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The MBA Tipping Point

About 6 months ago I suddenly realized that I had reached the tipping point in my MBA career. For 4 years I had been trying to squeeze more and more value out of the MBA program - expanding my network at networking events, improving my LinkedIn profile by working with the Graduate Business Career Center, informational interviewing to learn more about career paths I was interested in, etc. I was taking as much as I could from the school, my classmates, my colleagues, and any person or organization that was willing to help me with my career.

But this past winter something changed. I got a new job that I love. More and more people started requesting informational interviews with me. I started helping family members and friends update their resumes. I did a mock interview with my husband for a job he was interested in. I started helping some friends through the MBA application process. For the first time in my life, I was the one doing the giving and other people were learning from me. And it felt great!

Now rather than waiting for others to reach out to me for help, I am proactively looking for ways I can contribute to the educations and careers of others. I seek out high potential colleagues at work and start the conversation about career development and where an MBA might (or might not) fit. It's a fun challenge, and I am pleased to finally be on the "giving back" side of my MBA. For those who haven't reached their tipping points yet, it's coming - all that hard MBA work pays off. For some it even pays off before graduation!

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This is officially my first blog and I am super excited. For many years I have been wanting to pursue a full time MBA. I have had some very pointed recommendations from well-wishers suggesting that the FT MBA experience is unbeatable from the classroom experience, cohort experience and job search help. My economic situation was not allowing it and it didn't appear that it will change any time soon. So I decided to write the GMAT and take it from there. The results came and it placed me firmly in the upper quartile for the PT MBA class and the lower quartile for the FT MBA. There the decision was made!

From the very first day I set foot as a student in the Carlson campus, I have had no reason to look back. The energy that I saw among the peer students, alumni and professors was all I could have hoped for. My first management class, Strategic Management, was an eye-opener. The team work that went into that class was something I had never experienced before. The bond that I developed with my team mates has led to subsequent classes together and volunteer activities together by way of Leadership Advisory Board (LAB) and Student Ambassador group. I have had the opportunity to work on a team to run recruiting projects for LAB increasing the membership from 5 to 25 and to start and lead a student ambassador expansion and enrichment project. I have been asked to join various clubs, start new ones and even help organize a brainstorming session to improve the value proposition of the Carlson PT MBA! How cool is that?

Classes are great. You learn a lot. But the activities beyond the classroom through various team projects and being involved in various campus organizations is what makes the PT MBA experience at Carlson a truly memorable one. When these give you access to leaders at the Carlson School and leaders in the local industry, you know that the value you get is unmatched.

So my advice to current and prospective MBAs is - Get involved! And have a much more rewarding experience! I wish you all my kind of success.

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Lessons learned - the end of year 1
With the end of the year basically here (I just have a 5 page paper standing in the way of freedom), I wanted to share some reflections about my first year here at Carlson: specifically, what would I have done differently?

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| No Comments | tags: Carlson MBA Student Experience Student Life

Yes, you heard it right. We do have a Prom night and in fact I am writing this post just after coming back from this biggest dance party of the season at Carlson. It is also time to reflect on my first year at the program. The things I could have done better which I would like the incoming MBAs to consider.

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| No Comments | tags: Admissions
Improvising and Presenting
Sometimes, during my more vain moments, I daydream about giving some big public performance, like a super emotional speech in front of thousands. Or I'm playing King Richard III, in some giant theatre. Or I'm the amazingly good sounding (and looking) singer at the local karaoke place. Daydreaming is great.

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| No Comments | tags: Carlson MBA Full-Time MBA Student Experience
The Carlson Charity Auction
Benefiting the annual Carlson Charity Auction is one of Carlson's best traditions. Hosted by Carlson 4 Community (C4C), a student organization, and various corporate partners, the auction is a classy and fun way for the Carlson community to give back. And with an assortment of exotic items to bid on and a solid bar/food scene for this year's auction, I had an absolute blast.

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| No Comments | tags: Alumni Carlson Full-time Part-time MBA Student Experience Student Life
DCIP - Crash course to feeling prepared for B-school

The most valuable preparation, I believe, was participating in Deloitte's Consulting Immersion Program. My background is heavy on Research and Development, but I was interested in consulting as a career because I have always loved solving problems and puzzles. I am almost through my first year of business school and I still consider my 3 days at Deloitte University as one of the best experiences of the journey.

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And the Journey begins..

...fruits of all the thinking that went into the MBA application process (not to mention the customized crafted essay stories packaging me into a one hell of a product - which even I did not know before this) , I managed to start my elusive MBA journey at the University of Minnesota, Carlson School. Why Minnesota: If anyone is thinking what was I thinking while choosing to study in the snow, then I have only one answer that unfortunately the U never stops working and classes never stops despite the thunderstorm... :-) The rigor of the program stops me from thinking when it ends after two years because I am loving it!

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Final Exam

There's no need to even be worried; I studied for hours with classmates this weekend, I've been keeping up in class, and taking notes on all of the lectures.

"Ha! Who am I kidding?!" A quick cram session is as obligatory an exercise before any test as the Hot Pockets jingle is an expectation of a Jim Gaffigan set.


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| No Comments | tags: MBA Student Experience Student Life