Meet the MBA Class of 2024: Jill Hancock, University of Minnesota (Carlson)

Jill Hancock

University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management

“Grown in Idaho, soldier, entrepreneur, knowledge-seeker weekend warrior, and outdoor adventurer.”

Hometown: Rexburg, ID

Fun Fact About Yourself:

  • Co-owner and creator of Pump & Grind Fitness, a functional fitness exercise prescription business for women
  • Spartan Obstacle Course Race Podium finisher (i.e., finishing in 1st, 2nd or 3rd place)
  • Lived in the Philippines (2016-2017) and speak Tagalog

Undergraduate School and Major: B.S. Health Science (2008), Brigham Young University-Idaho

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Lincoln Financial Group: Consultant, Account Manager

What has been your favorite part of the Twin Cities so far? What has made it such a great place to earn an MBA? Twin Cities: The unparalleled trail system and state parks/preserves.

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 applied for the Carlson Consulting Enterprise (CCE). CCE will provide me with the structure and framework I need to succeed as an aspiring external consultant. The hands-on CCE practicum will prepare me to translate ambiguous projects into concise, meaningful client solutions for Minnesota Fringe as a Graduate Volunteer Consultant, as a Strategy Consultant intern with Gartner in Summer 2023, and beyond.

The opportunity to work in small, diverse teams, with the framework, analysis, and quantitative solutioning sought by leading Consulting firms worldwide under the expert direction of Siddharth, Dave, and Marja will be the capstone learning experience of my MBA education.

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? Carlson’s ranking as the #1 graduate program for veterans with robust financial support and a tight-knit professional network was a force multiplier to the global focus and emphasis on Business as a Force for Good.

Within 24 hours of beginning my MBA application, I was contacted by Carlson’s Veterans Ambassador. “Chip” shared information on the Carlson School’s Gatens/Benson scholarship opportunity and supported me in making an informed decision about pursuing my MBA at the University of Minnesota. Chip’s support was reinforced by the Carlson’s Academic Affairs and Admissions team, who were committed to helping me achieve my professional and academic goals. As a student, the continuous support and availability of faculty and staff who show genuine interest in me as a person have won my life-long support of the Carlson School of Management.

What course, club or activity have you enjoyed the most so far at Carlson?

Cultural: Celebrating Diwali with my Indian classmates and sharing in their important holiday festival.

Clubs: Finding a family within the Carlson Veterans Club and veteran alumni and volunteering with Carlson4Community and Operation No Limits at the East Central Regional Juvenile Detention Center.

Courses: Managerial Economics and Finance Management for their broad application to understanding the world from a quantitative perspective.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Enlisting in the United States Army’s Special Operations at the age of 34 while working as a consultant for a Fortune 200 company. My military service has made me a better employee, colleague, and student. Serving in the Army has been personally and professionally transformative.

Describe your biggest accomplishment as an MBA student so far: Balancing the academic, professional, and social requirements of pursuing a rigorous MBA program.

What has been your best memory as an MBA so far? Learning from my diverse classmates inside and outside of the classroom. Each course and core team has special memories of working together to achieve a common goal.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into the Carlson MBA program? Accept every opportunity to push yourself outside of your comfort zone personally and professionally. Lean in, embrace a growth mindset, brush up on algebra and Excel, and serve in the Armed Forces!


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