Ashley BrownThe specialized MBA at the University of Wisconsin-Madison offers a unique experience unlike many other public universities across the country for students striving to obtain a dual degree—pursuing both a Juris Doctor (JD) and an MBA simultaneously. As the first JD/MBA to go through the Center for Brand and Product Management, my experience thus far has been exceptionally rewarding. The CBPM specialization coupled with the JD has provided me with a unique perspective on business and industry. I am confident that no matter where my path after graduation takes me, I will graduate with the tools necessary to make a significant impact.   

Prior to starting the MBA, I completed one year of law school. While I have not quite reached the halfway mark in my dual degree path, I have already begun to experience the near limitless access to resources. By pursuing both degrees, I have built a diverse network of classmates, professors, and industry leaders who offer varying degrees of guidance and support. Although my path is unconventional in comparison to my CBPM classmates and prior JD/MBAs, I have had great access to career counseling, career opportunities, as well as opportunities to develop additional general business understanding.  

Contrary to popular belief, a marketing focused MBA compliments the study of law significantly and I have found there to be several advantages of pursing both. First, nearly everything in business has roots in or relies upon the success of marketing campaigns. Understanding how the complexities of the legal system intertwine with consumers and competitors provides a JD/MBA with a wide perspective on finding new approaches and solutions to a multitude of problems. Second, the JD/MBA has made me a more versatile employee. The variety in courses develop a JD/MBA’s to skills that future employers in any industry will value.  I have found the diversity in course work between the two programs have developed my critical thinking and logical analysis skills, as well as my leadership, management, and overall business competencies.

From a brand management perspective, it is impossible to detach law and business. As brand management becomes more globalized in the digital space, business leaders will depend on a diversity of perspectives and skills to stay competitive. In the law school, skills that aid in the ability to write and persuade future investors and consumers effectively are emphasized. A JD/MBA has the opportunity to develop those communication skills as well as the analytical skills taught in the MBA program, which are absent in the legal curriculum but crucial for business success in any industry.

Despite the rigors of the work load, pursuing a JD/MBA dual degree has been a worthwhile investment. I recommend pursuing a JD/MBA through the Center for Brand and Product Management for anyone seeking to develop and enhance their career aspirations and opportunities.