Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Excel Wizard

Kelley is the best MBA program for all things relating to Microsoft Excel. The excel spreadsheet modeling classes are literally out of this world. The reason for this rests largely with Wayne Winston, a wizard of math and sports.

It would be hard to have a business school blog at Kelley without mentioning Wayne. He's a genius and knows how to convey his decision modeling knowledge to students. I'm taking all the classes he has to offer as part of my MBA course curriculum because I really believe they increase the value of the Kelley MBA. And how could this not differentiate Kelley as a top MBA school - Wayne literally wrote the Microsoft book for excel and consults companies across the globe and other top-tier MBA programs (like Wharton and Harvard). Yet we here at Kelley have the luxury of Wayne's expertise all the time.

The class I'm in now deals with modeling uncertainty in finance. We solve problems ranging from how Madoff's ponzi scheme could have been easily uncovered to optimizing capital budgeting decisions or boostrapping data and running Monte Carlo simulations.

Wayne recently released Mathletics, which deals with making better sporting decisions using statistics. Surely Wayne has done this in his consulting Mark Cuban of the Dallas Mavericks, another famous Kelley alumnus. If this book is anything like his lectures and other books, it should be a definite read. I know I can't wait to read it.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Kelley School of Business Sponsors National Assoc. for Women MBAs Conference

The Kelley School of Business MBA Program at Indiana University is one of the leading school sponsors for the 2009 Conference and Career Fair Leadership Today and Tomorrow in Anaheim, California, October 29-31. The National Association for Women MBAs (NAWMBA) hosts this annual conference to assist women, both students and professionals, as they continue along the journey to develop and enhance their leadership skills.

Top Business MBA Programs and corporations including AT&T, Target and JPMorganChase and more will participate. The conference also includes a career fair and case competition for teams of women from MBA Programs nation-wide.

The Kelley Women organization at Indiana University is one of the most active clubs in the full-time MBA program. The website is a great resource for women that are considering returning to business school or exploring careers. The “Contact Us” section features databases for current women students as well as alumni women contact information. You can find current and former Kelley women by major, background, company, or region of the country that align with your background or interests.

Looking for a career change? Join us for our first annual Women's Weekend.

Learn more about one of the top full-time MBA programs in the nation.

The Kelley School of Business two-year MBA Program will host its first annual Women's Weekend in Bloomington, November 6-8, for prospective students who are interested in learning more about MBA student life.

Join us for a weekend dedicated to providing in-depth information on the Kelley MBA course curriculum, introducing you to a network of great women, and most importantly, exploring the exciting career options that are available upon graduation!

You'll be able to
  • Meet and talk with current students, faculty, administrators and alumni—and start building your network and opportunities.
  • Tour the IU campus and the Godfrey Center and see why Bloomington consistently tops the list in campus beauty, culture and state-of-the-art facilities.
  • Stay with one of our 2nd year women as your host for the weekend – see what living in Bloomington is really like and learn all the ins and outs of the Kelley Program

    Register today!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

E.X.C.E.L. : Opening Doors and Bringing Balance

Here's my first official entry for my MBA program blog. Even as a top business university in business shool rankings, in this current economic enviornment it is proving to be difficult for both first and second years as companies tighten their workforce plans and reduce the size of their incoming internship and full time opportunities.

Since 2002, the Expanding and Creating Exceptional Leaders (E.X.C.E.L.) conference put on by both the Black MBA Association and Latin MBA Association has given graduate students at Kelley the opportunity to develop leadership skills and networking opporunities. This year, the planning committee decided that in order to assist in fighting the reduction in number of internship and full time opportunities that we would create a panel style conference around four different areas that students are interested in but have limited connections to utilize. This proved to be of great benefit for students in our graduate business program. Our hope was that through the conference, attendees would leave inspired to learn more about opportunities that they may not have previously considered or did not know how to approach. On September 19, we achieved this goal.

The four areas focused on were; real estate & property management, sports, non-profit/government, and PhD opportunities. We had 8 phenomonal speakers for the sessions:
  • Real Estate - Dennis Dye - Executive Vice President - Browning Investments
  • Real Estate - Brian Carter - Financial Analyst - Simon Property Group
  • Sports/Entertainment - Rob Laycock - Director of Interactive Marketing - Indiana Pacers
  • Sports/Entertainment - Mac Collins - Vice President - Exclusive Sports Group, LLC
  • Non-Profit/Gov't - Steve Hourigan - Executive Director - 21st Century Fund - IEDC
  • Non-Profit/Gov't - Larry Smith - Director - Third Millenium Intiative at the Center of Philanthropy
  • PhD - Jason Brown - Professor - Kelley School of Business, IU
  • PhD - Denise Williams - PhD Candidate - Kelley School of Business, IU
The conference was closed by keynote speaker, Zillah Matare Fluker, a world headquarter's HR manager for UTC (Carrier). Zillah, who also attended a top management MBA program has been recognized through many accolades during her lifetime. On September 19, Zillah spoke about being able to balance. She offered her own experience as a way to show us how it was possible to strike a balance between your career, philanthropic side, and personal life while still being able to get the most out of every single one of them. It was an insight that we all, as MBA students at one of the best business grad school programs, needed to hear as many of us are adamant about juggling multiple committments. More about Zillah.


Looking forward to see what the E.X.C.E.L. conference will bring next year.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Kelley MBAs on the Go!

It was an athletic weekend for the MBA students at Kelley! On Friday the 1st and 2nd year MBAs played a friendly game of football. The game is being dubbed the "Mud Bowl" because it had been raining for two straight days in Bloomington, and let's just the say the field was not dry. I have to give props to the 1st years who were victorious- they had a tough exam in the morning and were still able to dominate on the field!

Saturday morning MBA students, professors and alumni participated in the 2009 Hoosiers Outrun Cancer 5K race. As a group we were running for a former professor of the full time MBA program who lost his battle to cancer in 2007. I was proud to run beside so many of my classmates for such a great cause. I was also happy to beat my goal of 9 minute miles!

It was also a busy weekend from an MBA social life perspective with parties, designated bars and then also meeting at a local bar to watch the Hoosiers come so close to beating Michigan. Go Hoosiers!

The only bad thing about having so many fun MBA student activities during the weekend is that it typically means there is a lot of homework to do on Sunday. While the MBA coursework at Kelley is challenging, I really appreciate the balance most students have between getting classwork done and still finding time to be involved in the community and also building relationships with classmates. Who would have thought Kelley students would have to find the right "work-life balance" after they quit their jobs and become full-time students?!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

What can Kelley do for you?

Make you a kick-ass manager/networker/owner/leader over 2 years. That's what.

I'm just over 3 weeks into the Core now and just took my first test last night. It was an accounting quiz and I'm glad to have it over with. Now I get to look forward to the Quantitative Methods (think Uber-Advanced Excel) midterm on Friday, followed by my first event with the consumer marketing academy. I'm so happy to be in that academy because I really think that Kelley offers the best consumer marketing MBA program.

Over the past 3 weeks I've had an intense beginning to my business school education. I have almost no formal business education, having taken just a couple of business classes in undergrad. So I needed an MBA for non-business majors. Kelley does a great job of teaching you the basics in a short amount of time so you can be ready to speed up the pace when the classes get very challenging and start integrating curriculum. Because of that intergration, even if you don't major in it, you get an MBA in Business Management.

And during this time, on top of having class for 4+ hours a day monday-thursday, I've been working 12 hours a week as a graduate assistant in the MBA program office. And on top of that, almost every night brings some sort of networking event, club meeting or social event happening. We've met with 40+ companies in the 3 weeks since classes have started, including Kraft, Nestle, Target, Walmart, Amazon.com, AT&T and 3M.

They truly keep you busy here.

In that regard, Bloomington is a gift. I used to live in Chicago and thought that staying there for an MBA would be great. Knowing how much of a time commitment it is, I'm really glad I came to Bloomington for these next two years. It is a great college town with all the resources you need, and there are plenty of places to go out and have an MBA social life. The reason it's great for an MBA is because everyone in the program is in the same boat. You create such a bond with your fellow classmates and don't have distractions of other people calling you to come hang out or go out with them. You can dive in 100%.

And that's exactly what I've done so far.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Introduction

Hello! Allow me to introduce myself. I am a second year MBA student and I am so looking forward to blogging this year and sharing with you some of my experience here at Kelley.

I am a marketing major, a member of the Consumer Marketing Academy, and I spent my summer internship at Pinnacle Foods Group in New Jersey. At Kelley, I am the fundraising chair for Kelley Women and am a co-chair of the External Relations committee under the MBA Association. This Spring, I am planning to study abroad in Santiago, Chile. As you will see in my coming posts, I am very enthusiastic about the Kelley program and I hope that through this blog, I can share a little bit of my experience with you.

We've been back in class for four weeks and both the first year and second year classes are feeling the pressure of being in one of the top ranked MBA schools. Although our weeks are busy with classes and academic activities, we all look forward to the weekends for a chance to unwind and relax. Tomorrow night is our annual MBA Bowl where the first years battle against the second years in a friendly flag football game. This Saturday is Hoosiers Outrun Cancer, a local 5k. Each year, a team from Kelley races in memory of one of the school's most beloved professors. I will be sure to be in touch next week with a report of both of these events!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Why its great to be a 2nd Year MBA student at Kelley

As I prepare to begin my 3rd week of classes at the Kelley School of Business, I can't help write my business school blog on how great it is to be a second year MBA student. Sure the first year was fun meeting my classmates and the faculty and staff at Kelley, but nothing beats second year at one of the country's top full time MBA programs. While there are too many benefits to list them all, here is what I would consider the top five:

5. Instead of just being a member of a club or organization, as a second year student you actually get to run the club. For me this means being one of the co-directors of the Student Admission Council (SAC), which is a group of 50 students who run the visit program at Kelley. I am so excited to have prospective students visit our program so that I can see the new SAC members in action.

4. While I enjoyed taking 8 classes at once during the Integrated Core, it was tough! I love my classes right now and I am always amazed by the caliber of professors at Kelley.

3. My MBA social life and my ability to enjoy all that Bloomington has to offer has increased. Between the Farmer's Market, hiking at various state parks or eating alfresco on 4th Street with friends, this town has a lot to offer- especially in the fall.

2. Mentoring first year MBA students is going to be a challenge, but it will be a great way to give back to the MBA program. Being that Kelley is one of the best consumer marketing MBA programs, we have a lot of talented people interested in brand management. I can't wait to get to know all of them.

1. I have failed to mention that I came back to school with a full time offer from my dream company. I know that I am blessed to have received the offer in this tough economy, but I have to admit that I spend some time each day thinking about how I'm going to spend my signing bonus. Like I said, life as a second year student at Kelley is great!

Corporate Finance Academy Week

I recently finished my third and final academy week; it was a wonderful experience.

I have enjoyed participating in the Corporate Finance Academy for a variety of reasons. First off, the academy exposed me to a nearly endless parade of companies - which, in turn, allowed me to explore numerous industries and companies I'd like to work for. This type of customized exposure to companies and finance functions highlights Kelley's status as a top MBA school - and actually attracted me here when I was applying to MBA programs.

Further, as a career-switching MBA student, the academy experience gave me the extra technical training I needed to be an effective financial analyst. The academy weeks also allowed me to showcase these technical skills to companies on campus.

There are important social elements to the academy structure as well. Some of my closest friends at Kelley are other Corporate Finance Academy members who are also doing a MBA in Corporate Finance. These friendships have developed naturally as we've clustered together often over this past year.

And perhaps the most important element of the academy is the individual attention each member gets from the academy director. In my case Scott Smart has been tremendously helpful as a mentor, advisor, and friend. Scott's very keen on helping career-switchers like me get the most of their MBA studies, and leverage that knowledge into a meaningful career.

This final academy week was a nice denouement to past academy events. Students presented on their summer internships and how Kelley helped prepare them to succeed there. We had multiple cases with companies like Intel, Air Products, and Whirlpool. And there was even a chance to let our hair down when we went boating on beautiful Lake Monroe.

Now certainly these academies are unique to Kelley - and really set Kelley apart as one of the best MBA business schools. I'm glad to have been a part of this unique academy experience Kelley can really boast about.