Meet The MBA Class of 2022: Joe Crawford, University of Minnesota (Carlson)

Joe Crawford

University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management

“Driven leader committed to positively impact people and organizations. It’s never too late for coffee.”

Hometown: Indianapolis, IN

Fun Fact About Yourself: With the help of my brother-in-law, I am experiencing as many Minnesota-related adventures as possible this first year—cross-country skiing, roof-raking, and more.

Undergraduate School and Major: United States Naval Academy, Quantitative Economics

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: United States Marine Corps, Company Commander

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? The Enterprise programs were definitely something that stood out for me. Having the opportunity to practice putting the theory and education we receive in class into action while working with a client on a project that truly matters to them is extremely unique.  Transitioning from the military without prior business experience, I knew this immersive experience was something that would be incomparable.  Getting repetitions in doing the things I want to do after graduation is better preparing me for the future.

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? Never being a resident of Minnesota prior to moving here for school, I was struck by the number and variety of Fortune 500 firms that span all different industries.  What makes Carlson such a great place is that there are alumni scattered throughout all these firms who all share a passion for giving back to the school and assisting those of us currently in the program.  Additionally, I am fortunate to have both family and friends located in the Twin Cities, who have been instrumental through my transition into the MBA experience.

What quality best describes your MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? Passionate. From the very first days of class, I was struck by how driven everyone is to make the world better.  So many individuals are coming from backgrounds in non-profits and many seek to return to work. Regardless, everyone is committed to making the world a better place – regardless if that is on the national stage or by simply making the community they live in better for all.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: While this isn’t one specific event, it was the level of trust and freedom I had while serving as a Platoon Commander in the Marine Corps.  This was definitely the culmination of several years of experience and performance I had put in to get to that point.  In my position as a Combined Anti-Armor Team Platoon Commander, I had the ability to completely design the twelve-month training plan for my team to prepare us to deploy overseas.  Knowing that senior leaders within the organization depended on my judgment and decision-making was something that I took a lot of pride in.

Describe your biggest accomplishment as an MBA student so far? Even in a very unique year, I think the relationships that have been built in the last six months are something that I am very proud of.  Though most of our classroom experience has been in the virtual setting so far, the class has really gotten to know each other and formed strong bonds that will undoubtedly continue to grow in the future.  Whether it was working on classwork together or practicing cases over the holidays, my peers are those that truly make this experience one-of-a-kind.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? While I will always treasure the experiences I had in the military, I knew I wanted to pursue opportunities in the business world.  Attending Carlson was critical in making that transition because I knew it would shore up the deficiencies I had in business acumen, while also opening the door to a strong professional network, especially within the Twin Cities.


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