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Student Experience

4 MBA Grads on the Impact of Experiential Learning

By Full-Time MBA

November 25, 2020

Grainger Hall in lights for graduation
Grainger Hall was illuminated this spring to celebrate WSB graduates like Nakul, Patrick, Alex, and Ty. Photo by David Giroux

Experiential—or applied—learning is a cornerstone of the Wisconsin Full-Time MBA education. Students regularly consult, collaborate, and strategize with global companies on vital projects. MBA students help the companies see challenges from a new angle and work in groups to design creative solutions and present their findings. Here are four 2020 graduates on the corporate consulting projects that helped prepare them for their futures. 

Nakul Arora (MBA ’20)

Nakul Arora

“One of the projects on which I worked was the evaluation of the owner controlled insurance program for United Airlines. We evaluated bids, studied current exposures, and offered their team suggestions for minimizing the cost of risk. We even engaged some of the largest and best construction management companies, risk managers, brokers, and real estate project managers. The project also included a trip to Llyod’s of London which further enhanced the experience of working on such an exciting project.”

Patrick Carroll (MBA ’20)

Patrick Carroll

“In the Applied Real Estate Investment Track (AREIT), our student team managed a live $1.5 million portfolio of investment stocks that blended real estate and the public markets. We worked together to craft an investment thesis and learned in depth how some of the largest real estate companies operate. Through our professor’s knowledge and the relationships he built during his career in the industry, we had the opportunity to meet with some of the leading analysts in the REIT market, as well as executives from a number of REITs.”

Alex Paisley Lasso (MBA ’20)

Alex Paisley Lasso

“The second semester of the first year, we did a semester-long consulting project with Medtronic. We were on a cross-functional team looking at go-to market strategy for their ICD devices in China. It was fascinating to work on this project, learn about an industry we weren’t familiar with, and understand the complexity of the Chinese health care system. Ultimately, we were able to present our findings to our professors, as well as Medtronic executives, for them to consider as they pursued global expansion. I learned so much from my peers, who were all in different specializations and had diverse career backgrounds. I loved applying what we learned in class to a real scenario with real data and a real challenge.”

Ty Vaughn (MBA ’20)

Ty Vaughn

“I helped design a questionnaire and subsequently analyze data for a nonprofit with the hope that we could better understand people’s attitudes and stances towards mental health issues and therapy. It was the most valuable learning experience of my MBA because it allowed me to learn by doing. This project allowed me to combine the specific marketing skills I learned in my specialized curriculum with project management and working with a real client.”