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To Future Marketing MBAs: What you can expect as a Badger

By Nathan Santhanam

October 19, 2021

Congratulations!

You did it! You are about to embark on a Master of Business Administration (MBA) journey that will undoubtedly change your life for the better. The Wisconsin School of Business (WSB) MBA Program will help you achieve your career goals—whatever they may be! Your MBA journey will be challenging; however, you will have a supremely competent and accredited staff that will guide you every step of the way. The WSB prides itself on being a warm and welcoming environment. You will be surrounded by some of the brightest minds from literally across the world! Not only will you learn from your highly intelligent peers, you will also make close bonds, friendships and connections that will last well beyond your graduation.

The WSB staff will frequently provide you opportunities to network with notable organizations and professionals across many industries. Specifically, the WSB Marketing Centers’ team prides itself on giving you plenty of these opportunities. Whichever specified specialization you join—whether it be Brand and Product Management, Marketing Analytics and Insights, or Tech Product Marketing—know that you will join a close-knit and competent team that will prepare you for future success! All of that being said, I wanted to take some time to outline what to expect during your first few months as a WSB Badger in the MBA Program.

Your journey really starts immediately after your acceptance! Obviously, you should take care of the important personal stuff first—planning your move, finding living accommodations, etc. Regardless of your timeline, be prepared to start receiving e-mails from the WSB outlining tasks you will need to complete prior to your arrival. Plan to spend a few hours a week completing these tasks. These tasks will be anything from registering for classes to completing preparatory Microsoft Excel training courses. If you are diligent with these tasks, then you will be set up for initial success come orientation day!

Nathan Santhanam and his cohort team
Nathan & his cohort team during orientation

From the moment you walk into Grainger Hall on orientation day for the WSB, you will be immersed in a welcoming environment.  The WSB Staff genuinely cares about your educational and professional development. They will consistently put you in situations to grow as a professional. Orientation week will feel like a social whirlwind: the WSB will host many social and networking events in order for you to get to know your classmates. Take advantage of these events! Your classmates will be your teammates throughout your two-year MBA journey, so it will benefit you to build relationships with them. Your class will be broken up into two cohorts, and you will attend your primary MBA courses in these cohorts. Also, the WSB will assign you a small team within your cohort. This small team will be comprised of students across multiple specializations, and you will work in these teams for group projects and presentations throughout the semester. Plan to dress in business casual clothes throughout orientation week; and, while not mandatory, it is good practice to always dress in business casual while in Grainger Hall—you never know who you are going to meet!

A team of students work together

Chances are, you chose to attend the WSB not only for its welcoming environment, but also because of its reputable academic reputation. Make no mistake: you will be challenged academically during your first quarter here at WSB. Do not be discouraged—you were accepted into the WSB because you have immense potential. To be successful, stay diligent with homework, study, and be focused and engaged in class. If you need help, ask for it! Your professors and their assistants are there to help you if you are struggling. Also, lean on your classmates! Chances are there will be someone in your cohort or team that is competent in the area you are struggling in. Do not be afraid to lean on your peers, and try to pay it forward when a peer is struggling in an area that you are comfortable in.

The WSB prides itself on preparing you for the next step in your career. The WSB team will do everything in their power to help you obtain a summer internship between your first and second years of the program, and they will also do everything they can to help you find your ideal job after graduation. On top of your academic curriculum, you will have mandatory career development events sanctioned by the WSB or your specialization weekly. These events consist of interview training, alumni networking, recruiting events, professional guest speakers, etc. Make sure you keep track of all of these events and make them a priority, as these events are distinguishing parts of the Full-Time MBA experience.

Marketing MBAs at a Brewers Game

Last, but certainly not least, the Marketing team will be a second family to you during your time in Madison. Regardless of your specific specialization, the WSB Marketing team as a whole is a tight group of friends and professionals. Your directors will mentor you and prepare you for the next step of your marketing career. Also, the Marketing team has fun! From baseball games to brewery tours, you will have plenty of opportunities to connect with your Marketing teammates and to decompress from the rigors of graduate school. If you have to prioritize WSB sanctioned social events, try to prioritize the events with the Marketing team—I personally think that these are the most enjoyable!

As you embark on this MBA journey, know that you started on the right foot by making the best possible choice: you chose to attend the WSB! Your experience here will be challenging, but I am confident that you will also enjoy your time here thoroughly. Stay diligent, and you will succeed! The WSB staff is here to help you and guide you as you pursue your professional goals. Your peers and teammates will also help you along the way! Welcome to Wisconsin, and best of luck as you take this next step in your career!

Go Badgers!