2024 Best & Brightest Business Major: Maitri Ajmera, University of Minnesota (Carlson)

Maitri Ajmera

University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management

“Creative and passionate leader who looks for inspiration in all people, places, and things.”

Fun fact about yourself: I’ve loved tomatoes ever since I was a baby.

Hometown: Wichita, Kansas

High School: Wichita High School East

Major: Finance

Minor: Strategic Management, Art, and Political Science

Favorite Business Course: IBUS 3090: Solving Wicked Cross-Cultural Problems

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

  • 2022-2023 Carlson Undergraduate Student Body President
  • 2022-2023 Student Representative on the Carlson Undergraduate Advisory Board
  • 2022 Undergraduate Student Representative on the Carlson Dean Search Committee
  • 2021-2022 Carlson Undergraduate Sophomore Representative
  • Carlson Centennial Scholar
  • Carlson Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Team Intern
  • Carlson Ambassador
  • Carlson Outreach Ambassador
  • Carlson Crew Leader
  • Delta Sigma Pi, Professional Business Fraternity – Former VP of DEI
  • Carlson Consulting Network – Board Member
  • Golden Magazine – Styling Team Member
  • Honors Research Assistant – Prof. Aks Zaheer
  • Teaching Assistant for IDSC 4110: Data Engineering in R
  • First Year Leadership Institute – Former Participant & Current Mentor
  • Net Impact, Impact Consulting Program – Team Lead

Where have you interned during your college career?

  • Ernst & Young (EY) – Launch Intern – Minneapolis, MN
  • Ernst & Young (EY) – Strategy & Transactions Intern – Valuation, Modeling, and Economics – Minneapolis, MN
  • Lazard – Investment Banking Analyst Intern – Private Market Advisory, Consumer, Food, and Retail – Minneapolis, MN
  • Microsoft – Finance Rotational Program Analyst Intern – Microsoft Customer and Partner Solutions, Dynamics 365 – Redmond, WA

Where will you be working after graduation? Microsoft – Finance Rotational Program Analyst – Redmond, WA

Who is your favorite business professor? One of the most important skills I’ve been taught at the Carlson School is the art of problem solving, a competence I can largely attribute to Prof. Amee McDonald. She leads her classrooms with empathy and teaches with passion and enthusiasm. Starting from my freshman year through my study abroad experience at the end of my junior year, Amee has guided me with her wisdom and expertise and inspired me to take risks.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? The most impactful and influential businesses and business leaders are those who stay true to themselves and find their niche to strategically transform the world.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? One of my first tasks as Carlson’s student body president was speaking to the freshman class of 650+ students on the first day of their undergraduate education. During this speech, I imparted three main principles that have guided me throughout my time in college: “Be well, be strategic, and be connected”. In this spirit, I encourage all business students to prioritize their personal wellness, learn time management, embody a growth mindset, and foster meaningful relationships.

Looking back over your experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently in business school and why? Take risks and challenge myself in a more well-rounded way. Whether it was the classes I took, the opportunities I applied for, or the people I surrounded myself with, I would have done more to step outside my comfort zone and galvanize my personal growth in a more intentional way.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? While I’ve had many opportunities to speak to various audiences of size and prominence throughout my four years in Carlson, I am most proud of a speech I made titled “The Art of Authenticity” at the 2022 Compass Alumni Reunion. Even though this was the smallest audience I spoke to, I’ve never felt more connected and passionate about a topic than authenticity and owning your narrative. While this speech was only eight minutes, the words that I spoke and the impact I left on the audience will forever fuel me in my mission of empowering myself and those around me to be the best version of themselves.

Which classmate do you most admire? I met my friend and peer, Harrison Sullivan, on the first day of freshman year in our introductory management course. Since then, I’ve been inspired and motivated by Harrison’s drive for excellence, passion for his work, and steadfast treatment of others.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? I attribute my work ethic and relentless ambition to my parents who immigrated to the US from India. Not only have they instilled in me the importance of education but they’ve also taught me the importance of humility and perseverance. I hope that all of their dreams, hopes, and sacrifices can be realized through my sister and I.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?

  1. Give a TED Talk.
  2. Be appointed the United States Secretary of State.

What made Maitri such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2024?  

“Maitri is a pillar of the Carlson School Undergraduate community. She has demonstrated strong and effective leadership during her time as President of the Undergraduate Business Board, Intern of Diversity and Inclusion, Carlson Ambassador, and many other roles. Her strong values for equity drive her to make the Business community more accessible. She has served as a role model for younger undergraduate students, high school students, and middle school students of underrepresented and low-income backgrounds and inspired young scholars to reach their higher education goals.”

Geida Cleveland
Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Enrollment


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