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Scott Hughes

A Reflection on My Two Years at Wisconsin

by Scott Hughes Monday, May 23, 2016

“Almost two orbits around the Sun completed.”

With my degree in hand, I have to acknowledge the Wisconsin MBA experience was exhilarating as it travelled at the speed of light. Literally, Earth’s velocity around the Sun is roughly 67,000 miles per hour, which approximates the accelerated feeling of the past two years flying by. The more probable cause, though, is the exponential growth I have experienced both educationally and professionally through Wisconsin’s MBA program.

Two years ago, I was wearing coveralls, steel-toed boots, and a hard hat working aboard an offshore drilling platform in the Gulf of Mexico. Today, I am confident, prepared, and excited to join a new company and to make valuable contributions. Every class, required or elective, has contributed to my growth/preparation for my next career.

There are plenty of acronyms out there and in keeping with my theme of the solar system, I have chosen the planet VENUS - (Venture, Engage, Network, Understand, Succeed) - to reflect on my MBA journey. The first year of academics exposed me to topics I had never covered previously. I discovered what the financial accounting, business strategy, and corporate finance dynamics involve. After completing first-semester academics, I began applying what I learned academically towards actual business cases. Participating in the school’s marketing case competition allowed me to engage my academic gear with real-world situations. The summer between the first and second year was my first corporate experience interning with General Electric in downtown Chicago. I worked for an executive commercial marketer and networked with fellow MBA interns. Second Year, I began to understand my new capabilities and strengths in identifying operational inefficiencies and correcting them through change management. Continued academic exposure, leadership opportunities with the Veterans Club, and teamwork sessions have prepared me for the next chapter. Earning this MBA has instilled in me the confidence that I can not only succeed, but also imaginatively problem solve and provide accomplished leadership to enrich the business world.

The last two years have been exciting: fostering new friendships, visiting companies, and deepening academic learning through professors who care deeply about all of us, as well as their own disciplines. While we might have covered over 1,168,000 miles revolving around the Sun, the distance covered in my career development is infinitely more significant and meaningful, and I am grateful.