The Alumni Evening was my first experience with Carlson alumni as I just transferred to the University of Minnesota. I learnt that there were quite a few Fortune 500 companies from the state of Minnesota and this was exciting. It was an interesting experience. There were some new words tossed around like lean and capacity that were not covered in the operations management course yet.
I understood the importance of getting a summer internship and getting ready to apply for one in the summer of junior year. Some clich concepts like being prepared and starting early were key themes in the discussions with the alumni. Overall, it helped me understand what was going to be out there in the workplace and I was able to get professional contacts as some of them were nice enough to give their business cards.
The following is some of the advice the alumni from each company shared that I found particularly interesting.
Evan Anderson’s suggestion was to get closer to professors who wanted us to succeed during school and after graduation.
Clinton Malikowski brought up the fact that something always went wrong almost all the time. Tom Palmehn gave a motivating solution to how Honeywell employees solve their problems. They keep asking the question why. If why was asked five times, they would be able to find solutions.
Joe Begnaud stated that we should look to get our foot in the door of the company first and then seek for our ideal position in the organization. That is to just grab the opportunity you get and look to rotate within the company and learn different trades.
The Carlson alumni from Best Buy stressed the importance of networking as you never know when you will need the assistance of peers and colleagues. Moreover, I should be able to build and utilize a network more to access the never-ending opportunities available.
The alumni stressed the importance of choosing a good major and taking appropriate courses that will allow us to get ahead in the working environment.
All of these counsels were great cues for me to work on and incorporate in my future endeavors.
It was great meeting the Carlson alumni and learning how they started out and why they chose a particular major. Another thing that was nice was their personal experiences at the University of Minnesota. For instance, one of the alumni working at Target enjoyed the food at the Shuang Chen restaurant in Dinky town.
I learnt to enhance my networking experience by bringing together key networking concepts and real life. Additionally, I could enhance opportunities through networking.
In addition, I learnt etiquette, business language and other important aspects. I was now ready to take on interviewers!