Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Latin America: The Land of Opportunity

Clinical Professor of International Business Roberto García introduces the first speaker
at the Doing Business in Latin America conference.
Guillermo Kalen
By Guillermo Kalen, MBA ‘17

Every year, the Institute for Global Organizational Effectiveness (IGOE) and the Latin MBA Association organize an event focused on Latin America. This year we had a conference titled “Doing Business in Latin America," which dealt with the importance of Latin America and the US economy and how to position yourself for a career in the region.

Roberto García, clinical professor of International Business and a member of the Management and Entrepreneurship department at Kelley, opened the event with a very special introduction: Jose Eduardo Claro, a Kelley alum who was a member of the first GLOBASE project, one in which García himself participated, has become a successful program within the business school that helps Kelley form and strengthen its relationships around the world.

Claro, a current Embraco/Whirlpool manager in Brazil, focused his presentation on solving two main questions: What is the importance of Latin America for corporate America? Will Latin American remain important for the US? Jose was able to not only to demonstrate the impact of Latin America on the U.S. economy, but also the opportunities American businesses have in the region through a presentation filled with useful and relevant statistics. For example, Walmart in the U.S. has one store for every 65,000 people, while Latin America only has one store for every 320,000 people. Another great example was Netflix. It has a current household penetration of 36% in the U.S., but only 0.9% in Latin America. He ended his presentation by sharing that there are some roadblocks in the region, but there is also opportunities.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Everything I Needed to Get through My MBA, I Learned from Yoga

Jordan Leopold
By Jordan Leopold, MBA'16

I started mentoring a group of first year students through the leadership academy as a part of my growth and development as I continue on my MBA journey. Last week in one of my coaching meetings, I caught myself saying, “Take inventory of yourself and what you need and let go of what you don’t”.  I realized that I was reciting the words of my yoga instructor from the particularly steamy class I had taken the night before. Later on when reflecting back, I came to the realization that so much of what got me through the first year of my MBA, I learned on a 71”x 24” rubber mat.

I have been practicing yoga now for about three years and I am still terrible at it.  As a former college athlete, I do not take kindly to being bad at things. Despite my lack of headstands, splits or generally any cool trick, I have gained so much from developing a consistent practice and have carried those lessons off my mat and into the halls of the Kelley School of Business.

Here are a few of the things I’ve learned:

Lesson 1 - Leave Your Ego at the Door

Did I mention I’m really bad at yoga?  When learning more advanced poses, there is a high risk of toppling over in a grand fashion time after time.  But one of those times when you flail yourself up into one of the seemingly impossible positions, you won’t fall and all of those other times when you crumpled into a sweaty heap will be forgotten.  Kelley is very much the same experience.  I failed a lot in my first year.  I bombed exams.  I bombed interviews. I applied for many jobs I didn’t get. However, I also took first prize in a national case competition and scored internship offers from my dream companies.  At Kelley, we are encouraged to take risks and not all of those risks work out. But the way this community celebrates our successes and lifts us up from our disappointments makes it that much easier to jump again.

Why Rocky never gets old

by Nicolette Michele Johnson, Associate Director of Kelley School's Graduate Career Services
Nicolette Michele Johnson

I was introduced to Ryan Coogler, the twenty-something creator and director of Creed, the seventh film in the Rocky series, while watching The Daily Show with Trevor Noah last weekend (I often record the show and watch a week’s worth in one sitting.)

Coogler told Noah that he was focusing on football in college when his college writing instructor called his dorm room, asking him to stop by her office, which was nearby. Coogler said that he thought that he had done something wrong or would be told something bad.

However, when he arrived and to his surprise, his instructor complimented his writing ability and encouraged him to continue to writing.

With that seemingly small piece of encouragement, he continued to write and later attended USC’s School of Cinematic Arts before directing his first feature film Fruitvale Station, a Sundance Film Festival winner, and the subsequent Creed film for which Sylvester Stallone just won a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor.

I’m always amazed at how simple words of encouragement can do so much to help people -- move forward or bask in greatness right then and there. A simple positive comment can spark a special something in someone for only a few minutes or perhaps a lifetime, if the person really lets it sink in.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Bloomington Audit: John W. Scott, MBA'16

John W. Scott, MBA'16, and his favorite things.

Not only is the Kelley MBA program among the top in the world, so is our location in Bloomington, Indiana. This incredible college town boasts natural beauty, a low cost of living and is nationally recognized for its food, theater, music and adventure. That’s why we’ve asked John Scott, MBA’16, to continue our #BtownAudit series and share some of his favorite things in Bloomington.

Birthday Beers at Function Brewing

If you are a beer aficionado like me, you will find yourself at home at Function Brewing within the first few sips. The Conjecture IPA is my favorite, and is especially delicious on birthdays! Pair it with one of their stellar paninis and you are on your way to one of the best meals in town.

Green Curry Chicken at My Thai

There are few things I love more than Thai food, and the spicier the better. My Thai is one of my favorite places in town, and I often crave their Green Curry Chicken. Their menu may say you can order up to level 5, but be bold and go for something higher – like level 8!

Harvest Moon at Cardinal Spirits

When the leaves start to turn, the best place to admire the beauty of Bloomington is from Cardinal Spirit’s patio. This year-old local distillery offers some of the best cocktails in town, and their locally-sourced spirits are top-notch.  The Harvest Moon, one of their own creations, has a cinnamon stick and granny apple slices. What’s not to love?

Cold Brew Coffee from Uel Zing

I love to support local. When I find myself in need of a much-needed caffeine boost, I go for some of Uel Zing’s cold brew coffee. It’s delicious and one is enough to last all day!

Walking the dog (or yourself) through the IU campus

IU’s campus is recognized as one of the most beautiful in the country, and when the leaves start to change, it is easy to see how it has earned that title. Walking our puppy through campus and getting lost in the trails is an excellent way to spend an afternoon after class. (For great photos of campus, check out these Instagram accounts: Indiana UniversityKelley School, & Kelley School MBA.)

Saturday Farmer’s Market

Bloomington Farmer’s Market is not only a great place to get some fantastic locally-sourced meats and produce, but it is also a fun way to spend a Saturday morning. Go and enjoy the music, grab some fresh Indiana apples, and cook up something delicious!

Watching the game at The Tap (with Tap Fries, of course)

The Tap is one of the best spots in town, and their plethora of TVs makes it a great meeting spot for watching IU away games. Try one of their 300+ beers in stock and on tap, order some delicious Tap fries, and watch IU win.

Authentic Tacos from La Poblana Taco Truck

Love tacos? You won’t find anything better than the ones La Poblana makes. Their Cochinita Pibil and Al Pastor tacos are incredible and will leave you going back for more.

What are your favorite things about Bloomington? Join in on the discussion using the hashtag #BtownAudit.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

MBA Career Advice from a "Betterman"

Eric Johnson
By Eric Johnson, Director of Graduate Career Services

Some people can quote Socrates. Others can quote Chaucer.

Me? I can quote Vedder. Eddie Vedder. As in the lead singer of Pearl Jam, my favorite band for the last 20 years. [And writer/singer on the hit song, Betterman, if you are too young to get the pun in the title.]

While you may scoff at this talent I have to tell you that it’s come in handy a lot over the last two weeks. At work, in professional situations, no less.

In fact, much of the career advice I’ve handed out to students lately can be summarized by some of my favorite lines from Eddie Vedder. Here are a few of the ones I’ve used more than once just since Halloween:

“The one thing about going from the audience to the stage in just three years is that you know how it feels to be down there.”

I’ve had a number of MBA students tell me lately that they love everything about the job offer they want to accept except for the fact that they are required to do a sales role at some point in the early stage of their career. One flat out told me, “I didn’t get an MBA to go into a sales job. I came here to do strategy.” As somebody who’s been in both sales and strategy roles I have to call “bullshit.” If you don’t understand your customers then there is no strategy you can develop which will save your company from bankruptcy.

The best leaders I know all have spent significant parts of their careers in roles that are close to the end users of their products and/or services. No role gets you closer than a sales role. It’s not a “check the box” rotation, nor is it an obligation – it’s a gift. You GET to see how your business actually works, and you GET to hear from customers about how you could do it better. With this understanding, you can actually make smarter strategic choices. You’ll actually know how it feels to be “down there”.

IGOE Fellows Take Full Advantage of NSHMBA Conference & Career Expo

From left to right: Thiago Barreto de Araujo (MBA ‘17, IGOE Fellow), Christina Naguiat (MBA ‘17), 
Vignicius França (MBA ‘17), Sara Marinov (MBA ‘16), Manuel Tejada (MBA ‘17, IGOE Fellow)

By Thiago Barreto de Araujo, MBA ‘17

MBA Fellows of the Institute for Global Organizational Effectiveness attended the 27th NSHMBA Conference & Career expo in Chicago, Illinois, October 8-10, 2015. NSHMBA is the National Society of Hispanic MBAs, which was founded in 1988 with the purpose to be the premier organization for Hispanic business professionals.

The IGOE Impact

The Institute for Global Organizational Effectiveness (IGOE) has been giving its continuous support to Latino and Latin American MBA and PhD students since 2010. In addition to financial support, IGOE provides opportunities to help its Global Fellows succeed in a competitive world. Through regular meetings with Founding and Managing Director Professor Herman Aguinis, doctoral students, MBA students and guests, IGOE allows us to gain knowledge and experiences that prepare us to become innovative and committed leaders.   

Monday, November 2, 2015

The Power of Maybe So

by Nicolette Michele Johnson, Associate Director of Kelley School's Graduate Career Services

Nicolette Michele Johnson
I remember, years ago, when I was laid off from a large corporation. It was around the housing crisis with a lot of layoffs swirling around. I imagine some people felt bad for me, thinking how unfortunate it was.

During my newly found free time, I read one of Eckhart Tolle’s early books, one that Oprah endorsed as part of her well-known book club that often took authors from relative obscurity to fame in what seemed like mere seconds.

I vaguely remember a story in the book in which an individual was in an auto accident and people told the individual how bad that was. “Poor thing,” they said. His response was: “maybe so.” Then, while in the hospital, he later learned that his house had fallen into the ocean. People told him how bad that was. He said: “maybe so.”

That’s when I honed in on the principle of “maybe so.” I had always had somewhat of a “maybe so” attitude, but I hadn’t thought about it deeply. I don’t think there’s an actual principle called that, but I’m sure the concept is an old one.

Are there worse alternatives than being in the hospital after an accident? Had the person not been in the accident and been home when his house slid into the ocean, could his fate had been worse? It’s quite possible.

In my situation, was it a bad thing to be laid off? Maybe so. It’s all a matter of perspective, with events only deriving the meaning and impact that we give them. Did I lose an opportunity to continue to work at that large corporation? Yes. Was that a bad thing? Not from my vantage point.

During my "break," I gained lots of free time which included my daily 10 a.m. workout at the gym or walk on Atlanta's Silver Comet Trail, staying up as late as I wanted to (as the night owl I truly was and am) and talking with new companies about all sorts of the possibilities.

I also read more books during that time than I had in several years combined. And because of other events in my life, that layoff could NOT have come at a better time. It was like kismet, with the universe knowing I needed a break, especially from work I never loved. The universe likely knew that a few short years later, my experience, skills, wisdom, sense of direction and even income would double, surpassing anything I had left behind.

In the years that followed, my affinity for “maybe so” grew. There are so many silver linings in most events, especially involving work, dreams and relationships, that I actually have difficulty finding the negative side. Sure, I don’t totally overlook the negative aspects, but the positive takes their place with lightning speed.

And when I can, I try to help others, especially those I coach, embrace the positive after they've had some time to sit with their feelings, good or bad.

So when the next event that appears less-than-positive to you occurs, I wish you, too, a big dose of maybe so.

“The Power of Maybe So” was originally published on Linkedin Pulse on October 13, 2015.