Fall 2015 Newsletter

Cedar Riverside Project   |   Poets & Quants Feature   |   Top Performing Undergrads   |   Advisory Board News   |   2016 Class Placement   |   Seeking Spring 2016 Projects   |   We Thank Our Clients   |   Update Your Contact Info   |   About CCE

New Library Services for Cedar Riverside Neighborhood Following CCE Project

Cedar Riverside

In spring 2015, the Hennepin County Library (HCL) asked the CCE to determine and evaluate options to enhance library services in the Cedar Riverside neighborhood.  This summer, the HCL was awarded a $97,000 grant from the Minnesota Department of Education to extend library services in the neighborhood. The executive sponsor of the project, Hennepin County Library Director Lois Thompson, said, “The work of the students has been invaluable.”

Thompson came to the CCE with a clearly defined request: how the library could best meet the library needs of the Cedar Riverside neighborhood. In the past three years, multiple independent reports had documented a need for library services in the Cedar Riverside neighborhood beyond the current services and structures available. Thompson wanted a thorough evaluation of the costs and benefits associated with varying options to meet these needs, along with a recommendation of which option to pursue.

The student consultants began by determining what options existed to meet these needs and distilled them into five service models for evaluation. These options were structured according to resources and space required, ranging on a spectrum from no additional space, to the creation of a new, fully owned library facility. The CCE team analyzed projected costs for each option through the development of a financial model, along with which services each option would provide.

The team recommended pursuing a Community Space model, which requires a leased space in which to offer services. This option optimized the varying priorities for offering library services, combining a wide range of services and allowing collaboration with other entities in order to reduce costs. Hennepin County is currently considering an option in conjunction with other private and public partners to secure a shared leased space. 

HCL is also pursuing a second option laid out by the team: a Flex Model, which allows HCL to offer library services using existing, but underutilized space. Grant Administrator Kelly Stade says the grant will support this second model, which “pushes the boundaries of learning what it’s like to be a library without walls.”

CCE Cedar Project Map

The Area Serviced by the New Cedar Riverside Library

  • The population density of Cedar Riverside is 12000/sq. mile vs. 7000/sq. mile for Minneapolis as a whole.
  • 4000+ (55%) of the neighborhood’s 7253 residents live in Riverside Plaza.


In July 2015, HCL received a $97,000 grant to extend library services in the Cedar Riverside neighborhood. The grant will allow HCL to build relationships and connections within the community by providing additional library services via mobile technology labs and classes. In addition, community liaisons will ensure Cedar Riverside residents are aware of the library services offered in existing library locations. According to Stade, this approach will allow HCL to “learn what the community needs and be responsive to those needs” moving forward.

“The project is of great value to the library system. We are exploring a new service and working with the Enterprise has extended our possibility of serving a needed community. In addition to the beneficial financial model and marketing plan, the project team provided invaluable insight of visioning a library from an outside perspective. Their insight will push us to further push the boundaries of a traditional library.”

Lois Thompson, HCL Library Director


CCE Student Featured in Poets and Quants 2015 Best MBAs

cce poetsquants

By Jeff Schmitt, originally published by Poets & Quants on May 17, 2015

Alyssa Callister

University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management

Alyssa Callister has a funny habit of proving naysayers wrong. Don’t go to Africa? She founded a non-profit for African education that raised $100,000 in its first year…when she was just 20. Want to work for Goldman Sachs with little financial background? No problem. She put her head down and just kept studying until she became a top performer there. When she arrived on the Carlson campus, Alyssa says she was uncomfortable speaking professionally in front of large group. What did she do? Raise her hand at every opportunity to present to a class, compete in case competitions, and speak at club events. Along with being a top student, Callister is also a motivational speaker and board member for Project Give, a board member of the Singer Foundation and a Salvation Army volunteer. Armed with her MBA, she’s headed for McKinsey & Co.

Age: 28

Hometown: Palos Verdes, CA

Undergraduate School: Utah State University

Undergraduate Degree: Business Marketing

Where did you work before enrolling in business school? Goldman Sachs, Equity Derivative Analyst and The Ungana Foundation, Founder

Where did you intern during the summer of 2014? Gallup, Client Development Consultant

Where will you be working after graduation? McKinsey & Company, Associate

Why did you choose this business school? Carlson’s experiential learning program is amazing. When looking into schools, I knew that I was interested in consulting and I wanted a hands-on learning experience to help me feel comfortable about the transition from finance to consulting. The Carlson Consulting Enterprise gave me the opportunity to work with previous McKinsey and Boston Consulting Group consultants on real-world client engagements. I saw this as a huge opportunity to not only learn the concepts but put them to the test within a safe environment as I prepared for a future career. I also liked the smaller class size offered at the Carlson School because I wanted a more intimate experience.

What made Allyssa such an invaluable addition to the class of 2015?

“Alyssa is a truly gifted student leader who leads in a manner most unlike other students. She can look at a goal, expand it, and include the willing students around her to quickly take action and obtain results. The many MBA students that typically assert themselves in a leadership role gladly put that priority aside to follow Alyssa. She is not a braggart by any stretch, yet students are aware of her path and the wisdom and experience gleamed from it.

Alyssa is a mission-driven leader, proven by her past success with NGO in Africa and incredible indomitable drive. Her leadership in managing case competition team selection (no easy task) propelled the school’s success on the national and international stage. Her tenacity at leading within her Elite 8 team won a top position in the competition. Most importantly, she mentored several first-year MBA students who went on to apply their knowledge and expertise to contribute to winning a subsequent Elite 8 competition."

– Patrick McCarthy, director of student affairs, Full-Time & Part-Time MBA Programs

When informed of her nomination, Alyssa’s favorite professor Enno Siemsen wrote:

“Alyssa is a truly remarkable student. Whenever there is a more challenging question to address during a case discussion, I can see from the corner of my eye that Alyssa’s sharp mind has formed an opinion. I can always count on her to invigorate the argument. She is brilliant, respected by her peers, thoughtful, and innovative in her thinking.”

Read Alyssa’s full interview with the team from Poets & Quants.

The CCE Welcomes 7 Top-Performing Undergrads to the Class of 2017

We are thrilled to announce the new undergraduate consultants for 2016! Seven junior-year, undergraduate consultants will join the CCE in January: Kaylee Buesgens, Christian Kerr, Callie Livengood, Raffy Maristela, Bach Nguyen, Whitney Shapiro and Levi Simpson. These candidates stood out among a very competitive pool of applicants. The new class boasts an impressive 31.7 average ACT score and 3.77 average GPA, achieved while holding important leadership positions in a number of campus organizations. We are excited to continue to see top-quality talent joining the CCE, and are excited to staff them on their first projects working with the CCE MBA class of 2016 this spring. Please join us in welcoming these new consultants!

Advisory Board News

The fall 2015 CCE board meeting was held on October 9 with 12 board members counseling and connecting with our seven current project teams. This year’s meeting was held approximately one month earlier than our traditional schedule in order to connect students with board members earlier in the project lifecycle while they’re still shaping their problem-solving strategies and project direction.  The board also had the opportunity to hear from last year’s Cedar Riverside Library student team on the nature of its project, key lessons learned, and the overall impact of the work.

In addition to student coaching, the board also discussed the emerging trends in the consulting industry.  We’ll be working with the board in the coming months to identify what impact these trends could have on the CCE and to develop plans to address priority opportunities.  The board’s insight is invaluable and will help us continue to improve the CCE experience for our students and the impact for our clients.

Three board members recently left the board, completing successful terms. We sincerely thank them and all of our board for their many contributions to the CCE and our students over the years:

  • Brian Girouard - VP and Practice Leader, Capgemini. Brian joined the CCE advisory board in 2009, and is leaving us following the completion of a successful term.
  • Elisabeth Sandersfeld - Assistant VP and Controller, GuideOne Insurance. Elisabeth joined the CCE advisory board in 2014, and recently relocated to Des Moines, Iowa, with her family.
  • Shon Wright - General Manager, Americas, Turbochargers, Cummins Power Generation. Shon joined the CCE advisory board in 2012, and recently relocated to Columbus, Indiana, with his family.

The CCE Advisory Board includes senior leaders from local companies and consulting firms. The board meets twice yearly to discuss strategic issues with CCE leadership as well as to work with students directly, advising them on project-related challenges and career development.

CCE Seeks Spring 2016 Projects

The CCE is currently seeking projects for our students to tackle during the upcoming spring semester. Our second-year MBAs will take on seven full-semester projects (13 weeks, running approximately January 26 - May 6, 2016). Additionally, our new first-year class will take on a number of b-term projects (7 weeks, running approximately March 18 - May 13, 2016). Projects that present interesting strategic or operational challenges are a great fit for the CCE. Please contact Sarah Gisser at sgisser@umn.edu or 612-626-7751 if you have a potential project you'd like to discuss.

CCE Class of 2016 Full Time Placement

Thirty-two MBA and six undergraduate CCE students will be graduating and entering the workforce this spring.  To date, nearly 70 percent of current CCE students have received offers for full-time employment, many of which were received following successful summer internships.  Management consulting is again a popular route with 10 MBA and five undergraduate students accepting offers at six of the “top ten” firms, including Accenture, Bain, BCG, Deloitte, EY, and McKinsey & Company. On the industry side, which generally recruits later than their consulting counterparts, students have accepted full-time roles in strategy, finance, and marketing at 3M, Ecolab, Land O’Lakes, Target, and Valspar.

There are several students currently seeking full-time employment spanning a variety of functional and industry interests. To receive an electronic resume book based on your criteria, email the Graduate Business Career Center at gbccinfo@umn.edu, or request a resume book directly through our online recruiting system.

We Thank Our Clients

Fall 2015 Thank You to Clients

Update your Contact and Professional Info

If you have recently changed jobs or have a new email address or phone number, please send your updated information to mlarson@umn.edu. We would like to keep up-to-date with our alums and keep you updated with news from CCE!

About the CCE

The Carlson Consulting Enterprise is a unique strategy and operations consultancy, creating an important intersection between the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management and the diverse, thriving business community in the Twin Cities. Working in small, dedicated teams, CCE student consultants provide objective, fact-based problem solving that addresses their client's real-world challenges. Established in 2002, the CCE has completed over 200 successful client engagements and graduated 350 student consultants.