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Alumni in Action

Business Casual: January 2024

An informal but informative newsletter for WSB alumni and friends

By Wisconsin School of Business

January 22, 2024

food delivery robot in the snow
This winter, students don’t have to worry about trekking through the snow to get a warm slice of pizza or a tasty hot chocolate. These food delivery robots—which first landed on the UW–Madison campus in 2019—are on the job! Photo by Jeff Miller

The Briefing

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Meet the members of WSB’s External Advisory Board
WSB’s 2023-2024 External Advisory Board has added five new members. These individuals work with WSB leadership and returning board members to help shape the school’s strategic direction and operational priorities to expand reach and reputation. Board members also serve as WSB ambassadors and philanthropists within the business community and alumni network.

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Research from WSB’s Anyi Ma featured in Harvard Business Review
Anyi Ma, an assistant professor of management and human resources at WSB, and her co-authors examined the growth mindset in relation to minimum wage workers in a recent study. Now published in Harvard Business Review, their findings show that managers who believed that their employees’ intelligence could grow were more likely to want to increase compensation received by minimum wage workers.

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Business Badgers reflect on their favorite academic memories
To commemorate UW–Madison’s 175th anniversary, five WSB alums shared some of their fondest academic memories, including favorite campus study spots, summer classes in Madison, post-exam celebrations, and more. “There was nothing better than finishing spring exams and heading to the Union to celebrate with friends,” says one alum.

The Ticker

  • More trusted leaders: Danielle Tiedt (BBA ’96), chief marketing officer of YouTube, and Noe Vital (BBA ’15), co-founder and chief executive officer of Vibez Golf Club, were recently featured in WSB’s Trusted to Lead campaign.
  • New professorship: The John and Anne Oros Professorship was awarded to four WSB faculty members to advance the school’s strategic priorities and support research, teaching, curriculum, and more. 
  • Research spotlight: WSB’s Markus Brauer discussed research on inclusive environments as a recent guest on UW–Madison’s Badger Talks Live. 
  • Congratulations are in order: Last month, 143 Business Badgers accepted their diplomas at winter commencement and officially joined the WSB alumni community!

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Back to School

Logging On and Leveling Up

Tomorrow, hundreds of Business Badgers will leave their cozy dorms and apartments and set out for the first day of spring semester classes. They’ll sit in new lecture halls, shake hands with new professors, find new study spots—and continue working towards their academic and career goals.

But in-person learning is just one of the many ways to level up your business education at WSB. With the new Master of Science-Business: Data, Insights, and Analytics (MSDIA), students can earn a graduate degree in business analytics in two years without leaving their homes or pausing their careers. Delivered 100% online, the program prioritizes flexibility while providing a future-proof, advanced curriculum to help students thrive in business analytics.  

Here’s what the first week of your spring semester might look like if you were an MSDIA student at WSB:  

You have already completed orientation and attended a live meeting where you met classmates and Cody Baldwin, director of the program. You are now ready to take your first class: Business Statistics Using Python.

The course is taught on a learning platform called Canvas. You also use a handout to follow the lectures and take notes. In labs, you practice the concepts before working on the assignments.  

Because assignments are open two weeks in advance, you work ahead and submit them when it’s convenient for you.  

You posted a question about an assignment and the instructor was accessible and responsive. Some of your classmates provided helpful suggestions as well.

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Tip Sheet

Tell Me A Story…With Data!

When it comes to data, it’s not just about the information you collect or the insights you discover. It’s also about how you present those findings and captivate your audience in a meaningful and memorable way.

Check out these tips from Daniel Bauer, a professor of risk and insurance at WSB, to boost your data-storytelling skills.

  • Keep your graphs simple, consumable, and easy for the audience to digest. “It’s better to have multiple charts that are simple, rather than one complex chart,” he says.
  • Don’t limit yourself to Microsoft Excel—explore the advantages of other business intelligence tools like Tableau and Power BI.
  • Highlight the right data by asking yourself: What story am I trying to tell, and what data will help me tell this story?

Learn more about data storytelling.

Alumni Opportunities

February 16: Register now for WSB’s annual Master of Science-Business: Analytics (MSBA) Career Fair hosted at Grainger Hall. Network with MSBA students who are trained in the cloud, have solid coding skills, and more! Contact Amanda Kost to secure your space.

February 27: Join WSB and the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies for a virtual event: Planet, People, Profit: Careers in Corporate Sustainability.

March 22: Attention Chicago Business Badgers! If your organization seeks cloud and coding-trained business analytics talent, join WSB at the MS in Business Analytics Chicago Career Day. Contact Leslie Taylor to network with over 75 astute analytics students and enjoy refreshments! 

Class Notes: Tell us what’s new in your life! Submit a Class Note to share updates with fellow Business Badgers.

Email us your memories: In honor of UW–Madison’s 175th anniversary, we want to hear your stories about the impact of your WSB education. Your response might be featured in an upcoming story!

Stay connected: Update your contact information with WSB. 

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 sign up at

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