A Degree of Self-Discovery

A Degree of Self-Discovery

Thursday, January 18, 2018


Hometown: Chennai, India

Program: Full-Time MBA

Current position: Director of Strategic Initiatives–Medicare and Retirement, UnitedHealth Group

Previous career experience: Software Engineer, Intel; Project Manager, Cognizant Technology Solutions; Consultant, Slalom Consulting

Favorite professor: Myles Shaver—his Corporate Strategy class was fantastic!

Carlson activities and clubs: Vice President of Communications, MBA Association; Vice President, Business Technology Club; Women's Mentorship Program; Women’s Leadership Conference

Archana Mohan, ’17 MBA, had a master’s degree in computer science and had worked in a variety of roles in the tech industry. She liked her work and knew she was good at it.

“But I felt like I could do something more with the skill set that I had,” she says. “I just didn't know what that was.”

So, a few years after moving back to the Twin Cities, where she had attended graduate school, she applied to the Carlson Full-Time MBA Program to explore new opportunities and build upon her technical skills. It was the start of a path that led her to an unexpected destination: a career in the healthcare industry as director of strategic initiatives for UnitedHealth Group’s Medicare and Retirement Division.

“I think one of the first things that I sort of learned after seven or eight months was that I needed to let go of some inhibitions and some set rules that I had for myself, saying, ‘These are the only opportunities that I'm going to pursue,’” she says, “and sort of look at, ‘What sort of skill sets do I need to get to those roles eventually?’”

Conversations with faculty, classmates, and alumni, repeated visits to the Graduate Business Career Center, and company information sessions piqued her interest in UnitedHealth. She’s now applying her technical background and the skills she gained at the Carlson School, including the structured approach to problem solving she learned in the Carlson Consulting Enterprise.

She calls her Carlson MBA education “one of the best investments that I’ve made in myself.”

“I’m so glad I did this, because I think this would have been my biggest regret if I didn’t do this,” she says. “I’m coming out of this as a much more confident person."