As I look back at my first year in the Carlson MBA program, I am amazed by the amount of growth I experienced both personally and professionally. So much has happened in such a short period of time. It seems like just yesterday I was looking around at over 100 strangers from all different backgrounds and geographies, none of us knowing what to expect of each other and all uncertain of what the next year would bring.
Full-Time MBA Archives
Whenever I give a tour of Carlson to a prospective student, I like to start with a "fun fact"; my favorite fun fact is a rumor I heard on my own tour last year: Carlson, a very uniquely-shaped building, was designed to look a bit like a boat, because Mr. Carlson himself was a big fan of sea-faring activities (which makes his residency in the land-locked Minnesota a bit of a conundrum), nonetheless, the building was built in the late nineties with the tip of its bow pointed to the heart of downtown.
If you've been admitted to Carlson's Class of 2015, then congratulations to you! As you prepare to leave your workplaces in the next few months, here are a few pieces of advice from my own experience.
When I started high school I remember learning that I wouldn't be able to do both theatre and soccer after school, and that I would have to choose. I was devastated. I loved them both and I couldn't imagine missing out on either activity or either group of friends. I am the kind of person who loves to do it all and, given proper notification, can find time for nearly anything. Tell me I can't and surely, I will. But these lessons in prioritizing and choosing are inevitable, and the first year of the MBA program has proven to be no different.
As the second half of the spring quarter kicks off it's unbelievable to understand just how much we have accomplished thus far. In classes, we are wrapping up our core and beginning to apply our knowledge in our enterprises. As social organizations and clubs we have been inducted into leadership roles and are planning events for next year. In our long term careers, we have secured internships and begun defining our long term professional paths. As a community we have identified ourselves as the class of 2014, a positive, social and motivated group who cares about one another and seeks creative opportunities for challenge. Next year's class is on campus, visiting classes, interviewing and forming itself as the Class of 2015. And it has only been seven months.
However, as I look at my upcoming day, I admit, it's not without hard work.
The start of Spring B term at Carlson is really a new beginning for first-year MBAs in the Full-Time program. Here's a quick look at three of the things I'm most excited about:
When I expressed my intention to attend business school, I was met with justified resistance. I had, in fact, already attended law school and managed to call myself an attorney, although I never practiced. I studied what I wanted to as an undergrad (theatre) and took on considerable debt to study what I didn't want to in law school (the law) and wound up with a job I generally enjoyed that barely utilized my JD (producing commercials). Therefore, it was understandable when my husband questioned my motives, my parents rolled their eyes and my friends joked that med school was inevitable.
When I decided to get an MBA, I wanted to expand my career opportunities and acquire some new skills, but I also wanted to take two years to focus on developing myself in broader sense. I knew that MBA programs, partly by design, offer and demand more than you can manage. They force you to make tough choices about where to spend your time and to learn how to turn out work and influence outcomes under significant constraints.