Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Ellen Gartner Phillips, MBA'15: The Practitioner

Ellen Gartner Phillips, MBA’15, is a natural performer. She’s used her passion for music as a vehicle to teach, consult, and manage as a small business owner, but even with two degrees 
she wanted to further her education. She began shopping for arts administration programs and landed on an MBA. Here's why she chose Kelley, and what she's gotten out of her experience to date.

Ellen Gartner Phillips
Chicago, IL
BM'05, Music Performance, Northwestern University
MM'07, MuSic PerforMAnce, Rice University
MBA’15, Consulting Academy, Dean's Fellow, Kelley School of Business

What brought you to Kelley?

The idea and love of Indiana University was planted in me early—my grandfather was a football coach at IU in the 1960s. It’s safe to say I was a hoosier before birth. I’m a professional musician and have used my passion for music as a vehicle to teach, consult, and manage as a small business owner. I wanted to further my education, so I started shopping for arts administration programs online, yet kept being directed to MBA pages. I decided to visit a number of schools and Kelley was the only one that felt like home. everything comes full circle.

How do you feel the Kelley culture and curriculum are setting you up for success?

I was sure I wanted to pursue brand management through the MBA program. From all my experience in talent and contract management, I thought that would be a logical field to pursue. It became clear that the Kelley experience is less what’s logical and more what we uncover about ourselves through the program. The faculty and the community have a way of revealing greatness in each person. I found confidence and energy in exploring new things—now I'm in the Consulting Academy, working for Deloitte this summer. I would have never imagined this would be the path I’d take.

What’s the most valuable insight you’ve learned so far?

Kelley has helped me shift my mindset about what I really want—and that is almost preparation enough for the next step in my career. I’m constantly learning and evolving, and I know more than I give myself credit for. I have great insight to offer, and I’m adding value in a very tangible way.


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