Beth Lokken

Beth Lokken

During my time at Carlson, I’ve been able to explore my strengths and areas for improvement and reflect on what kind of career would be a good fit for me.

My Story

I’m originally from Minnesota but spent time working overseas and in Washington, DC, before coming back for my MBA. Most recently I worked in marketing and business development for large nonprofits that contract with the federal government on international education projects. While the work I was doing was interesting and impactful, I wasn’t learning and growing as much as I wanted. Top leadership tended to come in from the outside, and people with experience in for-profit corporations were highly valued. I also saw that non-profit was not the only way to make an impact; businesses and public-private partnerships could be just as impactful. During my time at Carlson, I’ve been able to explore my strengths and areas for improvement and reflect on what kind of career would be a good fit for me. I’m excited to be joining 3M, an innovative and impactful company that offers opportunity for growth and development, in an internal consulting role after graduation.

Why Carlson?

I came to Carlson primarily for the location and access to employment opportunities. This was especially important because I would be moving across the country with my husband and my daughter; I wanted to be in a place where he could find a job and where we wouldn’t need to uproot our family again in two years. There are very few good MBA programs in locations where graduates can actually stay after graduation. People certainly can and do take roles outside the Twin Cities, but the business climate,

I knew that balancing being a student and being a parent would be tough, so before I chose a business school, I chatted with student parents in several MBA programs. When I considered factors like pumping space, class schedules, supportiveness of instructors, availability and cost of housing and daycare, and the presence of other student parents, Carlson seemed like the most supportive environment for me to help maintain that balance. The admissions team also brought me a Carlson onesie for my daughter to seal the deal. It’s that level of personalization that I didn’t think I’d get at another program.

My Carlson Experience

Immediately prior to coming to business school, I was on maternity leave with my daughter. My first semester – the most hectic, stressful semester – I was also trying to pump milk for my baby several times a day. Thanks to understanding instructors and classmates, as well as good facilities on campus, this wasn’t as difficult as it could have been. The hardest parts of business school have been giving up perfectionism and learning to say no: accepting that I can’t be a perfect parent and a perfect student and be on the board of three student organizations and make it to every happy hour; there just aren’t enough hours in the day. But I haven’t felt hindered by my parent status – about 10% of my class are parents and we’ve been offered roles with companies like 3M, Ecolab, Boston Consulting Group, Schwan’s, and Cargill.

During my time here at Carlson, I’ve worked on consulting projects for a local nonprofit, a city government, and a large corporation. Through the Carlson network, I’ve also worked for a women-owned consulting firm, helping a Fortune 500 organization through a change management initiative. Because of these hands-on learning experiences, I feel prepared for my post-MBA role.

About Beth

Undergraduate Institution
Arizona State University BA in Anthropology, 2007 Tempe AZ
Institute of International Education
RTI International
Fund for Education Abroad
Istanbul Language Center & Self-Employed
Minnesota Literacy Council
Professional Interests
Job Title