By Kristin Branch

Kristin Branch Congratulations to the graduating Class of 2017!  Every year it comes as such a shock how fast the two years of our students' MBA experience passes.  This year was no exception.  Our academic year and especially this spring semester were full of great learning experiences we are excited to share with you.

Our new Consumer Insights Consulting Practicum class was introduced as a capstone experiential learning experience for our A.C. Nielsen Center students. Students work in pairs on a live marketing research project for a sponsoring company.

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By Leslie Resch

Leslie ReschThis spring, I took the A.C. Nielsen Global Trip Class during which, we traveled to Cuba. It was an amazing learning opportunity and a great experience. We were able to meet with so many interesting people, visit historical sites and current businesses, explore the culture, and also get a better understanding of where the country is headed both from a political standpoint and for business opportunities.

While we were in Cuba we had the opportunity to meet with Miguel Diaz Vargas, a Brand Manager for Havana Club 7 Rum and Nestor Valera Callada, the Director of Casa del HABANO, a company that manufactures premium cigars.

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By Niraj Amin

Niraj Amin Two stories come to mind immediately when I reflect on the positive impact the Wisconsin School of Business alumni have had on my time here.

  1. During our Fall 2016 Board Meetings in late October, we had a speed networking session where we spent 10 to 15 minutes talking with different board members regarding career advice. What blew me away was the personalized approach that both of my board counterparts took. That is, instead of just talking about general career strategies, one of them had my resume in front of him and walked me through what would go through the minds of hiring managers as they looked through it.

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By Hunter Cook

Hunter Cook The 11th Annual On Wisconsin! Weekend was full of events for both current and admitted A.C. Nielsen students to enjoy. This event welcomes members of the incoming Class of 2019 to Madison to help them with a preview of their MBA experience. My peer students and I were busy throughout this event, ranging from attending breakfasts, helping at the student organization fair, and performing at the (in)famous MBA Arts Showcase.

Events kicked off Thursday morning with a breakfast for Consortium students. Diego Hahn (Class of 2018) attended and spoke to his experiences with incoming first years.

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By David Elster

David Elster I strolled into my first capstone client meeting with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL) with what can only be described as "second year swagger." However, after this meeting with Steven Cooley, Divisional Vice President of Strategic Market Research at BCBSIL, my hubris had been replaced with humility. I had definitely underestimated how challenging this project would be. My partner and I were tasked with conducting "research on research," focusing on a narrow segment of an industry that neither my partner nor I had experience in. The final deliverable would be a 40-page technical white paper.

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By Camille Clark

Camille ClarkLast month I had the opportunity to round out my time at the Wisconsin School of Business by attending the A.C. Nielsen Center alumni & friends Summit. The Summit is a biennial event organized by the Center and our alumni representatives, this year Cherie Leonard (class of 2012) and David Shepherd (class of 2011). The Summit is a one day conference featuring emerging industry topics and trends of which executives and insights professionals should be aware. This provides an immersive learning opportunity for both students preparing to intern and begin full-time positions in the industry. The day is set up with both sessions and networking break which allowed us to interact with our future colleagues over the course of the day.

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Professor Evan Polman Proves Curiosity can Change Behavior, and Tells us Why Marketers Should Take Note

Evan Polman Would you believe that learning the answer to a trivia question could motivate you to make healthier choices? Or that Snapple may have been onto something by using their now-famed "Snapple facts" to drive purchase? Evan Polman, Wisconsin School of Business' Assistant Professor of Marketing, has conducted several studies that prove curiosity can affect decision-making and change human behavior.

In both laboratory and everyday settings, Polman’s studies revealed that our natural inquisitiveness might help us to make make the right choices, such as exercising more or eating healthier foods.

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Dennis Hull With a Business Economics degree from Miami University, Dennis began his career in nonprofit development for various Chicago-area organizations. Each experience taught him to be more creative, collaborative and inquisitive. Then, in 2006, he had the unintended good fortune of discovering the Wisconsin School of Business while working on a stakeholder survey with A.C. Nielsen Center Executive Advisory Board Member Steve Cooley. It proved to be the right time for Dennis to make a career change by specializing in a Marketing Research MBA from Wisconsin. Although Economics, Nonprofit and Insights may initially appear a random mix, in fact, Dennis found each one an opportunity to look beyond "what" is happening to critically learn "why".

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Career Updates

  • Dennis Hull (’09) recently joined Merisant, a global sweetener company with brands such as Canderel and Whole Earth, in January 2017. He is the Global Director of Consumer Insights, and is based in Chicago.
  • Kelly Goldthorpe (’15) was promoted to Senior Consultant at Prophet, and is currently rotating into a corporate strategy role focusing on strategic partnerships and planning.
  • Stephen Griffiths (’15) was recently promoted as Senior Associate, Global Consumer Insights and now volunteers by leading a job search program for eight church congregations in the Twin Cities, MN.

Personal Updates:

  • Dennis Hull (’09) and his wife, Barbara, welcomed their third child, Molly, into their family in December 2016. Molly joins older siblings Emma (5) and Brendan (3).
  • Veronica Kehoss (’10) will be getting married in May
  • Stephen Griffiths (’15) and wife Jessica welcomed their fourth child, Magdalene, into their family in May 2016.
  • TR Snyder (’15) and wife Julie welcomed their first son, Calvin, in February 2017.

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. We'd also be honored to have you include the Wisconsin School of Business Fund if you're looking for a gift that is not Center-specific. 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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