Thursday, May 9, 2013

Kelley Cultural Caravan!

By Deepti Saripalli, First-year MBA, Marketing
Indian Bangara dance

Kelley’s motto is “one school… endless possibilities”… However on the night of April 26th, 2013, I believe it could have been changed to “one school... endless talents”.

On that night the Kelley MBA program witnessed a cultural extravaganza in the form of the Kelley Cultural Caravan, Multi-Cultural Night – an annual event of food, dancing and music produced by the Asian MBA Association and the Latin MBA Association. Every year the event grows bigger and more colorful than it was the previous year and this year was no exception. All stops were pulled by the organizers to make this event memorable and spectacular!

On April 8th during the Monday morning coffee break a flash mob of students took onlookers by surprise when they broke into a Gangam Style dance and other numbers. While the entire school watched amused, the participants showed them a glimpse of what could be expected from the cultural night! From then on there was no stopping the mad rush for tickets!
Flash Mob to generate hype!

Preparations for the event began months in advance. Practices for the dances sometimes went late into the night. Some dance sequences were complicated and quite exhausting. I realized just how zealous and energetic my classmates were, during this one month, when even after long hours of dance practice the night before, they would come completely prepared for the classes next day. Multi-tasking took on a whole new meaning!

Indian Dance

The practice sessions were fun, with people learning about the cultures and traditions of the country’s dance they were performing. While some clearly were born to dance, many took a while to pick up the moves. The best advice that I heard was from a classmate who said – “Dance like no one is watching! Smile and have fun while you dance!”  I guess the same principle applies to life too…

On the night of the event, delicious Indian, Thai, Chinese and Mexican dishes were served, and the lines at the buffet only kept getting longer! 

Japanese fisherman dance

Performances began soon after dinner and the audience could not help but cheer as 1st and 2nd years danced along to Indian, Japanese, Taiwanese, and Latin dance numbers.  Kelley MBAs proved once again that they were indeed multi-faceted and could handle any task (be it interviews or complicated dance sequences!) with grace and poise, having fun all the while!  The event closed with a Latin dance number, joined in by Matt Semadeni (the Core strategy professor), always a great sport!

Core strategy professor Matt Semadeni doing the Latin limbo

Overall the night was loads of fun, but the days leading up to it - the practice sessions, running around for costumes, last minute adjustments, frantic phone calls to event organizers, urgent meetings, late night dinners with the dance group, falling asleep out of sheer exhaustion – were totally worth it! 

Though we were all super happy the event was a huge success, I guess it being over also saddened us a bit. Having been part of such an amazing event this year I cannot wait for the multi-cultural night next year. I am stacking up on energy drinks for the same, as I write this blog!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Journey of a Leader: Open Minds Open Hearts

Globase leader, Megan Kuhn, with her student team in Guatemala. 

Along with her fellow leaders, Kelley MBA student Megan Kuhn has spent the past year preparing for the 2013 GLOBASE Guatemala deployment. Upon arrival last March, it was evident that the hours of planning, coaching, meeting, and presenting were well worth it. Her team was equipped and ready to make an impact. 

In the last video of Megan's leadership journey, get a glimpse of the GLOBASE in-country experience. Watch our students get to work, leading clients to real business solutions. More than that, we explore the concept of generational leadership. We agree with Megan, as she says in the video, leadership is about inspiring those around you to raise the bar.

Watch the full "Journey of a Leader" series on YouTube.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Just a few of the impressive Alums from Kelley: Women in Business Night

By Jacqui Cuffe, President of Kelley Association of Women MBAs, Marketing 

Current Kelley MBA Women with notable alumni speaker, Beth Acton (center)
On Thursday, April 11th, Kelley Association of Women MBAs hosted an event titled "Women in Business", sponsored by Cummins LTD., Alumni, students, and faculty gathered to hear fellow alumni panelists discuss their careers and provide insights to working beyond our borders. 

Beth Acton kicked of the event with inspiring words of wisdom as well as leading us through her extremely successful career path.  Beth received Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Minnesota and later received her MBA from Indiana University. She held many notable positions such as Executive Vice President, Finance and Treasurer of Ford Motor Company in addition to her ten year term as Chief Financial Officer of Comerica Incorporated and its subsidiary, Comerica Bank.  

While achieving such business success, Mrs. Acton also built a family of four, two boys and a husband whom she has been married to for over thirty years.

During her speech, Beth provided six key takeaways for Kelley MBA students:
1. Have a separate personal life.
2. Think big, but don't kid yourself!
3. YOU are responsible for your career - be your biggest supporter.
4. Ask for feedback regularly and try to improve.
5. Network both inside and outside your industry.
6. Take risks in your career - take an international assignment or an assignment away from HQ

In addition to Beth, we had three alumni panelists come and share their views of working beyond our borders. Stacy Thompson had just returned from Switzerland where she was working with Biotronik on creating clinical and commercialization strategies in key markets in Europe and Asia. Donna Heckler is a GLOBAL brand strategy executive and thought leader in brand marketing. She is also co-author of the book “The Truth about Creating Brands People Love”. Cathy Buening-Griffin has been working at Cummins for over twenty years. She has traveled the world extensively working various roles. She is also a mother of four.

The event was extremely informative and a lot of fun. It was amazing to see the success of our Kelley Alumni!