always had the seething desire to use my skills for the betterment of people’s lives. My quest for leveraging my skillsets and professional experiences to do more impactful work led me to join Carlson’s full time MBA program where my focus is to learn a multi-disciplinary approach to solving problems, necessary to transition from my former tactical role to a more strategic one.

Why Carlson?

While I initially applied to Carlson since it was located in the Twin Cities - my home away from home, it was an obvious choice for me for two specific reasons. First, the Carlson community offered tremendous opportunities to network with like-minded professionals, technology evangelists and industry leaders. Secondly, the Consulting Enterprise program provided the tools required to think structurally, break down ambiguous and complex problems to create appropriate solution frameworks and helped effectively tell a story that resonated with clients – skillsets that I hoped to acquire from a Business School program.

Overall Experience as a Carlson MBA Student

Being a student at Carlson has taught me several key attributes of being a good leader. Carlson has provided me with a safe platform where I have been able to shed my previous fears and have begun to voice my ideas and opinions confidently. Secondly, the revered Carlson professors and the challenging, but intriguing coursework have taught me the significance of being intellectually curious. Understanding the current trends and being aware of the business world has had a visible impact in how I view, analyze and assess information about current business events. Finally, the Carlson GBCC and the leadership curriculum have provided tremendous support and insights in to what it takes to be an effective leader. I believe that actively employing the soft and hard skills that I have learnt at Carlson over these past few months has played a pivotal role in securing a strategic internship opportunity with one of the nation’s top health care players. Coming back to school was a rather challenging personal and professional decision for me, given that I am a mother of a toddler and that I had to quit a 'reliable' job. However, the Carlson experience thus far has been a tremendous boost to my confidence and a constant reminder that I made the right decision to go back to school.

About Archana

Chennai, India
Undergraduate Institution
University of Madras, India 2003, Information Technology
Software Engineer, Intel Corp. Project Manager - Cognizant Technology Solutions Consultant, Slalom Consulting
Carlson Activities
VP of Communications, MBA Association VP, Business Technology Club Women's Mentorship Program Women’s Leadership Conference
Professional Interests
United Health Group
Job Title
Director of Strategic Initatives, Medicare & Retirement