Monday, February 13, 2012 Marketing Research Blog
Benefits of the Wisconsin School of Business by Aaron Anderson

Choosing a business school can be a daunting task. Everyone seems to factor in a slightly different set of factors. In talking to my classmates a couple primary reasons people decided on the UW include the affordability of the program and the specialization academic model. However, there are many unforeseen benefits that my classmates and I have experienced throughout the semester that in hindsight would have been great to know about in our school decision process. Now that second semester is under way I thought it would be valuable to reflect on some of the experiences that I feel are unique to the UW experience.

One-on-one support

During the first week of classes we were introduced to faculty, career counseling staff, administrators and specialization directors. It was clear from the first day that everyone in the organization was here to help us succeed. This could probably be said about many b-schools. But the UW offers unparalleled personal support. During my first visit to the Career Services Center I was surprised to find out the staff already knew my name. They knew my area of specialization and about my previous work history. Even the professors make a concerted effort to personally connect with students. One professor in particular had memorized every students name and area of specialization before the first day of class. Every center has a director dedicated to helping students get the most from their MBA experience.

A sense of community

At every opportunity students and faculty create opportunities to bring people together. Throughout the year there are numerous social events focusing on everything from food & wine to sustainable business to CEO guest speakers. The Nielsen Center’s faculty advisor, Dr. Neeraj Arora even invited our entire center over for a Thanksgiving feast. Between the student organizations, group projects and social outings it’s been apparent that the UW administration and student body work to build a strong community.

Professor Accessibility

All professors that teach first-semester courses have been amazingly accessible. Two stories come to mind regarding communication with professors. During the course of a group project our team had a couple questions about the data analysis. It was late in the evening and our group had reached an impasse and decided to email the professor. We fired off an email and began wrapping up for the night. Literally no more than 10 minutes had passed and Professor David Schweidel waltzed into our study room to personally address our questions. He received our email and immediately went walking the 3rd floor in search of our group. Another faculty has earned a reputation for the fastest email response times. In an unofficial survey of students that had emailed Professor Jan Heide we’ve estimated his average response time to emails at 45 minutes (at any time of the day).

Industry Recognition

The list of companies that recruit from the A.C. Nielsen Center rivals any of the top business schools. Our center’s reputation draws the attention of companies that do not actively recruit from any other centers. Not many other business schools in the country offer an emphasis on marketing research so all of the who’s who of CPG, marketing research suppliers and even some tech companies have ties to our school.