Wednesday, April 28, 2010

4 class sessions away from an MBA

Looks like I'll be finishing a little earlier than I expected! I got the word yesterday in my classes that neither will need to meet next Thursday. I'll be taking my technology management final on Tuesday, and my data mining class will not meet Thursday, so I'll be finished with my classroom experience by 4:15 pm on Tuesday, May 4. There will be a big relief Tuesday night, when I'm finished. All that's left then is to walk at graduation Friday, and I'm an MBA graduate of the Kelley School of Business! After 2 years, I'd say I'm ready to move on to the next stage. It's pretty funny seeing the 1st years go through what I went through last year, and seeing Facebook comments about classes I was in. Pretty much all the MBA finance students have comments about F520 being tough, or marketing students commenting about Ray Burke, or so on.

Several of my friends and I went to see "Avenue Q" at the IU auditorium on Tuesday night. I had never heard of it, but it's a Broadway musical involving puppets. The puppets swear a lot, have sex, and say some outrageous things. It's pretty funny, and there's a really sarcastic and tongue-in-cheek motif. For example, the song "The Internet Is For Porn" is a lot tamer than you'd expect. Never though I'd have that phrase in my blog!

I'm about to settle in to watch the Champions League semifinals between Barcelona and Inter Milan. I'm also working on an independent study project with Wayne Winston, and hopefully some stuff will be posted/published soon. It's pretty cool basketball of the reasons why Indiana is a great place for a career change MBA like me, coming from basketball! Hopefully I'll be able to discuss the project more in my next couple blog posts.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Rainy weekend

Wow, I don't know if you could have a worse day of weather for a bike race in April than Bloomington had on Saturday. It rained all day, and was just gloomy out. Sunday wasn't any better, but I guess after all the beautiful days we've had here, we were due for 48 hours of rain. Hopefully it clears up so I can play a little golf this week, and stays clear for the Kentucky Derby in Louisville this weekend.

I'm not really into the crazy drunkenness of college parties anymore, so MBA program students don't necessarily get into Little 500 as much as undergrads. It's a fun time though, and MBA's know how to throw quality tailgates and have a good time. I won't get into detail about all the MBA social life stuff this weekend, but it's definitely a signature time to be in Bloomington.

I can't believe I'm less than 2 weeks away from graduating from the Kelley School of Business with an MBA. I remember when I took the GMAT and was applying to business schools, and it really seems like a completely different world to me. Now I'm about to go back into the world with my MBA in corporate finance. I've picked up a lot of skills here at school, both in the classroom and out, and now my life will involve putting them to good use. Hopefully I can keep my FIFA 2010 Xbox skills sharp after I have to start working as well :)

The Little 500 Celebration!

Prior to attending the Kelley School of Business, I was totally unaware of one of the greatest collegiate experiences in the country. The Little 500 is a bicycle race that takes place on the campus of Indiana University, and it is a great way show school spirit and have a final campus wide celebration before finals start. As could be expected, the top MBA students at Kelley gathered for a whole weekend of celebrating not only the race, but also the near completion of a successful year of school. On Friday, MBA student activities included a variety of team events, including a "mini" bike race (the bikes were kids' bikes, and no it was not pretty) as well events that tests ones ability to drink quickly. Costumes were a must, and one of my favorites was the group of Charlie's Angels.

The festivities were all very fun and gave all of the Kelley MBA Program Students a nice break from their classes. It also reminded me that sometimes the best MBA college is one with a lot of school spirit, something Indiana University does not lack. Go Hoosiers!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Kelley Little Little 500

If you have ever seen the movie Breaking Away, you know a little about IU's illustrious bicycle race. Lance Armstrong said the race was "the coolest event I ever attended", so you know its good!

Although as MBA program students we are ineligible to participate in Little 5, that doesn't mean we cannot join in on the festivities! Business School MBA Students in MBAA planned an event just for us Graduate Business Program students...Kelley's Little Little 500. There were 8 teams of 5 that competed for the title of Little Little 5 champions. Like the original race we were required to use the provided bikes, however, ours were only 12" frames! It made it an interesting event for sure! And not something you read about in the Business Week MBA rankings!

I started our team off but got hung up on the start, dropping us from 2nd to 8th. Although team "competitive advantage" (we are all under 5'5") couldn't be brought down and were able to pass our way back to 4th place. But that is what happens when you have MBA Consumer Marketing, Business Marketing and Supply Chain students riding the legs after you. We didn't beat the faculty team, but at least we didn't come in last. There is already talk of practicing for next year...they will need 2nd year representation, I may have to send out an Outlook invite now.

IU's traditions coupled with the fun (and teamwork) of Kelley, really is one of the Best Schools for an MBA!

Snoop A Loop/Little 500 begins

This is the busiest and craziest weekend of the year in Bloomington! Little 500 is a legendary bike race, as seen in the movie "Breaking Away". It's really a signature tradition in Bloomington, and everyone in town celebrates. The Kelley School of Business, while somewhat removed from undergraduate traditions like Little 500, still finds ways to have fun. Several of my friends went to the Flaming Lips concert Thursday night, and Friday night the one and only Snoop Dogg performed on fraternity row! It is pretty amazing seeing him's a picture from the event:

Tough to tell, but it's Snoop. It was a little weird being around people who had barely been born when he started in the business, while I was in the target demographic of 14 year old white kids when he started selling like crazy.

Little 500 is actually on Saturday...I'd like to go to the race if possible, but no matter what I'm going to get out and enjoy Bloomington's weather and electric atmosphere this weekend. Hopefully it won't be raining, although it's in the forecast. There'll be several Kelley School of Business events going on, including a tricycle race and several tailgates on Saturday. As long as the townhouse stays in good shape, it'll be a successful weekend!

Wow, ending my 2nd year with Little 500 and the Kentucky Derby is really the way to go. It's definitely a must for anyone who really wants to experience the Midwest. A lot fo MBA program students will be making the trip to the Derby as well, so I'll get to see a lot of people there. Frankly, hanging out with MBA's is a pretty good deal, since they are smart enough to stay out of trouble and I will have a lot in common with them. Social activities get tougher when you turn 30!Oh well, time to enjoy the "best college weekend" at the best MBA college in the USA!

Friday, April 23, 2010

How to Win $50 in 6 minutes

Earlier this week, the Kelley Toastmasters Club organized a Speech Competition. The mission of the Kelley Toastmasters Club is to provide a supportive environment for Kelley MBA students to improve our public speaking skills. Roger Munson (President and MBA Finance Major) and Evan Markley (VP and MBA Consumer Marketing) challenged us to participate in a public speaking contest. The top prize was $100. The second prize was $50.

The rules were simple. “Part 1: A 4-5 Minute Prepared Speech. This can be on any topic you like. No PowerPoint! No notes! A panel of judges will be on hand to determine who advances to Round 2. Part 2: Impromptu Speech: You will be given a speech topic, then have 1 minute to prepare a 1-2 minute speech. Judges will once again decide the outcome.”

The judges were Prof. Matt Semadeni (our Strategy Professor from the Core), Bob Cummins (Director of HR – Bosch) and Tye Brown (a second-year MBA student). I was one of the nine contestants. We couldn’t hear the rest of the speakers since we were put in a separate “sound-proof” room. John Pawlowski, a first-year MBA student and a Dale Carnegie instructor started us off with an inspirational speech.

For the first round, my topic was “Shine Pulikathara’s An Unfortunate Series of Events” A.K.A “The Adverse Effects of Case Competition on the Human Brain”. It was a story about one of the craziest hours of my life tackling a problem where I locked the car keys inside my car during case competition week last fall. The moral of the story was that even the most unfortunate series of events can someday give you a shot at winning $100 in prize money, or perhaps make a good story to share on an MBA Program blog!

The second topic was about a new course that I would want to introduce in the Core – I went with Information Systems Management. Jonathan Kruesi (MBA Consumer Marketing) won the top prize and I came in second. Avjit Dugal was a close third. So what was common among the three who made it to the final round? They were the three who had taken the Effective Communication class earlier this year with Prof. Sue Vargo!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Dinner with Marketing Greatness

Last night I had the pleasure of attending a dinner with one of the top professors at the Kelley School of Business. Professor Rockney Walters teaches marketing classes at Kelley, and three of my classmates and I bid on a dinner with him as part of the Faculty Auction that took place in November. Rockney teaches Marketing in the Integrated Core, and he also teaches a class on pricing in which I am currently enrolled. The dinner was a combination of great food, interesting conversation and a lot of laughter. I will admit that there were a few references to the elasticity of consumers , but in general the conversation steered away from marketing. The Professor also joined us and about 30 other MBA program students at a local bar for a few drinks after dinner. The whole experience reminded me that Kelley has one of the best marketing MBA programs in the country because of the passion and dedication of professors like Rockney.

Wine Wednesday, NFL Draft, and Little 500...I'm back in Btown

No Chicago trip for me this weekend, so I'm enjoying Bloomington for a while. This week everyone in my house went out to Crazy Horse, a local bar/restaurant, for Wine Wednesday...half price bottles of wine. It's a popular place for MBA's, since the bar is pretty low-key. Because of my trips to Chicago, I haven't been involved in as many MBA student activities this semester, but this is a big weekend for me to catch up. Little 500 is a Bloomington tradition since 1940...IU students form teams and participate in a bike race around the track at the soccer stadium. There are concerts and parties all weekend...I'm going to Snoop Dogg on Friday night, and some of my housemates are going to a Flaming Lips concernt tonight. I figure MBA program students will stand out as some of the older people there, since it's being held at the fraternity house section of campus...but what the heck, it'll be a great time! Since I'll be at the Kentucky Derby next weekend and graduating after that, this is my last chance to really get out and experience Bloomington...I'm looking forward to it!

The other big thing I'm excited about this weekend is the NFL draft. It'll be Thursday-Saturday, with Round 1 in prime time Thursday night. Hopefully the Bengals will pick up some future stars this year...although that doesn't happen a whole lot, to be honest. The NFL does an amazing job of making the draft worth watching...I have a friend who worked for them, and they must have some top MBA students doing their marketing or something :)

Alright, hopefully I'll have some fun stories about Snoop and this weekend. Pics sure to come...

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Brunch with Prof. Albright

Earlier this month, I had the good fortune of sharing brunch with Prof. Chris Albright and his wife Mary along with a small group of MBA students and I want to share with you my experience through this MBA Program Blog entry. Prof. Albright was a professor in the Core last fall and taught us all about using excel to model uncertainty and to enhance our decision-making abilities through analysis of data. Our group had bid for this opportunity during the Faculty Auction at Bluebird last fall organized as a fundraiser for the Walt Blacconiere College Fund. Read Joe’s post about the event to find out more. Scarlett Wu coordinated the logistics of getting the group together.

It was a warm sunny April morning. JP Garcia (MBA Finance Major), gave me a ride to the place along with Sid Jain (Entrepreneur MBA Program). We reached Prof. Albright’s house along with the other students. His very energetic dog Bryn greeted us with some vigorous tail wagging. She seemed very excited to see so many people and immediately decided that we must all play ball outside in the cozy backyard. Mary and Prof. Albright showed us around the house. The d├ęcor was simple yet elegant and beautiful. There were some beautiful paintings and photographs adorning the walls. The Young Chang ebony polished piano was definitely the centerpiece. Prof. Albright loves to play classical music in his free time. The large windows let the warm light into the house creating a very vibrant atmosphere inside the house.

Meanwhile, Bryn led us to a secret door and started barking and pointing to the door. We opened it only to find her set of tennis balls. We all went outside and played ball with her for some time. She is an amazing athlete. Sid particularly enjoyed throwing the ball up high and watching her catch the ball with great agility. Soon it was time to eat. We were all very hungry. There was way too much food than all of us could manage to eat. Mary had cooked the food specially for us, and it was amazingly delicious. All of us had to get a second helping. The quiche and the lemon pie were my favorites! We had some great conversations during the brunch.

Before we knew it, it was time to head back home. We had a wonderful time! Don’t miss out on the faculty auction this fall!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Best School for MBA Teaches Soft Skills

A few weeks ago Kelley Women's MBA Program Students put on an amazing workshop - Brand Yourself. Outside of the MBA course curriculum, Kelley always has presentations, workshops, etc that prepares you for management training and lets you see why our Business Week MBA Ranking is so high.

Brand Yourself was put on for the Business School MBA students and the law students at Maurer. Each participant sent out a survey to their friends, colleagues and former co-workers to learn about how their "personal brand" was perceived. It was MBA Product Marketing, but for ourselves! I personally came in with over 30 responses that really allowed me to see where my strengths and opportunities were.

We spent the first half of the day with Kelley's best MBA management professors and some outside speakers to deconstruct our results and give us ways for improvement. It was really helpful to have feedback tailored specifically for you instead of a room over 50 students.

After lunch we had we had a four fantastic presentations from some amazing and motivating speakers:
  • Timeless Leadership Lessons from best selling author Deborah Stevens
  • Professionalism, Poise & Personal Brand from Caroline Dowd-Higgins, the Director of Career and Professional Development at IU's Maurer School of Law
  • Navigating Your Career Course by Lynn Schenck, the Vice President of Operations at Unity Physician Group
  • Effective & Efficient Communication from Kathleen Oliver, COO of Oliver Winery and a Kelley MBA alum
It has been one of my favorite events at Kelley, and really demonstrates why it is top MBA school.

Top MBA School's Women in Business Night

This last Thursday, Kelley Women hosted its annual Women in Business Night. An event that allows MBA Program Students to get exposure to Kelley School of Business School MBA Program alums who have made their way through the ranks and can share with us what has made them successful leaders and how they have been able to leverage their best MBA degree.

Susan Maupin, Director of Marketing for Stonyfield Farm, was our keynote speaker. She related her management journey to backpacking, and gave us her "essential pack list" for joining the management ranks once we leave our best MBA university. She was joined on a panel by:
  • Anne Auer, Director, Marketing and Communications at Indiana University Kelley School of Business
  • Daphne Clark, Health Information Technology Practice Leader at Aledo Consulting (former Chief of Staff to the CEO and Staff Vice President of Corporate Strategy)
  • Paula Ford, Brand Director, ConAgra Foods
  • Jane Martin, Regional Managing Director, Village Ventures, Inc.
The panel discussed topics relevant to us as MBA Program Students and emerging business leaders reentering the workplace such as Breaking the Glass Ceiling, Finding Your Voice and Making it Heard, & Managing Yourself and Managing Your Manager.

The night was capped off by a Kelley Women award ceremony where the Top MBA students (first and second years) were recognized for their contributions to the organization.

Women in Business Night was a great opportunity to learn more about being a female leader in the workplace and to be able to recognize my fellow classmates for all their accomplishments this year.

Top MBA Business School Celebrates Cultural Diversity with India Night!

Top Business MBA Programs normally host cultural events for their students, and Kelley is no exception! Our MBA Program Students have spent the last few months planning, choreographing and marketing Salaam-Namaste: India Night 2010. You really could tell all the hard work they put into it, and being able to participate in best MBA college performance was a great experience.

The night kicked off with an Indian dinner for all the Top MBA Students down in the lounge (from local restaurant Amol, delicious!) After eating attendants could have henna applied by their classmates. Then it was time for the performance!

The rest of the night was filled with comedy, trivia, singing, dancing and a fashion show. I walked the catwalk and danced in the fashion show; it was really fun to get dressed in traditional Indian attire and dance in the Kelley atrium. All the rehearsals paid off and I didn't forget my steps! Exactly how every Friday should end in top MBA school! Can't wait for next year's show!

MBA Consumer Marketing Academy Projects

All first year MBA consumer marketing students have a major project to complete in the spring semester. The projects are assigned in January based on your ranking of the problem to be solved. I was on a team working to help KitchenAid evaluate market entry into Asia and really put my MBA product marketing skills to the test!

Four months is a long time to work on a project, but Kelley specifically designs the project to be a trial of your internship project. So when all of us MBA consumer marketing students will be prepared for anything thrown our way this summer, but I wouldn't expect anything less from the best MBA university!

Our project had some major ups and downs - it is really hard to get information on consumer habits when you are halfway around the world! But we had some major cheerleaders in our Marketing MBA faculty and with our Japanese top MBA students; our faculty helped us with our frameworks and our classmates helped by sending in pictures of their kitchens at home and by translating cooking show videos for us.

Overall it was a great experience and let me showcase all the marketing skills I have gained as a career switch MBA student (and to Whirlpool execs no less!). I am really excited to be able to apply everything I have learned on this important project and apply it in my internship. And I can't wait to use my new blender that Whirlpool gave us for working on the project, just all in a day's work as a MBA Marketing Management student!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Typical Cubs game experience

What sort of thing could happen immediately behind you that could make you go get napkins, and make the person next to you say "Well, that is bound to happen if you go to enough Cubs games"? How about having the woman behind you regurgitate her beer under your seat?

Luckily it didn't get on me...but it was a first for me at a sporting event. Thankfully, it wasn't as bad as this. I honestly never thought my business school blog would involve a story about me nearly being vomited on...but I guess I'm a man of adventure.

The game was pretty good, even though the Cubs lost in 10 innings. I'm not a Cubs fan, but it's always better to see the home team win. It was a little cold out too, but it was sunny, and we were really close...check out this pic from our seats:

Fun times at Wrigley today!

Anyway, in my previous post, I mentioned I recently took part in the Business Week MBA student survey. All of the students in the class of 2010 get to participate, and the results help determine the Business Week MBA ranking for your school. Kelley is one of the top 15-20 schools in the country, and getting good feedback consistently from students is one of the top reasons. Even though the economy has been tough the past 2 years, it's been tough for everyone. The Kelley School of Business has been doing as well or better than the top schools in the country in job placement, and I really hope we rise in the rankings. That can only serve to make my degree even more valuable and respected than it already is. I'm already very glad to leave here with my MBA in corporate finance, and getting to give back in this way makes me even more glad I chose to come here. Hopefully we'll see a strong result!

Kelley Alumni Stand Up for Each Other

Todd Richter, Managing Director Bank of America Merrill Lynch "standing up" for Camilo Sandoval as he officially accepts his full time offer

Although this is an MBA Program Blog, today i'm going to focus on my experience with the Kelley alumni network. MBA Program rankings are great, but the true indication of a successful MBA experience can't just be measured in terms of GMAT and GPA.

As an MBA Finance major my dream job is to work in financial services with a large bank. The Kelley School of Business Investment Banking Network was pivotal in my employment search. Because of the network I'll be headed to Bank of America Merrill Lynch after graduation in their San Francisco office!

The remarkable thing about the network is that alumni stand behind each other. You may see "strength of alumni network" in some business graduate school ranking, but you won't see specifically how the alumni will support you. In my case, no less than 6 alumni from Bank of America Merrill Lynch directly helped me.

When I say "helped", I don't mean a 5 minute informational interview, either. Each person took time out of their crazy-busy schedules to get to know me, figure out exactly what help they could give, and most importantly, give it. Bottom line: the alumni stand up for each other.

(left: Jay Johnston, Managing Director Bank of America Merrill Lynch mentors a Kelley student)

The Army taught me that one of the most effective leadership techniques is to lead by example. Top finance professionals from banks and fortune 500 companies set an exceptional example here at Kelley by visiting our program, hosting us at their respective firms, and offering an incredible amount of support. After 2 years I truly feel I owe the school something big and am excited for the opportunity to give back.

(Right: Kurt Anstaett, Managing Director Bank of America Merrill Lynch discusses opportunities Kelley students)

Cross Functional MBA

"Cross functional" is one of those business phrases that one hears at every MBA program. Kelley MBA Finance Majors live this term in a way that turns our experience into one of the best MBA degrees out there.

How? One word: Integration. David Haeberle, the head of the Kelley Investment Banking Network, realized something important. The Kelley School of Business has an exceptionally strong undergraduate and graduate program but like many schools, they are completely separate.

Todd Richter, Kelley School Alum, pumps up a packed room of Kelley School undergraduates

Every top business school cranks out quant jocks and finance nerds, but to create MBA finance managers you have to allow MBAs a chance to lead and undergraduates a chance to work with someone of roughly the same experience level as their future team leads in the real world. With this in mind he worked with alumni and developed the Investment Banking Network case competition. The competition pairs groups of high potential undergraduates in the Investment Banking Workshop with members of the MBA Investment Banking Academy.

I was personally paired with a strong group and was immediately challenged with keeping them busy but always working towards a common goal. Being held accountable for group performance and the decisions we made in the beginning added an element of realism that would be hard to match in an MBA only case competition. Ultimately we didn't win all the bananas, and I'd close by saying something corny about how all of us came out as winners, but I'll save it. Kelley is an extremely collaborative school and we'd never think of cheating in any way, but that doesn't mean we don't mind being a runner up. Next time we plan to win.

Congrats to last years case comp winners

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Oh, the places you'll go in a Two Year MBA Program!

One of the really unique things about the Kelley School of Business is our KIPs or Kelley International Perspectives. They are an opportunity for MBA Program Students to gain leadership experience by designing curriculum for their classmates around a specific country and then taking the whole class to that country during spring break to visit companies and learn about the country's culture. We had lots of different options to chose from this year: China, Ireland, UAE/Egypt and Israel.

I chose Israel because the Graduate Business Program student leading the trip was so passionate about the country and teaching us more about Israel's entrepreneur spirit and how it is very similar to the great Entrepreneur MBA Program we have at Kelley.

Our trip was a whirlwind! We had 12 days of constant movement from one end of the country to the other. Visiting places like:
We also got to visit Tel Aviv University and meet other Business School MBA Students. And made sure to meet up with the IU alums for a reception.

Although, we weren't business all the time! We made time to visit the Dead Sea, Masada, the Ba'hai gardens in Haifa and Petra. Our trip planners even made sure we could experience a real Shabbat lunch with an orthodox family.

Our KIP was an amazing experience, and something you really only get at Top MBA Business School like Kelley!

A Chicago getaway

Sean's MBA Program Blog goes to Chicago Time! Another weekend in Chicago with the girlfriend, of course! It's a litlle chilly here, in the 50's or low 60's, but sunny and clear skies. I'm eagerly awaiting the news from Best Buy about my job assignment for July. Once you get to a few weeks from graduation, it's like you're looking past that horizon to the summer. Your student life is finishing, and you're preparing for MBA graduate life! One of my friends got a surprise when his job assignment will be in Boston instead of Cincinnati. I don't anticipate that happening, but you never know!

I definitely recommend taking a low-stress course load the last 7 weeks. It was crucial for me to finish my MBA finance major in the first 7 weeks. I especially recommend taking the classes which will prepare you for some of your job duties in the first 7, when you'll be more likely to put the work in. My data mining and technology management classes don't require a lot of strenuous work, and the data mining homework is in groups. We just finished our latest assignment...challenging, but not enough to stump us :) That's the positive about working with MBA's...they really know how to get stuff done.

This weekend, Kelly and I went to Navy Pier to spend a nice Saturday. We went on a couple rides and played mini-golf. Here's a pose of the mini-golf legend:

I think I got hustled, as I lost by 3 shots after she told me she wasn't very good. To make things worse, she talked me into going on this wave swinger ride where you get in a swing and fly around at high speeds about 40 feet up. I had my eyes closed the whole time. After that, I needed something to get the ego back up, so we went to see Clash of the Titans and check out a wine bar. I didn't have to keep my eyes closed there.

I really enjoy splitting my time between Bloomington and Chicago, a college town and a big city. I get to enjoy parts of both. We're going to the Cubs game today, so I'll have pictures and an update later. Also, I participated in the Business Week MBA ranking survey. I'm really excited about being part of the class that keeps Kelley as a top rated MBA program. I'll have more in the next blog!

India Night 2010

Friday was perhaps the most eventful day in my MBA student life so far. Let’s see… I had a couple of lectures in the morning, a presentation to the Board of Advisors from Consulting Academy, a mid-term exam and India Night!

I will focus on India Night in this MBA Program Blog entry. Around 300 people attended the event! I had contributed to the marketing campaign by creating posters, a brochure and helping the stage design team. I had told you about the efforts the MBA students were putting into the event in an earlier post.

The event began with a sumptuous traditional Indian dinner, followed by entertainment. The first event was music and singing. There was a skit starring Ben and Soumya around a “Meet the Parents” theme. The dances featuring the gorgeous MBA beauties, encompassed styles from various parts of India, such as Bengali, Kashmiri, Dandiya, and Classical. The fashion show featured non-Indian MBA students dressed in Indian traditional clothes and dancing to the tune of “Jai Ho”! The emcees for the night Vinay (Entrepreneur MBA Program), Gagan and Tito (Consulting MBA Program) did an excellent job coming up with some great comic material. They even distributed prizes to people who could spell some of the toughest Indian last names. Mine was considered moderately difficult, but Scarlett got it on the first try. Strangely enough, this was after Erika was told she could not answer since she was my teammate in the core… but so was Scarlett!

It was definitely a night to remember for the Masters of Business Administration Program! Great job Arpana (President of the Asian MBA Association and an MBA Finance Major), and the rest of the Asian MBA Team! And kudos to everyone (most of them are in the group picture below) who worked toward making this event a resounding success! The event proved once again why Kelley is one of the best MBA colleges in the country!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

IU Soccer and preparing for Minneapolis

Just as the schoolwork starts drawing to a close, my preparations for moving to Minneapolis are getting turned up! I should be hearing from Best Buy very soon regarding my assignment for my job in July. I also should be getting my relocation payments (thank god for money when you're a grad student). I've been looking at apartments in Minneapolis in preparation...I'll be going up there in May to actually sign a lease. It's pretty freaking great to be looking at nice places and not have to worry too much about cost. MBA finance students certainly have a hard time not thinking about cost, but having a nice job really feels good. I'm already figuring how how much of my signing bonus I'm going to spend on TV's...a 3D TV may be showing up at my place sometime this fall. Bad ass. It's definitely a deparature from MBA student life.

I went to the IU men's soccer match vs. IUPUI on Wednesday night. The beautiful Bloomington weather made it basically a criminal act to stay inside all day. I'm not sure how it happened, but slowly my townhouse has gone soccer mad. We're always watching matches, playing outside, or playing on Xbox. During the IU soccer match we were talking about strategies, comparing their play to other matches we'd watched, and making FIFA 2010 jokes. The fan base for international soccer among MBA program students has definitely increased in the past 6 months! :-)

Going to Chicago this weekend to see the girlfriend...Cubs game Sunday, mini golf this long as the weather cooperates. I'll take pictures!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Results are In!

As you may have read in my last business school blog, a heated competition was taking place in Social Media Marketing class this week. Unfortunately, my team did not produce the video that got the most hits on YouTube. However, I have to hand it to my classmates who did win the competition, because they incorporated the one thing needed to make a successful YouTube video: a kid! Their video is very cute and I think they might have discovered a budding actress. Another video that performed well focuses on the "Kelley Clap." After each class in the MBA Program students and faculty members clap to honor the learning that took place in the classroom that day, and this video depicts how one person really learned to embrace the clap during their two years at Kelley.

Finally, one video did a great job of showing the unique culture that we have at the Kelley School of Business. Now this video might be a little over the top, but I can promise that people are very friendly and collaborative here at Kelley (but we only hug-it-out on special occasions). Happy viewing!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Another Social Media Experiment

As I mentioned in a previous MBA program blog, I am currently enrolled in a social media marketing class. The class has been extremely interesting so far, and teams of students are currently in competition to see who can get the most YouTube viewers to watch a 1 minute video on why they love the Kelley School of Business. Now I will admit that the top ranked MBAs at Kelley are not the best actors around, but in general the videos have been funny. In addition they are teaching us how to build buzz on-line and in different social groups to drive traffic to content specific information.

You may be wondering if I am going to use this blog for a shameless plug to watch my team's video (and yes I am, our video can be found here) but after the competition I will also post some links to the other videos. The videos not only give a glimpse into MBA student life at Kelley, but it also is a great example of the type of hands-on work that is done in the program. More to come in the next couple of days!

The Challenge is back, and some people are here to take my place

Well, this past weekend was Experience Weekend at the Kelley School of Business, and 200-something admitted students will soon be here to take the place of me and my friends in the class of 2010. I personally didn't get to attend Experience Weekend when I was admitted, because I had a basketball tournament to run that weekend. However, I knew this was the place for me. I knew I needed to find a program that was welcoming to a career change MBA, and offered a culture where I could meet and learn from other students. I hope the class of 2012 enjoys their time here as much as I've enjoyed mine!

In completely unrelated news, the Real World/Road Rules Challenge is back for another season on MTV. For those who don't know, this show takes alumni from the Real World or Road Rules shows on MTV, and has them competing in physical and mental challenges Survivor-style. Each week two players have to go against each other in a physical contest, and the loser gets kicked off. This is complete's a link to the MTV show page:

They do a different format each season, and this one is Fresh Meat. They have 12 veterans and 12 newcomers, labelled Fresh Meat. People are hooking up like crazy, fighting, backstabbing, crying, and doing ridiculous physicall challenges. Pretty much just like any MBA social life. Just kidding! It's a pretty big train wreck, and apparently these people do this for a living, along with paid club appearances. What a country! I'll be watching every single week.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Bowling in Btown

Had my first midterm on Thursday this went pretty well. It's a management class, so it was 2 essay questions on analysis of a case. If you're going to get an MBA management degree, you've got to be prepared to study a ton of cases!

I'm in Bloomington all week and weekend, so I'm spending more time bothering my roommates than usual. We've been watching the Masters, playing video games, playing soccer outside, and having a good old time. This Wednesday we went to a bowling alley near our place for cheap bowling. Bowling should be a bigger part of MBA student activities, in my could replace some of our classes :-) Our group typified the diverse backgrounds of Indiana MBA students...there was me, a tech guy with web design experience, a guy who worked for the NFL in marketing, a guy who worked for Humana, and a former IU football player. We had a great time, and I even won 2 of the 3 games.

This weekend is Experience Weekend for the Kelley School of Business. Admitted students get to visit and meet current students, as well as see Bloomington. It's a great time, and I'll try to have some photos of the weekend.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Studying for my last midterm ever today

This 7 weeks I am taking Strategic Management of Technology and Innovation as my last class for my MBA in Business Management. I've got my Finance MBA wrapped up, and am taking Data Mining for my Decision Support Modeling minor. It's pretty great just having 2 classes, on 2 days, during the week. It's a great way to end my time here, and a nice way to relax as I prepare to get back into the real working world. The summer before I came to Kelley I decided to take 2 months off to relax, focus on business school, and explore some new interests, and I'd like to do the same this summer. The weather in Bloomington is so beautiful in the spring and summer that I really want to be able to enjoy it. I also plan on spending time with my girlfriend before she leaves for Germany this summer. I think enjoying the next few months is a great way to cap my 2 years at the best MBA college in the country!

So I've got my last midterm EVER on Thursday, unless I go nuts and get a PhD. Studying is such a big part of MBA student life that it's not any kind of inconvenience, but it'll feel great to be done. This is essay questions based on case analysis, so it allows me to get a little more creative. It's a little tough to fight the feeling of being checked out in these last 7 weeks, but the lighter courseload really helps. As I get closer to being done, my focus drifts away from what's going on here to what the next few months, and next few years, will be like. Luckily, the Kelley School of Business has me in position to succeed once I get released back into the wild!

The Next Journey begins with an Apartment Lease

This past weekend I headed home to Minnesota to not only to celebrate Easter with my family, but also to find an apartment. I will be moving to Minneapolis this summer to work for a consumer packaged goods company as an associate marketing manager. While I am very excited to put my MBA consumer marketing degree to use, it is sad to think about leaving Kelley and all of my friends here in Bloomington. While I will of course miss spending my days at the Kelley School of Business, I am also going to miss MBA student life, including tailgating at football games, playing Sink the Biz at Nicks, and no class on Fridays. I have also spent the past two years working for the MBA Admissions Office, and I will miss my fellow co-workers and meeting prospective students who visit the school.

However, I know that there are tons of great events taking place at school taking place in the last month. Between the MBA Follies, the Little 500 Race and the graduation party, MBA social life is going to be busy for both 1st and 2nd year MBAs (and there will be a lot more MBA student blogs to come on all of these activities!).

In case you are curious, I did find a great apartment in Minneapolis that I am really excited about (It has a huge closet, enough said.) I feel very confident that I will leave Kelley fully prepared to succeed throughout my life, but it will be sad to see this chapter close.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

A Normal Day in Kelley

Before coming to the MBA program I had always wondered how a day in the life of an MBA would be like. I read all the MBA program blogs to better understand the daily schedule of these students who had come to the Best MBA College to change their lives forever.

Today, I felt like writing about my peers in the program and how they manage their time. For most of us the day starts at about 6:00 where some people head to the great recreational centers ( I enjoy the group exercises which give you a chance to work out and also meet people outside the Business School.

Classes start from 7:45 a.m. and end by 4:15 p.m. Most students have two classes in a day depending on their schedules for the semester. After classes most students head out for team meetings for the next day's assignments or group projects. Some immerse themselves in the spacious breakout rooms to study the assigned course material. Students meet up for lunch in the lounge or the various cafeterias on campus. Lunch is usually a half an affair with students running for the next event on their calendar.

Evenings are when the various clubs and student associations hold their meetings. The business school has a number of student organizations
( which offer endless opportunities to all students to get involved. Meetings usually end by 8:00 after which everyone heads back home or stays in school for more meetings. As for me, I like to head back home and get some dinner after which I like to complete some of the reading for the next day.

One thing that you do learn in the Graduate Business program is to be more disciplined and have a more structured life.

The International Experience

One of the great things about the Graduate Business Program is the Diversity in the MBA school. Kelley School of Business is known for its collaborative atmosphere and its great academic curriculum, which attracts people not only from all over United States but also from all over the world. 26% of the incoming class of 2011 were international students and 34% were women.

The School offers a number of opportunities for students to get involved in international programs like Kelley International Perspectives (KIPs), Global and Social Enterprise (GLOBASE) program and Partnership in International Management.

The student clubs and committees like the Asian MBA Association, The Latin MBA Association, and the Kelley Association of Women organize international cultural nights which give all students, in the Business Program, a glimpse of other cultures in the world.

The India night, China night etc are great events held at Kelley. ( I am extremely excited about the India Night scheduled on the 16th of April, 2010. It would give us an opportunity to educate our fellow classmates about the Indian Culture and showcase the wonderful features of the country.

Kelley is a great school for an international experience and I highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in getting an MBA.

Blackjack, following the numbers, and figuring out how to do it

I spent this weekend in Bettendorf, Iowa (the Quad Cities area) at the Isle of Capri hotel with my girlfriend and her family. We played some blackjack, which got me thinking about a great topic for my MBA student blog. Blackjack is a pretty easy game to try to get your cards to add to 21, and you play against a dealer. There are plenty of complications which I won't get into here. My main focus, however, is the idea that there is a play that statistically is correct for a situation. This idea is based on a topic familiar to MBA finance students, expected value. You look at the amount you would win or lose per hand over lots of simulations. If you do something that on average will earn you $1 per occurrence, and you do it 1000 times, you will end up with somewhere around $1000 dollars.

In every casino game, the house arranges the payouts so you have anegative expected value. However, in blackjack, you can minimize their edge, or get a slight edge yourself, by making optimal plays. But how is one person supposed to run so many simulations to determine the correct play? At the Kelley School of Business, you learn how to do this through Excel applications from Palisade Software, specifically @Risk, and Wayne Winston's K507, K508, and K509 classes. I am in the process of integrating Chris Albright's Visual Basic Programming for Excel class and creating a blackjack simulator that will let you select options and play out situations thousands of times. Who knows, maybe I'll make enough money so that I don't need to use my MBA finance major! Just kidding...gambling shouldn't be anything more than a entertainment hobby.

One last do some people win lots of money gambling, and others lose plenty? Why doesn't everyone lose a little? The answer is the best or worst factor about probability...variance. The variance in one hand of blackjack is can win your bet, lose your bet, tie (a push, you get your money back), or get blackjack and win 1.5 times your bet. Just like 10 flips of a coin doesn't come out 5 heads/5 tails, variance causes some bettors to win in situations where they would be expected to lose, and vice versa. In gambling parlance, trusting the odds and not getting rattled by losses is called "fading". I guess the lesson is, unexpected things always happen, so try to fade it in your life, gambling or not.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Spring is here...I'm loving English soccer

The weather has been absolutely beautiful in Bloomington for the last week or so, in the 70's every day. This is when the free time in 2nd year MBA student life really pays off! I'm in Chicago this weekend, and it's just as nice. This is just the best time of year...those first few warm days when you can get outside and really feel energetic. I went down to the beach on Lake Michigan today for a while and got some's a picture of me by the water:

That's me in one of my Arsenal soccer jerseys. I can't believe I made it this far in my MBA program blog without mentioning them! They're my favorite soccer team, and they play in the English Premier League. They're contending for the league title again this year, and they're in the last 8 of the Champions League-the most presitigious club tournament in the world. Unfortunately, they've been decimated by injuries yet again...their 3 best offensive players are all out for the rest of the year. This is my favorite time of the soccer season, when all the matches are immensely important. A guy I once knew told me, "Smart people like soccer," and that apparently holds true...tons of MBA's love soccer. Since MBA finance students are the smartest, they must love it the most :) In fact, my housemates have all taken to watching matches. We play FIFA 2010 on Xbox, kick the soccer ball around outside, and follow the top teams on TV. We have a great time making fun of our least favorite players, and watching all the amazing matches. It's great to have that in common.

By the way, I'm doing an independent study this semester with Wayne Winston in the Decision Support Modeling department. He's one of the most interesting, unusual, and captivating professors in the Kelley School of Business. I'm having a blast and working on some cool stuff, more of which I can discuss later. The 1st years are taking his spreadsheet modeling class right now, and Facebook is full of mentions of him. Check his website,, for really interesting analysis on math in sports. Doing sophisticated spreadsheet analysis really sets Kelley students apart from most of the other top full time MBA programs. Some schools don't even have you work on's such an advantage here!