2023 Best & Brightest Business Major: Emily Siderits, Wisconsin School of Business

Emily Siderits

University of Wisconsin School of Business

“A Business Badger who strives to learn from the global community and loves croissants.”

Fun fact about yourself: I want to travel to every continent!

Hometown: Pewaukee, WI

High School: Pewaukee High School

Major(s): Marketing, Management & Entrepreneurship

Certificate(s): Spanish Studies

Favorite Business Course: Marketing 305 – Consumer Behavior

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

Student Organizations: Women in Business — SVP of Finance (Spring 2023), VP of Finance (Fall 2022), VP of Administration (Fall 2021), Public Outreach Director (Spring 2021), Organizational Analyst (Fall 2020)

Community Involvement: Colegio San Miguel de Nervión | Seville, Spain — Culture and Language Assistant (Spring 2022)

School Honors: Dean’s List (Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, and Fall 2022), Wisconsin School of Business Student Entrepreneur Profile (Spring 2023), Direct Admit to Wisconsin School of Business (Fall 2019)

Academic Scholarships: Onni R. Harju Scholarship Fund Recipient (2020-2021, 2021-2022, and 2022-2023 academic years), Edwards, Ray Campbell Memorial Scholarship in Marketing (2022-2023 academic year), Julia and Jon Currie Scholarship for Study Abroad (2021-2022 academic year), Undergraduate Scholarship for Summer Study (Summer 2021), Pewaukee Scholarship Fund Recipient (Fall 2019)

Where have you interned during your college career?

The Wisconsin Union at UW–Madison | Madison, WI: Marketing Student Supervisor (Summer 2022–Present) and Marketing and Social Media Intern (Fall 2020–Summer 2022)

Emily Marie Photography | Southeast Wisconsin: Owner and Photographer (Fall 2018–Present)

UW­–Madison Campus and Visitor Relations | Madison, WI: Tour Guide (Summer 2021)

Steamdry Carpet Cleaning | Milwaukee, WI: Marketing and Social Media Intern (Summer 2020)

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

Who is your favorite business professor? Moses Altsech is the definition of a stand-out professor at UW; he is a captivating storyteller who has the unique ability to genuinely hold the attention of a room full of students for 75 minutes (or more). I’ve had Moses for both Consumer Behavior and Sales Marketing classes, and he fuels my curiosity for the world. He’s pushed me as a marketer and student, but more importantly, as a person. His success is admirable, but it’s his kindness and authenticity that made me appreciate his classes and advice. He also sparked and encouraged my passion for writing, which I am thankful for.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? Connections really are everything. I was a direct admit to the Wisconsin School of Business with no previous experience in business, so I was thrown into this concept headfirst. While I’ve gained a range of technical skills from my classes, my soft skills came from expanding my network. I’ve learned so much more about my goals and handling myself as a businesswoman from reaching out to a stranger for a coffee chat or creating a meaningful connection with an alumna or member from my student organization Women in Business.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? My biggest piece of advice for anyone interested in business is to find your passions and follow them. It’s easy to get lost in the formalities and hustle of business, and many students feel a pressure to get a big corporate internship as soon as possible. That’s not everyone’s path; know what you value. While I felt more than capable to get one of these flashy internships, I found my place at the Wisconsin Union (our student union on campus) working in marketing, loved it, and have been working there for the last 2.5 years. Find something that challenges you, but above all else, make sure it’s fulfilling.

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? Business is everywhere! As a business student, you can get involved in such a vast range of industries—and this shocked me. Years ago, I pictured my future self working for a big brand name because I thought business was limited to those big corporations. Instead, I’ve been exposed to non-profits, start-ups, agencies, and even the healthcare industry all through my business major. I love that I can get involved with causes I’m passionate about, even if it’s not the cookie-cutter image of business.

Looking back over your experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently in business school and why? I am a naturally curious person, so I wish I had pursued an additional major outside of the school of business. Halfway through my undergrad, I decided to select an additional business degree. In hindsight, I should have selected an additional non-business degree for the sake of learning, rounding out my skillsets and knowledge, and expanding my interests. That being said, I’ve had such cool opportunities through both of my business degrees, so I am thankful for the path I ended up on.

What business leader do you admire most? Last semester, I had the opportunity to speak with the CEO of a start-up I’ve admired both personally and professionally for a couple of years now: Ty Hiss of Fresh Sends. Fresh Sends is a Colorado-based start-up that’s setting out to freshen-up the gifting industry with modern floral arrangements and experiential gifting.

As a student interested in entrepreneurship, this conversation with Ty was incredibly meaningful to me. Ty provided me with unique and genuine advice as a growing professional that I will carry with me as I start my career. She acted as a reminder that it is important to give back to those around you and share your knowledge with those who are curious—even if you’re a busy CEO.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? My study abroad experience in Seville, Spain last spring was the culmination of my longest-standing personal and academic goals. My first Spanish teacher told me, “Remember to travel; it is your reward for learning the language.” In my language immersion program, I was rewarded with memories and challenges for a lifetime. Nothing will ever compare to flipping my life upside-down—living with a Spanish host family, taking all my courses in Spanish, and even volunteering in my host community—for a semester. I am impressed with how I took every obstacle in stride and pushed myself thousands of miles out of my comfort zone.

The Wisconsin Idea is a concept embedded in the University of Wisconsin–Madison: education should influence people’s lives beyond the boundaries of the classroom. During my time at the Wisconsin School of Business, I’ve exemplified this principle—in fact, overseas—because of my abroad experience. While in Spain, I was presented with a unique opportunity to give back to my host community. In addition to my immersion program, I volunteered as a Culture and Language Assistant at a local bilingual primary school where I got to see the impact of my teaching efforts firsthand while learning from my students too.

At the Wisconsin School of Business, “We empower people of all backgrounds to thrive in business and make businesses thrive.” Since returning from Spain, I’ve been an advocate for students to immerse themselves in diverse experiences and push their global mindset. While just one contribution in my many years at Madison, I am so proud my individual goal fostered collective success far beyond Grainger Hall.

Which classmate do you most admire? Kenzi Jones, Class of 2022

Kenzi and I met through Women in Business as first-semester freshman and have since led alongside each other for years. Kenzi knows what she stands for and pursues her dreams with passion and humility. She has always been a force in the business world and will continue to inspire me for years to come, both personally and professionally. Lucky for me, we are going to be coworkers at Ovative Group!

Who would you most want to thank for your success? Without a doubt, I would like to thank my mom and dad. My parents have shown me unwavering support during my journey at UW. Whether it was giving me that last nudge to run for the executive board in Women in Business or taking me out to lunch when everything became overwhelming, they have never left my side. They are my biggest cheerleaders, and I would give them the world if I could. Thank you, mom and dad.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?

  1. Live and work in London, England
  2. Design and launch an integrated marketing campaign for an international brand

What are your hobbies? Apart from my studies, I love to hike, write, travel, listen to music, and pet dogs (specifically corgis, but I appreciate all fluffy friends). You can also find me trying new restaurants and behind the camera. I went surfing last spring while abroad and I’ve been dying to do that again.

What made Emily such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2023?

“Emily has an optimistic approach; whose smile and energy is contagious and encourages those around her to approach difficult challenges with a more positive mindset.

Emily was selected by her student employment leadership team in the Wisconsin Union to represent the marketing department for the “Summer 2021 Residency: Returning to the Union” – a task force and was the student representative featured in the annual report for 2020-2021.

Last spring, Emily studied abroad in Seville, Spain, and took a position as a Culture and Language Assistant at a local bilingual primary school called Colegio San Miguel de Nervión. Emily volunteered in two classrooms twice weekly to help teach English and science to 6-8-year-olds. After graduating, Emily hopes to find her way back to Spain to teach English and/or work internationally.

Most vividly, is Emily’s years of involvement with the Women in Business student organization that continuously strives to be a more diverse and inclusive organization thanks to the contributions of many talented individuals. Since joining her first semester freshman year, Emily has dedicated time to redesigning the administrative structure, auditing internal processes, and fostering meaningful and inclusive connections for those within the organization.”

Natalie Arriaga De Brooks (she, her, ella)
Student Life Manager for Engagement
Wisconsin School of Business


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