Thursday, December 1, 2016

A Job Seeker’s Guide to Dealing with Rejection

Based on the expertise of Christina Schmidt, Associate Director of Business Marketing – Kelley Graduate Career Services

Clichés like, “It’ll all work out”, or “Everything happens for a reason” are a whole lot easier to say than to hear, aren’t they? But at some point or another, failure is inevitable, and you won’t get exactly what you had hoped for. The supportive, caring people in your life will listen, sympathize, and then throw out something along those lines intending to cheer you up. Often those phrases can have the opposite intended effect, but don’t let a bitter reaction tarnish the truth in those words. Remember, you always have a choice – even when those choices aren’t about which job opportunity to pursue. When your only choice is how you’ll respond, consider the following before reacting.

You’ve built a network. This is extremely valuable, so work to maintain it. Maybe there was someone just *slightly* more qualified for that job. But what about your dream job they’re just about to post? Chances are, employees on the inside know of roles coming open before everyone else. By working to maintain your network, your internal contact might be able to 1) tell you about the position before it’s made public, or 2) say they know someone who would be a great match for the role.

It’s a chance to improve. Around Kelley, we call this an after action review: figuring out what went right and what went wrong. The key to this one is honesty. You have to be honest with yourself or whomever you’re talking to about why you truly didn’t get the job. There are a million and one excuses in the book. Don’t be someone who makes excuses. Be someone who takes responsibility for what happened and takes action to never let it happen again.

Use the opportunity to take a break. Sometimes we can get so focused on the job we applied for that stepping back from the situation to get yourself in the right frame of mind will do much more for you than hours of interview prep ever could. What’s your favorite escape from reality? Listening to a TED talk, working out, reading a book? The important thing to realize is it’s only a break. Don’t quit. When you’re ready, come up with a plan of action in how you’re going to move on. Don’t go it alone, either – this is a great time to bring in a coach, industry professional, or mentor you trust to bounce ideas off and hold you accountable.

Rejection’s never easy, but don’t let missing out on one opportunity lead to squandering two. By using rejection to fuel your progress, you’ll end up in a place better than you ever imagined!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

MBA Talk: Why Kelley?

Each year, aspiring business leaders from all over the world choose Kelley for their MBA. We asked them why.

Six current Kelleys from the Class of 2017—Lauren Maggion, Aaron Millicans, Guillermo Kalen, Erica Smith, Paul Carlson and Ryan Bradley—reveal what clinched it for Kelley in their MBA search.

Support at all Stages:

Lauren Maggion
“I initially stumbled on Kelley when I moved my friend to Bloomington for her Ph.D. I emailed the MBA program office to see if anyone was around, and they immediately responded that they would be happy to visit with me even during the summer! The visit to campus was great and solidified my interest in certain program aspects – the core, the small class size, and the post-grad opportunities. Once I applied, the outreach I received from current students was awesome. I was able to meet with alumni in New York City, and a lot of them reminded me that it is totally possible to be on the East or West Coast despite going to school in the Midwest. I visited Kelley once more during experience weekend and really decided to attend because of the fit of the Kelley Family. From everyone I spoke with, there was an innate sense of collaboration, and people that wanted to help me succeed.” –Lauren

“The culture of Kelley is very difficult to summarize, but it can be boiled down to supportive and flexible. Kelley has a very supportive and understanding attitude that allows all students to pursue a career of their choice. Regardless of industry, role or location, the Kelley faculty and staff want to understand your goals and aspirations in order to make them a reality.” –Aaron

“Collaboration is something you feel from the moment you make contact and then confirm again later at interview season, surrounded by colleagues/competition that are supporting you, and you supporting them. [Kelley] is a place where you master team building and learn about the power of relationships. You experience this with your colleagues, the amazing alumni network, your faculty and staff.” –Guillermo 

A Proven Track Record:

Erica Smith
“I chose to pursue my MBA at Kelley because I was confident that its program would help me achieve my career goal of becoming a world-class brand manager. In my eyes, the significant presence of Kelley alumni at premier companies such as Procter & Gamble and General Mills demonstrated that a Kelley MBA is well-respected within the consumer packaged goods industry.  I also saw that several Kelley women alums have risen to the rank of chief executive officer of marketing-oriented organizations like Popeye’s and Quiznos—which made me feel like I could walk in their shoes one day. Given the success of Kelley’s vast alumni network, I felt that a Kelley MBA would equip me with the skills to not only manage a brand but lead an organization one day.” –Erica


“The staff not only is collaborative, but highly prepared. Kelley has repeatedly ranked in top positions for its Graduate Career Services, and the majority of its students have great jobs before graduation. As an international candidate, I considered this to be essential if I wanted to have professional experience in the USA, since companies are looking for a highly prepared individual, both academically and professionally.” –Guillermo

Kelley Culture:

“One of the aspects of the Kelley MBA Program I have enjoyed most is the opportunity to meet and work with students from all over the world. During the Integrated Core during my first year, I worked on a team with a student from Bangalore, India—who is the most brilliant person I’ve ever met. The cultural and technical learnings he has imparted to me during our time together have been invaluable, and I know our bond with last through the years to come. I also had the opportunity to work on a consulting project for a small bakery in Ghana called Ladl Patisserie during my first year—which was another international, interactive learning experience I truly enjoyed.” –Erica

Paul Carlson
“I was attracted to Kelley because of the family-like culture, the academic structure, and the potential network that I could leverage to help support my transition out of the military. My family and I felt welcomed, valued, and part of the community.  The size of the classes and the number of veteran students were also contributing factors because I felt like I could create strong professional and personal bonds with my peers, professors, and staff.”  –Paul

“I was nervous about returning to Kelley since I had already experienced Kelley and IU as an undergrad.  I was worried that I wouldn’t get a unique academic experience the second time around.  I was worried that recruiters would find two degrees from the same institution pointless.  I was worried that IU basketball games wouldn’t be as fun in my early 30s as they were in my early 20’s. Looking back I can’t believe I even considered going anywhere except Kelley….especially because basketball games and football tailgates are DEFINITELY as enjoyable the second time around!” –Ryan

Thursday, September 29, 2016

The Consortium and Kelley: Enhancing Diversity in Business Starts Here

by Ruby Jones, MBA’18
Consortium Fellow
Winner of the Wallace L. Jones Fellowship

Ruby Jones
On Tuesday, March 8, I received a beautiful cream and crimson box announcing my acceptance to the Kelley School of Business as a Consortium Fellow. Four hours later, I quit my job.

Quitting was not on my “To Do” list for the day, but I was so overcome with emotion and excitement that I couldn’t wait any longer. I should clarify that by “quit”, I mean I gave a four-month notice, but after nine years with the same employer four months can seem like a short notice. As word of my departure spread, I was bombarded with questions: What is the Consortium? What is a Consortium Fellow? Why an MBA? Why now?

What is the Consortium?

The mission of The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management is to enhance diversity in business education and leadership by helping to correct the serious underrepresentation of African Americans, Hispanic Americans and Native Americans in business schools and corporate management.  

In its 50th year, the Consortium assists in recruiting promising students, of any race, who show a commitment to its mission, to attend 18 of the top business schools. In exchange for their commitment, students receive access to a close-knit on-campus family, a powerful network of more than 8,500 alumni, early exposure to internship recruiters and, for many, full-tuition fellowships from their respective universities.

What qualities define a Consortium Fellow?

My commitment to the Consortium’s mission began before my knowledge of the organization. As a child, I pledged a portion of my allowance each year to support the United Negro College Fund. Although I did not fully understand the impact, I knew I was helping students who looked like me attend college and join the workforce. This support of diversity grew throughout my undergraduate studies, AmeriCorps Vista service and work experience.

At Kelley, this commitment has continued through accepting a leadership role on campus with the Curriculum Advisory Committee and participation in Kelley Consortium activities. In the coming months, there will be various opportunities to assist Consortium candidates in navigating the admissions process. Although work is abundant and time is limited, I will make myself available to those candidates, because the ability to build and support diverse leadership is critical for future success.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Cutting the Cord: Best Practices for Transitioning Within the Same Organization

by Stephanie J. Gray, Associate Director
Kelley Graduate Career Services

Stephanie J. Gray
You did it! You set your sights on a new position within your organization and after months of networking and interviewing you have earned a new title and a new set of job responsibilities. There’s one problem: you still work at the same company, so leaving your old job isn’t as easy as handing in two weeks' notice. Your previous supervisor may have advocated for your promotion and your clients may not really understand how you work for the same organization, but can no longer help them.

I recently made this transition and I have come up with a few helpful tips to “cut the cord” with your old job and start your new adventure.

Take time off.
This is something that I wish I had done. If you have the opportunity, take a week off to decompress and get excited for your new role. This week will also help you to distance yourself from your previous position without having new responsibilities.

Accept that there will be a transition time.
You likely haven’t changed building locations, so you might feel like the same person, but you are a new employee in THIS office. Allow yourself some time to adjust to the new responsibilities.

 Redefine success.
What made you successful at your last job may not be what makes you successful at your new one.  Usually moving up or over will require a different set of skills, some that may be completely foreign to you.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Look In The Mirror. What Do You See?

by Kendell Brown, Associate Director of Alumni Career Services
Kelley Graduate Career Services

Kendell Brown
Often alums and clients contact me wanting to initiate a job search but they’re at a loss as to where to start. All that they know is that they want to start now! So to jumpstart their thinking, I’ll have them assess where they are today. Self-evaluation is a great way to inventory who you are, what you have to offer and where you want to go. Here are the six areas I encourage someone to consider and the order to consider them. 

Strengths – What do you do well? 
I encourage people to start here.  It’s typically an easy assessment to make. If you’re stuck or too modest to reflect on your strengths look at old performance reviews. Or think about what you like to do best and/or what comes easiest to you. 

Transferrable skills – What will you leverage?
This is a natural next step from strengths. Transferrable skills are those skills that you have that can be applied across a variety of positions. Meaning if you’ve got a strong drive for results in your current role – you’ll have a strong drive for results in your next one. Typically, there’s a high degree of overlap between transferrable skills and strengths. Although, you should be aware that it’s not necessary for a transferrable skill to be a strength.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Kelley Alumni Receive Free Career Support for Life

by Kendell Brown, Associate Director of Alumni Career Services 
Kelley Graduate Career Services

Kendell Brown
At the Kelley School of Business, the Graduate Career Services staff considers alumni career services to be about lifetime career support. We are here for Kelley alumni at all stages of their careers. On-campus career services teams focus on understanding a student’s values and interests to help with a job search and getting off to a good start. Alumni career services marries that initial knowledge with the knowledge that comes with experience and being “in the real world” to set and achieve career development goals.

For short term planning, almost all of my conversations are about the next career step—a promotion, an external job search or a career pivot (“I’m in finance but I’d like to get into marketing.”).

When it comes to mid-term planning, those discussions are more about having a broad career goal and the moves necessary to achieve it. We talk about expanding an alum’s responsibility scope, enhancing and expanding strengths and building visibility.

Kelley’s alumni career services support is free and unlimited. This is a testament to how much we value our alumni. I’ve talked with my colleagues in other schools' alumni career services offices and they are stunned that I meet with each alum as often as he or she likes and at no cost. In this respect, Kelley is truly singular.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

You've Just Started your New Job. Now What?

by Rebecca Cook, Director of Coaching and Development
Kelley Graduate Career Services


Rebecca Cook
We’ve all been there. You’ve accepted your “dream” job, maybe moved to a new city or new apartment, and now it’s DAY 1. You’re likely nervous and excited all at once. It is a new start for you and you want to do well, impress people and enjoy it. So, how can you make sure that happens?

For both internships and full-time positions, there are several key things to focus on that can help you to be successful.

Promote yourself.
Get to know your role and organization and figure out where you can contribute early. There is likely some low-hanging fruit you can pick, so focus on that to get yourself off to a good start. Ask questions and give your opinion. This is the perfect time to ask about how things work and how you can add value. You are your best cheerleader and others will not always notice all that you are doing.

Understand the company.
How does it make money? What does the organizational structure look like? How does work get done? What is the culture and etiquette? Read as much as you can about your new company, both in company produced documents and outside information. The more knowledge you have about your organization, the better you can contribute and make decisions.