As a student at the Wisconsin School of Business, Ann Schwister (BBA ’89) dreamed of an international career, and she found the perfect fit with Procter & Gamble. After meeting with company recruiters at the School, she began her career at P&G upon graduation, working in the U.S., China, and Puerto Rico.
Ann currently serves on several boards in the Cincinnati area after leaving as chief financial officer at P&G after 29 years. She now provides independent advisory services and her clients include CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion, social enterprises, and a small family-owned business.
“When you work in a company like P&G, you work with people from many different countries and cultures, and having an understanding of different cultures and environments is very important to getting results,” she says.
Ann ended her career at P&G as the finance and accounting vice president for the North American region. No matter where she has lived, she has always maintained strong ties to the WSB.
“My education at the Wisconsin School of Business is foundational to who I’ve become,” Ann says. “My coursework built technical skills, and I built leadership skills through involvement in campus organizations and internships. This has opened up many wonderful opportunities, and I wanted to give fellow Business Badgers similar experiences.”
Ann led the company’s recruiting efforts at the School, which brought her to campus two or three times a year. She looked for candidates who could “lead change and sort through vast quantities of data, draw conclusions, and figure out the way forward,” and stressed the importance of cultural competency at a global company like P&G. She formerly served on several boards at the School, including the Diversity Advisory Board and the Dean’s Advisory Board.
“My greatest accomplishment as an alum is helping fellow Badgers grow and succeed,” Ann says.