The Weinert Center for Entrepreneurship is pleased to welcome Kristen Forecki to the WAVE Advisory Board. Kristen graduated with her Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Finance and Marketing in May 2005.
After graduating from UW-Madison, Kristen worked as a financial analyst at General Mills as a part of their Finance Leadership Development Program. Here Kristen learned many valuable foundational skills that she continued to build upon throughout her career. After three years at General Mills, Kristen made the decision to continue her education. She pursued her MBA degree at Harvard Business School, where she was involved in many student organizations and activities. After graduating from Harvard, Kristen accepted a position as a Senior Product Manager at Amazon where she worked for two and a half years before transitioning to a startup company, Rover.com, as their Director of Operations.
Having moved from a large corporation like Amazon to a small startup was a big change. Kristen described her experience working in startups as similar to going on an adventurous trip. “You have these sort of sweaty, stressful moments where you are racing to make it on to a train, but then you get to that vista, or you get to have this incredible experience and it makes it all worth it.” Compared to a large corporation, Kristen states that “the highs are higher, and the lows are lower. One day you feel like you are on top of the world and then the next day you feel like you just got hit by a truck.” After Rover.com Kristen joined another startup, Convoy Inc. as employee number 11 with the role of Vice President of Operations and Supply. As it goes with small startups Kristen had to wear many different hats in her role. At various point in her six years there Kristen was responsible for Finance, PR, Legal, Marketing, and HR. These responsibilities were in addition to her operations and supply chain responsibilities! When I asked Kristen how she adapted to all these functions she says she relied on a leadership philosophy that she learned at Harvard from Francis Frei: the “idea of wanting to build teams and then transitioning them to someone else to continue leading them so that you can go on and build something new.” Kristen did build many new things at Convoy and after six years, Kristen made the purposeful decision to transition back to strategy in her current role as the Senior Director of Strategy at Microsoft.
Kristen is excited to return the Wisconsin School of Business community and help educate future entrepreneurs in the Badger community. She describes entrepreneurs as being “some of the most fun, exciting people to meet” and that they are “people who think big, have passion, and who want to share that passion with others!” Kristen hopes that she can bring her experience in early stage startups and large corporations to help grow the entrepreneurial goals and mindsets present in some many students in the badger community.
Please join us in welcoming Kristen Forecki to the WAVE Advisory Board!