Thursday, December 12, 2013

My Experiences at the National Society of Hispanic MBAs Conference

By Larry SanchezFirst-year MBA, Finance

Larry Sanchez
Thanks to sponsorship from the Institute for Global Organizational Effectiveness (IGOE), several of the current 17 IGOE MBA Fellows attended the National Society of Hispanic MBAs (NSHMBA) conference in San Antonio (Texas) in October, 2013. This opportunity allowed us to expand our professional networks and also served to strengthen ties among the IGOE Fellows. Also, attending the NSHMBA conference allowed me to put into practice much of the excellent training I received at Kelley during Me Inc. and also to establish professional connections with people at the companies that attended the event.

Although this experience was completely new for me, I had the opportunity to receive advice from the second-year IGOE Fellows and learn from their experiences given that many of them attended NSHMBA last year. Before leaving for San Antonio, they answered all of my questions and gave me advice on how to perform at this event. This culture of collaboration and coaching is an earmark of IGOE, and Kelley in general, and this is what makes us unique.

During the conference I was able to talk to many companies and network with students from other institutions. Additionally, the person from the Admission’s Committee at the Kelley booth introduced me to several of her friends who are recruiters with other companies. After talking to one of these recruiters, I was invited to interview with them. This experience confirmed my previous impression that everyone at Kelley is totally committed to our success and how they have the willingness, resources, and network to support this commitment.

As a result of that first day, I was invited to interview with two companies for the second day of the conference. When I gave the good news to one of the second-year IGOE Fellows who also came with our group to NSHMBA, he immediately volunteered to practice mock interviews with me to help me to be ready for the next day. We spent more than 2 hours practicing mock interviews that night. I appreciated the time he took to help me prepare for interviews, even though he was tired after a long day at the conference.

The next day, I went to both interviews and everything went smoothly, so much so that at the end of the day I received an internship offer on site from one of the companies I interviewed with!

This whole experience taught me the importance of preparation and the effectiveness of coaching. It was powerful evidence of the highly collaborative culture that we experience at the Kelley MBA Program.

My advice to people who are going to these conferences for the first time is to prepare and practice the elevator pitch, research the companies of interest, and reach out to students who have previously attended the conference. Students in our program will not hesitate to coach you and share their experiences in order to help you succeed.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

How to be a Great Coach - Lessons from Leadership Academy

By Samantha Sieloff, Second-year MBA, Marketing

Great coaching is about GROWing your employees or coachees. When working with someone you are developing, consider the following:
G – Develop Goals for that person with his or her involvement
R – Base those goals on the Reality of where that person is starting from
O – Explore Options to meet those goals, both in a long term and short term scope
W – Establish what the employee/mentee Will do. What Will you do? Hold each other accountable.

This framework came from Val Grubb, a larger than life personality that the second-year MBAs in the Leadership Academy were lucky enough to interact with a few weeks ago. Val cuts through fluffy pleasantries with an ax and reels you in with her confident, powerful demeanor. In a booming voice she briefly described some of her past experiences including:

  • Having 10,000 individuals reporting to her at one time at Interactive Corp
  • Working for 3 years for one of the wealthiest and toughest CEOs in existence, (Barry Diller of Interactive Corp)
  • Working with Oprah Winfrey to form the Oxygen Network before negotiating the sale of it to NBC
  • Working with GE/NBC during the Beijing Olympic Games and handling the acquisition of the Weather Channel
  • Starting her own consulting agency where she now improves back office operations for many top companies
Val detailed the difference between coaching colleagues and coaching direct reports. With colleagues, the foundation for great coaching is listening and motivating the person to think for themselves. With direct reports, great coaching is rooted in setting clear goals and effectively communicating those goals. She cautioned that this is not always as easy as it sounds; we often think we have communicated clearly, when in reality the message was never fully understood on the employee’s end rendering it useless.

In the end, the decision to remove any future options is 100% in the hands of the employee. A good coach asks open-ended questions that coax the individual to make the decision by themselves. For example: “What do you want your life to look like?”, “How important is money versus passion?”, “Do you know what being a CEO looks like in terms of skill sets and lifestyle?” 

Val then stressed the golden rule of coaching – always listen more than you talk.

This was an amazing presentation and I am so glad I was able to be a part of the Leadership Academy at Kelley where we are groomed to effectively lead organizations and develop employees. Learning from titans like Val, and getting a chance to practice each day with our first-year mentees is a great developmental tool that I have thoroughly enjoyed in my Kelley experience.   

Collaboration At Work

By Gauri NayakFirst-year MBA, Marketing

My team, Green 5, and the Green Cohort at Color Wars
As a prospective student, when I looked up the Kelley website one of the key themes that stayed with me was the culture of Collaboration. Having previously worked for an organization that was driven by this core value, it was important to find a school where I could blend in instinctively.

At Kelley, you start off your MBA journey with a core team – a team comprised of 4-5 individuals with diverse backgrounds and temperaments but with a common aspiration to discover and succeed in their future business careers. The bonding begins during Me Inc., where you share your story and your design for the future. At the same time as Me Inc. you participate in an outdoor team bonding activity conducted at Bradford Woods that exemplifies the notion of team spirit. The first case competition at the end of orientation sets the foundation towards a semester that is greatly driven by teamwork and assignments.

Making the transition back into a student life in a new cultural setting has had its share of challenges for me, but it has definitely been made easier by having my team around. Whether it is the submission of assignments, the understanding of concepts, or sharing of study guides when the exams came around– the pressure has been significantly buffered.

The team spirit extends beyond your group-work team as well. Your cohort is your larger team. If I am asked to introduce myself – I am afraid I will end up appending my cohort to my name just the way all kindergarten kids do! That’s your ice-breaker sentence when you meet a new classmate – so which cohort are you in? The cohort wars (seen in picture) really drilled down the cohort-based identity in each of us. I am sure we will carry this with us post Fall core semester too.

And collaboration does not end there – the second years, peer coaches, academy directors, academy advisors, career coaches – all collaborate with you to help you through your journey of self-discovery and identifying the right career track. Kelley exemplifies teamwork in more than just one way!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Social Life in the Kelley MBA Program

By Marie CameronFirst-year MBA, Operations and Supply Chain Management

Kelleys having fun at a hockey game
One of the most fun things about coming back to school is being surrounded by fun and engaging individuals who are willing to get involved in just about anything. From exploring the restaurants on Kirkwood to study sessions, there are plenty of great ways to get to know members of the MBA program.

In the past 14 weeks, in conjunction with a variety of clubs, students have participated in a many activities (including, but not limited to): a fall honkey-tonk (complete with a live band), karaoke night, family trick-or-treating and volunteer service day. 

Students have gone to IU Opera productions and built a home with Habitat for Humanity. Others have taken advantage of rock climbing wall in town, or the free work out classes at the campus rec center. Of course, there is always time to support our Indiana Hoosiers at the football tailgates and basketball games.

Just a few of the volunteers at Kelley Service Day

Unsurprisingly, a fair amount of time is focused on studying. The first years recently finished their first round of finals. Many hours were spent in the Godfrey Center writing accounting journal entries on the whiteboards or appreciating the finer details of the Spanish economy; however, there was still time for late night coffee runs and YouTube video watching to add a little lightness to the study sessions

Being involved on and off-campus is not only enjoyable, it helps strengthen new friendships and expand our personal and professional networks. It builds a support system in our new home here in Bloomington. 

IU Football tailgates

Kelley’s alumni network recently surpassed 100,000 living alumni (the largest network in the nation!). The Kelley network is one of the many things that makes Kelley a special place – with a network that large and strong, it is easy to see that wherever we go post-MBA, a Kelley friend will not be far away.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Elite 8 Brand Management Case Competition Reflections

By John Hollfelder and Joe BoesenFirst-year MBAs, Marketing
From left to right: Joe Boesen, Amy Mueller, John Hollfelder, Emily Josephson, Samantha Sieloff

After competing on a team that placed 2nd at the Elite 8 Brand Management Case Competition in early November, first-years John Hollfelder and Joe Boesen reflect on the competition and how it changed their MBA experience at the Kelley School of Business.

John: Competing in the Elite 8 Brand Management Case Competition provided a valuable personal and professional learning experience. I saw taking the opportunity to compete against other top business schools at Duke (Fuqua), UCLA (Anderson), Northwestern (Kellogg), Michigan (Ross), and UC-Berkeley (Haas) as an opportunity to transfer teachings from the Core to solving real world business problems. I was surprised how much of the academics from this fall we used including discounted cash flows, strategy frameworks, economic GDP and population considerations, as well as marketing segmentation, targeting, and messaging.

With less than 30 hours to analyze and present our solution to the client, H.B. Fuller, we were forced to quickly come together as a team. We challenged each other and pushed one another, working right up until the deadline to compile our recommendation.

Joe: I learned three lessons after competing for Kelley in the Elite 8 Brand Management Case Competition and winning 2nd place overall.

1. Start Strong with Good Team Dynamics - Positive team dynamics in a case competition is the most important factor for success. Our team started off on the right foot by enjoying Turkish food (Turcaz) in Bloomington a week before the case competition. This was a great opportunity to build personal relationships that would be tested during the case competition. As a result, we discovered that our team was well balanced with the right personalities, trust in each other and skills to create and present a compelling, actionable recommendation in under 30 hours.

2. Manage the Clock/Get Sleep - We received the case at 8pm on Thursday, worked until midnight, then began on Friday at 8 am and worked until the submission deadline at midnight. A later start on Friday morning allowed the team to sleep and power through the day to submit the recommendation by the deadline. We also watched the clock to make sure we kept pace and weren't running out of time.

3. Have Fun! A national case competition with top schools certainly creates a competitive atmosphere, but if you take time to laugh and joke while creating your recommendation, you will enjoy the process. After the competition at the awards reception, the team enjoyed networking with MBAs from other schools and sponsoring companies.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

What Makes Kelley Different? Let the BMA Show You!

By Kyle PriceFirst-year MBA, Marketing

What makes top MBA programs different from one another?  This was the toughest question I asked myself when deciding where to apply to school.  After being at Kelley for three months now, I realize that there are a lot of things that differentiate Kelley – Me Inc., Kelley’s clubs, and its top ranked faculty.  However, one of the most rewarding weeks I have had at Kelley was traveling with the Business Marketing Academy ("BMA") to Minneapolis.

At Kelley, every first-year MBA student joins a Kelley Academy. Academies meet on Fridays and are used to give students training in a specific industry (i.e. business marketing, consumer marketing, consulting, supply chain and operations, strategic finance, capital markets). The highlight of the academy experience comes during Academy Week when each Academy travels to a city to visit companies focused in the industry they have been learning about.

As part of the BMA, I traveled to Minneapolis to visit 3M, Ecolab, and Cummins.  At each stop I had the opportunity to meet Kelley alums, learn about B2B marketing, and tour company offices, research labs, innovation centers, and even a manufacturing plant.  My classmates and I also participated in a marketing case competition at each company.

In addition to the company visits, one of the best parts of the trip was the friendships I built with my BMA classmates. On our way to Minneapolis, many BMA students were still getting to know one another.  On our way home, we had bonded as a group. At no point was this more evident than on the return flight when the BMA took up the back third of the plane and was buzzing with excitement.  The pilot even acknowledged our enthusiasm with a shout – “We should be landing in about an hour, and I would like to give a shout out to the Kelley Business Marketing Academy sitting in the rear of the plane.” 

When people ask me what makes Kelley different, my answer always comes back to the people. What makes your time at Kelley special is the relationships you build with all of the tremendous Kelley students, faculty, alums, and fellow Business Marketers.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

From the Army to the Private Sector

By Andrew Bowling, First-year MBA, Marketing

Andrew Bowling
As a former officer in the United States Army, finding an MBA program that valued my military experience and knew how to assist me in translating those skills into the private sector was very important. I chose the Kelley School of Business because of its ability to do just that. To date, my experience at Kelley has been extremely productive in terms of reaching that goal - and I’m only in the first semester of my first year.

During Me Inc., a week long workshop that helps students establish their personal brands, 2nd year students and Graduate Career Service (GCS) coaches helped me understand and verbalize the clear parallels between my Army experiences and the skills needed for success in the private sector. Members of the Kelley Veterans Club have consistently provided feedback on my resume and offered advice for succeeding in an interview. As a result, when interacting with various companies at networking events I feel confident in articulating the value I can add to each firm.

I was initially concerned about excelling in a top 15 MBA program since I had no previous business experience in my undergraduate education or career, but my acumen and abilities in Finance and Accounting have improved greatly under the supervision of Kelley’s engaging and entertaining faculty. Additionally, my classmates are more than happy to volunteer their time to explain concepts or discuss cases for the next day’s class - an aspect I really appreciate about the Kelley culture. 

Ultimately, the Kelley School values the same principles that were important to me in the Army: integrity, teamwork, innovation, and leadership. The transition to Kelley has been very natural, and I remain confident that my career's trajectory will be due in no small part the lessons Kelley has taught me about effectively leveraging my background as a veteran.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Endurance for Life: Lessons from Mr. Ariel Aisiks’ visit to IU

By Tulio Bracho, Second-year MBA, Finance

IGOE MBA and PhD Fellows with Ariel Aisiks

Mr. Ariel Aisiks, Founder and President of the Geo Global Foundation and Chair of the Advisory Board of Kelley’s Institute for Global Organizational Effectiveness (IGOE) visited IU and met with the IGOE MBA and PhD Fellows. During the meeting, Mr. Aisiks shared a couple of stories that captured my attention, both of which related to competitive environments. 

In his first story, he shared how the professional scene for MBAs has changed dramatically in the last few decades. He pointed out that in the 1960s a few thousand MBA students graduated every year in the USA. Nowadays, more than 100,000 MBA students graduate each year and fiercely compete for job opportunities. This point was especially relevant to me as an MBA as I look forward to my future career. 

In a second story, he shared a more personal anecdote about his life. In addition to the success that he has had in his professional life, Mr. Aisiks also successfully completed many triathlons, including the Avignon ITU Triathlon World Championship and two Hawaii Ironman World Championships. Many of us know that a triathlon is one the most challenging competitions that exists. What maybe fewer people know is that the key to success in such a physically demanding competition is to have the right mind set.

Mr. Ariel Aisiks
As I thought about those stories, I reflected upon how each of us deals with competition on a daily basis and in nearly everything we do. Whether we are entering the job market in search of a career or participating in a sports event, we face a myriad of strong competitors. 

However, the toughest competitors that we will face are not other MBA students that are applying for the same job nor the athlete that is running in front of us. That competitor is ourselves. Once we understand that the real challenge is not to beat out all of the other applicants for a job or to cross the finish line first, but instead to do the things that we are passionate about in life and continue to make personal improvements, then we will be in a virtuous cycle of creation and development. 

Mr. Aisiks is an example of that; he came from Argentina to study in the USA (University of Southern California, Harvard), and developed a successful career in the financial industry (Prudential, Oppenheimer & Co., Morgan Stanley). Rather than defining himself solely by the professional positions he has held, he continues to develop himself by leading initiatives that support the causes he believes in such as the Geo Global Foundation ( and Kelley’s Institute for Global Organizational Effectiveness ( and by getting involved in entrepreneurial environments that are shaping the future (, The key is that Ariel found and has enjoyed success not because he beat out his competition, but because he relied upon his personal strengths and was persistent in following his passions.

In the end, I believe that when you look back on your life, the accomplishments that will give you the most satisfaction will be the ones that seemed impossible. They will be the ones that you pursued because you believed they were important, not because they were easy. That sense of accomplishment is what makes us feel proud and motivates us to continue moving forward, with persistence and discipline. So if we want to enjoy our lives’ journey, then we must build the endurance required to go the extra mile when necessary. As Lord Tennyson wrote in Ulysses,

“…And see the great Achilles, whom we knew
Though much is taken, much abides; and though
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”


Monday, October 28, 2013

Arts to Business on the Kelley Blog

We, Ellen Gartner Phillips and Julia M. Wilcox, are excited to begin posting to the Kelley Blog. We are the founding authors of Arts to Business, a blog documenting our experience transitioning from careers as professional musicians to careers in business. A2B seeks to be a resource for all career switchers: we will be reposting our articles from the Arts to Business page for the Kelley community. If you are interested in reading more, you can visit the full A2B blog at

Blog Post 1: August 25, 2013
Ellen Gartner Phillips and Julia M. Wilcox announce Arts to Business

Julia M. Wilcox
Ellen Gartner Phillips
We are excited to welcome you to our new blog, Arts to Business. We are first year MBA candidates at the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University and classically trained musicians with seven years of professional performing experience. Throughout those years, we were aware of a shift, both for us personally, and within the arts community as a whole. Thinking ahead in our careers, the idea of an MBA began to make sense, even though we didn’t quite know why. Initially, we both believed this was a unique desire, and that we would get to an MBA program and be the only musician making the transition. Over veggie pitas on our first day of orientation at Kelley, we had a conversation and click – there we were, two musicians in an MBA program. We commiserated over the grueling application process, our fears of being a singular entity amidst a homogenous MBA class, and our shock and relief to have found each other. We were, thankfully … not alone. After hearing the stories of our classmates, we realize that the Kelley School of Business is a place that embraces diversity. There are people in our class from all different walks of life – there’s an Ironman, a social worker, a couple from Nicaragua, two Peace Corps volunteers, a yogi, and a vast array of people from different cultures, backgrounds, and experiences. Being different at Kelley is normal. It’s what makes this place so great, and what drives us to write.

We write this blog to share our experiences, with the goal of helping others see the valuable parallels between conservatory and business school. Even in these first weeks of orientation, it is clear that our backgrounds lend themselves well to this new adventure.  Tomorrow, we look forward to our first day of school in a long, long time. There will be ups and downs, and maybe some sideways swipes, but we’ll be posting all along the way. We invite you to follow us as we transition from the arts to business. And so the journey begins … from the practice room to the board room.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Become a Compelling Story Through Me Inc.

By Christopher Sveen, First-year MBA, Finance

Christopher Sveen
As a trial attorney from Chicago, success depended upon my ability to tell an engaging story to a jury as a way to help them understand the facts of a case.  Anyone who’s seen a movie knows that stories can be the best way to connect with someone.  At the Kelley School of Business, every first year student participates in Me, Inc., a continuous career workshop focused on understanding our strengths, limitations, and career aspirations. (Video here) One aspect of this process is to develop ways to articulate what makes us special.

My classmates brought incredible personal stories to business school. They followed their passions to cultivate extensive skill sets and impressive accomplishments. But moving forward, a major question of every student is how to make sense of what they’ve done.  How do we turn our past into a compelling story for the future?

At Me Inc., Kelley challenged me to think about the story I wanted to tell to others, particularly prospective employers.

Me Inc. facilitators pushed me to define my personal brand and be proactive in determining how I wanted to be perceived.  By identifying professional themes in my life and connecting them to my skills and passions, Kelley helped me build a captivating story that explained who I am and where I wanted to go. What I did for my clients, I can now do for myself.

This aspect of career development is critical to the success of Kelley Career Graduate Services and our students. Because of this personal and professional introspection, my classmates and I are able to tell prospective employers what we have been doing, where we want to go and how we plan on getting there. As a Top 15 Full-time MBA Program, employers agree. The Kelley School of Business graduates continue to prove that they are the best of both poet and quant.  

How are you becoming a compelling story?

Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Menguin Story

By Harsha Kalapala, Second-year MBA, Entrepreneurship and Corporate Innovation 

“Big shots are little shots that kept shooting.” – a quote by Christopher Morley that inspires my focus and persistence to keep charging ahead on my quest to carve out a unique career path in Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Quotes are great for quick boosts of inspiration. However, true inspiration comes from the people in our lives, who demonstrate courage, creativity and relentless pursuit of their dreams every single day.

Justin Delaney, Kurt Sutton and Michael Gassman are recent Kelley MBA graduates, who are smart, driven and capable – just like the rest of our fellow Kelleys. However, they did something quite interesting earlier this year. They founded a startup called Menguin, (website winning $100,000 in seed capital at the BEST competition at Indiana University, acquiring some big-time investors and advisors such as CareerBuilder and Mark Cuban. Menguin is in the business of revolutionizing the tuxedo rental industry, leveraging a technology that determines custom measurements through your on-device camera. Our Kelley Innovators Club (KIC) organized an event this fall to bring back Justin Delaney, the CEO of Menguin, to share his story with current Kelley MBA students. Justin also holds a full-time position in commercial strategy at Delta Airlines currently. He recently acquired his family’s French luxury glass business, which his wife Kristin helps oversee.

Justin’s story wasn’t much about his success as it was about his failures. Justin was involved in a variety of ventures including t-shirt making, option trading and travel writing – which put him through many ups and downs through the course of his career. The idea for Menguin sprouted at a wedding, during a casual conversation among friends. Justin and his friends then took the idea to the New Venture Business Planning class at Kelley and developed it further, but the process was rather slow moving. Towards the end of the semester, Justin had to go into emergency surgery for an appendectomy. He thought he was out of danger, when he developed a nasty infection, leading to a major abdominal surgery – which was a huge scare. Fortunately, Justin recovered from the surgery and realized this: Life is short, and it is random. You never know if you are going to be around tomorrow. If there is something you always wanted to do, the time is now.

Justin Delaney, Kelley MBA '13
This was a turning point for Menguin, accelerating their progress and leading to the launch of the company. The point Justin was trying to make was that we don’t have to wait for a life-changing moment or realization to pursue our dreams. It is important for us to recognize this, and build upon what our peers had to take away from their experience. Justin believes that an important factor in his success is taking numerous small risks and pushing different ideas into motion at the same time, focusing on those that take off.

Justin suggested that most innovation often comes from randomness. Doing random things and seeking out interesting conversations with interesting people puts you in a situation to come up with something new and cool. You have to stay focused on things that are important and need to be done, while taking those small risks along the way, allowing certain aspects of your life to chance. Justin encouraged everyone to explore ideas now. The best time to do so is in the MBA program, when you have all the resources and support you need from a legal, financial and research standpoint.

Hearing the Menguin story was a great motivation for many of us, as it helps us relate to Justin’s experience and reflect upon some of the key decisions he has made – pursuing his dream to launch Menguin, without having to give up his search for a full-time career. This was just another testament to the variety of career paths a Kelley MBA can show you, providing an entrepreneurial environment for self-development and discovery.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Tailoring Your MBA to Your Interests: Kelley Clubs

By Sarah Nagelvoort, First-year MBA, Operations and Supply Chain and Innovation

We’ve all heard the question: Why are you pursuing an MBA?

The answers are all over the board. Some MBA’s want to go into a specific industry such as clean energy or consumer goods. Other MBA’s are looking to switch career tracks, start a business, or have an impact on world issues. Everyone’s story is different and at Kelley you have the opportunity to make your MBA experience as unique as your reasons for pursuing it.

During the first semester at Kelley it is easy to get wrapped up in Core, a set of classes every Kelley MBA takes to learn the business basics that are an important part of making informed management decisions. So if everyone is taking the same classes, what can you do to follow your individual business passion? I found out at the Kelley club roundtables where first year students had the chance to “network” with Kelley’s from more than 20 MBA student clubs and organizations. The clubs focus on a multitude of business aspects including industry, international business, social impact, and innovation. They also include clubs where students can pursue their diverse interests and hobbies (Wine club or Golf club anyone?)

I came to Kelley because I am passionate about sustainable business. After talking to the club reps I felt that Net Impact and Kelley Innovators Club (KIC) were the best fit for me. Since joining I’ve had the opportunity to meet entrepreneurs and get a jump start on how to write an effective business plan with KIC. Net Impact is in the process of planning a fantastic symposium about how to have a positive impact in any career. And these are just the few opportunities I’ve chosen to participate in. There are club meetings and events almost every day of the week!

So whether you’re interested in strategic finance, sustainable sourcing, or another exciting area of business there is a place for you at Kelley to follow your unique interests from the moment you arrive.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Consulting Academy: Preparing for Life After Kelley

By Paige Malone, First-year MBA, Finance

Turning a career goal into an executable strategy may seem like a daunting task when you face it alone, especially if you are a career switcher.  The Kelley School of Business Graduate Career Services and the academy structure of the program make this process much more manageable, enabling students to gain practical skills to transition seamlessly into a new career.  The Consulting Academy has helped me discover more about the consulting industry through experienced coaches and develop practical skills through “Academy Fridays.

I came to school with a broad idea of where I saw my career heading. I am looking to transition into consulting, where I can continuously be challenged, work in ambiguous situations, and truly help shape businesses.  However, “consulting” has many different layers- different industries, functions, company cultures, which I needed to learn more about to fine tune where I actually fit within the industry. Through my academy, I am surrounded by knowledgeable individuals, who have many years of experience within the industry, including a career coach, academy mentors, and a peer coach. If you put yourself into a sea of people who care about your success, you are bound to develop and thrive.

"Academy Fridays” are dedicated to not only exploring the industry, but also developing crucial skills to succeed within the industry. One aspect of consulting that caused much anxiety for me before Kelley was a part of the process of actually landing the job- the case interview.  “Practice makes perfect” certainly rings true with case interviews, and having 42 of my peers striving towards the same goal, has made finding a case cracking study buddy quite easy.  Armed with practice and ample feedback, I know come January, I will be able to walk into my interviews with confidence, and I will be one step closer to reaching my career goals.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Thoughts on "Why Kelley"

By John Hollfeder, First-year MBA, Marketing

In 2012, the Kelley School of Business earned many accolades. Like many of my counterparts in the Class of 2015, my interest in the Kelley School of Business MBA program stems from its reputation.  However, after being here for 2 months it is my belief that Kelley’s greatest asset cannot be found in the rankings of top business schools. Kelley differentiates itself through its distinguished faculty and the passion of the student body.

Kelley’s collaborative culture has empowered me to grow both personally and professionally. I am consistently provided the opportunity to challenge and be challenged with formal and informal involvement at the Kelley School of business. At Kelley the team based environment has allowed me to develop strong interpersonal relationships with my classmates and encouraged me step beyond my daily comfort zone.

My personal and professional growth during my short time at the Kelley School of Business is due in large part to my peers. With over 17 different countries represented in this year’s class, I am interacting daily with individuals of all skills and personalities. My class consists of an orthopedic surgeon who was a recipient of the “Exceptional Service’ award for servicing those in need after the Mumbai bomb blast of 2006, a violist who played Carnegie Hall, a former Hoosier basketball player who competed in the NCAA tournament, a unit commander who led 144 soldiers in Iraq while engaging in over 320 combat missions, Peace Corps volunteers who served in Mongolia and Cameroon, and successful professionals spanning virtually all industries.

This is why when I graduate from the Kelley School of Business in the spring of 2015, I won’t be just graduating with a group of connections that comprise the largest business network in the world, but I will be walking across the stage with lifelong friendships that will stretch across the globe.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Whirpool's Chris Ball Visits Leadership Academy

By Beth Fehrenbacher, Second-year MBA, Marketing

Me asking Chris Ball a question

When I was selected to join the Leadership Academy this year as a second year MBA student I knew that I would be learning applicable frameworks and skills, but what I didn’t expect was just HOW much those frameworks and skills would translate into real-life. After having the privilege to listen to Chris Ball from Whirlpool, I can see that I had indeed underestimated the applicability of my leadership academy training.

Chris, a very successful domestic and international manager at Whirlpool, showed us first-hand the documents that he and his fellow managers use to frame development conversations, plan talent pipelines, and guide their employee’s career path. He also exposed us to his personal leadership style, sharing his values and personal operating principals. 

Throughout his talk, I saw correlations to our leadership academy lessons. Chris talked about having development conversations with his employees and I saw the FUEL framework come to life. He talked about values and I was brought back to our value-sort exercise. He talked about having a career compass and focusing on gaining needed experiences (not titles), and I remembered Ray & Eric, our leadership academy directors, pushing us to think about our 10 year career goal and what experiences we might need to seek out to achieve that goal.

I’m really grateful that I had the chance to hear from Chris about how this training can come to life, but I’m even more grateful for the opportunity Kelley has provided me to explore and practice these valuable skills through the Leadership Academy.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Company Speed Dating for Kelley MBAs

 By Kyle PriceFirst-year MBA, Business Marketing Academy

“Ring, ring, ring.”  Bells were ringing in the first week of class for Kelley’s first year MBAs as we had the opportunity to network with over 40 companies at the Kelley MBA Roundtables event.

On Friday, August 29th my classmates and I put our business clothes back on and headed to the Bloomington Convention Center to network with company recruiters.  The event was set up so that each company was at a separate table.  Students then had 20 minutes at a table before the bell rang and we had to move to a different table.  It was essentially company speed dating for Kelley MBA students.

The Wall Street Journal recently published an article about how companies are coming to MBA campuses early in the school year to recruit talented students.  The Kelley MBA program is at the front of this trend through events like the Roundtables.  While it can be challenging to get your pitch and career goals put together this early in the school year, Kelley’s #1 ranked Graduate Career Services (GCS) had me and my classmates ready to go. 

Since July, my classmates and I had been working through personality tests, mapping our career goals, and developing our personal pitches.  When we got to campus for orientation, GCS worked one on one with each of us to refine our career goals and how we would achieve them.  By the time the Kelley Roundtables event began, my classmates and I were fully prepared to make a positive impression with prestigious companies.

Through the event I was able to meet with 10 different companies and build a tremendous contact list.  This allowed me to schedule informational phone calls with several companies and one company even interviewed me just three weeks later.

To anyone exploring MBA programs, I invite you to come visit us at Kelley.  During your visit you’ll get to hear more of these stories and how GCS is preparing Kelley MBAs for successful careers.  What are you waiting for- it won’t be long before the bell will be ringing again!