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Leah Wetzel

What does first semester look like?

by Leah Wetzel Monday, June 13, 2016

Dear Class of 2018,

By now, you have probably had an opportunity to visit the Wisconsin School of Business.  For those who were able attend a class session, you may already know about Professor Quintin's 'Click, Click' catch phrase or Professor DeCroix's uncanny ability to fit a “good” dad joke into any operations lecture.  If you attended On, Wisconsin! Weekend, the Spring Ball provided an opportunity to mingle with your new classmates and celebrate the beginning of your MBA journey.  We hope these events and time spent with the admissions team, your center, and current students have provided some insight into what it is like to be a Wisconsin MBA. Here’s a little preview of what you can expect your first semester.   

After a two-week orientation, you will hit the books and dive into your core and specialization classes.  In lectures you will perform case studies, run linear regressions, read financial statements, and calculate yield to maturity (and that is just the beginning!).  Outside of class, you will hear from today's business leaders through Applied Learnings, the Weikel Leadership Speaker Series, and student organization events. 

After studying and countless hours of group meetings, you will find any excuse to go to The Memorial Union Terrace and take in the view of Lake Mendota. In your spare time, you might start an intramural sports team, volunteer with MBAs with a Heart, or work with the Graduate Business Association (GBA) to improve the Wisconsin School of Business and the greater Madison community.

The end of a long week or a tough exam will be celebrated with TAPS, or Thursdays after Professional Studies. This is an opportunity to get to know your classmates and forge friendships out of an academic setting. Each week we explore a new restaurant in downtown Madison. If you’re lucky, you’ll also be able to hit up the GBA Tailgate, which takes place before every Wisconsin Football Home Game.  Away game weekends are spent enjoying all of the other great things the city has to offer including outdoor activities, Broadway plays at the Overture Center for the Arts, Madison Farmer's Market, and cheese curds (it is Wisconsin, after all). Sundays are inevitably spent working hard to catch up on school work after all the fun you had during the rest of the weekend. 

Between core team projects and study groups you will sometimes feel like you live at Grainger Hall.  As if things are not busy enough, the internship search can even start during first semester.  Working closely with your career coach to revise your resume multiple times, polish your STAR stories, and mock interview will prepare you for interviewing with recruiters.  There may be rejections, but on the bright side there will be offers too, and the Career Management Team will be there with you throughout the ups and downs.

To top it off, you will end the semester with a Wisconsin MBA rite of passage – the Integrated Company Analysis (ICA) presentation. This project takes everything you’ve learned throughout your first semester and puts it on display in front of core faculty and staff. You and your team are tasked with creating a new product or service for a publically traded company after doing a thorough analysis.   

Hold onto your cheese heads, it is going to be a wild ride! I look forward to meeting you in the fall! 

On, Wisconsin!

Leah Wetzel

Class of 2017