An Attitude of Gratitude
Rachel Hyslop (B.S. ’98, MBA ’14) believes in having an attitude of gratitude. From a young age, she has valued seeing how other people live and putting her own privileges in perspective.
“As a child, my parents were quick to remind me and my siblings how lucky we were to live in the United States, have a roof over our heads, and have access to a good education,” says Hyslop. “We traveled a lot while I was growing up and I was able to see first-hand how other people—some less fortunate—lived. As an adult, I recognize that I have a lot to be grateful for.”
Hyslop’s grateful perspective on life translates into a strong work ethic in her professional career. In fact, it was her hard work and curiosity that catapulted her into the world of marketing in the first place.
Hyslop spent college summers working as a sales associate at The Limited. At the time, the job at the clothing store was simply a way for her to earn money while completing her undergraduate degree in psychology and women’s studies at University of Wisconsin–Madison. What it really did, though, was create a path to her future.
Instead of just seeing the job as a way to make some summer cash, Hyslop discovered the world of retail could be a platform for her to explore sales goals, inventory, and the process of running a business. She caught the eye of a regional manager who noticed the young college student who could see the bigger picture.
“I think a lot of young people end up in jobs like those and see it as something superficial—standing on a sales floor, selling women’s sweaters, or selling men’s button-down shirts,” says Hyslop. “But I think the regional manager recognized that I was really taking an interest in wanting to understand more about how the business ran.”
Hyslop’s time at the store fostered her interest for business and empowered her to pursue a career in it. By the end of her undergraduate career, she was determined to find a local business that she could help grow—and that could help her grow, too.
She is now director of channel marketing at Springs Window Fashions in Middleton, Wisconsin, where she manages multiple designer brands and executes marketing campaigns promoting product development and brand awareness. Hyslop enjoys working with research companies to obtain direct customer feedback that helps influence the brand.
“With window treatments, it’s so much more than style and design and fabric and color,” she says. “It’s really about how that product functions.”
After having multiple roles in sales and marketing at Springs Window Fashions, Hyslop saw an opportunity to formalize her business education and push her career forward. She decided to pursue her MBA at the Wisconsin School of Business. While at WSB, she was exposed to new perspectives, diverse thinkers, and lifelong friendships.
— Rachel Hyslop,
(B.S. ’98, MBA ’14)
“We had students from all sorts of disciplines in different industries and at different levels that really enhanced the experience as well,” she says. “I wasn’t anticipating how much I would learn from my fellow students and what their individual perspectives brought to the table.
“I really value the relationships that I made—especially within my MBA cohort—and have held beyond graduation,” she says. “It was an enriching experience that really made a mark on me, on who I am.”
Hyslop appreciates the power of being a Business Badger. Not only has it helped her enrich her knowledge of the business world, it has expanded her network and invigorated her career.
“It‘s seen as a badge of honor to have gone through the program here at the Wisconsin School of Business,” she says. “To a certain extent, people view you differently. You are an achiever, you’re an up-and-comer, you’re a leader, you’re someone who is thoughtful and a creative thinker.”
Hyslop never loses sight of the ways in which she can show her gratitude for the education she received, remembering the lessons of her parents in its importance and that it isn’t as readily available for some in the way it is for others.
“In hindsight, it’s become clear to me that so much of what we’re able to accomplish in life is due to the support we receive from family and friends as well as the quality of the education we receive,” she says. “Our relationships with family and friends are naturally reciprocal, but that’s not the case when we think about educational institutions. Therefore, when I think about charitable giving, it’s important to give back to the institution that helped me become who I am today.”
Hyslop strives to carry forward all that she has learned in industry and at WSB, and looks for opportunities to make a positive impact in all areas of her life. To her, that’s what it means to be a Business Badger.
“I think it just comes down to being a good steward of your education, being a leader, whether it’s in your business or your community or even within your own family; being someone that people trust, can rely on, and confide in,” she says. “It comes down to being someone who cares about other people and helping them achieve whatever their potential is.”