Skip to main content

Evening MBA Student Spotlights

Transition From Scientist to Business Professional

Joel Coleman

Joel Coleman

University of Wisconsin–Madison, Wisconsin School of Business
MBA Graduation Year: 2018
Current Job: Senior Inside Sales Representative, Exact Sciences

I was in the right industry, but the wrong position. My MBA gave me the skills to move from scientist to a business role. I wanted to work in business while still being able to use the skills that I had gained within the research science space. Merging my science and new business skill sets is making a substantial difference in my sales career.

As I progressed in my career, I would routinely find myself in a situation where understanding the financial figures that were being presented was challenging. I simply didn’t have the tools. Now that I’m earning my MBA, I’ve been able to grasp not only the basics of my company’s finances, but I’ve been able to contribute to our financial discussions and use my expertise to help our company.

Business Strategy with Professor Posen was a transformational class. He encourages you to see the whole landscape within a given situation and understand the “why” behind corporate strategies. Eventually, you start to pick these strategies out when you encounter a challenge at work or read about business in the news.

I incorporate lessons from my marketing class every day. Professor Moreau’s class piqued my interest in data mining, segmentation, and promotional messaging. These are all things that I work with, so every lesson became immediately applicable to my real life.

The program’s career service team was extremely helpful when I was negotiating my move to Exact Sciences. I met one-on-one with a career coach and was impressed with how much support and guidance was offered. She helped me prepare for job interviews and was a dedicated resource in helping me achieve my career goals.

I have developed my ability to manage a busy life. Time management and scheduling were not my strengths before earning my MBA, but juggling work, school, and family inspires you to take advantage of every minute that you can, and plan for everything. I am so much more efficient in my activities now.

My father was a big inspiration for earning my MBA. Before he passed away, we used to discuss how I would pursue my degree, and what steps I would need to take to attain it. We would hash out timelines, budgeting, career advancement, and key mentors to assist in my development. I vowed that I would not only get my MBA, but fulfill the promise that I would use that knowledge to the best of my ability, and push myself to the career heights that we always envisioned. I’m confident that I’m fulfilling that promise.