Monday, January 31, 2011
GLOBASE is a unique opportunity at Kelley to gain hands-on experience consulting with a social enterprise venture. I’m participating in GLOBASE Ghana. My team (in the picture below) is working with Aid to Artisans Ghana (ATAG), a local NGO that supports artisans in a matter that preserves cultural traditional while improving artisan livelihoods and their communities.
In the class, we’ve been learning about international business, strategic management and consulting. Guest speakers and even a live musical performance by musician, Bernard Woma have helped us learn about the rich Ghanaian culture.
The class will culminate with a trip to Africa in March, where we’ll work on the ground with our client and present our business proposals. And don’t fret; we’ll have a few days to explore Ghana as well. Monkey sanctuary here I come…
This past week, our class had a great time when several of the clients from Ghana came to visit. With Bridget, the social entrepreneur who runs ATAG, we delved into the challenges facing the orgnatization. We began to build a strong relationship, the foundation for a successful consulting engagement. Our clients also went to their first Big Ten basketball game – a favorite MBA student activity. Go Hoosiers!.
Click here to read the GLOBASE Ghana MBA program blog. Kelley’s GLOBASE program also goes to Peru & India.
Sunday, January 30, 2011
Here are some tips that could be useful for anyone facing behavioral interviews. If you want to explore tips for case interviews, see my earlier blog post.
Ask for the Job Gracefully: Closing the interview well is as important as the opening. Carefully think about the last impression you would want to leave the interviewer with. Succinctly restate what you bring to the table and what attracts you most about the company. Lastly, convey you interest in the job and thank the interviewer for considering you.
Above all, it is important that you be yourself. Be natural! This can be a difficult thing to do in a stressful interview situation. Being calm under pressure will enable you to perform at your highest level. Before you walk into the interview room, just take a deep breath, know that you have prepared to the best of your ability and feel ready to explore the experience!
Good luck! Please feel free to share any additional tips you may have, based on your interview experiences, in the comments section below.
Friday, January 28, 2011
Here are a few tips for your admissions interview:
- Treat it as a professional interview. Dress appropriately, arrive early, and come prepared with copies of your resume.
- Remain calm and collected. Accept a glass of water, if offered, to allow you to compose yourself during the interview as needed.
- Review your goals and be prepared to share "your story." You should be able to clearly articulate the link between your past experience, where you are currently, and your future goals.
- Be sure to provide specific examples but also be concise. It is a delicate balance and you will want to use the 20-30 minute interview time wisely. Tell your story but let the interviewer guide the discussion.
- Realize that interviews are not static. There is not a standard list of questions that you will be asked to answer.
- Most importantly, be yourself!! There are no right or wrong answers. An interview is simply a chance to get to know you better!
- Lastly, be sure to follow-up. While it may not be expected, a short thank you is always appreciated and can leave a lasting impression.
1. Case Competition: el objetivo fue evaluar cual era el mejor Mercado para que la empresa Eaton lanzara una nueva tecnología. Durante toda una semana estuvimos investigando sobre los mercados y diseñando la estrategia. El case competition te enseña a trabajar en equipo con personas que tienen otra cultura (3 americanos, 1 hindú y 1 mexicano), otro background (publicidad, finanzas, project management, consultoría y mercadotecnia). Finalmente aprendes a escuchar y hacer preguntas que permitan llegar a una mejor solución como equipo.
2. Treks: en 2009 durante la semana de Thanksgiving un grupo de MBAs de Kelley visitamos las oficinas de Colgate-Palmolive y Macys.com en Nueva York y en enero del año pasado fuimos a San Francisco y Oakland para visitar Del Monte Foods, The Gap y Clorox. Un trek te permite conocer la cultura de las compañias porque durante la visita Directores y Gerentes de Mercadotecnia hablan sobre los retos, oportunidades y experiencia profesional. Después de haber visitado una empresa tienes una mejor idea si esa compañia y tu son un buen fit.
3. Peer-coach: este programa permite a estudiantes de segundo año ser el mentor de 3 alumnos de primer año . El objetivo es compartir con los alumnos de primer año tus insights sobre la búsqueda de internship, pero sobretodo hacerles ver que la clave del éxito se encuentra en que tengamos el mindset correcto. Suena un poco cliché pero puedes tener los skills, la experiencia, pero si pierdes de vista que oportunidad = incertidumbre puedes llegar a perder el momentum con mucha facilidad.
Thursday, January 27, 2011
X573: Organizational Behavior and Leadership is taught by Professor Phil Podsakoff. This class provided me with a refreshing perspective on a variety of topics related to organizational effectiveness. Professor Podsakoff who has published several papers introduced us to a lot of interesting research in this area.
The teaching techniques used were unique consisting of experiential exercises, group discussions, reading assignments as well as presentations apart from insightful lectures. IU is crazy about basketball (read more on Joe’s blog) and analyzing clips from the movie Hoosiers for examples of good as well as bad leadership and organizational behaviors was an excellent way to reinforce concepts learned in class.
Some of the interesting topics discussed include leadership effectiveness, employee selection, job performance, job satisfaction, incentives and citizenship behaviors. I always thought of leadership as a topic that was difficult to teach, but trust Professor Podsakoff to help you understand principles that are have great applicability to the corporate work environment through a highly methodical approach. If you are in the MBA Program, regardless of whether you are, say, a Strategic Marketing MBA or a Life Science MBA, I believe you will take away something useful from this class. The lessons you learn could make you a better employee and a better manager. I highly recommend taking this class.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
For my first week of break I opted to take a true break - no career work, no second semester work - just pure relaxation and Netflix submersion. As week two hit though, it was time to go through my Excel Tracking Spreadsheet and follow up on every networking relationship I had begun. Even in times of relaxation, it's essential to keep up relations for that much desired, much dreamed of internship (and one day dream job).
I came back to campus one week early but kept a low profile so I could prepare for another semester of school. This involved cleaning my apartment, grocery shopping, paying bills, buying books and preparing the already-assigned homework.
This "quarter" I'm taking four courses: an Accounting course required by all, a Marketing Course with Jonlee Andrews, an International Business course with Roberto Garcia (one of my Academy directors), and my GLOBASE Peru course taught by Phil Powell. I already have my first call this upcoming Friday with the Peruvian company I'll be consulting for: Gervasi, a fish exporting company. I'm very excited - this will be my first international business experience.
Life in the new seat as VP of Marketing and Communications for my class is great! My initial work is on bettering the Monday Morning Email that goes out each week to the entire class, and am working with the MBA office to generate more and better video content for all prospective, current, and past Kelleys! Hopefully you'll be seeing more of us soon!
Monday, January 24, 2011
Keeping my MBA program blog up-to-date with the same themes as last semester, I thought I would kick off the new year by sharing a little bit about my MBA course curriculum this seven weeks. My first class is X575, listed in the course catalogue as an experiential course. This was a new class offered for the first time last spring and is a class geared around improving your verbal communication abilities (meaning public speaking, interviewing, presenting, etc). I hope to take this chance to fine tune and polish my abilities! I am so excited to have class with Rockney Walters again this seven and his M574 Pricing Management course is an absolute must for all marketing majors. Additionally, I am in M513 Marketing Strategy Simulation, and I know this will be a challenging course. We are on teams of four and will have the chance to run a fake business through Marketstrat software and are responsible for making decision and putting the theory behind our other marketing strategy courses into action. Finally, I am so incredibly excited to be going on a Kelley International Perspectives (KIP) trip to Australia and New Zealand over spring break! We had our first class last night and I really enjoyed getting to learn more about the two countries through trivia and the first of many guest speakers.
It is shaping up to be a great semester and I look forward to staying involved in MBA student activities my last semester at Kelley!
Friday, January 21, 2011
The new leadership team has already begun implementing their strategic plan by introducing a Kelley simulation competition (aka "Littlefield") for interested students as well as surveying students to understand their interests in terms of activities, industries, and companies. To expand a little more on Littlefield, this is a simulation where you manage a factory supply chain seeking to optimize the number of units moving through the system given the cost to purchase and produce units as well as the cost to purchase additional equipment for the different work stations. The team with the most cash on hand at the end of the game is the winner.
Having taken a series of electives to fulfill requirements for my Management major (i.e. MBA Management degree), I am excited to be taking some more Supply Chain courses this quarter. Currently, I am taking Excel VBA for Modelers and an independent study which will focus primarily on Data Analysis and Regression. For my VBA class, I have already begun working on my first assignment which involves writing code to generate a series of actions in Excel at the push of a button. I am not sure if other MBA programs offer this course, but as a supply chain major, VBA is (and has been) invaluable to automating reporting and data analysis within Excel, saving a lot of time.
Independent study courses are another example of the flexible program at Kelley. You can write your own proposal and choose your own professor and spend between 1-2 quarters working on a project. So if you are pursuing a Social Entrepreneurship MBA or a Life Science MBA or a Strategic Marketing MBA or whatever the case may be, you can still pursue any course of study that is not formally offered through official courses.
While it might not be the typical MBA student activity, I've started doing some yoga classes through IU Recreational Sports this spring. Even after just one week, I've definitely seen improvements in strength and flexibility. It's also a very relaxing workout that helps clear my mind after a day of work. The language element is in learning the names of the poses (aka Warrior 2, Child's Pose, Downward Facing Dog, etc.).
Last week the classes were free (as a trial week), and for the rest of the year they are only $7 a class. Definitely very affordable, even on a student income. Considering that I'm sure I will have some stressful days when I am working on the road, it's a great "language" to learn. I definitely can see continuing with it even after finishing this two year MBA program.
I'm learning this language in a more formal setting: my K515 class with Professor Chris Albright. As you can see above, he literally wrote the book on using Visual Basic in Microsoft Excel. While the class is just one week old, we've already seen examples of models that can create an ideal stock portfolio and run optimization models in one click.
In my mind, the experience you get running models in Excel at Kelley helps to set it apart from other top ranked MBA colleges. I know that at this point, I am in the top 1% of all Excel users, and I haven't even gotten into the meat of my Visual Basic course. I'm excited to learn this language because I know that it will help me in my future career and will definitely enable me to "wow" my coworkers and clients. That will definitely help set me ahead of others with an MBA professional degree.
First, we are deep in the heart of winter here in Bloomington, and campus is absolutely stunning after a fresh snowfall. As a student without a snow car, I have been so grateful for the rides from friends helping me out this week as to spare the citizens of Bloomington with my less-than-stellar driving abilities.
It is the time of year where the first years get to put all of their hard work and practice to the test with the official start of on campus interviews. I did 10 mock interviews in 36 hours last week to help several students put the final touches on their interview style and have been working with my 4 mentees through the peer coaching program to make sure they are feeling confident headed into the week.
I had the pleasure of enjoying the company of 15 of my classmates at the Scholar's Inn special Bourbon and Bison tasting (coincidentally while it was snowing light flurries). This was one of those unexpected nights that turned out to be a great time of good food, great friends and even better memories from the evening. These monthly Chef's dinners have become a favorite of mine and have helped me expand my pallet and help me discover that I actually like a wide variety of things, including bourbon and bison.
To end the week, we had blogger training and welcomed several new bloggers to the Kelley School of Business MBA program blog. It was a great refresher on how to be an effective blogger, and we got to pick our blog focus. I'm continuing with 2nd year curriculum, food in Bloomington and the Peer Coaching program, and have been able to share information on two or the three with you in this post. I guess that means I better focus on academics in my next entry. Stay tuned and stay bundled!
Thursday, January 20, 2011
We're in the flurry of interview season at the Kelley School of Business, so everywhere you go you see MBAs dressed to their best as they strut around the Godfrey Building. While sitting in a meeting with my MBAA slate, I received a last-minute email from GCS, the Graduate Career Services, saying that GM today had decided to interview for a social media internship position and that I should hurry on over from the MBA Admission office right away.
Luckily, they were fine with casual dress since it was a last minute announcement. But a thought hit me as I looked around at my peers. I've been here for only six months, and I know everyone in the room, from the current students who came from India, the Navy, consumer product companies and Wall Street, to the front desk operator, the wife of a good friend in the program. And I realized, all of these students have been mock-interviewing with each other for this, sitting in interview slam sessions, checking each other's resumes, making each other the best they can be.
Alumni walk out from the interview rooms and casually chat with students, finding out how school has been, how professors have changed and where the great places on campus are now. Then these alumni take the students back and interview them for internships at Fortune 500 companies and more. As the students come out, we high five each other, congratulations abound, "good luck"s are whispered here and there. And THAT'S when the realization comes:
No other MBA program is like this. We've all done our best to make each other as great and ready as we can for internships and success; and when interview day comes, it's not about who beats who or who does better in the interview room. It's about everyone succeeding, everyone reaching their goals and dreams. That's the Kelley collaborative culture.
Be a part of it.
Oh, and the interview went well. I'll give you details later this spring!
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Saturday, January 15, 2011
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
The position is the culmination of a great deal of hard work in the MBA program. What is most satisfying is that I pursued an MBA with a goal in mind and I was able to make it a reality. Of course, it would not be possible without the competitive education I have received and the extensive alumni network supporting and hiring Kelley MBAs. If you are considering Kelley, keep in mind that between the graduate and undergraduate schools we have one of the largest alumni populations of all of the Masters of Business Administration Programs. This really sets Kelley apart (as a footnote to the Business Graduate School Ranking).
On a separate note, this past week I participated in The Washington Campus program, a 1-week course in Washington, DC focusing on business and public policy which attracts a variety of schools and programs in addition to the typical two year MBA program. We got to hear from some amazing speakers, including economists, lobbyists, and congressmen on topics ranging from health care policy to energy policy. Our Kelley group was also fortunate enough to spend an hour with our Senator - Richarard Lugar - which was an amazing opportunity to ask him questions related to our course content (see picture below--I am on the far left). And, we got to visit the House of Representatives, the Bureau of Economic Analysis, and the Washington Press Club. Overall, I met some really smart people and learned a lot about how public policy is created and passed through congress. Among MBA student activities, this is one I would definitely recommend.
Monday, January 10, 2011
I talk a lot in this MBA program blog about the classes I'm taking and the job search, but I wanted to highlight an on-campus opportunity that makes IU very special: basketball games. Most people who have seen the movie Hoosiers know that Indiana is crazy about its basketball. Even with the team struggling, the games are still a lot of fun and filled with excitement. The video above shows my view of a great TV timeout from a recent game. Cheerleaders fill the floor and the band plays throughout every stoppage in the game.
Even though we are graduate students, a great perk of being an MBA student at Indiana University is that we get to buy IU student tickets (and pay for them with our bursar account!). There are big groups of top MBA students who meet up before the games at Yogi's and enjoy a few beverages before heading up to Assembly Hall for the game. It's only a few blocks away from the school, so it's easy to get there, even on a weeknight.
The team is really young, and has attracted some top recruiting classes in the past couple of years. So even though the basketball team isn't performing great now, it's got a ton of potential for the next couple of years (an added incentive for those of you going through the MBA admission process). Be sure that going to the games is just one of the many great MBA student activities that go on when you're a student at Kelley!
Sunday, January 9, 2011
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Happy New Year! I hope your holiday season has been enjoyable! We’re back in full-swing here, working to wrap up our first round decisions while preparing for our second round deadline tomorrow. As outlined in the admissions timeline, first round decisions will be released mid-January and likely within the next two weeks. For those of you working to finalize your application for the second round, here are a few quick tips before you click “submit”:
- GMAT (and TOEFL or IELTS for international applicants)—If you feel you can do better and have the time to put into preparation, consider delaying your application and retake the test. Only tests taken before the application deadline are guaranteed to be included in your application.
- Work experience—Consider what you have learned from your work experience and how it will benefit you in the future. Incorporate this into your application, perhaps your essays.
- Essays—Proofread! Spelling and grammar check will not catch everything. You would be surprised how many times we see simple mistakes and even the name of another school! Also, be sure you answer the question or address the topic given. (See November 26 post for more!)
- Resume—Keep it to one page if at all possible. This should be a quick snapshot of your educational and professional experience; it does not need to list out every single accomplishment.
- Letters of Recommendation—Be sure your recommenders can and will write a strong recommendation for you. Ask them directly if they can endorse you strongly AND have the time to do so! Again, you may be surprised at the number of recommendations that are lacking.
Once your application is submitted, interviews are by invitation only. I’ll post some additional information on this topic in my next post. Until then, good luck pulling things together!
Reminder from the Admissions Committee: It is always best to apply when you feel your application is strongest. If you need additional time to strengthen your application, take the time to do so rather than rush to meet a certain deadline. All applications are reviewed equally throughout all four of our admissions deadlines. Your chance for admission does not vary depending on which deadline you apply, but rather on the strength of your application. Always put forth your best effort!