Meet The MBA Class of 2022: Berlin Sohn, University of Minnesota (Carlson)

Berlin Sohn

University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management

“Driven life-long learner, comfort zone smasher, cancer surviving soon-to-be mother.”

Hometown: Spooner, WI

Fun Fact About Yourself: I used to be a professional figure skater. I lived and performed on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship and toured Europe with Holiday on Ice.

Undergraduate School and Major: The College of St. Scholastica: B.S. Exercise Physiology & B.A. Computer Science

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Technical Lead at HubSpot

Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of the school’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? Carlson’s Enterprise Program. The Enterprise Program offers opportunities for students to consult on real projects for local companies, including Fortune 500 firms. This experiential learning opportunity made Carlson stand out from other great MBA programs. I wanted to make sure my MBA experience included completing projects outside of my comfort zone. I knew the Enterprise Projects would do just that, setting me up for success in my summer internship and future full-time roles.

At Carlson, you are part of one of the most dynamic business environments in the country. What has made the Twin Cities such a great place to live and learn for you? As a soon-to-be new parent, it was important to me to find a family-friendly city to raise my child that didn’t require sacrificing my career. With the reasonable cost of living, abundant outdoor activities, healthy start-up scene, and numerous Fortune 500 companies, the Twin Cities allow me to be an active mom and still have a thriving career.

What quality best describes your MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? Resilience. We began our program in the midst of a global pandemic and everyone has adapted to the uncertainty with poise and tenacity.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Before getting a formal education in Computer Science, I taught myself to code using free online resources. Despite having no relevant academic credentials, I was able to transition from professional figure skater to software engineer. The grit and perseverance required to break into the industry with such a unique background made this career shift one of my proudest accomplishments.

Describe your biggest accomplishment as an MBA student so far? I completed my first semester (7 courses – 20 credits) while undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer. It was difficult, but I received so much support and grace from the Carlson community during the trying experience.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? As I looked at the possibilities for growth in my career trajectory as an engineer, I realized that the direction engineering was taking me didn’t align with my passions. I knew I wanted to continue working within tech, but in a role that was more focused on solving business and customer challenges rather than on building robust technical solutions. Feeling like I was at a natural transition point in my role, I decided now was the best time for a lateral move and an MBA was the best way to get there.


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