An informal but informative newsletter for WSB alumni and friends
Dean Samba shares WSB story with statewide audience
Dean Vallabh “Samba” Sambamurthy shared with Wisconsin Public Radio the ways WSB is leading and growing. “Business schools are a hotbed of innovation,” he says. “Fascinating ideas are coming forward about the role of business and the kind of skills business professionals need.” Dean Samba also talked about how the pandemic has driven innovation throughout higher education.
New “Business of…” series kicks off on a high note
Music is a business like any other and like no other. UW–Madison and WSB alumni shared tales of why that’s true in a lively launch of a virtual series that goes behind the scenes of intriguing industries. The pandemic has created a strange time in the industry, says entertainment lawyer Heather Beverly (BBA ’93). “We’ve had to help the clients who are suffering, but weirdly there are a lot of other things going on,” she says. “So it’s a busy time.” Next up: The Business of Chocolate on May 19.
New program helps students land their dream job
Not every undergraduate student comes to WSB knowing what career they want. The School’s new Career Forward program helps turn their interests and aspirations into a blueprint for their ideal career. The program builds on WSB’s strength in career coaching, opportunities in its new Career Engagement Studio, and relationships with employers. The collaborative and innovative initiative provides career support from students’ first day at WSB to graduation and beyond.
- Student entrepreneurs: A new campus lab helps track and foster innovation
- New online degrees: WSB adds three undergraduate degrees to the UW–Madison Online portfolio
- Vaccine requirements: Professor Jirs Meuris says now is the time to talk to your employer
- Endowed real estate position: Gifts from alumni and friends will endow directorship for James A. Graaskamp Center for Real Estate
- Jake Wood (BBA ’05) speaks: The Team Rubicon founder talked with Business Badgers about leading with integrity
- Parents are overwhelmed: Professor Amber Epp shares insights on how COVID-19 has upended parents’ support structures
Back to School
What is design thinking and why is it important for business?
Design thinking is a disciplined process deeply rooted in consumer empathy that helps organizations find solutions to complicated problems. While its human-centered approach to problem-solving has applications in many fields, it’s particularly valuable in business to help develop new products and services that are desirable, feasible, and financially viable.
“Design thinking is focused on a process that challenges an organization or leadership to develop a deep empathy with its customers or users,” says John Surdyk (MBA ’03), director of UW–Madison’s Initiative for Studies in Transformational Entrepreneurship. “You need to deeply dive in to your customers’ needs and desires and investigate their pain points in a way that might not have been appreciated in the past.”
With empathy comes opportunities to add value, Surdyk says, as well as unlocking a new market or generating more sales with an existing customer base.
WSB offers a class in design thinking, and partnered with four other UW–Madison schools and colleges to offer a master’s in design and innovation that was new in Fall 2020.
To learn more, register for WSB’s Alumni Webinar about design thinking on April 14 from noon to 1 p.m. CT.
We are negotiating whenever one person wants something from another—that is, pretty much all the time. While negotiating can be complex, Management and Human Resources Professor Charlie Trevor offers some helpful fundamentals.
Do your homework. Know exactly where you stand with regard to your target, bottom line, BATNA (best alternative to a negotiated agreement; that is, your next best option if you cannot make a deal), and the market in which you are operating.
Focus on your target, not your bottom line. Negotiators who think more about their targets get better deals.
Anchor the negotiations. If you know the market, make the first offer. Be a little aggressive (but not absurd). You’ll look flexible as you retreat toward your target.
Wait and see. If you do not know the market well, don’t be the first to throw out a number. Don’t pleasantly surprise the person across the table!
Consider the big picture. Sometimes negotiations are about fairness or relationships, not just price. Do you really want to risk alienating your new hire or new employer by pushing hard to “win” on salary?
For more information, Professor Trevor suggests Bargaining for Advantage: Negotiation Strategies for Reasonable People by G. Richard Shell.
March 23: MBA Student/Alumni Speed Networking
April 6-7: Day of the Badger
April 14: Alumni Webinar: “Design Thinking”
April 28: Badger Executive Talk: Tom Falk (BBA ’80), former chairman, Kimberly-Clark
May 19: The Business of Chocolate
Job search resources: Online tools and videos to help plan a career move now or in the future
Class Notes: Tell us what’s new in your life! Submit a Class Note to share with your fellow Business Badgers
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 go.wisc.edu/wsb-biz-cas.
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