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Kansas to Minnesota: A Journey That Led Me to Carlson

Kansas Roots
Born and raised in rural Northeast Kansas, I grew up as many small town kids do across the Midwest. I spent nearly every summer at my grandparent's farm, participated in practically every high school sport and extra-curricular activity, and eventually landed a part-time job with the local builder. It wasn't until junior year in high school that I even committed to going to college, and when I did, I knew the only choice for me was becoming a Kansas State Wildcat.

Building on my high school experience and passion, I earned my undergraduate degree in Construction Science and Management from Kansas State University's College of Engineering. After completing internships with a large general contractor (Harvey Builders) in Houston, TX and the Department of Defense in Fort Riley, KS I made the decision to pursue a professional career as a construction owner's representative, which is quite different from the traditional career path of working for a general contractor.

Target Corporation
My search for this unique opportunity, much to my own surprise, actually led me to the nation's second-largest retailer, Target Corporation. My wish was soon answered as I loaded down my pickup truck and made the 560 mile journey from Manhattan, KS to Minneapolis, MN. After only 3 weeks in Minneapolis, I was off to Chicago and Philadelphia for the next year to help manage the day-to-day construction, on-site personnel, and completion of an aggressive growth strategy known as "P-Fresh". Upon completion of all the challenges faced in the field my first year, I was offered the opportunity to join the construction project management team at Target headquarters, here in downtown Minneapolis.

U of M Carlson PT-MBA
Since returning to Minneapolis I've fulfilled several project management roles and currently focus on strategic sourcing for construction, architecture, and engineering. Soon after joining the headquarters' team I realized I needed a deeper level of corporate understanding. This is where I looked to the Carlson Part-Time MBA program... it allows for the flexibility I need to excel in my day job, but also the opportunity to further understand the implications of short and long term business decisions, further develop myself as a leader, achieve a better macro understanding of domestic and global business practices, develop a better understanding of tactical business strategies, and to gain exposure and insight to other industries and business models. Now in only my second semester, I know with confidence that Carlson's Part-Time MBA program is an essential part of the equation to becoming the international construction and development leader I aspire to be.

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