Faces of Carlson
Friday, March 27, 2020
Our greatness comes from our people. That’s true for our first 100 years—as you read in the last issue of this magazine—and will remain so for the next 100 years. Continuing our Faces of Carlson series, we no bring you students, faculty, staff, and alumni to reflect upon how they define success, what makes them proud about their work, and connection to the school.
“What I’m most proud of accomplishing is setting up undergraduate student scholarships in information systems, and the first scholarship that I established was the Gordon B. Davis scholarship for undergraduate students. After we opened the initial account, I sent an email to our PhD graduates telling them what I had done and asking them to match the contribution. Some of them matched it, some of them went over, some of them gave what they could—but in less than a month, we had enough money for an endowed scholarship. A few years later, I opened another scholarship in my name. In fall 2019, the first student received that scholarship.”
Founder, Wilderness Inquiry
“What I’m most proud of is that I never missed a payroll—except once, and that was my own. But in 41 years, never missed a payroll and always paid our bills. I’ve always worried about making sure that I can meet my external obligations, and I never wanted to over promise and under-deliver or be a person who lets somebody else down. I view the commitment ‘your word is your bond,’ and when someone’s working for you or when they’re working and they expect to get paid, boy, I think it would be emotionally traumatic to say ‘Hey, I can’t pay you.’ I mean, I would feel terrible about that. You’re talking about people’s mortgages, you’re talking about people’s livelihoods and their ability to raise their families and do all of that. I think we can never stray from that realization.”
Co-founder and CEO of Fountane, LLC
“I’m proud of being able to create a $1 million company while I’m in school, 40-hour jobs that are helping create livelihoods in India and in America, and creating digital transformation pilots at Target that might revolutionize retail. But I’m most proud of not being a letdown to my parents. They’ve taken a big risk and a gamble to send me over to the U.S. to spend so many dollars for my education.”
Undergraduate Program Curtis L. Carlson Chair in Finance
“I define success as achieving a sense of fulfillment. For me, success is not a target or a numerical goal. It is a feeling of fulfillment when one looks back. Sometimes it is seeing that aha moment when a student finally gets difficult concepts. Sometimes it is being able to get that difficult proof in one’s research. I am hoping I will be able to walk away from Carlson’s undergraduate program, look back and tell myself that I contributed to leaving this place a little better than when I walked in.”
Graduate Business Career Center
“When you become a parent, suddenly it’s very clear what your purpose is: to raise this little human being. But, you also are still you. And you have all of these priorities, responsibilities, and aspects of your personality—work being one of them. How do you fulfill that clarity, that purpose of raising a human, but also continue to aspire to do great things in your work? When you become a parent, you have to prioritize really quickly. I love that we get to work with and learn from professionals here that are doing that same thing. Hopefully, I’m able to share some of the wisdom that I’ve learned along the way.”
This article appeared in the Spring 2020 alumni magazine
This issue of our alumni magazine focuses on our world, how we take part in it, and how we, as a community, are making it a better place.