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Abena Afriyie

The One Important Question You Should Be Asking

by Abena Afriyie Tuesday, November 25, 2014

I came to the Wisconsin MBA from the Chicagoland area, and am an avid Chicago Sports team fan – which is always fun when the Bears play the Packers.  With that said, I have really enjoyed my time in Madison as an “adult student.” One of the questions I get most often when speaking with prospective students is, “What is the student experience like at Wisconsin?” While many of you have visited campus this fall semester for campus visits, the prospective student preview day, or the diversity summit I do realize that not everyone has the capability to take time off of work. As a result, I want to share some of my favorite things about being a Wisconsin Badger and living in Madison, Wisconsin. 

In no particular order, these are my Top 5 Wisconsin MBA experiences – keeping in mind, I find new favorites every week!

#1 – Sharing a pitcher of Spotted Cow on the Terrace! 

This is something very unique to the Wisconsin MBA experience – the Terrace is a huge outdoor area attached to the Memorial Union that sits on the shores of Lake Mendota.  In addition to the 20+ beers on tap, during the spring, summer, and early fall there are free live music concerts, movies, and performances to attend. During the colder months all of this activity moves inside the Memorial Union to Der Rathskeller, a gathering space with a traditional German beer hall feel.  This is a great way to unwind with friends after classes!

#2 – Wisconsin School of Business Case Competition – This is an annual event for 1st year MBA’s only!  It is a competitive, 24 hour Case Competition, sponsored by Graduate Marketing Network.  Case Competitions are an integral part of any full-time MBA experience, but our competition is a unique way for the 1st year class to form their own teams, work a case, compete for prize money and bragging rights, and network with our premier corporate sponsors! I am excited to be a co-chair of the 2015 event, which takes place January 22 and 23, 2015, along with my classmate Andrew Jain.

#3 - Enjoying Madison nightlife – One of my favorite things about Chicago has always been the nightlife, and I was pleased to see that there are many activities here in Madison for those that want to explore fun beyond campus.  My favorite place to go dancing is Merchant, it’s a mixology bar/restaurant and on weekends they have a great DJ after 10pm.  Also, I really enjoy Madison’s, a sports bar, for watching games with friends and cheering on my Badgers.

#4 – Babcock Ice Cream – One of the many benefits of having a dairy cattle center on campus is that the milk is used to make fresh cheese and, most importantly, ice cream!  Babcock Ice Cream is made in the Babcock Building, which is the oldest university dairy building in the country.  Every year the Babcock team solicits flavor ideas from students, which is always a treat in more ways than one! Right now they are in the process of creating a new flavor for the Wisconsin School of Business to celebrate our foundational motto of “Together Forward.”

#5 – Polar Plunge – Okay, so I have to admit, I did not participate in the Polar Plunge last year, but I DID raise funds!  The Polar Plunge is a yearly fundraiser to raise money for the Special Olympics.  The Wisconsin MBA has a team every year that participates, and each participant pledges to jump into a freezing cold lake for charity.  In true MBA fashion, there is always lots of celebrating after. Who knows, maybe I’ll participate in the Polar Plunge this year…that’s a BIG maybe.

I do hope this gives you a taste of the experiences MBA’s have on and off campus, and that it's able to start answering the "one important question"! Most importantly, however, come experience this for yourself!