Ryles KjellsenCorporate Finance and Investment Banking

M. Ryles Kjellsen will earn his MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a specialization in Corporate Finance and Investment Banking from the Nicholas Center. He comes to the business school with a background in music, having previously earned a B.M. in Music Education from the University of Kentucky and an M.M. in Music Performance from the University of Georgia. It was during his graduate assistantship at the University of Georgia, which included managing financial activities for the Hugh Hodgson School of Music’s summer music camps, that Ryles developed an interest in business and finance.


Ryles comes to Madison by way of Fort Bragg, North Carolina, where he has been stationed for the past four years as a Sergeant in the United States Army. During the course of his military service, Ryles honed his leadership skills in various roles as a member of the 82nd Airborne Division Band. He designed and directed several musical programs intended to reached out to an expanded demographic, which resulted in a 30% increase in audience attendance at the band’s Summer Concert Series. In addition, he worked on numerous marketing campaigns for military ensemble performances and served on multiple design committees.


Personal finance has emerged as a top passion for Ryles: after being sought out as a trusted financial advisor by peers and colleagues, he developed and presented a series of free classes to his unit in the Army, as well as the entire battalion, intended to inform and educate on the topic of financial investing. He hopes to utilize the skills and experiences gained at the University of Wisconsin to continue guiding friends and family in their financial decisions and to pursue a career in the wealth management industry.