by Kristin Branch

Kristen BranchHappy Holidays to all of our alumni, board members and industry partners!

We hope you are enjoying the festive season and are not too clogged down with end of the year work projects.

We have wrapped up the fall semester here on campus and by the time you read this our students will all be relaxing somewhere outside of Grainger – home with their parents or on some amazing vacation.  Oh to have a five week winter break...

This semester we welcomed Sarah Kervin to the A.C. Nielsen Center team.  Sarah has been a great addition and has jumped right into helping plan the Summit in addition to all of the Center events.  Speaking of the Summit – that has been a big priority for us this semester.  Gearing up to host the April 23 & 24 Alumni & Friends Summit is a big project, but it is a labor of love as it is when most of our alumni come back to visit.    The External Advisory Board meeting will be Thursday, April 23, and all alumni are welcome to attend the board meeting during Summits.  Then we will have a social dinner Thursday night and then the actual conference is all day Friday, April 24th.  Mark your calendars and we hope to see you there – you can register here.

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by A.C. Nielsen

Class of 2016

Full student profiles are available on our website if you’d like to learn more about our class of 2016.

See each students brief bio »


by David Gailey

One of the highlights of the semester is our External Advisory Board (EAB) Board Meeting. This two-day event brings together top professionals from the world of market research to offer insight on the direction of the industry and to meet and mentor current students. With representatives coming from Nielsen, Ford, Mattel, Burke, General Mills, Eli Lilly, and more, I was beyond excited to hear and learn from each one. From networking events, to mock interviews, to panel discussions on research technology, this was a powerhouse event I know I couldn’t experience anywhere but the business school at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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by Kelly Goldthorpe

In October, I had the pleasure of working with three other MBA women on the Notre Dame Diversity in Business Case Competition sponsored by Ernst and Young. I can easily say this was one of the best experiences of business school, and that isn’t just because we won the competition and took home a jumbo-sized check at the end of the day!

Case competitions vary in duration, from 24 hours-like the Graduate Marketing Network case competition here at UW,  to several months-like the Hult Prize competition. For this case we had six days to address the question of how to increase the presence of women in a global consulting firm across four key target segments.

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by Pushkar Raj

Business is a social project and to run a successful business, it is imperative to have an acute understanding of your environment and end users. That ‘understanding’ for me is embodied by Marketing Research. In my previous experiences I worked as a decision enabler. I analyzed data, cajoled them to tell a story and then transformed it into a compelling narrative for decision makers. I was immensely helped by my preoccupation for asking the ‘Why’ and by innate curiosity to understand and document consumer behavior. I primarily worked on transactional data and realized how they could only ‘voice’ consumer’s behavior and nothing about what precedes the behavior. As a consumer of market research, I was able to create impactful business solutions by forging behavior with attitude and thereby providing a 360⁰ view of consumers. These experiences motivated me to explore the world of Marketing Research.

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by Stephen Griffiths

A recent Consumer Behavior class project on the A.C. Nielsen Center helped me see the numerous advantages the Center has over the competition. The project also taught me and my classmates the importance of Alumni referrals and class presentations.


This past semester three current A.C. Nielsen Center students, Kelly Goldthorpe, TR Synder and I were tasked to work with a small local business for a semester-long project in our Consumer Behavior course taught by Professor Amber Epp. We unanimously decided on a local Madison organization that we were all passionate about: the A.C. Nielsen Center. Over the course of the semester, we mapped out the entire student application process for prospective A.C. Nielsen Center students by interviewing all 1st year students currently in the program to hear about their application experiences. We also spoke with three students who were accepted into the A.C. Nielsen program, but chose to go elsewhere. Our in-depth interviews, coupled with secondary research led to a number of interesting findings about the program.

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2nd Years:

  • Kelly Goldthorpe - 2nd Year Rep of GBA, Co-President of Graduate Women in Business, Nielsen Center Community Development (i.e. PPC) Committee Chair.
  • Kyle - GBA Technology Chair, Co-President of Out for Business
  • Zach Smith - Honor Board, Treasurer of GMN, Nielsen Center Community Development (i.e. PPC) Committee Chair
  • TR Snyder - Co-President of GMN

1st Years:

  • Eli Fish - Diversity in Business VP & Treasurer
  • David Gailey - Co-President GMN, Honor Board
  • Scott Peiser - Treasurer GMN
  • Deisha Stanke  - GBA Communications Chair
  • Peter Wierenga  - GBA Social Co-Chair

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Please consider the University of Wisconsin School Of Business and the A.C. Nielsen Center in your year-end gift planning.  The current resource allocation process at the School of Business does not require you to designate funds specifically to the A.C. Nielsen Center, as resources are allocated centrally to each one of the centers, taking into consideration specifically designated financial gifts that each center has received.  However, if you feel strongly, you certainly are free to designate your gift to the A.C. Nielsen Center.  If you do not already have a contact at the University of Wisconsin Foundation and would like to correspond with someone to answer your questions and/or help you with your planning, please contact Jared Meyer at

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  • Carrier Breisach (class of 2007), along with her husband Ryan & daughter Evelyn welcomed baby Margot Elizabeth on December 2nd, 2014. 
  • Rosanna Gage (class of 2011) married Steve Kays in October of this year.
  • Kevin Sisco (class of 2013) and his wife are expecting their first child in March. Kevin was also promoted from Associated Client Manager to Client Manager in August 2014 and is now supporting the Stouffer’s business.


Just as you are proud to be a Badger, we are proud to have you as part of our team and want to showcase your news and accomplishments.  Suggested content can include, but is not limited to: promotions, new employment, personal news (engagements, marriages, births, etc.). 

If you have any news that you would like to share with us, please sent it to Sarah Kervin at

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