Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Faculty Auction Basketball Game at Assembly Hall

By Grant Allen, First-year MBA, Marketing

Faculty Auction with Core faculty raffling off prizes for charity 
One of the great aspects of Kelley, and what I believe is a true differentiating factor for this MBA program, is the level of devotion and accessibility the faculty give to the students. The classroom setting is just the beginning, as the Kelley faculty is widely involved in student life. A great example of this dedication is the “Kelley MBA/Faculty Charity Auction”; an annual event run by the Kelley Women Club where faculty members “donate” events or services that Kelley MBA’s then bid on, wherein all the funds raised go to charity. This year, the auction raised over $24,000 dollars!

The Faculty Team a.k.a. "The Geezers"
One of the premier auction items every year is a chance to play a basketball game against Accounting Professor Jamie Pratt, and his collection of “All-Stars”, which consists of other professors in Kelley and around IU. What makes this event especially awesome is that Professor Pratt has the game played at Assembly Hall. So, for any basketball fans who might be reading, imagine getting the chance to test your game against a renowned accounting professor, while 5 NCAA championship banners hang over your head. Oh, yeah, you are also playing in front of a large number of your MBA classmates. It is funny how quickly a “friendly game for charity” can suddenly make you a little nervous!

MBA Team

Our team practiced together a couple times per week through the winter and spring, so we could be ready for the big day. Pratt’s All-Stars were a formidable group, showing a remarkable display of athleticism and skill, despite their undeniable age handicap*. They won Game One, we students won Game Two, and they pulled out a comeback squeaker in Game Three, to take the “series”. 

While it was not the result we wanted, everyone had a great time and enjoyed the atmosphere. We had a professional musician (who also happens to be our classmate) play the national anthem (check out Ellen and Julia at, we enjoyed “half-time” shows from some of the women in our program who got together and created a dance team, and had hilarious commentary from a select group of MBA's who were calling the game.

Most importantly, our group in association with the Kelley Black MBA Association, raised $500 dollars for a local charity in the Bloomington area, Stone Belt (
Presenting the check to Stone Belt 
When considering business schools, I never imagined I would get the chance to play on a legendary basketball court. I never imagined I would play a game like this against my professors. 

What I did try to imagine but was unable to comprehend until coming to Kelley, was the satisfaction I would get from having a personal connection with the faculty and staff. What I thought I understood but vastly underestimated was the value the Kelley network provides, not just from current students but from the entire community of alumni and staff. Everyone at Kelley is invested in you, and they want to become a part of your network in a way that far exceeds any expectation you can have. They may push you to your limits, but it is always with your best interests in mind. Forgive the pun, but that’s a slam dunk.

*While I am not writing under a pen name, I am writing under the assumption that none of the professors will view this post! 

Monday, April 28, 2014

IGOE Fellows Win First Latin Business Challenge at the Owen School of Management

From left to right: Jeferson Barros, Miguel Becerra, Alejandro Guerrero, Patricio de la Rocha, and Pedro Sanchez.

With the support from the Institute of Global Organizational Effectiveness (IGOE), five Latin American Kelley MBA students participated on the first Latin Business Challenge organized by Vanderbilt’s Owen School of Management on March 27 and 28, 2014. The competition, the first of its kind focused in Latin America, was sponsored by Deloitte, AT&T, and the Vanderbilt Center for Latin American Studies.

The Kelley team brought home the first prize after competing with very talented MBA students from schools such as Georgia Tech's Scheller College of Business (second place), The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business, University of Southern California Marshall School of Business, Washington University's Olin School of Business, and Vanderbilt University's Owen Graduate School of Management.

Miguel Becerra, Jeferson Barros, Alejandro Guerrero, Pedro Sanchez, and Patricio de la Rocha spent a week working together on the challenge case, which was focused on the consolidation and global expansion of Brasil Foods (BRF), the second largest Brazilian food company resulting from the merger of archrival companies Sadia and Perdigao. The knowledge acquired through the different classes at the Kelley MBA program and the training provided by the academies helped the team in the process.

True to the Kelley culture of collaboration and mutual respect, the team was able to leverage the strengths of each member in different areas such as Finance, Marketing, Strategy, and Business Analytics to frame a solid strategy that successfully addressed the most critical issues of the case: domestic market diversification, entering new global markets, and organizational change.

The Latin Business Challenge at Vanderbilt not only represented a great opportunity to network with executives from the sponsoring firms and top students from the other competing schools, but also reaffirmed the increasing importance of Latin America as a region for doing business. The Institute for Global Organizational Effectiveness feels proud of the achievements of its fellows, and reaffirms is commitment to keep providing them opportunities to develop the special skills needed in the global marketplace.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Spotlight on GLOBASE India

By Andy Dumich, First-year MBA, Finance

Tired, nervous, and excited, I stepped outside the airport in New Delhi.  It was my first time visiting Asia and ready or not, I was about to get my first taste of India. 

Beautiful Himalayas near CORD
Delhi was dense.  It was dirty.  It was alive.  The pace of life would change dramatically as we drove our bus north.  Our destination was Sidhbari, a small town separated from Pakistan only by the majestic Himalaya Mountains.  Sidhbari is home to the Chinmayan Organization for Rural Development (CORD).  My GLOBASE group had been working with CORD for the previous seven weeks and we were thrilled to finally meet in person.  After a long day of travel and a welcome celebration, we retired to our onsite rooms at CORD.

Our mornings often included an early wakeup to watch the sunrise over the Himalayas or a hike to the nearby Buddhist temple where we watched the monks during their morning prayer.  Back at CORD we ate homemade breakfasts of traditional Indian food and then set out for our day in the field.
My team’s project was to learn about CORD’s Social Justice Program and lay the groundwork for a comprehensive impact study.  We visited homes where several current beneficiaries lived. 
Local village woman in her home

We met a woman whose husband came home drunk one night and attempted to burn down their home while his wife and children were sleeping.  CORD helped the illiterate woman to file a case and have her husband put in jail.  We could still see the char marks on the inside wall of her rebuilt home.  Another woman’s husband intentionally infected her with the HIV that killed their teenage daughter.  She welcomed us into her one room clay home and shared chai and cookies.  It is difficult to describe the warmth and friendliness that we felt everywhere we went, but it left me in awe. 

Another day we visited a Hindu temple for lunch.  Rice and vegetables were served from buckets to a dozen people by priest using his bare hands.  Our plates were made of leaves tied with bamboo string.  We discarded our plates over the edge of a cliff and relaxed by playing in a nearby waterfall.
Me with one of the many cows in India
The experiences were so unbelievable that back at CORD we liked to play a game called Truth, Truth, Lie during dinner.  Each of the five teams would tell two true stories and one lie about their day.  It was difficult to narrow it down to two truths and tough to detect lies among others team’s adventures.

India pushed my comfort zone.  It forced me to open my eyes to another culture. Despite the occasional feeling of sadness towards some people’s circumstances, it was amazing to hear how they overcame adversity.  At the end of the trip, one thing was certain – I’d never have another spring break quite like this.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Kelley Values: Teaser Video

By Samantha Sieloff, Second-year MBA, Marketing

What is it like to come to Kelley for your MBA? It's more than just a business school - it's a life school. The students felt so strongly about the culture that exists here that they started a shared values initiative. This exercise resulted in four key values that define our MBA program: Leadership, Professionalism, Excellence and Collaboration.

To bring it to life, we put together a five part video series that show what these words mean in the context of Kelley.

Check out the first of the five videos and experience the unique culture that is Kelley:

Friday, April 11, 2014

EME Turkey/Greece: Exploring the Power of Economic Progress

By Nick Fitzgerald, First-year MBA, Finance and Management

From left to right: Leila, Me, Andrea in Athens 
Like many Kelley students, I spent my first spring break in the MBA program abroad. A variety of destinations were up for grabs on both the GLOBASE and the Emerging Market Experience (EME) side, but the EME trip to Turkey and Greece in particular caught my eye. After a lightning-quick, seven-week class on the countries and their business environments, I found myself on a Turkish Airways flight to visit Istanbul and Athens for a two-week look at the macroeconomic conditions in each country. 

Prior to taking the EME course, I was aware of Greece’s current economic hardships. While that awareness was limited to general newspaper articles and by a lack of deeper macroeconomic understanding, it was still apparent to me that the country had fallen on very difficult times as a result of the Great Recession.

Greece is currently suffering from a massive unemployment problem: 28% unemployment overall, and 60% youth unemployment. These figures have more than just economic implications, however. For example, walking through the streets of Athens, I was legitimately taken aback by the wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling graffiti that covers what seemed like nearly all of the city’s buildings.

Kelley at the Blue Mosque in Istanbul
In contrast, Turkey’s economic success was completely unknown to me prior to taking this course. And when we visited, the difference between it and Greece could not have been starker: Turkey presented a brighter, thoroughly different picture of growth and prosperity. So, why the difference?

The answer is simple. Turkey has done so much that Greece has not: namely, create an environment where entrepreneurs and business-owners feel comfortable engaging with the economy. The fact that we visited with a company that was purchased by eBay is just one small example of the kind of environment Turkey has established for its economy: a place where laws are clear and well-established, where businesses are relatively free to operate and conduct matters internally and externally without hindrance, and where the tax liability is reasonable.

What’s more, Turkey has positioned itself as a place for innovation. When we met with Turkcell (the AT&T of Turkey, and ostensibly the Turkish people’s favorite brand), we were told that Steve Wozniak (of Apple) had recently visited Turkey and met with just two individuals: the Turkish prime minister and the CEO of Turkcell. When (American) titans of industry and well-known innovators and entrepreneurs are visiting a country, and the big companies within that country, something right is happening. When that country is classified still as an “emerging economy,” the impact becomes even more impressive.

In a way, however, it’s fitting. Historically – as we learned from the various sights, exhibits, and cultural high-points throughout Turkey – the country has always, since antiquity, been a crossroads of cultural and economic exchange that connected East and West. In a way, this entrepreneurial spirit and this openness to different methods of achieving progress is central to the country’s history and its people, which makes it easy to understand why they have been able to embrace the changes necessary to keep their country at the top of the emerging economic heap in the past several years.

Acropolis of Athens 
Overall, both the EME course and the trip were absolutely invaluable to me. I enjoyed the subject-matter immensely and would highly recommend such a trip to others in the future. Further, Greece and Turkey presented excellent studies in contrast and were particularly relevant to the broader business education I’m receiving here at Kelley.

I can say with certainty that I plan to revisit Turkey as a direct result of this trip. It was an experience that I will remember fondly when I think back to my two action-packed years at Kelley.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Converting Trek Leadership into Internship Offers

By Sam Omann, First-year MBA, Marketing

When the opportunity to lead the New York City “trek” was first introduced to me last August, I have to admit I was a little confused as to what that actually meant.  Would we be expected to hike all the way to NYC?  Was this a reality TV competition, like “The Amazing Race?” I put on my hiking boots, hoisted my biggest backpack onto my shoulders, and headed down to the student services office. Upon my breathless arrival I was informed that this was not an outdoor trek, but rather was a student led employer outreach initiative – and that we could simply use airplanes to visit the companies.  Sold! 

The reasons why I chose to volunteer to lead the NYC trek were straightforward: I had a geographical preference for the east coast, and last year’s trek visited companies near the top of my list. That last year’s trekkers found the networking opportunities so valuable made this a must-do for me.

All of the Kelley students that went on the NYC trek!
Leading the trek is a significant time commitment with many responsibilities. Not only was I in charge of logistical organization, but I was also the main point of contact persuading companies to host us for a visit. Now, I know what you’re thinking: How could a company not want to host a group Kelley students? We’re awesome! Colgate-Palmolive knows this, and had already committed to hosting us for an entire day, leaving the second day for one or two additional companies. After gauging student interest, I initially targeted Unilever, Johnson & Johnson, American Express, and Pfizer.

My role as trek leader was already paying off in networking opportunities! It gave me a reason to set up informational calls with alumni from these companies - many of which do not recruit on our campus - and practice my “pitch.” It still amazes me how helpful Kelley alumni are and how willing they are to make time for us. Even if a company was unable to meet with us, the alumni were still willing to share their experience at the company and provide additional contacts.  I locked in Pfizer for a visit, which was a great win that came with a bonus challenge of getting 17 Kelleys from Manhattan to the Jersey burbs.  Needless to say, I developed a few interview stories during this process.

After scheduling company visits, my focus switched to content. We met and heard from very senior executives, peppering them with enough high-quality questions that even Jonlee would be proud.  Additionally, Miss Mary Corona worked with GCS to plan a happy hour after the Colgate-Palmolive day so we could network with local alumni from companies we didn’t visit.  That’s the good news.  The bad news?  The bar recently closed due to health concerns. I personally disagree with this decision as I thought the food was great! The happy hour reinforced the value of face-to-face contact when building a network – and if you can do so with appetizers in a Hoosier bar, all the better.

It was my good fortune that Colgate-Palmolive selected me for an interview after the trek.  By the time I got to that point I’d met or spoken to each of my interviewers at least twice – mostly initiated by the trek. The hardest question in the interview came at the end: “Do you have any questions for me?”  I’d already learned so much about the company and program that producing a genuine question was actually difficult!  Colgate-Palmolive extended an offer, and leading the trek gave me the confidence to accept it, knowing I’d experienced the company and met its teams firsthand. I can’t wait to trade my boots and backpack for suit and tie as I make my own “trek” out there this summer!

Monday, April 7, 2014

3 Reasons Why You Can’t Miss Kelley Experience Weekend!

By Kyle PriceFirst-year MBA, Marketing Major

It’s officially spring and it’s officially time for a new class of MBA students to decide which b-school is right for them.  To make that decision easier, the Kelley School of Business is hosting their annual Kelley Experience Weekend (“KEW”).  Below are three reasons why admitted Kelley candidates can’t afford to miss one of the biggest weekends at Kelley!

1) Start Building your Network

Business schools offer MBA students an opportunity to build a wealth of new business knowledge and a high-powered network of business professionals.  KEW gives future Kelleys the opportunity to start that network building process before classes even begin.  At KEW you will have the opportunity to meet incoming classmates, MBA students from the classes of 2014 and 2015, Kelley professors, and Kelley faculty.  Ask KEW alumni, and they’ll tell you that the people they met at KEW were the foundation for their professional network and that they still rely on that network today.  You can’t miss KEW because of the opportunity you’ll have to start building your professional network.

2) Experience the Kelley Academies for the First Time

There are many reasons why Kelley is different from other business schools, but one of the biggest reasons is the Kelley Academy experience.  At Kelley, every 1st year MBA student joins a Kelley Academy.  Academies meet on Fridays and prepare students for their post-MBA career based on their intended function (Marketing, Consulting, Supply Chain, Finance, etc.).  During KEW, Kelley candidates will have the chance to meet academy directors, current students from each academy, and each academy’s respective Graduate Career Services advisor.  For those candidates still exploring what major is best for them, KEW will bring clarity to what different post-MBA careers entail.  You can’t miss KEW because of the opportunity you’ll have to experience the Kelley Academies.

3) Honestly, it’s a lot of Fun!

While KEW is packed with very informative sessions on the Kelley experience, you can’t overlook the fact that KEW is a lot of fun.  When else will you get the opportunity to experience a mixer in the collegiate and classical Alumni Hall at the Indiana Memorial Union?  How about the chance to dine in the Broadway feeling Indiana University Auditorium?  Furthermore, how about the opportunity to experience the thriving hotspots of downtown Bloomington with 100 different members of that new network you built during the day?  You can’t miss KEW because, honestly, it’s a whole lot of fun!

For those new Kelley admits out there - congratulations! We here at Kelley can't wait to meet you at KEW!