MBA applicants can get carried away with rankings. In this series, we profile amazing programs at business schools that are typically ranked outside the top 15.
With 20 Fortune 500 companies located nearby—including UnitedHealth Group, Target and U.S. Bancorp—the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management boasts a robust network of corporate ties and high-profile recruiting opportunities. In fact, the Twin Cities placed first in Forbes’s 2011 rankings of the best U.S. cities for finding employment. Carlson also prepares its students with a pronounced hands-on approach to building leadership, management and problem-solving skills.
Among the school’s more distinctive offerings, Carlson’s four Enterprise programs expose students to the areas of brand, consulting, funds and ventures. The Enterprise learning experience is rather unique insofar as it operates as a full professional services firm, serving multiple clients and allowing students to work through real-world business challenges with senior management at major companies. In the Brand Enterprise program, for example, Carlson students have developed key marketing strategies for such brands as Cargill, Boston Scientific, Target, 3M, General Mills and Land O’Lakes. Students in the Consulting Enterprise program have offered services to such companies as Best Buy, Northwest Airlines Cargo, Medtronic CRM Division and Polaris. With $35 million in managed assets, the Carlson Funds Enterprise program places among the three largest student-managed funds in the world. Finally, the Carlson Ventures Enterprise program puts aspiring entrepreneurs in contact with experts, professionals and investors.