In April of 2015 I attended On, Wisconsin! Weekend as a newly admitted MBA student. During this weekend, I had so many experiences that shaped, and currently reflect, my overall experience as a UW MBA student. I met future classmates, professors, administrators and support staff.
The weekend began on Thursday afternoon. Prospective students and I gathered in the third floor atrium to meet with current and admitted students. I met with students across all specializations, a lot of whom have become my closest friends and teammates over the past two semesters. Mark Matosian, Director of Student Services, introduced himself and welcomed us to the program. He gave a quick summary of what the remainder of the night would entail, highlighting the Art Showcase and Thursday After Professional Studies, more commonly known as TAPS. From there, we moved to the Capital dining room to begin the Arts Showcase.
At this event, I met even more first and second year students as well as many of their spouses and children. The familial environment at WSB was readily apparent when I saw how comfortable families and students were coming together for an MBA event. Next, Professor Hart Posen, who teaches Business Strategy as part of the core classes, emceed the showcase and gave us a quick overview of the kinds of acts we would see including music, dance, skits, and a performance from the Dean.
Friday was a day full of events that helped familiarize me with the academic environment and my specialization, including a student panel and meet and greets with WSB staff. I spent time with my future classmates working on a real case and subsequent case discussion. This exercise gave me a much better sense of what the MBA class environment would be like, which was extremely helpful since I had been in the workforce for 6 years post undergrad. Friday afternoon, I spent time getting to know my center director, fellow center classmates and center staff. My center director and assistant center director helped answer all of my burning questions about Marketing Research. Friday night ended with an MBA dinner and more opportunities to network with the students I would be joining in the fall.
On Saturday we had the opportunity to explore the larger UW campus on a guided tour, and we researched housing by going on a neighborhood housing tour. A few of us visited the farmers market on the Capitol Square and spent time enjoying the grater Madison community. The opportunity to attend On, Wisconsin! Weekend was invaluable. It gave me a real sense for what it would be like to be a student at WSB, and it provided an opportunity for me to meet my future classmates (and roommate)! The opportunity to preview what my next two years would look like gave me a window into an experience I had wanted for so long. But most of all, for me it became the first step in realizing my long term goal of getting an MBA.