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Learning and Doing.

We've all been there--sitting in class, more or less learning, and nodding listlessly when the teachers promises that we'll need it all in the "real world." It happened in middle school when I was learning cursive (didn't need it); it happened in high school memorizing the periodic table (didn't need it); in college with Socrates (didn't need it); and even in law school, memorizing the different rules of civil procedure (haven't needed it yet . . . at least not from memory). So, it was relatively understandable that when I got to Carlson, and my strategy professor and finance professor and all other professors assured me that what they were teaching was relevant, I was a little [read: a lot] hesitant to believe them.

This summer I have been in a marketing role at a small service company in the Twin Cities, and, hand-to-Bible, I ate those hesitations for breakfast on day 1--everything I learned in my first year of business school? ABSOLUTELY need it.

A good friend of mine texted me after her first day this summer: "Was asked to do an NPV analysis today. Pulled out notes from Moser's class. Thank goodness for those notes." And now, six weeks into our internships, what most of us are thinking: SERIOUSLY, thank goodness for those notes.

Last week I was sitting in a conference room at work, fondly names the "war room," as the VPs of marketing, new product development, and sales, all prepared for this week's board meeting. I thought we'd chat for a while and then they would retreat into their offices to work some presentation-magic, and that would be that. Ten minutes into the lunch-meeting and there were three 2x2 charts plastered to the walls. Then someone started talking about the 4 Ps and that's when I began having flashbacks to the classroom. These charts, these terms, and this way of looking at things where all exactly what I'm learning at Carlson, and to see them playing out, at the top of a very well established and successful company, well . . . that was reassuring. And very cool.

So, if you're one of those readers that skim to the bottom, start reading here:
My advice--pick a school with a strong reputation, in a nice city, with a fun student body. Look at programs with a nice alumni network, and corporate relations. Look for all of those things, yes, but above everything else, look for a school where you will be challenged and engaged in the classroom, because when you graduate into your dream job, that could be what you need most.

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