FluhartyOne of the greatest benefits of earning an MBA at the Wisconsin School of Business is the extensive and powerful alumni network and advisory board.  The Advisory Board meeting held each semester is always an invaluable learning experience for everyone involved, and this Spring semester’s meeting was no exception.

The Spring Advisory Board meeting began with a reception and dinner at the Estrellon tapas restaurant near campus.  Students and board members spent several hours networking, discussing the MBA program, and enjoying cuisine prepared by world-famous Chef Tory Miller.  It was a very enjoyable event and set a positive tone for the rest of the board meeting events.

The formal portion of the advisory board meeting began the following morning, with a presentation from Adam Bryant, the Managing Director of Merryck and Co.  Adam spoke at length about fostering a culture of innovation in a company, drawing from his interactions with successful CEOs.  He also gave valuable insight on the specific leadership and personality traits that many CEOs value in employees, and how these traits can be leveraged to create an innovative and creative atmosphere in companies both large and small.  An important take-away for the current MBA students was the idea that someone’s development as a leader and innovator is an ongoing process, and creating a powerful, innovative, and supportive culture is an invaluable strategic asset for a company.

Following Adam’s presentation, students spent some time discussing current marketing events in small groups before again having the opportunity to network with board members during a catered lunch.  Following lunch, a few current MBA students gave an overview of their experiences abroad in India this past winter, visiting major companies like S.C. Johnson while spending their free time taking in the local culture.     

The final presentation of the board meeting came from Vince Voron, Vice President and Executive Creative Director at Dolby Labs.  Vince gave a fascinating glimpse into how he has created and utilized effective brand design at various companies throughout his career.  Through a variety of real-life examples based on his experiences at Apple, Dolby, and Coca-Cola, Vince showed how an iconic brand can be built through expert storytelling and design.  Vince’s speech was especially powerful for brand management students, because it illustrated how an iconic brand, combined with a great product and a compelling experience, has the ability to change lives and leave a lasting impact on the world. 

Overall, this year’s Spring Advisory Board meeting was an excellent opportunity for current MBA students to connect with alumni and advisory board members, and to be exposed to new ideas that will have a lasting impact on students as they head off to begin their new jobs or summer internships.  It was truly a unique experience that serves as a shining example of the impact that Business Badgers have on the business world.