Student Profile: Stephanie Perri, Carlson School of Management

Student Profile: Stephanie Perri, Carlson School of Management main image

Stephanie Perri is currently studying for her MBA at Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.

Before starting her MBA studies, she was the Manager of Integrated Marketing at Starkey Hearing Technologies; Eden Prairie, MN. With eight years’ work experience in the field, Perri knew she wanted her MBA to further her marketing skills and abilities.

She speaks with TopMBA.com about why Carlson was the business school for her.

What were you doing before starting your MBA?

I worked in marketing for a medical device manufacturer for eight years, on everything from B2C to B2B marketing strategy development, national brand awareness efforts, and product launch strategies and execution. Prior to that, I interned at Cargill, Inc. where I worked on the national product launch of Truvia ® sweetener.

What factors led to you pursuing a graduate degree?

I’d always planned on pursing my MBA, it was simply a matter of the right time. I gained valuable foundational marketing experience and was challenged with projects and upward movement throughout my pre-MBA career; however, I was ready to pivot industries into an area that aligned closely with my personal passions in consumer goods, with a special interest in the luxury/fashion/beauty sectors. I also intended to study abroad again, and always dreamed of attending SDA Bocconi in Milan, Italy. The perfect timing combined with influencing factors ultimately converged.

What tools did you use to research programs and universities?

I used my personal network, alumni, program research, and geographical location. I chose a program that aligned with my ultimate graduate educational goals.

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

Carlson was the perfect choice for many reasons. It’s located in the most dense metropolitan area for Fortune 500 companies, it has an emphasis on marketing, its small class size, intimate sense of community and ability to form relationships, experiential real-life consultancy projects, combined with Carlson’s international partnership with SDA Bocconi all led to a “no brainer” decision for me.

What do you love most about the school?

Carlson has an excellent reputation, built on proven success and a top-notch business school faculty, staff, and students. It’s also a wonderful community of tight-knit, engaged, intellectually curious and supportive student leaders that are shaping the future of business. I’ve met incredible individuals here that will be some of my best life-long friends.

What's your favorite thing about the city?

I love that Carlson is located in Minneapolis and is close to the heart of downtown where there’s energy, always something going on, and the hustle and bustle of a major metropolitan city.

What’s been your best experience on the program?

My best experience has been completing my first year of MBA studies, successfully completing my internship and receiving an offer, and being about to embark on my second year. The quality of the relationships I’ve built combined with the education and experiences that have challenged me and helped me grow, all make up my favorite experiences to-date.

Were there any specific classes, concentrations, faculty or areas of focus that attracted you to the program?

Arguably, the Carlson School’s signature academic concentration is marketing, which I’ve always worked in and wanted to continue my professional career. That prestige attracted me to Carlson as I knew I’d receive high-quality education and be able to network with some of the best marketers in the world.

What do you plan to do once you graduate?

I plan to work in marketing management for a major consumer goods company, where I can run and own an entire business and manage the P&L. I love driving initiatives and strategy, and that is where I intend to end up.

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

That all universities and programs are the same or universal – this couldn’t be further from the truth. Full versus part-time programs, and the university one chooses will shape all future opportunities that lie ahead. I highly recommend candidates do their due diligence and research programs thoroughly, speak with alumni, and understand company partnerships that are built to make an informed decision on the program that best aligns with their career goals and aspirations.

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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