Thursday, December 1, 2016

A Job Seeker’s Guide to Dealing with Rejection

Based on the expertise of Christina Schmidt, Associate Director of Business Marketing – Kelley Graduate Career Services

Clichés like, “It’ll all work out”, or “Everything happens for a reason” are a whole lot easier to say than to hear, aren’t they? But at some point or another, failure is inevitable, and you won’t get exactly what you had hoped for. The supportive, caring people in your life will listen, sympathize, and then throw out something along those lines intending to cheer you up. Often those phrases can have the opposite intended effect, but don’t let a bitter reaction tarnish the truth in those words. Remember, you always have a choice – even when those choices aren’t about which job opportunity to pursue. When your only choice is how you’ll respond, consider the following before reacting.

You’ve built a network. This is extremely valuable, so work to maintain it. Maybe there was someone just *slightly* more qualified for that job. But what about your dream job they’re just about to post? Chances are, employees on the inside know of roles coming open before everyone else. By working to maintain your network, your internal contact might be able to 1) tell you about the position before it’s made public, or 2) say they know someone who would be a great match for the role.

It’s a chance to improve. Around Kelley, we call this an after action review: figuring out what went right and what went wrong. The key to this one is honesty. You have to be honest with yourself or whomever you’re talking to about why you truly didn’t get the job. There are a million and one excuses in the book. Don’t be someone who makes excuses. Be someone who takes responsibility for what happened and takes action to never let it happen again.

Use the opportunity to take a break. Sometimes we can get so focused on the job we applied for that stepping back from the situation to get yourself in the right frame of mind will do much more for you than hours of interview prep ever could. What’s your favorite escape from reality? Listening to a TED talk, working out, reading a book? The important thing to realize is it’s only a break. Don’t quit. When you’re ready, come up with a plan of action in how you’re going to move on. Don’t go it alone, either – this is a great time to bring in a coach, industry professional, or mentor you trust to bounce ideas off and hold you accountable.

Rejection’s never easy, but don’t let missing out on one opportunity lead to squandering two. By using rejection to fuel your progress, you’ll end up in a place better than you ever imagined!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

MBA Talk: Why Kelley?

Each year, aspiring business leaders from all over the world choose Kelley for their MBA. We asked them why.

Six current Kelleys from the Class of 2017—Lauren Maggion, Aaron Millicans, Guillermo Kalen, Erica Smith, Paul Carlson and Ryan Bradley—reveal what clinched it for Kelley in their MBA search.

Support at all Stages:

Lauren Maggion
“I initially stumbled on Kelley when I moved my friend to Bloomington for her Ph.D. I emailed the MBA program office to see if anyone was around, and they immediately responded that they would be happy to visit with me even during the summer! The visit to campus was great and solidified my interest in certain program aspects – the core, the small class size, and the post-grad opportunities. Once I applied, the outreach I received from current students was awesome. I was able to meet with alumni in New York City, and a lot of them reminded me that it is totally possible to be on the East or West Coast despite going to school in the Midwest. I visited Kelley once more during experience weekend and really decided to attend because of the fit of the Kelley Family. From everyone I spoke with, there was an innate sense of collaboration, and people that wanted to help me succeed.” –Lauren

“The culture of Kelley is very difficult to summarize, but it can be boiled down to supportive and flexible. Kelley has a very supportive and understanding attitude that allows all students to pursue a career of their choice. Regardless of industry, role or location, the Kelley faculty and staff want to understand your goals and aspirations in order to make them a reality.” –Aaron

“Collaboration is something you feel from the moment you make contact and then confirm again later at interview season, surrounded by colleagues/competition that are supporting you, and you supporting them. [Kelley] is a place where you master team building and learn about the power of relationships. You experience this with your colleagues, the amazing alumni network, your faculty and staff.” –Guillermo 

A Proven Track Record:

Erica Smith
“I chose to pursue my MBA at Kelley because I was confident that its program would help me achieve my career goal of becoming a world-class brand manager. In my eyes, the significant presence of Kelley alumni at premier companies such as Procter & Gamble and General Mills demonstrated that a Kelley MBA is well-respected within the consumer packaged goods industry.  I also saw that several Kelley women alums have risen to the rank of chief executive officer of marketing-oriented organizations like Popeye’s and Quiznos—which made me feel like I could walk in their shoes one day. Given the success of Kelley’s vast alumni network, I felt that a Kelley MBA would equip me with the skills to not only manage a brand but lead an organization one day.” –Erica

“The staff not only is collaborative, but highly prepared. Kelley has repeatedly ranked in top positions for its Graduate Career Services, and the majority of its students have great jobs before graduation. As an international candidate, I considered this to be essential if I wanted to have professional experience in the USA, since companies are looking for a highly prepared individual, both academically and professionally.” –Guillermo

Kelley Culture:

“One of the aspects of the Kelley MBA Program I have enjoyed most is the opportunity to meet and work with students from all over the world. During the Integrated Core during my first year, I worked on a team with a student from Bangalore, India—who is the most brilliant person I’ve ever met. The cultural and technical learnings he has imparted to me during our time together have been invaluable, and I know our bond with last through the years to come. I also had the opportunity to work on a consulting project for a small bakery in Ghana called Ladl Patisserie during my first year—which was another international, interactive learning experience I truly enjoyed.” –Erica

Paul Carlson
“I was attracted to Kelley because of the family-like culture, the academic structure, and the potential network that I could leverage to help support my transition out of the military. My family and I felt welcomed, valued, and part of the community.  The size of the classes and the number of veteran students were also contributing factors because I felt like I could create strong professional and personal bonds with my peers, professors, and staff.”  –Paul

“I was nervous about returning to Kelley since I had already experienced Kelley and IU as an undergrad.  I was worried that I wouldn’t get a unique academic experience the second time around.  I was worried that recruiters would find two degrees from the same institution pointless.  I was worried that IU basketball games wouldn’t be as fun in my early 30s as they were in my early 20’s. Looking back I can’t believe I even considered going anywhere except Kelley….especially because basketball games and football tailgates are DEFINITELY as enjoyable the second time around!” –Ryan

Thursday, September 29, 2016

The Consortium and Kelley: Enhancing Diversity in Business Starts Here

by Ruby Jones, MBA’18
Consortium Fellow
Winner of the Wallace L. Jones Fellowship

Ruby Jones
On Tuesday, March 8, I received a beautiful cream and crimson box announcing my acceptance to the Kelley School of Business as a Consortium Fellow. Four hours later, I quit my job.

Quitting was not on my “To Do” list for the day, but I was so overcome with emotion and excitement that I couldn’t wait any longer. I should clarify that by “quit”, I mean I gave a four-month notice, but after nine years with the same employer four months can seem like a short notice. As word of my departure spread, I was bombarded with questions: What is the Consortium? What is a Consortium Fellow? Why an MBA? Why now?

What is the Consortium?

The mission of The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management is to enhance diversity in business education and leadership by helping to correct the serious underrepresentation of African Americans, Hispanic Americans and Native Americans in business schools and corporate management.  

In its 50th year, the Consortium assists in recruiting promising students, of any race, who show a commitment to its mission, to attend 18 of the top business schools. In exchange for their commitment, students receive access to a close-knit on-campus family, a powerful network of more than 8,500 alumni, early exposure to internship recruiters and, for many, full-tuition fellowships from their respective universities.

What qualities define a Consortium Fellow?

My commitment to the Consortium’s mission began before my knowledge of the organization. As a child, I pledged a portion of my allowance each year to support the United Negro College Fund. Although I did not fully understand the impact, I knew I was helping students who looked like me attend college and join the workforce. This support of diversity grew throughout my undergraduate studies, AmeriCorps Vista service and work experience.

At Kelley, this commitment has continued through accepting a leadership role on campus with the Curriculum Advisory Committee and participation in Kelley Consortium activities. In the coming months, there will be various opportunities to assist Consortium candidates in navigating the admissions process. Although work is abundant and time is limited, I will make myself available to those candidates, because the ability to build and support diverse leadership is critical for future success.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Cutting the Cord: Best Practices for Transitioning Within the Same Organization

by Stephanie J. Gray, Associate Director
Kelley Graduate Career Services

Stephanie J. Gray
You did it! You set your sights on a new position within your organization and after months of networking and interviewing you have earned a new title and a new set of job responsibilities. There’s one problem: you still work at the same company, so leaving your old job isn’t as easy as handing in two weeks' notice. Your previous supervisor may have advocated for your promotion and your clients may not really understand how you work for the same organization, but can no longer help them.

I recently made this transition and I have come up with a few helpful tips to “cut the cord” with your old job and start your new adventure.

Take time off.
This is something that I wish I had done. If you have the opportunity, take a week off to decompress and get excited for your new role. This week will also help you to distance yourself from your previous position without having new responsibilities.

Accept that there will be a transition time.
You likely haven’t changed building locations, so you might feel like the same person, but you are a new employee in THIS office. Allow yourself some time to adjust to the new responsibilities.

 Redefine success.
What made you successful at your last job may not be what makes you successful at your new one.  Usually moving up or over will require a different set of skills, some that may be completely foreign to you.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Look In The Mirror. What Do You See?

by Kendell Brown, Associate Director of Alumni Career Services
Kelley Graduate Career Services

Kendell Brown
Often alums and clients contact me wanting to initiate a job search but they’re at a loss as to where to start. All that they know is that they want to start now! So to jumpstart their thinking, I’ll have them assess where they are today. Self-evaluation is a great way to inventory who you are, what you have to offer and where you want to go. Here are the six areas I encourage someone to consider and the order to consider them. 

Strengths – What do you do well? 
I encourage people to start here.  It’s typically an easy assessment to make. If you’re stuck or too modest to reflect on your strengths look at old performance reviews. Or think about what you like to do best and/or what comes easiest to you. 

Transferrable skills – What will you leverage?
This is a natural next step from strengths. Transferrable skills are those skills that you have that can be applied across a variety of positions. Meaning if you’ve got a strong drive for results in your current role – you’ll have a strong drive for results in your next one. Typically, there’s a high degree of overlap between transferrable skills and strengths. Although, you should be aware that it’s not necessary for a transferrable skill to be a strength.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Kelley Alumni Receive Free Career Support for Life

by Kendell Brown, Associate Director of Alumni Career Services 
Kelley Graduate Career Services

Kendell Brown
At the Kelley School of Business, the Graduate Career Services staff considers alumni career services to be about lifetime career support. We are here for Kelley alumni at all stages of their careers. On-campus career services teams focus on understanding a student’s values and interests to help with a job search and getting off to a good start. Alumni career services marries that initial knowledge with the knowledge that comes with experience and being “in the real world” to set and achieve career development goals.

For short term planning, almost all of my conversations are about the next career step—a promotion, an external job search or a career pivot (“I’m in finance but I’d like to get into marketing.”).

When it comes to mid-term planning, those discussions are more about having a broad career goal and the moves necessary to achieve it. We talk about expanding an alum’s responsibility scope, enhancing and expanding strengths and building visibility.

Kelley’s alumni career services support is free and unlimited. This is a testament to how much we value our alumni. I’ve talked with my colleagues in other schools' alumni career services offices and they are stunned that I meet with each alum as often as he or she likes and at no cost. In this respect, Kelley is truly singular.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

You've Just Started your New Job. Now What?

by Rebecca Cook, Director of Coaching and Development
Kelley Graduate Career Services

Rebecca Cook
We’ve all been there. You’ve accepted your “dream” job, maybe moved to a new city or new apartment, and now it’s DAY 1. You’re likely nervous and excited all at once. It is a new start for you and you want to do well, impress people and enjoy it. So, how can you make sure that happens?

For both internships and full-time positions, there are several key things to focus on that can help you to be successful.

Promote yourself.
Get to know your role and organization and figure out where you can contribute early. There is likely some low-hanging fruit you can pick, so focus on that to get yourself off to a good start. Ask questions and give your opinion. This is the perfect time to ask about how things work and how you can add value. You are your best cheerleader and others will not always notice all that you are doing.

Understand the company.
How does it make money? What does the organizational structure look like? How does work get done? What is the culture and etiquette? Read as much as you can about your new company, both in company produced documents and outside information. The more knowledge you have about your organization, the better you can contribute and make decisions.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Freak Out, But Be OK

Anoop Bethapudy, MBA'16, and fellow Kelley Full-Time MBA students worked with
the Native American community in California during GLOBASE Native 2016.

by Anoop Bethapudy, MBA’16

The ability to write in a way that inspires and fosters teamwork is a key to great leadership. In collaboration with the Gotham Writers Workshop, students in the Kelley MBA Leadership Academy have produced a series of blog posts to demonstrate these skills.

I was 20 years old. I had no real work experience, no funds, no team and a concert (with some of India’s best artists) to put on. Fast forward seven years and this time I was trying to lead a Global Business and Social Enterprise (GLOBASE) consulting project. Déjà vu! I had no clients, no team and no idea where to start. I remember sitting in a conference room with Rachel Fleishman, our staff coordinator, and all of the previous GLOBASE leaders. They were trying to give me tons of important information but I barely understood any of it. It was like being in the Core again!

As you may have already guessed, I pulled off both these projects (I wouldn’t write about them otherwise). As much as I would like to talk about my sheer brilliance, that is not the point of this blog and perhaps not the reality either. When I was 20 years old, I freaked out, complained and worried, but eventually made it. At 27 and with a Kelley MBA behind me, I freak out but I know it's OK. Ambiguity is just natural.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Congratulations, Class of 2016!

You've come so far in two years. All of the faculty and staff at the Kelley Full-Time MBA Program are so very proud of your tenacity, talent and perseverance. Congratulations, and good luck in all of your future endeavors.

Watch the video to relive our MBA graduation festivities, held May 6, 2016 in Bloomington.

Congratulations, Kelley MBA Class of 2016 from Kelley School of Business on Vimeo.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Bloomington Audit: Daniel Castelline, MBA'17

Daniel Castelline, MBA’17, continues our #BtownAudit series and shares some of his favorite things about Bloomington, Indiana.

Daniel Castelline, MBA'17, and his favorite things.

When I first relocated to Bloomington from Boston, “apprehensive” would have been an appropriate expression of my uncertainty. Southern Indiana doesn’t exactly jump off the map, but the prospect of attending the Kelley Full-Time MBA Program was too alluring to pass up. So I packed my bags, and off to the land of corn I went.

Bloomington has been an ideal place to pursue my MBA. I often refer to the town as a “student’s utopia.” A town that punches above its weight, Bloomington is affordable, convenient, friendly and, oh yeah, did I mention affordable? Because of its intimate size, Bloomington also fosters an environment of community, culture and collaboration; and you’re bound to run into classmates wherever you go.

Here’s a short list of my favorite city slicker things to do in Bloomington:

Andrew Davis
Whenever in need of a little retail-therapy, Andrew Davis is the place of choice for high-end menswear. A premier boutique in Bloomington, Andrew Davis carries an assortment of top-line labels. Drop by to have a beer, peruse their latest collection, and chat with storeowner Andy Mallor, a Kelley alumnus and IU enthusiast.

The Tap
A favorite among the Kelley MBA community, The Tap is a wonderful place to unwind with both classmates and faculty. With more than 300 craft beers, The Tap’s variety is terrific for those with an adventurous pallet. Looking for a recommendation? Start with the Kentucky Bourbon—on tap, of course!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Leaving Hollywood and Its Tyrannical Leaders Behind

by Kyle Hebenstreit, MBA'16

The ability to write in a way that inspires and fosters teamwork is a trait of great leadership. Students in the Kelley MBA Leadership Academy, in collaboration with the Gotham Writers Workshop, have produced a series of blog posts to demonstrate these skills.

Hollywood is a weird place to work. Maybe it’s fictional characters like Ari Gold, Buddy Ackerman or Les Grossman that glorify the notion of an office tyrant, but there’s a celebrated culture of intensely demanding and, frankly, disrespectful bosses. Schadenfreude-fueled tales of misconduct drifted through the halls of talent agencies and studios where I worked.

There’s the time the agent publicly went ballistic on his assistant for not turning all of the Perrier bottles east, as requested. Or the time an executive didn’t like his assistant’s tie, so he took a pair of scissors and cut it in half to make what I’m sure was an important point. Or the time the head of the agency stood on his assistant’s desk, golf club in hand, screaming, “I don’t pay you to think!”

An explanation for why people act this way is for another blog, or cultural anthropology dissertation. What I’m trying to illustrate is that this is where I started my education on what it means to be a manager, a coach, a leader.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Perfect Your On-The-Job Elevator Pitch

by Kendell Brown, Associate Director of Alumni Career Services 

Kendell Brown
By now you are likely familiar with the idea of an elevator pitch. It’s a concise summary of an individual’s brand. I like to think of it as a 30-second commercial highlighting someone’s strengths and leverage-able skills. We talk about elevator pitches all of the time in job search circles. It can be used as an intro at a coffee chat, it’s the foundation for an answer to the “Tell me about yourself” question and if you happen to see a hiring manager on an elevator, well you figure it out.  Bottom line, they are useful and you can use them throughout your job search.

The thing is, once people find a new job, they typically abandon their elevator pitch. The thinking is, “I’ve got a job, why do I still need an elevator pitch?” If you take a more expansive view of an elevator pitch and define it as not just a tool to help me get a job, but instead as a professional executive summary you’ll see that you can use an elevator pitch in a variety of settings.

Entrepreneurs and salespeople often have a pitch ready to go, because they recognize that they cannot let an opportunity pass that could lead to an investment or sale.

But what about you, the cubicle jockey who’s just trying to get ahead—do you need an elevator pitch? Yes! Just because you have a job, doesn’t mean that you are not still trying to sell yourself. Let’s say that you are working on a big project, it’s your No. 1 priority and you feel as if you are really rocking it. Sure your manager and everyone on your team knows how well things are going and they recognize that you’re the reason. But what about your manager’s manager? Or the VP that your director reports to?

Thursday, April 7, 2016

What I Learned as a GLOBASE Participant and Leader

GLOBASE Guatemala 2016

by Kyle DeLapp, MBA’16

Kyle DeLapp
Over the course of my two years in the Kelley Full-Time MBA Program, I've seen many examples of why this is a world-class program. The best example of this is the Global Business and Social Enterprise (GLOBASE) program.

I was fortunate enough to be involved as a participant and as a leader for GLOBASE Guatemala. It was one of the major reasons I came to Kelley and both years I found myself learning more about the world, how business works in different cultures and geographic regions, and how I fit into the mix. Here are a few things I took away from my experiences:

As a participant:

Business is Ubiquitous

Before Kelley, I owned a perfume and fragrance business. Throughout my time there, I built relationships around the world and ran a supply chain spanning from China to the U.S. that ended in Dubai and Moscow. While in Guatemala, I was able to bring much of that expertise to the table and applied it to challenges my client was having importing products from China, Brazil and Spain. Interestingly enough, whether it's being practiced in a New York High rise, a developing nation, or in a volcanic crater, business is pervasive and instilled in every part of our lives. Sure, every business has unique attributes that create different challenges and opportunities, but the core operations span oceans, nations and cultures.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Take the Plunge

by Rhea Mahato, MBA’16

Rhea Mahato
Great leadership includes the ability to write in a way that inspires and fosters teamwork. In collaboration with the Gotham Writers Workshop, students in the Kelley MBA Leadership Academy have produced a series of blog posts to demonstrate these skills.

“Go make us proud,” I heard my mom say as she bid me farewell at the airport. Going to live in a completely new country and pursuing an international MBA was as enthralling as it was intimidating. As my flight landed in Chicago and I looked outside the window, I realized “No going back now.” In India, I thought I was going to live for two years in a small city and I was preparing myself for a hectic two years of academic rigor.

Dream the impossible and plunge in its pursuit. I wanted to be a leader affecting sustainable economic and environmental change in the world. When I was packing to come to the Kelley Full-Time MBA Program, I believed the global exposure and business learning at Kelley would give me the skills to be able to do that after I graduate.

And boy—I was so right. 

My leadership journey started right from the minute I walked in these halls.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

A Few Things Don Draper Taught Me About Business

by Jared Goldsmith, MBA’16

Jared Goldsmith
The ability to inspire and foster teamwork through writing is a trait of great leadership. Students in the Kelley MBA Leadership Academy, in collaboration with the Gotham Writers Workshop, have produced a series of blog posts to demonstrate these skills.

Don Draper was a big part of my life for several months while I powered through eight seasons of Mad Men on Netflix. The drama of his messed-up personal life made me cringe on a regular basis, but I loved watching him at work. Whether he was motivating employees through means of unnecessary force or delivering a solid pitch to potential clients, I loved every minute of it.

Although I could probably write a novel titled, “Things to NOT do like Don Draper," there are some powerful lessons and words that he delivered that have helped me become a better leader and motivator.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

MBA Program Update for Kelley MBA Alumni

By Jonlee Andrews
Faculty Chair of the Kelley Full-Time MBA Program
Kelley School of Business
As a Kelley MBA alum, you are a valuable part of the Full-Time MBA Program and our Kelley network. Your success is our success, and vice versa. Our commitment to your future—and your relationship with Kelley—continues long after you receive your degree.

In this letter, I will tell you about some recent changes to the MBA program. I hope it will give you a new perspective on the program and what’s happening in Bloomington.

My Goals

My goals as chair are to bring in and train the absolute best MBA students; to support them while they’re here at Kelley; and to continue the relationship once they graduate. Our biggest measure of success is the success of our alumni—like you. These goals have resulted in a number of positive changes to the program (and many wonderful traditions remain). I’ll tell you about two of them below.

Friday, March 25, 2016

The Imperative (& Art) of Challenging Assumptions

Scott Mautz
Guest blogger Scott Mautz, MBA’94 is an award-winning keynote speaker and 20+ year veteran of Procter & Gamble, where he currently runs the company's largest, multi-billion dollar business. He is also the author of the book Make It Matter: How Managers Can Motivate by Creating Meaning.

There is a silent, guiding force in your life that has more influence than you can imagine. We instinctively know the impact that friends and family have on how we live our lives. We know how powerful our dreams and aspirations can be for affecting how we carry on. We know how our desire to be healthy can affect our habits or how our romantic interest in someone can affect our behavior. All are forces in our world as seen and felt as a driving rain. 

But do we ever stop to really consider how the assumptions we make shape and mold our actions, behaviors, and our lives? The impact is profound. Our assumptions can derail dreams, stop progress in its tracks, self-impose limits, create self-fulfilling prophecies, distort motives and harm relationships, kill creativity, and lead us down unwanted paths. Some assumptions we make with great awareness, many are on autopilot running our lives and guiding our decisions like a subconscious consigliere. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Are You Networking? You Should Be

Kendell Brown
By  Kendell Brown, Associate Director of Alumni Career Services 

I’m often asked, “What should I be doing now to prepare for my career in the long term?” Time after time, my response is “networking!” Staying in touch with colleagues, friends and classmates to catch them up on what’s happening with you and learn about what’s going on with them is the single best thing you can do for your career.

No matter how you network—email updates, lunch chats, Friday phone calls—touching base keeps you and your skills top of mind with your network. Simply put, networking is the best way to prepare for an advancement opportunity or overcome an unexpected job loss.

Bloomington Audit: Dan Pickering, MBA'16

Dan Pickering
Not only is the Kelley MBA program among the top in the world, so is our location—Bloomington, Indiana. A top college town with an amazing college campus, Bloomington boasts natural beauty, a low cost of living, and is nationally noted as a best place for food, theater, music, and adventure.

In our ongoing #BtownAudit series, Kelley MBA students share some of their favorite things in Bloomington. Enjoy these top picks from Dan Pickering, MBA’16.

Memorial Stadium

Feeling the sun on your face on a crisp fall Saturday watching college football is a great experience, and Indiana Memorial Stadium is as good a spot as any to enjoy this. Don’t get me wrong, Hoosier fans definitely put basketball first, but they also love their football. The tree-lined, grass tailgate fields are full hours before kickoff, the team is on the upswing, and Coach Kevin Wilson has the team playing with record-setting offensive explosiveness that is really fun to watch.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

You! Go First.

Ken Frankel
by Ken Frankel, MBA’16

Great leadership includes the ability to write in a way that inspires and fosters teamwork. In collaboration with the Gotham Writers Workshop, students in the Kelley MBA Leadership Academy have produced a series of blog posts to demonstrate these skills.

The room had gone silent. Sixty people were suspended in a momentary limbo of uncertainty. Eric Johnson, Kelley School’s director of Graduate Career Services and the Leadership Academy, had just initiated a role-playing exercise focused on leadership coaching. Someone had to volunteer to ask the first question.

To us amateur coaches, a coaching discussion felt like trying to have a conversation backwards.

After a long pause with Eric scanning the room, I raised my hand and cautiously strung together some coherent words that loosely resembled a question. While Eric graciously revealed that my question wasn’t the ideal starting point, at least it kicked off the exercise.

I share this scene not to highlight the need for courage, but rather to highlight my extroversion, which leads me to think more after I speak instead of before – for better or for worse. Fortunately, this extroversion has actually been a critical factor in enabling me to successfully transition from being a follower to being someone that can lead, which in this case, meant speaking first.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Bloomington Audit: Cying Wu, MBA’16

Cying Wu
Not only is the Kelley MBA program among the top in the world, so is our location—Bloomington, Indiana. A top college town with an amazing college campus, Bloomington boasts natural beauty, a low cost of living, and is nationally noted as a best place for food, theater, music, and adventure.

In our ongoing #BtownAudit series, Kelley MBA students share some of their favorite things in Bloomington. Enjoy these top picks from Cying Wu, MBA’16.

Red Restaurant

Looking for an authentic Chinese food, Red Restaurant is the place to go. The restaurant does not have a noticeable sign outside. Most people would drive right pass by it. It's a nice cozy restaurant that hides many delicious dishes. The diverse menu at Red Restaurant can definitely satisfy every flavor that you are craving that day – from braised fish with tofu, sautéed greens, and beef with hot and spicy cumin sauce to the hot pot, fried rice, and Asian sweets. If you have not had a chance to travel to China, Red Restaurant would certainly bring out the authentic Chinese vibe through their delicious food and welcoming staff.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Bloomington Audit: Ashley Sprawls, MBA’16

Ashley Sprawls
Not only is the Kelley MBA program among the top in the world, so is our location—Bloomington, Indiana. A top college town with an amazing college campus, Bloomington boasts natural beauty, a low cost of living, and is nationally noted as a best place for food, theater, music, and adventure.

In our ongoing #BtownAudit series, Kelley MBA students share some of their favorite things in Bloomington. Enjoy these top picks from Ashley Sprawls, MBA’16.

Vibe Yoga

I love yoga. It gives me energy, diffuses stress and is one form of exercise I actually really enjoy! Vibe Yoga Studio is my favorite place for yoga in Bloomington. Vibe offers a variety of classes – Vinyasa and Hatha styles, heated and non-heated, Pilates, yoga sculpt and meditation classes. And, the instructors are excellent. With such a busy schedule, I appreciate that the studio offers classes throughout the day (6 a.m. to 9 p.m.) as well as student discounts!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Early-Career Communication Part 3: Leading Without Authority

Kendell Brown
By  Kendell Brown, Associate Director of Graduate Career Services

Articulating a vision and getting people to work toward that vision is formidable for many. Motivating clients, peers and other key stakeholders can be particularly challenging for someone who doesn’t have a title that commands action. However, for you to be personally successful, that success has to come as part of a broader effort. I am going to highlight 4 characteristics that can help you lead despite having no specific authority to do so.

Speak confidently.

If you speak confidently and in a manner that underscores a belief in what you are saying, you are likely to get others to agree. Meaning people want to follow the lead of someone that appears knowledgeable and self-assured. 

It is necessary to note that sometimes people will undermine their own confidence by saying things like “I’m not sure, if you’ll agree” or “Is that in line with what you were thinking?” When you are rallying people and getting them to do what you want - refrain from using qualifying and confirmatory language, it will weaken you and your ideas. Instead focus on speaking with certainty and assurance.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Why Kelley School Is Great Place to Get A Finance MBA

Rebecca Cook
Rebecca Cook, MBA’96, is the Director of Coaching and Development for Kelley School’s Graduate Career Services. Prior to joining IU in 2009, Rebecca Cook was a portfolio manager and senior equity analyst with Voyageur Asset Management. She has over 13 years of investment management and non-profit experience.

Sometimes we spend too much time buried in the weeds and not enough time looking at the big picture.

Deciding to get an MBA is a big decision – I know it was for me when I went through the process. We look at rankings, review various publications, and get advice from friends and family. It is easy to get lost in the minutia of this ranking vs. that ranking, why one says one thing and another says something else, yet we really need to take a step back. What should someone be looking at when they evaluate MBA programs?

Make Your Campus Visit Count

I knew I wanted to get a degree in finance but wasn’t sure where the best place was to do that. I spent time evaluating rankings and getting advice on one school vs. another, and realized that I needed to look at what the school could provide for me throughout my career.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Early-Career Communication Part 2: Getting Buy-in

Kendell Brown
By  Kendell Brown, Associate Director of Graduate Career Services

The ability to influence is essential to leadership. If you can get people to buy into an idea that you set forth, you’re golden. But how can you get people to listen and take you seriously when you are the most junior person on the team? I’m going to guide you through a step-by-step plan you can use to get the buy-in you want.

Developing a thorough plan shows the upfront effort you have already made, in addition to highlighting your commitment to the idea. This course of action should include key steps, decision points and goals. With a clearly articulated action it is easier for people understand your ideas, rationale and goals and thus put forth the effort necessary to achieve your vision.

In business, facts trump theory, so find what you can to support your idea and bolster your plan. Do an analysis, “run the numbers”, create a case study - the idea is to accumulate evidence to show that you’ve done your homework and that your suggestion isn’t a fly by night proposal. Another form of evidence gathering is to become a subject matter expert. Take the time to learn the ins and outs of a process, a client, a tool, etc. – know the good and bad points, become the “go-to” person in the office on that topic. When it’s common knowledge that you know more than anyone on particular subject, your opinions and plans on that subject will carry significant weight.

Let’s say you’ve got a plan to grow the margin on the team’s 3rd largest product line. If you’ve been exclusively managing the product line and you’ve done a thorough analysis of the biggest factors affecting the line’s margin – your idea will get heard because you know the business better than anyone else.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

10 Insights on Inspirational Leadership

Introducing a new guest blogger: Scott Mautz, MBA’94. Mautz is an award winning keynote speaker and 20+ year veteran of Procter & Gamble, where he currently runs the company's largest, multi-billion dollar business. He is also the author of the book Make It Matter: How Managers Can Motivate by Creating Meaning, which has been recently nominated for "Leadership Book of the Year" by Leadership & Management Books. Help Scott advance to the finals by casting your vote for "Make It Matter" by February 15.

Scott Mautz
Start your 2016 leadership campaign with a sense of renewal by considering the following question: Is inspirational leadership the holy grail of leadership?

Well, I define such a pinnacle – the holy grail of leadership – as that which engenders the highest levels of employee engagement and commitment.

So, by that definition, then yes, hands down, inspirational leadership is the summit.

And your employees would agree with me.

A major study examined a half million employees and their assessment of 50,000 leaders in terms of 16 core leadership competencies. The outcome of the study showed that the ability to inspire “is what most powerfully separates the most effective leaders from the average and least-effective leaders. And it is the factor most subordinates identify when asked what they would most like to have in their leader.”1

A pursuit worth the effort - but then you probably didn’t need a study to tell you that. We all know how it feels when we are around an inspirational leader. Inspirational leaders spur the expenditure of discretionary energy. You feel uplifted. The power of possibility surges through you. You might even physically get the tingles as you are reminded and reinvigorated about what could lie ahead and why you are doing what you are. You feel connected to the mission, to the leader, to others, and to your work. You feel worthy, and worthwhile. You aim higher and try harder. You feel compelled to take action.

You can trigger this response.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Latin America: The Land of Opportunity

Clinical Professor of International Business Roberto García introduces the first speaker
at the Doing Business in Latin America conference.
Guillermo Kalen
By Guillermo Kalen, MBA ‘17

Every year, the Institute for Global Organizational Effectiveness (IGOE) and the Latin MBA Association organize an event focused on Latin America. This year we had a conference titled “Doing Business in Latin America," which dealt with the importance of Latin America and the US economy and how to position yourself for a career in the region.

Roberto García, clinical professor of International Business and a member of the Management and Entrepreneurship department at Kelley, opened the event with a very special introduction: Jose Eduardo Claro, a Kelley alum who was a member of the first GLOBASE project, one in which García himself participated, has become a successful program within the business school that helps Kelley form and strengthen its relationships around the world.

Claro, a current Embraco/Whirlpool manager in Brazil, focused his presentation on solving two main questions: What is the importance of Latin America for corporate America? Will Latin American remain important for the US? Jose was able to not only to demonstrate the impact of Latin America on the U.S. economy, but also the opportunities American businesses have in the region through a presentation filled with useful and relevant statistics. For example, Walmart in the U.S. has one store for every 65,000 people, while Latin America only has one store for every 320,000 people. Another great example was Netflix. It has a current household penetration of 36% in the U.S., but only 0.9% in Latin America. He ended his presentation by sharing that there are some roadblocks in the region, but there is also opportunities.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Everything I Needed to Get through My MBA, I Learned from Yoga

Jordan Leopold
By Jordan Leopold, MBA'16

I started mentoring a group of first year students through the leadership academy as a part of my growth and development as I continue on my MBA journey. Last week in one of my coaching meetings, I caught myself saying, “Take inventory of yourself and what you need and let go of what you don’t”.  I realized that I was reciting the words of my yoga instructor from the particularly steamy class I had taken the night before. Later on when reflecting back, I came to the realization that so much of what got me through the first year of my MBA, I learned on a 71”x 24” rubber mat.

I have been practicing yoga now for about three years and I am still terrible at it.  As a former college athlete, I do not take kindly to being bad at things. Despite my lack of headstands, splits or generally any cool trick, I have gained so much from developing a consistent practice and have carried those lessons off my mat and into the halls of the Kelley School of Business.

Here are a few of the things I’ve learned:

Lesson 1 - Leave Your Ego at the Door

Did I mention I’m really bad at yoga?  When learning more advanced poses, there is a high risk of toppling over in a grand fashion time after time.  But one of those times when you flail yourself up into one of the seemingly impossible positions, you won’t fall and all of those other times when you crumpled into a sweaty heap will be forgotten.  Kelley is very much the same experience.  I failed a lot in my first year.  I bombed exams.  I bombed interviews. I applied for many jobs I didn’t get. However, I also took first prize in a national case competition and scored internship offers from my dream companies.  At Kelley, we are encouraged to take risks and not all of those risks work out. But the way this community celebrates our successes and lifts us up from our disappointments makes it that much easier to jump again.

Why Rocky Never Gets Old

Nicolette Michele Johnson
by Nicolette Michele Johnson, Associate Director of Kelley School's Graduate Career Services

I was introduced to Ryan Coogler, the twenty-something creator and director of Creed, the seventh film in the Rocky series, while watching The Daily Show with Trevor Noah last weekend (I often record the show and watch a week’s worth in one sitting.)

Coogler told Noah that he was focusing on football in college when his college writing instructor called his dorm room, asking him to stop by her office, which was nearby. Coogler said that he thought that he had done something wrong or would be told something bad.

However, when he arrived and to his surprise, his instructor complimented his writing ability and encouraged him to continue to writing.

With that seemingly small piece of encouragement, he continued to write and later attended USC’s School of Cinematic Arts before directing his first feature film Fruitvale Station, a Sundance Film Festival winner, and the subsequent Creed film for which Sylvester Stallone just won a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor.

I’m always amazed at how simple words of encouragement can do so much to help people -- move forward or bask in greatness right then and there. A simple positive comment can spark a special something in someone for only a few minutes or perhaps a lifetime, if the person really lets it sink in.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Early-Career Communication Part 1: Expressing Dissent

Kendell Brown
By  Kendell Brown, Associate Director of Graduate Career Services

How can you express dissent without sounding like a troublemaker? The key is to respectfully and intelligently highlight your thoughts and opinions without letting your emotions get in the way. Here are several strategies you can utilize. Each strategy works best in a particular scenario. So think through the situation you find yourself in and choose the option that is best.

Option 1 – Ask questions.

You can pose questions for the team to consider. Questions like – “Did anyone consider how the new pricing system would impact our smaller customers?” or “What about thinking through the likelihood that Legal will agree to those revised contract terms?” This way you are not seen as the one trying to kill an idea, instead you are viewed as someone who is thinking two-steps ahead of everyone else. When dissent is packaged this way, you are actually seen as being organizationally savvy enough to foresee potential roadblocks. Your comments may be construed as a “head’s up” versus negativity.

Option 2 – Highlight contra-indicative information.

Stating key facts is an alternative for highlighting a disagreement without fully owning it. A statement such as “Decreasing the timeline by 3 weeks will cause us to be 25% over budget.” A well-documented fact cannot be argued. In this situation, you are not seen as rabble rousing, instead you’ll be perceived as knowledgeable and informed. This is best for those times when you’re new to the team or you work in a highly consensus-building organization.