Meet the MBA Class of 2023: Emma Foster, University of Minnesota (Carlson)

Emma Foster

University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management

“Minnesota made, endless curiosity, goal-oriented mindset, CPA nerd, Harry Potter and Redfin-obsessed.”

Hometown: Wayzata, MN

Fun Fact About Yourself: As a college swimmer, I was a 3x Division III National Champion and 9x All-American. I swam competitively for over 16 years of my life and, after a five-year break, I’ve finally started swimming again!

Undergraduate School and Major: I was an accounting major at University of St Thomas.

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: International Tax Senior Associate at PwC

What has been your favorite part of the Twin Cities so far? What has made it such a great place to earn an MBA? After joining the Carlson School, I realized there are a lot of amazing places around the Twin Cities that I haven’t experienced despite having lived in Minnesota for most of my life. I experienced new breweries during Carlson’s weekly networking social hour, gone to art shows, and am looking forward to an upcoming indoor rock-climbing event! From a business perspective, we have one of the highest per-capita portions of Fortune 500 companies in the nation which makes it a great city to start a post-MBA career.

Carlson MBA spend a year in hands-on Enterprise programs for Consulting, Branding, Ventures, and Funds. Which program do you intend to enroll in? What excites most about your Enterprise program? I will be joining the Consulting Enterprise program next semester. This program provides real-world experiences which better prepare students for future internships and careers. I’m most looking forward to working with and learning directly from industry professionals. I’m excited to be back on a team that is working together to provide solutions for our clients.

Aside from your classmates, experiential learning, and location, what was the key part of the Carlson MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? I LOVE Minnesota! I knew I wanted to work in the Twin Cities in the long term, so it made sense for me to pursue my MBA at the Carlson School and to build my personal and professional network in Minnesota. The more I learned about the Carlson School, the more confident I became about pursuing my MBA there. The small graduating class size, the proximity to various Fortune 500 companies, and the experiential learning students gain from the Enterprise program were all key reasons why I chose Carlson for business school.

What course, club or activity have you enjoyed the most so far at Carlson? Going to the Carlson Gopher Game Day Tailgates has been an absolute blast! It’s been a fun way to get to know other students. While Game Day Tailgates are my favorite, I’ve truly enjoyed how Carlson has such a wide variety of clubs and events for students to participate in. From attending the Vets 101 Lunch and Learn to the Women, Wine and Wisdom Event, there have been so many opportunities to get to know our classmates.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: The accomplishment I’m most proud of during my career relates to my involvement in PwC’s Women’s Inclusion Network (“WIN”) and the impact I made on female new hires. I grew up hearing about the lack of women in the then “Big Eight” accounting firms during the early days of my dad’s public accounting career, so I took this as a challenge when applying to PwC. Although gender equality has improved significantly in this industry, there is still a lot of progress to be made. At PwC, I committed myself to exposing new hires to women in leadership roles early on in their careers. This served as a driving force during my involvement in WIN, where I have planned over nine networking and career enhancement events for the women in our office. Most recently, I moderated the Partner Panel discussion, which had over 130 virtual attendees. Other events I’ve planned include the Avivo Charity Drive and Holiday Luncheon, the Women’s Wellness Series, and the Wine Tasting Networking Social.

Early on in my career, I would have said my greatest accomplishment was becoming a licensed CPA and achieving promotion to senior associate in under two years. More recently, I excelled at managing a large-scale global restructuring project, which provided the opportunity to meet with PwC’s top international tax experts at our National Tax Practice in Washington, D.C. It was an amazing experience!

Describe your biggest accomplishment as an MBA student so far: Having the opportunity to join the Graduate Women in Business (“GWIB”), Carlson 4 Community (“C4C”) and Medical Institute Leadership Institute Student Organization (“MILIsa”) has been my greatest accomplishment so far. Through these organizations, I’ve planned a Toys 4 Tots gift drive, an In Vitro Diagnostics Lunch & Learns, and Trivia Night at our weekly social hour. I’m looking forward to seeing the impact these organizations will continue to make at Carlson!

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into the Carlson MBA program? In part due to the small class sizes, we have a very close community at Carlson and every student truly adds to the overall culture. Therefore, it is important for you to allow yourself the time to reflect on your strengths and weakness in order to determine what you will be able to bring to Carlson and what you are hoping to gain in pursuing your MBA.

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