MBA to Watch 2022: Alexis Barber, University of Minnesota (Carlson)
“Small but mighty!”
Hometown: Toronto, Ontario (Canada)
Fun fact about yourself: I moved from Canada to the United States! Minneapolis is technically further north than Toronto!
Undergraduate school and degree: University of Wisconsin – Madison, BA Political Science and History
Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? Mission Animal Hospital – Director of Development
Where did you do your internship during the summer of 2021? Boston Consulting Group, Minneapolis
Where will you work after you graduate? Boston Consulting Group, Minneapolis – Consultant
Community work and leadership roles in a business school:
- Strong Fellow
- President, Carlson 4 Community
- Board Member, Graduate Women in Business
What academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of while in business school? In February 2022, the Carlson 4 Community (C4C) student group hosted the biggest event of our MBA experience, supporting a fantastic local non-profit organization, InnerCity Tennis. Having spent much of our first year in the virtual environment, hosting an in-person event of this scale was unfamiliar to us all. I am so proud of the work done by the team to raise nearly $40,000 for our community.
What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? This month, I was approved as a board member of Mission Animal Hospital, the organization where I previously worked as Director of Development. This is a tremendous professional achievement for me because I care deeply about the work of the organization and can now help shape Mission for the future. It’s an incredible honor and I’m thrilled to serve alongside the other experienced and passionate board members.
Why did you choose this business school? Having attended a large public university for my undergrad, I wanted to have a different experience in my MBA. The Carlson School’s small class size in the environment of a large research institution has allowed me to forge deep connections with brilliant peers and professors.
Who was your favorite MBA professor? Myles Shaver’s Corporate Strategy and Responsibility courses were among my favorites at the Carlson School! He was able to break down complex concepts in an digestible and entertaining way. It doesn’t hurt that he’s a fellow Canadian!
What has been your favorite MBA event or tradition at your business school? The C4C Charity Auction is by far my favorite tradition as it is a perfect demonstration of Carlson’s motto, “Business as a Force for Good”. Seeing all the students, alumni, staff and local business leaders come together to support the community was so much fun and helps to better understand the importance of philanthropy.
Looking back on your MBA experience, what is one thing you would do differently and why? Is it corny not to say anything? Seriously, the friendships, network and knowledge gained from this experience changed my life for the better and I would absolutely do it again.
What is the biggest myth about your school?
Myth: It’s too cold in Minneapolis to do anything in the winter
Reality: Yes, it’s cold, but Minnesotans are making the most of it. In February, the Carlson Brands Enterprise had a great outing at Top Golf in the middle of a snowstorm!
What surprised you the most about business school? Exposure to premises Fortune 500 leaders through academics. I had no idea I would have the opportunity to take a course co-taught by the former CEO of Cargill or work with the CMO of UnitedHealth Group on a consulting project. It was an amazing way to learn business skills from those with deep understanding coupled with endless experience.
What is one thing you did during the application process that gave you an advantage at your chosen school? The Carlson School Admissions team was amazing during the application process. I contacted the team first to find out if the full-time program was even an option for me. By connecting with them early, I had advocates on my side to provide guidance every step of the way. I think building a relationship with admissions was an amazing “benefit”.
Which MBA classmate do you admire the most? In an MBA class full of great people, that’s a challenge! One person who really stands out, however, is Kayla McGrady. Kayla’s work with the administration and our MBA student association has advanced conversations about diversity, equity and inclusion in ways that I believe will impact future generations of students. MBA. In addition to this incredible work, Kayla is a rock star academically and professionally. Her work ethic and her dynamism push everyone around her to give the best of themselves.
Who most influenced your decision to do business in college? My dad, Doug Barber, has always been one of my greatest professional cheerleaders. When I initially brought up the idea of going back to school for my MBA, he encouraged me to “go for it”. Having a long career in the corporate world himself, he saw the value I could bring before me. He was an incredible role model.
What are the top two items on your professional to-do list? First, I have to say, start with BCG! It’s been a long journey to get to this point and I’m so excited to get back to work this spring to continue learning and growing.
Second, and further down the road, I would love the opportunity to mentor women pursuing the MBA. I think of the amazing speakers that Carlson brought into the program, and it would be so amazing to be that person one day.
What made Alexis such a valuable addition to the Class of 2022?
“Alexis is a talented, driven and strong leader who is appreciated and respected by her classmates. She is fully engaged in all aspects of student life at the Carlson School. An active organizer, she helps build a strong culture and improves performance in everything she is involved in. As part of her experiential learning program, Alexis led two very challenging client projects and surpassed her Fortune 50 customer expectations in the challenging virtual COVID environment. Excelling as a team player and leader, she demonstrated her ability to be inclusive while enhancing the performance of all her classmates. She is results-oriented but demonstrates empathy, intellectual curiosity and contagious passion. I look forward to seeing his career succeed and his continued growth.
Corporate Director Carlson Brands