It’s a busy and exciting time here at Carlson! We’ve just launched into our second quarter of classes – for us, that’s marketing, operations and finance – and it’s been great to start learning new concepts from new – but equally great – professors. We’re also in the throes of picking our year-and-a-half long, real-world experiential learning focus (called Enterprises), which means many of us are truly starting to commit to our chosen career paths.
That was certainly an eye-opener for me – I thought everyone came to business school with a set-in-stone idea of what they wanted their post-MBA job to be. That certainly hasn’t been the case. Some students came in with no sense of what they wanted to pursue after school whatsoever, while others came in with a set-in-stone idea that, after a career panel or company information session, was suddenly entirely flexible after all.
For me, I came into school with a pretty solid sense of what I want to do post-MBA. I’ve used the many information-gathering opportunities available to first-year students – everything from on-campus information sessions to informational interviews with Carlson grads to coffees with second-year students – to hone in on the specific type of marketing role that fits with my long-term career goals and professional priorities.
The opportunity to explore all your options – even if you think you might not be interested in a particular company or job function whatsoever – is an integral part of the business school experience. As you’re looking at schools and finalizing the list of where you plan to apply, make sure you’re sizing up the exploratory opportunities offered by the program’s career center as well. After all, the end goal of everyone seeking an MBA is to land a great, fulfilling, and hopefully well-paying job afterwards. The resources available from the school’s career team are a critical component to achieving that goal.
Sarah Riley, Forte Fellow
MBA 2014, Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota