MBA students of the Strategic Human Resource specialization of the Wisconsin School of Business didn’t stop learning just because it was winter break. Winter, pandemic and more than a month off school made it a perfect opportunity to utilize the extended time off to get an intro crash course into a growing HR field: Executive Compensation.
Students attended the boot camp offered by an alumnus who is an expert in the field. It was not the first time students met Ben Burney, their instructor. Serving as this year’s Executive in Residence, Ben had introduced himself and welcomed students to reach out to him early in the semester. We were sure to reach out to gain advice or help prep for upcoming interviews. We were happy to be his students for January!
Utilizing more than a decade of HR experience for major companies and as a consultant in Executive Compensation, Ben introduced the inner working of how major CEOs land the multi-million-dollar compensation packages. Students could get a glimpse into analyzing companies such as HP and Kellogg’s during the hands-on learning. It was a great gateway to learn about companies in which we students were hired as interns.
The boot camp proved very timely and relevant for my own professional goals. A month before starting the Executive Compensation boot camp, I learned my internship placement would be at Kellogg’s within the Global Compensation team. While my summer internship would be months away, it was a relief to know that I would be building some learning blocks to feel more prepared. During the month-long sessions, there was exposure to proxy statements of executive compensation; I learned the various ways executive compensation can be formulated and listened to Ben’s real-life experiences.
Following the boot camp, I emailed my internship contact at Kellogg’s to share what I was learning in preparation for the summer internship. My soon-to-be manager offered further insight. While the response was quite long, it was gratifying to know that a field in which I had no prior experience now seemed less foreign, thanks to the learning opportunity during winter break.
When Day 1 comes around to start my internship, I will know the terminology of proxy statements and feel confident of thriving at my internship in a new career in Human Resources, thanks to the Wisconsin School of Business’s alumni support.