Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Just an ocean away

Guest Post by Christine Thomson
First-Year MBA, Consumer Marketing Academy

Me and my GLOBASE Ghana team with our Partners in early February

We have spent the past eight weeks preparing for our in-country experience and the week of our departure has finally arrived.  I have been working closely with four teammates to develop an inventory management recommendation for a small retailer located in a village outside of Accra, Ghana.  The project seemed almost overwhelming when we first began. How was it that we could put together a recommendation for a store we had never visited, for owners we had never met, located an ocean away? It was during our partner week in February that this project came to life for me. My team and I were able to spend a week working closely with one of our Ghanaian partners. It was during this week that the client relationship turned into friendship and inspired us to develop the best solutions we could.

I am looking forward to meeting our client next week and putting a face with the voice we have heard over Skype.  I am looking forward to having an impact on our client.  I know I may not change his life in the short time we are there, but I know this experience will change mine. 

Stepping on the plane on Saturday will be an accomplishment for a personal journey for me in many ways. With parents from Canada, spending summers in Montreal was the extent of my international travels. This is an opportunity for me to experience a culture so different than my own; something I am ready to embrace.  When I came to Kelley, one of my goals was to push myself into new experiences and take advantage of every opportunity.  You know you are ready for the next step when your fears and anxiety turn into excitement and anticipation. Although I have begun packing and always have the slight fear of forgetting something, I know that the experience I am about to have will change my life.  Never would I have thought one year ago that I would be here today with this grand experience just a few days away. With my passport in hand, I am waiting in anticipation and excitement for the journey ahead!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Kelley Students Give Back

By Christine Robinson
Second-Year MBA, Consumer Marketing Academy

MBA candidates at the Kelley School of Business have shown their commitment to giving back at two recent events, where combined the students raised over $1200 for the anti-trafficking NGO, Challenging Heights

James Kofi Annan accepts donation from Black MBA Association

The first of these events was a Black History Month Dinner which took place on Friday, February 3rd at the Indiana Memorial Union and was put on by the Black MBA Association.  The event was a celebration of Black History that reflected on the history of slavery in American and brought to light the worldwide existence of slavery today.  GLOBASE Ghana partner and former child slave, James Kofi Annan was the keynote speaker.  At the event James shared his story of survival, a story that depicts his knowledge of both what it feels like to be enslaved and what it feels like to be free.  It was these contrasting aspects of his experience that led him come to the realization that "To whom much is given, much is expected."  With this motto, James founded Challenging Heights, a NGO in Ghana whose mission is "to ensure a secured, protected, and dignified future and life for children and youth by promoting their rights, education, and health."  Over $800 was raised for Challenging Heights at this event.  $800 will cover the average costs of rescuing two children from slavery or cover the education costs for over 3 children for a full year. 

A group of Kelley MBA Students at the Slavery Sucks benefit
The second event was a Slavery Sucks benefit on Thursday, February 16th at The Bluebird, that was put on by the GLOBASE Ghana Student Leadership Team.  The Slavery Sucks benefit was an opportunity for Kelley MBA students to take a stand against modern day slavery, by publicly stating that "slavery sucks" through either their attendance and/or their donation.  Local businesses such as Crazy Horse, Wine and Canvas, The Bluebird, and Restaurant Talent donated raffle prizes for the event.  An additional $420 was raised at this event for Challenging Heights

GLOBASE Ghana participants look forward to giving back further when they visit Challenging Heights in Ghana over spring break where they will be able to see first hand the children and great work of Challenging Heights, work that the Kelley MBA Students' donations will help fund.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

GLOBASE Guatemala: Driven to Do More and Be Better

First-Year MBA, Business Marketing Academy
It is 6pm on a Wednesday night, and my group and I wrapping up for the day. We leave for Guatemala in less than a month, and there is still a great deal of work to do. Conservatively, we are about 55% done with our project with Mujeres Buscando Alternativas, and the momentum has not stopped nor has our enthusiasm dwindled.

Our client’s situation and goals do not weigh on our heads so much as it propels us. We’re motivated by our project. We know what this means to our clients, and what it could potentially mean to the entrepreneurial women in rural Guatemala.

My greatest source of motivation, however, is my team. Great teams are not always put together, but once in a while, you find a team that understands you, supports you, encourages you, and trusts you. And vice versa. My project team is a group of women who are all driven, intelligent, and full of integrity. We accommodate each other without compromising the level of quality that was promised to our clients. We, as a team, embody what Kelley stands for.

Under a solid leadership team of second year MBA students, and the guiding hand of PhilPowell, our Core professor of Economics, we are succeeding as a team, building creative solutions that will serve our clients’ needs. A Kelley student’s schedule is hectic, and it is easy to burn out or take on too much, so finding motivation is key. What keeps you going? What gives you that strength to go on one more hour, or perfect one more slide, or perfect one more detail?

For me, it’s the school I represent, the client we made a promise to, and the team I serve.

GLOBASE has thus far been a fantastic journey. Soon we will be able to implement our recommendations in Guatemala and get to see them in action. We have had our meetings, created innovative suggestions, and established new approaches to our problems – and all the while, have been driven to do more and be better. I give all thanks to my team, my motivators, and can’t wait to finish up the last 45% of this project so we can enjoy Guatemala together!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Miembros del IGOE participan en conferencia y expo en la Universidad de Georgetown

MBA de segundo año, Academia de Finanzas Corporativas

El pasado 9 y 10 de febrero, varios alumnos de primer año integrantes del IGOE, asistieron a la Global Conference and Career Expo, organizada conjuntamente entre McDonough School of Business (Georgetown University) y el ESADE en Washington, D.C.

Dentro del primero año del MBA los estudiantes se dedican a buscar una posición como becarios (“internships”) en empresas Norteamericanas de renombre. Como parte de dicha búsqueda, los miembros del IGOE asistimos a la primera Expo de empleo que ofrece la Universidad de Georgetown, en donde diversas empresas y organizaciones sin fines de lucro formaron parte de los exhibicionistas. Este tipo de actividades son ideales para entablar el primer contacto con los representantes de las distintas instituciones. El IGOE promueve en todo momento la asistencia cualquier evento que beneficie a sus integrantes dentro del mercado laboral, sirviendo no sólo como apoyo, sino como plataforma para la generación de nuevas relaciones de negocios con una proyección a futuro. (Samuel Romanowsky,  Consulting Academy, México)

Este tipo de eventos enmarcan la importancia de estudiar un MBA en un programa que posea gran reconocimiento. Georgetown y ESADE decidieron invitar únicamente universidades “rankeadas” en el Top 20 para mantener un nivel de calidad en los alumnos que asistieron. Este evento fue una interesante oportunidad que alumnos internacionales con aspiraciones a trabajar en los E.U. utilizaron para practicar el tan importante “networking”.  Es un ambiente seguro para entablar relaciones profesionales y empezar el posicionamiento con una o varias empresas que formen parte de los objetivos laborales de los estudiantes. Kelley a través de Graduate Career Services (GCS) y el IGOE no solo apoyan sino que impulsan a alumnos latinoamericanos e internacionales en general a asistir activamente en este tipo de eventos. (Pablo Segovia, Business Marketing Academy, México)

Pursuing a career in Corporate Finance at Kelley

By Jessica Lapsia
Second-Year MBA, Corporate Finance Academy

As I prepared to talk to the first year students in the corporate finance academy about my recruitment journey at Kelley recently, I recounted my experiences since I commenced my MBA in the fall of 2010.

When asked about my goal post MBA in a session with the Graduate Career Services, I remember jotting down “transitioning to a career in corporate finance”.  As passionate as I was about achieving it at the time, it was a distant reality.  I had no idea how I’d make it happen.

Soon we delved into meeting with finance alumni at several world renowned companies across a gamut of industries. Learning about alumni experiences and corporate cultures first-hand served to broaden my understanding of the role of finance at different firms. Going through this process, while receiving guidance and insights from the academy and career services personnel, helped me identify roles and companies with an environment conducive for my success. Articulating “personal fit” in interviews became a seamless effort.

The solid foundation in finance and accounting received in the first semester coupled with electives prepared me for technical interview questions and the internship. Excel modeling skills gained in Professor Wayne Winston’s class helped me take my analysis to the next level. Lo and behold – I had the job I wanted!

Now, as I embark on perhaps the bigger journey, elective finance offerings such as  ”International Corporate Finance” stimulated by case discussions of challenging finance decisions faced by companies, and  “Real Options”,  an approach to valuation increasingly being adopted by companies to model dynamism,  have not only enhanced my analytical ability but also increased my confidence in solving real business problems.

Jessica Lapsia

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

MBA Gala

First-Year MBA, Consumer Marketing Academy
The Casino at the MBA Gala
Each February, we don our finest gowns and tuxes for the annual MBA Gala.  This year, the evening was planned around a Hollywood theme.  Shuttles arrived across Bloomington to escort us to Indiana University’s Alumni Hall, where we walked the red carpet, complete with Paparazzo! 

After a cocktail hour (and an occasional glance at the IU basketball game…GO HOOSIERS!), we were seated for an elegant three-course meal.  Fortunately, we had an opportunity to burn it off on the dance floor and in the casino, where we could play games like Blackjack and Roulette for prizes (and bragging rights, of course).

In true Kelley style, we followed up the evening with even more dancing down on Kirkwood Street.  It was great to do something completely different, meet many of our classmates’ long-distance partners and see everyone dressed to the nines.  Fortunately, we have many more social events to look forward to this semester, including the Little 500 week, MBA Follies and much much more.  Never a dull moment here in Bloomington
All Dressed Up

GLOBASE Guatemala: A Global Exchange of Ideas

By Justin Delaney,
First-year MBA, Entrepreneurial Management Academy
Professor Phil Powell leads a case discussion for GLOBASE Guatemala.

In the MBA Core, we learned how to apply concepts.  We read cases and took exams.  We had lively classroom discussions and forged ahead amid exciting job searches.  It was enriching.  It was challenging.  And it prepared us for what was next.

What was next?  For a first year Kelley MBA, the second semester is filled with real world projects and applying the concepts of MBA learning to fix business problems on a global scale.  At Kelley, we collaborate in teams and strive to make our mark by assisting businesses in a variety of fields.  I am personally on three teams tasked with helping real businesses solve real problems.  From commercializing a biotech patent here in the states to helping a steel company in Guatemala better understand its cost structure to designing a transitive fuel marketing plan for a Canadian energy firm, these projects have taught me to cope with the ambiguities and challenges of the real world.  My teams are great, and among my ten teammates across these three teams, seven countries are represented.  It is truly a global exchange of ideas.

Nowhere is this global component more evident than with GLOBASE Guatemala.  GLOBASE is a consulting project where students from the Kelley School of Business use their business knowledge to solve problems for a number of Guatemalan businesses, from small to large.  Several businesses are represented and the projects span the spectrum from supply chain to marketing.  For my team project, we are helping a steel company called Prodinox recover from the global recession. 

The GLOBASE Classroom Experience
With GLOBASE, the stakes are high, and the payoff is even higher - making a difference in the future of a business that may be perched precariously at a crossroads of growth.  To prepare Kelley students for this level of engagement, we are dropped into a realm of learning.  In the GLOBASE classroom, we examine the economic and cultural structure of Guatemala.  We listen to speeches from experts on consulting and social entrepreneurship.  We prepare with cases documenting both the detritus of multinational exploitation in Guatemala and the champions that build the country up.  We do all these things so that when we go to Guatemala, we can simply do what we need to do – make a real difference.

At the heart of our GLOBASE classroom preparation is Kelley School of Business MBA faculty chair Phil Powell.  Phil is a dynamo of southern charisma who worships at the altar of global economics.  Just to capture a picture of him for my lead atop this blog, I had to steady my hand and increase shutter speed to a level normally reserved for speed skaters and Usain Bolt.  He engages the classroom with a flurry of engagement and shepherds us towards the final goal of making the businesses we interact with better.  As the Indiana Jones of economics, he brings a unique blend of strategy and understanding to our preparation.  All of this preparation ensures that when class ends and the real world begins, Kelley MBAs will be there and we will be ready.

The GLOBASE experience is the pinnacle of global learning at Kelley.  Students form consulting teams based around business problems in far-off countries such as Guatemala, India, and Ghana.  The teams are assigned to companies and the projects range from microfinance to marketing to operations to strategy.  

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

GLOBASE Guatemala: Already an Amazing Global Experience

by Theresa Muench,
First-year MBA, Consumer Marketing Academy

Among the top reasons I chose Kelley is the unique global opportunities available in both the classroom and abroad. I love how the Global Business & Social Enterprise program (aka GLOBASE) allows you to add an international dimension to your studies that will grow your competitiveness in an increasingly global economy, while you make an impact on a real business, and experience a new culture all at the same time. I am very excited to be working on one of these real-world business cases and I’m looking forward to putting all that I learned in The Core to work as a part of the first GLOBASE trip to Guatemala!

We received our project assignments just before winter break and got straight to work at the start of the spring semester. Four other students and I are working with a client who designs, produces and sells truly unique, high-end decorative bamboo products. The company, product and problem they would like us to solve are all really interesting and I’ve really enjoyed getting to know both the business and our client.

Outside of the Monday evening classroom sessions, getting to know our client has been the most rewarding learning experience thus far. Taking into consideration what we learned in class about the Guatemalan culture, we started to form the relationship with our client early. We set up a Skype call within the first week on the project and hosted our clients in Bloomington the following weekend. We really enjoyed taking the time to get to know our client and it was meaningful to hear the story of her start-up and discuss her goals for growth in the future. She is full of passion for her business and we left our working meetings energized by the opportunity to work with her and her company. Of course, in true Kelley fashion, we balanced all of the hard work with some fun and we took some time to enjoy sharing Kelley and B-town with our client as well.

As we approach the halfway point in this project, it’s difficult to believe that the time has gone by so quickly. It feels like yesterday that we were celebrating the kick-off dinner at El Norteno, and it is truly is amazing all that has happened in just the first few weeks of the spring semester. Already our projects are fully underway and each of the teams is working to prepare a trial run of the client deliverable presentation for next week’s class. The classroom, group work and client visit have already made this a truly immersive learning experience and it’s clear that these GLOBASEGuatemala teams will indeed make a global impact. 

Monday, February 6, 2012

The Servant as Leader

by Eduardo Herrera,
Second-year MBA, Corporate Finance Academy

I had always wanted to participate in GLOBASE India program and gain experience in working towards rural development. This spring break, I will have a chance to work with my team on the ground to help make a  difference. Since our kick-off meetings in early January, all the teams have been hard at work in their respective projects. We all have been working very closely with CORD’s leadership team (The Chinmaya Organization of Rural Development) through several conference calls in order for us to understand and scope our projects to best fit our recommendations to their needs.

The most important aspect of all of this is that even though we are four teams working on four “different” projects, we are all working together for one common goal: to serve CORD and all the great work they are doing. We identified areas of opportunity in which projects may overlap so that we align our teams to work together to increase our level of engagement within the different projects and also increase the possibilities of delivering actionable and sustainable recommendations across all of the projects for our partner.

It is a challenge to have this type of interactions due to the fact that you have to work through technical and cultural barriers, which in many ways, clearly resonates to the fact that it does not get any more real than this. In a globalized business world, you have to be ready to face uncertainty, understand that you will not have all the information at hand and have to be able to work with what is available. We are gaining valuable consulting experience and in the process, we are helping the Kelley School of Business solidify its footprint with CORD and India. But most importantly, we are here to serve CORD and all it stands for.

Next week, we will be hosting Narender Paul, Sr. Program Manager for CORD. Having Narender visit Bloomington will not only provide an excellent opportunity to help raise awareness and spread the word on the great work CORD is doing, but will help us continue to build a long-lasting relationship with CORD and their members, well beyond the confines of the classroom environment at the Kelley School of Business. We are extremely excited to have the opportunity to meet him in person and work side-by-side with him during his stay.

Until our next post, I leave you with the words of Swami Tejomayananda, worldwide Head of Chinmaya Mission: “CORD is a bond of love and understanding, encouraging a process of sharing which enriches both the giver and the receiver.”

Friday, February 3, 2012

Kelley MBAs bring global perspective to local classroom

By Christine Robinson
Second-Year MBA, Consumer Marketing Academy

In our first GLOBASE Ghana class we kicked off the session by having each of the three student leaders reiterate to the participants why we decided to be a part of the GLOBASE Ghana student leadership team.  For me the answer was simple, to serve.  I knew that I wanted to participate in a GLOBASE program for the opportunity to serve small businesses in developing countries and Ghana had a need for a leader, so in taking on this role I was also serving the Kelley School of Business by helping to ensure the school's continued footprint in Ghana.  However, the more I thought about it the more self-centered this service seemed to be.  Afterall, in serving small businesses, am I also not gaining valuable consulting experience myself?  And, in serving the Kelley School of Business in solidifying their footprint in Ghana am I not serving to increase the value of my own brand?  With this realization I began to ask myself how can we more directly serve Ghanaians?  It was this question that led me to the issue of child slavery in Ghana and an organization called Challenging Heights.  And with this, a new partnership was formed.  A partnership that will allow us to help Challenging Heights create a sustainable business model, help raise funds for the organization, and last but not least help raise awareness of the issue of child slavery in Ghana.

James Kofi Annan Speaking at Brown County Jr. High School

This week we have the priviledge of being able to host several of our GLOBASE Ghana partners here at the Kelley School of Business in Bloomington, IN.  One of these partners is James Kofi Annan, a former child slave and founder of our partner organization Challenging Heights. Having James in Indiana has provided us with an excellent opportunty to help raise awareness of the issue of child slavery in Ghana here in our own state, and not just within the walls of the Kelley School of Business but within the broader community as well.  One such opportunity took place at Brown County Junior High School, where James had the opportunity to speak with three separate groups of 7th and 8th grade students.  Personally, I was hearing James' message for the first time along side these children and his message couldn't have been more poignant.  Everything Challenging Heights does centers around the importance of education and sitting listening to James tell his story and hearing how he struggled to gain the education he has, one couldn't help but feel priveledged that we as Americans have access to what should be a universal human right, the access to education. 

Challenging Heights' motto is "To whom much is given, much is expected".  Having heard James' story I can't help but ask myself what am I going to do with what I have been given, and in turn I ask you, what are you going to do with what you have been given?       

Qué son las "Kelley Academies"?

Por Diego Gamboa
Estudiante de Primer Año - México

Sin duda, Kelley es un gran programa que, en los 7-8 meses que llevo aquí, he disfrutado y ha contribuido a mi desarrollo personal, intelectual y profesional. Un aspecto que destaca a Kelley sobre otros programas de MBA en Estados Unidos y el mundo son las Academias.

Las Academias son organizaciones lideradas por profesores del programa especializadas en alguna industria o función dentro del mundo de las empresas. Actualmente existen 8 academias: Consumer Marketing, Business Marketing, Entrepreneurial Management, Investment Banking, Investment Management, Supply Chain & Global Management, Corporate Finance, Life Sciences y Consulting.

Cada alumno debe formar parte de una academia y para lo cual hay un proceso de selección por medio del cual los directores de cada academia buscan garantizar que el estudiante sea parte de la academia que mejor se adapte a sus necesidades e intereses.

Las actividades de las academias son diversas y típicamente suceden en viernes, día en el cual no tenemos clases. Además, a lo largo de los dos años que dura el programa, se organizan tres semanas intensivas en las cuales los estudiantes viajan a conocer empresas relacionadas a su academia, realizan proyectos que les permitan desarrollarse profesionalmente o amplían el aprendizaje sobre lo que deben esperar una vez que regresen al mundo laboral.

Por diversas razones relacionadas con mi experiencia profesional y mis intereses futuros decidí formar parte de la academia de consultoría (Consulting Academy). Esta academia es dirigida por dos profesores excepcionales que además cuentan con experiencia profesional en el mundo de la consultoría, ambos con empresas reconocidas.

El formar parte de esta academia me ha permitido conocer más a fondo la industria de la consultoría, aprender las técnicas utilizadas por consultores en el mundo real, conocer a personas que actualmente trabajan en la industria y prepararme para cuando regrese al mercado laboral durante el verano, para el “internship”, y un año después cuando regrese a trabajar de tiempo completo.

Estoy seguro que el sistema de academias es una gran ventaja de Kelley debido a que representa un puente entre lo que se aprende en clases y lo que se espera de nosotros en el mundo laboral, lo cual nos otorga una ventaja comparativa sobre los graduados de otros programas.

Academia de Ensueño

Por Wilder Ramirez
Estudiante de Primer Año - Perú

Un complemento perfecto a los cursos que recibimos en Kelley son las academias. Estas sirven para ampliar tu visión de tu carrera de una manera práctica y preparar las bases para hacer la conexión con la industria. Yo tengo la suerte de pertenecer a la academia de Corporate Finance (CFA), en mi academia hemos tenido la oportunidad de recibir a CFOs de importantes empresas de EEUU, cursos avanzados de finanzas y trabajar casos reales dirigidos por expertos de la industria.
Corporate Finance Academy at Intel during 
Academy Week 1
Nunca olvidaré mi segunda semana de academia, fue una experiencia fantástica no solo por el lado académico sino porque tuve la oportunidad de presenciar lo que significa ser parte de una institución tan apreciada como Kelley. En esa semana fuimos a San Francisco y teníamos programado visitar algunas importantes compañías tecnológicas como fueron Bosh, Broadcom, Xilinx e Intel. No esperaba que en la mayoría de los casos los mismos CFOs de estas empresas nos fueran a recibir dándonos una clase magistral de finanzas. Fue una de las mejores clases de finanzas que he tenido, mis compañeros y yo estuvimos muy contentos por la experiencia. En el último día en San Francisco tuvimos una recepción con ex alumnos de Kelley; realmente uno respira el ambiente amigable de esta comunidad maravillosa que es  sencilla a pesar de sus éxitos.
La academia junto con el apoyo de Graduate Career Services (GCS) te ayuda para la transición hacia el mercado de trabajo, en orientarte en cómo mejorar tu currículo, entrevistas y darte un montón de consejos. Realmente estoy muy contento por la oportunidad de pertenecer a Kelley y a una academia extraordinaria, realmente es un plus para la gran aventura que es Kelley. Es el gimnasio que te pone en forma para estar listo para competir en el mundo real.