Angie Peltzer already had combined her passions for travel and public service in nonprofit and government to affect global issues including child labor. She chose a Wisconsin MBA because she wanted to switch careers from a government agency. She knew that working in a corporate environment would give her the necessary foundation to pursue her dream of starting her own grassroots organization.
Getting a Wisconsin MBA with a specialization model was a perfect fit. I specialized in brand and product management. A business is a brand. Brand management is understanding what motivates consumers and how to drive behavior. Spending time in a brand role at a large corporation gives me the experience and credentials to pursue my vision.
I've always had aspirations to start my own business. I knew the career specialization model combined with a general management core would give me the finance and accounting skills to manage enterprises that could make a more sustainable social impact.
As a career switcher, I like the guided focus of the specialization model from the Wisconsin MBA. The career specialization of the program facilitates a wide range of real-world learning opportunities like:
- A workshop on innovation presented by Scott Cook, founder and chair of Intuit, that provided me insight on asking better questions to get at root causes.
- An applied learning project with DISH Network where I evaluated creative briefs for commercial programming potential.
- A project with Oscar Mayer that allowed my class to use real Nielsen market data to analyze and solve an actual business problem.
- A trip to Brazil where I studied marketing differences in an international market.
With the Wisconsin MBA, I've developed more business acumen, and I have learned to ask deeper questions. I've also become more analytical and can dig through data to tell a story.
One of the best parts of the specialization at Wisconsin is the dedicated advisory board of industry leaders. Our board has 25 members, who are VPs or higher in their companies. It is very rare to have opportunities like I had to brainstorm with Intuit Founder Scott Cook about a startup or be mentored by a VP from Mattel American Girl as part of the Hult Prize case competition. This is also a powerful network for life.
I knew I would never be able to go from my government role directly into the kind of internship position I had at Kimberly-Clark without the Wisconsin MBA. At Wisconsin, I have the benefits of a small program, but they're housed within a large university with lots of resources and opportunities to pursue my passion. The extensive relationships Wisconsin has with companies and the small class size gave me exceptional odds for getting placed with a great company like Kimberly-Clark.
In the Wisconsin MBA I have learned that I truly can accomplish anything I want to in life.
What has really blown me away about the Wisconsin Full‑Time MBA is the strong Badger alumni network. At each recruiting company, you have the opportunity to get to know a wide range of alumni who are always ready and willing to answer any questions that you have. Then at Kimberly Clark, I had a Badger peer coach that I met with every week for an hour, and consistently met with other Badger alumni to talk about the company and discuss my projects. I also had Badgers reach out to me throughout the process to see if I needed any help.
The lack of debt allows you the freedom to choose your own path and not have to take a job that pays off my debt. I had opportunities at 'higher' ranked programs, but the cost-benefit analysis was not worth the debt—and many of the same companies recruit at Wisconsin.
As a career switcher and somewhat older student, know that it is never too late to pursue your MBA. Hiring companies will appreciate your diverse experience, and you will be able to find a good fit.