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The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh College of Business recently earned reaccreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International.
Of the approximate 1,600 schools in the country offering business degree programs only 31 percent maintain this honor, according to the AACSB. AACSB accreditation represents the highest standard of achievement for business schools worldwide.
“Our faculty and staff work exceptionally hard to maintain the rigorous educational standards set by AACSB. We are proud to be one of the less than 5 percent of all business schools that earn this accreditation worldwide,” Interim Dean Scott Beyer said.
The UW Oshkosh College of Business has been accredited by AACSB since 1970 and is the only nationally accredited business school in the region. Building on a strong liberal arts foundation, UWO’s undergraduate program features nine majors in accounting, economics, finance, human resources, information systems, interactive web management, management, marketing and supply chain management. Undergraduates are also offered opportunities that most schools limit to graduate students, including the Student Managed Endowment Fund and unique hands-on capstone courses.
“With all the talent we have in our regional high schools, it is important that high-performing students have an affordable, accredited business degree option that can compete with the best schools in the country. From here they can launch an incredible business career or prepare to attend graduate schools of the highest caliber,” incoming Dean Barbara Rau said.
Founded in 1916, AACSB is the world’s premier accrediting body dedicated to advancing business education. Achieving reaccreditation is a rigorous process that includes self-evaluation and peer review. Business programs must demonstrate continuous improvement in the areas of engagement, innovation and impact as evidence of compliance with AACSB standards. The reaccreditation process is repeated every five years.
“AACSB commends each institution for their exemplary work in holding the highest honor in business school accreditation,” said Robert D. Reid, executive vice president and chief accreditation officer of AACSB International. “During this peer-review process schools must demonstrate alignment with AACSB’s global accreditation standards, as well as how they encourage engagement, innovation, and impact across the communities they serve.”
Currently, the College of Business has 1,762 undergraduate students and more than 400 graduate students enrolled in its programs.
Experiencing the world beyond the classroom is an essential part of a student’s learning and personal development. For most students, an internship serves as the outlet to gain real world experience, test drive a career path and establish a relationship with a mentor.
For students at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh interested in sales, those real-world experiences come from the College of Business Sales Emphasis Program.
The sales emphasis is a 9-credit program at UW Oshkosh, which is open to all undergraduates and is designed to introduce students to the opportunities in the sales field through hands-on learning activities and access to professional mentors.
“Many people will have a sales experience at some point in their career. My motivation to connect students with professionals is to make sure that if a student does choose a career in sales they have the best shot at selecting a position within a company that is a really great fit,” Bryan Lilly, marketing professor, said.
Thirty-four sales emphasis students kicked off their spring semester by interviewing nine professionals from area companies who will serve as their in-house mentors. Through their first roundtable discussions, students asked professionals about best practices to fill a sale funnel, advice on what makes an employee on-boarding experience a successful one and different types of technology utilized in their day-to-day work.
“When I am teaching a lesson, students ask me, ‘Is this on the test?’ When the mentors take textbook theory and bring it to life, students think differently and connect ideas to the classroom giving them tangible benefits for their future,” Lilly said.
Juniors Amber Starr, of Mosinee, and Katie Kleman, of Oshkosh, are pursuing marketing majors with a sales emphasis and are excited about the content of this course.
“Initially, I took this class because I wanted to learn more about sales and thought it would open up other opportunities after graduation. After talking with the mentors, I can see that the experiences in this class are high-quality and directly applicable,” Starr said.
“I am excited that we are able to take field trips and have frequent contact with professionals. It makes the sales emphasis class stand out from other courses I have taken,” Kleman said.
Area alumni and professionals agree that their company exposure combined with access to a high-quality talent pool makes the partnership with UWO valuable.
“I believe that this course was the reason I found a home with Direct Supply as an account manager. During my interview, I was able to cite specific exercises and activities, from the sales emphasis program that highlighted my experience and showed I was the right candidate for the position,” Megan Baer ’14, said.
Alex Smith ’10, graduated from UWO with a communication degree and an eye on a career in television. Through a bit of networking, he changed directions and landed at SVS Services group where he now has the opportunity to help others find their place in the health care or technical industries. “Sales is relationship driven. I love helping students learn the art of communication and developing the persistence needed to become successful. The unique partnership allows us to also expose students to sales from our company’s perspective and the impact that they can make on a local, national or global scale,” Smith said.
John Sieracki ’09 graduated with a journalism degree and serves as a talent acquisition specialist for J.J. Keller, a company dedicated to giving back to the community. “I find it personally gratifying to help UWO students unlock their potential and begin a rewarding career in sales. I found J.J. Keller by accident while seeking marketing positions in the area. I took a sales position to get my foot in the door, and it is a risk that I am thankful for every day,” Sieracki said.
In the coming weeks, students have the opportunity to maximize their knowledge about the sales industry though company field trips, job shadows, alumni talks and additional working sessions with their mentors.
“I am grateful that the mentors invest so much time with our class. It also highlights the connection between my marketing degree with my sales emphasis,” said junior Josh Guhl, of Cedarburg.
“As a senior at UWO, I am grateful for the opportunity to gain industry information while still in school. It shows that the corporate community is as invested in our education and future careers,” history major Derek Dosedla, of Kansasville, said.
Current Sales Emphasis Program partners include:
Allegis Group (Aerotek & TEKsystems), Direct Supply, Fastenal, Impact Networking, J.J. Keller & Associates, Marine Credit Union, Northwestern Mutual Milwaukee Group, Sherwin Williams and SVS Service Group.
The UW Oshkosh MBA Office has announced a new scholarship opportunity for individuals employed by not-for profit and government agencies. Up to three scholarships will be awarded in the amount of $8,925 toward the UW Oshkosh Executive MBA cohort beginning September 2017.
Selection criteria includes: employed by a non-profit, government or state agency; meet admission standards for the Executive MBA and complete the standard admission process; and complete the scholarship application.
The UW Oshkosh Executive MBA is completed in just sixteen months and is held on Saturdays at the Appleton Executive Education Center. It is a cohort style learning environment which allows for extensive peer interaction, rich discussions, and builds a powerful, influential network.
For more information contact the MBA Office at 800-633-1430.