As I made the decision to pursue my MBA, I knew that I wanted to expand my skill set and accelerate my career. The Center for Brand and Product Management at the Wisconsin School of Business was the perfect choice for me to build on a career I had already begun in marketing, and round out the skill sets that I wanted to add to my toolkit.
I studied marketing as an undergraduate, then began my career in marketing analytics at Nielsen. I had the opportunity to work as an analytic consultant on-site at the General Mills headquarters in Minneapolis, where I gained a solid marketing foundation and valuable experiences. However, I was always fascinated by the role of the brand manager at large corporations like General Mills. Being focused on marketing research, I was only privy to one small aspect of the overall marketing universe. I wanted to advance my career by gaining more exposure of the other aspects that go into making marketing decisions. I really wanted to see what it was like to be on the other side of the table: the final decision maker as opposed to the recommendation-provider.
Once I decided to go to business school, broadening my marketing acumen was the top priority. The Center for Brand and Product Management was the right fit for me since I knew exactly what I wanted from my graduate experience. I was not exploring career paths, I was determined to continue a career of marketing and needed the tools that I had not had access to at Nielsen. The specialization model provided an assuring feeling that my goals would be achieved, and I would not spend time on exploratory coursework that may not be relevant to my career aspirations.
The second reason I chose the CBPM was the network of support that was integrated within. I had several positive conversations with the director of the center, Mike Judge, who had followed a career path similar to mine. Additionally, the board of advisers for the Center was a key factor in my decision, as they could provide counsel, recruitment opportunities and connections to companies in which I was interested.
One year in, and I’ve had zero doubts that I made the right decision. My fellow specialization students with whom I’ve connected, the support staff and the board have all made an impact on my career trajectory in a very short amount of time. I am very much looking forward to solidifying these relationships as I head into my summer internship and second year in the Center for Brand and Product Management.