Yuexin (Ivy) Cao

Yuexin (Ivy) Cao stands in front of CUNA Mutual Group sign

University of Wisconsin–Madison, Wisconsin School of Business
MBA Graduation Year: 2021
Current Job: Senior Marketing Analyst, CUNA Mutual Group

Studying for an MBA degree has always been on my bucket list. It has proven to be one of the best decisions of my life. I hope by going through this program, I will obtain credibility and grow into a well-equipped leader.

Having an MBA degree from an elite school on my résumé will help me advance my career. I experienced some challenges working with senior leaders due to lack of seniority. I felt if I had an MBA, they would take me more seriously. My first experience leading people was as a client-facing project manager. I was leading a team of 12 experienced developers and business analysts. When I was working as a business solutions consultant, all of my direct clients were vice presidents and above, it took me a while to build up my confidence.

I really value the in-person classroom experience. I love the face-to-face interactions with my professors and classmates. I would also love to make more connections and develop new friendships through this program. I chose the Wisconsin Evening MBA Program because it works for my schedule. Mostly importantly, I’m able to apply what I’ve learned from school to work at any time.

I’m very involved with the diversity and inclusion initiatives at my company, and I enjoy mentoring interns and other young professionals in the community. I co-lead a core team of data professionals at my company to promote collaboration and knowledge sharing through semi-annual conferences and data challenges. We host 300+ attendees every year. I’m also on the leadership team of a Madison BI tool user group.

I love that the program office takes good care of us as well, always keeping us informed about campus activities and development opportunities.

—Yuexin (Ivy) Cao (MBA ’21)

My dad’s major career shifts have motivated me to pursue a master’s degree since I was in middle school. My dad obtained his master’s degree in dermatology in his early 30s and earned his M.D. in his early 40s. I’ve had good career progressions in the past few years, and I think I’m ready to move into leading people in a new role. I think my MBA will open many new doors for me.

I enjoy the opportunity to work with people with different personalities from different backgrounds. I especially enjoy the depth each of them adds to our classroom discussions and the many ways they push me to grow and think differently. I love that the program office takes good care of us as well, always keeping us informed about campus activities and development opportunities.

I’ve gained critical business skills such as how to build an effective team, how to mentor others, and how to become an influential thought leader. I’ve learned about how to develop a good mission, vision, and strategy. I’ve worked on communication, critical thinking, and viewing challenges from different angles.

The classroom is a safe place to have healthy debates. You can learn something new from anyone in the class. Being able to clearly deliver your point of view in an effective way is the key!