December 3, 2018 | By Center for Brand & Product Management | Back to news


Letter from the Center

by Mike Judge 

Mike Judge

Happy Holidays from Madison!

As the Center for Brand and Product Management’s fall semester wraps up, we have a great deal to be thankful for in 2018, as well as much to look forward to in the year that comes.

The CPBM’s faculty and staff are thrilled to report that everyone in the Class of 2019 received a full-time offer before the holidays! The hard work and ambition of each one of these 23 students has been impressive and a joy to observe.

We also continue to be proud of the +67% salary increase from pre to post CBPM MBA. It is a statistic that the entire CBPM community—alumni, advisory board, faculty, staff, and students–helps to make possible. We are genuinely appreciative of everyone’s commitment to help ensure this meaningful impact on our students’ lives.

We were fortunate this fall to welcome an exceptional group of first year students into the Brand Center family. We continued to attract an intelligent, ambitious, and individually diverse class to the CBPM Class of 2020. From alumni, to the advisory board, to the Chancellor’s office, we are grateful for all the support we receive.

We are excited to launch our first-ever alumni endowment campaign for the Center for Brand and Product Management in 2019. This campaign will allow us to forge closer relationships with our passionate alumni base to ensure that keystones of the CPBM–like strong financial aid and the international trip–continue to be part of the program. We ask that you please keep the CBPM in mind for your charitable giving plans, both now, and in the future.

We sincerely hope you and your families have a wonderful holiday season.  We love hearing about what our alums are up to both professionally and personally, so please don’t hesitate to drop us a line or connect with us via FacebookTwitterInstagram, and our LinkedIn alumni group.

See our Semester in Photos

Student Blogs

Brand Joins A.C. Nielsen Summit

by Vicky Schetelich, Class of 2020

Students from the Center for Brand & Product Management had a unique opportunity to join the A.C. Nielsen Center’s Alumni and Friends Summit.  This is a biennial educational conference; each one features a new theme to guide its discussion and industry topics. This year’s theme was “Leading Through Disruption,” and provided UW-Madison A.C. Nielsen Center for Marketing Research and Center for Brand and Product Management MBA students the opportunity to learn about marketing trends and case studies driving the industry’s innovation and foresight. Read more…


The Power of the Specialization

by Adam Lifka, Class of 2019

There are many reasons I chose to attend the Wisconsin School of Business when I decided to pursue my MBA. These included the small class size, which would allow me to develop quality relationships with all of my classmates and give me more opportunities to take a leadership role within the program, the engaged alumni base, which I knew was a testament to the people who went to UW as well as the program itself, the city of Madison itself, and more. The most differentiating factor, however, was the specialization model that UW uses to structure its curriculum. Read more…


Leadership Symposium Experience

by Hannah O’Brien, Class of 2020

“Your future is not in the rearview mirror.” While there is some truth in this quaint quote from a Successories poster, most companies affix their eyes on what is past and fail to look ahead. In fact, only 2.4% of companies take a futurist approach to strategic planning. A futurist approach means to leverage strategic foresight- to plan the future based on what’s ahead not what’s behind. Futurist, Rebecca Ryan, kicked off the Wisconsin School of Business Full-time MBA Leadership Symposium with some astonishing statistics followed by teachings on how to develop a futurist mindset, the core tools of foresight, and foresight’s triumphs and catastrophes in modern business. Read more…


Faculty Spotlight: Jan B. Heide

by Aggie Howland, Class of 2019

A. Howland

Aggie Howland, 2nd year MBA student in the Center for Brand & Product Management, sat down with Jan B. Heide to discuss his research on distribution and supply chain relationships and how these B2B relationships contribute to firms’ success. Jan is the Irwin Maier Professor of Business at the Wisconsin School of Business. His primary teaching and research interests are distribution systems, strategic partnerships, and marketing strategy. Read more…


Fall Advisory Board Meeting

by Jeff Koch, Class of 2019

As a first-year candidate last year I was excited for the opportunity to meet our Center for Brand & Product Management (CBPM) Advisory Board at the fall meeting. I wanted to speak to as many members as I could and learn every bit of insight and advice they could give me toward having the most successful MBA experience possible. As a second-year candidate the excitement remained, however the ambition had changed to sharing with them how my experience has gone so far, how my internship experience had gone, and discussing future career plans. The relationship dynamic had changed. Read more…


by Taha Tyebjee, Class of 2019

I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Christine Ryan about her experiences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and throughout her career. Christine is an alum of the Center for Brand and Product Management and earned her MBA in 2012.

Christine is passionate about racing and participates in all kinds of events throughout the year, including marathons, triathlons, and trail races. An Ironman brought her back to Madison in 2017! Read more…


Advisory Board Updates

If you have not checked in on our Advisory Board website you may be in for some new faces! In the last couple of years we’ve added a couple of new representatives from companies including:

    • Brian Luedtke, Hollister
    • Sarah Jones, CBPM Alum & Advisory Board Member, Amazon,
    • Luis Otero, CBPM Alum & Advisory Board Member, Exact Sciences,
    • Scott Skurnick, Nestle
    • Matt Vokoun, Google

To see a full list of Advisory Board members visit our website.


Last year we had the opportunity to implement new ideas for how we structure the full-time MBA curriculum. The idea worked well, and we’re pleased to share with you that our module system for core courses during candidates’ first year has returned for the 2018-2019 year!

The module system is similar to the “quarter system” many schools and universities have used in the past, however with modules we are able to keep specialization courses at a full semester length and uniquely place our leadership symposium in its own week dividing the first and second core modules each semester. The first seven weeks include Financial Accounting, Data to Decisions, and Leading and Working in Teams, while the final seven weeks include Marketing Management, Operations Management, and Introduction to Financial Management. Our Leadership Symposium is now three half-day sessions during week 8, dividing each core course module. Marketing Research and Applied Learning courses remain the full length of the semester.

The Spring semester holds a slight tweak. The first seven week include Strategic Management, Ethics, Integrity, and Society, and the new Integrated Company Analysis (ICA). Economics for Managers is now split between micro- and macro-economics into two five-week sessions. ICA brings a corporate partner to the MBA program with a real challenge they are evaluating and asks students to own the business and develop solutions. Last year we worked with Medtronic, who was so pleased with the recommendations and results that they decided to return with a new challenge for the Spring 2019 course.

We are always making efforts to keep curriculum as up to date as possible with the evolving industry demands placed on brand managers. Those efforts extend beyond the core curriculum into the electives offered.


Student Updates

Congratulations to those students who are now in leadership positions across the MBA program!

    • Bailey Hackbarth: Co-President of Joint Venture Club
    • Gautam Kumar: Current 1st Year Graduate Business Association Representative
    • Michael Lynch: Manbassador for Graduate Women in Business (GWIB)
    • Hannah O’Brien: President of Graduate Marketing Network (GMN), Co-President of the Food & Wine Club
    • Carly O’Meara: Treasurer of GMN
    • Neha Patil: Co-President, Graduate Multi-Cultural Business Association
    • Sonia Petty: Co-President of Net Impact
    • Chad Reinhardt, Co-President of Tech Product Club
    • Vicky Schetelich: GBA Development Chair
    • Megan Stock: Co-President of the Food & Wine Club
    • Kaitlyn Wilchynski: Co-President of Joint Venture Club, Secretary of Diversity Club, VP and Events Chair of Net Impact


Donate: Please consider the Center for Brand and Product Management and the Wisconsin School of Business in your giving expenditures. Your gift to the Center for Brand & Product Management Fund will immediately impact all that the Center does, including student scholarship, leadership training, international education and other opportunities for our students. 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.

Alumni Referral Program: If you know of anyone who would be a good fit for the CBPM or the WSB MBA Program send them our way!

Get Involved: If you’d like to get involved through donating your time please feel free to reach out Sarah Kervin ( We’re always looking for alumni to do mock interviews, to be a mentor or in many other ways.