Portraits of Mary Larson, Christian Edwards, Gillian Hedberg, Nach Karnik, Ben Trnka

Faces of Carlson: Spring 2022

Friday, April 8, 2022

Every person within the Carlson School community has a story. Our Faces of Carlson series explores these unique perspectives, showcasing our deeper connections. In this issue, our inimitable students, faculty, staff, and alumni reflect on finding  happiness and overcoming challenges.


Gillian Hedberg

Gillian Hedberg

'22 MHRIR

“I think something that brings me happiness is helping other people unlock some sort of new skill or interest. I worked as a tutor most of my life and right now, I also work at the [UMN] Rec[Well] Center as a group fitness instructor. Seeing the smile and look on [participants’] face[s] when they realize that they can do something they didn’t think they could do a week or a month ago inspires me to keep building and making myself better, week to month. So just being able to stretch your limits, seeing that in other people, and being able to unlock that in other people also inspires me to do the same thing.”

 

Nach Karnik

Nach Karnik

'21 MBA

“I think like a lot of other business school students, I have a little bit of imposter syndrome that manifests itself in on-campus recruiting.
You’ve got to interview, apply to positions, and you really have to believe in yourself and convey that belief to others throughout the process. I think that’s on my mind
because I just got through that, and so I am really excited about the opportunity that I’m going to have next year. If you had asked me about six months ago, whether
that would be what I was doing, I’m not sure I would’ve said yes.”

 

Christian Edwards

Christian Edwards

'22 MBA

“I’m in the Carlson Executive MBA Program and I haven’t been in school in almost 20 years. Getting back in school and getting my mind back into a place where I’m being educated was a significant challenge. I was just learning how to be a student again, learning how to write papers, and take tests again. That was a significant challenge I've overcome in the last 18 months."

 

 

Mary Larson

Mary Larson

Program Coordinator, Brand & Consulting Enterprises

“I have seen people I love and care about age greatly over the last couple of years, which has been a difficult challenge I need to accept. I have not overcome this. The best I can do is live with this, acknowledge it, and with purpose make every day count and live life to the fullest, while not missing opportunities to let those who I love know how much they mean."

 

 

 

Ben Trnka

Ben Trnka

Assistant Professor of Accounting and Finance, College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University

Lecturer, Carlson School of Management

“Being a full-time teacher, that’s also my passion. On Mondays, I look forward to going into work. What really brings me happiness is seeing students succeed. It’s fun to challenge students in the classroom and push them and then see them push through and be able to achieve their goal. It’s different for everyone. I get to ask, ‘OK, what’s your goal? How can I help you succeed?' And that's fun. I'm lucky. Every day, all day—I get to do that.”

Spring 2022 alumni magazine cover

This article appeared in the Spring 2022 alumni magazine

Strength is determined by how we rise in the face of challenges. 

The Carlson School community remains an unstoppable force. 

Spring 2022 table of contents