Deciding to go back to school is never an easy choice. With many factors to consider, I needed to ensure that it was the right time for me. After talking with multiple people at my company who have received their MBAs, they recommended that I go back when I was ready for a jump in responsibility in my career. With months of soul searching and continuing these conversations, I knew I was ready. Although I would be younger than many of my classmates and have only a few years of experience, I was confident that the quality of my work experience was more important than the quantity.
Next, I needed to figure out my specialization. After receiving my undergraduate degree in chemical engineering, I spent time working in manufacturing and then rotated into a supply chain role. In supply chain, I enjoyed being able to view the company on a larger scale and wanted to continue being in the middle of operations and business. However, I also wanted to include a consumer focus in my role because I wanted to find solutions to our users’ issues. Thankfully, I was able to find a specialization that blended everything I wanted together: Brand Management. As the “hub of the wheel” of a brand, I would bring together all my experience from a multitude of roles together into one. After researching schools that had brand management specializations, Wisconsin stood out to me because the companies that recruited here fit my goals. I’ve always wanted to go into CPG and have a physical product that I can say I contributed to. Wisconsin had both a brand and product management specialization, as well as many CPG companies that I was interested in.
Following my decision to go back to school and taking the steps to get there (GMAT, applications, and interviews), I knew Wisconsin is where I was meant to be. Firstly, everyone here is genuinely interested in your past experiences and watching you succeed. My interview with the center director, Mike Judge, was a great representation of how friendly and welcoming all the members of the WSB would be. Additionally, the knowledge that the director of the CBPM is taking time to meet with potential students proved to me that the WSB cares about not only their current, but also potential students.
Now, almost a year after accepting my offer, I have no doubt this is the place I was meant to be. Even with COVID, I have been able to make connections with my classmates through our hybrid classes and safe get-togethers. Although a hybrid and online platform was not what I expected for my first year in graduate school, the WSB has ensured that their students are able to get the most of the current state of classes and be ready for our summer internships. The amount I have learned over the past four months, both in school and out, will allow me to perform at my best.