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Real Humans of the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management

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Ullas Pathak, Carlson MBA Class of 2022

Age: 32
Hometown: Kharagpur, India
Undergraduate Institution and Major: NIT Tiruchirappalli, India (REC Trichy)
Pre-MBA Work Experience (years, industry): 6 years, Industrial Consultancy

Why business school? Why now? 
After working in project management, product marketing, and consultancy in cross-functional teams globally I wanted to switch into a more corporate umbrella and devising informed business solutions that spanned from conceptualization to implementation. Due to COVID’s economic turmoil, it seemed apt to utilize these 2 years for personal growth before the economy came back up to speed.

Why Carlson? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend? 
I was really excited about Carlson due to its location in the Twin Cities Area, headquarter for more than 15 fortune 500 companies, and the exposure it provides to create a balance between the corporate and academic world. Carlson MBA’s enterprise program was a very big driving factor since we get to utilize our learning experience in assessing real-world problems and communicating with leaders from organizations in various sectors.  Carlson maintains a great balance in academic flexibility and training through the first-semester mandatory courses to frame the mindset and work culture, moving on to providing a plethora of electives to frame individual MBA experience.

What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to the Class of 2022? 
I have always wanted to give back to the community in my academic and corporate life. At Carlson, my biggest contribution has been to focus on developing early case preparation skills in peers and enabling access to timed frameworks. As a part of Carlson Consulting Club and Energy Club, working with other board members I have created more student engagement avenues to tackle real-world situations such as reducing carbon-footprint, networking experiences, and designing websites for better resource access.

Fun fact that didn’t get included on your application? 
I am an avid soccer and badminton player who likes playing video games like Fifa and has traveled to over 25 countries.

Post-MBA career interests? 
Corporate Strategy and Marketing, Consulting

Advice to current prospective applicants:
–One thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process? 
Highlight why I really want to pursue an MBA and be genuine about it.

–One thing you would change or do differently?
I would not spend as much time thinking of applying and rather would have applied earlier.

What is your initial impression of Carlson’s students/culture/community?
The Carlson community is very engaging and reciprocating. Carlson faculty, staff, and alumni are there to help students through academic, professional, and personal issues. The student-led organizations provide a productive platform for exploring out of class interests and building relations for the future. The Twin Cities area and community within has multiple engagement avenues for cross-functional collaboration for the betterment of society and personal development.

One thing you have learned about Carlson that has surprised you?
It is a hidden gem. With an MBA that has a small class-size compared to other top-tier and mid-tier schools, it utilized that to its benefit for building the future for students.

Thing you are most anxious about in your first year? 
The hybrid class experience due to the pandemic

Thing you are most excited about in your first year?
Carlson Enterprise Program

Christina Griffith
Christina Griffith is a writer and editor based in Philadelphia. She specializes in covering education, science, and history, and has experience in research and interviews, magazine content, and web content writing.