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Alumni in Action

Business Casual: January 2020

By Alumni Relations

January 29, 2020

An informal but informative newsletter for WSB alumni and friends

students sitting in the Learning Commons studying
The Learning Commons, Grainger Hall’s newest learning space, has quickly become a favorite destination for students, faculty, staff, and visitors. The three-level Learning Commons, which opened in May 2018, reimagined the Business Library to include cutting-edge technology as well as collaborative and individual work spaces. Photo by Paul L. Newby II

The Briefing

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Awards season comes early for WSB duo

Two WSB students got a red carpet moment when their short film took top prize at the Study Abroad Film Festival in Chicago in November. David Smith (BBA ’20) and Chase Devens (BBA ’20) documented their semester in Paris. Spoiler alert: It didn’t always go smoothly.

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Changing world, changing industry

Weather events, climate change, volatile economy, digital disruption…there’s no sure thing in the insurance industry anymore. Risk and Insurance Professor Joan Schmit shares insights with World Finance that include how demographic changes are becoming more useful than historical data, and how retiring baby boomers present insurance opportunities.

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WSB boosts students’ career readiness

WSB’s new Career Engagement Studio gives undergraduate students a jumpstart on their careers through a reimagined approach that blends face-to-face connections and new technologies. The Studio opened this fall as a hub for career education, professional development, and networking. It provides ways for employers, alumni, and industry partners to formally and informally help students.

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Back to School

What is the Internet of Things?

UW-Madison has a research center devoted to the Internet of Things, a collaboration between industry and academics. Greg DeCroix, professor of operations and information management, is part of the center’s affiliated faculty and explains:

We’re used to having our computers and smartphones connected to the internet. The Internet of Things (also referenced as IoT) extends such connections to other devices, embedding sensors and the ability to communicate in a diverse range of objects such as manufacturing equipment, shipping containers, vehicles, or paper towel dispensers. These objects can then collect, share, and sometimes act on data the sensors pick up.

For example, by capturing data on temperature, vibrations, and other variables, equipment can signal when maintenance is needed. By capturing data on usage patterns, commercial bathroom fixtures can signal when paper products need refilling. These newly connected devices raise major security concerns, though, and as the Internet of Things expands, security will be a central focus.

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Tip Sheet

The year is young and maybe, just maybe, you’ve been able to keep your resolution so far. To keep going, Alex Stajkovic, associate professor of management and human resources and a goal-setting researcher, offers these tips:

  • Goals must be specific. “I want to lose 5 pounds” vs. “I want to be a better person.”
  • Goals must be challenging, yet achievable. Find that sweet spot between easy and impossible.
  • Monitor goals daily. Have a specific execution plan.
  • Measure time in small units. By keeping a goal in sight, we feel more connected to it.
  • Don’t hope, plan. Set sub-goals and track progress.

Alumni Opportunities

About Business Casual

Every other month, alumni and friends of the Wisconsin School of Business will receive insider updates with news about our alumni, faculty, students, and programs. If you want to share Business Casual with friends, they can join our mailing list.

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