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

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minnesota mba class of 2023Thiago Martins Nunes, Minnesota Carlson MBA Class of 2023

Age: 28
Hometown: Uberlandia – Brazil
Undergraduate Institution and Major: Industrial Engineering at Universidade de Uberaba – UNIUBE
Pre-MBA Work Experience (years, industry): 4 years working with B2B Technical Sales in the Food & Beverage Industry

Why did you make the decision to attend business school? Why now?
In my last job, I had the opportunity to deploy a new product in different geographies, interacting with cross-functional teams all over the world. I had the technical knowledge; however, when I was building the go-to-market strategy, I realized that I didn’t have enough business knowledge regarding strategy, marketing, and finance. After working on the project, I figured out that I needed to upgrade my skillset to speed up my career. Consequently, the MBA would be the best way to hone these skills. Beyond that, the Brazilian labor market was facing some hardship while the US markets had a great forecast.

Why did you choose Minnesota Carlson? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
I was looking for a tight knit community and mid-size classes. I believe that one of the most important aspects of the MBA experience is to build genuine relationships. Also, I grew up in Brazil and my whole life I was used to living in a single-season place. When I was considering business school, I was looking for a place with predominantly cold weather with different seasons as well. Additionally, the balance between practical experience and academia in Carlson really caught my attention. The Carlson Enterprise experience offers an opportunity to apply the acquired knowledge in real business situation.

What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to the Class of 2023?
I believe that my unique background working with B2B Sales, combining Sales & Operations knowledge and with my experience living in Brazil would add value to the class in how to find different and creative ways to approach business problems. Also, my customer-centric vision always brings to the table the client perspective. I think this is essential since everybody has clients (internal or external).

Tell us a fun fact that didn’t get included on your application:
The first time that I have seen snow was in Oshkosh, WI, and I was 25. Also, my first trip to the US was not visiting a famous place. My first destination was Kansas City, MO. It was a business trip.

Post-MBA career interests:
I would like to pursue Corporate Strategy and Marketing roles.

Advice for Current Prospective Applicants:
–What is one thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process?
Definitely, I would search about the business school location. When you choose an MBA program, you are picking your destination as well.

–What is one thing you would change or do differently?
I would talk to more second-year students and alumni before starting the program. Second, I would apply earlier.

–What is one part you would have skipped if you could—and what helped you get through it?
If I had the power to skip something, I would skip some essays. There are some topics that are very familiar and others that are hard to write about. The earlier you start, the more chances to revise and refine until you find your best version. Don’t overthink, start with bullet points.

What is your initial impression of the  Minnesota Carlson students/culture/community?
My first impression could not be better. Carlson’s culture is very collaborative. The people here are always willing to help with anything. 

Also, I am impressed with faculty support and how intelligent and willing to help the students they are. Honestly, I was expecting a less diverse environment. However, I have classmates from different continents such as Africa, Asia, Europe, and South America. Finally, the strong Carlson relationship with F500 companies. 

What is one thing you have learned about  Minnesota Carlson that has surprised you?
The number of F500 companies in the Twin Cities and the companies that are hiring Carlson students.

Has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your personal application or admissions process in any way? If so, how?
After the Covid-19 outbreak, the location and the companies that recruit students made me reflect about which company I would like to work for and in which place I would like to live, consequently I was considering these variables while applying for the MBA.

What is one thing you are most anxious about in your first year?
The beginning of recruiting season. In comparison to the last year the scenario is better; however, there are companies that are still recruiting online only.

What is one thing you are most excited about in your first year?
Carlson Consulting Enterprise. 

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.