There are a variety of ways in which Carlson School alumni and friends play a direct role in molding tomorrow’s business leaders through volunteerism. This National Volunteer Month, the Carlson School is shining a spotlight on some of our most dedicated volunteers and showcasing the good they do for the programs and students they assist.
How did you start getting involved with the Carlson School volunteer program?
Kersten Dolgner: In Undergrad, I was involved in CSOM Ambassadors and the Mentorship Program. I knew I would want to continue the tradition of spending my time with CSOM students to help them navigate their four-years in the program and beyond.
Lan Ta: I was quite involved at Carlson while an undergrad and wanted to remain involved with the Carlson community after graduation. I became involved as an alumna almost immediately. While working at Deloitte, along with another Carlson alum, we worked with the undergraduate consulting club to create a Deloitte-sponsored case competition. I also signed up to be a mentor through the Carlson Mentorship program, and have been a mentor for the past 14 years.
What has been your most rewarding experience to date?
KD: Sitting on a panel with graduating students and being able to reassure them that the real-world isn't a scary place! Then having students reach out to you after the panel to learn more about your experiences and being able to give advice when it is warranted is very rewarding.
LT: The most rewarding experience is meeting with students directly and giving them advice. Through the mentorship program, I've seen many mentees go on to pursue their dream careers. It's not one specific experience, but the collective experience of being in the program has been rewarding, especially when my mentees say that I have helped them through their career development process.
What advice do you give to students that help them find the paths that are right for them?
KD: Find your passion and focus on that. Don't try to carve a path that makes you unhappy just because you feel you 'need' to take that path. Find what makes you happy and go for it!
LT: Follow your heart and listen to your gut. You should be excited about whatever path you choose. Don't be limited to what you think you should do or what your peers do.
Why do you feel it’s important to give your time to the Carlson School and its students?
KD: It's important to give back because we can all relate to being a Sophomore and trying to land our first internship. It's scary! and I wish someone would have been around to help reassure me that my intelligence, hard-work, and personality will land me in the right role - just be patient, it will all work out in the end.
LT: Carlson has given me so much while I was an undergraduate so I wanted to give back as much as I had received. It was a community that helped develop me and now I am able to help develop others.
Interested in learning about volunteer opportunities with the Carlson School? Find out the various ways in which you can get involved.