By Bryan Chu
Her name is Tracy, and she resides in Lansing, Mich. I met her a week ago at Kelley InFocus. Definitely a vivacious personality; she’s a dance instructor on the side.
I spoke to her on two different occasions and provided her with insight on the invaluable opportunities and the special people at Kelley. No lip service. Just the facts.
Sometimes it’s difficult to gauge how prospective students react to every school preaching to them why it has a point of differentiation that trumps the rest. But at Kelley, what we bring doesn’t need to be forced. It comes out naturally and genuinely.
I’ll let Tracy’s words in her e-mail attest to that.
“It was great to hear how committed everyone was to the program and how everyone (even in the midst of the Core) felt like it was the best choice they could have made for their career. After a lot of thought on my five-hour drive home, and writing my "Why Kelley" essay this afternoon, I've decided to rank Kelley #1 for Consortium. Once I put all of the reasons for why I liked Kelley on paper, it didn't make sense not to rank the program first! So thanks again for the encouragement.”
The encouragement Tracy talked about didn’t just come from me over that weekend. It also came from dozens of first and second-year students who all shined light on why Kelley has been special to them. At Kelley, we want to see our school succeed by bringing in top talent, but most of all we want to see our peers succeed by giving them as much support as possible.
That entire weekend, I was reminded of just how fortunate I am to be a part of the Kelley family. It’s interesting just to look back when I was in a similar position that Tracy is in, trying to decide on a school. Déjà vu couldn’t have struck me any harder as Dean Dan Smith walked up to the dais and delivered his closing remarks for the Kelley In Focus weekend.
He began his closing speech with a story about an individual trying to get a loan from a bank to start a hamburger business in a town teeming with hamburger establishments. The Dean spoke of the bank questioning why the individual should be given a loan. With such vindication and certainty, the Dean said the individual responded: “Because no one will care more about hamburgers than I will.” And similar to that story, as the Dean continued convincingly, Kelley cares more about your education and is invested more in your success and future than any other school will.
The same feeling came over me one year later: chills.
And for Tracy and those to follow, I hope they know it’s hard to mimic that Kelley experience.