Thursday, September 13, 2018

Top 3 Things I Learned During My First Year of B-School

Chai Saeyang
MBA'19

Everyone tells you that the two years of b-school will go by quick, but you never realize how quickly until it's over. Now, I am officially a second-year MBA student. It was like I blinked and all the late-night study sessions, interview prep, and international trips flashed before my eyes. I had a wonderful first year, and I learned a lot too. Here are the top 3 things that I took away from my first year of b-school—I hope they can help others navigate their MBA journey:

Don't be afraid to take risks. This is the best time to take any risk. Is there a company you always wanted to pursue? Did you ever want to open your own business? Is there a country that you always wanted to see? In the past year, I have been to 5 different countries on 3 different continents. If I can do it on an MBA budget, you can too! The possibilities are endless, and it can be a little overwhelming at times. Yet, Kelley has all the resources you need and there is always a second-year student to go to for advice. You will never get this time back, so don't be afraid—go for it!

Keep your eyes on your own yoga mat. No matter how fun that headstand looks in yoga class, I remember to keep my eyes on my own mat and do what's right for me. This applies perfectly to business school as well. It is so easy to compare yourself to your friends and peers. However, I found myself burned out. I was overwhelmed and kept changing my mind on where I wanted to recruit. In the end, I had to remember what I had written down as important to me during Me, Inc. Once I realigned what I wanted to do, the stress melted away and I was able to reestablish confidence in myself and my goals.

You're stronger than you think. For every "Yes" that you hear, you will hear a lot more "No's." In the beginning, I didn't get the internship with the company that I really wanted. I was stressed and felt down. However, with the help of my friends and the faculty at Kelley, I got back on track. They helped me realize that there were more options out there and helped me prepare for interviews. I ended up having a great internship experience at Nestle. You will need to put in the work and everything happens for a reason.

It's hard to believe that my internship is already over. I've packed my bags and flew back to Bloomington. I've never been so excited to be a broke college student again! Last year, I made lifelong friendships and now that we're all back in Bloomington, it feels like we never left. I am so proud to be a Kelley.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

5 Tips to Start Business School Off Right

Stephanie Jordan
MBA'19

Having made it through one year of business school and almost a full 12-week internship, I have definitely learned and grown a lot since I stepped foot into Kelley last July. Hindsight is 20/20, but if I could look back and do it all over again there are a few things I wish I had known from the very beginning:

Going back to school is tough. Attending lectures, late-night study sessions-take a little getting used to. Pick a study style that works for you early. Maybe you like to study in big groups. Maybe you don't. There's not a one-size-fits-all approach to studying; it's going to take some trial and error to find what works for you. Don't be worried when you don't annihilate your first exam…or third. You may have been out of the classroom for a while, so be easy on yourself.

Rest assured though, there will come a time in your internship when you're combing through data and something from class will click in your brain and help you solve the problem. That's when you'll realize it was all worth it.

Leverage your new friendships. In your first couple of weeks of school, you are going to meet more people than you probably have in the last year. These people are here to learn too, but they're also here to be your support system and sounding board. Take advantage of getting to know your classmates out of the classroom. It can be tempting during the Core to spend all your hours studying and networking, but don't forget that these new friends are going to be your greatest allies long after the MBA program is over—if you let them.

Try everything you can. You are going to have one million opportunities to try anything and everything you've ever dreamed of at Kelley. This sounds like a gross over-exaggeration, but I promise you, it isn't. There will be different cultural celebrations, speakers, workshops, parties, travel opportunities, and more. Many will require you to get out of your comfort zone, but you won't regret doing so. It's going to seem like a lot coupled with your workload and recruiting, but you will never forget these experiences and the balancing act will be worth it.

Use your background to your advantage. I studied vocal performance in my undergrad-this meant that coming into Kelley I felt woefully underprepared. Sure, I had taken the GMAT just like everyone else and even invested in some extra business classes to fully prep for this adventure. However, there was always that voice in the back of my mind that told me I had no right to be there. It wasn't until I did some self-reflection that I realized my unusual background was actually my greatest asset at Kelley. Whether you studied business in undergrad, engineering, or classical music—when you really hone in on what makes your background unique to you—that is what is going to stand out in recruiting and in the classroom.

Call your mom. Or your dad. Or your siblings. Or your best friend. This is going to be a crazy time in your life. Kelley and Bloomington are going to suck you in as soon as you move in, but don't forget to keep up with the people who got you here. Chances are they're pretty proud of you for getting this far and want to hear about your experiences. They also offer a great outside perspective when you have to make tough decisions or when you want an unbiased opinion of whether or not you sound like a robot saying your "Tell Me About Yourself" statement for the 100th time.

Keep these tips in mind as you begin your MBA career. But more importantly, know that you'll develop and find your own way as you experience your first year as a Kelley MBA.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Lessons from the Field: My Top 5 from Internship Week 5

Tyler Yoder
MBA'19

Year 1 is in the books and your mind has finally decompressed during your brief summer break. You said your goodbyes to classmates-now some of your closest friends-and finally re-enter the world of the employed, at least for the summer. By this point, you're used to being flung into the unknown. How different could a new internship really be?

I walked through the doors for Day 1 at 3M and felt a healthy balance of confidence and anxiety. I had binders full of frameworks and several consulting projects under my belt. I had also fallen on my face several times-oh, that Effective Communication class-and knew that I still had a long way to go.

If the focus of MBA classes is equipping, the internship is the proving ground where the rubber meets the road. No more case studies. No more templates or projects nicely teed up. This is the real world with ambiguous projects and real opportunities to serve your clients and business partners.

One month into my internship, I decided to take a step back and ask myself, "If you could talk to your pre-internship self, what advice would you give?"

Here is my answer-my Top 5 by Internship Week 5.

1. It's OK to feel overwhelmed…it's a lot of "new". My first week was a whirlwind, my mind completely fried by the end of every day. I felt pressure to perform (for my own sake and for the reputation of Kelley and my 3M team), but to sustain that for a summer felt almost impossible. Then I remembered, "I've had a lot of 'new' in this week: new company, new city, new job function, new industry, new apartment, new traffic (yes, rush hour in the Twin Cities is worse than Bloomington). It's normal to feel overwhelmed." That was one of the most freeing reminders. Yes, the internship will fly by, but allow yourself time to acclimate to a new routine.

2. What question am I trying to answer? I ask myself this question multiple times every day. Whether you are scoping a project, immersing yourself in research, or building a presentation, always go back to the core of the project and what you are trying to accomplish. This will help you prioritize your work and eliminate unnecessary tasks.

3. Every day counts. A Kelley alum advised me to write down my weekly project and personal goals every Monday. There is an important balance here. They must move your project forward to the next milestone, but they must be feasible to complete by Friday. As a result, you will have to eliminate excess tasks and meetings to center on the core of your project and avoid wasting time. You will have days that wander off task; it's inevitable. However, by regularly refocusing on the core of the project ("What question am I trying to answer?") and having your weekly list of goals, you can quickly correct your trajectory rather than losing an entire week.

4. Remember, you're a human being…and they are, too. Take care of yourself. Go home at a reasonable time, clear your mind, do something fun and active, and get sleep. You NEED a break. If you don't, you will inevitably get sick, which you can't afford because "Every day counts." And remember, your coworkers are humans, too. Find out what your coworkers value and ask them about it. Whether it's their 15-month-old child, the World Cup, or the latest Star Wars movie, empathize with those around you and learn about what they value.

5. Don't forget where you came from. I sometimes try to bury Corporate Finance and Excel background in the past. But just today, that skill set was extremely relevant for one of my Marketing projects. Don't discount your background and everything you've learned up to this point, whether as a teacher or a sales rep, an opera singer or an analyst, a professional athlete or a CPA…you bring so much to the table, and that perspective is sometimes exactly what your employer needs.

It is only a matter of weeks before I return to Bloomington, but I know there are still countless lessons to learn and opportunities to apply my Top 5 list. I am excited to lean in and see what the last half of my internship has to offer.



Best of luck this summer, Class of 2019! Get out there and crush it! Let's show the world what we're made of!

Monday, June 18, 2018

Last exam completed, first year done… now what?

Mike Strus
MBA'19

Last exam completed, first year done… now what? The answer to this is straightforward - celebrate!  While this is probably the most obvious answer, the bigger question came next-how was I going to spend my few weeks before my internship started?  I wanted to make the most of it because my next break lasting this long might not come until retirement.

Catching up
The time commitment required to succeed during my first year at the Kelley MBA program-at times-was quite overwhelming.  I made sure to prioritize school which lead to some extracurriculars being put on the backburner. Catching up, for me, took on various forms:

  • Family, Friends, and Former Colleagues - Balancing school with keeping in touch with family, friends, and former colleagues was a difficult task for me.  I wanted to make sure I caught up and connected with those important to me.  Building a network of supporters is great but maintaining these relationships is paramount.  
  • Fitness - Running is a way for me to clear my head, catch up on the world via podcasts, and get a good workout in to stay fit.  Unfortunately, I slacked off for part of the year but stayed in decent enough shape to run the largest half marathon in the US, the OneAmerica Mini Marathon. 
  • TV and Reading - The last few weeks gave me the time to kick back and relax with some of my favorite shows:  Billions, Westworld, and Silicon Valley (all highly recommended).  I've also been able to catch almost every NBA playoff game-especially those on the west coast that were normally past my bedtime during the school year.  My one reading recommendation comes from a book I finished last week, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown. 
  • Activities - I made room for fun-enjoying a few rounds of golf at Cascades, attending the Indycar Grand Prix practice round, and spending a weekend in Atlanta to see the new Mercedes Benz Dome and an Atlanta United soccer match.

Internship Preparation
The last few weeks have also given me a time to do a real deep dive for my internship this summer at athenahealth in Boston.  Thanks to feedback and recommendations from various professors, and staff, of the Kelley Business School, I focused my time on a few things:

  • Expectations - What do I want to get out of the internship? How do I get there?
  • Company Profile - What is the company's latest news and financial information?
  • Competitors - Who are they and how do they differentiate themselves?
  • Industry News - Is there anything going on from a political or policy perspective that might impact the business?
  • Boston - How do I get the best experience out of the city?

As my time off winds down, there is one thing left that I have yet to do…time to start packing.

Monday, May 21, 2018

End of an Era: Celebrating 30 Years with Allyn Curry


Over the past month, we have celebrated Allyn Curry in his upcoming retirement. Allyn Curry has been a staple in the Kelley School of Business for 30 years by creating and enhancing countless diversity initiatives at Kelley. His commitment to The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management, its alumni, and current students go unmatched and we are honored to have had the opportunity to have him. You can view Allyn's montage video here.

In early April, we shared with the Consortium Alumni and current students how much it would mean to Allyn to honor his retirement by making a gift to the Allyn Curry MBA Fellowship Fund. This Fellowship supports underrepresented MBA students who demonstrate a financial need and remain in good academic standing.

Because of your generosity, we have made great strides in supporting our underrepresented students. Here are some stats about Allyn’s Fellowship Fund.

  • Number of donors since account opened: 93
  • Number of total gifts since account opened: 109 (some donors have made more than one gift)
  • Total dollars raised/pledged in April 2018: $2,800
  • Since inception, total dollars raised: $50,988.44

Join us in continuing Allyn’s legacy with the Kelley School by making a gift today.

If you would like to reach out to Allyn and thank him for all he’s done for the Consortium and the Kelley School of Business these past 30 years, his contact information is below.

Allyn Curry
Email: curryao@indiana.edu
Phone: 812-322-5271

The Indiana University Foundation solicits tax-deductible private contributions for the benefit of Indiana University and is registered to solicit charitable contributions in all states requiring registration. For our full disclosure statement, see go.iu.edu/89n.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Life with a Kelley Canine


Stephen Schenk, MBA'19

Last Valentine's Day, I received something I had been wanting for years… the go-ahead from my wife to get a puppy. The excitement of finding the right breed and reserving the pick of a future litter came with some reservations. I would soon be starting my first year at Kelley and had no idea what life would be like with a postgraduate pup. Now, I can look back on my first year at Kelley and provide the following guidance on bringing a dog to Bloomington:

Outsource the walking
Our new dog's first month in Bloomington was right in the middle of finals and internship recruiting season, and it was difficult to get home regularly for walks. I suggest utilizing one of the many dog-walking services in Bloomington. Rover and Wag! are smartphone apps which allowed us to quickly and easily get a trustworthy dog walker (ours ended up being an IU student herself). Daycare is also available near campus. We take Grizzly to BloomingPaws a few times a week to get his puppy energy out and to allow for extended time on campus for classes and meetings. The costs for these services range from $10-$15 for a walker and only a few bucks more for a full day at daycare. The cost is well worth the freedom and peace of mind.

Take Advantage of Campus
IU is known for having one of the most beautiful campuses in the US. One of the great things about having a dog in Bloomington is the excuse to explore outside the walls of Kelley. Our favorite weekend route starts with a coffee near the famous Sample Gates and takes us through Dunn's Woods. This area of campus is great in any season and bringing the pup is a sure-fire way to make new friends.

Go Out on the Town
Bloomington is one of the most dog-friendly places you'll find. We never miss a chance to let Grizz tag along to our favorite lunch and dinner spots. Most every restaurant with outdoor seating welcome dogs throughout the day. Upland is one of our favorites because of the large patio and the feeling that we are not alone when we see several other dogs bathing in the sun. BringFido and VisitBloomington are great resources for dog-friendly establishments in the area.


Did Someone Say "Playdate?"
Networking is key here at Kelley. We found that there are plenty of Kelley puppers to connect with here in Bloomington. Super Bowl parties, walks on the B-Line Trail or getting muddy at Ferguson Dog Park or Karst Dog Park with Sunny have been a great opportunity for Grizzly to expand his pawfessional network. Dog puns, check.

Life at Kelley is much more than classes, assignments, networking, meetings, recruiting, or Hoosier basketball games. Bloomington offers a variety of opportunities for any type of lifestyle - including owning a dog.