University of Wisconsin–Madison, Wisconsin School of Business
MBA Graduation Year: 2019
Specialization: Operations and Technology Management (OTM)
Hometown: Chandigarh, India
Internship: PMO Business Transformation Intern; CUNA Mutual Group; Madison, Wisconsin
Position: Product Owner, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.; Miami/Fort Lauderdale, Florida
I gained strong career skills from my computer science and engineering training and then as a consultant at Deloitte. But I began to recognize a need to keep growing. I had progressed from implementing enterprise resource systems to optimizing financial processing systems. Then, I transitioned to a functional role implementing processes on clients’ business suites, such as general ledger, e-business tax, and fixed assets. These roles plus working with global and cross-functional teams led me to explore an MBA to further broaden my business skills and work with the latest technologies.
When I was exploring MBA programs, I learned from the team at Wisconsin that the career focus I was interested in had a name—operations and technology management—and that the Wisconsin Full-Time MBA had a strong, STEM-designated OTM specialization. Wisconsin’s program was attractive to me because it offered targeted knowledge with a broad general business foundation. It provided a very well-rounded experience that prepared me to build on my academic and industry knowledge and improve essential soft skills.
We work in teams most of the time, so this diversity adds a breadth of personal and professional experiences for a fresh, new perspective to everything we do together.
The specialized knowledge I gained in my first semester was especially useful as a business transformation intern at CUNA Mutual Group, where I was asked to optimize work operations across business functions including IT, finance, and marketing. The finance concepts I learned in class gave me a broad context to understand the company where I interned. The program also helped me hone my teamwork skills and analytical problem-solving. All of these skills are proving to be essential to my career.
The specialization model of this program draws students from different backgrounds, states, and countries. This diversity of personal and professional experiences added a fresh, new perspective to everything we did together. Since we worked on teams most of the time, this range of backgrounds played a big role in the quality of my learning experience at Wisconsin.
Alumni were very receptive to my emails and calls and talked through school and career options. They guided me throughout the process of applying and interviewing for my summer internship. Support from recent graduates was especially helpful—network connections, résumé feedback, and key learnings from their personal job searches all played a role in my professional development.
The culture at Wisconsin is very close knit and warm. Small class sizes mean everyone gets an opportunity to interact and know each other well. The structure is especially useful for forming long-term relationships with classmates entering similar career paths.
Working with many student organizations is another way to hone your soft skills. I was actively involved in the Graduate Multicultural Business Association and served as communications chair for the Graduate Business Association. These groups allowed me to leverage my interests and learn from other board members who brought different talents to the table.