Ben St. John

Ben St. John

University of Wisconsin–Madison, Wisconsin School of Business
MBA Graduation Year: 2018
Specialization: Operations and Technology Management
Hometown: Norfolk, Virginia
Internship: Product Manager Intern, Intuit
Current Job: Associate Product Manager, Protolabs

During the admissions process the team at Wisconsin was extremely encouraging—everyone genuinely believed in me and my ability to reach my goals. Staff and alumni were all quick to respond to my calls and emails, giving me their full attention. We built a very trusting relationship, which is reflective of the culture I enjoyed at Wisconsin.

With my specialized Wisconsin MBA I am rebranding myself with an expanded skill set to be able to make a true impact on issues related to corporate environmental responsibility. Initially I did consulting in the investment industry, which I found to be interesting but not personally inspiring as a career.

My research on MBA programs led me to the operations and technology (OTM) specialization at Wisconsin. The program model is a true game-changer. It has provided industry-specific skills and knowledge that have broadened my vision of what I can accomplish in my new field. As I zeroed in on my passion for corporate environmental responsibility, it became clear that I needed business and technology knowledge that would land me where I want to be professionally.

The specialized Wisconsin MBA allowed me to be more strategic and to customize my education to achieve the exact career I want. With the OTM specialization I developed marketable skills and gained the technology management knowledge I was missing. The curriculum offers a general management MBA core plus a specialized curriculum tailored to specific industry roles. I gained a head start with my new skill set to make an immediate impact in my premier tech internship in California after my first year.

Real-world experiences with applied learning exposed me to creative ways to solve complex problems. In one session, product managers from Intuit shared how they create and continue to refine complex and competitive new software features. We learned about Intuit’s product pipeline and about product managers’ day-to-day responsibilities. This insight reinforced my interest and excitement about a technology career path.

With my specialized Wisconsin MBA I can apply tech
strategies to corporate environmental responsibility
for game-changing impact.

—Ben St. John

Working in project teams with students in different specializations has made me a better collaborator and team member. One of my teams won the School’s Integrated Company Analysis competition, for which we pitched a product for sale at a large chain of grocery stores. A deep focus on this business gave me a comprehensive, insider’s view of how an organization considers and applies analytics.

Alumni were supportive and influential at each step of my Wisconsin experience. While considering Wisconsin, I connected with an alum who clearly had a passion for the program and answered my many questions. I also reached out to speak with many alumni who have careers at companies I am excited about. The alums replied promptly and were very helpful and considerate. In addition, many OTM alumni were directly involved in our applied learning events, sharing their insights and experience.