University of Wisconsin–Madison, Wisconsin School of Business
MBA Graduation Year: MBA ’21
Current Job: Project Engineer, DuPont
My varied engineering roles in capital coordination, R&D, process engineering, and project management exposed me to the business side of my company. It piqued my interest in earning an MBA to broaden my knowledge of finance and strategy. My job is geographically rotational, so I chose Madison as my final location to be able to earn my MBA with my program of choice—The Wisconsin Evening MBA. In addition to gaining an exceptional business foundation, I am getting additional value by pursuing an optional certificate in entrepreneurship.
Learning alongside diverse peers provides insights into new approaches to business challenges. That, plus a strong business foundation, have really enhanced my ability to lead meetings, provide ideas, and create value with my teams. Having a comfortable, judgement-free environment in the classroom and as we work in teams is a great way to build soft skills as well as confidence. I am asking more questions, taking control of my career and adding value to my teams and projects in this program and at work.
My business network now includes alumni and students from different cohorts, which broadens my understanding of other career paths, roles, and organizations.
Through the program’s team-driven format, we work collaboratively on projects and we support and cheer each other on through work events and job transitions. Team support is a really great perk of this program, as life can hit different people at different times. The program also creates opportunities to network and socialize outside of the classroom, which adds more balance and is a nice chance to further build relationships.
The curriculum is really well thought out to provide timely and applicable business skills and knowledge. Managerial Communication with Deb Keller provides great insight into strategic decision-making and leadership. Deb focuses on the importance of communication to successful leadership, including the role of communication in getting buy-in and creating a strong, collaborative culture. The financial accounting and financial management classes have given me a great foundation to better understand my company’s financial statements. In meetings with business leaders I am having productive conversations around capital-project metrics and strategies.
The program design supports strong work-life balance. We get the full calendar and syllabus prior to the semester so we can organize our home, work, and school responsibilities. I can easily identify potential conflicts and communicate any needs to professors. They are very flexible and understand that we are professionals as well as students.
The career services team helped me develop tools to continue my career journey: a résumé, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile that feel authentic. With their support I was able to effectively translate the value of my technical experience and soft skills to position myself for career advancement. And they gave me the language to communicate with my current manager on projects. All of this has increased my confidence in what I bring to the table.