University of Wisconsin–Madison, Wisconsin School of Business
Specialization: Brand and Product Management
Hometown: Houston, Texas
Internship: Brand Marketing MBA Intern, Procter & Gamble
Graduation Year: 2019
Program: Wisconsin Full-Time MBA
Recognition: Poets&Quants MBAs to Watch 2019
I value the Wisconsin School of Business’ commitment to diversity and inclusion in business education and corporate leadership. The School is a founding partner of the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management. That relationship reinforced that I had joined a community with a common appreciation for diversity and an authentic and inclusive learning environment. It helped make Wisconsin the clear choice for my MBA.
At Wisconsin, I had four courses in my marketing specialization my first year, which was tremendous preparation for my summer internship at Procter & Gamble. Students earning general management MBAs generally do not start taking marketing classes until their second year. This gave me a distinct advantage interviewing for internships and positioned me for success in my internship.
The culture at the Wisconsin School of Business truly sets the School above other MBA programs. Every interaction from recruitment through admission was positive and personal, whether it was phone calls, emails, or handwritten notes. This culture of authenticity continued in my relationships with classmates, the countless alumni I met, and the impressive board members I engaged with each semester.
The support in this program was amazing. I had a strong network in my corner that included my alumni mentor, our specialization advisory board, corporate partners, and fellow students, who all contributed to my success. It started with the Wisconsin MBA onboarding event. Current students and alumni from top companies helped with résumé building and personal branding to jump-start the internship recruiting process. There were informational and mock interviews with alumni from all over the country. And my alumni mentor continues to offer ongoing support, which began with sharing post-MBA experiences and cheerleading throughout my MBA journey.
Leading a student organization gave me the opportunity to sharpen my skills to lead, develop, and influence others. Serving as president of the Graduate Business Association (GBA)—the primary organization for full-time MBA students—offered great practice leading others, defining vision, setting goals, and prioritizing time and resources. I also honed my communication skills. Student organizations are a great way to connect students who have like-minded interests and enjoy learning and growing together. During my first year, GBA, Diversity in Business, and Graduate Women in Business positively impacted my experience. Later, when I became a student leader in GBA, I enjoyed having the opportunity to foster community and cultivate an inclusive experience for all students.
Watch Melissa answer questions about her experience in the brand and product management specialization: