Before undergraduate classes even started at the Carlson School, incoming freshmen got right to business during College Day, part of the University's Welcome Week festivities.

After attending events at Mariucci Arena, which included speeches by University President Eric Kaler and 2011 Carlson School graduate and Tomato Can Loving Cup Award winner, Amanda Donohue-Hansen, the nearly 500 Carlson freshmen returned to the Carlson School to head out on buses to do company site-visits.

"The site-visits are a great way to get students right into the business scene we have at Carlson," says Mindy Deardurff, director of Recruitment and Marketing for the Undergraduate Program. "While on these visits, the students get a company overview, they learn about types of employment, and tour the business. Plus, with many Carlson alums working at these companies, freshmen have the opportunity to interact with them as well."

Before her visit to Ecolab, Kathleen Charlie, a freshman from Eden Prairie, Minn., says she was interested in seeing how business works on a day-to-day basis. "It's always good to go out to companies to see that this is what you're preparing for; this is what you're looking to do in the future," she says.

Fellow Eden Prairie native Mindy McGrew says she's undecided in her major and hoped that the visit to Ecolab would give her a better idea of what she should pursue. "I'm thinking finance or marketing," she says. "But marketing seems so fun, I just want to learn more about it, so a look at that and different areas will be a big part of my site-visit."

Both Charlie and McGrew decided to enroll at the Carlson School after their interest was piqued while attending the school's GopherBusiness program while they were high school seniors.

This year's site-visits also included Goodwill Easter Seals, the first ever nonprofit organization to be added to the Carlson School's College Day agenda.

"We're very pleased that we could include a nonprofit this year," says Deardurff. "We plan to continue to do so to give our students a different business perspective, especially for those students interested in entering our nonprofit major here at the school."

College Day was held on September 1.

Companies hosting site-visits this year were: Cargill Inc., Ecolab, General Mills Inc., Land O' Lakes Inc., Goodwill Easter Seals, Target, The Toro Company, and The Travelers Companies, Inc.