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Abby Lembersky

How Did This Semester Fly By So Quickly?...Reflections of a First Semester MBA

by Abby Lembersky Tuesday, December 20, 2016

My finals are done and my ICA presentation is complete; to call the last few weeks a blur is the understatement of the century. I moved to Madison for school from New York City where, for the majority of my time, I managed Public Programs at the Museum of Jewish Heritage. Needless to say, my studying skills were a little rusty. I made it through to the other side though and I now have the time to breathe and reflect on this past semester. I’d like to share some of the moments that resonated with me throughout this semester and the moments I know I’ll cherish for the remainder of my two years in the program.

ICA: In the ICA (Integrated Company Analysis) project, each core team (4-5 MBAs from different specializations) analyze a publicly traded company and, using the skills from our core classes, propose a new product or service for the company. Teams then present their analysis to the MBA faculty members in the form of a polished 25-minute marketing pitch/financial analysis. I have a crystal clear memory of a September version of myself feeling anxious about such a daunting presentation, not quite believing that I would learn the skills to pull it off. But, I am proud to report, I proved myself wrong. My team confidently presented a thoughtful analysis and ultimately felt immensely proud of all we learned this semester and our ability to put it to use. I’m most grateful to the ICA project for the opportunity to work so closely with colleagues in other specializations. It was a joy to watch everyone’s individual strengths come together into one final product.

Applied Learning Partnership: This semester I am working with the Public Programs Department at the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation. This team runs the programming at the Discovery Building, a gorgeous research lab facility and community center in the heart of campus. The Public Programs team designs and runs programs that bring the UW and the Madison community together to celebrate creativity and exploration. For my project I have been entrusted to develop a pilot arts and exhibitions policy. The policy will encourage visual art displays as well as performances in the Discovery building, furthering the dedication to creativity and hopefully ensuring an even more vibrant atmosphere inside the building. I feel incredibly lucky that I’ve been granted ownership on this project and the space to shape it as I see best.

Colleagues: I think my favorite part of the semester has been connecting with my fellow first year Bolz students and the incredible community of students from across every specialization. I have been continually delighted by the humor, intelligence, and strength in the Class of 2018 and am humbled and proud to be a part of this professional group. I look forward to all the hard work and fun that will come next semester.