Undergraduate Impact Lab

The Impact Lab is one of the signature experiences of being a Carlson School student. Here, you’ll develop critical problem-solving skills through case studies, simulations, and real-world projects as early as your first year.

Students learn to collaborate and problem solve in the Impact Lab.

The Impact Lab program consists of two unique courses:

Impact Lab Problem Solving
Learn strategies to identify, understand, and solve real-world problems. Problem-Solving will expose students to a clear problem-solving framework and process, various perspectives on approaching problems, and individual and group activities and assignments to inform and sharpen skills. You’ll learn to set aside your preconceptions and develop creative solutions, all while building skills in leadership and teamwork. 

Impact Lab in Action
Take your knowledge to the next level. This course will partner you and a group of classmates with a business, nonprofit or social enterprise. You will make an impact by solving a real problem while learning to navigate ambiguous challenges and harness creativity to solve them. At the end of the semester, you’ll be able to see the tangible change you made. Plus, you’ll develop strong connections with professionals in the field who will provide mentoring and networking opportunities.

Get Involved

There are a lot of ways for the community to participate in the Impact Lab: as a client, a guest speaker, and as a mentor.

Impact Lab clients bring us a real problem their organization has grappled with. Over a semester, a group of students will tackle the challenge, researching, ideating, and developing a plan of action. They’ll be working with a professional mentor who will guide them through problem-solving. As a client, work alongside undergraduate students to co-create solutions for your organization. You will meet with the students at least three times throughout the semester to introduce the business challenges you’re facing and provide feedback to the students as they analyze and address the problem. There is no cost to participate in Carlson Impact Lab projects.

Get Involved as a Client

Guest speakers in the Impact Lab help Carlson School students learn about the many different ways problem solving can look in the professional world. Whether you are a young professional or a retiree, an individual contributor or a CEO, you likely have valuable experience to share. Share the story of a problem you encountered and how you and your team resolved it.

Get Involved as a Guest Speaker Guest Speaker Information

Mentors will work with a group of 4-5 students throughout the semester to guide them through the problem-solving process. A significant contribution of mentors is serving as a safe person for students to bring questions to and to be able to respond with stories (both successful and less-than-successful) from their own careers. Mentors are expected to be available for eight 30-minute Zoom calls. Learn more about being a mentor.

Get Involved as a Mentor


Contact Undergraduate Program