Prepared to Lead

Prepared to Lead

Thursday, September 28, 2017


Hometown: Minneapolis

Program: Full-Time MBA

Current position: Product marketing manager, Microsoft

Career experience: Voyant, Integra Telecom

Undergraduate degree: BA in Communication and Media Studies from the University of Minnesota

Favorite professor: “Helen Moser. She is funny, blunt, and engaging. She has students come up with nicknames that stick around for the entirety of business school and beyond.”

Favorite course: “Corporate Strategy. I learned concepts related to the build-versus-buy decision that changed the way I think about mergers and acquisitions.”

Advice to MBA applicants: “Know yourself, your career goals, and how the school will help you achieve those goals—why our program is better for you than any other program and why right now is the time in your career for you to pursue an MBA.”

Jeremy Hemsworth, ’17 MBA, grew up the son of two taxi drivers.

So when he opted to enlist in the Army National Guard during high school, it was both a chance to follow in the footsteps of his grandfather, a World War II veteran, and a means to pay for college.

Now, after graduating from the Carlson School and joining Microsoft as a product marketing manager, he’s hoping to serve as an example of a veteran who challenges popular assumptions about post-military careers.

“Our society should try to stop thinking of vets just as manufacturing workers, technicians, and police officers,” says Hemsworth, who spent a year in Iraq while serving in the Minnesota Army National Guard. “While many vets work in those roles, there are vets that start businesses, vets that work in tech, and vets that work in marketing or other roles. We should improve our ability to support vets that pursue jobs in these areas.”

Hemsworth’s pursuit of a career in the tech industry began long before he started the Carlson Full-Time MBA Program in 2015. After high school, he worked in telecommunications for nine years while taking classes toward his bachelor’s degree on a part-time basis and juggling his National Guard commitments. He graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2014 and joined Voyant as a senior account executive.

But he wanted to elevate his career further.

“Moving from a sales role into an MBA-level position meant that I needed project experience,” says Hemsworth, who talked with about a dozen alumni before deciding on the Carlson School. “No other school that I looked at provided the same type of in-depth experience working for a big company on a real project.”

In particular, Hemsworth used his work with the Carlson Consulting Enterprise to hone his ability to navigate ambiguity, break down complex problem into components, and manage multifaceted projects. That practical experience translated perfectly to his internship at Microsoft in the summer of 2016. During one of his first projects for the global technology giant, he took on a leadership role, scoping out the project, examining its potential impacts, and connecting with the appropriate stakeholders. 

"If I hadn't had the CCE experience, I don't think I would've converted the internship into a full-time offer."


“One of the things that my boss was very impressed with was the fact that I came in and hit the ground running and I had a plan, I had these processes in place that I could just execute,” he says.

“Going through that process, I was able to develop a suitable plan and he was able to understand my thought process and guide me and make sure I was hitting on the things he was looking for. But I don't think that most interns or other business school students come out with the same set of tools and are enabled to hit the ground running as fast as the CCE prepared me.”

Now he’s putting those tools to use at Microsoft, where he’s part of the Office product team working on go-to-market strategy and sales enablement. He hopes to one day run a mid-sized tech company and “build an environment where we keep the customer first and continue to innovate, staying on the leading edge.”

“I see tech as a force that can make us more productive, make our lives easier, and enable people to do things that would normally be out of reach.”