The Carlson School Magazine Spring 2019

From the Dean

The Quiet Surprising Secret of Minnesota

Sri Zaheer

When top-tier students apply to business schools, they expect life-changing educational experiences that will propel their careers into leadership roles and position them to change the world.

With goals like this, however, it’s easy for potential applicants to overlook Minnesota. It’s cold here. Winters are long. We’re not loud or flashy. For the most part, we are quiet, hardworking people who don’t sing our own praises enough, so when we do talk about our local economy and the learning opportunities that the Carlson School of Management offers our students, people find what we say hard to believe.

In fact, the disparity is so great that Professor Myles Shaver was inspired to write a book about it. Published in November by the Oxford University Press, Headquarters Economy examines the reasons why Minnesota breeds success.

Most people can’t believe that the Twin Cities is home to more corporate headquarters from the Global 500 than New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago. Per capita, our business community is on par with London. Since the publication of Professor Shaver’s book, we’ve added yet another Fortune 500 corporate headquarters, bringing the total in our neighborhood to 19.

Why are the Twin Cities home to so many successful businesses? You’ll find a wonderful, fact-filled discussion of this topic later in the publication, but I’ll give you the short answer right now: It’s our talent. Our highly educated, hard-working, skilled, and dedicated talent pool sustains the companies wise enough to call Minnesota home.

Our talent pool is consistent: Once people come live and work in the Twin Cities, they do not leave. The winters may be cold, but the quality and integrity of the people who make up our workforce is unparalleled.

Even better, we've created opportunities for our students to join this world-class workforce and participate in projects that produce real results for global corporations. We work closely with government agencies to use business as a force for good—to improve public services and directly benefit the lives of people living in Minneapolis-St. Paul.

These experiential learning opportunities translate directly into student success. In fact, our Masters of Science in Business Analytics program, which offers every student real-world experience in our Carlson Analytics Lab, has achieved 100 percent placement for the three out of four years it has graduated students, with one year lagging at a 99 percent placement rate.

But we’re Minnesotans, so we don’t often talk about these accomplishments.

In 2019, the Carlson School of Management celebrates its 100th anniversary, and we’re fortunate to do it from this position of strength—we’re able to reflect on our storied history, our progress, and build a vision for the future of our school together. Knowing the people of Minnesota, we’ll do it quietly, we’ll work hard, and we will get there. Together.

— Sri Zaheer, Dean
Elmer L. Andersen Chair in Global Corporate Social Responsibility

Cover story

Spring 2019 alumni magazine cover

Download the Spring 2019 issue

The Twin Cities is a corporate headquarters powerhouse. In this issue, we explore why that's the case.

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