2018 Best EMBAs: Carlos Demiranda, University of Minnesota (Carlson)

Carlos Demiranda

University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management

Adaptable, Straight Shooter, Analytical, Empathetic, Risk-Taker, Loving.”   

Age: 36

Hometown: San Antonio, Texas

Family Members: Kristin Demiranda (Wife), Camille Demiranda (Daughter), Karmen Demiranda (Daughter), Benji Demiranda (Dog)

Fun fact about yourself: Quit the high school band after one day.  

Undergraduate School and Degree: University of Minnesota, Bachelor’s Degree in Business Science, Major: Management Information System and Finance

Where are you currently working? General Mills, Senior Manager Replenishment Strategy

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles: Volunteer at University of Minnesota as a Mentor, President of Supply Chain Hispanic Network, CEMBA MBA Alumni Board, Volunteer at 2nd Harvest Food Shelf

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? Carlson School of Management Executive MBA Alumni Board Representative  

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? Developing leaders at Mexico plant that later became North American Plant of the Year!

Who was your favorite MBA professor? Vladas Griskevicius

What was your favorite MBA course and what was the biggest insight you gained about business from it? Corporate Strategy. Using frameworks to help augment our intuition in developing any type of strategy. These frameworks allow us to become aware of our biases and find ways to challenge them.

Why did you choose this executive MBA program? I chose Carlson School of Management over other prestigious programs because of the world-renowned professors and their work in the community. It is an opportunity to learn about cutting-edge research while introducing the challenges of the workplace during the class experience. The Carlson program has a strong presence of community that allows for learning from more than just the professor. More importantly, you cn develop long-lasting relationships that I already leverage today. It is amazing how you can reach out to a classmate for leadership advice or just to hang out.

What did you enjoy most about business school in general? Friendships. The best part of my experience was the late nights with my peers discussing their challenges, passions, and relating it to the topics we were learning. I appreciated learning how diverse our approaches were to different topics, with each successful in their own way.  

What is the biggest lesson you gained during your MBA and how did you apply it at work? The biggest lesson I gained during my MBA experience was how to develop a team with members from vastly different backgrounds. During my first year, I was matched up with peers that were very different from each other. It was amazing to watch us challenge each other and work together to develop the best team environment I have ever experienced. This school experience, partnered with my past two roles at General Mills, have allowed me to lead teams through adversity while building great relationships.

Give us a story during your time as an executive MBA on how you were able to juggle work, family and education? Going into my first year, my wife kept reminding me that keeping a schedule, like my three-year-old, was important to balancing the experience. Fortunately, sharing that schedule with my teams, family, and work allowed me to deliver on my assignments, work, and family duties (literally, we had a baby during the first year).

What advice would you give to a student looking to enter an executive MBA program? Take the time to understand what you want from a program that develops you as a person. Look for a school that matches that need, no matter the name. It is important that the curriculum and culture bring out the best in you.    

What is the biggest myth about going back to school? The biggest myth is that getting back into learning mindset is easy. While you understand that continuing education is critical for personal development, the grad professors will challenge and expose your blind spots. It may seem frustrating, but through the process you will find ways to expand your thoughts, analytical mindset, and approach to learning.

What was your biggest regret in business school? My biggest regret was allowing my work and personal priorities to take away from my experience during my last semester. It is easy to see the end, but harder to keep the same energy.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Raha Been. Raha demonstrates leadership qualities that inspire her peers. She has the courage to speak up on topics that are controversial, while still remembering to be a servant leader for those she represents at work or school.

“I knew I wanted to go to business school when…I saw my wife graduating with her MBA from the Carlson School of Management.” 

If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be… missing out on a great group of friends.”

What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? To start my own business.

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? Carlos is someone that cared about seeing his peers succeed.  

Favorite book: Les Misérables

Favorite movie or television show: The Lion King

What are the top two items on your bucket list? To be a college professor and to drive a rally car.

What made Carlos such an invaluable addition to the class of 2018?

“One of the key attributes that sets Carlos apart as a student is his high level of engagement and Intellectual Curiosity. Academically, I would place Carlos in the top 10% of all students I have known. But what truly distinguishes Carlos for consideration inclusion among Poets & Quants’ “Best & Brightest” is his support for the next generation of supply chain professionals.

As a General Mills employee, Carlos has helped with a number of learning experiences for the next generation of students including being actively involved in the annual National Undergraduate Supply Chain Case Competition. He has spent time as a judge, as a representative at the opening reception, and as the point person for site visits at General Mills.  He was also the key point person assisting with the learning experiences of an innovative experiential learning experience in my Undergraduate course – Tracing the Global Supply Chain. Because of Carlos’s involvement, the class was able to go on several site visits in the U.S. and China that allowed them to observe concepts in action and make the course come alive.”

Dr. Steven C. Huchendorf

Senior Lecturer, Supply Chain & Operations



Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.