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Business Writer Program Brings Today Show Financial Editor to Campus

by Lavilla Capener Monday, May 5, 2014

Jean Chatzky, financial editor at NBC’s Today show, visited the Wisconsin School of Business last week as part of the school’s Business Writer in Residence program.

The bi-annual program, which began in 1989, brings a national journalist to campus to meet with business faculty and students. The discussions range from research projects and academics to student life and trends in business. Past business writers have hailed from publications such as the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, USA Today, Forbes, and Fast Company.

“The Business Writer in Residence program is a unique way to introduce prominent journalists to our exemplary researchers and students,” said Meloney Linder, chief communications officer at the school. “It was an honor to attract someone like Jean, who has an impressive body of work and national presence.”

Chatzky, who was in Madison April 23-25, discussed financial literacy, personal finance, and financial behavior with faculty. 

“Visiting Madison was not just a lot of fun, it was very enlightening,” Chatzky said. “I not only learned about the structure and philosophy behind this innovative B-school program, but was able to delve into the research of a number of professors.  I'd love to do it again sometime.”

Jean Chatzky, the Today Show

Chatzky talks with Finance Professor Jim Johannes about banks, credit unions and small businesses. 

She also talked with students about her work as a reporter, giving career and personal finance tips.

“It was great to hear her insight on personal finance and the common mistakes people make with their money. I'm graduating in May, and she gave me with great advice on the things I need to be doing to manage my money,” said Maxwell Vander Wyst, a senior majoring in finance.

Vander Wyst also mentioned he had enjoyed hearing stories about the famous people Chatzky had interviewed, including Warren Buffet, Dennis Rodman, and Joe Biden.

The conversations also gave students insight into the latest business trends.

"Visiting with Jean was an excellent opportunity to glimpse how she sees social and economic issues,” said Adam Williams, a second year MBA student specializing in brand and product management.  “Being in school, we often have a limited view of the world. Yet, Jean was able to show how some of today's biggest challenges interconnect in ways that aren't always apparent."

In addition to meetings with faculty and students, Chatzky was interviewed by the Channel 3 Live at Five team, NBC 15, and the Wisconsin State Journal. She also wrote about her experience in her weekly column with Fortune magazine.

In addition to her role at the Today show, Chatzky is AARP's personal finance ambassador, and the host of Money Matters with Jean Chatzky on RLTV. She is a longtime magazine columnist of Fortune and Money and the best-selling author of eight books, the latest of which is Money Rules: The Simple Path to Lifelong Security.

Chatzky grew up in Madison, the daughter of the late Chuck Sherman, a professor and associate dean in the Communication Arts department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison during the late 1960s and early 1970s.