2019 Best & Brightest: Simran Mishra, University of Minnesota (Carlson)

Simran Mishra

University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management

Passionate about student advocacy and impact-driven business, motivated by the phrase “live what you love.”

Fun fact about yourself: I was recently interviewed for a BBC Documentary on sexual violence cases in U.S. college campuses – keep an eye out for it on Netflix!

Hometown: Golden Valley, Minnesota and Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India

High School: Hopkins High School

Major: Finance

Minor: Math, Business Analytics, and Global Studies

Favorite Business Course: FINA 3001 – Introduction to Finance with Rick Nelson because it helped me realize my passion for Finance.

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

Extracurricular Activities

  • Student Body President (2018-19)
  • University of Minnesota Alumni Association, Member (2018 – 19)
  • Student Government, Speaker of Forum (2017-18)
  • Net Impact, Social Impact Chair (2017 – 18)
  • Honors Research Assistant (2016 – 18)
  • Office of Equity and Diversity Student Advisory Board (2016-17)
  • Indian Student Association, Finance Chair (2016 – 17)


  • Carlson’s 2018 Student of the Year
  • President Scholarship Recipient
  • Gold Scholar Award
  • Dean’s List (all academic semesters)

Where have you interned during your college career?

  • Optum, Financial Planning and Analysis Intern, Eden Prairie, MN
  • EY, Risk Advisory Intern, Minneapolis, MN
  • Boston Consulting Group, Summer Associate, Minneapolis, MN

Where will you be working after graduation? Boston Consulting Group as an Associate in the Minneapolis office!

What company do you admire most? I really admire the company Thinx, which makes reusable and safe feminine hygiene products. Their products are gender-inclusive, body positive, environmentally-friendly. In addition to championing an innovative product, the company also has a social mission of empowering, educating, and providing hygiene products for underserved people with periods.

What did you enjoy most about your business school? I love being surrounded by highly motivated, passionate, and intelligent students from various business backgrounds in Carlson. I’m in awe of the entrepreneurs, campus leaders, researchers, and other peers that continue to push me to become the best version of myself.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? There is room for everyone to succeed. Specifically, you do not have to “beat” others to get to the top. There is a common misconception about the competitive nature of being a business student. However, there is no singular formula or definition of success. More importantly, we owe it to our community to create room for everyone to succeed. Marginalized populations such as students of color, LGBTQ communities, etc. still face so many barriers when it comes to pursuing a successful career in business. Not only do I owe everything to my mentors and peers who believe in me, but I also owe it to my mentees and peers to pay it forward.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? Study business! You will learn both soft and hard skills that will help with any career you choose to pursue. However, don’t forget to take some classes outside your major/business curriculum. I strongly believe that my Finance degree has been enriched by the upper-division marketing, computer science, math, and global studies classes I have taken. Taking a wide variety of courses will help sharpen your critical thinking skills and strengthen your ability to solve a diverse set of problems.

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? I’ve been surprised by how versatile and applicable my skills are. When I entered my major, I thought I would only be able to secure a job in Finance. However, the ability to recognize business problems, find sensible solutions, and present compelling arguments opened a lot of opportunities for me. It’s been so neat to see the different career paths my friends are pursuing – from traditional paths like consulting or investment banking to more non-traditional routes like political advocacy.

“If I didn’t major in business, I would be majoring in or studying…Computer Science or Global Studies. In addition to challenging me, my programming courses have taught me how to simplify and automate processes. On the other hand, it has also been interesting to learn about the impact of colonialism/post-colonialism on the societies and economies of the Global North and South. This history continues to shape the way we view and practice business. I would love to dive deeper into either of these fields.”

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? My dad had a major influence in my decision to pursue a career in business. From a young age, I’ve been fascinated by human behavior, innovative products, and creative business tactics. However, my dad pieced together my love for business even before I did. Although I’m the first person, my family, to study business, my dad always pushed me to take risks and follow my passions. In fact, anytime I’m hesitant to pursue an opportunity or address a challenge, my dad is in my corner, telling me I can do everything I set my mind to.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? I’m most proud to be able to serve my University and my 30,000 peers as Student Body President. Even though I spend 40+ hours a week as President in addition to being a full-time student, it is extremely rewarding to be able to improve the student experience in regard to mental health, sexual assault, campus climate, affordability, and so much more. I’m supported by an amazing staff of 35 students and 20 interns, all equally as dedicated to improving our campus.

When I first immigrated to the U.S. as a young child, I felt displaced and voiceless for years. Developing confidence to advocate for me took a considerable amount of time. Now, I have the opportunity to advocate for 30,000 students like me, including students who continue to feel displaced and voiceless in our community.

Which classmate do you most admire? I deeply admire Amy Ma, who is a sophomore studying Computer Science and Management Information Systems (now also considering a third major!). In addition to being a brilliant student, Amy is heavily invested in the campus community. She is a member of a business fraternity, a cultural student group, student government, and much more. However, as much as I admire her dedication to school and extracurricular activities, I admire her even more for her humility, kindness, and sense of humor. This woman will literally change the world – so remember her name and get your autographs in now.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? A million thank you’s for my mom would not be enough. Throughout my college career, she has gone above and beyond to support me in every way possible. For the last four years, she has dropped off meals every week, just to make my life a little easier. She has proofread all my assignments, papers, and presentations. We talk at least 3 times a day over the phone – she is always there for advice and support. I don’t know where I would be without her!

What are the top two items on your bucket list?

See the first female President of the United States

Visit Dharamshala in India

What are your hobbies? I love to travel and experience new cultures (especially new foods!). I also love to cook, read, and practice yoga.

What made Simran such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2019?

“Simran is one of the very best students I have had at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School Management. She is an excellent student, works very hard, and has a high intellectual curiosity, which leads to her sharing thoughtful perspectives. She has been a valuable member of Carlson’s Consulting Enterprise and the University of Minnesota’s Honors Program. She has demonstrated natural leadership as President of the Minnesota Student Association. She also leads through being a great team member to her classmates and mentoring younger students to help them understand how much they can achieve at a school like Carlson. In addition to all this, she is genuinely one of the nicest, most thoughtful people I know.  I feel very fortunate to have been associated with Simran as a faculty member here at Carlson.”

John Molloy
Senior Lecturer



Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.