Friday, September 24, 2010

How I landed in Bloomington

When I decided to pursue admission into a nationally ranked MBA program, there were a few things that were really important to me. Of course there were the usual things like the MBA course curriculum and MBA social life, world-class faculty, and being a part of a top ranked MBA program, but one thing that initially drove my decision was location. Now, I grew up in Salt Lake City, went to school in Phoenix and lived in Orange County prior to school and considered myself a bonafide city girl looking at programs in all of the major cities across the US.

As a consultant, I spent a fair amount of time on airplanes traveling across the country. People would regularly initiate small-talk and we would have a brief conversation then go back to whatever it was we were doing to pass the time. One day, I had my MBA admission essay book out and a man sitting next to me asked where I was applying. I told him my list of schools, and he replied, "What, why aren't you considering Kelley?" He was an MBA alumni of the program, and I had heard of Kelley through my work in Indianapolis, but replied, "Bloomington, no way, it's not for me." We continued our conversation about my interest in marketing and my background in advertising and consulting and started getting into the specifics of what I really wanted out of an MBA and before I knew it, we were getting ready to land. As we were deboarding the plane, he turned to me and said, "After hearing what you are looking for, I think you would be a great fit at Kelley, you really should consider applying." I thanked him and we went our separate ways in the Denver airport. Later that week, curiosity got the best of me and I went online to learn more about the Kelley School of Business and their consumer marketing program and was pleasantly surprised with what I found.

The rest of the story goes a little like this. I apprehensively applied after thinking to myself, "hey, why not," came to campus to interview and fell in love with the program. What had originally been my largest area of concern-location and what I thought would be limited access to major companies, turned out to be one of the biggest selling points. Bloomington is a one-of-a-kind place and the culture of the school is a direct result of its location in this quaint college town. It's central location provides easy access to cities like Chicago, Minneapolis, Indianapolis, Louisville, etc. and I learned that not only do companies come to our campus through our Graduate Career Services, we go to the companies through our Kelley Academies. I am excited to be sharing more of the reasons I love Bloomington with you this semester, and if you have a chance to come here, do-you might be surprised with what you find!

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