University of Wisconsin–Madison, Wisconsin School of Business
MBA Graduation Year: 2020
Specialization: Strategic Human Resource Management
Hometown: Sauk City, Wisconsin
Internship: HR Intern, GE Healthcare; Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Position: Human Resources Manager, Harley-Davidson of Madison; Madison, Wisconsin
I earned a bachelor’s degree in business, then worked in management in my family’s Harley-Davidson dealership. I realized I could add more value and contribute new ideas if I went a step further in my education. It was clear to me that attracting and retaining great employees was critical for business success, so I chose the Wisconsin MBA to gain a strong general graduate business education with a deep dive into human resource management.
The Wisconsin MBA attracted me for many reasons. The program is well known for strong academics and a really engaged alumni network. I was drawn to the focus on creating a close-knit, learning community. I am continually impressed with how the Wisconsin MBA offers so much hands-on experience through class projects and internships.
The project management, communication, and problem-solving skills I gained in the first year of the program helped me navigate and thrive in my internship at GE Healthcare. In the Wisconsin MBA Program, we are presented with assignments that can be broad and ambiguous with no “right” answer. At GE, I was well prepared when I was put in charge of projects without clear parameters. It also strengthened my networking skills and gave me confidence reaching out to people all across the globe, some in very senior positions.
The career services team played a critical role in helping me secure my GE internship. I had little career interviewing experience. The team worked with me to identify stories to highlight relevant skills and experiences. They taught me how to articulate those stories in a meaningful way and they set up mock interviews for me with people in the HR field.
Serving as the communications chair for the Graduate Business Association (GBA) has been a great part of my MBA experience. It pushed me out of my comfort zone and developed skills that will help me for years to come. I was part of a hard-working team dedicated to making a difference for current and future MBA students. Being a part of this organization further enhanced my communication and organization skills, which will be very beneficial once I enter the business world.
Last year, Wisconsin began sponsoring Forté, a national group that supports professional women through access to business education, professional development, and networking. I had the outstanding opportunity to serve as an ambassador to introduce the organization to fellow women MBA students. I attended the two-day Forté MBA Leadership Conference in Chicago where I heard from women leaders from companies like Walmart, Morgan Stanley, General Mills, and Whirlpool. I got several key takeaways from the professional development sessions, including:
1) Always raise your own bar—and don’t settle for where you are.
2) Speak up. People won’t know what you have to say unless you have the courage to share or ask questions.
3) Get outside your comfort zone. You can’t grow and be comfortable.
The School felt like home for me from the very first day. It feels like family. Staff and students in the MBA program put a lot of effort into making people feel comfortable and welcome. My class has 78 students, so it is easier to have meaningful connections than it would be in a larger class. The culture is highly collaborative instead of highly competitive—one person’s gain is not another’s loss. We all support each other’s success.