University of Wisconsin–Madison, Wisconsin School of Business
MBA Graduation Year: 2020
Hometown: Taipei, Taiwan
Specialization: Corporate Finance and Investment Banking
Internship: Intern, Finance BPA US Vision Care Intern, Alcon; Fort Worth, Texas
I wanted to earn a specialized master’s degree to strengthen my analysis and general management skills. At first, I considered earning a master’s in finance because I wanted to focus on technical skills and professional knowledge to be successful in finance. However, the design of the specialization and curriculum at the Wisconsin MBA Program at UW-Madison perfectly met my requirement to focus mainly on finance but also gain general management skills.
As an international student, I was immediately drawn to the volume of international students at the School as well as the exceptional support offered by the Center for Finance and Investment Banking. Center Director Brad Chandler treats students very personally. He became like my family. I was really grateful for his exceptional support since I was so far from home.
The culture at the School is friendly and inclusive. The support of my peers and program alumni kept me going in the program. I made many friends here, especially in my specialization. Everyone always goes the extra mile to help each other with academic learning but my classmates also helped me adjust to the culture—explaining American sayings, jokes, or cultural references that were not familiar to me. I was also supported by an alumnus who had been an international student. She not only provided résumé recommendations and interview skills, but also encouraged me and helped me stay positive through the rigors of the MBA program.
Diving into classes in my specialization in year one offered a great advantage. One of my favorites was Finance 765: Contemporary Topics, taught by Brad Chandler. He provided constructive step-by-step modeling skills and knowledge around a merger and acquisition deal. It exposed me to the investment banking world and improved my Excel modeling skill. That skill proved very useful in my finance internship at Alcon. While there I developed a financial model that will be implemented throughout the company and is used to this day. It was tremendously rewarding to be able to have such a strategic impact on the company in a very short time.
The social impact venture capital project was a tremendous hands-on opportunity. We assisted American Family’s Institute for Corporate and Social Impact to assess investments in specific focus areas, support due diligence of investments, and offer suggestions for how the institute is executing on its vision. Company leaders were very impressed by our recommendations and the tool we offered as an end deliverable.