New Student Pre-Work

Welcome to the Carlson School! 

We here in the Carlson Business Career Center are excited to be working with you during your time in the program.

Each business masters program has a unique career search timeline, so some of the pre-work assignments will only be mandatory for certain programs – as indicated below. However, we have identified all of these assignments as helpful for ALL job or internship seekers, so please feel free to complete all tasks items even if your program isn’t listed.

Please use the drop-down arrow on the right to see section details.

In order to participate in all Carlson recruiting events, including on-campus recruiting, your resume MUST conform to the Carlson format.. The assignments in this section will show you how to 1) update your resume to the required format, 2) have your updated resume reviewed by the VMock online tool, and 3) submit your resume in the most updated format.

  1. Update your resume to the Carlson format. 
    1. Find your template on our resume page.
    2. Resources that will help you create a strong resume: Career Guide (starting on page 39), CBCC Resume Webinar
  2. Have your new Carlson resume reviewed in VMock.
    VMock is a tool the CBCC provides for you to have your resume reviewed virtually.  It provides customized feedback on formatting, grammar, and overall impact of your resume. Note your resume needs to be in the Carlson format prior to being uploaded to VMock.
    1. Log in to VMock and have your resume reviewed at least two times by the system.
      Before uploading your resume for the second time in VMock, be sure that you have made ALL of the edits and changes it has recommended (in general, the CBCC suggests you try to get your resume score in the “yellow” or “green” zone in VMock before moving forward).
  3. Upload your VMock-reviewed Carlson resume into Handshake.
    MBA students must have their resume reviewed by a Career Coach before uploading into Handshake.
  4. [For MHRIR, MSBA & FTMBA only] Bring 3 copies of your updated resume to Career Essentials (during your in-person orientation)

You’ll be using Handshake throughout your time at Carlson to schedule career coaching appointments, to search and apply for jobs, and to sign-up for career-related events. Take a few minutes now to set-up your account and complete your profile, so that it’s ready to use when the school year begins! Start by logging in at:

You can find more resources about how to use Handshake here.

Having an active and up-to-date LinkedIn profile during the job search process will be extremely important to your success. Having a complete LinkedIn profile allows you to manage your professional contacts more effectively during the job search and allows recruiters who are seeking masters-level analytics talent to more easily find you.

  1. Review this LinkedIn checklist to learn how to create a great profile.
  2. Add the Carlson School of Management and your program degree to the education section of your profile now to indicate that you are a current student.
  3. Connect with Carlson to start growing your network!
    Be sure to add a note that you are an incoming student before sending the request.
    1. Carlson Business Career Center office profile
    2. Coach Erin Chamlee for MSBA & MAcc
    3. Coach Stephen Glomb for MHRIR, MSF, & MSMK
    4. Coach Kelly McClellan for FTMBA
    5. Coach Brigette Marty for PTMBA and MSSCM
    6. Coach Will O’Brien for OMBA
    7. Carlson’s LinkedIn Alumni Page
    8. Carlson’s MSBA LinkedIn Group
  4. Watch the CBCC’s LinkedIn Webinar to learn more about how to maximize your profile.

  1. Create an internet browser bookmark folder for your career search. This will help you easily find the resources and links you’ll be using regularly.
    Add these to your Carlson Career Search folder:
    1. THIS page – your Career Pre-work
    2. Handshake Login Page
    3. CBCC Website
    4. Carlson’s Employment Reports
    5. Carlson Alumni page
    6., etc.
    7. For MSBA students: Interview Query, HackerRankLeetCodeGithubTowards Data Science, etc.
    8. For MBA students:
  2. Update your U of M email settings to project a more professional image.
    Go to ‘All Settings’ at the top of your U of M email inbox and update the following:
    1. Update your Name (under Settings>Accounts>Send Mail As) to show your full name (FirstName LastName) instead of your email address.
    2. Add a clear, close-up photo of yourself for your profile picture (under Settings>General>My Picture)
    3. Add a signature to your email (under Settings>General>Signature.) We recommend the following format:
      Goldy Gopher | MS in Business Analytics Candidate, Class of 2024
      Carlson School of Management | University of Minnesota | 612.625.1466 | LinkedIn

Behavioral interview questions are the most common type of questions asked during interviews for positions after graduate school. Students should begin preparing for interviews at least 3-4 months prior to their interview season which can often start in early fall.

  1. Watch our Behavioral Interviewing Preparation webinar. (14 minutes)
  2. Watch the following short videos:
    1. Sample Answer: Persuasion & Influence (4 min)
    2. Sample Answer: Delivering Impact (4 min)
    3. Tell Me About Yourself (4 min)
  3. Complete the Behavioral Interview Workbook and print or have it available for orientation. You will use this document when you practice interviewing in small groups at your career orientation, so it is critical that this is complete prior to orientation.
  4. Practice your ‘Tell Me About Yourself’ answer. You will practice this answer with other students during your career orientation.
  5. InterviewPrep (optional) is an online tool that uses your computer’s webcam in order to video/audio record your responses to commonly asked interview questions. We encourage students who are preparing for upcoming interviews to utilize this tool for practicing on your own (we recommend doing this 2-3 months prior to your recruiting season to ensure you have adequate practice and time to prepare). In addition, the CBCC offers small group interview practice sessions and mock interviews for students who are preparing for upcoming interviews.

Networking is an important component of your job search during your time at Carlson. We will spend some time during orientation discussing the importance of and best practices in networking but we encourage you to get started now.

  1. Watch our Networking webinar.
  2. Read 20-Minute Networking Meeting by Nathan Perez and Marcia Ballinger
    Note: This is an optional task, but many students and alumni find this resource VERY helpful. We have copies available to borrow from the CBCC front desk when you arrive on campus or you can borrow/purchase online through third parties.

Your Carlson School program is intensive so the more prepared you are coming into the program, the more successful you will be in the process. We encourage you to spend some time NOW researching companies, industries, and functional roles that you might want to target during your search.

  1. Review the Exploration and Discover page of our website.
  2. Create a list of your Top 15+ Organizations to focus on and contacts of interest using this template.
  3. Watch our Conducting Career Research Webinar 

Cover letters are a one-page document where you tell the employer why you want the job and highlight how the experience from your resume makes you a great candidate for that specific job. While not every company will require a cover letter, submitting a cover letter can set you apart from the competition.

  1. Visit our Cover Letters page of our website to learn the basics of crafting a compelling and effective cover letter. You’ll find “how-to” guides, templates, and presentations that cover the basics of writing cover letters.
  2. Review good examples of former students’ cover letters in our Career Guide (starting on page 63)
  3. Create a rough draft of your cover letter. Your future self will thank you!
    Tip: Find a job that is interesting to you (online or in Handshake) and write a draft of your cover letter based on that.

When looking for work, it is always important to put your best foot forward by polishing your communication skills and your physical appearance. Not all organizations will require professional attire but we strongly encourage you to be prepared for all situations.

  1. Review the Dress for Success page on our website for resources for professional attire appropriate for graduate-level business school students. For interviews and more formal recruiting events, we recommend that all students invest in the following:
    – At least one dark-colored, matched suit in either dark/charcoal grey, dark/navy blue, or black.
    – A selection of light-colored (e.g., white, light blue) button-up dress shirts or blouses.
    – Professional dress shoes in either black or dark brown (Note: black shoes tend to be the most versatile, as they can be worn with grey, navy, and black suits).
    – Professional accessories, including belts, bags/briefcases, watches, coats, etc.
  2. Note: It is important to dress for the industry you are pursuing. While tech firms tend to be more casual, we have many employer partners in the corporate sector which tend to be more formal. When in doubt, dress one step up from what you know of the industry.
  3. Make an appointment if you have questions about a professional wardrobe and would like to consult with a coach prior to making purchases.