Applied Security Analysis

Michael Warecki
Michael Warecki

Graduation Year: 2019
Career Specialization: Applied Security Analysis
Hometown: Neenah, Wisconsin

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Two-and-a-half years in financial services

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
I chose the Wisconsin MBA because of the opportunity to manage money and learn from faculty with industry experience. It also offers deep value.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
Carefully consider the pros and cons of choosing a program with a large vs. small class size and talk to current students in each program.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I enjoy kiteboarding, mountain biking, rock climbing and snowboarding.

Kevin Gronseth 
Kevin Gronseth

Graduation Year: 2020
Career Specialization: Applied Security Analysis
Hometown: Rochester, Minnesota

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • One-and-a-half years in F500 corporate finance
  • One-and-a-half years in corporate finance for a non-profit medical institution

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
I chose the Wisconsin MBA Program for the specialization model. The Applied Security Analysis Program at Wisconsin is one of a kind, and I saw first-hand the successful outcomes of the alumni.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
Take a visit to campus if you can, meet with admissions, and get to know current students and faculty. It puts a more "human" aspect to your application, since they will know you personally.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I am a die-hard Minnesota sports fan, especially the Vikings. I am a newlywed and my wife and I were both brand new to Madison when moving for the MBA program.

Arts Administration

Reggie Liu
Reggie Liu

Graduation Year: 2019
Career Specialization: Arts Administration
Hometown: Beijing, China

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Cross-disciplinary experiences with art museum, theater, movie and music
  • Career transfer from Engineering and Manufacturing job

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
It has the premium Arts Administrations program, which is one of the best cross the country and the world.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
I feel the Wisconsin MBA is for someone who knows what they want for their future career and life, and who has ambitions to make the tomorrow of their industry different while keeping their feet down to the earth. The program cares about your credentials, but they also truly care about you as a person and try best to appreciate the inner beauty of yourself. If you are such a candidate, be yourself and be confident. If you are not yet such an applicant but do want to be an MBA Badger, make a strategic plan to grow and show the admissions team your persistence; I guarantee the process of preparing yourself to become a Badger will be very enriching.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I received an engineering degree in college and worked in a manufacturing business for seven years before officially moving to the arts sector and working as a producer.

Amber Porter
Amber H. H. Porter

Graduation Year: 2019
Career Specialization: Arts Administration
Hometown: Rio Rancho, New Mexico

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Four months in a Media & Technology Startup

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
This is the only program of its kind for Arts Administration - it is the leader in the field. The opportunity here is unparalleled.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
If you are interested in Arts Administration, the other programs you are considering are likely M.A. programs. I've heard from many leaders in the field that an M.A. could be replaced by a good internship, but an MBA from Wisconsin will provide you with the business acumen that is desperately sought after by arts institutions today. The curriculum is contemporary and engaging, and reinforced by an MBA-level internship with a local arts organization during the academic year. There is no better preparation for a career in the arts; there is no better choice.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I love paddleboard yoga, as well as shooting pool and doing the New York Times crossword. My middle name is Harley after my dad's motorcycle he sold to buy a crib and hefty supply of diapers. Looking back, my parents knew I was destined to be in the arts when I would dance underneath the screen at the movie theater as soon as the credits rolled.

Nick Pjevach
Nick Pjevach

Graduation Year: 2019
Career Specialization: Arts Administration
Hometown: Pewaukee, Wisconsin

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Four years in non-profit fundraising

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
I first learned about the Bolz Center for Arts Administration while pursuing my undergraduate degree from UW-Madison. After graduation, I continued to run into alumni. If you are interested in Arts Administration, it is not a question of if you will meet someone associated with the Bolz Center, but when. This sense of community in addition to the high praise from some alumni I would consider good friends was all I needed to know Wisconsin was the right choice, and the opportunity to become a double Badger!

What advice would you give to prospective students?
Although the Wisconsin MBA has specializations, there is still so much to explore within each specialization. Of the five first year Bolz Center students, every single one of us is interested in administration of different artistic medium: popular music, classical music, theatre, visual arts, cross-disciplinary works.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I once drove the band Fun to Whole Foods once, but sadly just called my mom from the car while they got lunch inside.

Luis Dominguez 
Luis Dominguez

Graduation Year: 2020
Career Specialization: Arts Administration
Hometown: Sevilla, Spain

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Ten years in music

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
The Wisconsin School of Business offers an MBA program specifically for arts administration. There is no other university offering something similar.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
The specialization program gives you the focus you need to grow and advance in your career. That is why I chose Wisconsin.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I lived in China for five years, and during that time I fell in love with the spicy regional food of Guizhou and Sichuan provinces.

Brand and Product Management

Melissa Abney
Melissa Abney

Graduation Year: 2019
Career Specialization: Brand and Product Management
Hometown: Houston, Texas

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Product Marketing at 3M

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
Wisconsin made the recruiting process very personalized and made me feel valued. I also really appreciated how they aligned to my personal passion for service, diversity, and inclusion through the partnership with the Consortium. In addition, receiving the consortium fellowship was an added bonus.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
Be authentic. Don't overly stress about test scores because at the end of the day it is only one part of the full package. Be open because the perfect door of opportunity may not always look like you initially think.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I love traveling, art, music, and consider myself an amateur food critic.

Lindsay Berger
Lindsay Berger

Graduation Year: 2019
Career Specialization: Brand and Product Management
Hometown: Wausau, Wisconsin

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Three years in marketing communications
  • Two and a half years in technical writing

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
I knew I wanted to focus on brand management, so the WSB specialization model fit my needs exactly. Madison is one of the greatest cities on earth, and in addition I knew I would get a high-quality education at an affordable price. Did I mention I love Madison?

What advice would you give to prospective students?
Schedule a visit at WSB and every other school they're considering. I visited both UW and Northwestern, and the difference in visit quality was stark-a major factor in my decision to attend WSB.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I am a major beer aficionada and recently started brewing my own! I love to cook and recently had the opportunity to take some cooking classes in Thailand and Vietnam. I'm teaching myself Polish so I can communicate with my boyfriend's grandma. In my free time, I like to lift weights and learn more about the biomechanics of strength training. Someday, I would like to be certified as a personal trainer and maybe even open a gym geared toward helping more women become comfortable with strength training.

Mark Brown
Mark Brown

Graduation Year: 2019
Career Specialization: Brand and Product Management
Hometown: Orem, Utah

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Two years in marketing and SEO

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
Wisconsin's small class sizes, networking opportunities, on-campus recruiting and specialization model were all very attractive attributes.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
Be aware of how much help is available to you when you are here as a student. You are set up to succeed.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I own a pet hedgehog. I love to browse the internet in search of my next vacation.

 
Sean Cabaniss

Graduation Year: 2019
Career Specialization: Brand and Product Management
Hometown: Houston, Texas

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Three years in engineering/manufacturing with Keurig Green Mountain

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
I chose to attend the Wisconsin MBA Program because it allowed me to jump straight into marketing classes and networking from Day 1. I could tell that employers highly value the specialization program, and it has served me well during my time here.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
Start with a lot of internal reflection; understanding what you value is crucial to finding the program that can provide that to you.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
Despite growing up in Houston, I love snowboarding and try to get out into the mountains whenever I can. I have also lived in eight different cities in the past eight years for school and work.

Andrew Eggum
Andrew Eggum

Graduation Year: 2019
Career Specialization: Brand and Product Management
Hometown: Saint Paul, Minnesota

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Five years in marketing analytics at Nielsen

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
I knew I wanted to expand marketing knowledge outside of just insights into holistic brand management; the specialization model was a big selling point.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
I would advise prospective students to consider fit over reputation. It's easy to be attracted to the big name, highest-ranked elite schools, but fit matters more. Make sure you gel with current students and understand what the realistic outcomes of an MBA are at that school. Think about companies that you'd want to work for, and see if those companies recruit at the programs you're looking at.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I have a goal of traveling to every (politically viable) country on the planet.

Will Fluharty
Will Fluharty

Graduation Year: 2019
Career Specialization: Brand and Product Management
Hometown: Maybee, Michigan

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Eight years as an Infantry Officer in the U.S. Army

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
I was drawn to Wisconsin by the specialization model, as well as the very welcoming and close-knit environment of the MBA program. The Brand and Product Management specialization will do a phenomenal job of preparing me to land my dream job as a brand manager, and the faculty who instruct me here are world-class professionals who know exactly what it takes to succeed in my chosen field. The industry connections that Wisconsin has are incredible, and the small class size here ensures that I'll get the personalized education and preparation to get ahead in a very competitive job market. Additionally, I realized during my first visit that Wisconsin is a special place. It was very apparent from the beginning that the staff and faculty would be personally invested in my success, and that I wasn't just a name on a spreadsheet to them. The entire admissions process had a very personal feel to it, and the admissions team would constantly go above and beyond to assist me throughout my application. I knew that if I came to Wisconsin, I would have a new second family that would do everything in their power to make me successful.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
My main piece of advice is to make every effort to visit every MBA program that you are seriously considering. Coming from a non-business background, I initially thought that all MBA programs were more or less the same. I quickly discovered that every school has its own unique identity and learning environment, and it is crucial to find the one that best fits your personality and career goals. Speak to every admissions director, faculty member, alum, and student that you possibly can from every program you're interested in. Try to get a good idea of what your post-MBA career goals are, and be honest with yourself about what type of environment you learn and work best in. Once you figure all of that out, you'll start to get a solid list of MBA programs that you should be applying to. Attending an MBA program is a life-long investment, so make sure you're well-informed!

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
Even though I'm not from Wisconsin, my dad and I are Green Bay Packers shareholders, and try to go to at least one cold weather game at Lambeau Field every year. I also enjoy CrossFit, hanging out with my wife and dog, and reading a good book in a coffee shop.

Aggie Howland
Aggie Howland

Graduation Year: 2019
Career Specialization: Brand and Product Management
Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Four years at a business-to-business public relations firm in Chicago

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
I chose the Wisconsin MBA for two main reasons: the specialization track and the culture. Essentially every program out there can give prospective students both the general managerial and broad business skills to succeed, but not all can give you the immediate deep-dive into your preferred career interests right from the start. I felt Wisconsin could not only teach me what I wanted know quickly, but they could do so exceptionally well with the combination of core and specialized classes, willing-to-work-with-you career management and incredibly helpful faculty and staff who once had the job I seek to obtain. The culture was a no-brainer for me. Between the consistent outreach from the admissions team and student ambassadors during 'decision time' to the thoughtful preparation for my on-campus visit and On Wisconsin trip, I never doubted that the Wisconsin School of Business wanted me to join the Class of 2019. It made Wisconsin feel like home, and is what ultimately made this program stand out from the pack.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
Two things: I think prospective students should know that rankings - while somewhat important - are not all that and a bag of chips. Secondly, visit! Get a feel for the school's culture to ensure you and the other people they recruit have similar goals. Diverse experiences are so important, and your program will surely recruit unique and diverse individuals, but your classmates will be your teammates, friends, and eventual network. It's important to get a 'feel' for it from the beginning and ensure the school promotes the right culture fit for you.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I love all things athletic-running, gym-going, rec league sports, you name it. I am also a huge thrifter and love looking for my next greatest bargain find.

Ross Jacobson
Ross Jacobson

Graduation Year: 2019
Career Specialization: Brand and Product Management
Hometown: Fresno, California

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Seven years in journalism

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
I chose the Wisconsin MBA because of the ability to specialize, the great value of in-state tuition, the environment in Madison, the supportive staff, and small class size, among many other things.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
Make sure to take a visit on campus. Plan ahead for studying for the GMAT.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I went on a two month road trip of the U.S. the summer before starting the MBA program. I've run nine marathons.

Jeff Koch
Jeff Koch

Graduation Year: 2019
Career Specialization: Brand and Product Management
Hometown: Madison, Wisconsin

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Seven years in marketing and communications

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
My decision to come to the University of Wisconsin to earn my MBA was swayed by two things: the Applied Learning curriculum and the rate of graduates being hired by CPG companies. Ultimately, my goal is to become a brand manager with a CPG company, and graduates of the Wisconsin MBA program are more sought after by CPG companies each year than the other programs I evaluated. I also strongly value the idea of "learning by doing," by getting hands-on training and experience. No MBA program has that element integrated into the curriculum as well as the Wisconsin MBA program does through the Applied Learning courses. The hands-on training and experience received through the Applied Learning courses will prepare students for our future roles far greater than any form of purely academic instruction.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
Something that I have learned since beginning the MBA program is how employers recruit candidates. While each university has employers that frequently visit campus to recruit, there are others who, while not directly partnered with the university, will still reach out and encourage students to contact them or apply for positions. These employers won't always be represented in employment reports or partnership lists, but it is good to know that more employers are communicating with the school than it may appear on the surface.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I am a huge baseball fan and specifically a Milwaukee Brewers fan. I've only been to a few ballparks, but my goal is to go to every team's ballpark over the course of my life. To add to that, as I visit each ballpark, I purchase a one-fourth sized souvenir helmet. I have a small but slowly growing display started which will some day look pretty amazing with one helmet for each MLB team.

Amanda Lee 
Amanda Lee

Graduation Year: 2019
Career Specialization: Brand and Product Management
Hometown: Chicago, Illinois

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Six years in food ingredients R&D and tech sales

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
Choosing to come to an MBA program full time was a large commitment, and I knew that if I were to pursue this opportunity, I needed to do it with intent. Wisconsin offered a specialized program that was very career-focused and made going back more purposeful and rewarding for my future.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
Go with your gut; an MBA is a lot of commitment, but it's also a lot of fun. It is only worth it if you are studying with intent and making the connections that you will value for a lifetime.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I have two social security numbers because my parents misspelled my name on the first, and when they went to correct it, they applied for a second SSN instead.

Adam Lifka
Adam Lifka

Graduation Year: 2019
Career Specialization: Brand and Product Management
Hometown: Williamsburg, Virginia

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Four years in healthcare consulting

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
I chose the Wisconsin MBA for two main reasons: the first is that I knew that I wanted to be in Brand and Product Management, and the specialization model at WSB allowed me to dive deeper into that subject area than most other schools. The second reason is that the small class size and level of involvement and integration with faculty creates a tight knit community that focuses on shared success. Most other schools seemed to foster a "may the best man win" kind of environment.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
Don't obsess over MBA rankings. You can get a very good education, experience, and job from many schools outside of the traditional top 10 or 15 ranked programs. Rather, when selecting which program to attend, look at which program you think will provide you with the appropriate resources to get where you want to be and which program has an environment which you can thrive in academically, professionally, and socially.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I have played some form of soccer (either in an organized game or in a pick-up game with locals) in every country I have ever visited (14 and counting!), I have never had a cup of coffee/tea or had an energy drink, and there is a 98% chance that I am a descendant of Charlemagne.

Patrick Lueck
Patrick Lueck

Graduation Year: 2019
Career Specialization: Brand and Product Management
Hometown: Appleton, Wisconsin

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Five years in product and brand management

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
Program specialization and reputation, quality and diversity of people, integrity and honesty of conversations with leadership during the admissions process, and opportunities for career development after graduation with key organizations were some of the main reasons I chose the Wisconsin MBA.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
I would reinforce the significance of coming back to get your MBA and make sure incoming students are fully aware of the decision they're making. I think it's important to think critically about your interests, career goals, and how an MBA helps further those. I would've liked to be confronted with some big questions earlier in my application process to remove some stress later on - especially regarding the post-MBA career search. I also think it's helpful to really talk through the benefits of full-time vs. part-time, and Wisconsin vs. other schools as both a program and place to live. Lastly, more input and more thinking about classes and where school fits in with the process would have been very helpful to me early on since it's such a different structure than undergrad.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I'm a very active person; I love doing anything outdoors and a wide range of sports. I also love talking about anything popular culture related-books, movies, significant events etc.

Will Rosenheimer
Will Rosenheimer

Graduation Year: 2019
Career Specialization: Brand and Product Management
Hometown: Nashotah, Wisconsin

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Five years in technology and international non profits

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
I chose Wisconsin because it has a strong reputation, a specialized program, and because I am a born and raised Badger (Wisconsin native).

What advice would you give to prospective students?
I would advise them to identify what is most important in their decision (prestige, location, class size, curriculum, etc.). I would emphasize that the specialization, a small and connected class, great resources, and placement make Wisconsin unique.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I play mandolin and love all sorts of music (especially bluegrass). I love to sail, ski, hike, bike, and really do anything involving the outdoors. I also have a passion for travel, have visited over 20 countries, and am fluent in Spanish.

Sarah Sedlachek
Sarah Sedlachek

Graduation Year: 2019
Career Specialization: Brand and Product Management
Hometown: Farmington Hills, Michigan

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Three years at Uline

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
The people at Wisconsin really won me over. Whether it's a current student, faculty member, or an alumni, everyone wants to help you succeed. It was such a comforting feeling to know that I was going to have the best team out there while I was in school and even more so after I was out of school.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
The Wisconsin School of Business offers one of the most unique and valuable MBA programs out there. The way this program is structured helps mold you into a top candidate for your field because it is specific to you and what you are looking for upon graduation.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I love being outdoors and hiking, but you won't find me pitching a tent to camp. I also choose to be vegan not only for the health benefits but because I like a good challenge in the kitchen.

Patrick Stahl
Patrick Stahl

Graduation Year: 2019
Career Specialization: Brand and Product Management
Hometown: Minneapolis, Minnesota

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Eight years in finance & software project management

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
I chose to pursue a Wisconsin MBA for the following reasons: the Specialization Curriculum Structure is more enriching than the typical general management curriculum - this is especially beneficial because I am making a career pivot (project management to brand management). The small class size allows me to get to know all my classmates and thus build more lasting, beneficial relationships. Also, there are many resources for students to utilize: faculty, center directors and assistant center directors, communication coaches, career coaches, and second year mentors. The value of both in-state and out-of-state rates are the most affordable of any Top 35 full-time program, there is much club and organization involvement opportunity as well as global trips, and lastly, the University of Wisconsin maintains the reputation of being a great school while not being pretentious.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
In no particular order, as each prospective student is different: consider total opportunity cost, not just potential forgone salary, the program's value-add and competitive differentiation (i.e. UW's specialization curriculum structure), the school's class size, and internship and job placement. Also consider if the school has a college town atmosphere vs. a bigger city atmosphere, the culture and reputation, the support network (faculty, career services, communication coaches, advisory board support), and corporate partners.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I compete in triathlons, am a college football fan, and have traveled throughout most of China, Korea, Japan and Vietnam. I have lived in Missouri, California, Minnesota, Georgia and Wisconsin, and I'm a big time car enthusiast.

Emily Swenson
Emily Swenson

Graduation Year: 2019
Career Specialization: Brand and Product Management
Hometown: McFarland, Wisconsin

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • More than five years in private education

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
I chose the Wisconsin MBA because of the class culture and value for the cost.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
Evaluate what your goals are and what you need to get there. Some students become blinded by what is perceived as prestigious rather than what will actually enhance what they have to offer in a meaningful way.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I have lived in three different countries.

Josh Torres 
Josh Torres

Graduation Year: 2020
Career Specialization: Brand and Product Management
Hometown: Auburn, California

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Ten years in the legal field

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
I chose the WSB because of the strength of its MBA program and the deep, historied recruiting relationships the WSB has cultivated with the business world. And it should be noted that, as a result of hard work and dedication on the part of the WSB community, the list of recruiting companies continues to grow!

What advice would you give to prospective students?
When pursuing an MBA, your education should be a priority. But don't lose sight of living your life. In this regard, make sure to consider the city in which you will live while pursuing an MBA. Madison has so much to offer outside of the top-notch education you will receive at the WSB. Make sure to ask about these opportunities.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
My wife and I adopted a rescue dog just about three-and-a-half years ago, and he has completely changed our lives. We are such dog people now! Fortunately, Madison is a very dog-friendly town. On nice days, we often head out to dinner or drinks with our pup in tow.

Taha Tyebjee
Taha Tyebjee

Graduation Year: 2019
Career Specialization: Brand and Product Management
Hometown: Sunnyvale, California

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Seven years of entrepreneurship and small business management experience in wholesale food and restaurant industries

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
The brand and product management specialization matched perfectly with my career goals. In addition, all the students and faculty I met were incredibly friendly and I felt the strongest cultural fit. It didn't hurt that Madison is a beautiful city!

What advice would you give to prospective students?
Plan a campus visit if possible and don't be afraid to get in touch with current students! I was looking at several schools and the campus visits and student interactions helped me determine which school was best for me from both a career standpoint and a cultural fit.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I am a huge coffee geek, avid comic book reader, and love playing card and board games.

Donovan Walker
Donovan Walker

Graduation Year: 2019
Career Specialization: Brand and Product Management
Hometown: Los Angeles, California

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Two years in education
  • Two years in retail management
  • Two years in hospitality

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
As a career switcher I was intrigued by the specificity of the specializations. I also spoke to several students prior to making my decision and the collaborative environment was a huge pull. I want to exit with an MBA but also with a special skillset that I am extremely confident with. My brother was also a Badger for undergrad and I am happy to follow in his footsteps.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
Make sure you understand the culture of the school that you're applying to. Make sure you feel like the career center is fully supportive and you aren't just another name in the shuffle.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I spent one-and-a-half months walking a puma named Carlos by myself through the Bolivian forest. Half of my twenties were spent living, studying, or working in other countries.

Jean Wang
Jean Wang

Graduation Year: 2019
Career Specialization: Brand and Product Management
Hometown: Chengdu, Sichuan, China

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Seven years in product management and marketing communication

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
I chose the Wisconsin MBA because of the unique specialization design, rich career network resources, great culture, and merit aid opportunities.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
I only applied for WSB, but if you have a post-MBA career track in mind and are considering multiple schools, it'd be helpful to compare each program's career development forte (e.g. which employer do the most alumni end up working for) to find the best fit.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I am good at cooking spicy Sichuan dishes, and I love to keep up with China's underground rock scene.

Alexandria Webb
Alexandria Webb

Graduation Year: 2019
Career Specialization: Brand and Product Management
Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • One-and-a-half years in nonprofit
  • One-and-a-half years in retail/ecommerce

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
I chose the Wisconsin MBA because of the smaller class, the tremendous support by staff, CPG engagement, real alumni support, and their commitment to diversity conversation and action.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
Find your best fit and where you feel most comfortable. Also speak with alumni to gauge the actual level of career development support.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I cook paleo food and I had over 20 pairs of pajamas pre-MBA.

Bailey Hackbarth 
Bailey Hackbarth

Graduation Year: 2020
Career Specialization: Brand and Product Management
Hometown: Cedarburg, Wisconsin

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Seven years in the military (Active Duty Navy)

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
No other program offers the level of career specialization from day one, and Wisconsin produces more CPG marketers than any other institution. An intimate class size means greater interaction and collaboration with fellow students as well as with faculty and staff. Plus, UW offers robust veteran support and a diverse campus community around one of the Midwest's best cities.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
Think strategically about the opportunity cost of pursuing a full-time MBA program, and start some introspection about what is "uniquely you" and how you can contribute to your program of choice. Don't underestimate the time commitment required to adequately prepare for the GMAT or GRE - make a study plan 6 months to a year out from your target test date, if you can. Go beyond rankings sites and blogs and visit schools you're considering. There's no substitute for the feeling you get when interacting with current students and faculty.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I am happily married to my middle school sweetheart Jennifer, and we have two children (and a cat) together. We have lived in eight different houses in eight years, and I've been around the world via ship and plane. In my free time, I enjoy tutoring, taking in Wisconsin sports, and traveling with my family.

Gautam Kumar 
Gautam Kumar

Graduation Year: 2020
Career Specialization: Brand and Product Management
Hometown: Cedarburg, Wisconsin

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Four-and-a-half years in real estate sales and marketing, financial services, and digital marketing fields

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
I chose the Wisconsin School of Business because of its specialization model, its high rank among business schools in the country, and the quality and reputation of its faculty and alumni. Coupled with the school's excellent numbers in terms of placement and career opportunities, it was a no brainer, and I am so glad to be part of this wonderful community!

What advice would you give to prospective students?
I would advise prospective students not just to research the university itself, but also the city and the culture that exists in the city of the university they are looking at. I would advise candidates to do a thorough analysis of the industry they want to work in and see how the university matches those ambitions. Popular recruiters, employment, and internship statistics are important ways to go! When I was applying, I didn’t reach out to an alumni or existing students in the program; this is a step that would have helped me immensely. Participating in online info sessions and seminars held by the university gives you a lot of knowledge to make a well-informed decision.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I am an automobile enthusiast! I have been an engineer in a Formula 1 Grand Prix in India in 2013, working with Red Bull, Ferrari and Marussia F1 teams. I am also a big follower of consumer tech, the latest innovations in mainstream products in the technology space. I love Hollywood movies and playing poker. I also like travel; I’ve visited 13 cities in the US during a 40 day vacation and have been to 7 other countries worldwide.

Michael LeNeveu 
Michael LeNeveu

Graduation Year: 2020
Career Specialization: Brand and Product Management
Hometown: Chicago, Illinois

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Two years in retail management
  • One year in insurance sales

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
There were three main reasons why I chose to attend the University of Wisconsin - Madison to pursue my MBA: academic reputation, specialized programs, and the Wisconsin community. Wisconsin has a fantastic reputation across the country and around the world as a premier business institution. This reputation means I will be learning from some of the best faculty members in the country, and the top companies look to Madison for hiring their next executives. The specialization program allows for an unprecedented deep dive into the exact topics and areas of study that will be needed post-graduation. With my career aspirations leading me to brand management, the fact that Wisconsin offered a brand and product management specialization set Wisconsin apart from all the other programs I was looking at. The level of focus on my specific career goals was unmatched. Finally, the Wisconsin community welcomed me in with open arms from day one. From my initial interview with the Center for Brand and Product Management Director Mike Judge, to tours with current students and emails back and forth with faculty members, I felt home from the very beginning. I knew from the moment I stepped on campus that Madison would be my home for the next two years.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
My advice to students would be to take a holistic approach when looking for an MBA program. On top of evaluating the programs on merit and academics, I found that finding a community that makes you comfortable, safe, and feels like home is an incredibly important aspect of an MBA program and is a powerful success indicator. So looking back as a prospective student, I was very interested in finding out honest opinions about students' lives both inside and outside of the classroom.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I am a big sports fan! I love to play tennis and basketball and go skiing in Canada in the winter. I am a big NFL and college football fan as well, so I will happily talk to you for hours about different teams and strategies. I have also always loved photography and continue to try new and different techniques when I travel to try to capture the world in a unique way.

Hannah O'Brien 
Hannah O'Brien

Graduation Year: 2020
Career Specialization: Brand and Product Management
Hometown: Racine, Wisconsin

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Three years in business and technology consulting

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
The Wisconsin MBA Program was the right choice for me because it offers the ability to specialize on day one. As someone looking to make a career change, the specialized MBA program structure offered at Wisconsin allows me to clearly communicate the desired change to employers as well as develop the specific knowledge and skills needed. Speaking with recent graduates from the program also confirmed the strong reputation of the school and provided insight to MBA student life on campus.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
I would encourage prospective students to reach out to multiple current students and/or recent graduates from the program, as they can provide detailed insights into the program outside of the helpful materials provided by the admissions team. Visiting campus if you have the opportunity is definitely a good idea as well!

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
If I'm not exploring a new neighborhood of Chicago, you can find me teaching indoor cycling classes, baking cookies, or visiting friends and family around the country. I also enjoy working with the student ministry group at Willow Chicago and the World Relief Refugee Program.

Carly O'Meara 
Carly O'Meara

Graduation Year: 2020
Career Specialization: Brand and Product Management
Hometown: Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Seven years in advertising

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
I loved the ability to specialize in brand and product management. Also, I want to secure a post-MBA position in the Midwest where the Wisconsin School of Business has a great alumni network.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
When deciding between MBA programs, I would have liked to know how supportive the WSB MBA community is versus other MBA programs that have a more competitive vibe between students.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I enjoy cooking, trying new restaurants, reading, and trying different workout classes.

Sonia Petty 
Sonia Petty

Graduation Year: 2020
Career Specialization: Brand and Product Management
Hometown: Madison, Wisconsin

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Four years in wildlife ecology

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
I chose to attend the Wisconsin MBA Program because of the quality of education and the support from the faculty and staff. It is clear that the program is dedicated to helping students learn and begin building their careers, and being able to specialize in brand and product management will allow me to better prepare for the specific career that fits my interests.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
Don't be afraid to reach out to MBA staff, faculty members, or current students. Everyone is incredibly helpful and will answer any and all questions you have, whether they are related specifically to the program or just general questions about living in Madison.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I speak fluent German, love to travel, and I once spent a summer living in a barn in Idaho while researching ground squirrels!

Chad Reinhardt 
Chad Reinhardt

Graduation Year: 2020
Career Specialization: Brand and Product Management
Hometown: Palm City Florida

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • One year in book marketing
  • Two years in digital distribution and management
  • One year in real estate

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
I chose the Wisconsin MBA because of the personal touch that UW showed throughout the application and decision process. Many schools stated their commitment to their students, but none showed that commitment as frequently and clearly as UW. Faculty and staff relationships were an important factor, and my strong rapport with both Mike Judge and Sarah Kervin during the process confirmed plenty of opportunity more broadly at UW in those regards.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
Look for the program that you are going to be most excited about investing back into. Plenty of places can give you a degree, but an MBA is about so much more than that. The program that you love and feel a vested interest in its success will give back tenfold on your investment.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I'm a huge fan of cities with an active population. I personally believe there is nothing more refreshing than going outside and seeing people enjoying the community. When I'm not out on the town, my favorite hobbies are reading and watching sports.

Michael Rennerfeldt 
Michael Rennerfeldt

Graduation Year: 2020
Career Specialization: Brand and Product Management
Hometown: Dakota Dunes, South Dakota

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Two years in beef sales/agricultural sales at Tyson Foods

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
The specialization model that the Wisconsin MBA has paired with the Wisconsin MBA brand drew my attention to the program. When I had the opportunity to visit and meet with current students, faculty, and staff, it became clear that the culture within this program was exactly what I was looking for. I also had an opportunity to explore Madison and found how rich the community is with experiences to fill your time outside of the program.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
I would say to prospective students it is important to visualize where you'd like to be after your MBA program's completion and which program is suited to get you there. To me it's very important to look at the places where alumni and current students who've interned have ended up. Ultimately that will help you narrow down the right programs for you; from there it's important to get on campus and meet the people around the program and see what particular program's culture fits you best.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I am able to not only walk on my feet but can also walk on my hands. I also grew up a Nebraska Cornhusker athletics fan, but have felt my love for Wisconsin's academic institution and the city of Madison really leak over into the realm of athletics, Go Badgers!

Vicky Schetelich 
Vicky Schetelich

Graduation Year: 2020
Career Specialization: Brand and Product Management
Hometown: Cranford, New Jersey

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Three years at Aramark in catering operations/event management
  • One year at AkitaBox, which is a tech startup in Madison, WI

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
When I visited Wisconsin, my fears of an MBA program being cold and competitive were completely erased. I was welcomed by enthusiastic and encouraging students and faculty, every one of them interested in getting to know and help me. The Wisconsin School of Business emphasizes learning and growing, teamwork and mentorship, and supporting your career aspirations. I immediately felt like I could call Wisconsin home, and am proud to be joining the class of 2020!

What advice would you give to prospective students?
When looking at schools, I kept my sights on big schools because of the alumni network and recruiting opportunities available. The University of Wisconsin is known internationally, and that was important to me when comparing business programs. Consider the companies that recruit from each school and the success that previous students have achieved. When looking through alumni and potential employers, Wisconsin impressed me the most!

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I have lived in many places since graduating college, from Southern California to Seattle, and now lovely Madison, WI. I enjoy traveling and exploring new cities, and really love meeting new people. I also enjoying running, biking, reading, and watching movies!

Megan Stock 
Megan Stock

Graduation Year: 2020
Career Specialization: Brand and Product Management
Hometown: River Falls, Wisconsin

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Six years in science communications
  • One-and-a-half years in a startup/ecommerce

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
I was drawn to the Wisconsin MBA because of the demonstrated core business education along with specialized classes and opportunities in brand management. The collaborative approach to learning and working demonstrated through the program was a big draw for me as well. As a UW alumna, I am confident in the quality of the education at UW–Madison and know firsthand that the extensive support of the alumni network is unparalleled.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
Visit Madison — the Wisconsin School of Business program "sells" itself. The people, campus experience, opportunities and education are second to none. Everyone you meet is willing to help you succeed.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I enjoy cooking for friends and family, happy hours and traveling with my husband and spirited dog, Chancho. In Madison, my favorite place is the Wisconsin Union Terrace or Camp Randall on game day.

Kaitlyn Wilchynski 
Kaitlyn Wilchynski

Graduation Year: 2020
Career Specialization: Brand and Product Management
Hometown: Swift Current, Saskatchewan, Canada

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Five cumulative years as a political adviser, working in policy analysis, communications consultation

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
I chose to attend the Wisconsin MBA Program because of the robust alumni support the program receives and the network this allows me to access, as well as the return on investment. The specialization model also sets the program apart from other MBA programs as I feel it will prepare me for a career in the field while simultaneously providing a broad understanding of all aspects of business.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
I think the people set the Wisconsin School of Business apart from other MBA programs. The current students, faculty, staff and alumni make this program unique in that it is a very collaborative environment; I truly felt that everyone wanted me to succeed and wanted to invest in my future.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
My family and I keep a hive of honeybees in our yard and harvest honey every fall.

Corporate Finance and Investment Banking

Michael Bauder
Michael Bauder

Graduation Year: 2019
Career Specialization: Corporate Finance and Investment Banking
Hometown: Soldotna, Alaska

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Three-and-a-half years in financial services

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
I chose the Wisconsin MBA because of the specialization model and because I really enjoyed my time in Madison when I came to visit. I felt the students, faculty, and alumni I spoke with were not only friendly, but they also spoke candidly and honestly about the program. I felt as though the students and faculty I talked to wanted to help me make the decision that was best for me, rather than trying to sell me on the program.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
I would let a prospective student know the level of commitment the faculty at Wisconsin will provide them. I began working on building my financial acumen over the summer by taking the Wall Street Prep courses. People are available if you have questions. I really feel like my center is in invested in me 100%. I would also talk to students about their goals post-graduation and how the Wisconsin School of Business might be able to help them reach those goals. Is there a target industry they want to work in? Is there a particular geographic area they want to work in?

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I enjoy backpacking; I spent much of last summer traveling in Southeast Asia. Growing up in Alaska, I have spent a lot of time hiking, camping, and fishing. I am an avid sports fan; I watch and/or play just about every sport.

Emma Ebert
Emma Jobling Ebert

Graduation Year: 2019
Career Specialization: Corporate Finance and Investment Banking
Hometown: Naples, Florida

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Five years in banking

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
I came to the MBA Preview Days Event in 2016 and was immediately drawn to the specialization structure of the program. I want to further my knowledge in the banking and finance industry, and the idea of specifically being able to do just that really appealed to me. Also, it was evident how close-knit of a community it is here and how connected and involved the alumni are.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
To prospective students I would advise to come visit the Wisconsin School of Business if at all possible. The faculty, students, and alumni all truly want you to succeed and the enthusiasm for the program is infectious as soon as you enter Grainger Hall.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I'm a dual citizen of the United Kingdom and the United States and love to travel. I have visited four of the seven continents and hope to check them all off my list in the near future. I also love running, hiking, snowboarding and spending time outdoors.

Michael Hilfiker 
Michael Hilfiker

Graduation Year: 2019
Career Specialization: Corporate Finance and Investment Banking
Hometown: Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Three-and-a-half years in economic and litigation consulting

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
I chose the Wisconsin MBA because of the specialization model and the small class size. I felt that the small class size provided an opportunity for a closer-knit community and culture as well as a rich exposure to faculty and staff.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
Are you are looking to become more of an expert in a particular field? Know that choosing the Wisconsin MBA program will provide you a specialized tool box along with general MBA courses.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I was an in the Air National Guard as an Aerospace Propulsion Journeyman for six years and a sous chef for two years. I enjoy cooking, running, and reading.

PJ Hopkins
PJ Hopkins

Graduation Year: 2019
Career Specialization: Corporate Finance and Investment Banking
Hometown: Williams Bay, Wisconsin

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Four years in institutional securities brokerage

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
Key factors in my choosing the Wisconsin MBA were the specialization model, the smaller class size than many other programs, experiential learning, and the sense of community and responsibility to others that is part of the culture.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
First and foremost, I would say to know where you want to be in 5-10 years. An MBA should not necessarily be a time to figure that out, but rather a time to take advantage of the incredible resources at your disposal. When you know which activities, courses, and experiences you will need to achieve your goals, then you can make informed decisions about how different programs compare to each other.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I love sports and really enjoy mixing it up to get a healthy variety of activity in. My ideal week would involve soccer, sailing, tennis, golf, ultimate frisbee, 16-inch softball, volleyball, snowboarding, wake surfing, and dirt biking. If I never had to work again I would probably just play different sports all day every day!

Matthew Kjellson
Ryles Kjellsen

Graduation Year: 2019
Career Specialization: Corporate Finance and Investment Banking
Hometown: Richmond, Kentucky

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Four years in an Army band

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
The specializations were a major factor, but I also really got along well with the Corporate Finance and Investment Banking Director, Brad Chandler, and felt that the school could help me get where I want to go.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
Decide what kind of program you want; is it a general management MBA or do you want to have a real specialized interest? Also, what kind of class size would you feel benefits you most?

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I have a masters degree in euphonium (small tuba-like instrument) performance. I don't like ice cream. I'm a huge college athletics fan!

Ryan Thomsen 
Ryan Thomsen

Graduation Year: 2019
Career Specialization: Corporate Finance and Investment Banking
Hometown: Madison, Wisconsin

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Three-and-a-half years in banking/financial services

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
I chose to pursue my MBA because I was looking to make a career switch into business/finance.The Wisconsin MBA Program was unique in that it allowed me to get a broad range of knowledge in business while also diving right into my specialization in that first year. I also did my undergraduate degree at UW-Madison, and I don't think you can beat the combination of strong academics and school spirit at Wisconsin.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
I would recommend that you have as many conversations as possible with students. Everyone is extremely willing to share advice, and you can receive honest, real time feedback on the program to ensure it is the right one for you.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I'm a little unique in that I'm a huge Chicago (professional) sports fan, but have lived in Wisconsin most of my life. I also love to play tennis and am always looking for people to hit with.

Mason Bourne 
Mason Bourne

Graduation Year: 2020
Career Specialization: Corporate Finance and Investment Banking
Hometown: Pawnee, Illinois

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Two years in ag tech entrepreneurship

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
After looking at many schools, Wisconsin stood out to me. The career specializations along with the emphasis and purpose that everyone seemed to have here made me believe that Wisconsin was the right fit.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
The main takeaway I have from my MBA search is to know what you are looking for going in. I looked at numerous schools, and the right answer will not be the same for every person. My advice would be to research a lot before applying in order to narrow your list to schools that will be a good fit.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I have an obsession with constantly learning new things. This past year I have been teaching myself German, learning to play piano, and practicing cooking Asian foods because they use many different ingredients than are commonly found in the US.

Terry Brimley 
Terry Brimley

Graduation Year: 2020
Career Specialization: Corporate Finance and Investment Banking
Hometown: Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Five years in finance/accounting
  • Four years in human resources
  • One year in higher education

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
I chose Wisconsin based on the intimate class size. Additionally, the career specialization model is something that captivated my attention.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
Although there are consensus dream schools, you have to choose the school that is the best fit for YOU. Additionally, please be cognizant of ROI. Although this is a skill you will learn in business school, you will benefit if you practice it now. While a small number of internships/post MBA jobs offer pay based on school prestige, most positions pay all incumbents the same (regardless of business school ranking). Thus, it may not make ample sense to pay 100k for business school tuition.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I have met LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Allen Iverson, and Shaq. Additionally, I played a one-on-one against Michael Redd.

Andrew Lamers 
Andrew Lamers

Graduation Year: 2020
Career Specialization: Corporate Finance and Investment Banking
Hometown: Mequon, Wisconsin

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Three years in public accounting

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
I chose to attend the Wisconsin MBA Program for several reasons. First, the specialization model and the alumni support for the program are both one of a kind. Secondly, the Wisconsin MBA Program is an incredible value - it is consistently ranked as one of the top MBA programs as measured by return on investment. Finally, the individualized attention each student receives - both in the classroom and when it comes to career advice and job placement - is extremely valuable, and something that schools with larger incoming classes generally can't offer as effectively.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
Think about more than just rankings. Consider the school's culture, the alumni reach, the return on your investment, and whether you want a general management degree or a more specialized expertise.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I am a Double Badger and a huge Wisconsin sports fan (Badgers, Brewers, Bucks, Packers). I also enjoy playing golf, reading, and working out. I don't watch a ton of TV shows, but two of my favorites are "Sherlock" and "Nathan For You."

Angela Lee 
Angela Lee

Graduation Year: 2020
Career Specialization: Corporate Finance and Investment Banking
Hometown: Taiwan

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Two years in PWC as an auditor

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
UW-Madison has an MBA program that is great not only in reputation, but is also very detail-oriented. The specialization in this program really attracted me and will surely make me a specialist in the field I choose. Moreover, the faculty and staff at UW-Madison really show their passion and welcome for talented people all around the world from the very beginning when you apply.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and try something you like even if others beside you might question it. People at UW-Madison and even the citizens in Madison are so nice and friendly that they make you become positive in every possible way. 

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I really like to travel alone and meet different people all around the world. For example, I went to Canada early in August of 2018 and went to Niagara Falls. I met great roommates from England, Brazil, and Argentina who took really good care of me. They gave great advice not only for where to go, but also how to improve my communication skills in English.

Matt Nehls 
Matt Nehls

Graduation Year: 2020
Career Specialization: Corporate Finance and Investment Banking
Hometown: Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Three month internship in finance
  • Nine years in non-profit management

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
I had the opportunity to attend another school for free (full scholarship + stipend). I turned that offer down because I was very impressed by the Nicholas Center Director (Brad Chandler), the corporate finance and investment banking curriculum, and the Wisconsin School of Business active alumni network.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
I would let prospective students know how amazing it is to work directly with the Nicholas Center Director and to have access to an amazing board of advisers within the Nicholas Center. Classes haven't even begun and I am already being connected with key people within the organizations I am targeting for employment.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I am a huge foodie. If there is ever anything on a menu that I have not tried in the past, I order it.

Hailey Nguyen 
Hailey Nguyen

Graduation Year: 2020
Career Specialization: Corporate Finance and Investment Banking
Hometown: Vietnam

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Six years in banking

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
The curriculum of the Wisconsin School of Business is designed to help you to become not only a good general manager, but also a true specialist. You will receive a lot of support from a huge alumni network and excellent professors here.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
Know who you want to be.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I am a huge fan of Manchester United football club, and I love to rescue dogs and cats.

Ethan Tranel 
Ethan Tranel

Graduation Year: 2020
Career Specialization: Corporate Finance and Investment Banking
Hometown: West Bend, Wisconsin

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Three years in engineering

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
The opportunity to specialize in finance appealed to me as a career changer wanting to prove my passion for finance. I was also excited to be near family and enjoy the great city of Madison.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
I would suggest that all students start early. Start preparing your application early, prepare early for class, and prepare early for your job search.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I'm a dedicated Vikings fan despite living most of my life in Wisconsin. I enjoy exploring the food and drink that Madison has to offer and international travel with my wife.

Caleb White 
Caleb White

Graduation Year: 2020
Career Specialization: Corporate Finance and Investment Banking
Hometown: Delta, Utah

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Two years in commercial banking
  • Two years in operational finance
  • Two years in retail management
  • One year in human resources

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
While exploring programs, I took a close look at about 10 programs in the top 50 in the U.S. and looked specifically at location, placements, return on investment, and resources available to students. I was impressed to see Wisconsin come out at the top of every category I researched. Specifically, I chose the Wisconsin MBA Program for three strong reasons: 1) The return on investment is unmatched by any other university in the country. 2) The resources available to students (specifically the Nicholas Center) were so unique and powerful when compared to other programs. 3) My wife and I visited the program during the admissions process, and we fell in love with Madison and the friendly neighborhoods we found here.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
Be sure to visit the campuses or at the very least talk to current students or recent graduates. I was torn between three different programs before I visited the campuses. After spending the time and money to visit each program, I had no doubt that the Wisconsin MBA was the right choice.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I have two very large dogs that LOVE open space and snow. I take them everywhere I possibly can! They have hiked plenty of mountains, ridden on kayaks, paddle boards, and sail boats, and explored most of the Western United States. Also, my wife and I have been married for three years and spent about 75 days in the Disney Theme parks in Florida and California.

Marketing Research

Ammad Amin
Ammad Amin

Graduation Year: 2019
Career Specialization: Marketing Research
Hometown: Lahore, Pakistan

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Three years in actuarial science

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
The Wisconsin MBA appealed to me because of the specialization structure of the program, the city of Madison, and the dedicated resources.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
Think about how many resources they would have available once they are part of the program. I think what really stood out to me about Wisconsin was the number of dedicated resources I have available to me.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I am a fantasy football expert, avid reader of biographies, and I believe in Big Foot.

Duc Chau
Duc Chau

Graduation Year: 2019
Career Specialization: Marketing Research
Hometown: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Three-and-a-quarter years in Brand and Product Marketing

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
The specialized model in Marketing Research for cutting-edge marketing research expertise combined with General Management skill courses, the enriched External Advisory Board, the huge network of alumni, and Madison is a worth-living-in town for studying and job opportunities (in close proximity to Chicago).

What advice would you give to prospective students?
Clearly define career objectives. Talk to current student or alumni of the centers to find out the unique strength of each specialization. Consider your budget.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I love riding motorcycles; I am a sport-maniac.

Kathryn Elenius 
Kathryn Elenius

Graduation Year: 2019
Career Specialization: Marketing Research
Hometown: Phoenix, Arizona

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Four years in marketing and communication strategy
  • Four years in graduate and professional student tutoring (Developed and ran own business for both)

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
I was looking for a premier market research program that combined corporate strategy with analytical methods, as my primary experiences were with entrepreneurs/NGOs and qualitative methods. The Wisconsin MBA through the A.C. Nielsen Center was the only one that believably met both requirements.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
Think about your graduate experience as a whole when making your decision - the city, the community, the business school itself. Individual classes and teachers are important, but - at least as a career switcher - the ability to be immersed in a social-academic setting with cross-functional professionals has been the most valuable (and is not as intentionally available in other programs).

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I’m a science fiction/fantasy book nerd, enthusiast of popcorn movies, and enjoy baking. I once narrowly avoided a fight with a kangaroo by imitating a tree.

Alison Heimert
Alison Heimert

Graduation Year: 2019
Career Specialization: Marketing Research
Hometown: Libertyville, Illinois

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Three years in project management in the credit card industry

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
I chose the Wisconsin MBA because of the unique focus in Marketing Research paired with an MBA degree, the global course opportunities, and the program's relationship with companies of interest.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
I would advise students to really think about what they want to do with their degree and what they want to get out of the program. This program is so unique because you can become either really niche in a specific area or choose classes and have a more well-rounded MBA. There are not many other programs that offer so many options. I would also advise students to look at the companies where we have alumni so they can get a better idea of where students end up after the MBA program.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I've run two full marathons!

Stewart Slipher
Stewart J Slipher

Graduation Year: 2019
Career Specialization: Marketing Research
Hometown: New Berlin, Wisconsin

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Six years in the U.S. Army

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
I chose the Wisconsin MBA as one of the best options for continuing to serve my community and business within the United States.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
Prepare early in the application process, and take as much opportunity as possible to participate in university events prior to school attendance in order to understand the school's culture and values.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I enjoy SCUBA diving, snowboarding, and cycling.

Trevor Spranger
Trevor Spranger

Graduation Year: 2019
Career Specialization: Marketing Research
Hometown: Wittenberg, Wisconsin

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Four years in political consulting

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
I wanted to move back to the Midwest, and my wife and I love Madison from our undergraduate years. The Wisconsin MBA is highly regarded and ranked, and offered a generous scholarship. I felt like the school "wanted" me.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
It never hurts to apply and throw yourself in the hat. I originally intended to attend Law School, and actually applied to WSB for the purposes of getting a JD or an MBA. I ended up being blown away by their scholarship offer, outreach, recruitment, and success stories, and now here I am!

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I'm a minority shareholder of the Green Bay Packers.

Rodrigo Stabio
Rodrigo Stabio

Graduation Year: 2019
Career Specialization: Marketing Research
Hometown: Houston, Texas

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Four years in the tech industry, supply chain, human resources, and sales enablement

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
The Wisconsin MBA has an incredible specialization focus and is a very respected program within the marketing community. There are many phenomenal alumni of the WSB, and this was the best program to help me transition into marketing.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
I would talk about the Consortium, the alumni network, how the school really prepares you for a great internship, the great companies that come on campus, the size of the program (smaller means more special concentration), and the great people.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I have two beautiful kids. I am from Argentina. I love playing and coaching soccer, sports, and I love to dance.

Paras Bansal 
Paras Bansal

Graduation Year: 2020
Career Specialization: Marketing Research
Hometown: Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • One-and-a-half years as a Kohl's Merchandise Analyst
  • One year as a direct supply account manager

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
When I was a sophomore at UW-Madison as an undergrad, some speakers came and discussed what they did as consumer insights managers. I loved how they described their careers, and I knew that I wanted to follow in their footsteps. They said that getting an MBA from UW-Madison was the best way to pursue my goals, and I've wanted to pursue this MBA ever since!

What advice would you give to prospective students?
Pay attention to who seems to listen during the admissions process. The MBA admissions process is as much about finding the right fit as it is about the program finding the right applicants. There will be a lot of options, but the difference-maker moving forward will be how much an MBA program works with students on their career aspirations. Wisconsin is great about working with you on your specific goals, and they make that clear during the admissions process.

The UW-Madison MBA program is one of the best in the country because of its unique design. Try to discover a path that you want to specialize in, and you will be guaranteed a fulfilling future with this MBA. Combine the security with incredibly smart and thoughtful people and add the best campus life in the nation, and this program will be one of the best decisions you can ever make!

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I'm a very outdoorsy person and love to push myself to accomplish my goals. One of my proudest accomplishments was completing a full marathon in October of 2017.

Rick Cardenas 
Rick Cardenas

Graduation Year: 2020 
Career Specialization: Marketing Research
Hometown: Los Angeles, California

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Three years in digital advertising/social media

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
What initially drove me to choose Wisconsin was the fact that the MBA was specialized. I didn't want a generic MBA, and my goal in returning back to school was to break into the marketing research industry. Aside from the Nielsen Center for Marketing Research, I found the faculty to be extremely helpful and nice. This also made my choice to move from LA to Madison much easier.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
Come visit the campus! I was a little nervous about living in the Midwest, but after a few visits I realized that Madison was a hidden gem.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I was born and raised in Los Angeles. My two favorite sports to play are basketball and golf. I enjoy practicing yoga, and one of my "hipster" hobbies is collecting 90’s hip hop vinyl.

David Koser 
David Koser

Graduation Year: 2020
Career Specialization: Marketing Research
Hometown: Franklin, Wisconsin

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Two-and-a-half years as a water resources engineer

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
I chose the Wisconsin MBA Program because of the specialization system. I also love Madison and was impressed after speaking with several alumni of the program.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
Prospective students should speak with alumni of their specialty to ensure they are interested in the focus area. They should also visit Madison to learn about the city and its culture.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I am a member of the partner dancing scene around Madison. I also love hiking, kayaking, and visiting national parks.

Emily Litvak 
Emily Litvak

Graduation Year: 2020
Career Specialization: Marketing Research
Hometown: Los Angeles, California

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • One year in education
  • Four years in nonprofit

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
I chose the Wisconsin MBA Program for a couple of reasons. First, I was attracted to the marketing research specialization and the AC Nielsen Center's proven track record of strong recruitment. I also had really positive interactions with all of the staff, faculty, and students throughout my application process, and felt like it was a good cultural and environmental fit.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
While exploring different business school options, pay attention to the culture of the business school and its students, and to the recruitment and employment statistics at each school. These are the things that are going to matter: the experience you have during school and the school's ability to help you reach your post-MBA career goals.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I love playing and watching sports, traveling and exploring new cities, hiking and spending time outside, and trying new restaurants.

Operations and Technology Management

Jeff Atkins
Jeff Atkins

Graduation Year: 2019
Career Specialization: Operations and Technology Management
Hometown: Highland Park, Illinois

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • More than five years in a chemistry laboratory for a medical device manufacturer

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
The strong feeling of community within the program and the investment of the faculty and staff in the students were the biggest factors for me. I felt valued as an individual and knew that this would lead to a collaborative learning environment that would give me the best chance to be successful in my post-MBA career.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
Don't focus on the school's academics alone-consider all of the extracurricular activities, from clubs to guest speaker events to the school's reach outside of campus. Wisconsin is strong in all of these areas.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I was a four-year member of the Michigan Marching Band during my undergraduate studies. I also lived the first nine years of my life in Falmouth, Maine, which most often gets brought up after I say that I'm neither a Cubs nor a White Sox fan even though I spent the better part of my childhood in the Chicago area.

Brent Carcamo
Brent Carcamo

Graduation Year: 2019
Career Specialization: Operations and Technology Management
Hometown: San Francisco, California

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Three years in marketing data analytics

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
I chose the Wisconsin MBA because the specialization model- the Operations and Technology Management program will help me achieve my short-term and long-term career goals. I also chose the Wisconsin MBA due to its strong alumni network and the uniquely collaborative culture that is fostered within the program.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
Think long and hard about where you want to go, and how you want to get there. The specialization model caters to students that have a good idea about where they want to go. The small size of the program allows students to have one-on-one contact with employers and alumni of their choosing. Everyone at Wisconsin knows everyone by name, and this is incredibly helpful for networking purposes.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I love to read, cook, and salsa dance.

Abhishek Chandna
Abhishek Chandna

Graduation Year: 2019
Career Specialization: Operations and Technology Management
Hometown: India

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Business Intelligence and Analytics Consultant

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
The strong reputation of the Wisconsin School of Business combined with a specialization in Brand and Product Management made Wisconsin my most preferred business school. Excellent faculty members and a brilliant curriculum along with the unique Applied Learning sessions at Wisconsin were also important factors in my decision.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
Know your strengths well and evaluate if the program will indeed be the perfect bridge between your current role and your future aspirations.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I am a Les-Mills part time trainer and I love travelling.

Christian Gero
Christian Gero

Graduation Year: 2019
Career Specialization: Operations and Technology Management
Hometown: Bethesda, Maryland

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Seven years in entertainment and technical systems

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
The biggest deciding factors for me were WSB's specialization model and return on investment. UW was the only place I could find a STEM-focused MBA program that was also affordable. One of my goals for returning to school was to solidify my hard business and analytics skills. Having a specialization in Operations and Technology Management was a great way to dig into the numbers and bring an increasingly data-driven foundation to my business decision making. The return on investment that WSB offered was just the push over the edge that I needed to jump right in!

What advice would you give to prospective students?
I would say to keep an open mind, and don't treat the decision lightly. Approach it like a business decision, yes, but also remember to connect with current MBAs and recent alumni to dive deep, go beyond the numbers, and gain a valuable understanding of the programs you are considering.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I toured with The Allman Brothers Band as a sound engineer for four years.

Priya Gupta 
Priya Gupta

Graduation Year: 2019
Career Specialization: Operations and Technology Management
Hometown: Jaipur, Rajasthan, India

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Two-and-a-half years in telecommunications/technology
  • One year in digital marketing
  • Twelve weeks in product management/technology

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
The Wisconsin MBA provided me the ideal platform to move to a product management role and specialize in it.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
Be open-minded to learning new skills in school.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I love cooking, yoga and technology.

Aaron Hammer
Aaron Hammer

Graduation Year: 2019
Career Specialization: Operations and Technology Management
Hometown: Denver, Colorado

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Three-and-a-half years in environmental engineering

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
I chose the Wisconsin MBA because of the collaborative culture, specialization model, and its location.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
Learn more about the student culture, number of clubs, and ways to be involved.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I do woodworking, I own a corgi, and I'm from Colorado but I don't ski very well.

Aashutosh Hawaldar
Aashutosh Hawaldar

Graduation Year: 2019
Career Specialization: Operations and Technology Management
Hometown: Mumbai, India

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Five-and-a-half years in education, health insurance, telecommunications, and healthcare

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
I experienced a very welcoming vibe from all those with whom I interacted. The core and OTM program together gave me exactly what I was looking for: to get a comprehensive business outlook and to build upon my existing operations skillset. With a high average GMAT score and a high average number of years of experience, I knew I'd be working with an elite class of classmates.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
Look not only for an academic fit for the hard skills you're trying to pick up at business school, but also look for a cultural fit, which will be a big contributor to how fulfilling your time at business school will be and what kind of a leader the school will groom you into.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I love to sing, love soccer, and have tried almost all restaurants in the cities I've lived in! I love food and have favorites in all cuisines!

Steph Morgan 
Steph Morgan

Graduation Year: 2019
Career Specialization: Operations and Technology Management
Hometown: Newton, Iowa

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Two-and-a-half years in field service operations

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
I chose the Wisconsin MBA Program for the career specialization model. I also love living in Madison.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
Visit campus! Grab lunch with a current student and learn about the experience first-hand.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I love discovering new music and going to concerts. I spend most of my free time playing with my dog.

Gabe Moss
Gabe Moss

Graduation Year: 2019
Career Specialization: Operations and Technology Management
Hometown: Lawrence, Kansas

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Three years in design
  • Two years in engineering

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
They really seemed to care about my success. From the beginning, all the staff and students were energetic and responsive to my questions and concerns. Not once did I feel "brushed aside". Also, the small class size was a huge plus for someone like me who came from a very small tight knit undergraduate program at Ohio State.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
Find a school that's located in a place you would want to live even if you weren't getting your MBA. You're going to be super busy and it isn't productive to add on top of that the stress of living in a place where you don't feel comfortable. Also, many of these schools have a huge local and regional presence which you won't be able to tap into if you're fixated on getting out of there. In that regard the WSB wins hands down, at least for the schools I was considering. Madison is consistently rated as one of the best cities to live anywhere in the country and now that I'm here I can see why.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I am a huge fan of cycling, love all things Star Wars, and subscribe to a specialty hot sauce delivery service.

Pradeep Raghuwanshi
Pradeep Raghuwanshi

Graduation Year: 2019
Career Specialization: Operations and Technology Management
Hometown: Bhopal, India

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Ten years in IT
  • One year in mechanical engineering

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
I chose the Wisconsin MBA because of its high ranking, great scholarships, specialization model and the care and support from the faculty and staff.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
It is important to choose the right specialization by looking at types of jobs and previous classes students have taken and which they most enjoyed.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I like to trek, hike, kayak, and canoe. I like to travel and experience different culture and food.

Komal Singh
Komal Singh

Graduation Year: 2019
Career Specialization: Operations and Technology Management
Hometown: Chandigarh, India

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Three and three-quarter years in IT Consulting

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
I chose to pursue my MBA at the Wisconsin School of Business because of its unique specialization model that can help me understand the basics of general business management combined with my core specialization knowledge from the very beginning. Also, I feel the Operations and Technology Management specialization resonates closely with my past experiences, helping me utilize my strengths in the program.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
The close-knit and relatively smaller MBA community here provides you the option to create a connection with every student, faculty member and alumni, enhancing the journey here even more. I would say to utilize that the most.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I love to explore places and the food there. Also, I am attempting to explore my skills at cooking and baking now that I am away from home.

Richa Bansal 
Richa Bansal

Graduation Year: 2020
Career Specialization: Operations and Technology Management
Hometown: Delhi,India

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Four years in software development as a team lead

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
I chose the Wisconsin MBA Program because of its structured and focused curriculum and because the faculties are really cooperative.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
I would like to tell prospective students to go through the program and structure and know how it can best suit to their career goals.The specialization model in the business school has great benefits, as from the first day you focus on your specialization and can even earn certificates.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I like to organize events and also like cycling and swimming.

Rick Chopp 
Rick Chopp

Graduation Year: 2020
Career Specialization: Operations and Technology Management
Hometown: Boise, Indiana

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Three years in construction management

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
I had loved Madison while visiting in the past. When I decided to pursue my MBA, Wisconsin was the perfect choice.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
The more I learned about the specialization model the more it made perfect sense to choose the Wisconsin MBA Program.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I play piano and have lived in 13 different places.

Ben Judge 
Ben Judge

Graduation Year: 2020
Career Specialization: Operations and Technology Management
Hometown: Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • One-and-three-quarter years in healthcare IT
  • One-and-three-quarter years in healthcare operations

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
I chose the Wisconsin MBA Program because of its collaborative culture and small class size. It was the only program I saw that combined a broad core with a deep specialization in the field I wanted.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
Really have a sense of what you want to do with your degree and connect with students and alumni to hear about how they used their specialized degree. Also, attend as many extra-curricular events as you can to network and take advantage of all that Wisconsin has to offer!

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I love trying new restaurants, sci-fi movies, and cycling. I was born in Seatle so I am quite a coffee enthusiast as well.

Alex Lasso 
Alex Lasso

Graduation Year: 2020
Career Specialization: Operations and Technology Management
Hometown: St. Petersburg, Florida

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Two-and-a-half years in healthcare IT

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
The Wisconsin MBA Program really stood out to me because of the reputation behind the business school as a whole - the best value for investment and a strong alumni network. Wisconsin’s program also allowed me to specialize in an area that I knew I wanted to pursue for my career. Instead of a generic program, I am able to get the business essentials, and then a robust and focused curriculum in Operations and Technology Management. Finally, all of the people I met at Wisconsin made my decision. Everyone is so knowledgeable, kind, and supportive. The statistics of alumni success say it all!

What advice would you give to prospective students?
Definitely pay attention to the specialization model. Look at the curriculum options at the programs you are considering - I didn’t find anything else that allowed me to get such a broad yet focused range of material. Also, I would say look at the size of the program and outcomes. Wisconsin’s ratio of students to career advisor support and smaller class sizes are unmatched, and with statistics like 100% internship placement in 2018, it was a no brainer for me!

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I’m originally from Florida, so I love being out in the sun or doing anything on the water! I enjoy hiking, kayaking, and swimming. I am always up to try something new. I also enjoy reading and trying out new recipes!

Kevin Mackstutis 
Kevin Mackstutis

Graduation Year: 2020
Career Specialization: Operations and Technology Management
Hometown: Simsbury, Connecticut

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Six years in aerospace manufacturing

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
I chose to attend the Wisconsin MBA Program for the specialization structure. I wanted a program that was career-focused toward how I want to transition my career, and the Operations and Technology Management program perfectly fits my needs. I also love the sense of collaboration I get from this MBA program as opposed to competition amongst peers that can be found in other programs.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
My advice would be to look for a program that truly focuses on transformation throughout your two years. Most students are looking to transform their careers or start new ones, so this should be a very important factor. I would want to know how in depth a program's specializations are. Is an MBA program like Wisconsin where it is a full dive into career specializations, or is it more of a general MBA program where you take a few similar elective classes and you then get a specialization on your transcript?

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I love just about any outdoor activity, especially golfing, hiking, snowboarding/skiing and traveling in general. I also enjoy attending concerts and sporting events.

Drew Madagame 
Drew Madagame

Graduation Year: 2020
Career Specialization: Operations and Technology Management
Hometown: Wausau, Wisconsin

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • One-and-a-half years in healthcare technology
  • One year in project management

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
I chose the Wisconsin School of Business because it offered MBA program specializations while simultaneously being flexible in terms of student course choices. The structure of the program was also appealing, as it provides a strong general management core curriculum to compliment the career specialization paths.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
I highly recommend that prospective students visit schools in person if possible. The culture and atmosphere of a campus/university should play an important role in determining which program they should attend.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I enjoy winter sports like curling and skiing, and I have a three-legged dog named Eileen.

AJ Meinig 
AJ Meinig

Graduation Year: 2020
Career Specialization: Operations and Technology Management
Hometown: Norman, Oklahoma

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Five-and-a-half years in bionalytical R&D and project management

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
The specialization model, which helped me conceptualize and chart a clear path for a post-MBA career, and the genuine feeling of community were the top factors in my decision to attend the Wisconsin MBA Program.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
Get involved. Visit campus, attend an event, spend time with students and alumni. Ask questions. The more interactions you have with an MBA program, the more confident you will be about your decision.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I love to travel the world, explore, and eat unique foods. Running and biking keep me calm so I try to do one or the other daily.

Matthew Seitel 
Matthew Seitel

Graduation Year: 2020
Career Specialization: Operations and Technology Management
Hometown: Randolph, New Jersey

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Five years as a mechanical design engineer

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
When I visited Wisconsin, I'll be honest in saying I knew nothing about the school. I was planning on attending NYU until I came to campus and met the people involved in the program and saw the care that was given to ensure student success. The culture was more inclusive and enjoyable than any other program I had applied to, and I saw that as a way for me to reach my full potential professionally and socially.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
For prospective students, choose a school where you feel comfortable. When you visit that school, you will feel a part of the program already before enrolling. This is something I was not told when applying and would have helped me in choosing the University of Wisconsin a lot sooner.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
In my spare time I enjoy trying new extreme sports that get my adrenaline going, whether it be skiing or knee boarding. I truly enjoy being active and participating in outdoor activities. An interesting fact about me is that I am currently working on publishing a full year-long workout program along with my college friend.

Tanu Sharma 
Tanu Sharma

Graduation Year: 2020
Career Specialization: Operations and Technology Management
Hometown: New Delhi, India

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Four years in software development

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
The Wisconsin MBA Program's specialization in operations and technology management provides a unique opportunity to combine technology and management while enabling you to design your courses as per your requirements. The in-depth yet flexible nature of the curriculum lets you explore the complex structure of organizations and make the best out of your two years of studies!

What advice would you give to prospective students?
If you are still looking for MBA programs, I would suggest thoroughly exploring the curriculum, extra curricular activities and global experiences provided by a university. Get in touch with the admission center or one of the student ambassadors to know more about the networking opportunities available at the university.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I love to doodle in my free time and maintain an Instagram page for the same!

Anish Trakru 
Anish Trakru

Graduation Year: 2020
Career Specialization: Operations and Technology Management
Hometown: Delhi, India

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Seven years in software (product development)

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
The MBA program offered by the Wisconsin School of Business has the most unique academic structure in the US. With the 10 specialization tracks that it offers, WSB ensures that the students stay focused on their future career paths from the very beginning of the program. In addition, one also has an option to pursue 4 different certificates, which is icing on the cake! Furthermore, apart from helping you build an extremely strong and deep connection with your peers and alumni, the small class size also gives you an opportunity to take more advantage of the faculty’s experience and knowledge of the business world and to make more use of the university resources.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
An MBA is a huge investment in terms of both time and money, but it is definitely a worthy one! One thing that is extremely important while you are considering multiple programs is to know which program suits you. So, when you are researching a school's program, make sure that you realize why this particular school's program is a best fit for you! The current students, admissions team, faculty and alumni are an extremely good source of information. Reach out to them to get to know more about the program and to get your queries addressed.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I love to play badminton, explore new places and meet new people, go for a hike, and hang out with friends.

Johnnie Wagman 
Johnnie Wagman

Graduation Year: 2020
Career Specialization: Operations and Technology Management
Hometown: Fitchburg, Wisconsin

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • One year in manufacturing/engineering after graduation; three years including internships

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
I was having trouble deciding between an MBA or Engineering Management program. Being able to specialize in operations and technology management offers me the best of both worlds. Plus, I studied at Wisconsin for my undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering; it's hard to find a school that comes close to the experience that Wisconsin has to offer!

What advice would you give to prospective students?
Visiting the program and meeting faculty and current students was far more beneficial than I initially thought. I also wish I had applied early so I could have taken advantage of various events throughout the spring.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I really enjoy reading, spending time with my family, and traveling. I've been to five continents and am hoping to one day reach all seven!

Christopher Zaczyk 
Christopher Zaczyk

Graduation Year: 2020
Career Specialization: Operations and Technology Management
Hometown: Tinley Park, IL

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Eight years in the U.S. Army

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
The operations and technology management specialization seemed like a great way to enhance my skills and knowledge in a focused way that would support my professional goals. I really loved the university campus and the city of Madison, both beautiful locations with tons to do. The faculty and students made me feel immediately welcome, and the shared goals and sense of community really resonated with me.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
Really get to know current students. You can get many data points about any program from internet searches or rankings publications, but you won't be able to get a feel for the culture, values, and overall fit of a program until you interface with the people who will become your classmates.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I love spending time with my wife, Andrea, and our dog, Archer. I have had a lifelong fascination with cars and watches. In my spare time I love to woodwork and listen to my record collection.

Real Estate

Brian Cleary
Brian Cleary

Graduation Year: 2019
Career Specialization: Real Estate
Hometown: Arlington Heights, Illinois

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Six years in engineering and construction management

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
The career specializations gave me a clear path for post-MBA life. The attention to detail and responsiveness of the Wisconsin faculty, staff, and admissions team was far and above other schools.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
Being aware of the class size. The small class size at Wisconsin allows for individual attention. The alumni network and participation was emphasized here more than most universities. Go do a personal visit to the program you are interested in and talk with current students (like us!). They gave great insight to the positives and negatives of the program.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I am an avid scuba diver and traveler. I am a partner in a restaurant in San Diego, and am also involved in a startup men's swimsuit company.

Charlotte Du
Charlotte Du

Graduation Year: 2019
Career Specialization: Real Estate
Hometown: Guangzhou, China

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • One year in hospitality sales, revenue management & development

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
I first found the Wisconsin MBA when researching top-ranked real estate programs. From there the admissions staff and Graaskamp Center for Real Estate faculty showed me how much support is available in the program. Everything else also felt like a perfect fit to me-the alumni network, the campus, and the city of Madison.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
I would recommend the students to visit the program and connect with current students in advance.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I love outdoor activities like jogging, hiking, and kayaking. I enjoy traveling and have been to 15+ countries and 20+ states in the US. I have a passion for language and love meeting people from all over the world.

Eric Olson
Eric Olson

Graduation Year: 2019
Career Specialization: Real Estate
Hometown: Racine, Wisconsin

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Ten years in consulting and urban planning

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
The specialization model that is integral to the Wisconsin MBA will allow me to focus intensely on my interests and goals in real estate while providing a collaborative and enriching environment to develop my broader business and leadership skills. Wisconsin's real estate alumni network is also top notch and no matter where you go in the world, you won't find yourself far from fellow Badgers.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
Consider your personal and professional journey--we are all unique in our experiences and aspirations, so reflect on what you've done, think about where you'd like to go, and then consider how Wisconsin's unique specialization model can help you achieve your goals. Also, know that the experiences you have and the relationships you build during your time in an MBA program will be with you throughout your career and life, so pay particular attention to program culture and fit-your MBA program is a family that you actually get to choose!

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I have donated bone marrow twice and play in drumlines for professional sports teams.

Hans Helland
Hans Helland

Graduation Year: 2019
Career Specialization: Real Estate
Hometown: Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Five years in real estate and hospitality

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
I chose Wisconsin due to the sense of community I felt when visiting for my interview. Everyone was very welcoming, and it seemed they all thought of success as a team goal, not necessarily just an individual one. While the financial aspect certainly contributed to my final decision, I also knew that I was going into one of the preeminent real estate programs in the country.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
Rankings are certainly important, but there is so much that goes beyond that when choosing a program. How are you going to interact with the other students? How competitive is the atmosphere once classes actually start? What sort of assistance are you going to get from faculty to help you succeed? Wisconsin is a place that excels in all of these facets and more.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I love to travel-I've been to the entire contiguous United States, and am hoping to knock off Alaska and Hawaii as soon as I can. I have a goal of visiting all of the national parks, but I have a ways to go on that one as I'm only at 14/59.

Jared Shoemaker
Jared Shoemaker

Graduation Year: 2019
Career Specialization: Real Estate
Hometown: Brooklyn, New York

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Seven years as a civil engineer

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
The real estate-focused MBA is one of the best in the nation. The style of teaching and atmosphere of the school are both something that I felt were an excellent fit for me. I have felt included since the day I first stepped on campus.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
The program may be one of the best in the nation but it is very down-to-earth. You will work hard and play hard and the sky is the limit here. When looking at schools, you should look for not only a program that is a fit for you and your career goals, but also a school that will put you on track to work at your dream job. Wisconsin is all of that for me.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I enjoy travel, brewing beer, food exploration, running marathons, and triathlons.

Justin Kremers
Justin Kremers

Graduation Year: 2019
Career Specialization: Real Estate
Hometown: Wheaton, Illinois

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Three-and-a-half years in marketing, branding and project management

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
The real estate program is very highly regarded and the tuition was more affordable than other schools.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
Talk to current students and faculty about fit and culture of the program before you apply. If possible, do a campus visit before starting application process and have a list of questions that you would like to have answered.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I have been doing triathlons for the past four years. I also play guitar and attempt to record music.

Matt Allard
Matthew Allard

Graduation Year: 2019
Career Specialization: Real Estate
Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Seven years in banking and real estate

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
I chose the Wisconsin MBA because of the specialization focus in Real Estate, the Real Estate alumni network, the school's proximity to Chicago, and because the students and faculty that I met on my school visit made me feel welcomed.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
My advice would be to really do your homework. For prospective students who know what they want to do after graduation, the Wisconsin MBA program is hidden gem. Had I not fully vetted all the options I probably would not have seen this and I would have made a poor decision to go elsewhere.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I love to golf, can cook a mean steak on the grill, and believe the Cleveland Browns are going to win the Super Bowl.

Tyler Lynch
Tyler Lynch

Graduation Year: 2019
Career Specialization: Real Estate
Hometown: Madison, Wisconsin

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Three years in commercial real estate brokerage

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
I was drawn to Wisconsin by the specialization model and the very welcoming and close-knit environment of the MBA program. The brand and product management specialization will do a phenomenal job of preparing me to land my dream job as a brand manager, and the faculty who instruct me here are world-class professionals who know exactly what it takes to succeed in my chosen field. The industry connections that Wisconsin has are incredible, and the small class size here ensures that I'll get the personalized education and preparation to get ahead in a very competitive job market. Additionally, I realized during my first visit that Wisconsin is a special place. It was very apparent from the beginning that the staff and faculty would be personally invested in my success, and that I wasn't just a name on a spreadsheet to them. The entire admissions process had a very personal feel to it, and the admissions team would constantly go above and beyond to assist me throughout my application. I knew that if I came to Wisconsin, I would have a new second family that would do everything in their power to make me successful.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
The UW MBA team is easily accessible and is heavily invested in each new student.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I like to travel, golf, and read.

Risk Management and Insurance

Jenna Her 
Jenna Her

Graduation Year: 2019
Career Specialization: Risk Management and Insurance
Hometown: Centerville, Iowa

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Internship in financial lines underwriting at AIG
  • Three years in economic development/local government

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
I looked exclusively at risk management programs, and Wisconsin has one of the best programs in the country; also, the people are genuine and forward-thinking. In contrast to a specialized master's program, an MBA with a specialization gives me both the technical expertise in my field and the leadership skills needed to be a manager in the industry.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
It is important to look at the course listings and see that the program is forward-thinking and evolving to meet current business needs. It is equally important to talk with your course advisors (center directors at Wisconsin) to ensure that they are committed to developing both your academic knowledge and your leadership skills to meet the changing needs of businesses. One without the other is a disadvantage in today's business world.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I am passionate about furthering the education and advancement of women and first-generation college students. I serve as the co-president of Graduate Women in Business and I have also volunteered as a mentor for first-generation students.

Mike Mansell
Mike Mansell

Graduation Year: 2019
Career Specialization: Risk Management and Insurance
Hometown: Wausau, Wisconsin

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Three years in various risk management and insurance positions

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
The people and experiences offered through the Wisconsin School of Business and Risk Center were important in my choice of the Wisconsin MBA. Also, the specialization method allows a unique ability to explore an area of business you're passionate about, while also gaining the broader MBA experiences.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
Take advantage of the many resources offered to help navigate your decision making process. The people at Wisconsin are very accessible and helpful-they want to help you make a great decision and one that's best for you.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I received my undergrad degree from the Wisconsin School of Business-my experience was so positive I decided to come back for round two!

Nakul Arora 
Nakul Arora

Graduation Year: 2020
Career Specialization: Risk Management and Insurance
Hometown: Hissar, India

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Six-and-a-half years in designing, developing, and implementing enterprise risk management applications

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
I was pretty impressed by the curriculum design; one really does not have to wait until the end of year one to get into the core subject. Class sizes are perfectly apt, which really helps when networking. Apart from that, it has been ranked at #2 in the risk and insurance field in the United States, which again showcases the strength of the program.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
I would suggest working hard towards the GMAT, as it is difficult to get into the Wisconsin MBA Program. Also, it is important to do research and look for MBA programs early in order to learn about the options you have, so that you can apply to the programs you believe will fit you best. If you can attend an event where you can meet with the MBA Admissions Team, MBA students, or alumni, you should take advantage of that to learn about the Wisconsin MBA Program from people who know it best.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I am a morning person. I love to get up by 5 AM and go for a walk around Lake Monona. Apart from that, I enjoy playing badminton, table tennis, and riding cruiser bikes.

Navya Bandi 
Navya Bandi

Graduation Year: 2020
Career Specialization: Risk Management and Insurance
Hometown: Hyderabad, India

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Three years at Deloitte Advisory in fraud risk and forensics investigation and regulatory compliance market offerings

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
The Wisconsin School of Business offered me: a unique specialization model, access to a huge and diverse alumni network, and the food in Madison city!

What advice would you give to prospective students?
Reach out to the current students on LinkedIn and ask your questions about the program, network and the companies and roles that the seniors from your specialization are in.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I am a foodie (one of the reasons I chose UW-Madison) and I love digital sketching.

Shannon Mullins 
Shannon Mullins

Graduation Year: 2020
Career Specialization: Risk Management and Insurance
Hometown: Kildeer, Illinois

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Two years full time in retail (seven years total)
  • Three years in insurance

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
I chose to attend the Wisconsin MBA Program because of the specialization model and the opportunity to take specialization courses in the first year. I also completed my undergraduate degree at UW and loved Madison.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
Focus on culture over statistics; just because a school is highly ranked does not mean it is the best fit for you. 

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I love to travel and hike with my dog. 

Strategic Human Resource Management

Alston Marcus
Marcus Alston

Graduation Year: 2019
Career Specialization: Strategic Human Resource Management
Hometown: Lansing, Michigan

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Two-and-a-half years in insurance underwriting
  • Three years in banking
  • Classically trained clarinetist

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
It boils down to one single experience. I went to a recruiting event titled Diversity and The Wisconsin MBA. During the event, I attended Binnu Hill's lecture titled Making the Business Case for Diversity. I realized diversity and inclusion were not simply words on a website, but these two words are woven into the fabric of the Wisconsin MBA experience. The Wisconsin MBA doesn't stop at representation. It was clear that in order to harness the benefits from diversity you must have inclusion. I came to campus as a stranger; I left campus empowered to add to its culture.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
When someone tells you to be your authentic self, believe them! It's true; people actually care who you really are. Your contributions are unique to your lived experience; you are the best at being you.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I cook for Whole Foods, love playing clarinet in an orchestra, wish God would have made me an Olympic Figure Skater, and I am still mad I just discovered Wisconsin cheese curds.

Ellen Chen
Ellen Chen

Graduation Year: 2019
Career Specialization: Strategic Human Resource Management
Hometown: China

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Three years in recruitment in human resources

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
It has a perfect blend of the human resource professional knowledge and business operation framework. Also, people here are extremely nice and warm, and it feels like a big community.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
Take every chance to know the school, the people, and the city as much as possible before you make the decision. Two years of study and life here in Madison will be a major change for everyone, so take this seriously and you will have great fun in coming days.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I'm a super fan of all kinds of spicy foods: spicy hot pot, spicy cheese curds, spicy everything! I'm also really good at cooking spicy food.

Rebekah Reese
Rebekah Reese

Graduation Year: 2019
Career Specialization: Strategic Human Resource Management
Hometown: Madison, Wisconsin

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Six-and-a-half years in retail including buying, in stock, and product management

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
I did my undergrad at Wisconsin and really enjoyed my experience. I visited several MBA programs during the admissions process and I was impressed with Wisconsin and the experience I could have in graduate school. I specifically liked that we have the specialization model, which allows me to focus on an area that I know I'm planning to go into after graduation. It is definitely a huge advantage if you're a career switcher!

What advice would you give to prospective students?
Something that really helped me narrow down schools was to look at culture fit. There are a lot of highly ranked programs out there, but where do you see yourself spending two years (and as an alumnus forever)? Talking to current students really provided me with helpful perspective of "would I like it here?" If you can visit the program, even better. I visited a few programs that I thought I would love, but after spending time at the school and with the students, I realized that it might not be as good of a fit for me. And vice versa!

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I've visited 45 of the 50 U.S. states! I would love to check off the last five states at some point. I love to travel in general. I also enjoy making new recipes or going to different restaurants. Looking at this list, I mainly enjoy any new experience and learning new things; I guess business school is a good place for me.

Leah Zine 
Leah Zine

Graduation Year: 2019
Career Specialization: Strategic Human Resource Management
Hometown: Madison, Wisconsin

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Ten years in human resources - mainly in the public sector, but with some experience in both manufacturing and healthcare

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
I did my undergraduate degree at Wisconsin and chose to return for grad school because of the unique specialization model. This design allows me to pursue a well-rounded MBA while also focusing on my passion for strategic human resources management. UW's role as a founding member of the Consortium for Graduate Studies in Management was also a significant factor. This program fits me, and I'm proud to be a Double Badger!

What advice would you give to prospective students?
Classes are obviously important, but there's a lot more to business school than that. Be sure you are looking at what else a program has to offer - the activities, student organizations, recruiting and alumni networks, support for partners or families, anything that will help you tailor the experience to fit your needs. That's how I knew Madison was the right place for me. Can you see yourself as a part of the culture?

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I like to work on home improvement projects and have actually renovated two houses - one of which is a 115 year old farmhouse right here in Madison. Whenever possible, I do the work myself, from tiling bathrooms to hanging drywall and rebuilding a front porch. It feels great to finish and know you did it yourself!

Joshua Firestone 
Joshua Firestone

Graduation Year: 2020
Career Specialization: Strategic Human Resource Management
Hometown: Wooster, Ohio

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Six years in higher education

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
I chose to attend the Wisconsin MBA Program because the high level of care and support that the program staff put into each of its students is evident. Additionally, I chose the University of Wisconsin because it is a strong program that is highly ranked while still being affordable as compared to many other MBA programs.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
My advice would be to attend On Wisconsin weekend if at all possible. It really gives you a great insight into the program, the city, and the faculty and staff. I found that weekend crucial in deciding to attend the Wisconsin MBA Program.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
Everyone who knows me knows I'm slightly obsessed with soccer; I love playing and watching. My dad was in the Navy so I grew up near the ocean. Because of that I still love to get back to it when I can and I try to go on a surf trip every year or two. Fun fact: I also used to play a lot of ping pong and once won a tournament where the prize was the chance to go backstage before a MUSE concert and play ping pong with the band!

An Nguyen 
An Nguyen

Graduation Year: 2020
Career Specialization: Strategic Human Resource Management
Hometown: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Three years in human resources

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
The Wisconsin MBA is among a few programs that offer strategic human resources management as a concentration, which fits my post MBA goals. I would like to gain well-rounded business knowledge as well as strong competitive advantage of HR insights.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
Prospective students should know their purposes well before deciding on any programs. Be aware that two years is a short span of time! They should visit school/chat with the current MBA candidates since we are more than willing to have them. And last but not least, start your GMAT as soon as possible.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I like trying out new dishes from other countries!

Rebecca Schulenburg 
Rebecca Schulenburg

Graduation Year: 2020
Career Specialization: Strategic Human Resource Management
Hometown: Sauk Prairie, Wisconsin

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Three years in retail at a Harley-Davidson dealership

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
I chose to attend the Wisconsin MBA Program because I wanted to expand my business knowledge and gain real-world experience that I could bring back to my family’s business. UW-Madison is known for having a highly-ranked MBA program with a high return on investment, which made it my first and only choice. The students, faculty, and overall campus culture also made me want to become a Badger!

What advice would you give to prospective students?
I would highly recommend visiting campus. Although I knew I wanted to come to UW-Madison, I was absolutely blown away when I came to campus for my interview and the On Wisconsin Weekend in April. Both visits gave me a lot of insight into what the faculty and other students were like and got me really excited for the school year! It also helped alleviate a lot of stress on the first day of school given that I was familiar with the building and already knew some of the students and faculty members.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I love listening to music, singing, and playing my guitar, keyboard, and saxophone! I also enjoy attending classes at Dragonfly Hot Yoga, running, and riding my Harley-Davidson Motorcycle!

Supply Chain Management

Adam Anton
Anton Adam

Graduation Year: 2019
Career Specialization: Supply Chain Management
Hometown: Itasca, Illinois

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Nine years as a Navy Supply Corps Officer

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
The dedicated supply chain management program has strong relevance to both my existing experience and future career; this was also an opportunity to be closer to friends and family for a few years.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
Wisconsin has a welcoming and supportive environment. This MBA program gives you the chance to be a unique individual while belonging to a close-knit group.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
My prior billets included operational tours on a fast-attack submarine and an aircraft carrier; I've lived in Evanston, IL; Groton, CT; Honolulu, HI; Mechanicsburg, PA; and San Diego, CA.

Annika Canueto
Annika Canueto

Graduation Year: 2019
Career Specialization: Supply Chain Management
Hometown: San Francisco Bay Area, California

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • District manager in grocery retail

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
I chose the University of Wisconsin for the individualized attention given to each student, regardless of specialization. I appreciate that each concentration is small enough so that every MBA candidate can receive support for their particular goals.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
I strongly encourage prospective students to visit their top schools in person. Sitting in on a lecture and chatting with current students will help you decide on which university will be the best cultural fit.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I love yoga, paddle boarding, and watercolor painting!

Tiep Do
Tiep Do

Graduation Year: 2019
Career Specialization: Supply Chain Management
Hometown: Vietnam

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Six years in the agribusiness industry

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
The school is excellent in its supply chain management concentration. It is located in a very nice city, and I also love the school's culture.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
Prospective students should spend time thinking about their career path after MBA. Doing so will help them define which specialization or concentration suits them most.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I am a backpacker. I traveled by motorbike from one place to another when I was in Vietnam. I love hiking, trekking, camping, and so on.

Jared Huebner
Jarod Huebner

Graduation Year: 2019
Career Specialization: Supply Chain Management
Hometown: Shawano, Wisconsin

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Seven years in the U.S. Army

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
I chose the Wisconsin MBA to compliment the skills I developed leading teams in the Army. The specialized approach can fine tune the science to go along with the art of command I've developed from seven years of military experience.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
Come to campus and see if the school is right for you. Ignore rankings to some degree and find the school that will compliment your skills and experiences the most.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
The Wisconsin School of Business is the first school I ever applied to. Thankfully I received a scholarship to play soccer for my undergraduate school; I never got around to applying for college when I was in high school.

Kristen Mezzapelle
Kristen Mezzapelle

Graduation Year: 2019
Career Specialization: Supply Chain Management
Hometown: Walnut Creek, California

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Five-and-a-half years in law firm business development and marketing

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
The specialization model really made the program stand out to me along with personable nature of the MBA program staff and current students. It felt like home!

What advice would you give to prospective students?
I would recommend for students to visit their top programs in person as it is very important to know if the program is a good fit for you culturally. Also be sure to take into consideration the school's alumni network and if there are specific companies that they are connected with that you would want to work for upon graduation.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I love to swim, hike, and bike; I am a wine tasting and coffee enthusiast; I enjoy reading historical fiction novels; I cook and bake grandma's Italian recipes.

Andy Ortman
Andy Ortman

Graduation Year: 2019
Career Specialization: Supply Chain Management
Hometown: Two Harbors, Minnesota

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Four years in university administration

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
The Wisconsin MBA program provides an incredible amount of individualized attention, from assigned career coaches and communication coaches to the faculty and staff in the specialization centers. This personalized career development was critical for a career switcher like myself.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
You are never too early or late in the application process to reach out to the admissions team or student ambassadors with questions. Every single student ambassador has been through the MBA application process and can provide honest, valuable advice.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I am a marathon finisher. I love to bake pies, cook out of Julia Child's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking," and play video games. I use any excuse to wear my traditional Austrian lederhosen.

Charlie Zignego
Charlie Zignego

Graduation Year: 2019
Career Specialization: Supply Chain Management
Hometown: Erin, Wisconsin

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Four-and-a-half years in construction

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
I wanted to return to UW-Madison after completing my undergrad degree here and add qualifications while leaving behind the construction industry for a new industry that I am excited to work in.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
Take in the City of Madison and the campus while visiting because they will not find a better place to live for two years while pursuing their MBA.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I am a huge sports fan and follow just about every type of sport, I come from an extremely large family and have around 100 first cousins, and I still enjoy playing old school video games if I can get my hands on them.

Hridoy Kr Das 
Hridoy Kr Das

Graduation Year: 2020 
Career Specialization: Supply Chain Management
Hometown: Guwahati, Assam, India

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Seven years in business analytics

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
After my undergraduate education, I chose to join a business analytics group in an agricultural manufacturing organisation, where I was able to nurture my data-driven decision-making culture. While working in analytics for over seven years, in order to excel in the corporate ladder, I realized that I need to focus on three key skills - strong communication, leadership, and in-depth knowledge of a particular area (i.e. a specialization). I believe that the Wisconsin MBA Program is the perfect place for me - I can develop these crucial skills while acquiring the basics of business foundation at the same time.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
Be very clear about your vision, and understand what you are looking from your MBA degree. When I had to choose one among the many offers, I considered 3 points: 1) Where am I getting an in-depth knowledge about a specialization? For me it was Supply Chain Management. 2) How friendly the people are! 3) What will be my ROI after my graduation?

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
My dream job is to help others in making their dreams into reality. I love to talk to people about their dreams and help them in creating paths from where they are to where they want to be. I believe that bringing out the best in others is the key to success.

Santhosh Reddy Kosike 
Santhosh Reddy Kosike

Graduation Year: 2020
Career Specialization: Supply Chain Management
Hometown: Washington, DC

Pre-MBA career experience:

  • Six years in electrical engineering

Why did you choose the Wisconsin MBA?
I had two years of prior supply chain experience in the mining industry, and I wanted to broaden my expertise and experience in different sectors and industries. To do that, I needed a strong foundation in business management which I was lacking as well as supply chain academic knowledge. I decided to specialize my MBA in supply chain management, and the Wisconsin MBA was the perfect fit for my expectations. It has a tailor made supply chain specialization in the MBA program where you can start with the fundamentals of SCM right from the first semester while equally concentrating on general management. The concept of this program is quite unique and made me choose the Wisconsin MBA Program.

What advice would you give to prospective students?
I would advise them to prioritize their requirements and decide upon the specialization they want to move into after the MBA. That would definitely clear up the thought process and help them to pursue the right college and program. When I was considering multiple programs, I looked for a program to have medium strength and a diverse cohort with a specialized approach.

Please share some fun and interesting facts about yourself.
I am a huge movie fanatic (I am confident enough to give the director’s and cast names of almost every important Hollywood movie). I love to cook and I love to go hiking. I play soccer and badminton.

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