Cleresa R. Roberts
“I’m black and I’m proud. I’m compassionate about improving education and healthcare for minorities.”
Hometown: Salt Lake City, Utah
Fun Fact About Yourself: I train my two shelties in agility and have attended competitions throughout the country.
Undergraduate School and Major: Denison University, Biology
Most Recent Employer and Job Title: University of Pennsylvania, Research Associate
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: My biggest accomplishment in my career so far was conducting independent scientific research investigating aging in adipose-derived stem cells which resulted in research publications.
What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? Inspiring. There is a breadth of experiences and diversity within the Carlson School program that makes for an enriching and rewarding learning experience. During orientation, we attended a lecture about the art of presenting. At the end, in our core groups (specific project groups for the semester), we had to create and present a topic to our peers either about Minnesota or the individuals in our groups. I was in awe of the absolute creativity and passions that many of our classmates shared. It definitely inspired me not only to continue working towards my goals but in knowing that as a collective my peers will strive toward a better future for all people.
Aside from your classmates, 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? As a medical student at the University of Minnesota, I was already fortunate to be part of an extraordinary educational environment. The fact that the Carlson School was right across the river with its exceptional reputation made it an easy decision. In addition to the location, the Enterprise program and the Medical Industry Leadership Institute (MILI) will provide me the unique opportunity to gain experience solving real-life business problems through experiential learning.
What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? MOSAIC, the diversity club on campus.
What was the most challenging question you were asked during the admissions process? The most challenging question during the admissions process was the extempore on a topic of your choice.
What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? In medical school, we are taught the necessary and important clinical information and skills to become successful practicing physicians. What we are not taught is the business aspect of medicine. My passion in medicine is to improve health disparities in minority communities. I believe the best way to effect change in these communities is through minorities acquiring leadership positions to impact policies and initiatives from the top down. The MBA coupled with my own clinical experiences will provide me the opportunity to obtain a leadership position in a medical school or within a larger health system to effectively improve and overhaul the current health system to provide quality care for minorities.
What other MBA programs did you apply to? None
How did you determine your fit at various schools? Given that the Carlson School of Management was the only business school I applied to, it was important that I received a world-class education in a learning environment and culture that were supportive and inclusive of minorities. I evaluated Carlson by speaking with other dual-degree and minority students, reaching out to the administration, and researching on the internet. I knew the Carlson School aligned with my interests given its experiential learning programs in real-world ventures and healthcare while taking classes geared towards learning about the healthcare system from a business model.
What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? Purchasing my first home at the age of 21. It taught me money management, fiscal responsibility and the value of my money working for me.
Where do you see yourself in ten years? Practicing in a surgical subspecialty and at the forefront of leadership in medicine impacting and implementing policies to improve health disparities for minorities in this country.