Skip to main content

Alumni in Action

Video: Susan Chapman-Hughes of American Express Offers Career Advice

By Betsy Lundgren

June 25, 2019

From a community planner in Knoxville, Tennessee, to an executive vice president at American Express, Susan Chapman-Hughes (MBA ’98) has had an unconventional career path. Along the way, she stopped at the Wisconsin School of Business to earn an MBA in real estate and recently returned to her alma mater to speak with Wisconsin MBA students and alumni as part of the M. Keith Weikel Leadership Speaker Series.

She shared her perspective on life and leadership—including what it’s like to serve on the board of directors for the Potbelly Corporation and how she identifies where she wants to invest her time.

“I have a simple formula for success in terms of where I want to be,” says Chapman-Hughes. “One is, do they have a demonstrated track record of giving people the opportunity to do different things? Second, do they have a demonstrated track record of sponsoring people who look like me and are like me? And the third thing is, can I be myself?”

[video-caption]Watch the video of Chapman-Hughes’ conversation with Blair Sanford, assistant dean of the Wisconsin Full-Time MBA Program, for more.[/video-caption]

The M. Keith Weikel Leadership Speaker Series at the Wisconsin School of Business enables Wisconsin MBA students to interact with and learn from accomplished business leaders and alumni. Executives from both the private and public sectors are invited to campus to address students.

The series was established in 2004 with a gift by John J. Oros (BBA ‘71) and his wife, Anne Wackman. Today, the series continues as the M. Keith Weikel MBA Leadership Speaker Series thanks to a gift by M. Keith Weikel (PhD ‘66) and his wife, Barbara.