Thursday, May 27, 2010

Week 2

So the 2nd week has started off with a bang, with my projects starting to pick up steam. My background is not heavy in analytics, but luckily, the courses from the spring semester have provided me with enough skills to impress my team so far, including small tips and tricks within powerpoint to really spice up some presentations that are going in front of a few VPs next week. Hopefully the trend will continue this summer at AT&T!!!

Name: Ashish Bajpai
GradYear: 2011
City: Chicago
State: IL

Monday, May 24, 2010

Tomorrow is the big day...

500 hours of classes, 30 interviews, 2,308 miles, and 9 states later, I've finished my first year of classes, and I'm in sunny LA getting ready for my internship to start tomorrow. Last week, I drove from Bloomington, Indiana to Los Angeles, California, stopping at the Grand Canyon (see pic) and Las Vegas on the way. Tomorrow I start my first day as an intern at Neutrogena Corporation through Johnson and Johnson's Procurement Leadership Development Program. I've got three great projects to work on - rationalizing packaging suppliers, optimizing order quantities, and improving the performance of one of Neutrogena's key suppliers. Two years ago I would never have guessed such exciting opportunities were ahead! I am thankful for the students, faculty, and staff at Kelley who provided support during the first year of my MBA and my internship search. More to come!

Name: Caroline Storey
GradYear: 2011
City: Los Angeles
State: California

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Ben: A Brief Introduction

If you are on the Kelley School of Business blog site, perusing an assortment of posts by Kelley’s finest, most eloquent wordsmiths, you are likely a diligent achiever well on your way to attain the finest of business school educations. The first blog posts you may have read probably discussed whimsical anecdotes highlighting tales of successful internship searches, fanciful misadventures on Israeli KIP trips, arduous core experiences, unicorns, butterflies, leprechauns, and other terrifying mythical creatures. But I must warn you, do not expect the typical enthusiastic, lighthearted melodrama found upon other business school blogs. These posts are not for the weak at heart. My tale begins in Bloomington, Indiana on May 10th, TWO THOUSAND TEN. This day began much like any other. The sun’s rays pierced between the low hanging leaves of a community maple tree upon a pasty 27-year-old sun basking Kelley MBA from high above the rooftops of the Georgetown condominium. The reflection off his sweat glistening belly blinds oncoming traffic resulting in a mosaic of sparks, cracks, and curdling shrieks. Captivated yet? Good, because the remainder of my posts will be increasingly tedious. To Be Continued . . .

Name: Ben Terris
GradYear: 2011
City: Los Angeles
State: California

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

CFA Level 2 Study / Internship Prep

I am excited to be returning to Chicago this summer! Prior to Kelley I worked at Navigant Consulting in San Francisco, London and Chicago, and this summer I will be interning at Driehaus Capital Management. I start the internship June 7, which is just 2 days after the CFA Exam (level 2). For those not familiar with the exam, it is a comprehensive finance, economics, accounting, statistics, ethics, and portfolio management curriculum that requires about 300 hours of preparation. I will be an investment analyst working directly with the founder and billionaire Richard Driehaus and one other Kelley alum, primarily researching aggressive growth equities, both U.S. and international. The photo attached is our office - a unique architectural landmark on the north side of Chicago.

Name: Michael Petersen
GradYear: 2011
City: Chicago
State: IL

Omaha: Somewhere in Middle America

My wife, two kids and I are packing for our internship in Omaha, NE at ConAgra Foods. Although a Texas native myself, I figure that if the college World Series has been thriving in Omaha all these years, it's a cool place to be. I was thrilled to learn that I've been assigned to work on the Marie Callender's frozen food brand. Specifically, my primary project will be to develop a five-year brand strategy. Add some work with an agency to develop an FSI and some analytical work with IRI data, and I think my team has provided me with a pretty meaningful internship. I did run right out to the local Kroger's to do some tasty "market research" and stocked up on product. This is how marketing should be.

Name: John Pawlowski
GradYear: 2011

Monday, May 17, 2010

Acronym Central

So it's my first day at AT&T -- and within the first 45 minutes, my manager drops about 15 acronyms; to the point where a verbatim transcription of his sentence would leave anyone wondering if he was speaking english or some foreign language. Sadly, I think, nay I know, that I'm going to have to learn this foreign language quickly. Luckily, digging around on the intranet, I managed to find a decent (at best) document with acronyms and their meanings. At least I'll be armed with that tomorrow. All in all, it was a great day and I got to meet some very nice people -- looks like it'll be a fun summer.

Name: Ashish Bajpai
GradYear: 2011
City: Hoffman Estates
State: IL

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The End

On Friday I completed my MBA career by graduating from the Kelley School of Business. The graduation was bittersweet because it took a lot of hard work to achieve an MBA from a top business grad school, but it was also some of the most fun I have ever had. I really owe the amazing professors at Kelley for this great experience, and particularly Prof. Jonlee Andrews for making Kelley one of the best consumer marketing programs in the country. I know the Consumer Marketing Academy prepared me for all of the challenges that I will face while working for a large consumer packaged goods company come June. I also of course owe a lot of my memories to my fellow MBA program students. Not only were they great classmates, but they were also great friends who knew how to achieve success in the classroom, but also have a fun time on the weekends. And of course I need to remember that my family also helped along the way by providing me with support and encouragement along the way. I was so happy that they were in Bloomington to celebrate the with me this past weekend.

As my final MBA program blog, I guess this is the time to wrap up all of the experience I have had in the last two years. I guess I would say this: When I came to Kelley I knew I was attending one of the best MBA colleges, but I did not know that I would also meet some of the best people in the world and achieve my dream job. This has truly been a life-changing experience.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

2 Years, and a Lifetime away

Well, I've finally come to the end of my Kelley MBA program run. 2 years ago, I was applying to programs and trying to find the best MBA college for me. I remember taking my visit to Kelley and knowing that night that was where I wanted to be. I remember the countless hours perusing through MBA websites, writing application essays, and evaluating schools. I used to have the Business Week MBA ranking memorized! Now, here I am...about to graduate from Indiana with my MBA. Finished with classes. In a completely different place, about to enter a completely different world, as a completely different person.

I think back to the time when I was working as a basketball tournament director and remember the things that were on my mind. It's a relief to know that I won't have to worry about tournament schedules, or youth basketball enrollments, or working nights and weekends anymore. Before I came here, I had no idea what an MBA in corporate finance would do. Now I am one, and I'm about to figure out exactly what I can doa nd where I can go with it. Before I cam to Kelley, my Excel use was limited to databases of basketball league signups. I didn't know any commands, or any of the uses. Now I'm creating NBA models, poker spreadsheets, and optimization programs. Moreover, the people I've met and the things I've done here have helped me appreciate different things in life. I'm leaving here with a great job, a great girlfriend, and some great friends who will do great things. I know I made the right choice.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Final Countdown

As top MBA students, we always look to come in first, whether it's first place in Case Competitions, first to score a dream internship or job, or even first to try the latest technology. I think that's one reason why this week, the last week of our MBA program, has been so bittersweet. This week has been filled with lasts. Yesterday was my last time working my GA, today is my last day of classes, and this weekend is the last time that the class of 2010 will celebrate together.

The past two years have been some of the most amazing, most challenging and most fun years of my life. I would not trade my experience for the world. I am overwhelmed by all that I have learned and how I have grown both professionally and personally. It seems like such a short time ago that I was a nervous first-year showing up for the first day of orientation and now I'm equipped with one of the best MBA degrees in the country and the possibilities seem limitless.

For those of you thinking about embarking on this journey, I encourage you to learn more about the Kelley program to find out if it is a good fit for you. For those of you are entering as part of the class of 2012, welcome! The class of 2011 and the program staff have been planning a lot of great things in store for you. I look forward to following your adventures on the MBA student blogs!

The "Final" Final Exam

In approximately 1 hour I will take my final exam at the Kelley School of Business. You may be wondering why I am updating my MBA program blog at this time, but as you may imagine, after two years at a top business grad school, I am sick of studying! I will not take the time to count the number of exams I have taken, papers I have turned in, or presentations I have given here at Kelley, but I can promise you that it is a very large number. There have also been many long nights studying with my fellow MBA program students and stressful mornings before major exams. When I started at Kelley I had no idea what it would be like to attend a two year MBA program, but I can sum it all up in one word: BUSY. Now that my MBA career is coming to and end and I am about to enter the work force with a degree from one of the nation's best marketing MBA programs, I can easily describe my time at Kelley as some of the best two years of my life. While the classes and Professor are incredible, the time outside of the classroom has also been amazing. I challenge anyone to find a program with more MBA student activities than Kelley, and I will certainly miss the tailgates, parties, happy hours and impromptu dance-offs. Luckily, the memories (and photos) from the Kelley School of Business will last a lifetime.

Now wish me luck on this exam!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Kentucky Derby 2010

This weekend, I made the trip to the Kentucky Derby with some other MBA program students and my wonderful girlfriend. Having grown up in Louisville, it's fun for me to get to share the Derby experience with first-timers. Some of the people on the trip went last year with me, but some of them had nevcer been before. I decided to make a big weekend out of it, and we actually drove to Louisville on Friday to the Kentucky Oaks. The Oaks is like a smaller version of Derby Day, and the big race is for 3 year old female horses. The weather was amazing on Friday, and we got a little extra fun out of it. The Oaks even has a signature drink, the's a vokda and raspberry drink. It's much tastier than the mint julep, but not as iconic. It comes with a souvenir glass, too, which completely makes it worth the $9, sort of. I'm sure my MBA in corporate finance would help me figure out the NPV of buying a $9 or $10 drink, but I'm going to leave out the buzzkill for now. We were right by the first turn, so I was able to sneak over and see the horses come by a few times...looked like this:

If you've never been to the Derby, it really is a blast. The infield is packed with people and costs $40 to get in...not too bad. You can either take part in craziness or kind of do your own thing. As adults, we mostly did our own thing. The only real downside is the possibility of poor weather. Because the Kelley School of Business prepared me to be an awesome problem solver, I made the brilliant move of getting a couple canopy tents for our group. We weren't totally dry or warm, but the rain didn't bother us as much as it could have.

Well, I'm about to head in to room 2061 here in the graduate building for my last 2 classes of my MBA experience. I'll make sure to have an MBA program blog entry looking back on my time here later today or tomorrow. 2 years down, 3 hours to go!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Kelley MBAs off to the Races

Today is the first day of finals week at the Kelley School of Business. Even though finals are looming, top MBA students hit the road to attend the Kentucky Derby this weekend. If you watched the Derby on TV, you know that it was very wet and muddy. However the weather did not stop MBA program students from having a great time. Between betting on races, seeing the horses and bonding in the mud, the day was entertaining and allowed me to check off one item from my personal bucket list.

After the Derby was over, it was time to clean off all of the mud and get serious about finals. I personally have two exams and one presentation, but I won't complain about my finals schedule in my business school blog. Instead, I will share how excited I am for graduation on Friday. It is crazy how fast the two year MBA program has gone by, and I am excited to put my MBA Consumer Marketing degree to use. However, before I get too sad about leaving, I know the last week at Kelley is going to be awesome with parties and families arriving to celebrate. More to come on graduation and how my MBA career wraps up!