Kellogg | Mr. Chief Product Officer
GMAT 740, GPA 77.53% (First Class with Distinction, Dean's List Candidate)
Chicago Booth | Mr. Needy Spartan
GMAT 740, GPA 3.6
INSEAD | Ms. Low GPA, Big Ambitions
GRE 2.64, GPA 2.64
Stanford GSB | Mr. Energy Focus
GMAT 760, GPA 3.7
MIT Sloan | Mr. Low GPA Over Achiever
GMAT 700, GPA 2.5
Georgetown McDonough | Mr. Aspiring Consultant
GMAT 690, GPA 3.68
NYU Stern | Ms. Art World
GRE 322, GPA 3.3
NYU Stern | Mr. Hail Mary 740
GMAT 740, GPA 2.94
Stanford GSB | Mr. Big Tech Engineer
GRE 332, GPA 3.95
IU Kelley | Ms. Biracial Single Mommy
, GPA 2.5/3.67 Grad
Berkeley Haas | Ms. 10 Years Experience
GMAT To be taken, GPA 3.1
Yale | Mr. Army Infantry Officer
GMAT 730, GPA 2.83
Yale | Ms. Social Impact AKS
GRE 315, GPA 7.56
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Hanging By A Thread
GMAT 710, GPA 3.8
Kellogg | Mr. Bird Watcher
GRE 333, GPA 2.9
Harvard | Mr. Relationship Manager
GMAT 750, GPA 3.8
Harvard | Mr. Political Consultant
GRE 337, GPA 3.85
MIT Sloan | Mr. Refinery Engineer
GMAT 700- will retake, GPA 3.87
Said Business School | Mr. Across The Pond
GMAT 680, GPA 2.8
Stanford GSB | Mr. Singing Banking Lawyer
GMAT 720, GPA 110-point scale. Got 110/110 with honors
Stanford GSB | Mr. Corp Finance
GMAT 740, GPA 3.75
Kellogg | Mr. Marketing Maven
GRE 325, GPA 7.6/10
Stanford GSB | Mr. Vroom Vroom
GMAT 760, GPA 2.88
N U Singapore | Ms. Biomanager
GMAT 520, GPA 2.8
Stanford GSB | Mr. Health Nerd
GMAT 740, GPA 3.5
Wharton | Mr. Army & Consulting
GMAT 760, GPA 4.0
Berkeley Haas | Mr. 360 Consultant
GMAT 720, GPA 3.4

Meet Minnesota Carlson’s MBA Class Of 2019

The Carlson School of Management

Such innovation, coupled with continued excellence and an impressive network, attracted Mao Mao, a human resources professional who has managed training for nearly 3,000 medical professionals in her native China. “I spent the last 14 years in healthcare,” she points out. “The program offers opportunities within some leading healthcare companies and a wide variety of medical industry employers, including Mayo Clinic. I can see Carlson’s network and influence among with employers from the very outstanding job placement rate. I have no doubt that Carlson offers the best MBA education and career preparation, especially in the healthcare industry.”

For McCormick, the biggest draw is the school’s Medical Industry Leadership Institution (MILI), a program designed to channel medical innovation through management excellence. “It provides students the opportunity to research complex healthcare issues, partner with the many medical companies in the Twin Cities, and tailor their MBA toward a healthcare specialization,” she explains. “I believe MILI will provide me the tools needed to take my career to the next level and enact greater change in the healthcare industry.”


Such partnerships are the signature feature of the Carlson MBA program. No offering better personifies this philosophy than its legendary “Enterprise” experience. Think of it as a full-on commitment to experiential learning, a learning laboratory that applicants would be hard-pressed to find anywhere else. Covering first-year spring and second-year fall semesters, the required Enterprise program places students in 4-5 member teams where they partner with local companies – often for an entire semester.

Forget crunching numbers or conducting surveys in the background. Instead, students are front-and-center – and held accountable for producing sustainable solutions for their clients.

Carlson School of Management Dean Sri Zaheer, center, signs the Principles of Responsible Investing flanked by NAME, left, Susanna Gibbons (standing), NAME, and Rebecca Blumenshine, MBA ’17. Courtesy photo

As part of the program, students can choose one of four enterprises: branding, consulting, funds, and venture. Here, students may end up working on a semester-long project – or a couple of shorter ones. For example, branding students will wrestle with everything from developing go-to-market strategies to unraveling supply chain bottlenecks. In the fund portion, students manage two funds worth a collective $35 million dollars, handling day-to-day operations like conducting due diligence, authoring proposals, and pitching ideas to committees and boards.

In a nutshell, the Enterprise experience simulates exactly what students will face in real world situations by giving them real hands-on experience with real clients that have real impact. In the process, students work alongside senior executives and seasoned practitioners in their field, enabling them to audition for potential jobs or carve out a deeper network. They also receive heavy dose of counseling from faculty, staff, and clients to bring out their very best. For students who crave a broader experience, they have the option to sign up for a third Enterprise experience as well.


“When selecting an MBA program, I was focused on two aspects: opportunity and fit,” says Jack Barnes a field artillery officer looking to transition into finance. “With regards to opportunity, I was looking for a program that provides both a hands-on learning experience and job placement. Carlson’s Enterprise Program allows students to put classroom knowledge to practice by working on real-world projects for actual companies.”

Along with providing experience to career changers, the Enterprise experience also improves the hiring odds for international students adds Fotedar. “Carlson’s experiential enterprises give students the opportunity to understand current industry challenges. This is a boon for international students who do not have the experience of a U.S. business.”

Carlson’s international component is another cornerstone of the curriculum. A pioneer in global business, Carlson also requires a Global Discovery program. This course includes a two-week international excursion in settings ranging from China to Costa Rica. Here, students are exposed to hurdles and nuances inherent to conducting business in multinational settings – and gain a working knowledge of the differing norms along the way.


Such hands-on projects and global programs are easier to facilitate in the Twin Cities, an underrated commercial hub with a dizzying variety of industries and deep roots in markets across the world. Just cruise along the metro’s beltlines and you’ll see the landmark firms that call the area home: 3M, General Mills, Target, U.S. Bancorp, UnitedHealth Group, and Ameriprise. While it may be cold in January, the tech and startup scene are vibrant year round. Over the past year, the area has opened three new accelerators. At the same time, $284 million dollars in investment has flooded into the area over the past 12 months, headed by Neochord (medical device maker), Rebiotix (pharmaceuticals), Bright Health (health insurance), Conservis (farm management software), and Gravie (health insurance). Indeed, healthcare is fast becoming the Gopher State’s bread-and-butter as it has emerged as the second-largest producer of medical devices.

The University of Minnesota sits alongside the Mississippi River and overlooks downtown Minneapolis.


This mix fosters synergies between companies of various sizes and industries. This only increases the value of a MBA from Carson, where professors team up with top area companies on research and alumni often maintain Carson clubs at their firms. “The Twin Cities has a robust economy and is home to a variety of Fortune 500 companies and other large employers who actively recruit Carlson graduates,” observes Barnes. “After speaking with Carlson’s admissions personnel, current students and professors, I knew that Carlson was the right fit for me. The small classes, dedicated professors and a community interested in seeing all its members succeed made Carlson the school I wanted to attend.”

Best of all, students don’t have to trade quality of life to enjoy a diverse economy that fuels jobs. Clean and Midwest friendly, the Twin Cities are also defined by first-rate shopping, the largest theater scene west of Broadway, and farmers markets that are second to none. For Sneha Ravindar, a second-year MBA candidate from India who is already ticketed to Amazon after graduation, the area has become like a second home.


“Living in Minneapolis, I feel absolutely safe, especially as a woman and an international student, and interacting with a warm community of smart leaders and delightful military veteran classmates at the Carlson School of Management has been a highlight,” she writes in a 2017 essay with Poets&Quants. “The University campus is peppered with picturesque landscapes of fall trees and colored vines climbing quaint houses. The view of the Mississippi River slicing our beautiful campus in half is breathtaking. Through Carlson and its many events, I have witnessed Goldy Gopher’s crazy shenanigans and experienced a wonderful culture of theatre and arts, adventure sports, tailgating, brewery hopping, prom, and several black-tie events. In addition, I have had amazing opportunities to learn softball, ice skating, and golf. I have enjoyed my first experience of snow, first Halloween pumpkin carving, first Thanksgiving, and first Christmas with a delectable feast surrounded by radiant classmates and their families.”

The Class of 2019 can expect much of the same. While many define first year success in terms of internships and job offers, others take a more personal view. Ojo-Fati, for one, hopes to keep an open mind so he has “a clearer picture of what my career path would be.” In contrast, Fotedar is looking to make an impact, with the hope of being the type of leader “where talented and curious individuals would choose to work with me at the first opportunity.”

At the same time, Birawer hopes to have savored an experience that leaves her with the same buoyant wonder as Ravindar when she becomes a second year. “I want to be able to point to the classmates and professors that helped guide me along this path,” she writes. “And I want to be able to recount the fun, adventures and new experiences that I experienced throughout the year.”

To read profiles of incoming Carlson MBA students — along with their advice on tackling the GMAT, applications, and interviews — click on the links below.


NameHometownAlma MaterEmployer
 Jack Barnes Victoria, MN United States Military Academy U.S. Army
 Tiana Birawer Cape Coral, FL University of Florida Ryan Companies
 Lilly Chow Yardley, PA Duke University 360i
 Atul Fotedar Simla, India Thapar University Whirlpool
 Napoleon Howell Minneapolis, MN St. Cloud State Securian Financial Group
 Jenna M. Johnson Plymouth, MN University of Minnesota 3M
 Beth Lokken Anoka, MN Arizona State University AmeriCorps VISTA
 Mao Mao  Chengdu, China Sichuan University West China Hospital
 Shannon McCormick Danville, CA Harvard College Optum
 Olawale Ojo-Fati Lagos, Nigeria Federal University of Technology, Akure Skye Bank PLC
 Aleksander     Reinertsen Stavanger,   Norway Norwegian University of Science and     Technology Shell
 Pedro Reyes Sacramento, CA Stanford University Arthur, Chapman, Kettering, Smetak &     Pikala