Meet Minnesota Carlson’s MBA Class Of 2019

Jack Barnes 

Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota

Describe yourself in 15 words or less: Army Veteran dedicated to achieving results through leadership, hard work, and a commitment to my team.

Hometown: Victoria, MN

Fun Fact About Yourself: I have never personally owned a TV. I do occasionally watch Netflix on my laptop, but I generally try to avoid sitting in front of a screen. Without a TV, I’m forced to get out of the house and spend time doing things that are more engaging.

Undergraduate School and Major: United States Military Academy, BS Economics 

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation: Field Artillery Officer, US Army

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: While serving as the second in command of a hundred-person unit, I was responsible for restructuring our core capabilities. This included overseeing the transfer of $25 million worth of tracked vehicles, like tanks, and obtaining wheeled vehicles and howitzers. During my last year in the Army, I managed the deactivation of another unit, which transferred $50 million worth of property and relocated 199 personnel. Both experiences provided unique learning opportunities and allowed me to develop a background in business while serving in the Army.

Looking back on your experience, what one piece of advice would you give to future business school applicants? If I were to do anything different, it would be the approach I took for the GMAT. If I could start the process over, I would approach the GMAT with a longer and more structured study program. First, I would sign up for and take the actual GMAT before studying to get the best gauge of where I was at. From the results, I would focus 75% of my efforts toward the weakest areas and 25% maintaining the areas in which I did best. I’d break down my studying into 90-minute practice sessions six days a week. Each practice session would focus on one specific area. Every other Saturday, I would take a practice exam online. I would maintain this schedule for the length of time needed to study every area in which I needed to improve. Once complete, I would want to take the official GMAT within three days of the last study day.

What was the key factor that led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA and why was it so important to you? When selecting an MBA program, I was focused on two aspects: opportunity and fit. 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.

With regards to job placement, 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. 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.

The veterans program is another component of fit that was appealing. The network and support from the veteran program has helped me transition from the military into school.

What would success look like to you after your first year of business school? Getting my MBA serves a means to enter the financial industry after having spent the last five years in the military. Tangibly, success after the first year would be landing and excelling in a summer associate internship with an investment bank.

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