With the risk of dating herself, Carla Gruenhagen admits that she attended Minnesota School of Business (MSB) back when it was located downtown Minneapolis near the Lumber Exchange Building. There, she earned her Associate of Applied Science degree in accounting and business management. Even though it’s been nearly a quarter of a century, Carla’s favorite things about attending MSB still ring true with students today.
“I liked the small class sizes and that the teachers were from the working world,” explains Carla. “The real-world examples they taught me were crucial to my success.”
Upon graduating in 1991, Carla was hired at NP Dodge, a real estate management company, as a bookkeeper. After 11 years with NP Dodge, Carla then worked at General Growth Properties for 10 years before landing a job as portfolio director with Gassen Company, Inc., where she has worked for the last five years. Recently, Carla was promoted to director of research and development at Gassen where she will be responsible for developing company policies and procedures, including quality control standards.
“I’m proud of the fact that I’ve been able to work my way up the ladder,” Carla says. “I’ve enjoyed learning and growing through transitions, and getting into upper management positions.”
Carla has worked in real estate management for her entire career, but she didn’t always know what she wanted to do. After a campus visit at Minnesota School of Business, Carla enrolled in classes that day and was on her way to starting her career.
“After two years at another college, I took some time off. I wasn’t motivated,” Carla explains. “Truthfully, my mom was the one who pushed me to check out Minnesota School of Business.”
The combination of her education and work experience has gotten Carla where she is today, and she looks forward to contributing to the success of Gassen.
“I want to develop my current role,” says Carla of her plans for the future. “It’s new to the company, and I don’t have a lot of experience in this particular area, but I love to learn, and I hope to grow the company and help achieve our goals.”
Visit the Minnesota School of Business, business and accounting program page to learn more.