Friday, February 25, 2011
As I have mentioned in previous posts, as a first year MBA student at Kelley, you are placed into a team of 4-5, and as a general rule, at least one of your team members will be female and at least one will be an international student. I had an international student from South Korea, Tae Hyun, on my core team and had the pleasure of learning about Korean culture through my interactions with him. Tae Hyun even treated our team to lunch at a local Korean restaurant.
Outside of teams, there are also many other opportunities to explore other cultures. For example, the Asian MBA Association put on Korea Night last fall, where all Kelley MBA students and their partners and families could "travel to Korea" and get a taste for the cuisine, music, and culture.
Time management is done out of necessity in "The Core", and I'll be frank in saying that there really isn't that much time left to manage after taking out the time that is managed for you. After "The Core" as a Kelley student you choose the courses you wish to take to complete your MBA professional degree. Generally, students take eight courses per semester, which are subdivided into two sets of four seven week courses, where as in "The Core" students are taking eight courses simultaneously. As a result, there is a lot more "unscheduled" time after "The Core" just as a result of the course structure. Having more "unscheduled" time however means that as a student you must be more efficient about managing that time. This become challenging because instead of working on one team for all eight courses in "The Core" you may have a different team for each of your four seven week courses, which is a lot more schedules to coordinate.
What surprises me about the two year MBA program experience is how much of the valuable learnings occur outside of the classroom. At a top ranked MBA college you are learning so much more than what is taught in the classroom. I recall someone telling me before I started my MBA management degree that I would schedule everything, including grocery shopping and working out on my Outlook calendar. I thought they were crazy, but they were right. One of the most important tools in managing multiple teams is making sure all team members keep their Outlook calendars up to date so that meetings can be scheduled with minimal conflicts and minimal effort, so my advice, start using it now.
Thursday, February 24, 2011
To give you an idea of how real these projects are, I actually cannot talk about them in detail because we’ve all signed confidentiality agreements.
After we present our business plans, the EMA members will all be heading out to San Francisco for the remainder of the week.
Oh, and by the way, all this is happening in conjunction with the same rigorous academic courseload (complete with even more group projects and meetings than in the fall) that made the Core so much fun. Still, as challenging as my schedule is, I would expect no less at any other top-ranked, two-year MBA program, and I know that I am going to be all the better for it.
The need to paint a convincing picture of our personal story for all those interviews is one reason I am glad we spent part of orientation involved with the "Me, Inc." material developed by the GCS team. Especially because my work experience after college was not in a traditional business environment, the "Me, Inc." curriculum got me started thinking about how to shape my personal brand and story before I even began learning about SWOT analysis or Nash equilibria. As I think back on the many interviews I've had in the last few weeks, I know that being at Kelley was the right fit for me and has been instrumental in helping me chart the course of my professional development.
“Training is Happening Now.” That was the sign which sat on the desk of a former manager. I loved that sign because I knew the manager was interested in my professional development just as much as his own business results. He operated in a continual teaching mode ensuring that his employees were not only working on the business to drive sales, but were also learning from daily business challenges which ultimately made better employees with broader skill sets.
However, I must admit that it took me years to appreciate the true wisdom of the concept. I ultimately realized that the phrase needed to become a mindset rather than just a passing saying in order to develop myself as I truly wanted – especially as it relates to Leadership. For some people it’s probably an incomplete phrase and could be enhanced by the following; “Training is Happening Now…Are you Open to Learn?” I’ve failed in the past by not learning from experiences right in front of me - I wasn’t open to the insight. I see many students and young managers fall into this trap quite a bit. They want to be trained but somehow expect the only time that happens is when they’re in a formal training session. They miss the opportunity to actively learn from their daily interactions and challenges. I just read a great blog post from Linda Hill, and HBS professor, about this exact situation.
Translating your leadership experiences into meaningful stories is critical during a job search. Recruiters want to understand How you lead based upon your past experiences and challenges. Creating a habit of reflecting on and learning from these experiences will ultimately make you a stronger leader, better manager and hopefully a better teacher down the road. It will also enable you to confidently tell a story of what type of leader you are, and how you've developed over the years. “Training is Happening Now…Are you Open to Learn?”
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
1. Se agradecido. Decir GRACIAS hace toda una diferencia.
2. Ten el mind-set correcto.
3. Recuerda que la universidad es un ambiente seguro en donde puedes compartir tus ideas y desarrollar habilidades.
4. Antes de empezar el MBA pregúntate ¿Qué quiero hacer con mi vida? A veces se nos olvida que un MBA no es para conseguir el trabajo que te llevará a dónde quieres estar dentro de 10 años.
5. El MBA es un programa muy demandante, pero es importante que tengas un balance en tu vida y pases tiempo con tus compañeros de clase.
7. Aprovecha la diversidad que existe en un programa Top 20 de MBA. Los mejores programas atraen a estudiantes de todo el mundo. Haz un esfuerzo para aprender de otras culturas porque muchas de las oportunidades probablemente estén en otro país por lo que aprovecha el MBA para aprender a trabajar con gente de otro país.
8. Nunca olvides que un MBA es como un club y cada uno es responsable por el valor de nuestra membresía.
Monday, February 21, 2011
In addition to the diversity of company projects we were offered, the projects provide a great depth of different business problems for us to solve. One of the projects focuses on analyzing a company's current struggling product line and having the students assess whether or not the line can be revived (and if so, how). A second project involves finding a unique way to target a new demographic customer segment, while another project involves evaluating the market for and implementing a customer loyalty program. The last project involves developing a global marketing strategy for a new product line. One of my classmates on this team will be lucky enough to go on a trip to China to present the team's recommendations!
For the rest of us not traveling to China, our final presentations with take place on Friday, April 8th - right before the admitted students' Experience Weekend starts. Admitted students coming for the weekend are invited to attend the final presentations, so we hope to see several in attendance!
The great training these projects are providing are a huge help for career switch MBA students like myself. As one of the best marketing MBA programs, Kelley provides a great combination of classroom and real-world marketing training to ensure Kelley students succeed in their internships and beyond.
Sunday, February 20, 2011
Everyone has a personal brand; it’s just that some people are more purposeful in managing their brands by ensuring they are the ones articulating their brand to others. In other words, they own and take charge of their brand story. William Arruda, a personal branding expert, says that “true brand success comes when you can engage others with your brand by successfully expressing and exuding to them what your brand is that they, in turn, can speak of and communicate your brand through the credibility of their own voice to the people who know, like and trust them.”
Your ability to convey your brand so people are then able to describe it to others may impact your career path, as evidenced by a research study conducted by catalyst research. In the study, respondents were asked to list those factors that played a role in developing career and advancement opportunities. The top 5 factors they named were:
• 71 %: Network and build relationships within and outside the organization
• 52%: Articulate, good communicator, influential
• 51%: Find ways to become visible
• 45%: Play politics and lobby for yourself and your work
• 43%: Communicate effectively and ask for lots of feedback
Interestingly, “knowledge/competence” came in at 37% and “works long hours” at 29%.
The key take-away is that the top 5 factors are dependent on you having a personal brand, managing it, and ensuring others know what it is so they can articulate it to others and/or help you refine it along the way.
How to Tell Your Personal Brand Story
So, you may be wondering how you tell your personal brand story. Think back to when you were in the fourth grade. It was probably around that time you learned to write a story using the “6 W’s and an H” – who, what, when, where, why, and how. Your teacher almost certainly explained that when you cover these areas, you provide readers/listeners with all the information they need to understand the full story. The same is true of how you define and tell your brand story. Here are some of the factors to consider:
• Are you and who do you want to become (i.e. what are your goals)?
• Are you targeting?
• Is in your network?
• Do you stand for in the minds of others?
• Are you known for in your field?
• Are your skills, interests, and values?
• Do you offer that helps you compete in the market and what do you need to do
• Are your time lines to achieve your goals?
• Are you yourself?
• Are people meeting you and really getting to know you (i.e. are you networking
and building relationships)?
• Can people find your brand?
• Should people believe in your brand?
• Do you stand out compared to others?
• Do you represent yourself (in everything from your attitude to written
communication to style), and how do others perceive you?
• Do you add value?
• Do you bring your brand to life?
In upcoming posts, various aspects of personal branding will be explored. I look forward to an ongoing conversation!
Friday, February 18, 2011
Bloomington absolutely comes alive in the Spring. It's like a whole new town. You're probably thinking that every city with a 4-season climate sees the same transition, and to some extent that's true. But often the springtime here comes earlier and is more consistent than other cities I've lived in. After alternating between nothing but sleeping and studying for the duration of the dark days of winter, students make an effort to enjoy the outdoors as early as possible. Fields are filled with students exercising. There's a palpable energy from the students, faculty and staff alike. IU's campus is absolutely beautiful as things start to bloom; the grounds team keeps everything immaculate.
This week we got a sneak-peek of Spring - Bloomington was 60 and sunny today. Convertible tops were down, music was playing, and I took the long way into school just to enjoy the drive with my windows down. Later in the day I went for a ride (internal combustion, not pedal powered) because the day was too perfect. I made my way south & east over the winding roads & gently rolling hills of Bloomington. I ended up at Lake Monroe, a fantastic body of water about 10 miles from Bloomington proper. It's a must-see for any student at IU. I snapped a picture from this spot:
I'm planning on bringing more little-known locations to my blog as the weather keeps getting nicer. In the meantime, if you've got questions about Bloomington, drop me a line. I'm pretty familiar with the town.
Wherever you are in the space time continuum, I would encourage you to also think about what you want to accomplish over break and in the coming semester. Some of you may have accepted an internship and are working to prepare for success in it. Others are trying to decide between firms, while some are seeking the perfect job for the summer and beyond.
For those of you seeking an internship/full-time offer or trying to make a decision, be sure to meet with your coach and buddy. Reflect on what went well this past semester in the interview process and what did not go well.
- Did you have a concise and compelling story to tell recruiters?
- Do you need to polish your brand?
- How is your network? Have you been in contact with people and are you working to activate it?
- Do you have a laid out plan with weekly goals?
For more insight, see Internship 301 which has some great hints and steps to take for a successful search.
Finally, best of luck on finals next week!!
Thursday, February 17, 2011
First and foremost, unfortunately it is not possible to check the status of your application. If any further information is needed, we will contact you via email.
Secondly, many candidates are anxious to interview. Remember from my last post that admissions interviews are not required. While not all applicants will interview, an invitation to interview may occur at any point in the process. Invitations to interview are sent on an ongoing basis throughout the review process.
Lastly, we publish our admissions timeline so that you can know when to expect a decision. This timeline is accurate and you should not expect a decision earlier. We do not offer rolling admission. Our admissions decisions are released via email as published.
I hope this helps to understand a bit more of the review and notification process. The admissions committee is working diligently to review applications in a timely fashion but also wants to be sure each individual application is given the appropriate amount of time to get to know each candidate. In fact, each application may be reviewed individually at least 3-4 times before a final decision is made. We appreciate your patience!!
When I was a kid, I never won anything. All those random drawings in elementary school raffles, my first and only lottery ticket when I turned 18, my one and only time in a Fantasy Baseball league.....
but last weekend, we won the Purdue Supply Chain Case Competition. Let me give you a little background before I get to the juicy victory.
Due to a friend of mine and me surprising our class by performing a silly skit one morning, I got invited by a couple of second years to join their case competition team. I had done two before internally as part of this two year MBA program, and enjoyed the process of cracking a problem and presenting a solution. So I said "sure." The three of us teamed up with another second year, and sent our registration in.
In late January, we received our case to crack from Purdue with 22 other competitors. In a nutshell, our case focused on the fictional country of Gombala, which was rife with disease and healthcare was fully funded by very, very picky international donors. Within the country, individual hospitals were able to order medication whenever they needed, communication was poor, and death rates were high. Our mission: free up funding and get the hospitals to pool their resources.
We had a week to work on the problem, and were relatively relaxed and paced in doing so, compared to the Core experience. We delivered a thorough, great deck to Purdue; and within a week, we had heard back that we were one of the final six teams. We had already beaten out schools like Vanderbilt, MIT and Michigan!
We spent the next week refining and perfecting our deck; but it was all in vain, because as we'd get to Purdue, they'd certainly surprise us. The four of us road-tripped up to West Lafayette last Thursday, listening to tunes and visiting one teammate's undergrad experience at Depauw. Once at Purdue, we signed in and went through the regular pomp and circumstance of an opening event - Purdue was full of very kind hosts.
They handed us our case update and we were given a break-out room from 6-11 p.m. In summary, the president of Gombala was going to announce free healthcare for pregnant women and children under five, and we had to figure out how to handle the massive increase in demand for medication the following day. We worked hard and tirelessly, but with plenty of laughter and graciousness. When we were booted out of the room at 11, we continued to work until 3 a.m. back in the hotel.
We were chosen to present fifth, and thus had until 4 p.m. on Friday to either attend a Supply Chain conference or practice. We chose practice, and spent the entire day in various alcoves of the school and hotel practicing and refining our presentation, often whispering so passers-by couldn't hear our solution.
When it came time to present, we spoke in front of a panel of 12ish industry judges and four of the finalist teams - Kellogg, Purdue, South Carolina and Southern California. It went without a hitch, we finished in time and the question and answer section went smooth as butter.
Fast-forward 45 minutes, and they're announcing the top three winners. My heart raced as our name was not called in the first two, thinking we either won or got completely destroyed. But when we were called, I felt like we were on the Price is Right, but had to compose myself and walk professionally to the stage.
People keep asking me what was our secret - how did we win? My answer is two fold:
First: I think we just had a perfect synergy of talent on the team. I have a not-for-profit background and one teammate has a strong supply chain background, while the other two have strong consulting backgrounds - so it was a perfect interest synergy for the case. Also, we just really got along and were very relaxed during the whole process.
Second: I think the Kelley case method is golden. One of the things things you get out of the MBA management degree and the entrepreneur MBA program is the benefit of being able to tell a story. The ability to draw the crowd in through a captivating problem, immediately assuring them with your solution, then logically and clearly walking them through how to solve that problem, and finally wrapping up with the results of your projected solution are essential. In our feedback, this was one reoccurring theme that set us apart from other top ranked MBA colleges. Maybe it was still worth it to originally go to college for theater.....
So, it was a blast, I feel humbled and honored, and I'd do it again. But first, I've got to talk someone about getting our certificate in the trophy case and a new case victory banner on the wall.....
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
- Your brand image is made of every interaction your consumer has with your brand or product, not just the traditional advertising points of contact that come to mind. The same is true of your personal brand.
- People skills and the soft skills are what get you places. Live by the things you were taught in second grade: play nice in the sandbox, don’t take things that are not yours, say thank you.
- 3. At the end of the day, all you have is your reputation. Be someone that people know they can go to listen and get the job done.
- You don’t have to be the one coming up with all of the ideas, you just have to be able to identify them and make them come to life.
- Be a consensus builder: be able to diplomatically disagree. I hear you, I understand, I disagree, here’s why, it isn’t personal.
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
The new team began with a screening of “The Green Machine”- a short documentary that talks about Mayor Richard Daley’s efforts to make Chicago the greenest city on the planet. You can check out the video below from PBS:
After the viewing, we got into small groups to discuss our thoughts on the video and what could be done to encourage more green initiatives.
The 2010 club leadership team (Neha Kale, Naseem Ehsan, Karim Khan, Sowmya Gogineni, Joni Lewis) has done a great job of putting together a number of successful events in the past. Neha (2010 Kelley Net Impact President) adds: “We hosted a variety of events this fall to highlight the various aspects of Net Impact with a focus on socially responsible companies and nonprofits. We also expanded the board fellows program with additional partners this year and have initiated the Social Internship fund with the support of Cummins. We were also excited that the Kelley Net Impact Graduate chapter was recognized as the chapter with the highest increase in conference attendance nationally.”
Here are the links to some of the interesting blog posts by Kelley MBA students who attended the 2010 Net Impact Conference: (Thanks, Karim!)
- Vision for a Sustainable Decade
- Scrubbing Bubble in Slums of Nairobi
- Corporate Social Responsibility is now Mainstream
I wish the new Net Impact club leadership team (Theos Stamoulis, Patrick Kitchens, Tyler Kirsh, Nisarg Shah and Robert Herrick) good luck for the year! You should follow Kelley Net Impact on Twitter to catch up on the latest, especially if you are planning to get a Social Entrepreneurship MBA.
Monday, February 14, 2011
Opportunities… They’re still knocking. Don't wait for your career coach, faculty, student services, or your classmates to hand you the next opportunity. Make sure that when opportunity knocks, you not only hear it, but you're also prepared to open the door. And don't forget, you might need to show up on the door step to initiate the knocking.You'll be hard-pressed to be prepared to open the door, if you haven't taken the time to figure out your...
Passion… It’s not just a fruit. Get clear about your passion and then go after it! Notice what’s missing and then ask for it. Having passion for your work is not only possible, it’s crucial. Launch a passionate search for ways to bring together your passion and your work.Once you've found your passion and taken advantage of opportunities, you're likely to have secured a position. You still have work to do...
Information… Are you on board? Bringing yourself onboard and truly “finding the fit” can be challenging. Do your homework and learn as much as you can about the organization you’ve joined or are deciding to join. Don’t leave your own job fit to happenstance. If you find it isn't a fit once you're there, do some work to figure out if it is salvageable for the long term.
Passing the Buck… Don’t pass it. Some people are tempted to hold others accountable for their work satisfaction. Ultimately you choose how much effort you put into the search - how many informational interviews you've done, how many times you've reached out to your coach, how many practice interviews you've done - and you have the power to improve. Accept that responsibility, complete with its challenges, and you’ll get more of what you want from your work and your workplace
Truth… It hurts - or does it? You need regular, honest feedback from your career coach, boss, co-workers, customers, and friends. Many people complain about not getting enough feedback. Don’t wait for your career coach, or others, to tell you truth. Go after it. You need the truth to know where you stand and how you can succeed.
Friday, February 11, 2011
As a result, I was asked to compete in the Purdue Case Competition.
There's something fantastic about the culture at this top two year MBA program that I haven't touched on yet. Yes, the work is very, very hard - and we focus and participate in class, while completing our reading and homework, while doing the internship search and networking, while balancing our club needs, and at some point taking time to ourselves.
But at the same time, in the midst of the busy flurry, we have truly bonded in a culture of fun and lightheartedness, in the face of the strains, that can only be found at one of the top ranked MBA colleges like this one. We collaborate, socialize outside of class - but in the halls, we're still smiles, laughter, and know each other better than just a classmate or professional relationship. (In fact, as I write this, three classmates are debating four feet away where to go out Friday night)
At any rate, thanks to this fun and hard-working culture, I'm headed to West Lafayette tomorrow with three second-years for the final round of the Purdue Case Competition. There were 27 applicants in the first round, and now only six stand to complete for the top three monetary prizes. This is my third case competition total, first outside of Kelley, and I couldn't be more excited. I've got a brilliant team of second years who are almost done with their two year MBA program, so this time has been a little calmer and more focused than the previous two times.
Wish us luck in our Supply Chain competitionand hopefully I'll be reporting a first place banner next week!
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Reading the title above you may be thinking to yourself….wait a minute, I thought this was a blog on career management…why in the world are you spouting off about leadership development?
…and it’s a great question. Leadership remains a hot topic in the MBA community because it’s a hot topic in the corporate world. Every single MBA recruiter we see asks us if our candidates can LEAD - no matter function, industry or company! Recruiters have an expectation that candidates will demonstrate leadership abilities throughout an interview – no ifs, ands or buts. Think about it…without employee leadership there is no vision, no objectives, no strategy, no innovation, no collaboration and no ability to overcome – and you don't have a good recipe for organizational success. What recruiters want to see is that core ability to influence - align people to a vision, create an intelligent plan and then execute through the organization with excellence. The context can vary, the skill set is constant.
The study of leadership and management are critical to your professional development. The best MBA programs have classes that will provide you many of the frameworks needed to become a great leader and manager. That said, you should create a self-study program, including biographies of Various leadership temperaments and styles. Some of my current personal favorites include; The Truth About Leadership by Kouzes & Posner, The Extraordinary Leader by Zenger & Folkman, Shackleton’s Way by Morrell, Capparell and Shackleton, Gandhi’s autobiography. Study current leaders and managers. There is no shortage of press coverage for both good and bad examples. Look for diverse personalities that have demonstrated an ability to influence in their lives – after all, that’s what leadership is all about – through your vision, action, inspiration, activity, quiet reflection, writing, etc.…you get the picture. Embrace the debate between being a leader and being a manager - you will need to be both. Don't buy it when someone tells you management is not as important as leadership. As your reading, think about how you would explain these stories to others and how the lessons you're learning may help you tell your own story more effectively.
Most MBAs say they want to be leaders in some form or another, or at least called one, and some will search for a “magic bullet” of leadership development. Questions I’ve been asked by MBAs include; What book should I read? Which class should I take? Is there 10-step model I should follow to lead or manage a group? And my personal favorite…what’s the “right answer” to the leadership challenge in front of me? Frankly, those are all reasonable questions coming from students who seek to improve their leadership acumen. But there’s also a big missing question which I don’t hear asked often enough...
How can I practice leadership and management to get better? Practicing leadership, Reflecting on the process / results and then Applying the lessons moving forward is critical to leadership development. The US Army is a master at this game and has applied this very process to develop leaders from all walks of life. Recruiters want to hear about actual leadership examples from your past, not theory that you’ve read or philosophy of what you would do if given the chance. Get in the game to lead…either formally or informally. This could include a formal post such as class president, VP or club leadership. It could also include stepping up to lead a group of peers on a class project. Most importantly, you do not need to be in a leadership position to demonstrate good leadership qualities. It’s a frame of mind for how you intend to influence others in working with them. Ask for development opportunities at school or on the job – there are no shortages of problems to solve, people to influence and situations to overcome.
In the future I’ll continue to focus on topic of leadership from many different angles. I look forward to talking with you.
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Kelley como escuela de negocios, ha recibido tradicionalmente varios estudiantes con esposas y familias. De hecho, una de las organizaciones estudiantiles de mayor movimiento es el Kelley Partners Club, conformado por esposas o acompañantes de estudiantes del programa. Más allá de esto, la misma compenetración Kelley y de un lugar como Bloomington hacen que la experiencia sea muy completa. Bloomington tiene una de las más vibrantes (y económicas) agendas culturales que he visto; Temporadas de Opera o Ballet de primer nivel desde $5 son perfectas para compartir en pareja.
Más allá de lo que se adquiere en un salón de clases, junto a mi esposa hemos podido compartir eventos como GLOBASE, los noches internacionales de India, China y casi la gran mayoría de eventos organizados por la asociación de estudiantes, y de la misma manera como yo he podido construir buenas amistades dentro de una salón de clases, ambos hemos hecho grandes amistades conviviendo por fuera de estos salones.
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
1. Be knowledgeable on programs unique to the school: I cannot tell you how frequently I am reading essays and at any given time, you could insert any other top ranked MBA program's name where Kelley is listed. Being knowledgeable about programs unique to the school and more importantly, how you would like to be involved in them or what you would like to gain from the experience shows you have spent time really thinking about the best path to your career aspirations and know how the school can help you get there.
2. Have a clear focus and solid understanding of short and long term goals: One of the main components I try and understand in an interview or essay is what do you want to do in the short term and long term, and more importantly, why do you need an MBA to pursue those goals? While people change their minds or are still exploring potential career paths, it is important to have a general area of business and some idea of potential career paths.
3. Proofread: This may sound obvious, but little errors throughout the application add up and make it seem as though you are not detail oriented. The last thing a company wants is to hire someone that when they present a memo or presentation to company execs to have formatting, spelling or grammatical errors. Take the extra few minutes to double check everything before hitting submit, including the spelling of the program's name.
4. Let your personality come through: Many candidates have asked me what we are looking for in an interview or an essay response. The truth is, there is not a formulaic answer and telling us what you think we want to hear usually makes your response feel insincere. Instead, use the optional and more creative questions to share insight into what motivates you, what you are passionate about and what your personality is like. This helps us assess "fit" and get a better feel for you as a person, not just as another application.
Hopefully these tips provide some helpful insight as you continue through the application process!
Monday, February 7, 2011
For one thing, As a Kelley student not only do you have access to more typical University resources, such as our amazing athletic facilities, but you can also take free training courses from the University's Informational Technology Services on a number of software packages including:
Microsoft (PowerPoint, Sharepoint, Project), Adobe (Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign), and others. As a student going into an internship (or full-time position), these convenient courses can give you the extra edge to stand out. I recently took a Microsoft Access class which I really enjoyed.
And, just because you are gaining an MBA Professional Degree in Bloomington does not mean you have to leave any big city amenities behind when considering typical MBA student activities. I recently had the opportunity to attend a Jacobs School of Music Doctoral Chamber Recital which featured a friend of mine as well as several musicians playing a variety of interesting instruments (I say this as someone who never played an instrument).
The music was superb and it was amazing to me that the school and performance hall are just a few minutes walk from Kelley. I definitely have plans to attend other on-campus performances which really make the experience in Bloomington even richer.
Of course, everyone was at a Super Bowl party this past weekend and it was no different for the majority of Kelley students. My party included students from a range of disciplines including a Strategic Marketing MBA and a Social Entrepreneurship MBA. We enjoyed critiquing the various commercials for their effectiveness and it was interesting to hear everyone's perspective. Overall, a lot of fun!
Sunday, February 6, 2011
To jump-start the consulting process, several of the Peruvian clients were flown to Bloomington (with support through grant funding) and my team was able meet Diego, co-founder of a small entrepreneurial venture with his brother in Lima. Over the course of a whirlwind 36 hours, we learned more about his business, his family, and Peruvian culture, and showed him around a few of Bloomington's fine establishments as well. This was a great opportunity to develop a good working relationship with our business client and learn more about the nuances of their current market strategy before spending the remainder of the term researching and preparing our presentation, to be finalized and delivered in Peru (our trip to South America is just one of the many MBA student activities being planned over Spring Break).
The GLOBASE experience highlights just a few aspects of the Kelley MBA that set it apart from other top ranked MBA colleges:
- A live consulting opportunity and the chance to convert my classroom experience into real value for a client;
- An international experience that recognizes the unique challenges and market opportunities in an increasingly global economy;
- An intense team-based project that leverages the diversity of personal backgrounds and professional experiences of Kelley's extremely collaborative student body;
- The ability to make a difference and improve the profitability of an entrepreneurial venture in an emerging market.
Saturday, February 5, 2011
I was blessed with an amazing core team, but that doesn't mean we didn't face challenges. One of the biggest learnings I had from my core team experience was the importance of understanding the personality types and temperaments of your team members. At Kelley every student takes the Keirsey Temperment Sorter test. Learning my Keirsey temperment (I am an idealist), as well as the Keirsey temperments of my core team members helped me understand how we all approach problems differently, what is important to everyone, and what frustrates everyone. Understanding this helped me to not take disagreements personally and to learn how to adapt to the team dynamics so that we could work together more effectively. I know this is a lesson I will take with me to future teams during my time in the Kelley MBA program and beyond.
Through my MBA admission process I found it very important to involve my husband in my decision making process and consider what impact my decision would have on him. In the end I chose Kelley not only because it is one of the top ranked MBA colleges, but because it made sense logistically for me and my husband. Since arriving at Kelley I have seen relationships end and I can't say my husband and I haven't had our challenges. The first semester, known as "The Core", is particularly demanding and finding the right balance between spending time with friends and family and completing the necessary coursework and attending networking events is challenging to say the least. The advice that was given to me and what I have tried to do is involve my husband in as many of the MBA student activities as I can. The Kelley MBA program does a great job of providing a variety of student activities such as Indiana University home football game tailgates, Kelley Friday events (Japanese Game Show Night, Oktoberfest, Kelley Iron Chef, etc.), MBA gala, Korea Night, etc. where students like myself can bring their partners and families and know that they will be welcomed into the Kelley family.
As a result, I had a few extra requirements when looking for a program. After all, the pharmaceutical industry is undergoing multiple changes as healthcare reform looms and the dynamics within the industry shift. And marketing is hardly a static field; its applications change as quickly as technology does. I needed an MBA program that would allow me to immerse myself in the integrated curriculum, but also stay abreast of the changes in my target industry and function. In my mind, it didn't make much sense to take time off to return to school only to graduate two years behind the times.
One of the reasons Kelley stood out during my MBA search was because of the Academy model. Every student has the opportunity to be involved in a supplemental 'class' organized by function (i.e. Corporate Finance, Business Marketing, etc). The experience runs through the entirety of the two year MBA program. I was excited to find out that Kelley offers both a Consumer Marketing Academy and a Life Sciences Academy. The former would allow me to stay current in marketing trends, while the latter would help me stay current with the healthcare industry. The Life Sciences program is truly unique; it's a collaboration with the Center for the Business of Life Sciences (CBLS). As a result of being part of the program, I've been able to attend professional conferences, hear expert guest speakers in the pharma industry, and work on real business problems facing various sectors of the healthcare space. It's been a great opportunity to learn more, with the nice side benefit of helping me prepare for interviews with some prospective employers.
The academy experience, and the Life Sciences academy in particular, is a great example of what differentiates Kelley yet isn't captured in traditional rankings. The school is filled with clubs, additional curriculum opportunities, and groups that allow students to truly customize their experience. If you have an idea of what you want from your MBA experience, or if you just want to explore as many avenues as possible, there are truly more possibilities than time.
On Wednesday we were welcomed into the home of our Taiwanese friend and classmate (Alex), along with three of our Indian classmates, a Costa Rican classmate, and another couple from the US. Alex had prepared a "hot plate," which was electrically plugged in and glowed like it was on fire inside, and boiled a pot on top with various vegetables and meats that smelled (and tasted) delicious. She explained that it was like fondu. There were other snacks including shellfish, fish-balls, nuts and sausage, sweet sticky rice, and a special kind of tea that was very sweet. Dessert was filled with Pokey sticks and other tasty chocolates. She was a great host and we had a fun time trying traditional Taiwanese fare and telling stories of Bloomington.
Then on Thursday we were invited to our classmate's apartment at Tulip Tree for a South Korean New Year day celebration. We've celebrated with their family at many events before, including Halloween - Chul Woo is married and has three great children, who were quite energetic after having school cancelled for so many days from the ice and snow. Chul Woo's family made a traditional rice cake soup, glass noodles with beef, sunflower seed and sticky rice buns, and spicy vegetables. It was delicious, and we spent the night talking about how we had added years to our lives after eating rice cake soup, American politics, New Years traditions, how we all met and the kids' schooling.
I knew I was signing up for an international program when I came to one of the best two year MBA programs in the country, but I could have never known just how eye-opening and fun the experiences outside of the classroom were going to be. We're taking some of our international friends skiing for their first time tomorrow - I'll report back in next week!
Thursday, February 3, 2011
A role that I really enjoyed during my Two Year MBA Program at Kelley is being a part of the Kelley Creative Services. I would like to share with you in this MBA Program Blog Post some of the work I did as part of this committee. If you have an inclination or talent for art or graphic design this is the place for you. The Kelley Creative Services team was led by the amazing Unyi Agba, a Strategic Marketing MBA Student. Her expertise in marketing communication and strong grasp of graphic design principles made her an exceptional leader.
One of the most exciting projects we undertook was designing the club logos and signatures. We initiated the project by contacting the club leadership teams to find out whether any logos were currently being used or if they were interested in creating one. The next step was to schedule interviews to find out what were some of the ideas that represented the club brand. The brainstorming sessions were focused on a pyramid-based framework that started with the details of the club activities culminating in the abstract values that the brand represented. Based on these discussions, designers were tasked with creating a logo and signature that best matched the vision of the club leadership. We had a standard palette and guidelines that were used to create a consistency between the logos of the various clubs.
I was given the opportunity to create the club logos for the Kelley High Tech Club and the Finance Guild. Here is what I came up with:
The Kelley High Tech Club logo uses the letters H and T in the form of a capacitor. A capacitor represents stored energy and the waves represent radiating that energy for change. It also represents the connection between business and technology, and how bringing them together leads to greater synergy.
As for the Finance Guild, the discerning eye will find the initials of the club (F and G) within the $ sign. The $ sign, of course, represents money, investments, cash flows, wealth which lie at the heart of finance – be it Investment Banking, Investment Management or Corporate Finance. The $ sign also signifies the increase in value of the investments through the wise allocation of resources – skills that students will learn by being part of the Finance Guild.