“As a transitioning military veteran, I knew I needed more than discipline and drive to find a successful career”
My experience in the Army as a combat engineer and later a construction engineer gave me exposure to a wide range of challenges and developmental opportunities. I enjoyed over seven years of service in all parts of the world but was ready for a change that would allow me to plant some roots in a community where I could begin making a long-term impact. As a transitioning military veteran, I knew I needed more than discipline and drive to find a successful career. There were plenty of companies willing to hire a veteran in 2014 but I wanted to go a whole new direction and discovered it would take a business school background for that change.
As a career switcher, I wanted a school that would give me direct access to Fortune 500 companies without having to temporarily join an education community. I needed a connected network of alumni with relevant experience that were readily available to help me define my new career trajectory. For me, Carlson was an easy choice with the Minneapolis / St. Paul area consistently voted as one of the Best Cities for finding Employment according to Forbes magazine. I knew I could easily make this my long-term home during both business school and my career.
The First Semester
Imagine trying to join a new community while learning a new language and simultaneously trying to meet as many people as possible because one of them could possibly lead you toward your next career. Thankfully, my new language was “simply” the language of business instead of the dual challenge many of our foreign students take on during this grueling first semester. I have always been one to do my absolute best at everything I do but what happens when there are not enough hours in the day to actually accomplish everything thrown your way. Welcome to the first semester at Carlson. The classes are challenging and you will quickly learn the importance of “trust” amongst your core team as you seek to balance competing priorities. And then there is the looming internship interview season right around the corner, which requires not only resume and interview preparation, but also most importantly, a network with numerous companies to help get you in front of the right people. Do not get me wrong, the Carlson career center does a great job bringing companies on campus to interview candidates but I can guarantee you those that put in the time to meet people at the company are going to fair much better than others. It has been a lot of work but I know the Carlson experience has fully prepared me to excel in my new career.