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Zihan Miao

Our Amazing Alumni in the A.C. Nielsen Center

by Zihan Miao Tuesday, November 17, 2015

How have alumni shaped my time in the A.C. Nielsen Center for Marketing Research?

The A.C. Nielsen Center has graduated more than 300 alumni with degrees in marketing research. Many of our alumni hold senior positions at top companies but remain deeply involved in the Center. This strong alumni network benefits us, the students, in many different ways.

First, even prior to accepting my admittance to WSB and the A.C. Nielsen Center, the alumni were involved in my decision making process. I reached out to several Center alumni for more information and opinions on the program. Their enthusiastic and patient feedback not only answered my questions, but also brought the open and passionate Center culture to light, especially when one realizes that these alumni are working busily in leadership roles of world-leading companies. I was very excited by their success, which definitely influenced me to decide to attend the Wisconsin School of Business and the A.C. Nielsen Center.

I still vividly remember the unexpected warm welcome from alumni through emails and cards when I had just started the orientation. As an international student, I suddenly realized that I am not alone and no matter what barriers or questions I may come across, the alumni who hold key positions in the marketing research industry are always willing to help. 

For the students in the A.C. Nielsen Center, the first semester is intense. Aside from focusing on academics, searching for a summer internship is another critical focus. Fortunately, we have extensive alumni coverage in different industries. Alumni are from these companies host information sessions for us, and are able to answer all of our questions. These sessions are important for us to get further understanding about the companies, and get a general snapshot of the internship programs. Alumni also helped us prepare by doing mock interviews with us both in person and over the phone. Practice makes perfect and we have a great group of alumni that helped us practice and practice!

“Current Topics” is another great component of alumni networking. So far, we have had alumni from Burke, General Mills, and Dish Network talking about marketing research related topics in class, and have had hands-on learning sessions to reinforce the material. I’m now looking forward to the upcoming “Company Visits” in mid-November. Both first-year and second-year students of the Center will visit Wrigley and SC Johnson where we have a strong alumni network. It will be a trip full of insights, networking opportunities, and fun!

 In addition to all of the above, we also have an Alumni & Friends Summit hosted by the A.C. Nielsen Center every other year, serving as both an alumni reunion and an educational conference. This huge alumni event will be held next in 2017, but I already cannot wait to build even more connections with all of them!