Education Abroad Steers Students to New Career Opportunities

Monday, December 29, 2014

Since implementing a requirement that all students obtain a credit-bearing international experience, thousands of Carlson School students have been enriched by education abroad programs. Not only do participants sharpen their global awareness and learn how business is conducted around the world, they make meaningful new connections with lasting impact.

Meet two alumni leading dynamic careers that grew from their respective international programs.

Research Paper Leads to Job Offer

For his international experience, alumnus Steven Pipp, ’12 BSB, examined the nature of start-ups in South Africa as part of a class about medical technology and healthcare led by Senior Lecturer David Bartlett Shortly after the class concluded, the research paper Pipp wrote guided an important job interview. 

In 2011, Ian Purtle, president and founder of Glenmore Consulting LLC, sought to hire his first employee. He reached out to Bartlett, a former colleague, to recommend an advanced student with a passion for entrepreneurism. Recalling his research paper from the class in South Africa he led that year, Bartlett brought the opportunity to Pipp, who jumped at it. Throughout the job interview, Purtle gained an appreciation for Pipp’s global perspective, then hired him on the spot.

“I never would have guessed a research paper I wrote in South Africa would get me a job back in Minnesota, working in the exact field I wanted,” says Pipp. “You never know which opportunity is going to be the big one that makes or breaks your career.”

Pipp worked alongside Purtle, advising start-ups in the biotech, cleantech, and renewable energy fields for the next two years. While Pipp began as an intern, he now works full time for the firm as a financial analyst and couldn’t be happier.

“I get to work at the very early stages of companies that aren’t companies yet. That’s what I’m excited about—the potential for us to create businesses,” he says.

Student-Led Venture Informs New Business

For Dev Jain, ’05 MBA, a class held in India set the stage for a move across the world: During the 2005 India Global Enrichment Program, Jain forged friendships with two classmates who transitioned their class project into Triplicity LLC, a start-up aimed at providing outsourced services to small businesses. However, under the demands stemming from their schoolwork, families, and jobs, the team folded the business after one year.

Jain completed his MBA and went on to work for various multinational companies in the Twin Cities, but was unfulfilled. Looking back, he cherished the Triplicity experience and was eager to try it again.

“Working in large corporations, I was unable to see the tangible results of my efforts,” he says. “I wanted to do something with an international emphasis, where I could take my idea, structure it around the strategy, and execute it organically. I like to work in the trenches, since there’s no better way to learn new ventures and customer viewpoints.”

In 2008, Jain presented a business plan to David Norback, president of RSP Architects, to launch a new division in Bangalore, India.

“Having spent my teenage years in India and professional life in the United States, I wanted to build a bridge between the two countries,” says Jain. “I was in Mumbai prospecting; one evening I called David and within a fortnight we had negotiated a contract to set up RSP’s subsidiary in India.”

Today, Jain is managing director of Alexander Architects Private Ltd. in Bangalore. He says the role is a perfect fit.

“The Carlson MBA broadened my horizons and prepared me for a global pursuit: to persevere in the chaos of India,” says Jain.