In his four years at the Carlson School, undergraduate senior Adam Reichow has seen a transformation in his fellow Carlson School students.
"When I first got to the school, there was an idea that there was a 'typical' Carlson student and that student went on to take only the highest paying job at the most prestigious company they could find," he says. "Now, I don't think that student exists. The Carlson School has done a great job empowering students to take risks and break the mold of what business students are supposed to do."
He also notes that during his Carlson school career, he greatly benefited from the guidance his academic advisor, those in The Undergraduate Business Career Center, and his professors provided him. "My academic journey would have been dramatically different if it was not for them," he says.
An avid participant in the school's community and four-year U of M gymnast and two-time NCAA All-American, Reichow will soon graduate with an operations and supply chain management degree. He has already secured a job for after graduation, and, as one might guess, the job isn't the first career step a typical business school graduate takes.
This summer he'll be a teacher for Teach For America (TFA), an organization that provides teachers to low-income schools. His interest in the organization was first piqued last fall while conversing with a TFA recruiter at a Carlson School career and internship fair.
"I was really drawn to TFA as a way to use my business education to have a meaningful and immediate impact on our society," he says. "It presented the opportunity to put my experiences and passions to work toward an extremely important injustice that America is facing--our growing education achievement gap. I needed to be a part of the movement to change that."
Acquiring a TFA position is challenging. An organization that only considers the most promising of impending or recent college graduates, TFA puts applicants through a rigorous selection process that includes multiple interviews, conducting mock classes, and tests.
Among this year's 47,000 applicants, Reichow was chosen for one of the roughly 5,000 available positions. "I'll be joining an organization of highly ambitious, intelligent, and forward thinking people, aimed at bettering our world," he says. "To me, there is nothing better than that."
In August, Reichow will move to Houston, Texas to start his TFA training from which he will eventually transfer to Dallas to start his two-year assignment teaching elementary education at an inner-city charter school.
In preparation for his future job, Reichow has been interning in the Carlson School's Multicultural Affairs and Diversity Education department where he's been learning more about diversity initiatives not only at the School, but also at other schools around the country. "I am extremely interested in the ideas of equality and equal opportunities for all people, and more specifically as it relates to education," he says. "The internship experience has been great."
For the next two years, he'll be focusing on his classroom in Dallas. After his TFA assignment ends, he aspires to get an MBA degree and thereafter perhaps start his own non-profit organization aimed around sustainability, health, and education. However, it's still early and plans could change, to which he says, "I am going to take it one day at a time and let my passions be my guide."