Ali Baumgartner

Ali Baumgartner

University of Wisconsin‑Madison, Wisconsin School of Business

MBA Graduation Year: 2017

Current Job: Product Manager, Fiskars


After completing her undergraduate internship at Fiskars, Ali graduated and went on to work for the company. Just a couple years—and a promotion—later, Ali knew she didn’t want to wait to take her career to the next level.

I chose Wisconsin because I wanted to gain new management skills and knowledge. I have a strong marketing background, but I was nervous about the financial and quantitative side of the program. The program staff explained all of the application guidelines, so I knew exactly what to expect. There are a lot of resources to make sure you’re comfortable coming into the program, and they give you everything you need to be successful.

I wanted to earn my MBA early in my career. I was apprehensive at first because I was starting my MBA earlier in my career than most of my classmates, but I knew I was ready to start the program. I learned right away that everyone contributes to the program in so many ways. Everyone supports each other, and I have had several chances to use my marketing experience and creativity.

The support from my employer has really made a difference, they know that what I’m learning each week helps me succeed in my position right now. My company has been very understanding and supportive of my participation in the program, they know that I have to keep a strict schedule.

I’ve learned to stay focused while balancing work, my personal time, and my education. I was used to working longer hours, so it was an adjustment to leave the office right at 5:00 to get to Grainger Hall. I’ve become more efficient, so I can switch gears at the end of the day and be ready for class. I make sure to schedule time with friends and family. I am really making the most of every day more than ever before.

If you’re ready to move your career forward, don't wait. I have already gained so much from the program, and I'm excited to see how much my career will grow with my Wisconsin MBA. It’s easy to find excuses and have anxieties about starting your MBA, but the program staff at the Wisconsin School of Business can help you with almost anything you need.