Monday, July 16, 2018

Lessons from the Field: My Top 5 from Internship Week 5

Tyler Yoder

Year 1 is in the books and your mind has finally decompressed during your brief summer break. You said your goodbyes to classmates-now some of your closest friends-and finally re-enter the world of the employed, at least for the summer. By this point, you're used to being flung into the unknown. How different could a new internship really be?

I walked through the doors for Day 1 at 3M and felt a healthy balance of confidence and anxiety. I had binders full of frameworks and several consulting projects under my belt. I had also fallen on my face several times-oh, that Effective Communication class-and knew that I still had a long way to go.

If the focus of MBA classes is equipping, the internship is the proving ground where the rubber meets the road. No more case studies. No more templates or projects nicely teed up. This is the real world with ambiguous projects and real opportunities to serve your clients and business partners.

One month into my internship, I decided to take a step back and ask myself, "If you could talk to your pre-internship self, what advice would you give?"

Here is my answer-my Top 5 by Internship Week 5.

1. It's OK to feel overwhelmed…it's a lot of "new". My first week was a whirlwind, my mind completely fried by the end of every day. I felt pressure to perform (for my own sake and for the reputation of Kelley and my 3M team), but to sustain that for a summer felt almost impossible. Then I remembered, "I've had a lot of 'new' in this week: new company, new city, new job function, new industry, new apartment, new traffic (yes, rush hour in the Twin Cities is worse than Bloomington). It's normal to feel overwhelmed." That was one of the most freeing reminders. Yes, the internship will fly by, but allow yourself time to acclimate to a new routine.

2. What question am I trying to answer? I ask myself this question multiple times every day. Whether you are scoping a project, immersing yourself in research, or building a presentation, always go back to the core of the project and what you are trying to accomplish. This will help you prioritize your work and eliminate unnecessary tasks.

3. Every day counts. A Kelley alum advised me to write down my weekly project and personal goals every Monday. There is an important balance here. They must move your project forward to the next milestone, but they must be feasible to complete by Friday. As a result, you will have to eliminate excess tasks and meetings to center on the core of your project and avoid wasting time. You will have days that wander off task; it's inevitable. However, by regularly refocusing on the core of the project ("What question am I trying to answer?") and having your weekly list of goals, you can quickly correct your trajectory rather than losing an entire week.

4. Remember, you're a human being…and they are, too. Take care of yourself. Go home at a reasonable time, clear your mind, do something fun and active, and get sleep. You NEED a break. If you don't, you will inevitably get sick, which you can't afford because "Every day counts." And remember, your coworkers are humans, too. Find out what your coworkers value and ask them about it. Whether it's their 15-month-old child, the World Cup, or the latest Star Wars movie, empathize with those around you and learn about what they value.

5. Don't forget where you came from. I sometimes try to bury Corporate Finance and Excel background in the past. But just today, that skill set was extremely relevant for one of my Marketing projects. Don't discount your background and everything you've learned up to this point, whether as a teacher or a sales rep, an opera singer or an analyst, a professional athlete or a CPA…you bring so much to the table, and that perspective is sometimes exactly what your employer needs.

It is only a matter of weeks before I return to Bloomington, but I know there are still countless lessons to learn and opportunities to apply my Top 5 list. I am excited to lean in and see what the last half of my internship has to offer.

Best of luck this summer, Class of 2019! Get out there and crush it! Let's show the world what we're made of!

Monday, June 18, 2018

Last exam completed, first year done… now what?

Mike Strus

Last exam completed, first year done… now what? The answer to this is straightforward - celebrate!  While this is probably the most obvious answer, the bigger question came next-how was I going to spend my few weeks before my internship started?  I wanted to make the most of it because my next break lasting this long might not come until retirement.

Catching up
The time commitment required to succeed during my first year at the Kelley MBA program-at times-was quite overwhelming.  I made sure to prioritize school which lead to some extracurriculars being put on the backburner. Catching up, for me, took on various forms:

  • Family, Friends, and Former Colleagues - Balancing school with keeping in touch with family, friends, and former colleagues was a difficult task for me.  I wanted to make sure I caught up and connected with those important to me.  Building a network of supporters is great but maintaining these relationships is paramount.  
  • Fitness - Running is a way for me to clear my head, catch up on the world via podcasts, and get a good workout in to stay fit.  Unfortunately, I slacked off for part of the year but stayed in decent enough shape to run the largest half marathon in the US, the OneAmerica Mini Marathon. 
  • TV and Reading - The last few weeks gave me the time to kick back and relax with some of my favorite shows:  Billions, Westworld, and Silicon Valley (all highly recommended).  I've also been able to catch almost every NBA playoff game-especially those on the west coast that were normally past my bedtime during the school year.  My one reading recommendation comes from a book I finished last week, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown. 
  • Activities - I made room for fun-enjoying a few rounds of golf at Cascades, attending the Indycar Grand Prix practice round, and spending a weekend in Atlanta to see the new Mercedes Benz Dome and an Atlanta United soccer match.

Internship Preparation
The last few weeks have also given me a time to do a real deep dive for my internship this summer at athenahealth in Boston.  Thanks to feedback and recommendations from various professors, and staff, of the Kelley Business School, I focused my time on a few things:

  • Expectations - What do I want to get out of the internship? How do I get there?
  • Company Profile - What is the company's latest news and financial information?
  • Competitors - Who are they and how do they differentiate themselves?
  • Industry News - Is there anything going on from a political or policy perspective that might impact the business?
  • Boston - How do I get the best experience out of the city?

As my time off winds down, there is one thing left that I have yet to do…time to start packing.

Monday, May 21, 2018

End of an Era: Celebrating 30 Years with Allyn Curry

Over the past month, we have celebrated Allyn Curry in his upcoming retirement. Allyn Curry has been a staple in the Kelley School of Business for 30 years by creating and enhancing countless diversity initiatives at Kelley. His commitment to The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management, its alumni, and current students go unmatched and we are honored to have had the opportunity to have him. You can view Allyn's montage video here.

In early April, we shared with the Consortium Alumni and current students how much it would mean to Allyn to honor his retirement by making a gift to the Allyn Curry MBA Fellowship Fund. This Fellowship supports underrepresented MBA students who demonstrate a financial need and remain in good academic standing.

Because of your generosity, we have made great strides in supporting our underrepresented students. Here are some stats about Allyn’s Fellowship Fund.

  • Number of donors since account opened: 93
  • Number of total gifts since account opened: 109 (some donors have made more than one gift)
  • Total dollars raised/pledged in April 2018: $2,800
  • Since inception, total dollars raised: $50,988.44

Join us in continuing Allyn’s legacy with the Kelley School by making a gift today.

If you would like to reach out to Allyn and thank him for all he’s done for the Consortium and the Kelley School of Business these past 30 years, his contact information is below.

Allyn Curry
Phone: 812-322-5271

The Indiana University Foundation solicits tax-deductible private contributions for the benefit of Indiana University and is registered to solicit charitable contributions in all states requiring registration. For our full disclosure statement, see

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Life with a Kelley Canine

Stephen Schenk, MBA'19

Last Valentine's Day, I received something I had been wanting for years… the go-ahead from my wife to get a puppy. The excitement of finding the right breed and reserving the pick of a future litter came with some reservations. I would soon be starting my first year at Kelley and had no idea what life would be like with a postgraduate pup. Now, I can look back on my first year at Kelley and provide the following guidance on bringing a dog to Bloomington:

Outsource the walking
Our new dog's first month in Bloomington was right in the middle of finals and internship recruiting season, and it was difficult to get home regularly for walks. I suggest utilizing one of the many dog-walking services in Bloomington. Rover and Wag! are smartphone apps which allowed us to quickly and easily get a trustworthy dog walker (ours ended up being an IU student herself). Daycare is also available near campus. We take Grizzly to BloomingPaws a few times a week to get his puppy energy out and to allow for extended time on campus for classes and meetings. The costs for these services range from $10-$15 for a walker and only a few bucks more for a full day at daycare. The cost is well worth the freedom and peace of mind.

Take Advantage of Campus
IU is known for having one of the most beautiful campuses in the US. One of the great things about having a dog in Bloomington is the excuse to explore outside the walls of Kelley. Our favorite weekend route starts with a coffee near the famous Sample Gates and takes us through Dunn's Woods. This area of campus is great in any season and bringing the pup is a sure-fire way to make new friends.

Go Out on the Town
Bloomington is one of the most dog-friendly places you'll find. We never miss a chance to let Grizz tag along to our favorite lunch and dinner spots. Most every restaurant with outdoor seating welcome dogs throughout the day. Upland is one of our favorites because of the large patio and the feeling that we are not alone when we see several other dogs bathing in the sun. BringFido and VisitBloomington are great resources for dog-friendly establishments in the area.

Did Someone Say "Playdate?"
Networking is key here at Kelley. We found that there are plenty of Kelley puppers to connect with here in Bloomington. Super Bowl parties, walks on the B-Line Trail or getting muddy at Ferguson Dog Park or Karst Dog Park with Sunny have been a great opportunity for Grizzly to expand his pawfessional network. Dog puns, check.

Life at Kelley is much more than classes, assignments, networking, meetings, recruiting, or Hoosier basketball games. Bloomington offers a variety of opportunities for any type of lifestyle - including owning a dog.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Spring 2018 Program Update for Kelley MBA Alumni

Rebecca Cook
Executive Director, MBA Program
I've been the Executive Director of the Kelley School of Business' MBA program for the past 18 months, and I'm thrilled for this opportunity. Since my graduation from the MBA program in 1996, I worked in investment management for about 14 years at a variety of sell-side and buy-side firms. I came back to Kelley in late 2009 and worked in Graduate Career Services for the seven years prior to my current role. I am grateful to Kelley for how it shaped my career and provided me the skills and networks to excel, and it's been awesome to be back working here.

The past 18 months have been an exciting time of investment and change in the program. This fall we welcomed 204 new students with the highest average GMAT and GPA scores we've ever had. Of course, as always, we admit students based not only on their strong GMAT scores and high GPAs, but also on their interpersonal skills and their projected employability. Our students are exceptionally talented and it is a great honor to work with them. I hope you get the chance to meet them—and of course, I hope that you look for opportunities to hire them! If you have any opportunities (internship or full-time), please email Nina Camfield at

Since introducing Me, Inc., our capstone professional development program, in 2010, we have continued to evolve and push the program based on student feedback and employer needs. Me, Inc. continues to be a differentiator for our program and allows our students to develop interviewing techniques and gain the necessary soft skills and emotional intelligence needed to be successful in the workplace. The next iteration of Me, Inc. will have an increased focus on emotional intelligence and how to grow each area while the student is at Kelley. We offer Me, Inc. 2.0 for our second year students when they come back from their internships as a refresher on networking, interviewing, and how to negotiate their offer, and we launched Me, Inc. 3.0 this year in the spring for our second-year students to focus on reputation and legacy, both at Kelley and in the workplace.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018


Stephanie Simon, MBA'19

For most Kelleys, the MBA is not complete without a global component. Learning abroad and doing business with other cultures was high on my to-do list when I came to Bloomington. One of the things that makes Kelley special is the GLOBASE (Global Business and Social Enterprise) program. It's a global consulting experience that involves 7 weeks of in-class preparation and group work with a client before a week-long in-country experience over spring break. While it's mostly first-year MBAs (and some School of Public and Environmental Affairs graduate students) who participate, second-year students can develop their leadership skills by leading the trips and managing the consulting teams.
This year I participated in the first-ever GLOBASE China trip. Our team of five students was paired up with a hotel in Yunnan province, a beautiful region in rural, southwestern China. Our client, an American ex-pat, has built a successful business thus far. He's very committed to showcasing local Chinese culture, and he's done it in a way that has enabled the local community to prosper. His goal is to expand to more locations across China, and he needed a marketing plan. Enter our project. Each week we had late-night calls (gotta love the 13-hour time difference!) with him and his team to better understand their value proposition and challenges. Then we would go to work researching, analyzing data, researching, conducting interviews, and researching some more.

We landed in China with a skeleton plan of our recommendations, but our firsthand experience allowed us to flesh out our project in a way that made it more meaningful and tactical for our client. Talking with different staff, brainstorming with them and watching them work were crucial to our recommendations. We left having bolstered their ability to make strategic decisions about their digital properties that will enable them to be a multi-location hospitality firm.

I came back to Bloomington with a much deeper understanding of the Chinese culture and a reshaped view of the misperceptions and preconceived notions I had about China. Getting to work with a founder on their business is an immense privilege. I'm so thankful for our client, who invited us behind the curtain to see the unvarnished details of his venture and who was open to any and all of our suggestions. I believe our teams made a immense impact on our China projects (as did our classmates on trips to Vietnam, India, Guatemala and Ghana).

China is the future for many of the businesses we will join after graduation, and I know my experience there will give me a leg-up on the job experiences that await me. On a personal level, I know that GLOBASE not only taught me new skills but helped mold me into a better global citizen.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Develop Your Mindset to Allow Personal Growth

As an executive coach, I'm in the business of personal development and growth-helping others achieve their goals and aspirations through positive yet challenging techniques. It is an amazing experience to watch someone grow along their own developmental axis, pushing their "learning edge" in ways that they may not have believed possible before. 

What I notice in successful clients are three mindsets that are critical for anyone seeking personal growth: intentionality, presence, and perspective. 

Personal development requires intentionality. You must be intentional in your desire to grow, and specific enough in your goals to know where you should focus your limited growth energy. While there are always chance opportunities for personal growth, the lack of intentionality hinders progress because you can't really understand your progress towards a known goal. When I work with clients who believe in the power of intentionality it allows us to focus on clear visioning of a desired state, followed by goal creation and pathway mapping. All of these are critical tools for personal development and, interestingly, the same steps that positive psychologists use to study hope. Intentionality helps hope come to life.