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.


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