After earning a master's degree in statistics and working as a statistical analyst for a health care company, Anne Judd realized she wanted to do more than provide data to decision makers. She wanted to be on the strategic side of the table and recognized that a Wisconsin MBA would help her make the transition. Anne is now poised to use her management training and data analytics skills to guide business strategy as an analyst and consultant in the health care industry.
I decided I wanted to get an MBA to fast track myself to a strategic position. After earning a master's degree in statistics, I worked for Florida Blue (Blue Cross, Blue Shield) as a statistical analyst, passing along data to others in decision-making roles. I wanted a larger role to make a bigger impact.
I knew an MBA was going to be imperative for my future. I chose Wisconsin because of the specializations—which are like boot camps to fully prepare you for a new direction. That said, I was not sure exactly which specialization would best connect my data background with the health care passion I developed as an Olympic-level athlete. One of my stats professors referred me to Wisconsin School of Business Professor Joan Schmit, the director of the risk management program, who helped me determine the right program fit.
Everyone here believes in you and they will give you the support to succeed.
My Wisconsin MBA experience has exceeded my expectations. The professors are engaging. I initially wondered why I was taking a marketing course when I was in risk management, but that was probably my favorite class because the professor made it so interesting. I loved finance and accounting. I didn't have a background in either of those, but now I have context and a broader understanding that will be beneficial in business. And the small class size has allowed me to build really close relationships. We stick together and help each other out, which was a nice change from my previous graduate program.
I am so much more confident in my professional relationships. Everyone at the Wisconsin School of Business believes in you and they will give you the support to succeed. From the first day I started communicating with the program, it was, "I believe in you. You can do this. What do you need in order to be successful?" In addition to exceptional courses to provide hard skills, the Wisconsin MBA helped me build my leadership and project management skills.
Alumni support for the program is outstanding. One of the program alums, Jim Swanke, teaches a sustainability and risk management course and works for the consulting company, Willis Towers Watson. I met with him for a mock interview last fall, which led to an internship with his firm. Jim was such a supportive and encouraging advocate, advising me on which divisions would be best fits and connecting me with the right people. After graduation I will be returning to Willis Towers Watson full-time.
If you're thinking MBA and you're wondering if Wisconsin is for you, reach out. I asked professors for advice. I attended an information session, which is where I learned I could get specialized "boot camp" training in risk management to shift my career to the next phase. Everyone at the School, including the admissions staff, the faculty, and the great alums, are so willing to listen, help determine best fit, and help open doors.
I highly recommend Wisconsin because of the specializations and the support you get from day one and all along the way. That support, from the program director, professors, alumni, career services, classmates in your specialization and in the school overall make this an outstanding experience. I came in unsure of what specialization I wanted and I will leave highly prepared for an ideal job that combines my experience and my passions—and even brings me back to where I grew up. I can't say enough about the quality of this program.