Michael Larson, a senior graduating with a marketing major and minor in management, is aiming for his goal at 35,000 feet in the air.
With a long a history in agriculture, Michael knew two things when deciding his major at the University of Minnesota Crookston, he wanted it to include business and travel. Michael grew up in a Mahnomen, a town in rural Minnesota, about 50 minutes southwest of Crookston. A typical small town boy, he did all the activities that any small, close-knit school was doing. But this changed as he took his first step on a Delta Airlines flight ready for departure towards St. Louis, Mo. This flight was when Michael knew traveling would be his passion.
It wasn’t until his first introduction to marketing class that he decided business and traveling go hand in hand, and from there he took off for a journey that he hopes someday will become a reality. Courtney Bergman, a marketing professor, inspired him to look into marketing along with his advisor, Megan Kragness. Every class he has taken gave him more hunger to go above and beyond in his academics and extra activities. He credits it all to his first Delta flight and the UMN Crookston Business Department.
Marketing is a very diverse and creative major, which allows him to discover new possibilities with businesses around the area and globally, Michael states, “I knew I was in the right place and right major when I had a layover in Boston and I had to finish a marketing plan for a class last semester, a person came and sat down by me and asked me what I was working on, I simply said, a marketing strategy for class project.” he continues. “The opportunities are endless when it comes to marketing and management, but I could of not have done it without the help from friends, advisors, and staff. Without the people at the University of Minnesota Crookston, I would have been lost and never would have been as driven, and because of the people at University of Minnesota Crookston, I am now one intense goal chaser!”
The major requires students to fulfill an internship before graduation, which allowed Michael to explore new insights on where he wanted to grow his future career. Larson had 3 internships is the past threes years, giving him an opportunity to connect with employers in marketing, sales, communication, public relations and foundation industries. This provided him with even greater attributions in the business world today. Larson explains, “Without this requirement, I would have never had hands-on experience to set me up to achieve greater things in the years to come.”
The structure of the campus and the Business Department allowed him to pursue his creativity and innovate. He states, “This major has shown me that with even the slightest setback, you can still prove yourself through projects and my favorite--logo and brand management.”
When people think of Michael, most would laugh and say “There he goes” or “Where is Michael?” But the relationships he has made over the years stay true to his mentors and friends. A friend comments, “Michael is one of those friends that you can't stop smiling at, he brings the adventure and smile out of anyone any time!” He states, “My parents knew I was a go getter child. I never wanted to just stop in one place and rest. In response to my parents I say, people have feet which are made to move around and to chase your future, they're not made to be rooted in one place!” As he smiles, you can tell Michael has big plans for himself and his journey is just starting.
Aside from Larson’s passion for his major, He is a continuous traveler. If you can't find Michael around campus, there is a good chance he is with friends or family planning his next trip somewhere. He is also active in BCrew, a business organization on campus that brings connections for business majors on campus and online.
One weeklong trip had an everlasting impact on Larson. Last fall while everyone else was studying for finals, Larson took a trip to London to visit a friend who was studying abroad for a semester. The trip opened his eyes and gave him a hunger to look pursue possible global job opportunities.
“My experience here at the University of Minnesota Crookston will give me more than just a degree, it will give me everlasting memories I will cherish forever and take with me in my future career.”
Larson keeps his mind on the ground and eyes in the sky for his next adventure and future. As he continues his last semester, his creativity and contagious smile are a boon to this future marketing professional and he is open to any corporation willing to take him on their flight to success.