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Real Humans of MBA Students: Minnesota Carlson MBA Class of 2023

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minnesota mba class of 2023Patrick Hines, Minnesota Carlson MBA Class of 2023 

Age: 35
Hometown: Cincinnati, OH
Undergraduate Institution and Major: Temple University; Bachelor of Music Performance
Pre-MBA Work Experience (years, industry): 5 years, Guiyang Symphony Orchestra (China)

Why did you make the decision to attend business school? Why now?
The idea of going to business school for an MBA has always been in the back of my head. I moved to MN with my partner because he got a job here. The move to a new city and state provided me the ideal opportunity to pursue my dream of obtaining an MBA, while also building a professional and social network in a new city.

Why did you choose Minnesota Carlson? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
As a classical musician, I have become quite fond of and accustomed to orchestral environments. I am happiest and most productive when I am in small, tight-knit environments. My MBA class is approximately 90 people, nearly the same size as an orchestra. Also, transitioning from the music world to the business world is, to me, a huge shift. Carlson’s Enterprise programs will give me the foundation and skills needed for me to have what is needed to succeed.

What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to the Class of 2023?
I believe my non-traditional background of being a Classical musician will be quite the attention grabber. Almost everyone has some kind of experience playing or singing music in some form in their life. I enjoy connecting with others and reimaging past musical experiences.

Tell us a fun fact that didn’t get included on your application:
I produced, recorded, and released my own classical album, which is available on all digital music platforms. Just search my name and you’ll see it!  

Post-MBA career interests:
I am interested in pursuing a strategy role, either by means of internal consulting or a generalist role in a consulting firm.

Advice for Current Prospective Applicants:
–What is one thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process?
The one thing I would do again is reach out to current MBA students. Speaking with current students was not only fun, but it was also relieving to put a face to applying to business school, a task that can easily become faceless, especially in this new, virtual world we all live in.

–What is one thing you would change or do differently?
Looking back, I wouldn’t hold so much doubt and concern in my differentiating qualities. Rather than doubting, I would lean into my non-traditional background and age. Many of my classmates are in the same age range as me, and many other classmates have varied backgrounds as well.

–What is one part you would have skipped if you could—and what helped you get through it?
If I could, I would have skipped taking the GRE (I decided to take the GRE instead of the GMAT). We all know how stressful standardized tests are! When I applied, there was the option to waive the test. However, I felt it would be better to take the test since I have never taken a math class in any of my college experience. What helped me get through the test was the realization that doing math is fun! Practicing countless GRE math problems made me feel like I was in middle school and high school; a time when I remember math was my favorite subject.

What is your initial impression of the Minnesota Carlson students/culture/community?
I am surprised and amazed at how tight-knit Carlson students and alumni are with one another. In such a short period of time, I have reached out to many people who say to me “You should reach out to X!” I am surprised at how quickly my network is growing!

Has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your personal application or admissions process in any way? If so, how?
If anything, the COVID-19 pandemic allowed me to strengthen my application. Since I was sitting at home everyday, I had ample time to study for the GRE and create a well-crafted personal essay.

What is one thing you are most anxious about in your first year?
I am hoping that I am able to make a positive impression in my search for a summer internship!

What is one thing you are most excited about in your first year?
I am most excited about meeting so many of my classmates from all walks of life!

Lauren Wakal
Lauren Wakal has been covering the MBA admissions space for more than a decade, from in-depth business school profiles to weekly breaking news and more.