2021 Best & Brightest Business Major: Jake Shenkenberg, Wisconsin School of Business

Jake Shenkenberg

University of Wisconsin School of Business

An ambitious faux-Wisconsinite and over-confident dancer who takes great pride in avoiding complacency.”

Fun fact about yourself:  In a past life, I was an award-winning clarinet player. I played from third grade through high school, and I attribute a significant amount of personal growth to that experience.

Hometown: Bloomfield Hills, Michigan

High School: Detroit Country Day School

Major: Finance, Investments & Banking and Operations & Technology Management

Minor: N/A

Favorite Business Course: Finance 420, Bank Management with Jim Johannes

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

  • Badger Consulting
    • President (2018-2020)
    • Executive Advisor, Analyst Training Program Director (2020-2021)
    • Project Manager (2018)
    • Financial Research Analyst (2017)
  • Teaching Assistant – GB110 (Fall 2020)
  • Director, Finance – AreaRED (2019-2021)
  • Founding Advisory Board Member – Collegiate Consulting Association (2018-2019)
  • Student Assistant – Wisconsin Small Business Development Center (2018-2020)
  • Dean’s List (Multiple semesters)
  • Wisconsin School of Business Direct Admit (2017)
  • Leadership Retreat Participant – Collegiate Consulting Association (2019)

Where have you interned during your college career?

  • Accenture LLP: Strategy & Consulting Summer Analyst, Seattle, Summer 2020
  • Rock Ventures: Summer Portfolio Analyst, Detroit, Summer 2019

Where will you be working after graduation? I will be working at Accenture as a Strategy & Consulting Analyst based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota!

What company do you admire most? Excluding Accenture (no bias), it is Quicken Loans. I’m inspired by its commitment to an unparalleled company culture, the revitalization of Detroit, and diversity.

Who is your favorite professor? James (Jim) Johannes. Professor Johannes has the right mix of humor, educational and corporate experience, and an impressive knowledge of the banking system, which made his class an absolute joy to attend.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? I was once told the Clint Eastwood quote, “Take your work seriously, but don’t take yourself too seriously”. I think the business world is an extremely competitive environment and if you don’t have a few laughs once in a while, you are going to fall behind.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? Surround yourself with honest people who make you a better person and student. I’m a firm believer that only surrounding yourself with people who make you “comfortable” and content will make you complacent in your daily endeavors. Fortunately, the majority of business schools in America have incredibly smart individuals pursuing extremely ambitious careers. I recommend that you also become friends with those people. Furthermore, make sure those friends are honest with you. If your friends cannot give you constructive feedback, it is going to be much harder to receive such feedback in your professional life.

Looking back over your experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently in business school and why? Take advantage of the professors and courses at your disposal, and don’t pick courses because they conveniently fit your schedule or have a high historical GPA. Although it may be tempting to take a noon class where you are almost guaranteed an A, little growth will ultimately stem from that approach. My senior year, I made a goal of taking courses for their subject matter and professors, as opposed to ease or convenience.  Examples of growth classes included Database Management with Terrance Ow and Bank Management with James Johannes.  They have been some of my most rewarding classes thus far.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? It was my experience with Badger Consulting. In my four years, we have moved the organization from a non-Wisconsin School of Business affiliated organization to one of the premier undergraduate organizations here at the Wisconsin School of Business. During my tenure with BC, our team consulted and helped launch over 30 small businesses here in Dane County, developed an Analyst Training Program to help mitigate against the consulting learning curve, became one of the most selective organizations in the Wisconsin School of Business, reached a 100% job placement rate, and helped launch the Collegiate Consulting Association. Furthermore, through BC I have not only grown substantially as a person and leader, but I have made many friendships and professional connections that I will carry with me far beyond college.

Which classmate do you most admire? Samantha Schettl, Senior at Wisconsin School of Business. She served on my board at Badger Consulting for a year, and currently serves as the VP of the organization. Her ability to be completely honest and provide stark, to-the-point feedback is well beyond her years. She is also an excellent student and incredible friend who has helped me through some difficult times.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? I cannot answer this with one name. Matthew Soderberg, Michael Shenkenberg, Jake Dean and Chad Hendricks are four individuals to whom I attribute much of my professional growth. In particular, Jake Dean is an excellent professor, mentor, and faculty advisor to Badger Consulting, who I also consider a friend. Furthermore, I owe a large thank you to my parents for keeping me “in-line” and always pushing me to be my best self.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list? Receive an MBA. I am currently destroying my senior year social life and studying for the GMAT. I intend to apply to deferred admission before I graduate undergrad. I also could not be more excited to explore the diverse variety of cutting-edge industries and practices that Accenture consults in.

What are your hobbies? Reading, weightlifting, singing my heart out to overplayed songs and listening to excellent podcasts such as “Masters of Scale” with Reid Hoffman.

What made Jake such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2021?

“I have worked closely with Jake Shenkenberg as the faculty advisor to Badger Consulting, which he led for two years as a sophomore and junior. In his tenure as president, Jake demonstrated leadership, professionalism, and commitment WELL beyond his years, and grew Badger Consulting from an un-registered organization with a confused purpose to one that does meaningful work with local companies and is aspirational for students to join – they receive far, far, far more applications each semester than they have spots.

Jake successfully managed a partnership with Michelle Somes-Booher and Anne Inman in the UW Small Business Development Center (SBDC) to source projects for real companies, and then guided Badger Consulting project teams to complete consulting work for these companies.  That’s a big leap full of potential breakdowns – these companies come to SBDC, and SBDC trusted that Jake would guide Badger Consulting students to produce professional results, and it worked.  I believe this result is overwhelmingly through Jake’s leadership abilities.  In fact, Michelle and Anne join me in nominating Jake.

After graduation, Jake will fittingly join Accenture as a consultant.“

Professor Jake Dean
Director, Grainger Center for Supply Chain Management 



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