Monday, October 29, 2012

Experiential Learning

First-year MBA, Business Marketing Academy

Business Marketing Academy at GE during Academy Intensive Week

Back when I was looking for the MBA program that was right for me, one thing that really appealed to me about the Kelley School of Business was its Academies. Many Top 20 MBA programs offer a strong classroom experience, but what sets the great schools apart is how they develop you as a professional and what they provide you outside of the classroom. The Kelley Academies provide students with real-world projects that give you the knowledge and connections you need to re-enter the working world as an influential manager.

While I decided that the Business Marketing Academy – or BMA as we call it – would best prepare me to start a career in the renewable energy field, there are six other Academy options to choose from, making it easy for anyone to find an Academy that achieves their goals. This year the BMA is the largest Academy at Kelley and I have found that it arms its members with the strategies and terminologies needed to succeed in a B2B marketing role. Whichever Academy you choose, the experience will provide you great networking opportunities with leading companies.
BMA students presenting their work

Two weeks ago, first-year students from all seven Academies took part in the first-of-three, week long learning and networking experiences called Academy Intensive Week. The Business Marketing Academy started off the week in Bloomington by participating in case competitions and by having informal discussions with representatives from Danaher and DuPont. These events were followed by dinner with recruiters and Kelley alumni from Dow AgroSciences.

On Tuesday, we visited Eli Lilly’s corporate headquarters in Indianapolis to learn how the pharmaceutical industry sets marketing strategies for new products.

The next three days were spent in Minneapolis meeting with top Business to Business companies such as Cummins, Eaton and Ecolab.  A big highlight of the trip was our visit to the GE Fleet Management Center where we learned about GE Ecomagination and had the opportunity to test drive various alternative fuel vehicles available to GE’s fleet customers.

BMA Students Brainstorming
A visit to 3M’s corporate headquarters served as the capstone to the weeks learning by having small groups of students take part in a longer case competition and present their findings to 3M employees.  Also, the tour of 3M’s impressive “Innovation Center” served as a show-and-tell of 3M’s technologies and its industry leading innovation process.

While Academy Intensive Week One was an adventure and an incredibly memorable experience, the most amazing part of the week was the amount of exposure to real-world companies and the opportunity to learn about challenges managers face each day in the business to business marketing world.  Looking back, Academy Intensive Week One definitely reaffirmed my decisions to join the Business Marketing Academy and attend the Kelley School of Business. I have no doubt that my membership in the BMA will help me develop the experience and skills necessary to impress employers, hit the ground running on day one, and have a successful career.     


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