Carlson Students Q&A

1 Current Students

Here are a few options to apply your learning from the course -

University Curriculum

  • Live project - MSBA program usually collaborates with companies around the Minneapolis area to run live projects every semester to allow students to work on real problems. Typically, these programs are part of some courses like Explorative Data analysis and Predictive modeling.
  • Experiential learning, Carlson Analytics Lab - A six-credit course where students work in a group of four or five on a live project with a corporate partner to solve their real problem using real data. You can think of it as an internship.

Other initiatives

  • Meetup group - There are meetup groups like Social Data science,and Analyze This! etc., where you can actively participate and present.
  • Local Competitions - There are local analytics competitions organized by Minneanalytics, STATCOM, UMN StatClub, Social Data Science, etc. Keep a look out for those and participate.
  • Blogging - Blogging is also an effective way to share your learning and establish your brand. Medium is a good place to start and publish in high-visibility publications like Towards Data Science, Analytics Vidhya, etc

There are three typical DS/ML roles in tech companies -

  • Data scientist - Which is heavier on data analytics and experimentation.
  • Machine Learning Scientist / Applied Scientist - This role is more focused on Machine learning model building, research, and software engineering.
  • Machine Learning Engineers - This role is more focused on ML Ops, building data pipelines, and requires a lot more software engineering skills.

2 Incoming Students

2.1 Admission

Video interview usually is a formality to ensure that you can communicate in English. Interviewer will ask you following questions like -

  • Tell me about yourself
  • Why MSBA program and Why Carlson?
  • What are you hoping to achieve after the course?
  • Walking through your work experience

It’s quite straightforward and usually just ensuring whatever you have written on your resume is actually you.

Score as high as you can, 320+ on GRE and 105 + on TOEFL would be good scores to aim for. You can find more about academic scores and prior background of current students on the university website.

2.2 Financial

Job placements are usually close to 100% so everybody gets a job. Read the placement reports on the website. I think the starting average salary is around $90k-$110k annually plus a 10% annual bonus, with that salary you should be able to recover your cost within 2-4 years. There are some companies that come on campus (Target, Cargill, Capital One, Ameriprise, etc.) but most of the students get jobs through their own search.

Yes, but not in the summer semester. You can do TA/RA in Fall & Spring semesters, but I would not recommend that as the course is hectic and you should be focusing on creating a portfolio and learning. You can reach out to professors during the summer semester if you need to do TA/RA. Typically TA/RA jobs pay $18/hour, and students are allowed to do 10-20 hours per week.

Check the university page for grants and scholarships. In my time there was a $10k scholarship given by the university to students. Students didn’t need to apply for it and were given automatically based on their prior background and GRE/TOEFL scores.

2.3 Accomodations

You can check out Grand Marc seven corners that are right next to Carlson and quite affordable(<$500/month sharing, fully furnished). Many MSBA students including myself have lived there in the past. Otherwise, you can look in Minnehaha apartments or Stadium village apartments. Here is the FB page for Housing.

Depends on your lifestyle ~$1000 including rent is good enough to survive.

Well someone in Minnesota will say “Its not cold, you just don’t have the right gear”. So it is cold in winters for atleast 4-5 months usually below -5 C. It doesn’t mean you can’t go out or life stops. People do business as usual in those conditions as well. In my time in Carlson I used to spend more than 12-14 hours in Carlson campus so none of this actually bothered me. But yeah it’s cold in winters so be prepared.

3 Got more questions?

If you are a current Carlson student or considering the Carlson School of Management for the MSBA program and have any questions for me. Feel free to comment below, I will respond and add it in the Q&A section if relevant.