Carlson School unveils new advertising campaign

Kelly Gulbrandson

Though many students might have an interest in the advertising business, the University’s business school is taking steps to advertise itself.

The Carlson School of Management’s slogan for its advertising campaign – “Nowhere but here.” – suggests that a Carlson student’s education is different than at other business schools.

Louise Copeland, marketing services director for the Carlson School, said the campaign is a way to build on the original branding of the school. While the campaign started in the spring, she said the school started advertising in magazines such as Time, Newsweek and U.S. News and World Report on Oct. 27.

The campaign lists 10 main aspects as evidence of the “Nowhere but here.” slogan. It highlights the Carlson School’s unique connections with the 20 Fortune 500 companies based in the Twin Cities, Copeland said.

The many hands-on learning opportunities, the option to study abroad within a corporation and the high rate of graduates hired right after graduation are the top three aspects addressed in the campaign.

Part-time master of business administration student Patrick Gahagan said he thinks the campaign will provide a new identity for the school.

“When I did my undergrad there, that was the one thing we lacked was a ‘what are we all about’ statement,” he said.

Gahagan said the University needs to go outside Hennepin and Ramsey counties to highlight what it has done. This new campaign would be one way to accomplish this, he said.

He also said he doesn’t think the University is well-known in other regions of the United States. A friend from Boston who visited him said she was “floored” by the University’s accomplishments.

“For all the good stuff the ‘U’ has done and does, the fact that it’s not even on the radar out East, that’s an area for opportunity,” Gahagan said.

Another “media blitz” will occur in January, with campaign ads on CNN.com and Monster.com, Copeland said.

The ads feature MBA program alumni explaining how their experiences in the program prepared them for their careers.

Alumni, faculty and current and prospective students were surveyed about what the $480,000 campaign should be like, Copeland said.

This is the second phase of the Carlson School brand development. Research started more than a year ago, Copeland said.

“Our campaign is not really because of increased competition, because our research predates that,” she said.

However, Hamline University in St. Paul will implement a new MBA program in January.

Julian Schuster, the dean of the Graduate School of Management at Hamline, said nationally, an MBA is the preferred degree for people pursuing business management education.

With the high demand for MBA programs regionally and nationally, Schuster said it was “natural” for the school to create such a program.

“Our program is not going to be just another MBA program,” Schuster said.

Instead of having a specific number of required classes or credits like Carlson School, Schuster said the program’s focus will be on four learning “modules.”

Each module will focus on learning a different subject area or skill, rather than dividing a student’s education into a set of courses.

“This is a broader part of repositioning at Hamline to become a premier provider of management programs,” Schuster said.

Carlson School students are required to complete 57 credits in the school, according to its Web site.

Full-time MBA student Stephanie Lay said she came to the University after getting her undergraduate degree at the University of Washington.

The two things she said sold her on the Carlson School were the successful companies the school works with and the student enterprise program.

Lay said she doesn’t think the Carlson School does a good job talking about alumni who have gotten jobs nationally or internationally, and hopes it can improve that.

“It’s a little too regionally focused,” she said. “Carlson does do great things for Minnesota and Minneapolis, but I would like to see more companies across the nation.”