Says Gilles, “When you think about Minnesota, you really think about the land of ice and snow, not about these Fortune 500 companies.
“As an institution, we work hard to get over that initial barrier first, for a lot of candidates. Once we help them overcome that fear of the cold or that misperception . . . then we really do have a rich dialogue with these candidates.”
Digital marketing expert Barbara Coward, vice-president of Converge Consulting, which works with several business schools (but not Carlson), praised the outreach campaign as a creative assault on a significant barrier to entry at Carlson. “What a way to hit this head on, and say, ‘Let’s put this in perspective,'” Coward says.
TOP-TIER SCHOOLS INSULATED FROM WEATHER EFFECT
For second-tier schools such as Carlson, weather-related barriers to entry are particularly important to address, because the more highly ranked schools can have awful winters but still get “flooded with applications,” Coward says.
Meanwhile, down at Texas A&M’s Mays Business School, MBA admissions director Chris Reed notes that Mays does not share Carlson’s winter problem: “We have people pick us all the time because they’re trying to get away from snow.”
Future installments of Carlson’s outreach series will present comparisons about average temperatures for certain months, and days of sunshine (hint: Seattle isn’t going to look too good).
As for Minnesota’s notorious mosquitoes – “our unofficial state bird,” according to Gilles – “we haven’t actually gotten to that yet.”
TRUTH OR STEREOTYPE: MINNESOTA SLOGANS
Oddly, and perhaps spitefully, Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania has published online a list of “Minnesota Slogans.” Here are the highlights:
• “Minnesota, where visitors turn blue with envy.”
• “One day it’s warm, the rest of the year it’s cold.”
• “If you love Minnesota, raise your right ski.”
• “Minnesota: Closed For Glacier Repairs”
• “Where the elite meet sleet.”
• “Land of two seasons: Winter is coming. Winter is here.”
• “Survive Minnesota and the rest of the world is easy.”
• “I came. I thawed. I transferred.”
• “Minnesota: Have you jump-started your kid today?”