University of Wisconsin‑Madison, Wisconsin School of Business
MBA Graduation Year: 2017
Specialization: Arts Administration
Hometown: Logan, Utah
Internship: Community Relations Associate, Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra
Before Wisconsin School of Business: Donor Stewardship Manager, Classical KING FM, 98.1 public radio
In search of advancement in the arts, Mae’s MBA skillset opens a path to bigger opportunities.
Mae Saul needed business skills to move ahead in arts management. At Wisconsin, with its arts administration specialization, she is getting hands-on experience and learning core business fundamentals, including strategy, business metrics, and problem-solving skills. Support through the School, a network of successful arts professionals nationwide, and her classmates, has given Mae confidence and a renewed vision of a high-level arts management career.
My lack of foundational business training was holding me back. At my previous organization I could identify when something wasn’t working, but I lacked the skills and knowledge to come up with solutions. Whether it was developing a strategic plan or measuring effectiveness, I needed an MBA to learn business principles I could apply to arts administration.
I considered five schools, and Wisconsin was the clear choice with its unique focus on my exact career interests through a tailored curriculum. I will be a highly competitive candidate for great arts administration and nonprofit jobs when I graduate.
Core business courses plus specialization classes that begin day one are giving me a well-rounded base. I am hitting all areas that are crucial to my career. Working in the arts or with nonprofits poses unique challenges. Efficient management of limited resources is critical. This program is focused on my specific field, giving me the essential skills to excel. My analytical skillset has greatly improved and I have learned to think more critically. I have also gained a stronger literacy in accounting and finance, so across the board I am getting all the tools I need.
Hands-on work experiences at Wisconsin provide opportunities to see many facets of an industry firsthand. Consulting projects during the program really set Wisconsin apart. I can immediately practice what I’ve learned in class during my assigned consulting opportunities, summer internship, and with my membership on the board of Madison Youth Choirs. In another area of applied learning, we met with a PR professional in Chicago who works exclusively with large arts organizations like the Chicago Lyric Opera. I didn’t know arts-related PR was a specific field. Since it involves two of my key interests, marketing and communications, I have now added PR consulting to my range of career considerations.
Career support offered throughout the program has helped guide me through my options and has helped me grow and fine-tune my capabilities. Initially I struggled with accounting and finance classes. My classmates were truly supportive when I needed help. We also get tremendous support from the specialization staff and career services.
At Wisconsin, we have exceptional interactions with prominent alumni and industry leaders, connecting through networking events, informational interviews, and mock interviews to understand positions related directly to specific career aspirations. Throughout my career I fully expect to take advantage of Wisconsin’s amazing network of accomplished arts professionals nationwide.