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.
I visited all of the schools that I applied to (as well as a few that I didn’t), which was really the best way to see a program. My future classmates were going to be the people that I stayed connected to for my career. I met with students, staff and professors, sat in on a class, reviewed the alumni presence and wandered around the campus. I also met with the career counselors to see how the school could really help me to be successful.
I found that the culture of a program and the ability of that program to help me define who I wanted to be and then help me get there were THE most important things.
Seek Key Indicators for A Successful Finance Career
Kelley really fit everything I was looking for, as it has for countless other MBAs since I graduated:
- The finance faculty is amazing and does a great job of teaching you both the academic side and the experiential side of learning.
- The career services team works with you on an individualized basis to help you figure out what companies you are interested in and helps to connect you with companies and key alumni in the finance industry.
- Top firms consistently recruit Kelley MBAs because of their knowledge, humility and adaptability.
- Your academy directors help to expand your experiential learning through projects, visiting companies and alumni presentations, so you are ready on “day one” for that internship.
- KelleySchool is recognized as a leading school where MBA graduates can earn $100k-plus in finance.