2023 Best & Brightest Executive MBA: Corey Scott, University of Minnesota (Carlson)

Corey Scott

University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management

Age: 37

“Passionate about opportunities in STEM for women and demonstrating where agriculture intersects with daily life.”

Hometown: Marine on Saint Croix, MN

Family Members: Husband Darren Scott and eight four-legged children

Fun fact about yourself: I drove a semi-truck in college for an agriculture cooperative and it launched my career in food and agriculture.

Undergraduate School and Degree: University of Minnesota;

B.S. Agriculture Business

A.S. Equine Science

Where are you currently working? Athian, VP of Sales and Marketing

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles:

CEMBA Class of 2023 Student Representative

Greenbiz 2023 – 12 Women Cultivating Sustainable Food Systems

2022 US Dairy Sustainability Award Recipient – Outstanding Supply Chain Collaboration

Clays for a Cause- Habitat Restoration Core Committee Member

Women in Agriculture- Local and National member

National 4-H Council- Guest Judge and Coach

Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation- County Board Member, PAC Member and …

Land O’Lakes Women’s Leadership ERG- committee member and member

Land O’Lakes Food Share- committee member

Taste of the NFL, Let’s Kick Hunger Day Telethon – ten-year volunteer

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I am most proud of my continued leadership with the women-led team that hosts an annual fundraiser for habitat restoration in Minnesota. There’s a small but mighty group of five of us with a passion for sharing and extending the opportunity for others to enjoy the outdoors. The team hosts an event each year called Clays for a Cause MN, where we host 100+ people in a sporting clay shooting event, lunch, silent auction, and other fundraising games. The proceeds go toward restoring habitat on public and private land in MN. This year we raised more than $30,000 and in our nine years of events we have surpassed $100,000 in proceeds and have impacted 2,000 acres!

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I am most proud of the 2023 Greenbiz – 12 Women Cultivating Sustainable Food Systems recognition. In the space of food and agriculture, there are people across the globe who are making a daily, lasting, positive impact in driving a more sustainable and efficient food system. To be recognized as a leader in this space is a career-topping honor. I work to amplify the impact of good work done by others in food and agriculture and with this recognition it has opened more pathways for that amplification and lasting impact.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? Myles Shaver. Myles takes the content of his strategy courses and makes it readily relatable and applicable to daily working life as a professional. He gave relevant context to theories that I’ve experienced in practice but didn’t know how to identify and apply.

Why did you choose this school’s executive MBA program? The program’s appeal lies most in the people of my cohort. The Carlson School of Management Executive MBA gives a unique opportunity to experience a melting pot of high performing professionals and people of like-minded desire to grow and learn. Also, the quality of professors and resources that the Carlson School offers is second to none in the region.

Give us a story during your time as an executive MBA on how you were able to juggle work, family and education? The job I held while in the program was very demanding, I worked for a startup within a cooperative. The startup was tackling a new services model in the space of climate intervention in agriculture. There were multiple weeks where I would find myself driving hours visiting farms to work with them to troubleshoot on farm technology and then be catching a flight across the country in the evening to work with a major food company to plan for their own mitigation efforts. On Thursday night, I would fly home late to be ready for school on Friday morning and then plan date night with my family Friday night to catch up from the week of being on the road.

What made it work were the things that we all dread doing — listening to audio books in the car for class, working on the airplanes to build papers and presentations, and making a conscious effort to disconnect while with my family but then very late at night reading papers while in bed. It truly is a juggling act and not one to be pursued lightly. The realities of the program are different for everyone based on their circumstances, but the level of commitment and perseverance required to complete it I would argue is the same- you just find a way.

What advice would you give to a student looking to enter an executive MBA program? Do it. Be sure you are someplace professionally with just enough flex to allow time for homework during the weeknights and work hard to plan with your family priority nights and weekends that you are intentional about spending time with them and just do it.

What is the biggest myth about going back to school? The impact it will have on your life is something that isn’t classified appropriately. The reason most of us think about going back to school is for career advancement, and so we think about the promotions or opportunities we might have because of school while making our decision. What I don’t think is talked about enough is the network and how expansive your mind and way of thinking can be after having attended an Executive MBA program. Living a new life through the experiences of others had a greater impact than simply the course work.

What was your biggest regret in business school? Not taking the time to get to know my cohort sooner. The class work is so critically important, but I would argue the network from the cohort as well as the resources and events provided by the University is something I wish I had leveraged sooner as their impact was the greatest on my experience.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Abby Dietrich. Abby came to the program a different human than she was when she left. Abby is an HR professional who went through some major trials in her personal life while receiving added responsibility in her career and excelling academically. Abby blossomed as an individual and really leaned into her cohort to help her through the trials she was experiencing, and I believe came out of the program a new and better version of herself. She demonstrated what it really is to balance home, career, and school like a magician.

What was the main reason you chose an executive MBA program over part-time or online alternatives? What drove me to this program was the opportunity to do the program with a consistent but significant group of 30+ individuals, all of high caliber, and to build deep and lasting relationships with those people within the local community. The flexibility and acknowledgement of our demanding careers in the program and course design really stood out once I was in the program- after having done it I would pick the executive program again.

What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? I strive to be a general manger of an agriculture services business. My background has led to a diverse slate of roles in a Fortune 200 Agriculture Cooperative and I recently made a move to join an AgTech startup. Agriculture feeds the world, and aside from healthcare, I can’t think of an industry that impacts each one of us in our daily lives and our ability to live with quality. I want to continue to be a leader in that industry and will continue to pursue roles that allow me to impact through emerging technology or services.

What made Corey such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2023?

“I had an opportunity to get to know Corey both as a student in my Competing Globally course, and during our field trip to Spain. She brought a wealth of experience to class and provided sharp insights on multiple topics. She was as interested in the collective learning of her cohort as she was in her own. Her contribution was always on point, direct and clear. However, our time together in Spain fully revealed Corey’s amazing qualities. I found that she was a highly respected class leader who knew every one of her classmates well and cared about their needs, as well as their responsibility to represent Carlson School abroad. She was a true ambassador of our Executive MBA program. Corey has the energy, poise, compassion, and intellect to achieve great things, and to lead others to do so. I can’t wait to hear about her next steps. Congratulations Corey, this recognition is fully deserved!”

Svjetlana Madzar
Senior Lecturer in Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship Department


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