When I started my search for the perfect MBA program almost three years ago, like many others I had a laundry list of qualities that I expected from my MBA education. Engaged alumni and dedicated staff were of course on that list, but never would I have expected that my interactions with these two groups would be the most valuable and rewarding aspects of my MBA experience. From day one I have been continuously surprised and grateful for the guidance and inspiration from our dedicated Badger family, and it is through them that I learned what it means to be a Badger for life.
I know I’m not alone when I say that one of the first things that drew me to the WSB MBA program was the sense of community and camaraderie that I experienced when I visited campus for the first time. The warm welcome I received from staff, students and alumni has continued throughout my time at UW and has been a constant source of support and reassurance during the whirlwind that is Business School. I’ll be forever grateful for all the emails, mock interviews, phone calls, coffee chats and friendly faces across campus that have made my MBA experience special and unique.
As my classmates and I get ready to graduate in just a few weeks, the discussions of how we want to give back have already begun. Talks of recruiting for our future employers, visiting Madison for alumni events, and helping future classes of CPBMers in a myriad of ways are commonplace in the Brand Center. For most of us, our affinity with WSB and especially the Center for Brand and Product Management won’t end when we walk across that stage on May 12th but will continue long into our careers.
For me, though, the idea of being a Badger for life runs deeper than just continuing my involvement with the program- it’s living out the Wisconsin spirit that I’ve come to love during my time here. It’s fostering the uniquely Midwestern sense of friendliness and community that attracted me to WSB in the first place. It’s being collaborative, rather than competitive, with my peers. It’s being open and supportive to new, diverse ideas and personalities. It’s never taking yourself too seriously, staying humble and approachable. It’s helping those who come after me achieve the most they can, paying forward the support and guidance I’ve been so lucky to have received over the past two years.
While the idea of graduating is bittersweet, I’m excited to take on the next challenge. Whatever awaits, I’ll have the Wisconsin spirit to guide me as I begin my journey as a Badger for life.