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.