Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Joe Ungers, MBA'15: The Pacesetter

Joe Ungers
Cincinnati, OH
BS'08, Business Economics, Miami University
MBA’15, Supply Chain Academy, Kelley School of Business

Describe your pre-MBA career.

My background is in energy and metal—everything from brokerage to supply chain management. I really wanted to take my career to the next level and go after a job in management so I decided to get an MBA. I’m now learning the foundations of what it takes to be a leader while leveraging my past experiences to bring something unique to the table.

Describe your experience in the Core.

Right off the bat, I didn’t expect to be learning from such high-caliber professors. I figured that would eventually come, but from the first class in the Core you’re getting personal attention from some of the top business minds in the world. From the culture of collaboration to the camaraderie among fellow students—it all naturally encourages engaging lessons. The Core created an environment that set the tone for my entire year.

Was there a time at Kelley when everything seemed to click?

Before I even arrived it had clicked. I chose Kelley for the Academy element of the curriculum—something I hadn’t found anywhere else. The Supply Chain Academy, as well as the other Academies, brings a multi-faceted and interdisciplinary approach to what are often isolated conversations. The learning that happens in the Academy transcends the classroom; we’re working with real clients on real problems and bringing actionable solutions to the table.

Friday, August 22, 2014

A Love Letter to Minneapolis: My Minnesota Summer

By Julia Wilcox, MBA'15

This post originally appeared on Arts to Business, a blog by MBA students Julia Wilcox and Ellen Gartner Phillips, two performers who met at the Kelley School of Business

I’m in my car, driving around 3M campus, trying to figure out what in the heck is going on with this map HR sent us. I’m turning it upside down and sideways to see if it somehow makes more sense in those configurations. 3M campus is way bigger than I remembered from our Business Marketing Academy trip last fall and I have exactly 15 minutes to make it to our first training before I am officially late. I take a deep breath, trying to calm my anxiety when I spot my roommate’s car in the visitor lot. I park next to her. I couldn’t quite see building 224 from where I was parked, but I figured I’d go in the one marked visitor entrance and just ask. People in Minnesota are sugary nice, and I knew they’d direct me to the right spot. I walk into the door, so self-focused that I fail to realize that I’ve started what looks like the intern-zombie apocalypse behind me. By the time I reach the desk, I have about 10 interns who had for some reason thought I looked put together enough (or just lost enough) to follow into the building. I let out a sigh of relief, thankful that I wasn’t the only idiot who couldn’t figure out the map. The poor receptionist deals with each of us, and makes sure she has somebody hand deliver us to the correct location.

That morning I met Nate, the intern from Duke with whom I’d share the 3M Strategic Business Development (SBD) experience. He would become my carpool buddy and confidant for the summer, the person I’d share my most honest struggles, successes and stories of 3M with. We are in many ways polar opposites, but connect on our mutual love for craft beer, nature and sitting on rooftops. His brain is analytical in all the ways that mine is creative and that gave us balance and the opportunity to learn from each other. He once did a competitive analysis on my dating prospects in Minneapolis, to which I replied “Who are you?” We laughed and then sat in silence, enjoying the sunset from the rooftop of our apartment building.

There were 5 SBD interns that started on May 19th, another wave on June 2nd, and then a final 2 on June 16th. During the week of June 2nd, I met Jinmin (MIT) and Ryan (Michigan), two others with whom I would develop close relationships. Jinmin changed me in ways that I’ll carry the remainder of my life. I’ve become more gracious, kind, direct and comfortable with myself as a result of the friendship I’ve developed with her. One late night we stayed up until 3am watching Louie and eating slightly burned popcorn (I was too busy chatting her ear off to realize I had put the popcorn in the microwave a little too long). I woke up the next morning to find popcorn strewn across the couch where we had sat, a sign of a well-lived evening.

“I got you champagne,” Ryan says. I look down and he’s holding two bottles of Le Croix sparkling water. “Well, work champagne.” It was 4pm, the time of day when Ryan claimed his brain stopped functioning properly and when I was too restless to stand at my desk for another moment. Almost every day, we would meet outside the corporate strategy office at 4pm sharp and take a lap around the quad. On this particular day, I had just finished my final presentation. I was exhausted and wasn’t sure how I’d make it to the end of the day, and then I saw it – that beautiful, sparkling bottle of deliciousness. In the hallway Ryan gave me an enthusiastic “Congrats!”, popped both the tops, then we clinked bottles and set off on our lap. As I approached the first turn he grabbed my arm, pulling me to the side. “Watch out!” he said, slightly too loud for the corporate environment. “The hot lava. You almost stepped in it.” I laughed and said, “Why, thank you, good sir.” I had completely forgotten about my incident a week before, when I wiped out, (gracefully, of course) because my heel slipped in that one pesky spot where the carpet changed to linoleum.

The 3M SBD internship itself was everything I thought it would be. The work was challenging, rewarding and diverse, what one could expect from a $30B company who has its hand in just about everything. What I didn’t expect was to fall in love with Minneapolis, the city I’ll always remember as the place where I stopped running from my life. When I started at Kelley, I remember Eric Johnson saying, “People come to Kelley either running from something, or running to something.” I’ve caught my breath and have had the chance to reflect on what felt like the most emotionally and intellectually challenging year of my life. I can now recognize that I am different and am starting to become a better version of myself. I have fallen completely in love with my life and with the direction it’s going. I have returned to Bloomington happier than I have ever been, to friends that I am so very lucky to have. I am, for the first time in a long, long while, enjoying my day to day, which for now consists of late night snacks with Marie, hugging those I haven’t seen in 12 weeks, dancing in red converse, and eagerly waiting for the rest of my favorites to get back to Bloomington for MBA Year 2.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Rama Srithara Ramanujam, MBA'15: The Explorer

With just a few days before classes begin, Rama Srithara Ramanujam, MBA'15, talks about how to make the most of your time at Kelley.

Rama Srithara Ramanujam 
Chennai, India
BE'06, Electronics and Communication Engineering, Anna University
MBA’15, Business Marketing Academy, Kelley School of Business

What brought you to Kelley?
For me, it’s a family thing. Kelley and Indiana University hold a special place in the lives of many members of my extended family, here in the US and abroad. We're Hoosiers at heart and Kelley grads. I'd been working for an Indian company as a business development consultant in the insurance services industry and I just knew it was time for a change. I was ready for exposure to new industries and was at the point in my career that I wanted to be on the fast track to reaching my goals.

What’s your advice to incoming students on how to make the most of their tIme at Kelley?
Kelley’s true power lies in students’ willingness to fully immerse themselves in the wealth of opportunities available at every turn. You have to commit to being engaged and open to any possibility that may come your way. Especially for international students, my advice would be to join in on the conversation, don’t hold back, and go all in.

What has been the highlight of your academic experience so far?
When I came to Kelley I was excited, yet equally nervous. The Kelley faculty, my fellow students, and my mentors reassured me that I had what I needed to make the most of my experience. The support I received from those people gave me the drive to succeed and inspired me to give back in the same way. I now am involved in a number of organizations and groups within Kelley and work with incoming students to ensure their transition is as seamless as possible.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Getting in the Mindset of a Googler

By Noel De La Torre, MBA'15 
Intern at Google, Large Customer Sales

Interning at Google this summer has been a dream come true for me, not only because I am passionate about technology, and have long admired the company, but also because I have had the opportunity to tap into the company’s culture, which truly embodies one of our Kelley Values: collaboration.

Though I was excited to join Google as their first ever Kelley MBA intern—a fact that I am extremely proud of—I knew that the internship would challenge me and force me beyond my limits, so I came prepared to single-handedly tackle whatever challenges it threw my way.Throughout the summer, those challenges have included defining a sales narrative and establishing a marketing strategy in order to help one of the Large Customer Sales teams capture the full value of mobile advertising.

Although I started with a very limited understanding of my project and initially felt “alone” in the pursuit of its completion, I was surprised by the level of collaboration that exists at Google.  Almost daily I have met with Googlers who are willing to share their insights and knowledge with me, and do whatever they can to help me inch closer toward success. I regularly walk away from these chats with not only a better understanding of the challenge that I face, but also additional resources and introductions to valuable contacts within the company. 

Given the importance that Google had placed on the subject of my project, almost everyone I have met has supported and guided me toward that end.  In that respect, Google has made me feel at home, very much in the same way that the Kelley MBA program has since the day I arrived in Bloomington. 

Though ultimately the success of my project hinges on my ability to navigate multiple obstacles over the final weeks of my internship, I take solace in the fact that I am not tackling it alone and hopefully paving the way for future Kelley MBAs.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Simeon Teopaco, MBA'15: The Creative Thinker

We sat down with Simeon Teopaco, MBA'15, to talk about his transition from cartography, to information technology, to the Consumer Marketing Academy at the Kelley School.

Name: Simeon Teopaco
Hometown: Washington, D.C.
BS’06, Geography, James Madison University
MBA’15, Consumer Marketing Academy, Kelley School of Business
Describe your pre-MBA career.
Born, raised, educated, and employed in Washington, D.C., I love my hometown, but after spending not only the majority of my life but also the majority of my professional life there, I started to want more. After graduating from college I was working as a cartographer for Booz Allen Hamilton and most recently was working as an iT strategy consultant. At some point money stopped being a motivation and I yearned for a quality of life where I could explore my creativity and interest in marketing.
What will you take away from your experience in the Consumer Marketing Academy?
The variety of experiences that students bring to their respective Academy is incredible, and it’s what makes the Academy experience so valuable. We unite under a common interest yet we bring such diverse perspectives to the conversation—perspectives that span any industry that you could think of. In the Consumer Marketing Academy I found myself leading in a completely different way—I hadn’t realized how versatile my skill set was until I was able to explore it within the Academy. 
Was there a moment when you realized that going back to school was worth it? 
I went home for winter break and was going back and forth with friends over dinner; I chimed in on one subject or another and they all stopped and stared at me. That was it—I was conversing in a totally new way, on a level I didn’t know I was capable of. I was explaining current events, the context of business news, and general topics in a way that I had only heard from professors. It was in that moment that I felt I had arrived. In such a short time, Kelley had had a major effect on me.