Student Profile: Napoleon Howell, Carlson School of Management

Student Profile: Napoleon Howell, Carlson School of Management main image

Napoleon Howell, CarlsonNapoleon Howell us currently studying for his MBA at Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.

With three years’ work experience before starting his MBA studies, his pre-MBA role was an Innovation Consultant in Corporate Strategy at Securian Financial in St Paul, Minnesota.

Howell speaks with TopMBA.com about how he came to choose Carlson, what he loves most about the city of Minnesota, and his best MBA experience to date.

What were you doing before starting your MBA?

I worked for a large financial services firm within their corporate strategy function as an Innovation Consultant with specific focus on developing and implementing a new go-to market strategy targeting middle market customers.

What factors led to you pursuing your graduate degree?

A desire to make a career switch and become an external management consultant.

What tools did you use to research programs and universities?

I leveraged US News Rankings, Economist Rankings, Business School websites, and engagements/interviews with alumni of different programs.

What factored in to your final choice of where to study?

The cultural fit, prestige, ranking of program, and the type of companies (specifically consulting) that actively engaged in the recruiting process.

What do you most love about the school and program?

I love the collegial environment and the supportive, collaborative, authentic nature of the program.

What is your favorite thing about the city?

Minneapolis has awesome outdoor activities including trails, lakes, and hiking, while also having all the amenities found in a big metropolitan city like great restaurants, night life, shows, and it's lively city.

What is your best experience on the program to date?

My best experience was leading and moderating a multicultural leadership panel for our student led multicultural organization MOSAIC, consisting of diverse senior business leaders from the Twin Cities to discuss the state of diversity within corporate America.

Did any classes, concentrations, faculty or areas of focus attract you to the program?

The Carlson Consulting Enterprise (CCE) definitely attracted me to the program! Given my interest in external consulting, I viewed CCE as a prodigious incubation hub where I could enhance and develop the skills and experiences needed to become a successful consultant.

What do you plan to do once you graduate?

I’ll be joining Deloitte Consulting as a Senior Consultant within the Strategy and Operations competency group.

Would you do anything differently if you could research and apply to business school over again?

I wouldn’t do anything differently as my business school experiences have birthed everything I wanted from a goals and objectives perspective!

What do you think is the biggest myth about applying to business school?

That one data point trumps everything. Business schools are looking for well-rounded individuals that can gain success in the business world. They’re not only looking for the person with the best scores or GPA or job profile and experience. Too often, people think that if they’re weak in one data point, then their chances to have a successful application are eliminated. That thought process is flawed in nature.

What one piece of advice do you have for incoming students?

Be really clear on your goals and objectives for business school and undergo a rigid prioritization process in your life to eliminate all non-value-added activities. Define and prioritize what will aid you in achieving your goals and stay focused and disciplined to achieve it.

Written by Niamh Ollerton

Niamh is Assistant Editor of TopMBA.com, creating and editing content for an international MBA student audience. Having gained her journalism qualification at the Press Association, London and since written for different international publications, she's now enjoying telling the stories of the business world.  

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