Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Haiti Relief Efforts at Kelley

The students at the Kelley School of Business have jumped into action to raise funds for relief efforts in Haiti. Top MBA students have organized a fundraising campaign with the goal of raising $5000 in cash donations and are currently collecting can goods and water as well. The graduate business program is sending all of their donations to Partners in Health. Partners in Health was chosen as the charitable partner because 95 cents on the dollar goes directly to programming and the organization has over 20 years of experience in Haiti. MBA students even worked with one of our major campus recruiters to secure a cash donation from the company. While this is only a small contribution to the overall needs facing Haiti, I believe that this actions truly represent the culture here at Kelley. While not everyone at Kelley is a Social Entrepreneurship MBA, all students and staff are working to improve the lives of individuals around the world.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Women's Case Invitational

This past weekend the Kelley School of Business hosted the first annual Women's Case Invitational. The competition was open to first-year women from top MBA schools from across the country and was very close to my heart as I have spent a good deal of the past year organizing the weekend.

A lot of planning went into the Invitational. I worked closely with the Development Office to secure corporate sponsors for the event, and with the Marketing Department to position the competition and attract the interest of participating schools. Throughout the experience, what really stood out to me was the collaborative nature of the people at Kelley. Students, staff and faculty were always willing to lend a hand to help out no matter how busy MBA student life was! It was truly a team effort, and I am so thankful that there were so many amazing people working on this project.

Although my study abroad experience prevented me from witnessing the competition first-hand, I have heard that it was great success. Six top ranked MBA schools sent students to participate in the live strategy case. I was very happy to learn that the Kelley team placed in the top three and took home a trophy as well as a nice cash prize! I am hoping that we can build on the success of this event and make it become an annual tradition at Kelley.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Out @ Kelley Throws a Party!

While there are many great clubs and organizations at the Kelley School of Business MBA Program, none of them know how to throw a party quite like Out @ Kelley. About 200 MBA Program students converged at a local gay bar this past weekend to enjoy each others company and to watch a drag show. Personally it was my first drag show, but it certainly won't be my last! While the entertainers at the bar did an excellent job (I will never understand how they can kick so high) the most impressive act came from three MBA students who dressed in women's clothing and "performed" to music. While their moves were a bit scary, it was for a good cause. All of the money raised during their "dance" has been donated to relief efforts in Haiti.

If you have any questions about Out @ Kelley, please don't hesitate to contact the club's current president. Jon would be happy to speak with anyone interested in know more about the club's mission and involvement on campus. And let's all hope that they throw another party soon! Check my Kelley School of Business MBA blog for more on b-school life in Bloomington.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Preparing for Internship Interviews

Next Monday is the official start of interviews for MBA internships at top companies this summer. Over the course of less than a week, I will be interviewing with five companies for an MBA marketing internship position. Hopefully by the end of the week I will know where I will be spending my summer.

It is a very tough market for full-time jobs, and internships are not much different. I will be competing against top MBA consumer marketing students at both Kelley and other MBA programs. Fortunately, the Consumer Marketing Academy and Graduate Career Services (GCS) have done a great job preparing me for these important interviews.

I don't know if other top ranked business graduate schools do it the same way, but here is the depth of interview prep that we've gone through so far:
  • In the Consumer Marketing Academy, almost every Friday that we met we would work on our "C.A.R." statements. These take the format of "Context, Action, Result" and are the best way to form interview question responses so recruiters can follow along and see your impact on business results.
  • Via GCS, we had mock interviews with recruiters for Kelley Kickoff and have had 2 "slam sessions" where a GCS coach and a group of students critique question responses
  • I will mock interview this week with my GCS career coach to fine-tune my responses to widely-asked questions
  • Through the Kelley Marketing Club, I have done 4 company-specific slam sessions and will do mock interview "speed dating style" this week. They also have a very good Marketing Interview guide.
  • On my own, I will mock interview with 6 second-year students who have gone through both internship and full-time recruiting.
  • Finally, GCS provides a fantastic interview question guide and access to InterviewStream, a site that lets you record yourself (via webcam) answering questions. This lets you really see how you look when you answer and you can send it to other people for their critique.
So overall, there is a huge amount of prep work that goes into interviewing (not to mention networking with companies as well). Now I need to make sure that I nail the interviews next week and get a great consumer marketing MBA internship.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

New Semester bring New Classes to Kelley

Being a second year student at the Kelley School of Business has allowed me to take some interesting and beneficial electives. While I always enjoy the MBA Consumer Marketing classes, there is something to be said about taking a class outside of your major. Like all top business grad schools, Kelley offers a lot of brand new classes each semester. I am currently enrolled in one of these classes, entitled Effective Communication. The class has already been a little painful. Each student has to give a quick presentation each class, but that is not the painful part. The hard part is that each presentation is video tapped and you have to watch the video and analyze yourself to identify skills and weaknesses. I honestly believe there is nothing worse then having to listen and watch yourself on tape!

However, I know I'm going to pick up some great skills from this class. For one, we learned today that rambling makes it look like you don't know what you are talking about. Given this, I'm going to wrap up this blog. But seriously, I am excited for the class and I think it is a great class for career change MBAs in that they might not have done a lot of public speaking prior to business school. Or even if you have done a lot of public speaking, at least this class gets you used to seeing yourself on camera (which I think is secretly the goal of all MBAs)!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Returning from a Productive Break

When I last left you, I was entering finals week in the Core. I'm glad to say that it went well and I was able to celebrate afterwards with the Kelley Iron Chef competition and End of Core Party at the Bluebird. Check out a couple of pictures of top MBA students enjoying themselves below.

Then on break from the MBA program I was pretty busy. I went to Boston first and went skiing with my dad up in New Hampshire for a few days.

Then headed to Chicago for New Years Eve. After that I went up to Minneapolis to go on a trek of companies with other MBA consumer marketing students. We visited Land O'Lakes, 3M, General Mills, and Target. Then we drove down to Madison (my old college town) and visited Kraft there. Busy week but so rewarding and productive. Seeing the culture and offices firsthand really helped me figure out where I want to intern this summer.

Then on Friday I got back to Bloomington. Classes started up again yesterday. My schedule
this semester is great and I only have classes on Monday and Wednesday in the first quarter. I'm also so excited to go on the KIP China trip in March. I've been wanting to go there for a long time and after the first class it looks like it will be a hugely rewarding trip.

So that's all I have for now. Next time I will talk about preparing for internship interviews (they start in less than two weeks!).

Monday, January 11, 2010

Greetings from Santiago!

Hola! I'm writing this entry from Santiago, Chile where I am studying for the month of January at Pontifica Universidad Catolica de Chile. UC is just one of the schools worldwide that Kelley has partnerships with and I am very fortunate to have to opportunity to study here with other top MBA students from all over the world.

I am taking two courses in Santiago. The first is an intensive international business course taught through the University. I am also taking a Spanish language class in order to work towards becoming fluent. Before coming to Chile I had some fears that I would be at a disadvantage by not taking any MBA consumer marketing classes while I was gone. However, I have already learned so much on my own about consumer packaged goods in South America in the two short weeks that I have been here. For example, while shopping at my local Lider (one of the major chains in Chile) I noticed that the entire USA section was filled with Walmart 'Great Value' items! As Katie Zonino previously blogged about, we had been fortunate enough to learn about the Great Value strategy directly from the Walmart marketing team in our consumer channels management class. Seeing the great value brand on the shelf in Chile was a surprise and through internet research I discovered that Walmart acquired Lider in 2009. This partnership is a great way for Walmart to expand its reach on private label beyond the USA.

I am having a great time comparing consumer goods here to their counterparts in the USA and seeing the truly global reach of the companies that recruit MBA product marketing students here on campus. This trip is helping me have a more global outlook on all my business classes - including consumer marketing!