2021 Best & Brightest Business Major: Nate Taye, University of Minnesota (Carlson)

Nate Taye

University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management

“An immigrant scholar who loves to build connections, invest in others, and innovate solutions.”

Fun fact about yourself: I am the youngest member of my family but also the tallest!

Hometown: I was born in Ethiopia but was raised in Saint Paul, MN since the age of 9

High School: Como Park Senior High School

Major: Management Information Systems

Minor: Marketing and Business Analytics

Favorite Business Course: Ethics and Corporate Responsivity

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

  • National Association of Black Accountants | President & Secretary of Programming
  • Carlson School of Management | Carlson Ambassador & Outreach Ambassador
  • Tom Burnett Leadership Program (TBLP) | Scholar
  • President Emerging Scholar (PES)
  • Gordon B. Davis Undergraduate Scholarship in Information Systems | Recipient
  • Deluxe E-ternship | Avocadish Intern
  • Sue W. Hancock SEEDs of Change Award | Recipient
  • Concerned Black Men | Co-founder & Outreach Coordinator
  • Huntley House Advisory Board | First-Year Experience Liaison
  • University of Minnesota YMCA | Men of Color Co-Founder & Youth Mentor
  • UMN Housing & Residential Life | Community Advisor (Huntley House)
  • Black Student Union-Freshman P.U.S.H.| Logistics Lead

Where have you interned during your college career?

  • PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) (Minneapolis, MN) | Internal Firm Services START Intern
  • Deluxe E-ternship (Carlson School’s Holmes Center for Entrepreneurship) | Avocadish Intern
  • Deloitte LLC (Minneapolis, MN) | Risk and Financial Advisory Intern

Where will you be working after graduation? Deloitte LLC (Minneapolis, MN) |Risk and Financial Advisory Cybersecurity Consultant

What company do you admire most? A company that I genuinely admire is Apple. When I look at Apple, I think about its ability to be imaginative, forward-thinking, and inspiring. Apple has always been proactive, which is one of the reasons it is considered one of the tech giants of today. I love Apple’s brand because it is filled with authenticity and competence and can reach consumers globally!

Who is your favorite professor? To start, I want to highlight one of my favorite courses at the Carlson School. The Ethics and Corporate Responsibility course I took as a first-year student was integral to my introduction to business education. It also formed a foundation for using business as a force for good. Rand Park was my professor for that course. I can wholeheartedly say he is genuinely one of the most outstanding professors in the WORLD! For many students, ethics and corporate responsibility isn’t a topic of great interest. Rand transformed the course content to something so meaningful, interesting, and most of all, something so engaging that all of us students WANTED to come to class to learn. We were able to visualize how the course’s content translated into the business world, which made each class session engaging. Rand cultivated an environment that was safe for everyone to participate in and ensured each student was heard. Rand is a professor like no other, and I can honestly say many Carlson students share the same sentiment. Thank you to Rand Park for being fascinating, captivating, and of course, for having the most eloquent taste in bowties!

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? Reflecting on this question as a senior, I look back at the lessons I have learned and the people who impacted me during my business education journey. To start, I look at the tangible takeaways from my classes that are setting me for success as I transition from being a student to a full-time professional. An intangible takeaway from my studies in business is understanding the power of networks.

I believe that my network is my net worth, and success may sometimes arise from who you know instead of what you know. Through multiple internship recruiting processes, I am confident that I got first-round interviews solely from the people in my network who connected with an individual at a respective firm. I have the utmost appreciation for the people in my life who are constantly willing to connect me with their personal and professional networks to learn, grow, and transform. The Carlson School of Management does a fantastic job in teaching this principle.  Often, the professors at the Carlson School have past experiences in numerous industries. They connect you with people that can help you achieve your goals. Also, the Undergraduate Business Career Center at the Carlson School has an annual mentorship program that allows students to foster relationships with professional mentors from the business community. The mentorship program was a critical component in my business education journey, as I grew my professional network, explored various career paths, and received assistance in curating my resume, cover letter, and interviewing skills!

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? My first year in college came with a vast number of challenging opportunities that allowed me to reach my true potential. I began to have a vision for where I would want to be personally, academically, and even professionally. It took a lot of self-reflection and forward-thinking to identify attainable goals that also require a great deal of patience, hard work, and grit. With this vision in mind, I knew there was a lot that I had to do to accomplish my goals.

My advice to a student looking to major in a business-related field is to understand that they will not have everything figured out by the time they begin college. Have a vision that you continuously look to. Keep yourself grounded, driven, and passionate about your studies. Many students understand the stress that comes with finals weeks and weeks where you may need to stay up late to get your work done. In these challenging times, my vision kept me poised and grounded to continue to grind and achieve my goals. From this dedication to your craft comes courage as well. My favorite quote states, “Courage is not something that you already have that makes you brave when the tough times start. Courage is what you earn when you’ve been through the tough times, and you discover they aren’t tough after all!” As a senior, this courage comes from the vision I have had in the back of my mind and the lessons I have learned along the way. Suppose this advice resonates with even ONE student out there looking to major in a business-related field. In that case, that is an inspiration to me.

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? The most surprising thing to me in my studies is how much you can do with a business degree. Coming out of high school, I wanted to become a doctor solely because I loved helping others. Soon after, I had a reality check and knew that I didn’t have that much interest in science courses integral to becoming a doctor. Nevertheless, that love and passion I have for helping others was still there.

As a first-year Carlson student, I was exposed to many different aspects of a business. From there, I narrowed down a few majors and career paths that aligned with my interests and my passion for helping others. For me, this came to fruition as I discovered my passion for utilizing technology and data to help others. MIS was the perfect major for me. It’s the culmination of my favorite interests, such as connecting with people, understanding trends to predict the future, and presenting data in a more digestible fashion. Discovering these interests allowed me to find meaningful minors in marketing and business analytics. I have found something that I loved doing each day, which has filled my collegiate journey at Carlson with passion. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting this coming into college, and it definitely caught me by surprise!

Looking back over your experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently in business school and why? Simply put, I wish I took more risks! By the time I was a second-year student, I had realized there was a myriad of opportunities to capture. As soon as I started taking risks and trying new things, I was slowly learning more about myself and what I enjoyed about business. Although I wish I were willing to step out of my comfort zone even as early as freshman year, I don’t see this as a regret. Instead, I look back at all of my experiences and try to take away lessons. As I navigate my professional career, I am committed to taking risks, stepping out of my comfort zone, and devoting time to learn more about my interests.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? One of my most significant accomplishments during my college career is having the distinct honor of serving as the President of the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA) here at the University of Minnesota! NABA is a diverse organization that provides students of all backgrounds and majors with a platform to grow personally, professionally, and academically while serving the Black community.

NABA has been integral to my personal development and growth during my collegiate journey; I can personally attest to the value of the events held. At those events, I was given the necessary gentle push to go outside my comfort zone and network with professionals. Through those conversations, I gained advice and insight into life in corporate America. Because of those experiences, I became motivated to connect with professionals who paved the way for my two collegiate internships. In addition, relationships I have made with students and professionals alike are robust and have allowed me to grow personally, professionally, and academically. As the current president of this organization, I want to pass down this life-changing opportunity and experience to those that follow in my footsteps. I’m a firm believer in using my personal story as a vehicle to transfer knowledge and wisdom to the next generation. I am proud to be a part of this organization and have a chance at impacting lives!

Which classmate do you most admire? By far, Jael Kerandi is one of the most sincere, inspiring, and dedicated humans I have ever met. Jael has been my inspiration since the second I met her. It has been my honor to develop a personal and professional relationship with her during our time at Carlson. The numerous student leadership positions exemplify Jael’s devotion to her community. Jael’s authentic leadership style, sheer brilliance, and ability to foster a connection with virtually anybody draws people to her. It has been nothing short of a blessing to navigate my undergraduate career alongside Jael, and I will cherish her as a classmate and friend for life.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? There is no one else on this earth more deserving of this recognition than my beautiful mother. Her constant willingness to push me to be the best version of myself keeps me grounded. She has taught me the key components of navigating life: perseverance, emotional intelligence, determination, dedication to one’s craft, and the importance of loyalty to those around you. These elements are the building blocks of my identity, and I wouldn’t be the person I am today if it wasn’t for her. I thank her for her kind soul, tough love, and magnetic energy that bring a warm smile to any human she meets. My amazing mother has sacrificed so much for my siblings and me to have an opportunity to succeed. As an immigrant to this country, I have seen my mom shed tears and work relentlessly to give me the best parts of life that she never had the chance to experience or enjoy. She inspires me to never stop learning, growing, or evolving to become the best son that I can be. I credit each success of mine to the most extraordinary, affectionate, devoted, and benevolent human to ever walk this earth. It is a distinct honor that I get to call her my mother. I love you, Mom!

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list? The first item on my professional bucket list is to see my startup business reach limits that I never imagined can be true. My undergraduate journey has taught me that life is a marathon, not a sprint. Undergoing endeavors as a business owner have ingrained this lesson in me. With time and constant nurturing, I hope to see this business prosper and invigorate my entrepreneurial spirit to propel me towards generational wealth and financial freedom.

The second item on my professional bucket list is to work in a new country. The Carlson School has taught me the importance of conducting business with an international lens and cross-cultural competencies. I want to take my business education here and apply the lessons I have learned abroad.

What are your hobbies? My hobbies include spending time with my friends and family by playing basketball, working out, and trying new things that I have never experienced before. In the time of COVID-19, I have also kindled my passion for reading. Being stuck at home for many has been challenging, and I have seen this challenge as an opportunity to get back to doing things that I truly enjoy!

What made Nate such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2021?

“Nate Taye is an incredible advocate and a humble leader. If I were to make a list of students who possess the qualities I value most, Nate Taye would be at the top of the list. While Nate is an exceptional student, to me, Nate stands out because of his character. He is helpful, kind, and self-sacrificing. Over the last two years, I’ve watched Nate become a role model for Minneapolis and Saint Paul middle-school students and serve as a mentor to underclassmen and peers. Nate has taken a special interest in connecting with prospective Black students, sharing his authentic experiences, and creating meaningful and lasting relationships. He has helped pave the road for young Black men to be successful and thrive at the Carlson School. I’ve seen the way that he makes others believe they can achieve their dreams – he instills hope and light, where there was previously doubt. Whether he realizes it now or not, Nate is going to leave a lasting legacy here.”

Kimberly Reed
Assistant Director of Enrollment & Scholarships for the Undergraduate Program


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