Kari O'Brien

“There were over fifty MBA programs in my spreadsheet when I started. By the time I filtered for location, experiential learning and ROI, Carlson was at the top.”

My Story

I had put myself through my undergrad working odd marketing jobs. After graduating, somehow I managed to get a job managing a Twitter handle. It seemed like the best job in the world…for awhile. Fast forward four years of working in marketing, including managing a department, I realized I needed a more challenging career. I knew I eventually wanted to go to business school, and considering a few careers and taking an evening class, I chose investment banking for my post-MBA career. 

Why Carlson?

Carlson stood out when it came to enterprises. In my spreadsheet, metropolitan areas, tuition costs, placement rates, and ranking were the most important. When it came to placement and ROI Carlson topped the columns, which I believe is due to the experiential learning and the close relationships with staff. In addition, alumni are incredibly responsive and engaged in assisting students. Finally, genuine, proactive current students made me feel welcomed. I owe a great deal of success to the relationships I built with my second years.   

A Day with Kari - February 19th

7:30 - 8:30 a.m. Wake up and decide which outfit I can transition from semi-professional to the evening since we have an event. I usually sleep in, except on Mondays and Wednesdays when I intern at a local investment bank.
8:30 - 8:45 a.m. Pack up and head to the bus stop. I live in the “hip” Uptown area, where an express bus takes 15 minutes to get to school.
9:00 a.m. Interviewing a prospective first year. As a Fellow, I’m involved in recruiting the incoming class.
10:00 - 11:30 a.m. Head to the grad lounge to do the first draft for an accounting group project. There are lots of other first years there I want to chat with, but I force myself to study in the quiet room.
11:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Have a call with a potential speaker for the Women in Leadership Conference. She confirms!
12:00 -1:00 p.m. Lunch with the First Year Reps for the Finance Club. We’re the incoming board, so we’re planning events for the year. It’s a “working lunch” but I’m hanging out with some of my closest friends in the program.
1:00 - 3:45 p.m. I have a group meeting about the accounting case I was working on earlier and our organizational behavior paper. We’re working really well together and the time flies. 
3:45 - 4:00 p.m. I’m late for class because I stopped to talk to friends about the upcoming MBAA election. Whoops!
4:00 - 5:30  p.m. Accounting class – I think I was on the right track with the case. It pays to read the book!
5:30 - 6:00 p.m. Running to West Campus to buy some beverages for the party tonight.
6:00 - 8:30 p.m. The Global Students club is having a Chinese Lunar New Year dinner in a member’s apartment lounge. 
8:30 p.m. - ??? The club is heading to karaoke. Looks like a really good turnout, and it’s so fun to relive my study abroad experience in China! Good thing I don’t have class on Fridays…

About Kari

Madison, Wisconsin
Undergraduate Institution
American University, 2009, International Business
Nonprofits management
Rubicon Venture Capital
Greene, Holcomb & Fisher, LLC
Carlson Activities
WLC Planning Committee
Fellows Program
Women’s Mentorship Program
Finance Club
Robert W. Baird
Job Title
Healthcare Investment Banking Vice President