2023 MBA To Watch: Sarah Adams, University of Minnesota (Carlson)

Sarah Adams

University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management

“As a curious person, I am drawn to new adventures to learn and grow.”

Hometown: Duluth, Minnesota

Fun fact about yourself:  At 15, I participated in a year-long Rotary Foreign Exchange to Mérida, México, with two Spanish words under my belt: verde (green) and vaca (cow). Needless to say, there was a steep learning curve to becoming bilingual in Spanish.

Undergraduate School and Degree: University of Minnesota Duluth-Dual degree of Teaching Spanish and Social Studies

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? Hopkins North Junior High – Spanish Immersion Teacher

Where did you intern during the summer of 2022? Deloitte, Minneapolis Office

Where will you be working after graduation? Deloitte, Senior Consultant

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

President of the Entrepreneurship Club

DePodesta Fellowship

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? Through the DePodesta Fellowship, I had the opportunity to receive mentorship to develop and test medical Spanish lessons for nurses at the beginner level through my company Españolx. The language barrier in healthcare reduces the quality of care for patients who need an interpreter. Nurses want to be able to foster connection with their Spanish-speaking patients. In three lessons with Españolx, nurses were able to introduce themselves in Spanish, ask if the patient would like an interpreter, and introduce the pain scale to improve the care of their patients.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? Teaching students. Each day in the classroom, my goal was to give each of them my best to support their academic and social emotional growth. Our youth are precious. They are our future.

Why did you choose this business school? I chose the Carlson School because of its Venture Enterprise program opportunities and small Full-Time MBA class cohort.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? Yelena Hydrie’s experience is in organizational leadership and intercultural education with a focus in conflict management and negotiation. Yelena taught with energy, intention, and rigor. She had high expectations for our performance and provided personalized feedback for improvement. She carefully selected readings that would enhance our knowledge on the topic. She drove high engagement by teaching key concepts through simulations and discussion.

What was your favorite course as an MBA? I took Yelena Hydrie’s Negotiations class, which opened my eyes to the art of negotiation and prevalence in our lives. My key takeaways from the course were to come prepared to the table and a successful negotiation is for both parties to walk away with value added.

What was your favorite MBA event or tradition at your business school? My favorite tradition at our business school is TAPs. Every Thursday, our class comes together at different locations across Minneapolis to grab a drink and connect. The Carlson School values community and this weekly commitment to spending time together reflects this.

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why? The first semester was brutal, especially coming from a liberal arts background. My re-do would be to take preparatory courses in the summer in Statistics and Economics through Khan Academy. In addition, I would take the Wall Street Prep course in Accounting and Excel skills. I would have learned more from my courses with foundational knowledge in each of the listed subject areas.

What is the biggest myth about your school? The Carlson School is a small school that flies under the radar nationally. However, we are a bright crew who land competitive internships and full time offers.

What did you love most about your business school’s town?  Minneapolis has a lot of outdoor activities no matter the season.

What surprised you the most about business school? There are so many paths to choose from. It is really in your hands to design your experience.

What is one thing you did during the application process that gave you an edge at the school you chose?  I was honest about my strengths and weaknesses. I focused on how Carlson’s unique program would help me grow to meet my goals.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Morgan Short. She is someone you want on your team. She is insightful, collaborative, and executes efficiently.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?

  1. To achieve partner at a consulting firm or CEO of a small to mid-sized company.
  2. Grow a profitable company from the ground up.

What made Sarah such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2023?

“Sarah’s experience as a high school language teacher, coupled with an MBA education focused on entrepreneurship and innovation, has helped her realize the goal of making a difference in the field of education. Providing space and support for Sarah to pursue her passion has resulted in remarkable progress for her language startup Españolx, which helps healthcare workers learn conversational Spanish to effectively communicate with Spanish speaking patients.

Sarah is living proof of Carlson’s mantra of “Business as A Force for Good” and that what you do and how you go about your business actually matters. I am confident that Sarah leaves here with the skills, mindset and sense of purpose to continue making impact through innovation as she moves onto her next career at Deloitte.”

Toby Nord
Professional Director
Carlson Ventures Enterprise


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