Thursday, October 30, 2014

Discovering the Kelley alumni network in Silicon Valley

I traveled to Silicon Valley last week with Kelley's Strategic Finance Academy to visit Intel, Xilinx, and Broadcom. This was Academy Week: five days of exploring our interests (in my group's case, strategic finance in the technology sector) and networking with professionals who could give us real perspective from the field.

We had the opportunity to interact with dozens of Kelley alumni who have built amazing careers at these companies, and I was inspired to hear how the Kelley School influenced their paths when they were in my shoes.

Kyle DeLapp
MBA'16
On our first stop, we visited Intel's Executive Briefing Center and got a hands-on demonstration of the company's cutting edge 3D camera technology. We also toured the Intel Museum and learned how microprocessors are made, as well as the components of their global supply chain. From engineering genius to clean rooms operated by machines, we learned how Intel has capitalized on one of their founders’ groundbreaking law. Today, the driving force of Gordon Moore’s law is in the hands of Kelley alumni.

Our second visit was to Xilinx where CFO and Kelley grad Jon Olson walked us through the responsibilities and realities of an earnings call. We had a glimpse into the C-suite, and we learned about how Xilinx has strategically positioned itself in the niche programmable logic market through sales, operational, and R&D finance.

The final stop on our trip was Broadcom. Two alumni gave our group valuable perspective on what it takes to be successful in the technology sector. Both shared stories of what to expect after MBA life and the importance of making an impact from day one. Today, Kelley alumni at Broadcom are a major asset behind the push for the Internet of Things and its innovative expansion.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Network, network, network at the National Society of Hispanic MBAs Conference


Last month, several underrepresented minority-focused MBA conferences took place throughout the United States. One of the largest was the National Society of Hispanic MBAs (NSHMBA), which was held this year in Philadelphia. Thanks to the support from the Institute for Global Organizational Effectiveness (IGOE), 14 of this year’s 16 IGOE MBA Fellows chose to attend the conference.

There was a lot of anticipation surrounding the event, especially among my Latin classmates because many of us had never experienced something like this before. The second-year IGOE Fellows did a great job sharing advice about every aspect of the conference and how to prepare beforehand.

Alejandra de Caso
MBA'16
At the conference, we had the opportunity to network with corporate recruiters and students from other MBA programs. You could tell a company’s culture and work environment by looking at each booth.

I was really looking forward to talking to a company that did not recruit on campus but was a leader in the industry that I am pursuing for my post-MBA career. Engaging in conversations directly with recruiters wasn’t as challenging as I expected; all of them were willing to talk to and inform us about the opportunities for MBA candidates within their companies.

I now have a couple of new companies to follow up with during my job search process. I also enjoyed spending time with other IGOE Fellows in Philadelphia, preparing my CARs, doing mock interviews, enjoying nice dinners, and relaxing.  

The National Society of Hispanic MBAs Conference was an enriching personal and professional experience, which I definitely recommend to future Kelleys. My only advice is to prepare beforehand—the conference goes by fast, and preparation is essential in order to make the best out of your time there.  I’m very grateful for the financial and informational support offered by IGOE, without which I would not have been able to attend.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Academy Week Preview: Consulting Academy

Academy Week begins October 20. This intensive week immerses our first-year MBA students in the fundamentals of their focus industries, through alumni panels and group sessions, visits to leading companies in the field, and professional development enhancing activities. This week, our second-year MBA students will revisit last year's Academy Week, to give you an idea of what to expect.

Today Sahil Sandhu, MBA ‘15, shares Academy Week highlights as a student in the Consulting Academy. In the Consulting Academy, our board of advisors includes names from some of the world's leading consulting firms, including Accenture, AT Kearney, Deloitte, EY, and McKinsey & Company.

Sahil Sandhu

Which companies did you visit during Academy Week?

Consulting Academy week was different. We had many consulting firms on campus for presentations, networking, and of course happy hours.

Here are the companies I interacted with: A.T. Kearney, Kalypso, Bain, Accenture, EY, Cummins, Direct Supply, and Deloitte.

Which was your favorite company? Why?

My favorite company experience was Deloitte. Deloitte was here for a day and we got the opportunity to interact with practitioners to understand their experiences and expectations. Most importantly, Deloitte conducted many mock cases, which helped simulate a critical part of consulting interviews–individual and group cases.

How did Academy Week enhance your career?

Academy Week helped me understand various consulting domains, such as technology, strategy, operations, and private equity. I was able to narrow down what I wanted to do and develop a plan for my internship search. Above all, I got the opportunity to interact with multiple firms and build a network with Kelley alums.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Academy Week Preview: Consumer Marketing Academy


Academy Week begins October 20. This intensive week immerses our first-year MBA students in the fundamentals of their focus industries, through alumni panels and group sessions, visits to leading companies in the field, and professional development enhancing activities. This week, our second-year MBA students will revisit last year's Academy Week, to give you an idea of what to expect.

Linsey Tague, MBA'15
Today Linsey Tague, MBA'15, shares Academy Week highlights as a student in the Consumer Marketing Academy. These students work closely with our corporate partners and smaller companies to develop marketing acumen and build brands.

Which companies did you visit during Academy Week? 

Kraft Oscar Meyer, Eli Lilly, ConAgra Foods, Miller Coors, Whirlpool, Scott’s Miracle-Gro, Abbott Nutrition, Procter and Gamble

Which was your favorite company? Why? 

ConAgra Foods. They had an exercise where we were tasked as the brand manager on one of their brands. We had to come up with a new product innovation with real food ingredients to choose from that had to appeal to the target consumer we were given, remain under a certain cost, and be able to gain distribution in the market place. It really helped put into perspective the challenges that real marketers face in brand management. Also, ConAgra ended up being the company where I interned this summer.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Academy Week Preview: Strategic Finance Academy



Academy Week begins October 20. This intensive week immerses our first-year MBA students in the fundamentals of their focus industries, through alumni panels and group sessions, visits to leading companies in the field, and professional development enhancing activities. This week, our second-year MBA students will revisit last year's Academy Week, to give you an idea of what to expect.

Today Eric Leserman, MBA'15, shares Academy Week highlights as a student in the Strategic Finance Academy. These students work on real-world business problems throughout the year, traveling to places such as the Silicon Valley, Minneapolis, and New York for an in-depth look at the role financial professionals play in Fortune 500 firms.

Which companies did you visit during Academy Week?

Ecolab, Best Buy, Optum Health, and Target.

What was your favorite company? Why?

I really enjoyed going to Target. It was in a beautiful building in downtown Minneapolis and everyone we met there was so friendly. The highlight for me was when they took us into their store next to headquarters and showed us the business decisions that were made in the layout of a store and why they were so important.


How did Academy Week enhance your career?

Having worked at small businesses prior to Kelley, it was great to see the headquarters of large corporations. It was amazing how easily you could see the company culture in action after spending as little as a few hours at headquarters.

What was the most fun part about Academy Week?

We had a free evening in Minneapolis and we took advantage of this to go to a Minnesota Wild hockey game. It was a lot of fun to enjoy a pro sport with my classmates and be immersed in the culture of one of Minnesota’s favorite pastimes.

Academy Week Preview: Capital Markets

Academy Week begins October 20. This intensive week immerses our first-year MBA students in the fundamentals of their focus industries, through alumni panels and group sessions, visits to leading companies in the field, and professional development enhancing activities. This week, our second-year MBA students will revisit last year's Academy Week, to give you an idea of what to expect.

Today Rene Lopezvictoria, MBA'15, shares Academy Week highlights as a student in the Capital Markets Academy, which focuses on investment management, investment banking, and principal investing.

Which companies did you visit during Academy Week?

Barclays, Morningstar, William Blair, RW Baird, Harris Associates, Driehaus Capital Management, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Mizuho Securities, and Sanford Bernstein.

Which was your favorite company? Why?

My favorite company was Goldman Sachs. We had the opportunity to visit its headquarters in downtown Manhattan. One of my favorite parts of the visit was walking through the massive trading floor, which was inhabited by hundreds of very smart, driven, and competitive people. At least that was the impression I got after a few minutes of observing them engaging in financial transactions for one of the most important financial institutions in the world. After meeting with people from the derivatives division and listening to them talk about high frequency trading and other complex subjects, I was convinced. I decided to choose Goldman Sachs as one of my top companies for my summer internship.

How did Academy Week enhance your career?

Academy Week allowed me to experience the work environment and culture of some of the top firms on and off Wall Street. It also gave me the chance to strengthen my networking skills both on a professional level—during company visits—and in an informal level—during happy hours and one-on-one meetings.

What was the most fun part about Academy Week?

After one of the longest days of the trip, we had a happy hour at a very interesting place near Times Square. We had the chance to interact with Kelley alums ranging from recent to more senior graduates. It was amazing to see that most of them knew each other regardless of the generational differences. It was also incredible to see how happy they were to talk to us and try to help us in whichever way they could with the job search process. This happy hour also was a great opportunity to create bonds within the Academy that remain very strong to this day.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Academy Week Preview: Consumer Marketing Academy


Academy Week begins October 20. This intensive week immerses our first-year MBA students in the fundamentals of their focus industries, through alumni panels and group sessions, visits to leading companies in the field, and professional development enhancing activities. This week, our second-year MBA students will revisit last year's Academy Week, to give you an idea of what to expect.

Today Sulay Alvarenga, MBA'15, shares Academy Week highlights as a student in the Consumer Marketing Academy. These students work closely with our corporate partners and smaller companies to develop marketing acumen and build brands.

Which companies did you visit during Academy Week? 

Kraft Oscar Mayer, Eli Lilly and Company, ConAgra Foods, MillerCoors, Whirlpool, Scott’s Miracle-Gro, Abbott Nutrition, and Procter & Gamble.

Which was your favorite company? Why? 

My favorite company from our trip had to be MillerCoors. I enjoyed hearing about how the alcoholic beverage category has evolved over the years and where MillerCoors envisions the category shifting in the future. I especially liked the presentation from the innovation team on how they identified white space in the flavored malt beverage category to successfully bring Red’s Apple Ale to market. Some of the key points they considered were functional versus emotional benefits to the consumer and the particular brand voice the product should embody. The process outlined by the innovation team definitely represented the ideal type of work I want to do in the future.

How did Academy Week enhance your career? 

Academy Week came at a critical point in my internship search. I was conflicted about whether to pursue an internship at a consumer goods company that had a more general management focus versus one that was more brand marketing focused. The corporate visits and presentations on brand strategy development not only allowed me to identify brand marketing as a better fit for my internship, but also allowed me to recognize the type of culture I wanted in a company post-MBA.  

What was the most fun part about Academy Week? 

Aside from the beer tasting at MillerCoors, I really enjoyed getting to know all of my fellow Consumer Marketing Academy members on the big coach bus and spending time with them outside of Bloomington.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Academy Week Preview: Business Marketing Academy




Academy Week begins October 20. This intensive week immerses our first-year MBA students in the fundamentals of their focus industries, through alumni panels and group sessions, visits to leading companies in the field, and professional development enhancing activities. This week, our second-year MBA students will revisit last year's Academy Week, to give you an idea of what to expect.


Today Kyle Price, MBA'15, shares Academy Week highlights as a student in the Business Marketing Academy. Kelley is the only top business school to offer an extensive focus in B2B marketing—a big draw to recruiters such as 3M, Ecolab, GE, Cummins, and more. Students in the Business Marketing Academy gain insights into the marketing strategies and buying decisions of governments, nonprofits, institutions, and businesses.

Which companies did you visit during Academy Week?

Dupont, Dow Agro, Eli Lilly, 3M, Ecolab, Valkre, and Cummins


What was your favorite company?  Why?

My favorite was 3M. We visited the 3M Innovation Center where we had the opportunity to get a hands on experience with their products.  It was really cool to see all of the different markets that 3M’s products serve. The day ended with an exciting case competition that had teams making recommendations on where 3M should invest in the solar panel value chain.

How did Academy Week enhance your career?

Academy Week allowed me to build a strong network of Kelleys across several different companies and gain a stronger understanding of the kind of company I want to work for.

What was the most fun part about Academy Week?

One evening in Minneapolis we had a happy hour with Kelley alums.  It was at this happy hour, and the after party, where we bonded as an Academy.  Since that night we’ve hung out more outside of class and really take a lot of pride in being a part of the Business Marketing Academy. I also enjoyed stepping out of the core for a week and getting back into the working world a bit.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

IGOE: A permanent support system for Latin MBA students

Current and recent IGOE Global Fellows

The Institute for Global Organizational Effectiveness (IGOE) has been a cornerstone for me and many other Latin students because it has enabled us to pursue an MBA at a top business school. The help we receive from IGOE is not restricted to a substantial fellowship toward our tuition—it also encompasses a permanent support system that extends far beyond the 2-year MBA program. Thanks to the support we receive through IGOE, we are able to foster our professional development through many means, including attendance at career fairs and access to the rapidly growing network of IGOE alumni.

Joaquin Pereyra, MBA'15
Flash back to my own personal journey to the Kelley School of Business, at the beginning of 2011 when I decided to pursue an MBA. It had always been a dream of mine to earn my master’s degree at a top business school in the United States, and while I cannot say that the process was always easy or stress free, once that decision was made, a sequence of meaningful events occurred that eventually led me to where I am today.

I chose to leave my job for three months in order to take time to prepare for the required entrance exams. On top of that, I needed to search for financial support, since affording the total cost of the MBA by myself was close to impossible. Trying to find the way to materialize that big and, at the time, distant dream of pursuing an MBA took countless hours of research and study. By mid-2012, I was still searching for that unique opportunity.

Joaquin Pereyra at a recent
NBMBAA Conference
I had been accepted to a few MBA programs, but with no substantial financial support package. I had the chance of doing my MBA in Europe with a scholarship; however, I strongly felt that the US was the place for my MBA. At some point, I was on the border of just giving up on the MBA dream. I decided to try one last time. After all, big dreams require perseverance and determination.

Months later, right when it seemed there was no light at the end of the tunnel, great news arrived for me: I had been awarded a Fulbright Scholarship.

From then on, things started working out relatively smoothly. Fulbright applied on my behalf to previously agreed-upon universities, one of them being Kelley. I still clearly remember my excitement when in March 2013 I opened that thick IU package to find that I had been accepted to the Kelley School of Business. The final and decisive piece of the puzzle was a fellowship offer from IGOE for the two-year program.

Finally, after more than two years of hard effort and some frustrations along the way, I felt fulfilled and extremely happy about how things turned out.  Fulbright and IGOE were the key enablers for making this possible.

IGOE intensifies in its fellows a strong bond with Kelley and Indiana University. It has given each one of us a unique platform to embrace personal and professional development through different avenues such as funding to attend career fairs, access to its exclusive alumni network throughout the US and Latin America, and direct support for participation in case competitions.

When I finally began the MBA program I felt a deep appreciation for IGOE. Now that feeling of gratitude has turned into a genuine commitment with the institution and its mission.

Friday, October 3, 2014

An MBA Internship at Amazon: Earth's Most Customer-Centric Company



By Nir Paz, MBA ‘15
Intern at Amazon, Amazon Web Services

“The customer is always right.” This simple phrase takes a whole new meaning at Amazon, Earth's Most Customer-Centric Company, where every single employee shares the same goal: to satisfy every whim of Amazon customers.

At Amazon, ambiguity is the name of the game. After merely a day of orientation, interns were expected to start working immediately on our summer projects. And for good reason; we only had as little as 12 weeks to formulate actionable strategic plans to generate real value to Amazon and its customers. As overwhelming as it might have been, I felt that Kelley provided me with useful tools and techniques to quickly understand the mission and start peeling the onion back, as they say. But this was only the first out of many challenges I encountered during my internship.

My responsibilities ranged from conducting 300,000 customer surveys to interviewing senior executives from potential companies who are interested in a B2B relationship with Amazon and formulating a 50-page narrative illustrating features for a groundbreaking, innovative, and confidential product.

One of the great things about Amazon is that every intern works on a project that will be used in the future. I found the opportunity to influence a strategic and innovative product in as little as 12 weeks extremely exciting. I felt so strongly about the opportunity to make an impact on the organization that I worked to complete three different projects, all of which will be implemented and generate real value very soon.

The combination of innovation, leadership, and passion—traits that have been nurtured and polished throughout Kelley’s rigorous Core and academies—serve as a catalyst to excellence. Throughout my career in Special Forces, the experience in the high-tech industry, and past academic experiences, including the Kelley School of Business, I learned that excellence is not a skill; excellence is an attitude.

I had an amazing summer, one that I will never forget. I realized firsthand that creating real and measurable value is a good place to start on the path to success and excellence.