This winter we had the chance to catch up with Dr. Phil Greenwood, Senior Lecturer in the Management and Human Resources Department, who resides in the Weinert Center for Entrepreneurship. Phil has been teaching at the Wisconsin School of Business full-time since 2001, but his ties to UW-Madison extend farther back than that.
Growing up in West Bend and attending Badgers sports games as a kid, Phil always knew that he wanted to come to UW-Madison for college. He graduated from the Wisconsin School of Business with his BBA in Accounting and immediately went to work for KMPG. After a year of auditing large public firms, Phil began to work in small business advisory services. Working with small companies is when Phil really gained an interest in entrepreneurship and advising startup businesses. He later left KMPG to work for McDonald’s Corporation, where he performed financial audits of franchisees across the USA.
After a year with McDonald’s, Phil returned to the Wisconsin School of Business to pursue an MBA. While in school, Phil worked as a Research Assistant for Professor Chuck Krueger in the Executive Education program. It was during this time that Phil began to develop an interest in teaching. He was attracted not only to the classroom aspect, but also to the opportunity to further develop industry experience through consulting, holding business seminars, and other such activities. With a goal in mind of getting his Ph.D. and teaching in a university setting, Phil first set off to get more industry experience after obtaining his MBA. For six years, he worked for Abbott Labs in a variety of roles ranging from internal auditing to medical device sales.
Although he was successful at Abbott Labs and developed a strong interest in the industry, Phil never lost sight of his goal to return to UW-Madison to teach. In 1995, Phil returned to UW to begin work on a Ph.D. in Continuing and Vocational Education, along with a minor in Entrepreneurship. As part of the latter program, Phil worked under Professor Robert Pricer, and was a student in the inaugural Weinert Applied Ventures in Entrepreneurship (WAVE) class.
Never one to shy away from a challenge, Phil continued to gain industry experience while pursuing his Ph.D. and teaching classes here at UW-Madison. He started a successful consulting practice, and even served as CFO for Imago Scientific Instruments for a time before they were acquired by Ametek, Inc. After graduating with his Ph.D. in 2002, Phil was offered a full-time teaching position at the Wisconsin School of Business, where he has taught at both the undergraduate and MBA levels. Phil has taught courses in Entrepreneurial Finance, New Venture Creation, Entrepreneurial Management, Business Strategy, and Administrative Policy, among many others. In addition to UW, Phil has also guest lectured at many international universities in countries such as France, Turkey, Spain, and Argentina. When he isn’t teaching, Phil can often be found consulting for small and middle market businesses in the high-tech, life science, and manufacturing industries. Phil is also a regular contributor on local news stations as they tap into his expertise regarding entrepreneurship. Read More
Reflecting on how the entrepreneurship community has changed since he first got involved, Phil explains “it has exploded!” There were only a few hundred university programs in entrepreneurship back then, but now there are several thousand. UW-Madison, in particular, has undergone a period of serious change. Phil has not only witnessed, but has been a part of that growth. Phil is particularly happy about the increased interest in entrepreneurship from both business and non-business students alike. He notes that along with the increased interest comes a greater knowledge and understanding of the subject.
Phil encourages entrepreneurial-minded students to take advantage of the resources provided by UW-Madison. Students won’t have access to all of these resources after graduating, nor will they have as much free time to spend exploring new business ideas. When asked what advice he would give to current students interested in entrepreneurship, he says to “go for it! If you have an idea, now is the time to take the risk.”
Phil has certainly inspired many students to pursue entrepreneurship over the years, and continues to do so today. The Weinert Center for Entrepreneurship and the entire UW-Madison community is lucky to have Dr. Phil Greenwood on staff!