MBAnalysis Blog: Crazy Times for a WI MBA – 5 Reasons to Go!

In the course of less than two weeks, the University of Wisconsin School of Business has gone from making plans to shutter its full-time MBA program to embracing it.

Specifically, on October 25, Dean Anne P. Massey committed to “strengthening the full-time MBA experience.” This was in sharp contrast to a report by The Wall Street Journal just five days earlier revealing how Wisconsin’s vaunted full-time MBA program was on the chopping block.

While the notion of Wisconsin moving away from offering a full-time MBA was a shock to many, no one was more surprised than me. The reason being that I see in Wisconsin a great MBA program that prepares its students particularly well for entering hard to penetrate fields such as security analysis, arts administrations, and brand management.

To personally help Wisconsin address “flagging student interest,” here are my top five reasons for going to Wisconsin for a full-time MBA.

1. Are you ready to do what you are going to do?

At Wisconsin, unlike many top programs, MBA students start focusing on their future right away. Choosing from ten different specializations, course work and electives are geared for building knowledge and beginning careers in such disciplines as real estate and human resources. So, if you know what you want your career to look like, you might as well get started on it right away.

2. The place for $$$ management.

With a specialization in Applied Securities Analysis, being a CFA partner school, having an Investment Analysis center, and the opportunity to help manage a $50 million (you read that right: FIFTY MILLION DOLLARS), WI provides a portfolio management education that is hard to beat. WI MBAs can be found at top firms like Piper Jaffrey, OppenheimerFunds, and others.

3. A brand in brand (management).

Quick, what’s that Midwest school with brand managers at essentially every big name consumer products company? Which MBA program places nearly 100 percent of its brand management students into the jobs they want? And sends around a 1/3 of its class into brand management jobs with an average salary of $100K plus? If you guessed, Kellogg, think farther north to WI. Wisconsin’s Center for Brand and Product Management has deep ties to industry, something that every one of their brand management students benefits from both in and outside of the classroom.

4. If you love the arts.

WI has the only MBA program where you can formally specialize in managing arts organizations. The Bolz Center for Arts Administration, founded almost 50 years ago, produces graduates that help run organizations like NBC Entertainment (its Chairman Robert Greenblatt is a WI grad), the Apollo Theatre, and museums and orchestras around the country.

5. ROI.

The Wisconsin MBA Program is number one in terms of return on investment (US News & World Report, 2016). Enough said.

As Mark Twain may have said, “the reports of the death of the Wisconsin full-time MBA have been greatly exaggerated.” And for good reason: with an excellent track record of educating MBAs that go on to great jobs at great companies and with an ROI better than any other schools, Wisconsin is an MBA that should be at the top of many applicant’s lists. And, when you throw in being located in Madison, WI – the quintessential college town — Wisconsin is a place that should be attracting full-time MBAs for years to come.

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