‘Don’t box yourself in’ (University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Campus News)

Interview with Cumberland Managing Partner Rachel Wixson featured in University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Campus News


CLS alumna launches successful, multi-million-dollar company, sells it at age 34
After graduation, Rachel Wixson, ’02, wanted to use her German degree to work abroad. So when family pointed out a job opening at an electronic software company in her hometown of Verona, Wisconsin, she was underwhelmed.

“I was not going to work in Verona and I hated computers,” she recalls.

She’s glad she did. She joined Epic as the electronic software industry was booming due to new federal regulations on electronic record keeping. Eventually, Wixson was selling Epic software worldwide and decided to launch her own healthcare IT consulting firm, Cipe.

By age 34, Wixson had turned Cipe into a multi-million-dollar company and sold it. Her story was featured on Forbes.com.

Wixson didn’t start off living her international dream on day one, but today, being a partner at a major healthcare IT consulting firm, she has can work from anywhere in the world.

“That’s a message I tell graduates: Don’t box yourself in,” she says.

Wixson, now a partner at Cumberland Consulting Group, says she excelled at Epic, not because of her specific training in German, but because of the broad skills she’d developed in college from critically thinking to communication.

“It’s not about the exact degree you have, but the overarching experience,” she says.

Wixson was driven to become an entrepreneur because she wanted more control over her schedule to make time for family and friends. At the same time, she saw a need for consultants to guide people through the emerging medical software industry.

Wixson had the confidence to leave her stable position at Epic for the more-risky road of entrepreneurship because of sound financial planning. That came with help from another UWL graduate, Jessica Schock, ’01, a wealth management advisor with Northwestern Mutual Management Co., who became Wixson’s financial advisor while she worked at Epic. The money Wixson put away over the years with advice from Schock gave her freedom to know she didn’t need to make money on day one launching Cipe.

Schock nominated Wixson to be featured in Forbes because of her work ethic, vision and drive — all enhanced by her liberal studies education.

“It’s not hard to recognize that Rachel Wixson is on the path to even greater success than she’s already had,” says Schock. “She is a rising star. I don’t think she’s even scratched the surface of what her potential is.”

Read the full article on the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Campus News website here.