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This is What Community Looks Like

If you've been researching Carlson, then you've probably picked up on the "community" theme. That sense of a shared bond and the mutual support it entails was important to me when I was considering business schools. I expected students to have the kind of trust and collegiality that enables them to take risks and to challenge each other in the classroom. I also expected alumni to talk about how their business school networks opened doors for them later in their careers. What I didn't consider, though, was how that sense of community would impact the experience of interviewing for internships.

As a first-year student in the Full-Time program, the internship search process can be enjoyable. It includes learning about the career opportunities available to MBAs; exploring the culture of different industries, firms, and roles; and imagining how you can use your unique abilities to do something meaningful. It can also be discouraging, stressful, and frustrating. Part of success is persistence, and that's made easier by going through the process with a hundred colleagues who know exactly what it feels like and who want to see each other succeed.

I learned a lot about my own strengths and weaknesses in interviewing from the feedback I got from my classmates, first during the Career Leadership Academy during orientation, then during peer interview practice sessions organized by the Graduate Business Career Center, and then in case interview practice sessions that many of us organized over break.

One of the times that I felt Carlson's sense of community most strongly was when I walked into a room to practice behavioral interviews and saw it filled with second-years ready to conduct mock interviews and give us feedback. They had only just returned from two weeks abroad on the Global Discovery Program and were diving into their classes and enterprises. The fact that so many of them were excited to help us prepare for our interviews really made me feel like this was a group of people I could count on.

As I've walked into interviews since then, I've thought back to that sight and to all of the staff, students, and faculty (and family and friends) who are supporting me and rooting for me. That's a great thought to take into an interview, and an even richer sense of community than I expected to find.

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