The Wisconsin School of Business at the University of Wisconsin-Madison ranked No. 31 in the 2022 rankings, falling 10 places from last year’s No. 21 primarily because the school does not report average high school GPA, a new factor in P&Q’s undergrad rankings. Factoring both direct admit and upperclassman pathways into the B-school, Wisconsin’s acceptance rate stood at 27.29% this year, just slightly up from last year’s acceptance rate of 26.55%, and the B-School had an average SAT score of 1388, up a few points from last year’s 1382.
The Wisconsin business experience is best characterized as one that emphasizes leadership development and plentiful opportunities to explore career interests both in and out the classroom. Of the three methodological categories, Wisconsin placed in the top-20 in Admissions Standards and the Alumni Experience.
About 90% of the Class of 2021 had a business-focused internship before graduation as compared to last year’s 93%, and 93.02% of the Class of 2021 secured full-time employment by the time of graduation, up from last year’s 84.87%.
For those who are perhaps unsure of what career is right for them, the Wisconsin School of Business offers an education with plenty of career exploration and leadership development no matter what path you choose to follow.
Wisconsin business students can choose from 11 business majors including: Accounting, Actuarial Science, Finance, Investment and Banking, Information Systems, International Business, Management and Human Resources, Marketing, Operations and Technology Management, Real Estate, Risk Management and Insurance, and Supply Chain Management.
The curriculum for each major incorporates business studies with a foundation in the liberal arts, with many of the liberal arts courses being taken outside of the School of Business. Business majors also can add a certificate to their studies including a Capstone Certificate in Actuarial Science and Foreign Language Certificates.
Overall, Wisconsin students view their education positively. When asked to evaluate how well the Wisconsin business program prepared them for the world of work, 2019 alumni gave a strong 8.8 average rating. And alumni gave a whopping 9.4 average rating when asked whether they would recommend the Wisconsin business program to a close friend or colleague interested in an undergraduate business degree.
BUSINESS BADGER BADGES
The Business Badger Badge program offers workshops, experiences, and opportunities to help undergraduate business students gain a deeper understanding of specific skill sets and competencies.
Students in the program choose badges including “Personal Leadership Style” and “Group Dynamics” and complete the criteria for their chosen track. Once they complete the criteria for a track, they earn a badge that serves as a credential to share on their resume, LinkedIn, or with potential employers.
The program is unique because it specifically addresses the increased demand for soft skill competencies in modern business. Through these badges, Wisconsin students can highlight what types of soft skills they developed during their business education and build a more well-rounded candidacy for the career they choose to pursue professionally.
When asked how they would rate the opportunities in the Wisconsin business program to nurture their soft skills, 2019 alumni gave a strong 8.8 average rating.
The Wisconsin capstone projects are one of the best ways for students to explore their interests in a particular field or career. These capstone projects often include a team component in understanding a real-world issue and coming up with a comprehensive solution.
Many Wisconsin alumni highlighted their experience in capstone projects as key to giving them both a view into potential industries as well as the necessary skills for certain careers.
“My capstone style course in accounting included completing a group research project on a technical accounting issue, guest speakers from various career pather (public accounting, standards setting, CFO of a corporation, WSJ journalist, etc.), and analysis of financial reporting theory,” one 2018 alumni told us. “Unique experience because it required students to consider the purpose and utility of financial reporting on a theoretical level and understand multiple potential career paths that differ from the Big 4 experience that is mainly targeted to new college graduates.”
One 2018 alumni highlighted a capstone consulting project where students worked with PepsiCo.
“We were asked to provide guidance on a practical challenge the team was facing,” that 2018 alumni said. “We designed our own project methodology, conducted in-depth interviews, and presented our recommendations live to the team. It was a great hands-on experience that I was able to speak to in future interviews.”
Another alumni highlighted a marketing project where students partnered with a local community business to develop, propose, and implement a new marketing campaign for the business.
“We gained real knowledge of project management and how our jobs could look post graduation,” the 2018 alumni said. “It offered yet another experience to put on my resume versus just the summer internship.”
Across the board, Wisconsin alumni we surveyed spoke highly about the capstone project experience. Whether it’s in accounting, consulting, or marketing, Wisconsin students have a spectrum of opportunities to truly get their feet wet in a field or career that interests them.
“In my Operations and Technology Management course, I found a niche within the business school that drastically changed my future plans. I ended up with majors in Finance and Real Estate, but focused on a career that focused on Supply Chain and Finance. Without this course, I may have ended up in a different field.”
“Capstone project consisted of developing a product and all aspects of the strategy to bring it to market, including pitching the idea to a panel of investors, venture capitalists, and entrepreneurs.”
“In accounting, we had a 9 week internship built into our integrated masters program. The program itself starts late in our junior year and extends through our graduation from the masters program. It is a simple and straightforward program, led by very knowledgeable and distinguished faculty, that basically guided us to full time jobs at our desired Big Four firms.”
“I was in a design thinking course where we had to create a product and then pitch to it a panel of real world execs (a senior leader of Kohl’s and SAP!) It felt like a real world experience in having to come up with the financial plan to support it, present to a board, and receive feedback. It was one of my favorite classes.”
“A senior lecturer in the Real Estate and Urban Land Economics department provided an exceptional in-class learning experience. The class was heavily based around the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program (Section 42 housing). Projects required us to analyze sites, determine how competitive they would be in the program, and putting together development proposals. We had the opportunity to walk existing properties with the developers and learn about some of the challenges they faced. Meanwhile, I was interning over at WHEDA (the housing authority tasked with overseeing this program). I started working there after college and after two years was hired as the VP for one of my clients. If it weren’t for these classes, my interest in this space wouldn’t have been sparked.”
Where The Class Of 2020 Went To Work:
Deloitte – 14
Kohl’s Corporation – 13
Epic – 11
Accenture – 8
KPMG – 8
EY – 8
JPMorgan – 7
Oracle – 7
BMO Financial Group – 6
PwC – 6
U.S. Bank – 6