I find the varying backgrounds of the students very interesting. There are stay-at-home moms and dads, teachers, veterans, engineers, people from fortune 500s, people from companies with 3 employees, business owners, etc. The list goes on. The reasons people are in the course, also, vary quite a bit from not knowing what they will use the degree for to career advancement to everything in between.
The majority of people are in the program for career advancement. The advancement could be internal at their place of employment or an external move to a new employer. They may want to advance in their field or completely change fields; a typical example is an engineer in the program wanting to go the management route.
Some students have no idea what they want to do, they just believe an MBA from Carlson cannot hurt and will help them progress. Some students come in knowing that the MBA will help them with career advancement but want to learn more about other career paths since they are unsettled with their own career path. There are business owners like myself that are using it as a tool for other benefits that can be added to my business; through achieving the MBA and taking certain classes I will be able to get my CPA designation.
I still get surprised by some of the reasons people give for being in the program. I believe it is important to understand that there are many reasons to obtain an MBA, especially from one of the top schools. Not only is there a lot that you obtain from the program, but it opens up a lot of options that most people are not aware of.