I studied biology in undergrad with plans to work a couple years before going back to school to become a Physician Assistant. A few months after graduation I landed a job in laboratory sales, fell in love with the business, and never looked back. After four years of working as an inside than outside sales rep, I felt it was time to develop my business skills, so I started the part-time MBA program.

Carlson school of Management prepares its graduates to excel in leadership and management roles. There are many opportunities, both in class and outside, where we can learn about and practice how to be a good leader and a group member. 

I have to be honest, networking was one of my major concerns when deciding to do the part-time vs. full-time MBA program. To me, a lot of the value of completing your MBA, in addition to the coursework, is the relationships you build during the program. The part-time program doesn’t have cohorts like many full-time programs do, but I was still able to get the networking opportunities I wanted during my part-time MBA program, perhaps more than I would have if I was in a full-time program.

I’ve wanted to get an MBA for a long time, but a couple things made it difficult:

First, there aren’t any higher-ranking MBA programs near where I live. Many of the things I want out of the MBA experience (a social network of future leaders, a reliable financial return on my investment, a degree that dramatically sets me apart from others) isn’t as easily garnered from smaller, more regional schools. So I had perceived my options as either (a) getting degree that wasn’t as close a fit with my needs, (b) uprooting my family and moving to a new area or (c) not pursuing an MBA.

When I made up my mind that I was going back to school, I had a very (somewhat!) clear picture of what I wanted. I wanted a brand name. The best brand name available in Minnesota. Carlson is the best brand in business school in Minnesota. Period. The reputation and name of the Carlson brand do not even come close to any competitor in the state. My choice was simple.

My advice: compartmentalize and engage with your classmates.