Kevin Deese MPP-MBA
From the vibrant Twin Cities community with a million ways to get involved to the relationships I have built with classmates, the choice I made to come to Carlson continues to surprise me in the form of personal growth I never even knew I was signing up for.
My story is fairly unusual. I attended the U.S. Naval Academy for undergrad, training to become a submarine officer. When a medical condition cut my naval career short, I leveraged my leadership training as an Area Manager for Amazon and in a variety of roles at a niche consulting firm in Charleston, SC.
Not fulfilling my dream and oath of serving in the Navy never sat right with me, however, and I am still fighting to achieve that dream today in the legal system.
I came to Carlson to take some space in a supportive environment to think deliberatively about – and even experiment a little bit with – what I see my career becoming longer-term, whether or not that will include naval service. I have relished the opportunities I have had to reflect on my passion for service and other ways in which I can live out that passion in a variety of careers.
For me, the choice to come to Carlson came down to a few factors, the main one being the kind of people that Carlson brings into its program. I highly value any opportunity to be part of a close-knit group of folks with a strong vision for what they want to accomplish in the world, and that is what I saw in the sort of students Carlson attracts: a small, diverse group of motivated individuals looking to make a positive difference in their part of the world.
I also wanted the opportunity to pursue a dual-degree path with not only an MBA, but a Master’s in Public Policy. Coming to the University of Minnesota not only meant earning an MBA at a highly regarded business school, but also earning an MPP at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, which is a top-ten school in its category.
From the vibrant Twin Cities community with a million ways to get involved to the relationships I have built with classmates, the choice I made to come to Carlson continues to surprise me in the form of personal growth I never even knew I was signing up for. Anyone thinking of coming to Carlson should know this: two years of personal growth is virtually guaranteed when you walk in the door.
My Carlson Experience
From learning in the classroom, to enriching the Carlson community through club involvement, to growing your network coffee cup by coffee cup, there is no shortage of ways to seek out personal growth. There is ample room for Carlson students to either “create your own adventure” or follow the more well-trod and proven paths to success, and I have mixed and matched these approaches.
As a dual-degree student with three years to work with rather than the typical two, I have had the chance to not only have diverse classroom experiences, but also to explore nontraditional MBA career paths, including working on a nonprofit project through Carlson’s Sands Fellowship for social entrepreneurship and taking that experience into my first of two summers.
I have also relished the opportunity to be highly active in student groups like the Arts & Business Club and Compass, the club for LGBTQ+ students and allies. Through these groups, I have been able to not only share my passions and lived experiences, but to learn from those of my classmates.