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Alexandra Kirk

The Specialization Model: Focused Learning on Day 1

by Alexandra Kirk Thursday, September 24, 2015

One of the wonderful parts of an MBA at The Wisconsin School of Business is the ability to specialize in one of 10 areas of study. It’s the perfect way to become an expert in one field while also getting a great foundation in business knowledge. You may wonder: how can you begin a specialized MBA when everyone needs to have the fundamentals first?

From the moment classes start, every first year takes a series of core classes designed to give everyone a solid foundation to grow from. Also during the first semester, students take classes in their specialization.  This allows us to grow in foundation and expertise simultaneously. It also helps us market ourselves to recruiters. Even during orientation, we spend time getting to know the other first years in our centers of specialization as well as the second years and faculty members.

To give you an understanding of how impactful the specialization model is let me tell you about my first two weeks in the real estate center:

Prior to getting to campus, we received readings to give us a background on the man whom the center is named after, James A Graaskamp. It may seem like early homework but they were truly enriching articles. They gave a background on how the Real Estate Center developed and evolved over time and the fundamentals that still exist today which were conceived of decades ago.

During our first week of orientation, we spent a full day learning how the Real Estate Center works, learning from alumni who continue to be involved in the school, and taking a tour of new developments around Madison. Our first week of orientation finished up with a networking event for the first years and alumni, some of whom returned just to be a part of this event. It was great to see that alumni really want to engage with us and help us in any way possible. Sharon McCabe, our Associate Center Director and fearless leader, challenged all 14 of us to get at least 3 business cards during the event. From the beginning of my time at Wisconsin, I saw that the Real Estate Center really does practice what it preaches: that real estate is about strong educational background paired with an unfaltering alumni network helping to propel you toward the best future possible.

Every event and discussion session with my center since has been just as insightful and invigorating. Oddly enough, I don’t even feel like I’m back in school—I feel like I’m pursing something I love.

The Wisconsin School of Business specialization model allows you to grow in fundamental business knowledge while also pursuing the career you’re looking for!

On Wisconsin!

For tips on deciding the specialization that’s right for you, see Elizabeth Davis’ 5 Tips For Choosing A Specialization