MBA Student Profile: Brett Carneiro, '17

UNH Student Brett CarneiroTell us about your background.

I went to college in New York City at Fordham University, where I majored in English. For the past 10 years, I’ve worked in Marketing. I’ve been married for over five years and have two kids—a four-year-old boy and a two-year-old-girl—as well as a dog named Paddington. Right before entering the MBA program, I worked at a digital marketing agency in Boston as an account manager.

Why Did You Decide to Get Your MBA?

I had been thinking about getting my MBA for a long time. My talent and skillset is in English and Creative Writing—I’m a very right-brained person—but I wanted to build a stronger foundation in Finance, Economics, and the language of business, so that I could be more marketable for future employers, and also so that I could add more value to my own projects. To sit at the table in a conversation about Marketing, for example, you really need to understand the business language in order to add value. I didn’t want to get pigeonholed into one role. Eventually, I want to become a Director, Vice President, etc. I see the MBA as a chance to build my business acumen and really invest in myself. 

Why did you choose the University of New Hampshire?

I’ve lived in Dover, New Hampshire since 2009, which is the next town over from UNH. My wife has two graduate degrees from UNH and both my kids go to school here. We’re very invested in the community already. Years ago, I visited the campus and absolutely loved it. It’s a beautiful school, and I really like the people. Of course, I had some reservations about enrolling in a rigorous academic program—balancing time as a parent and as a husband—but the fact that the MBA could be completed in One-Year was a huge selling point. I was also struck by the support systems available to students, too: Career Services, The Graduate Programs Office, just to name a few.

Why did you choose the Full Time MBA program?

The One-Year accelerated MBA was exactly what I was looking for. I wanted to take one year and say, “I’m going to invest in myself.” For me, I need to be fully immersed in something in order to succeed. That’s the type of learner I am. Going back to school full time meant I could take a step back from what I had been doing and take a hard look at how I want to position myself for the future. I love that it’s a cohort-based program, too. I am surrounded by an entire community of likeminded, future business leaders who are going through the same things I am. We bounce ideas off each other, cheer each other on. There’s a camaraderie and an energy in this program that makes me feel truly connected. I’ve become so close with my teammates. 

What do you hope to do with your MBA?

I am very interested in entrepreneurship. I have a few projects I’ve been working on over the years and I know this program will help me launch my own initiatives. Before entering the MBA, at least from a business perspective, I didn’t even know where to start with these initiatives. I had ideas that I believed in, but I felt I lacked some of the key skillsets that would help me day-to-day as I worked to bring the dreams to fruition. Early on in the program, Dan Silverman, who taught our Information Systems and Enterprise Integration course, told us to “Know what you don’t know.” That has stuck with me. It’s helped me recognize some of my own weak spots and work toward them. If I go back into corporate life, I am hoping my MBA will position me for leadership opportunities and responsibilities.

Tell us about your experience in the program thus far?

The MBA at UNH is rigorous and difficult. It pushes you. As a parent of two small kids, I’ve had to find new ways to balance my time. I’m coming from a world where I felt like I was really good at what I was doing, and starting in this program I was a little worried I would be out of my element. But it didn’t take long for me to feel at home: I love my time in class, and my time with the cohort, especially in the small group settings, and the faculty is terrific. The volume of new information and material was initially overwhelming. I had to adapt, and I now feel like I’m stretching myself. There is a lot of struggling with ideas and concepts, but that’s where the growth happens, and at the end of the day I know I am learning how to navigate these brand new landscapes. It’s exciting.