Meet the MBA Class of 2024: Cryspin “Kavaar” Kavaarpuo, University of Minnesota (Carlson)

Cryspin “Kavaar” Kavaarpuo

University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management

“I am a passionate and determined individual who’s charting the course of a business adviser.”

Hometown: Nandom, Ghana

Undergraduate School and Major: University for Development Studies, Finance

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Black Star Group (Investment Banking), Vice President

Fun Fact About Yourself: My parents call me Mwintiero, which means “God’s thoughts” in Dagara. I like to think that it implies that I think like God, but that’s incorrect. The spirit of my name is that God’s intentions for my parents were different from what they believed. My mother, God bless her, had several stillbirths before she had me. When they had just given up hope, I showed up and did not die as many expected – so they named me in honor of the Creator’s good intentions for them.

What has been your favorite part of the Twin Cities so far? What has made it such a great place to earn an MBA? The Twin Cities is a beautiful place filled with a myriad of opportunities. Nineteen Fortune 500 companies are headquartered here, and they all recruit from the University of Minnesota. It is an excellent city for recent graduates and promises a high quality of life. Plus, it ranks as one of the most livable cities in the United States. However, I must say that bearing with the brutal winters of Minnesota was the one thing I had to convince myself about.

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 enrolled in the Carlson Funds Enterprise, one of the biggest student-run investment vehicles globally, with over $50 million in assets under management. The Funds Enterprise operates as a business, with real clients whom we owe fiduciary responsibilities and to whom we report fund performance. This encourages a very high level of professionalism and diligence because students appreciate the level of commitment they are taking on. The structure of the Enterprise allows students who enroll in it to gain real-world, top-of-the-class investment experience, which is invaluable for MBAs looking to go into finance.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: As a first-year analyst at my first job, I started a mutual fund that became the best-performing fixed-income fund in Ghana in 2019 and 2020. I take much pride in how I navigated ambiguity and set out the process to succeed at launching the fund.

Describe your biggest accomplishment as an MBA student so far:  I am most proud about receiving offers from two of the top three management consulting firms and actually declining an interview from the third. I came into the MBA with much ambition, but this has surprised me a bit.

What has been your best memory as an MBA so far? Business school is challenging for most people, especially in the first semester. My best memory is of Professor Jeffrey Kaufman encouraging my cohort to keep in high spirits. It was in the middle of the semester, and people’s energy levels had dwindled. I don’t think he successfully recharged everyone in the class, but I appreciate his immense efforts to do so.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into the Carlson MBA program? Applicants need to engage the admissions committee and current students more. It will help them with two things: First, they will get to know the kind of candidate the Carlson School is looking for, and second, they will be able to validate their interest in the program.


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