Spring 2016


75 Jobs Sprouting in North Minneapolis Following Successful CCE Engagement

In September 2013, a team of second year MBA students in the Carlson Consulting Enterprise was tasked with developing a business case for companies to move to North Minneapolis. The team identified and analyzed the assets in the north side of the city, including access to a large potential employee base, low real estate costs, and proximity to the largest population of consumers in Minnesota. Now, two and a half years later, the team's work is bearing fruit, as aeroponics farm Living Greens has announced plans to move to North Minneapolis and open its first full-sized urban farm, creating 75 new jobs.

Over the course of its three-month engagement, the CCE team looked at a broad list of industries that could potentially be advantaged by locating in North Minneapolis, but focused primarily on the food sector. Among the companies analyzed was Faribault-based Living Greens. The team assessed whether Living Greens, and firms like it, could provide the job opportunities sought by its client, the North Side Jobs Creation Team (NJCT) from the University of Minnesota’s Robert J. Jones Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center (UROC). The CCE team was led by Dan Robinson ('14 MBA, now a second-year Senior Associate at McKinsey and Company), who reflected, “We looked broadly at what opportunities the NJCT should be pursuing, and whether a company like Living Greens was a good fit. We worked to quantify how many jobs the city could get out of different options, and if the government or NGOs would lend resources to these options, what the ROI would be.”

While the team was initially skeptical of Living Greens fit, it quickly found that both the city and the company could benefit from working together to leverage the company’s innovative approach to farming. The farm could benefit from the large employee base, low-cost warehouse space, and reduced transportation costs, and the city could benefit from both higher employment and local organic produce. As the team progressed through its engagement, it facilitated communication between UROC and Living Greens, and worked to locate specific buildings that could fit the budding aeroponics company’s needs.

Following the engagement, Living Greens continued to work with the Carlson School, and heavily leveraged its new-found relationships with UROC, the NJCT, the MN Department of Employment and Economic Development, and the City Planning Economic Development office. All of these resources were hugely helpful in making this project a reality.

The CCE is excited to see the project come to fruition, and even more so to see what will follow. According to Living Greens CEO Dana Anderson, this 30k square-foot farm (the equivalent of 200 acres of tillable land), is only the first step in Living Greens strategic plan. Anderson stated, “Expanding to Minneapolis with this first full-scale farm is the linch pin for launching projects internationally. Our desire is to have our project be a model for sustainable agriculture worldwide. By having that project in downtown Minneapolis, a few blocks behind the Twins stadium puts Living Greens on the map worldwide. We will be flying people in from around the world to train them on our systems.”

With a total of 75 new jobs expected as early as summer 2016, client contact James De Sota, Director of Administration and Projects, UROC, was more than pleased with the results. When asked his impression of working with the CCE students he said, “They’ve been fantastic, incredibly professional. They’re eager to learn and they bring expertise that much of our team doesn’t have. They use their passion to dive in where many in our team didn’t know where to start.” Following this and other successful engagements with the program, UROC has continued to look for ways to creatively leverage the school’s expertise. This specific project provided “huge benefits for the North Side Jobs Creation Team, for the community, and for the students.”

The CCE strives to staff projects that provide real-world business or social impact, and train Carlson School students to succeed in their future careers. When asked how this project and his time in the CCE prepared him for his career, Robinson was quick to praise the experiential program. “I’m a very vocal spokesperson that CCE is the best thing about Carlson,” he said. “This program gave me a leg up on my McKinsey peers from Harvard and other programs. It really upped my game.”

In response to the news that Living Greens would be setting up its first farm in North Minneapolis, Robinson said, “It is great to see that our work actually led to this tangible impact. We are very proud to have contributed to this terrific outcome.”

For a full story from the Twin Cities Business Journal, go to: http://www.bizjournals.com/twincities/print-edition/2016/01/15/living-greens-farm-minneapolis-urban-aeroponics.html

Three CCE Students Receive the Prestigious C200 Scholarship

On Wednesday, April 9, the Committee of 200 (C200), a private membership organization of the nation’s top female entrepreneurs and corporate innovators, met at the Carlson School for one of its signature MBA ReachOut Events. C200 is committed to connecting leading female business figures with talented female high school, college, and MBA students around the nation. At its ReachOut events, C200 provides students access to talks by business leaders, networking events, and multiple scholarships of up to $10,000 to assist in current studies. This year’s event awarded two second-year and one first-year CCE students scholarships, as well as membership to the C200 Scholars. We are excited to congratulate Emily Hennig, Archana Mohan and Sarah Moret on this outstanding accomplishment.

In response to receiving this award, all three students were grateful for the honor and generosity of C200. “I am extremely proud and grateful for the opportunity to join this group,” Moret said. “It’s an incredible organization. The members we met during the C200 ReachOut at Carlson were brilliant, accomplished, and unbelievably kind. This is an organization that really cares about growing and developing the next generation of female leaders. I look forward to not only taking full advantage of the program offerings, but also passing on the gifts these amazing women have given to me.”

Hennig echoed this sentiment. “I am grateful and humbled to join the group of C200 Scholars. The C200 ReachOut event was easily one of the best events I've attended at Carlson. We had total access to some of the most successful female business leaders in the country, many of whom traveled cross-country for the event. I found the stories of their career journeys empowering, but I was most impressed with how truly down-to-earth and generous these powerful women were. It was clear just how dedicated they are to developing the next generation of female leaders. I look forward to growing as a leader through my involvement in the group and in paying it forward in shaping the next group of leaders. The whole experience of the C200 conference was a gift I won't soon forget.”

Welcome the CCE Class of 2017

The CCE is excited to staff a new and talented class of first-year MBAs. The class of 2017 includes 27 MBA students with a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences - three military veterans, five other master’s degrees, and one dentist. The class averages 5.7 years of work experience. The class contains students who have relocated from nine states and three countries in order to enroll at the Carlson School. We are excited to continue to see top-quality talent joining the CCE, and are enjoying working with them on their first projects. Please join us in welcoming these new students to the CCE!

Planning Ahead: CCE Responds to Leading Consulting Trends

The CCE’s goal is to prepare students to succeed in both consulting and corporate roles by providing realistic and practical experiential learning opportunities. As such, it is the CCE’s goal to stay current on consulting and corporate trends so that students are best prepared to enter the current market. With this in mind, we recently completed an effort to develop plans for how the CCE will respond to emerging trends in consulting. The effort began last fall when the board analyzed a number of new trends and changes to the consulting landscape. Several members of the board met again in February to prioritize the trends and identify those that had the most impactful implications for the CCE. Figure 2 shows the results of this between-terms meeting.

The board met with second-year CCE students in early April to review the trends and identify possible responses and actions that the CCE can take. Some great ideas were generated. Many require further review prior to implementation, but the partnership between our board and students have once again ensured that the CCE is prepared to provide the highest-quality experiential learning program on the market.

leading consulting trends


Advisory Board News

Rob Cain

Four 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:

  • Whit Alexander – Senior VP, Best Buy.
  • Scott Heintzeman – COO, VitreoRetinal Surgery, P.A.
  • Tim Michaels – Director, Pricewaterhouse Coopers.
  • Mark Zorko – CFO and Board Audit Committee Financial Expert.

Please join us in welcoming Rob Cain, Partner, PwC, to the CCE Board. Rob leads the firm’s technology consulting work in the Retail and Commercial practice.

Saying 'Goodbye' – The Class of 2016 Prepares to Graduate and Enter the Workforce

Thirty-three CCE MBA and six undergraduate students will be graduating and entering the workforce this spring. To date, 76 percent of second-year CCE students have received offers for full-time employment, many of which were received following successful summer internships. CCE students continue to receive leading salaries among Carlson School students, with a mean starting salary in 2016 of $118,962, and a signing bonus of $25,813. Companies represented by these offers include: 3M, Accenture, Bain & Company, The Boston Consulting Group, Deloitte, Dish, Eaton, Ecolab, G&K Services, Groupon, Harris Williams, Honeywell, Land O’Lakes, McKinsey and Company, St. Joseph Health, Target, and Valspar.

The class of 2016 has done an outstanding job serving as ambassador’s of the Carlson School. Over the course of their time in the CCE, the students have collectively put in over 12,000 hours of project work, ranging from social impact to corporate strategy and everything in between. We look forward to their contributions to the business world as they begin their careers, many right here in the Twin Cities.

There are several highly talented students currently seeking internships or 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 at: https://www.mbafocus.com/employers-recruiters/products/cv-search-tools/school-resume-databases/.

CCE Seeks Fall 2016 Projects

The CCE is currently seeking projects for our students to tackle during the upcoming fall semester. Our second-year MBAs will take on seven full-semester projects (13 weeks, running approximately September 7 – December 9, 2016). Projects that present interesting strategic or operational challenges are a great fit for the CCE. Please contact Kate Reigel at kreigel@umn.edu if you have a potential project you'd like to discuss.

We Thank Our Clients

3M Carlson School of Management Donaldson
Health Fitness Hennepin County Medical Center Hennepin County Library
Itasca Project McKnight Foundation Medtronic
MN Daily Optum Thrivent Financial

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 approximately 175 successful client engagements and graduated over 300 student consultants.