By Kristin Branch

Kristin BranchThe flowers are in bloom and the weather is starting to get warmer which means another school year is about to wrap up.  Graduation seems to be here before we know it – and probably even more so for our graduating class!  We had a great year here on campus highlighted with great corporate demand in our students including several new employers, a sizable incoming class of 13 and a spring break trip to Seattle to visit technology, retail and a variety of firms and alumni we don’t get to see too often.

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Brian MarsdenBy Brian Marsden, Class of 2017 & Sarah Kervin, Assistant Director

At the Wisconsin School of Business we are lucky to have the support of many prominent companies including Nielsen. Our students are granted access to real Nielsen data in their Marketing Analytics class and this access prepares them to enter confidently into their internships or full time placements. Our current student, Brian Marsden shared what working with Nielsen data meant to him this semester.

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By Sean Vidal, Class of 2017

Sean VidalThis spring, several classmates and I were afforded the opportunity to attend the A.C. Nielsen Center Spring Break trip to Seattle, WA. This trip was beyond valuable to my career development, my understanding of marketing research as a field and, by far, has been the highlight of the semester. We had four whirlwind days in the Seattle area, met with top companies in our field and explored the Northwest with some personal time.  The firms we visited are perfect examples of the emerging combination of pure CPG companies and pure technology firms.

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By David Elster, Class of 2017

David ElsterDuring my first year as an MBA student, I had the good fortune of working closely with Professor Dee Warmath of the Consumer Science department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. For 13 hours per week, every week, I had the opportunity to immerse myself in research within the academic world of consumer science as a student consultant.

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By Talha SheikhClass of 2017

Talha SheikhHaving missed out on last year’s On Wisconsin weekend, I was excited to experience the activities this year and welcome the new students. The weekend from April 14-16 is an opportunity for new admits to explore the campus and learn more about the program as well as interact with current students. The weekend consists of an overall MBA program introduction to the new admits, a welcome reception, TAPS (Thursdays After Professional Studies), a career specialization discussion, a campus tour, and caps off with the magnificent spring ball.

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By Laura SheehanClass of 2017

Laura SheehanAs difficult as the first year can be, the A.C. Nielsen Center is a rewarding and supportive place where we’re surrounded by similar individuals. I found it was a pleasant surprise to see how close I quickly became with my peers as part of my first year in the program. As people who all have similar career interests, we all had a lot in common right away, as well as a lot to learn from each other.

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By Peter WierengaClass of 2016

Peter WierengaOur Center Director (Kristin Branch) has described the A.C. Nielsen Center as a family and I think that description accurately captures what we, the Class 2016, have experienced over the past two years. There is little choice but to get to know each other quickly as we went through a packed orientation, rapid interview prep, and two overnight trips (P&G and General Mills) together during our first semester of the program. We quickly discovered that the best way to face the more than occasional franticness of the MBA program was to rely on each other. From the simple questions like “Where are we supposed to be going right now?” and “When is this assignment due?” to more complicated questions like “How do I record accounts receivable?” and  “What is the net present value of a perpetuity?”, we leaned on each other’s strengths.

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Career Updates

  • Quincy Long (Class of 2011) is embarking on a 3 year stint at General Mills' European Headquarters in Switzerland. While there Quincy will head insights for their baking brands and Green Giant for the European Markets and Australia.
  • Cally Thornton (Class of 2013) is going on a two year assignment to Cereal Partners Worldwide, General Mills and Nestle's global cereal partnership, in Lausanne, Switzerland. She will lead consumer learning for the Global Health and Nutrition team and Global Chocolate Brands (Nesquik, Chocapic).

Personal Updates:

  • Nil Ozisikyilmaz (Class of 2005) was married in September in Istanbul and now lives in the Netherlands with her husband. She is currently taking intensive Dutch lessons.
  • Jenny Ulvestad (Class of 2015) was married in February in Jaipur India to Vaibhav Bhatt.



A.C. Nielsen Center Students Placements



Thank you to our students, alumni, board, and faculty for creating a wonderful community in the A.C. Nielsen Center. Photo highlights of our busy semester can be seen in our photo gallery.



Please consider the A.C. Nielsen Center and the Wisconsin School of Business in your giving expenditures. Our A.C. Nielsen Center Endowment covers approximately 40% of our operating budget so your gift will immediately impact all the Center does and our primary focus– student scholarships. Both the A.C. Nielsen Center fund and the Wisconsin School of Business Fund can accept single gifts, monthly, or multi-year pledges via easy processing.

If you do not already have a contact at the University of Wisconsin Foundation and would like someone to answer your questions and/or help you with your planning, please contact Jerad Meyer at



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