2022 Best & Brightest MBA: Pamela London Fox, University of Minnesota (Carlson)

Pamela London Fox

University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management

“Athlete-turned-journalist-turned-marketer, runs on coffee, would rather be in Canada, my friends call me Professor Pam.”

Hometown: Shoreline, WA

Fun fact about yourself: I am a dual Canadian-American citizen and hope to live and work in Canada someday!

Undergraduate School and Degree: Whitman College, B.A., History

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? Vix Technology, Regional Head of Marketing

Where did you intern during the summer of 2021? 3M, Maplewood, MN

Where will you be working after graduation? 3M, Marketing & Business Development Strategist

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School: I am the president this year of the Graduate Women in Business (GWIB), a board member of the Carlson Marketing Network (CMN), and a managing partner for the Graduate Volunteer Consultants (GVC). I am also a graduate assistant in the Graduate Business Career Center, working on strategic projects for the team and serving as a peer coach for students to work on behavioral interview prep. Additionally, I am a Forté Ambassador, Forté Fellow for the Carlson School, and a Centennial Scholar.

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I am most proud of starting a Men as Allies chapter at the Carlson School of Management, in affiliation with our Graduate Women in Business club. One of my goals heading into this year as the president of GWIB was to create more spaces for conversations around allyship in the workplace. Regardless of how you identify, there are tools that everyone should know to recognize and act on opportunities to be an ally. I believe that MBAs, who are going to be in leadership positions very soon, are exactly the type of audience that needs this heightened awareness.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? In my professional career thus far, I am most proud of how I grew into the role of regional head of marketing at my last company. Six months into my time on the marketing team (which was also my first time in a marketing role), my manager left and wasn’t replaced, so I took on many of her responsibilities. I balanced my time between daily tasks and learning how to do my job. I attended conferences, watched webinars, and took on difficult projects so I knew what I still needed to learn to be the best marketer possible. This experience instilled in me the learning mindset that I believe is now one of my greatest strengths.

Why did you choose this business school? There are many reasons that the Carlson School came out on top of my pros-and-cons list for MBA programs. Looking back, I think the most important factor for me was the small cohort. If I was going to leave the workforce for two years and move out of the city that I’ve lived in my entire life, I knew I needed a strong personal and professional network. With the Carlson School having an average cohort size of 90 students, I would have the opportunity to get to know many of my classmates well, if not really well, and I’m thankful that I was right. I have dear friends from this program that I know I will keep for the rest of my life, and they also happen to be influential members of my professional network, too.

What was your favorite MBA event or tradition at your business school? The Carlson School puts on a charity auction (the Carlson 4 Community, or C4C, Charity Auction) every year for a local organization, an event planned wholly by students and for a charity selected by the student body. While this event is a fun night to get dressed up and spend time with our peers outside of the classroom, I think it really showcases what our MBA community is all about, how we see business as a force for good.

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why? I would have better prioritized my first year in the program in terms of my academic work versus internship recruiting versus social time. Starting an MBA during a pandemic, in a new place away from my partner (who was on the West Coast), was a challenge in-and-of itself. However, I didn’t spend nearly as much time I could have getting outside and exploring what is quickly becoming my new home. Some of my favorite parts of my second year have been the times that I have done just that, and I wish I had done more last year!

What is the biggest myth about your school? I believe the biggest myth about the Carlson School is that the small number of women historically in the program is a limitation (For reference, we are 30% of a class of 75 Full-Time MBAs.). In my experience, women are over-represented in leadership positions in clubs and on projects—we are some of the most active members of the class. There is a saying that women are 20% of the class and 80% of the personality and I definitely think that is true!

What surprised you the most about business school? I was most surprised by how comprehensive the Carlson School MBA program has been in terms of impacting many different areas of my life. I have taken classes in accounting, finance, and marketing, but I’ve also been able to develop my leadership style and better understand my personal and professional values. Each of the Carlson School’s core classes (and many electives, as well) approach a subject through the lens of a manager—as someone who has never been a manager before but will be soon. This was an invaluable attribute of my business school.

What is one thing you did during the application process that gave you an edge at the school you chose? I focused on learning as much as I could about the programs that I was considering so that my applications were as focused and personal as possible. I was able to tailor each application to its respective program, such as using the same language as in their marketing materials and incorporating anecdotes I had heard from current students. When I started at the Carlson School, I already knew a good amount about the MBA program and the opportunities I would have and therefore knew what to be on the lookout for when I got to campus.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Alexis Barber has an innate ability to be completely, uniquely herself in any and all situations and inspires me to be the same. She is personable, engaging, and compassionate and shares her opinions and perspectives inside and outside of the classroom in impactful ways. Alexis is generous with her time and actively involved in the MBA community. Although she is constantly busy, when you are talking to her, it’s like you two are the only people in the room. Preparing with her for internship recruiting inspired me to not only be my best in interviews but also to be myself and show my personality. I am grateful to be Alexis’ peer and friend, and working with her brings me joy every time!

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? My mom teaches at the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington, and business school has always been something I’ve kept as an option but at arm’s length. She must have subconsciously been communicating to me because when I felt I needed to pivot out of journalism at 24 years old, the only path I could think of was business! When I realized a few years later that an MBA was the best next step for me in my career, I already had an idea of the criteria I would use to evaluate programs because of how she talked about Foster and her colleagues at other business schools. I went through college and the early part of my career was insistent that the last place I wanted to be was in a boardroom—and now that is exactly where my career is headed, certainly thanks in part to my mom!

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list? The first item on my professional bucket list is to be in the C-suite for a company that is making a positive impact on the community. The second is to affect the comprehensiveness of the benefits packages offered by my organization. In particular, I want to be able to educate my colleagues (and myself) on what is important to include, from comprehensive parental leave to flexible working time to support for fertility treatments—whatever my colleagues and team members need, I believe there is an opportunity for change.

What made Pam such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2022?

“Pam was an invaluable addition to the Class of 2022. Pam is a natural leader, a cultural influencer, results-focused, and professional. This class faced increased challenges dealing with the COVID constraints. At first, they were virtual. Then they moved in person. In the Carlson Brand Enterprise, this caused greater challenges in executing experiential elements of the program. The cultural dynamics and learning process were more challenging than under “normal” circumstances. This created additional challenges for the students and class leadership was even more important.  Pam helped create a culture of excellence, influencing and supporting her teammates over the course of two client projects. Pam is a well-respected member of the class, and students often seek out Pam’s opinion on a variety of issues. She is the consummate teammate, making everyone on her team better. She takes interest in others and helps drive a culture of excellence that raises the overall performance of the program.”

David Hopkins
Director of the Carlson Brands Enterprise

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