Sunday, February 6, 2011

The International Component of a Kelley MBA Experience

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to engage in part of a unique international consulting engagement that, in my opinion, sets Kelley far apart from any other MBA experience. As part of a team of classmates enrolled in Kelley's Global Business and Social Enterprise (GLOBASE) program, we are paired with small companies in emerging markets (this year's countries include Peru, India, and Ghana) and work closely with their management to develop strategic capabilities that will help them grow their businesses.

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.
Having met Diego face to face, I am even more excited now to connect with him throughout the next few months and to contribute to the growth of an emerging economy by helping develop his business.


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