From the day he arrived at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, Zach Roberts (BBA ’15), a first-generation college student, soaked up as many different learning experiences—on campus and beyond—as he could. As an undergraduate business major, Roberts was involved with community service, tutoring, and peer mentoring. He believes these experiences, along with his coursework, helped him find what he’s passionate about. “Getting outside your comfort zone—that’s how you learn who you are, what gets you excited,” he says. “Becoming actively engaged in your community won’t just inform how you move forward as a professional, but who you become as a human being.”
Roberts’s powerful embrace of the UW student experience served him well. Roberts served as a facilitator in The Compass ProgramTM, an innovative Wisconsin School of Business program that bridges curricular and co-curricular learning opportunities. This helps students establish a foundation of self-awareness and develop communication and professional skills to help them thrive as global business leaders.
Roberts says the experience taught him how to work with others, understand people from many different backgrounds, and be empathetic. “Not only did I gain the knowledge and skills required to contribute on day one at a company,” says Roberts, “but also a deep understanding of leadership and service.”
As a new graduate, he proudly carries his student experience with him. “When you’re working with other people, you have skills to offer, but you also have something to learn from them at the same time. Our strength as Business Badgers lies in the connections we make. Our successes are intertwined,” says Roberts, who interned with Google before his senior year and recently began a new job as a global sales associate at LinkedIn. “Being part of the Wisconsin School of Business has taught me there’s something you gain from every experience. I’m so grateful for that.”