Vania Arias Alosilla
University of Wisconsin–Madison, Wisconsin School of Business
MBA Graduation Year: 2018
Specialization: Supply Chain Management
Hometown: Lima, Peru
Internship: MBA Operations Intern, Argent
After operating her own business in Peru for three years, Vania wanted to learn more. She joined the Wisconsin Full-Time MBA Program to gain skills to advance her career and have a greater impact on business and on society. Specializing in supply chain management while learning critical skills in areas like marketing and sustainability, Vania is creating a new path.
I knew that pursuing my MBA would give me the opportunity to make my dream happen on a large scale. When I started my own business, I wanted to leave some sort of legacy, to make an impact on society, especially in my country of Peru. I wanted to be like my parents, who significantly impacted their respective companies and the lives of their peers and colleagues.
I wanted to earn my MBA in a place where I could establish real and meaningful relationships. I was looking for a place where I wasn’t just another number in a huge class. I wanted the School to know who I was and support me in achieving my career goals. The Wisconsin School of Business was the perfect fit. After I applied, the admissions staff showed that they understood me. They saw how I could fit into the class and bring value to it. I wanted a great education and a fulfilling career after school, but I also wanted a great experience. I couldn’t have made a better choice.
During the last fall semester, I was part of a hands-on project, helping develop procurement strategies for the Wisconsin state government. We examined the Wisconsin farm-to-institution supply chain and identified the most efficient ways of getting more Wisconsin-grown products into the institutional food market. We analyzed data, identified the different stakeholders and constraints, gave recommendations, and came up with different possible solutions. It was an enriching and rewarding experience.
My marketing and business sustainability professors were fantastic. I had never taken a marketing class before coming to B-School, so I was a bit apprehensive, but Jan Heide is the type of professor that makes things very easy to understand and encourages you to participate. I’ll remember his cases and examples for the rest of my life. Ann Terlak, who teaches Challenges and Solutions in Business Sustainability, is also inspirational. Her class can be tough, because of the many environmental challenges that we are facing, so she makes you want to learn as much as you can to be a better student and a better person.
Jake Dean, the director of the Grainger Center for Supply Chain Management, has had a great impact on my student life. He took the time and effort to get to know me and understand my interests and skills. He is encouraging and wonderful to talk to. But most importantly, he makes me believe in myself. He also played a substantial role in connecting me to the startup where I did my internship and has helped me consider career prospects.
Being part of the Graduate Business Association Board was a unique experience. I worked with amazing people, and I very much appreciate all the support I received to make others aware of the importance of inclusion. International students face slightly different challenges, and having a great support system and friends here makes everything worth it.