Amazing LSBE Stories

Allison Hoffman and Mitchell Larson
April 23, 2015

LSBE has many amazing students. Two graduating seniors that recently caught our eye because of their "LSBE story" are Allison Hoffman and Mitchell Larson.

LSBE has many amazing students. Two graduating seniors that recently caught our eye because of their "LSBE story" are Allison Hoffman and Mitchell Larson.

Allison Hoffman

Allison Hoffman, from Plymouth, MN, is graduating with two degrees—Bachelor of Business Administration with a major in Marketing and Bachelor of Arts with a major in Music. "I can proudly say that I obtained two degrees in four years while maintaining a high GPA. It is definitely possible!" she said.

Hoffman's experiences at UMD have been abundant and varied, and she’ll leave in May with the following overall takeaway.

"Coming into UMD I understood that I had a finite amount of time to make the most of my experience. And I am proud to say that I have learned, grown, and discovered so many amazing things here. However, now with my senior year coming to a close, I have come to an understanding that has taken four years and countless hours in and out of class working—opportunities are made from the individual. My favorite quote is If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door. I know that there is always an opportunity waiting to be discovered, and it's up to us to find it."

Some of Hoffman's many activities and experiences in the past few years include

  • Holding the position of LSBE's technology program assistant for two years while attending LSBE. (She was a former MIS major.) "I love technology and helping others solve their computer problems."
  • Being a Zumba instructor for UMD Group Fitness. (She became a certified Zumba instructor in 2014.)
  • Being a member of UMD Vocal Jazz for three years. "I sing soprano in Lake Effect. I am also head choreographer for our annual Cabaret show we put on in the spring, and I run the social media accounts for the groups. I have traveled to Ireland, New York, Des Moines, as well as having been on several regional tours with the group."
  • Being a member of Attitudes Dance Association for her entire time at UMD and serving as a choreographer for the group for the past two years.
  • Interning as an IT Project Coordinator for Viterra in the summer of 2013.
  • Participating in camping trips through RSOP, volunteer opportunities with Students in Transition, and "any special on-campus events that catches my eye."

"Overall, if I find an opportunity, challenge, or group I want to be a part of, I will find a way to make it happen!" she said. "I love performing (dancing and singing), and I love to be busy. I am known to balance all these activities and 20 credits in school and remain freakishly calm."

Hoffman claims her favorite classes to be Social Media Marketing and Advertising and Marketing Communications. "Both of these classes have done an exceptional job of providing me the opportunity to take what I learned in class and apply it to real situations."

John Kratz, instructor for both of the above classes, "has a passion for marketing that is contagious," said Hoffman. "Those two classes and John Kratz have been the most impactful experiences at LSBE, but I do have to say that I have had such wonderful teachers in all my classes. All of the LSBE faculty are passionate about what they are teaching, and they all want to help students reach their full potential. This is also what sets LSBE apart from other business schools. We have the opportunity to really get to know our professors and find opportunities to make a difference or stand out from the crowd."

Throughout her time at LSBE, Hoffman has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors.

  • Academic Excellence Award in Marketing, University of Minnesota Duluth, 2015
  • Dean's List, UMD Labovitz School of Business and Economics (6 of 6 semesters)
  • Dean's List, UMD School of Fine Arts (7 of 7 semesters)
  • Labovitz School of Business and Economics Honors Scholarship, 2014-2015
  • Weber Family Music Scholarship, University of Minnesota Duluth, 2014-2015
  • Weber Music Performance Scholarship, University of Minnesota Duluth, 2013-2015
  • Sansio Scholarship, University of Minnesota Duluth, 2013-2014

Hoffman is waiting to hear from several Twin Cities advertising or digital marketing agencies regarding a post-LSBE career.

Mitchell Larson

Mitchell Larson, from Luck, WI, is graduating with two degrees-a Bachelor of Business Administration with a major in Marketing and a Bachelor of Applied Science in Environmental and Outdoor Education.

His passion for outdoors has led him to numerous jobs and experiences over the last several years resulting in a post-LSBE job.

He first started with Northwest Concentrated Employment Program where he worked with at-risk youth on conservation and outdoor education. "It was an amazing experience where I developed both great curriculum and leadership skills. I worked with NWCEP for three years, and it eventually turned into a marketing project."

Larson, who embraces the Northland's longest season, co-developed and coached a freestyle snowboard team, spending a couple of seasons working at Spirit Mountain and then later at Mont du Lac. "I learned a lot about program and event management working with this team, and it was also a lot of fun."

The experience Larson gained through his freestyle program led into working for the American Association of Snowboard Instructors, where he travels throughout the Midwest and runs snowboard educational events and certifications. "We are constantly working to improve the strategy of our division, so I get to do a lot of hands-on strategic planning, as well as teaching and riding."

One of his most beneficial experiences was a position at the Fastenal Company, which played a big role in getting his position post-graduation.

"This experience was a head-first dive into the world of business where I learned a lot about sales, marketing, logistics, and many more aspects of a business. I worked hard and was lucky enough to play a major role for six months running a $1,000,000 yearly account, which was the most profitable account for our branch."

So Larson parlayed his experiences, his passion and his degree securing a career position six months before graduation! "My passion is in the outdoors, and my long-time goal was to work in sales/marketing in the outdoor industry. Upon graduation, I will be doing sales/marketing for a company called Branches, LLC in Wisconsin. They manufacture canoe, kayak, and stand up paddleboard paddles under 'Bending Branches' and 'Aqua-Bound.'"

Larson enjoyed his time at LSBE with a curriculum that he felt was very practical for the real business world. "In Linda Rochford's Marketing Management and Strategy class we learned how to write a marketing plan from the ground up, which was awesome to learn. I also really liked Sara Pitterle's Sales Analytics class, where I gained experience with a ton of analytical tools that will be extremely useful to me in future jobs."

Larson is a member of Beta Gama Sigma and was honored this year with the Department of Marketing Hancock Award for Excellence in Marketing (2015).