"Everyone, from admissions, to student affairs, to the career coaches, to the faculty, to your fellow classmates, truly wants you to succeed."
I've always loved a challenge. I enjoy being outside of my comfort zone and taking on new and different projects. After graduating with four majors in four years from Augustana College in Sioux Falls, SD, I undertook a new challenge and decided to move to Washington, DC to find a job. After much networking, I started working as a Legal Assistant at Skadden, Arps and loved it. Because of my constant quest for challenges, I had the opportunity to go on a few stints to other Skadden offices, both nationally and internationally. During that time, I gained a lot of valuable knowledge regarding both the business and the legal world and I began to explore not only a career in law, but also a career in business. Knowing that this is the area in which I wanted to work, I learned that in order to be successful, adding an MBA to my law degree would be a great asset.
For me, the Carlson full-time MBA was a no-brainer for three reasons: (i) the small class sizes; (ii) the enterprise program; and (iii) the exceptional community. Carlson is intentionally small (the full-time program has about 200 students total), so this means that as a student, you not only make connections with your fellow classmates, but with the faculty and staff as well. The small class sizes ensures that everyone gets individualized instruction and also creates a lot of study buddies who are going through the same thing as you (due in part to everyone having the same classes during the first semester). Another reason why I chose Carlson was due to the enterprise program. As a dual degree student, I wanted to ensure I had the opportunity to get hand-on practical experience while in school. The enterprise program does just that - it allows a group of 5-6 students to work for real clients in the community on projects that have a high impact to the organization. By the end of your first year, you'll already have a meaningful and relevant experience to put on your resume! The last (and certainly not the least) reason I chose Carlson was due to the extraordinary community we have. Everyone, from admissions, to student affairs, to the career coaches, to the faculty, to your fellow classmates, truly wants you to succeed. Because Carlson is so small, there are plenty of resources you can tap into in order to achieve your goals. If you want new leadership opportunities, student affairs can tell you about some of the many clubs we have or different ways in which to get involved. If you want connections at a company you're interested in, the career coaches can point you in the right direction. If you're having a tough time with Accounting homework, all you need to do is walk into the MBA Lounge and ask any student in there and they will help you out.
Team Collaboration as a Carlson MBA Student
Working in teams is perhaps the cornerstone of the Carlson MBA. In the first semester, everyone is split up into a core team of 5-6 people. All of the group projects for the core classes are completed with that group. I had a fabulous experience with my core team and found it a great opportunity to learn more about my classmates' individual strengths. We were able to help each other when one was struggling with a concept and debate important points in our papers in order to arrive at the right answer. The group work doesn't just end with the core team either! Carlson also encourages (and helps fund!) opportunities to participate in case competitions. During the first semester, I formed a team of first year MBA students and we traveled to Baltimore to compete and represent Carlson in a case competition. The case presented an interesting challenge and really allowed all of us to bring our experiences and knowledge together in order to accomplish a larger goal.