Meet Minnesota Carlson’s MBA Class of 2018


Patricia Brooks Wright

Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota

Describe yourself in 15 words or less: I am a detail-oriented big picture thinker and team player who recognizes others’ individual strengths.

Hometown: Edina, Minnesota

Fun Fact About Yourself: My husband and I are on a quest to hike 100 miles this summer.

Undergraduate School and Major: Davidson College, Psychology Major

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation: In reverse chronological order:

Associate Consultant, Collins Group, a division of Campbell & Company

Project Coordinator, Collins Group, a division of Campbell & Company

Program Assistant / Referral Specialist, Minnesota Literacy Council

Service Learning Coordinator, City of Lakes AmeriCorps

Campaign Manager, Jean O’Connell for School Board Campaign

Field Organizer, Al Franken Recount Committee

Field Organizer, Steve Sarvi for Congress Campaign

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Over the past several years, through my work at Collins Group, a fund-raising consulting firm that is a division of Campbell & Company, I have worked with dozens of nonprofits to help them raise millions of dollars to do great things. Whether helping a human services organization raise money to help more people exit poverty, building an animal shelter a new campus to save more animals, or helping a museum build a new building to better protect and display its collections, I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to work with so many great organizations who are making a difference. Partnering with so many wonderful clients and professional leaders with inspiring visions has motivated me to grow my own leadership, and business school is the next step in my path to do this.

Looking back on your experience, what advice would you give to future business school applicants? Making sure the school is the best fit for you is very important. I found the best way to do this was talking with lots of people – current students, alumni, faculty, staff, etc. Start the application process early to give yourself enough time to pull all the pieces together and study for the GMAT. I spent a lot of time worrying about my essays before starting. I’d recommend just sitting down and getting words down on paper, which is what I finally ended up doing.

What led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA? I was attracted to Carlson for the small class size and the collaborative, tight-knit community. I was also drawn to the program for its excellent reputation and Carlson’s strong network in the Twin Cities. I felt the school’s many opportunities for experiential learning through the Enterprise Program and beyond would be incredibly beneficial to my learning and growth.

Tell us about your dream job or dream employer at this point in your life? My dream job is to be a strategic leader at a nonprofit where I can make an impact on my community. Building on my past experience working and consulting in education, and as a strong believer in the power of education to transform lives, I would love to work for an education-focused nonprofit.

What would you like your business school peers to say about you after you graduate from this program? I’d love them to say that I am a strong leader, a dependable teammate, and an engaged classmate as well as a fun person with a good sense of humor.

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