2019 Best & Brightest: Ellie Brockman, University of Wisconsin

Ellie Brockman

University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Business

Salty over sweet, dogs over cats, hot over cold and Wisconsin Badgers over everything.”

Fun fact about yourself: I can recite the entire intro to Law & Order: SVU word for word

Hometown: Manitowoc, Wisconsin

High School: Manitowoc Lincoln High School

Major: Marketing

Minor: Digital Studies

Favorite Business Course: Brand Management & Strategy

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

  • Student United Way
  • Madison Business Mentors
  • BadgerThon, Family Dinner Assistant Coordinator
  • Wisconsin School of Business Undergraduate Admissions, BBA Ambassador
  • Emory University Undergraduate Business School Leadership Conference, Wisconsin School of Business Representative
  • Wisconsin BBA Student Government, Community Service Chairperson
  • Wisconsin BBA Student Government, Vice President of Marketing
  • Wisconsin Undergraduate Business Council, Co-Founder and President

Where have you interned during your college career?

  • Hoffman York, Milwaukee, WI; Social Media Intern
  • ProFinda, London, England UK; Marketing Intern

Where will you be working after graduation? After graduation, I will be working at Ovative Group in Minneapolis, MN as a Digital Marketing and Measurement Analyst.

What company do you admire most? I really admire a company called theSkimm. It was co-founded by two ex-NBC News producers, and their whole mission is to “make it easier to live smarter.” What began as two girls working from their couch delivering an e-newsletter that made news more appealing, relatable and shorter (hence, skimming the news), is now a multi-faceted media company valued at $55M.

What did you enjoy most about your business school? I love how close all the students are. Going to a Big Ten, large public university, the business school provides a small community feel. I’ve met some of my best friends through the business school because of this. The staff and faculty are also so kind and willing. I’ve been able to meet with the Dean of the business school on a few occasions, and I think that reflects the care our leaders have for their students.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? Network, network, network. I was always nervous to approach someone new,but realized after a bit that being able to talk to a stranger is a skill that will never go out of style. It’s also incredible what a simple conversation can lead to.

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? (and why?) This might sound cheesy or obvious, but what surprised me most is truly how essential teamwork is. The Wisconsin School of Business emphasizes teamwork through group projects in numerous classes. I’ll be the first to admit I’m not as strong in Finance and Accounting as I am in Marketing and Analytics. When it came time to create a robust business plan for a project, I was nervous about compiling a financial forecast. This instance helped me realize I didn’t have to be the best at everything in business because everyone has expertise in their own function. Accomplishing the goal at hand depends on the combination of skill sets and collaboration.

 “If I didn’t major in business, I would be majoring in or studying…Political science. I thought in high school for a while that I wanted to be a lawyer, but maybe that was influenced partially by my parents telling me I was good at arguing.”

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? My family owns and operates a business, so I grew up surrounded by it. As I started considering my options, I liked the humanistic and creative aspect that marketing brought to the business lens. My mom majored in Marketing in college, and after talking with her, it seemed like the choice for me!

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? This recognition is up there, but probably co-founding the Undergraduate Business Council. My friend and I decided to re-structure and re-brand the student government for the Wisconsin School of Business, and seeing all of our ideas and hard work come to fruition in the form of great events for all undergraduate business students has been so rewarding.

Which classmate do you most admire? I have so many extremely smart and talented classmates, I couldn’t list just one. They probably don’t know it, but their accolades have always inspired and pushed me to do better.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? I know it says to choose one person, but I’d be lying if I contributed my success to a single person. My parents have always taught me to work hard and to never assume you’re better than the person next to you. Growing up, my mom always told me to “be nice to everyone”, and I think part of my success can be attributed to carrying myself by that as much as possible. I’d be doing an injustice to not mention my family, friends, mentors, professors and staff and faculty at the business school though too. They have been instrumental to helping me achieve my goals, and a simple thank you doesn’t reflect my appreciation enough!

What are the top two items on your bucket list? Travel to Singapore and hang-glide in Switzerland.

What are your hobbies? I love to read, see live music and try out new restaurants with my friends.

What made Ellie such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2019?

“Ellie has been integral in the process of completely revamping the structure of the Undergraduate Business Council, the Student Government Body for the Wisconsin School of Business. After attending a Business School Student Government Conference for inspiration, Ellie and a couple of peers transformed UBC into a committee-based government body that provides personal and professional development through events and services.  Ellie models inclusive leadership by providing opportunities for all students in the School of Business to get involved with UBC, and by making sure that all voices are represented and heard.  \Ellie’s business badger pride is genuine, which also makes her a fantastic Student Ambassador with the BBA Admissions office.  In that position, Ellie welcomes new and perspective students to the Wisconsin School of Business and provides information about academics, resources, co-curricular opportunities, and more.”

Julie Duffstein

Director of Student Life

Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.