Celebrating Transfer Students: Meet Chad and Hoda
Monday, October 11, 2021
October 18-22 is National Transfer Student Week and we're celebrating UMN transfer stories!
Chad Hildebrandt, ‘22 BSB, is majoring in Supply Chain and Operations Management & Public and Nonprofit Management with a Strategic Management minor. Transfer students often have an unconventional higher education journey, and Chad is no exception.
"Honestly, for most of my life, I wasn’t focused on traditional education. I’ve always loved to learn, but I spent most of my twenties either in the military, competing in martial arts, or in the Teamsters. Over time, my thirst for knowledge grew—I wanted more for myself and my community. As a first-gen student, I was relatively rudderless but decided to take the leap and left the security of the union to pursue an education in business.
After my first semester at North Hennepin Community College (NHCC), I was researching schools and met with my guidance counselor for advice. I remember her looking over my grades and she smirked, saying “so, you are smart.” She informed me about Carlson and recommended I check out a transfer student info session. I sought further counsel from instructors and previous senior leaders of mine as well. Ultimately, I realized what an amazing opportunity it would be to learn from and contribute to a world-class institution.
Shortly after, I sent an email to [Carlson's Transfer Enrollment Specialist] stating my goal of continuing to get straight A’s to transfer to Carlson. Three semesters later, I upheld my promise and emailed my grades on the same thread before submitting my application."
Although the transition can sometimes be challenging—and the COVID-19 pandemic certainly added a layer of complexity—Chad has utilized Carlson's vast resources and relied on the community to find success at the U of M.
"Navigating a new institution during a pandemic isn’t exactly a picnic and has required some rolling with the punches. Adapting my learning strategies to new formats and the rigor that upholds Carlson’s reputation has been a challenge as well. However, Carlson’s student services, instructors, and student body offer generous support. It’s been a challenge, but that’s what growth is all about! I proved to myself I can hang after making the Dean’s List and have 100% confidence other transfer students have what it takes!
In boxing, the phrase “iron sharpens iron” gets tossed around a lot to signify the importance of challenging training partners and environments. Similarly, at Carlson, it’s a stellar experience being surrounded by razor-sharp classmates and brilliant instructors. We are all driven individuals from a variety of backgrounds, but as a community, we push each other while providing support to empower our success."
Hoda Elsawy, '21 BSB, is majoring in Management Information Systems & Supply Chain and Operations Management. Hoda recognized the benefits the Carlson School could provide on her higher education path to the business world.
"I transferred from Saint Paul College, which is a school that is focused on trade and technical programs. I decided to transfer to Carlson for several reasons. I had done a lot of research about business schools within Minnesota, and I found out that Carlson was the number one in the state. Not only that, I had looked at the employment rate and I knew that I would have opportunities for growth after graduation."
Although she confronted some big hurdles in acclimating to Carlson, Hoda shares how this unprecedented growth has benefited her both inside and outside the classroom.
"My experience here at Carlson has had many challenges and triumphs. The biggest challenge had to be accommodating myself to a whole new environment. For transfer students who have no knowledge or experience of the vast business network Carlson is connected to, it can be very challenging and intimidating to navigate. Once that wall of fear and intimidation is climbed, the path is much easier. The triumphs of the experience come through and you are able to challenge yourself beyond your abilities. You gain skills and knowledge about topics discussed in board meetings across the U.S. These skills are hard to come by in small communities, and I was able to develop those skills at Carlson.
Carlson introduced me to the business world, every class I took we discussed many different topics including news about the latest businesses and companies. My professors and peers challenged me to be the best version of myself by motivating me to participate and engage in case study discussions that challenge my existing perception and knowledge. I learned about methodologies and concepts beyond an introduction course taken at a community college."
Hoda also has great advice for her fellow transfer students or anyone considering the Carlson School in their future.
"If you want to go into the business world with the skills and knowledge for growth and success, then Carlson is the way to go! You will gain so much hands-on experience and a huge learning network that will allow you to be successful beyond graduation. Advice I would give transfer students is to focus on your personal and professional growth. Carlson will challenge you beyond what you think you know, it is important to understand where you’re at and where you want to be. Focus on developing your skills before transferring and after transferring. Read up on the latest business news, on the latest strategies and methodologies used by companies. These little initiatives will set you up for success, you will have a better understanding of what is happening in class and you'll be able to apply that knowledge better."