Meet the MBA Class of 2024: Veronica Johnson, University of Minnesota (Carlson)

Veronica Johnson

University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management

“A thoughtful, motivated leader that loves adventure and a challenge.  Fueled by creativity, curiosity, and a big cup of coffee!”

Hometown: Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota

Fun Fact About Yourself: I’m an artist! In my spare time, or whenever I need a break, I love to paint and draw. Some of my favorite commissioned pieces include house portraits, landscapes, state maps, and wedding invitations!

Undergraduate School and Major: University of Minnesota, Landscape Design and Planning

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Timberland Partners – HR Business Partner

What has been your favorite part of the Twin Cities so far? What has made it such a great place to earn an MBA? I’ve been living in Minnesota for over 20 years and I’m always finding a new reason to fall in love with the Twin Cities. If I had to sum it up, my favorite part of the Twin Cities is that there’s something for everyone. Whether you like to adventure out to the state parks, listen to live music at a local brewery, spend hours shopping at the Mall of America, or enjoy time on the 10,000+ lakes, you can always find some way to enjoy Minnesota (even in negative degree weather!).

The people are really what makes Minnesota such a great place to earn an MBA. It’s big enough to meet new people and explore new opportunities, but small enough to find your community. I’ve loved getting to know my classmates and finding new ways to connect.

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 Brands Enterprise next semester. While my hope is to pivot my career into management consulting, I was intrigued by the depth and impact of marketing strategy and wanted to hone my skills in that area. I’m excited to be challenged with real business problems and to partner with top companies and leaders in the Twin Cities. My hope is to continue developing skills and strengths that will carry into my future career!

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’ve always been passionate about community and relationship building, and the Carlson School’s extensive network was a key aspect that led me here. There is no shortage of personalized support from the faculty and staff, and they truly want to see you succeed. This network also extends beyond the walls of Carlson. The alumni network stays connected and I’ve already experienced their openness and support as I’m learning about new companies and industries. I’m looking forward to maintaining these relationships and paying it forward to future Carlson MBA classes.

What course, club or activity have you enjoyed the most so far at Carlson? I’m on the board for the Graduate Women in Business (GWIB) Club and I’ve really enjoyed working alongside some incredible and intelligent women leaders. We’ve had some great events already this semester including a “Wisdom from Working Mothers” panel and a “How to Survive On-Campus Recruiting” workshop. I’m excited to continue supporting women in business and I’m looking forward to our upcoming events next semester!

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Something I’m proud of, as I look back on my pre-MBA career, is the role I had in handling the COVID-19 pandemic at my companies. Working in HR, many of the responsibilities and tasks around managing the pandemic in a workplace fell on me and my HR teams. I was gathering and tracking data, staying informed on the ever-changing guidelines and standards, creating new policies from scratch, and fielding concerns and questions from all of our employees. I had to remain the professional, informed, and patient resource for the company, all while navigating my own emotions around the pandemic. Looking back, I’m proud of how I handled all those challenges and I hope I was able to offer some empathy and support to our employees during a difficult time.

Describe your biggest accomplishment as an MBA student so far: Surviving the first semester! Although I was nervous about coming back to school, I ended up adjusting very quickly. I rediscovered my love for learning and I surprised myself with how well I did in my classes, specifically the quantitative core classes. This semester was a great confidence boost and a reminder to myself that I am capable of many things. I’m so proud of myself for finally taking the leap to go back to school!

What has been your best memory as an MBA so far? I’ve been fortunate to attend a couple of leadership conferences where I’ve been able to meet some remarkable MBA students and hear from incredible speakers in the business world. I’ve walked away from those conferences with more understanding and renewed motivation. I’m grateful for all the learning that came from those opportunities and for the connections I made along the way!

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into the Carlson MBA program? Be yourself and use your network! The Carlson School community is small but strong, and we’re at our best when everyone brings their authentic selves. Take some time to figure out what’s important to you in an MBA program and then be genuinely curious when you talk to admissions and your network.


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