Friday, December 31, 2010

Bloomington y Kelley: interacción fuera del aula

Para cerrar el 2010, quiero referirme al valor agregado que ofrece la combinación Kelley-Bloomington para obtener un MBA. Una de las ventajas de unirse a un MBA tiempo-completo es la posibilidad de establecer relaciones con compañeros que han sido exitosos en diferentes ámbitos profesionales.

Sin embargo, dado el rigor académico del programa, es difícil encontrar el tiempo para conocer a estas personas durante la semana; por lo tanto, recurrimos a los fines de semana. ¿Qué mejor forma de hacer esto que en una ciudad pequeña, donde la mayoría de estudiantes viven cerca y visitan los mismos lugares en su tiempo libre?

La cultura colaborativa de Kelley propicia estos encuentros casuales directa e indirectamente. La Asociación de Másters en Administración de Negocios (MBAA) declara “D-bars”, bares designados, cada semana. De esta forma, los interesados en interactuar con otros estudiantes en un ambiente informal saben adónde acudir las noches de jueves a domingo.
Por otro lado, Bloomington tiene varias características que facilitan esta interacción. Complejos residenciales como Fountain Park, Bloom Apartments, o Woodbridge alojan a grandes cantidades de MBAs de Kelley, por lo cual es común organizar actividades de esparcimiento cada fin de semana.

Concluyo con algunas cosas que obtuve de mis compañeros en actividades fuera del aula:
1. La idea de formar una papeleta para el MBAA.
2. Una extensa discusión, y posterior ajuste, de mis metas profesionales a largo plazo.
3. Un mejor conocimiento de las debilidades y fortalezas de cada miembro de mi equipo de trabajo del Core.
4. Al menos 3 contactos profesionales que pueden ayudarme a conseguir un internado en el verano del 2011.
Los(as) invito a comentar con cualquier duda que tengan sobre la vida en Bloomington.
Saludos, y ¡feliz año nuevo!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Primer año en Kelley: el Integrated Core

Durante el primer semestre del programa del MBA, los estudiantes de Kelley pasamos por el Integrated Core. El propósito de este curso es darnos una visión amplia sobre cómo resolver problemas de negocios desde varias perspectivas. Para más información sobre el curso, pueden visitar esta página. En este post les cuento mi experiencia con el Core.

Por no tener experiencias laborales tan extensas como la mayoría de mis compañeros, probablemente soy una de las personas que le sacó mayor provecho al curso a través del análisis de las opiniones de los demás. Disfruté enormemente escuchar a personas provenientes de una amplia gama de industrias y funciones ofrecer su criterio y justificación de cuál era el camino a seguir en la discusión de cada caso de negocios.

Sin embargo, la diversidad de criterios que reina el ambiente de clase no puede por sí sola garantizar la calidad académica que percibí en el Core. Los profesores juegan un papel clave en cada discusión: ellos se encargan de que lo mejor de cada argumento salga a relucir con suficiente claridad como para que todos los estudiantes lo absorban, y lo puedan aplicar en situaciones futuras sin ningún obstáculo.

Princeton Review no se equivoca al calificar a Kelley entre los 10 mejores programas de MBA en los rubros de facultad y de experiencia en clase. Cuando visité la escuela en Noviembre del 2009 y asistí como invitado a una clase del Core, sentí una atracción "mágica" que finalmente logró que me decidiera por este programa. Después de pasar por el Core, puedo asegurar que me siento satisfecho con mi decisión.
Les invito a comentar si quieren saber más del Core o de cualquier aspecto académico del MBA de Kelley. Felices fiestas!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Buscando Problemas

A partir de los recientes hechos trascurridos con Wikileaks quisiera comentar sobre varias similitudes que encuentro entre lo que vivimos hoy como espectadores de esta explosión de información y lo que implica para la carrera de cualquier estudiante latinoamericano poder desarrollar un programa como un MBA en una escuela de negocios como Kelley.

Independiente del debate ético y político que implica el despliegue de Wikileaks, este fenómeno ejemplifica perfectamente la disponibilidad e inmediatez de la información que caracteriza nuestra época. Lo que antes era valioso en términos de acceso , hoy es abierto, disponible. Lo que antes implicaba que el “que tiene la información, tiene el poder”, hoy tenerla no es un privilegio sino una responsabilidad.

Frente a este escenario. ¿Dónde queda el rol de un MBA en preparar a los futuros “líderes”?, Si No es con información, ¿Cómo se alcanza “el poder” entonces?. La clave de a estos cuestionamientos la he ido descubriendo en los últimos 18 meses. He podido vivir a través de clases como Marketing Strategy o Firm in the Capital Market que lo que realmente implica esta explosión hoy es que la cualidad más importante es poder visualizar y encontrar las preguntas acertadas, más allá que encontrar las respuestas.

Las respuestas, la información (en términos genéricos) están virtualmente en todos lados o al menos a una fracción del costo de transacción de hace unos años. La gran ventaja se adquiere cuando somos capaces de anticiparnos a las situaciones problemáticas, a las coyunturas que definen la trayectoria de los hechos para poder definir cuáles, ahora si, serán las preguntas que vamos a necesitar responder. El antiguo paradigma de “saber todas las respuestas” en la educación pasa a ser reemplazado por “anticiparnos a todos los problemas” y tener la confianza suficiente para que al anticiparnos a estos problemas, los podamos convertir en oportunidades.

Cierro esta entrada de blog con un aparte de la guía de examen final de una clase que sintetiza fielmente el reto y la ventaja que encuentra una persona al hacer parte de dun programa como el MBA en Kelley School of Business.

“…You will be required to think critically about the strategic direction of your company and the specific activities dictated by your role. You have been given the tools. Believe in yourself, and have the confidence to know that you are up to the challenge. “
Felices Fiestas a todos !

Aprendiendo a nadar

De las grandes áreas de estudio en cualquier programa de MBA , Estrategia es quizás, de las que cuenta con tantos adeptos como incrédulos en cuanto a su utilidad en el mundo real. Remontándome a mi primer año dentro del programa, la expectativa era bastante alta en términos de las grandes epifanías reveladas como estudiante de MBA. En este momento, a diferencia de pregrado y cualquier de las otras clases de Estrategia (aunque buenas, pero las recuerdo como clases de natación dentro de un submarino, con mucha teoría por pero sin saber exactamente por dónde aplicarla) éramos estudiantes de MBA´s con conocimiento, experiencia y muchas ganas de aprender.

Y fué durante el Core, el primer semestre del programa que unifica la enseñanza de las áreas principales de un MBA y del cual más adelante hablarán otros bloguistas, cuando tuvimos nuestra primera revelación: Detrás de las teorías, metodologías y matrices, Estrategia era solo un medio para alcanzar un fin. Un medio, que además resulta exigiendo mucho más de aplicar metodologías para resolver un problema gerencial determinado.
Arrancábamos entonces el principio del fin: El 1er Semestre del 2do Año, cuando algunos decidimos tomar una clase que hablaba de Estrategia, pero en esta ocasión como el “desarrollo de una capacidad”. Developing Strategic Capabilities, es la clase que tiene como objetivo (o reto) el desarrollo de capacidades estratégicas en el planteamiento y resolución de problemas gerenciales. La clase arranca con una rápida y profunda inmersión de las distintas metodologías que pueden utilizarse en las diferentes problemáticas a trabajar durante la clase. A la segunda clase, el Profesor asume leídas y entendidas las metodologías para así poder concentrarse en lo que realmente importa, en el cómo abordar estratégicamente problemas gerenciales.

Esta clase, a excepción de la tradicional clase de metodología de caso, busca vivir realmente el caso y no solamente aplicar un modelo, correr los números y listo, que en este caso, continuando con la analogía, sería como aprender a manejar un submarino sin saber lo que es el agua. De esta clase quisiera comentar sobre uno de los casos discutidos que analizaba la entrada de Helados Ben & Jerry´s al mercado japonés. Ese día todos comenzamos la clase con un pequeño vaso de Cherry Garcia, uno de los sabores más vendidos de esta empresa, y fué al “calor” de nuestro helado y su consistencia tan densa, que muchos nos pudimos dar cuenta no solo de que se trata de un helado Premium sino de la complejidad operativa de exportar este producto desde su planta en el estado de Vermont en EE.UU. hasta Japón. De igual manera fueron fluyendo naturalmente otros aspectos cruciales para el caso y que iban más allá de la simple teoría. Cuando la discusión la alimentaban compañeros de Mercadeo y Finanzas que trabajaron con Unilever en la viabilidad de Ben & Jerry´s en Latino América y todo parecía finalizar como una interesante discusión en Bloomington, Indiana, el Prof. interrumpe la clase, se disculpa por no dejar terminar las discusiones pero considera justo “.. que la contraparte se pronuncié sobre el caso”. Decide entonces abrir su computador y conectarse vía skype con Jerry Greenfield, socio fundador de Ben & Jerry y Presidente de la empresa en el momento del caso. A diferencia de otras grandes estrellas de negocios que visitan escuelas de negocios a hablar del intrincado mundo de un CEO, estos fueron 20 min, en los que pudimos, dentro de un dialogo honesto, discutir las luces que guiaron realmente las decisiones de negocio de este caso.

De esta clase salieron muchas conclusiones, muchos aprendizajes, pero lo que si fué común para todos es que salimos con una mayor sensibilidad a los problemas gerenciales, y es precisamente esta aproximación, esta nueva sensibilidad, la que hace posible salir del submarino de las típicas discusiones de caso y poder exitosamente aprender a nadar.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Kelley y Latinoamérica...mi combinación favorita!

Este es el comienzo de una serie de “posts” a través de los cuales pretendemos narrar nuestra experiencia en Kelley y cómo ha sido nuestra vida en esta pintoresca ciudad llamada Bloomington. Mi historia aquí de hecho empezó en el 2002, cuando en busca de un MBA en el que pudiera vivir mi experiencia al máximo, alejada del ruido, tráfico y la multitud de la Ciudad de México, decidí aplicar a Kelley. Dos años más tarde, sin duda los mejores de mi vida, me gradué y me uní al mundo corporativo de nuevo…primero con Johnson & Johnson y posteriormente con Nokia. Hace dos años decidí continuar mi historia con Kelley y tomé la decisión de darle un giro a mi carrera y unirme al equipo de admisiones con la finalidad de expandir el nombre de Kelley en Latinoamérica…mis dos grandes pasiones juntas! Desde entonces he tenido la fortuna de ver de cerca cómo Kelley y Bloomington impactan la vida de muchos estudiantes y cómo los latinos se vuelven pieza clave en el salón de clase, y en la vida estudiantil en general. Esperamos poder transmitir a través de este blog por qué Kelley es y ha sido especial para nosotros los latinos.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Say "Yes"

Have you ever seen that film "Yes Man," where Jim Carrey has to say "yes" to every offer that comes his way?

The practice is quite freeing, actually, and can open a lot of wonderful doors for you at this top two year MBA program.

With just one final left to go, Kelley first years were spread around the Godfrey Building this afternoon studying for marketing. In one room was a small batch of students studying pricing; in another room were four students watching "Black Hawk Down" while reviewing global brands; in the GCS office, coffee, bananas, tangerines, and popcorn were being generously handed out as "Happy Feet" played on the big screen; and in another room, four students watched "A Charlie Brown Christmas" over talks of product job.

As I worked my way from room to room sharing marketing knowledge (both giving and receiving), I stumbled upon a room of about 10 of my Korean classmates. We studied together for a couple hours, only after Hak Soo showed me the Korean version of "The Goal" he directed (you'll understand next fall).

Around 6:30, Daegon asked if I had any dinner plans, and if I wanted to join them. "I'm not sure if you'll like it though," he said, "it's a Korean restaurant." Of course I wanted to go! I've never had Korean before, and I felt honored to be invited by the group. So without hesitation, I said "yes."

So eight of us drove to Shin's Restaurant, a rather authentic (I think) restaurant on the outskirts of Bloomington. My friends patiently walked me through some good menu options, we played with some Korean iPhone aps, they told me the fables behind the paintings on the wall, and we talked about customary eating practices and some of the crazy food we've eaten around the world. The evening held lots of boisterous laughter, what I call "a bucket of noodles," and lots of great sharing before we headed back for more studying in the December snow. It was an incredible experience I'll never forget - even Mina showed us some of her beautiful paintings!

My point in all this to you is this: when you finally arrive here at one of the top ranked MBA colleges in the country, say "yes" to all your offers. Grow your horizons, open more doors, and you'll have insights into new realms you never new existed.

I'm headed home on Monday for holiday break, so I'm not sure how well I can keep up on the MBA Program Blog. I'll do my best to check in once in a while; but please, enjoy your holiday and travel safely if you're hitting the road.

Taking my Talents to Cleveland

I know it has been a long time since my last post, so I wanted to update my MBA Program blog readers on what I was doing for most of October and November: interviewing.

Coming back from my summer at Taco Bell, I decided to focus on jobs that offered a lot of strategic work. I put in a lot of preparation for interviewing for inside strategy and external consulting jobs. While I missed out on some of the MBA student activities this fall to take time to network, prepare, and travel to interviews, it was worth it.

I'm excited and proud to say that after I graduate I'll be moving to Cleveland to be a Senior Consultant for Deloitte Consulting.





They are one of the top consulting firms in the world and have a great network of Kelley Alumni. I'm so happy to be helping to grow the Kelley network there and get the opportunity to work on fantastic projects for top firms. While I don't know specifically what projects I'll be working on, I'm sure that I'll use almost all of the amazing strategic marketing MBA education that I've gotten at Kelley.

I'm so happy to have this set up and be able to concentrate on my last semester at school. Happy Holidays everyone!

Deciding on what to Minor in at Kelley

When I entered Kelley, I knew that I wanted to be a Marketing major. What I didn't know is what other courses I wanted to take to round out my MBA Marketing Degree. As I was interviewing with companies and focusing on jobs in strategy, I decided to double minor in Management and Decision Support Modeling. I think with the combination of education in all three areas, I will be one of the top strategic marketing MBA students in the class of 2011.

In order to get these two minors, here are the classes I have taken and will take:

Management
  • W 505 Power, Persuasion, Influence, and Negotiation: This class gave me great experience in negotiations, especially helpful when entering the job market.
  • X 573 Organizational Behavior and Leadership: This class was amazing as we learned about specific studies relating to leadership, and what makes leaders successful. And we watched Hoosiers!
  • J 501 Developing Strategic Capabilities: Now taught by the head of the Consulting Academy, this class was amazing and offered interesting case-based teaching on how to think strategically about business problems. Additionally, the professor used his contacts to have several of the people mentioned in the cases Skype into the class. We heard from Jerry Greenfield of Ben & Jerry's and the former CEO of E-Ink, a maker of e-readers.
  • D 594 International Competitive Strategy: I'm very excited for this course I'm taking in the spring. It should be a great capstone class for my two year MBA program as I learn how to develop strategy for multinational companies.
Decision Support Modeling
  • K 507 Basic Decision Models: Taught by renowned professor Wayne Winston, this course concentrated on how to create solutions in excel to solve for real-world business problems. It's an amazing course that is taken by about 90% of all graduate business program (MBA, MSIS, etc) students.
  • K 509 Spreadsheet Modeling for Marketing: Also taught by Professor Winston, this course concentrates on marketing-specific models for excel. It's also a great class and the professor keeps it interesting by sprinkling in trivia questions (with chocolate as prizes) along with the excel work.
  • K 513 Data Mining: I'll be taking this in the spring. I'm excited to learn how to comb through big sets of data to find business solutions. It will definitely be applicable to my new job as a consultant at Deloitte.
  • K 515 Application Development with VBA: This course should be a great way to bring it all together and create solutions in Excel that I'll be able to hand off to my clients for them to use after I am done with the client engagement.
All those classes will help to round out the best MBA degree that I can put together.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Location, location, location!

I know it has been a couple of weeks since my last post. I’ve been out on the road for Inside the MBA events in Miami and San Juan and also Kelley Receptions in DC and New York. Returning to the midst of an Indiana winter and life in Bloomington, I’ve been thinking about how life in Indiana is perceived. Like my own experience growing up in the Chicagoland area, I know many people are concerned about what life is really like in southern Indiana. Having recently enjoyed the tropical weather of Miami and San Juan and the urban lifestyle of DC and New York, I wanted to share a few quick facts about life in Bloomington:

  • Bloomington (“B-town”) is located approximately 50 miles (one hour) southwest of downtown Indianapolis. The Indianapolis International Airport (my second home) is easily accessible on the southwest edge of Indianapolis. (Not to mention hourly shuttle service from campus via Bloomington Shuttle or Star of America, a new airport terminal, and the ease of security—no more than 10 minutes!)
  • The population of Bloomington is approximately 70,000. Indiana University is approximately 40,000. The Kelley MBA full-time program is approximately 450 students (both first and second years).
  • The community is recognized as family-friendly and includes a vast array of dining options (even Turkish, Moroccan, Afghan, Tibetan, and others).
  • IU boasts some of the finest cultural and arts options in the country, including the Jacobs School of Music, the Kinsey Institute, and the IU Art Museum, along with several outdoor recreation options such as Lake Monroe and Brown County State Park (named one of the most scenic areas in the country, particularly in the fall).
  • Cost of living is extremely affordable. I lived in a very nice 2 bedroom, 2 bath 900 sq. ft. apartment that included a patio, garage, laundry in the unit, clubhouse, pool, and tennis court for just over $800 per month.
  • Bloomington Transit and the IU Bus System provide easy and convenient service to most areas of the community. And, they’re free for students!! (You don’t need a car!)
  • Downtown Bloomington is walking distance (about 15 minutes) from the Kelley School. (Downtown living can be $1000+/month.)
  • Average temperatures range from 25-40 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter to 65-85 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer. (This holds true even with the single digit freeze of the past week or so!) Despite the “big storm” that left 4 inches of snow last night, snowfall tends to be minimal and average only 12 inches per year.
  • If Bloomington was on the east coast it would be between Baltimore and DC; on the west coast it would be in northern California in the San Francisco area. (The midwest is a great location though! I just found this interesting to know!)

  • Find more by visiting the Bloomington Convention and Visitors Bureau.

I hope this helps to gain some insight into day-to-day life in B-town. If you’ve visited Bloomington, comment on this post and share some of your favorite things about the city. In the meantime, I’ll work hard to get a few more posts up in the coming weeks and provide some insider tips as the admissions committee is now in the midst of application review!

Reminder from the Admissions Committee: Be sure to visit with current students at a Hometown Coffee event in your area over the holidays! Learn more about the program in an informal setting and hear their perspective on life in Bloomington!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Finals Week

'Tis true, I'm a couple blogs behind, but academics call; and as you'll see when you arrive at one of the top ranked MBA colleges in the country, life is all about time management.

Nearly a month ago, we had two of our finals early: Critical Thinking/Ethics and Quantitative Methods. Fortunately for our course load, there is neither a midterm nor a final for Strategic Management, an excellent class built on case studies for a myriad of backgrounds. However, when it comes to this last week, the gloves are off.

On Saturday we had Operations (what I call Supply Chain Efficiency); Monday was Finance; and today was Accounting. On Thursday we face Economics and on Friday it's time for Marketing.

As I've stated many times before, the incredible professors at this top two year MBA program are not out to trick or trap us - they're out to help us every step of the way. Review sessions are held by professors nearly every night (and morning). If the professor is not leading a review session, he's either in his open office hours or one of his GAs is leading a review session.

On top of that, you can find Kelley 1st years in all sorts of places and sizes, from two people to 30, in the Godfrey Building, in the library, in restaurants or hosting at home, crunching numbers, quizzing each other and preparing for the exams. There's a fascinating environment of determination, collaboration and fun around every corner.

On top of all that, all finals but one are open note. Those four months of quickly scribbling down the professor's lessons are finally paying off, and the notes provide a helpful reference and road map during some of the most challenging questions.

Lastly, the various offices keep opening their doors with free coffee and cookies for those of us hard at work - the MBAA even hosted free massages from "That's the Rub" massage therapy center this week. I'm looking forward to the end-of-core party on Friday at the Bluebird hosted by the second years, featuring the second-year band "Cowboys and Indians."


The mid-terms will test your knowledge, that's for sure. That's a trend you can pick up on when a final is "open note" - the questions really test if you grasp the major concepts and can piece together all your knowledge.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

An MBA degree, especially one from one of the top ranked MBA colleges, grants a sincere amount of power. In today's world, information is power - and a degree like this will fill you with so much information, you will have the power to move mountains. Do you believe in yourself? Do your professors?

It's about time you both do.

Have you ever sat in a college class, and felt that the professor just thought you were a tick mark on their attendance sheet? Never really showed care for your future?

That's about to never happen again, and all you need to do is apply to the Kelley School of Business through MBA admission.

Today was professor Matt Semadeni's final lecture in the MBA core class Strategic Management. We talked about Air Asia for about two hours; and at the end of class, something very.....unique happened. The professor put the curriculum aside and became so incredibly sincere and earnest......about our futures. With humor and conviction, he hoped we had learned something in his program and he felt confident we'd all be successful going out in the world. He said the most important, and rewarding, thing we can do going forward is to give back - give back to our communities, our families and the institutions who made us who we are today (he even joked about endorsing his faculty position).

I can't say I've ever had a single teacher, out of the context of a formal speech at a convocation or grand event, to sincerely pledge their belief in my success and encourage me to help the world. It was moving.....and only cemented my conviction that I made the right choice to come to Kelley.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A Holiday Away

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! I know it has been a while since I have posted, so I figured I could use this as a catch0up post to share just a little about what I have been up to here at Kelley. The week before the Thanksgiving holiday was the second year's mid term week, which explains why I am a little behind. It was also my first chance to start the application reading process in the admissions office as we work through round one applicants! There have been so many incredible candidates and I have really enjoyed getting to read the essays and get some insight into candidates' reasons for wanting to pursue MBAs admission at Kelley.

After completing midterms, I spent 10 days in Boston and it was so nice to take my first real break since starting the MBA program. While there, I was able to meet up with two of my favorite Kelley classmates (Katy Lind and fellow contributor to the MBA program blog, Joe Gudema) to explore the city and pass the time. Additionally I hosted a hometown coffee and met with 2 prospective students both interested in social entrepreneurship MBA programs and was even able to go to squeeze in time to go to my first Celtics game. The break also gave me some time to catch up on my reading for class, in particular my independent study course, and of course to eat lots of great food!

One of the best parts of the MBA calendar is getting the entire week off for the break and I am definitely going to miss that luxury after I complete my two year MBA program!

Future Leadership of the Kelley School of Business

Seven years ago I thought the highest thing I would achieve would be a world-famous actor in cinema, battling aliens or wrestling dinosaurs. Five years ago I thought my highest achievement would be becoming an old man walking gently through the summer camp I helped build and grow with my own hands, smiling as my walking cane sunk into the soft earth. Three years ago I assumed I’d be spending my career marketing the museum I had come to call “home” to the world – a beautiful, historic place to live and work.

When the idea came to me to get my MBA, the devil on my shoulder told me “no way,” that such an aspiration was beyond my abilities. I studied so hard back stage while I was acting as Harry Bailey in “It’s a Wonderful Life,” for the GMAT, and polished my stories for my application papers to try and portray who I was and aspired to become – through tales of my family, marathons and my love for education in science and history. When I received my acceptance from one of the top ranked MBA colleges, I was humbled and in awe. I never thought I could achieve so much.

And now in just six weeks I will assume the role of Vice President for Marketing and Communications for the students of Kelley, a business graduate school ranking of #15 in the nation. Again I am humbled and thankful for my lifelong teachers, and in awe of the fortune that is bestowed on me.

In August, it came to our class’ attention that there would be an election for the next MBAA leadership board – one president and seven vice presidents made up of students. You can read more about the MBAA here; but in short, the MBAA is an organization of eight primary leadership offices and 52 committees that provide direction for the class and link the needs and concerns of the MBA class to the faculty, career services, admissions staff and the world.

I’ve always sought out leadership opportunities – with a passion for education, I get incredible personal gratification out of empowering others with the tools to achieve their dreams – it’s a summer camp counselor thing. In considering whether to run for MBAA office, I kept saying to myself:

“If you shoot for the moon and miss, you’ll still hit the stars. More so, if you never even launch, you’ll never know how high you could’ve flown.”

I decided to organize a slate (the term for eight people campaigning for MBAA leadership). I began carefully watching my classmates in everything they did and how they behaved, and what the “word on the street” was about peer’s performance. As time went on, I collected seven individuals who had shown clear examples of passion, the love of leadership, strong intelligence, and who had expressed to me in casual conversation a love for making the school the best place it could be – and empowering our classmates with success.

It was so exciting, and a whirlwind of politics, education and most importantly – listening – began. Our team, Kelley 3D, met with faculty, peers and staff to learn everything we could, hear the needs of the school, and identify what we could do. Although I organized our team and set the initial direction, I stepped to the position of VP of marketing and communications from president, since that is where my history lies and the individual we unanimously decided to be president would be the best person for the job – he had a knack for making people feel comfortable enough to share their concerns and their ideas, and he knew a great number more of our peers than I did. I still hold by that choice, and he will be our incredibly empathetic and strategic leader.

There’s enough details to fill a book, but I just remembered that this is a blog entry. So let’s keep it simple – last Tuesday, we were voted in by our class to become the next MBAA leadership, starting in January. We had competed in total against four other excellently-qualified slates; but in the end, only three slates actually ran. We were told in private five minutes before the big announcement, and I was not the only one in our team to be unable to speak, choked with emotion. Cheers, hugs and strong handshakes with big grins went around the circle. It was incredibly humbling and heart-lifting – to think how much work we had put in, how much sincere care and thought had been given, that our class elected us to look to for guidance in the year to come.

There is a great deal of work ahead of us. My position alone averages 15 extra hours a week – but this is a responsibility we asked for, and that we’ll take with conviction and honor. My point of telling you all of this is this:

You can be so much more than you think. You need to take on opportunities that are scary, sometimes downright terrifying, and stand up, be who you are in every authentic way, and do your best to win it. The Kelley School of Business will give you every single tool you need to succeed; and you will, you just need to take that first step in applying and come see what we’re all about. The classes of 2011 and 2012 will be here to shake your hand.

Come shoot for the stars.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Baby Steps

It is easy to let things get overwhelming quickly...writing millions of essays for graduate school applications, picking an industry and function for after graduate school determining the rest of your career, training for a marathon....there are so many steps to take (figuratively and literally!) and so many little decisions to make along the way.

So, you may ask, what can I do to make these processes easier?

First, apply to the Best MBA Program in the USA! Of course, that is the Kelley School of Business. There are no crazy amount of essays required and most importantly, they consider the application as a whole. No mad science behind one part of the application being more important than the other. Kelley only admits the best overall well rounded people - I know because I am one :)
Read this article to find out more on Kelley MBA admission.

So, today starts a new 7 weeks of classes for me. Kelley runs on quarters which is nice as I get up to 8 classes a year, but it sometimes seems as though right as I get into the swing of the class, it ends. So now I am faced with 4 new classes. Additionally, I am lucky enough to lead a new peer coach program where 2nd years, like myself, mentor 1st year MBA students and provide a resource for professional and personal advice and coaching. It is a big responsibility, and I take it seriously as I want to provide a good experience for those I coach as well as develop my leadership skills. So, instead of getting overwhelmed with the new work load, I have started with small goals. These include: 1. to get the most of each class. I am only here for 3 more quarters! Thus I must read the material BEFORE the class and participate in the classroom discussion to leave Kelley the best marketing leader I can. It is not always as easy as it sounds. 2. to journal my experiences of coaching others and chronicle what works and what does not and 3. to take my lunch to school today (I hope I can do it the day after and the day after that too!).

These 'baby steps' will help me achieve bigger broader goals that I will share with you in my next post :)

Now, go have a great day!!

P.S. The pictured boots are what I want to start my 'baby steps' in, aren't they great?

Applauding for Homework

Ok, you want culture? I'm going to give you culture. Culture at the best MBA Program in USA that you can't find anywhere else.

After every single class. I'm going to say that again. Every. Single. Class.

We applaud. Everyone.

I'm afraid I never had the honor of knowing the man; but in my interviews with staff and faculty, here's what I've learned. Walt Blaccioniere joined the Kelley faculty in the late 90's teaching Accounting. He was and optimistic, fun and dynamic professor, often jumping up on desks in excitement, and got to know his students personally, not just brain-machines. He was a health enthusiast in his mid-40s, often running 5ks and other jogs with faculty friends. Walt introduced the tradition of clapping - simply to congratulate the cooperative learning that had happened during the class session. Everyone truly loved Walt. In 2007, Walt was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and was lost just eight months later. In his final optimistic months, Walt requested that the faculty carry on the tradition of the Kelley clap.

In the atrium is a bronze statue of applauding hands. It reads:

Knowledge speaks, wisdom listens.

"The Kelley Applause Tradition

Faculty and staudents applaud after each class session to appreciate the teaching and learning that has taken place. This gracious tradition was started by an extraordinary teacher, professor Walt Blaccioniere (1956-2007)

Sculpture by Todd Frahm"

In his honor, we applaud the learning that has just taken place. These professors, recruited from the top ranked business graduate schools, are the top in their field. They're the reason we have the top Entrepreneur MBA program, incredible corporate finance, work-renown MBA product marketing and more. When you come visit Kelley, take the time to reach out and meet these professors. Their efforts, their personality, their ability to integrate the lessons from one discipline to the next and make the learning practical and eye-opening. Their brilliance, insight and character deserve the applause every time. You'd think you'd become jaded after every class, clapping time and time again, knowing how much work you have to go do now to prepare for the next class.

You don't.

Take a look at the Kelley Clap from this last December for Professor Mike Metzger's final lecture. Tell me the students don't mean it - and the professor doesn't take it to heart.

If you knew Walt or have a personal story about the Kelley Clap, please feel free to share it below.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

MBA Application Essays

I hope that everyone is having an enjoyable weekend, especially those celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday here in the United States. It’s been a great couple of days for me at home visiting family and eating a lot of great food. As the hustle and bustle of the holiday season has arrived, I know that many are also preparing their applications for our January 5 deadline. In the coming weeks I will be sharing a number of tips for each aspect of the application and today I’m going to start with essays.

The essay portion of the MBA application is probably the area that you have the most control over. It is also the aspect of the application where you can let your personality show. Remember, there is no right or wrong answer for any of the essay questions that you might encounter. Each is simply an opportunity to get to know you. What are schools and admissions committees looking for in MBA application essays? It is simple: to get to know you. Be yourself. Be genuine. Don’t try to make the essay say something you think the reader wants to hear. Simply answer the question as if a friend, family member, or coworker was asking the same thing.

In fact, one of the best suggestions I could share is to have a couple of people read your essays without telling them what the topic. Afterwards, ask them to tell you what they think the topic or question was and if the essay sounded genuinely like you. (Ask someone that knows you well and someone that may not know you as well to get varied perspectives.) Hopefully they will be close to the original topic or question and agree that it fits you; then you will know you have written a good essay. Here are a few other quick tips for your application essays:

* DO proofread your essay; DO NOT simply rely on spell check and grammar check. (This will not catch everything, especially the school name.)
* DO tailor your essay to each specific school; DO NOT try to make an essay for one school/topic try to fit another school/topic.
* DO follow the format guidelines; DO NOT use abnormal font, margins, or go well beyond the space allotted. (The default used by your word processing software is likely the most acceptable.)
* DO spend time to think about and even outline your essays; DO NOT try to write your essays in one sitting. (This will insure that you have thought about the topic and are able to address the question/topic best.)
* DO be yourself; DO NOT try to guess what the reader or admissions committee wants to hear.

Remember, this process should be introspective and allow the reader (admissions committee) to get to know you. Spend the time necessary to think about each topic and yourself, both personally and professionally. Hopefully you find these tips helpful as you work to complete this step of the application process! If you have additional questions, feel free to comment and I will provide additional insight. You may also want to review our list of FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions). Enjoy!

Reminder from the Admissions Committee: Be sure to attend one of our upcoming receptions in various locations around the US. If you are not able to attend, join us for an online chat with our admissions team on December 9!