headshot of Mike Finch

Alumni Come Together for Finch Fellowship

Friday, April 21, 2023

By Wade Rupard

A great faculty member can make a world of a difference in a student’s education. To honor one retiring Carlson School faculty member, alumni came together to raise money for a fellowship named in his honor.


That faculty member is Mike Finch, the long-time Medical Industry Leadership Institute’s (MILI) Valuation Lab Faculty Director. Since 2009, Finch has invited a small group of outstanding students to participate as a Valuation Lab Fellow. Now, “Finch Fellows” will always be part of the Lab.

Medical Industry Leadership Lab faculty, staff, volunteer, and students.
Medical Industry Leadership Lab faculty, staff, volunteers, and students pose for a picture at the 2016 Business School Alliance for Health Management Case Competition after a Carlson School team took first place. (Back row from left: Jessica Haupt, Mark Mulvahill, Nick Milliron, Dane Stimart, Steve Parente, and Josh Sopeth. Front row from left: Mike Finch, Nick Alexandrov, Cortney Carlson.)

On Give to the Max Day in November 2022, nearly 60 donors took part, raising more than $50,000. The donations allow the program to endow a fund that will live in perpetuity.

“We have so many dedicated and engaged alumni who have such great memories of Mike,” says Jessica Haupt, the managing director of MILI. “This is a great way to honor Mike and make sure the fellowship continues after he retires.”

“This is such an unbelievable honor,” Finch says. “To see the impact the program had on students and alumni is truly remarkable.”

Throughout the years, nearly 100 Valuation Lab alumni have participated in the program, earning the opportunity to work with the Medical Device Fellows, Children’s Hospital investment group, and conduct independent research. Many of these opportunities wouldn’t have been possible without Finch’s leadership and mentorship.

This is a great way to honor Mike and make sure the fellowship continues after he retires.
– Jessica Haupt, Managing Director of MILI

Alumni of the fellowship program have gone on to work across the country in more than 65 local, national, and global companies; and have careers in higher education, medical device, startups, health systems, and financial institutions.

Finch Fellow Chris Hanson, ’23 MBA, made a gift in Finch’s honor. Hanson credits Finch with being a large influence on his decision to attend the Carlson School.

“I’ll never forget shadowing the Valuation Lab as a prospective student while debating whether or not to pursue my MBA, and hearing Mike ask a group why their product’s target market couldn’t be dogs instead of people,” says Hanson. “I realized I had so much to learn and just had to be in the Valuation Lab.”

The campaign to raise money for the fellowship program was spearheaded by Professor Steve Parente and Thom Gunderson, an executive-in-residence at MILI.

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