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Alumni in Action

Stay Curious, Be a Sponge: Alumni Advice to New WSB Grads

Business Badgers throughout the U.S. offer words of wisdom to the newest members of the alumni network

By Alumni Relations

May 9, 2019

UW–Madison graduates celebrate at Camp Randall Stadium in 1978. (Photo courtesy of UW Archives, ID SO5307)

With a toss of a hat at Camp Randall Stadium, Business Badgers don’t just become graduates. They become alumni. At the Wisconsin School of Business, that means there’s a wide, enthusiastic alumni network to tap into for advice. WSB alumni have already walked the path that new graduates are walking right now: out the doors of Grainger Hall and into a world full of new opportunities.

Because WSB alumni are always willing to lend a hand, here are a few words of wisdom from them for the newest members of the network.

“Stay curious and take on challenges that may be out of your comfort zone in both your career and life.

—Nathan Fett (BBA ’06)
Product Marketing Manager, Samsung Electronics America

“Don’t ever stop learning and growing in your career and personal life. You will make mistakes along the way, but continue to learn and push forward!”

—Connor Braun (BBA ’16)
Financial Analyst, Kohl’s
Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin

“The hardest parts of life are in the deciding. Once you decide, your everyday choices become simple. Align your actions to your goals and enjoy the learning and results!”

—Renee Moe (MBA ’08)
President and CEO, United Way of Dane County
Madison, Wisconsin

“Never stop learning, growing, reaching. Your opportunities are endless, and your limitations are only those which you impose on yourself.”

—Kristin Lynes (BBA ’06)
COO, Roger CPA Review
San Francisco

“Be a sponge and open to learning all aspects of the industry you’ll be working in. Focus on collaboration and building solid relationships. Know your strengths and follow your passions.”

—Reena Vokoun (BBA ’98)
Founder, Passion Fit
Mountain View, California

“Success in life derives from a mix of skill and luck. Do everything you can to fine-tune your skills to take advantage of the opportunities life throws at you.”

—Andrew Quinn (BBA ’11)
Discretionary Global Macro Vice President, AQR Capital Management
Greenwich, Connecticut

“Feedback is a gift. Take it in stride and embrace it.”

—Shannon Timm (BA ’08, MBA ’19)
Director of Alumni Relations, Wisconsin School of Business
Madison, Wisconsin

Try to work on and get access to as many ‘key challenges’ as possible early in your career. They can help you develop agility and perspective. Key challenges include launching a new service or product; dealing with a sudden unexpected crisis; dealing with an inherited problem; or turning around an underperforming line of business or location.”

—Angela Hamilton (BBA ’95)
Senior Client Partner, Advisory, Korn Ferry

“Contribute to your 401K from day one, benchmark and build advocates like no other, and work harder than everyone around you.”

—Kevin Femal (BBA ’04)
President and CEO, EMS Industrial, Inc.
Madison, Wisconsin

“Be willing to take on any task in your new job and own it.  Not only will this get you noticed, it will also establish your brand as a team player and an employee that gets things done.”

—Tim Bratland (BBA ’89)
Vice President and General Manager, Post Holdings, Inc.
Lakeville, Minnesota