Monday, November 22, 2010

Kelley Direct 2nd In-Residence

I attended my second Kelley Direct in-residence in August. It was great to be back on the beautiful Indiana University campus in Bloomington. The in-residence experiences are an important part of the distance MBA program experience because it allows us to interact with our professors and fellow students face to face.

It was fun to see some of my friends from the first in-residence. The last time we were together, we were new to the program. Now we are seasoned veterans.

The professors are all excellent. Our focus each day was on a specific topic related to managing human resources. Here I am with each of the professors. Above from top left:

  • Tatiana Kolovou: Communicating in the Workplace

  • Idalene Kesner: Linking Your HR Strategy to Your Firm’s Corporate & Business Strategy

  • John Wisneski: Maximizing the Value of Consultants

  • Sheri Fella: Managing Human Resources in a Global Environment

  • Steve Whiting: Human Resource Selection

We were assigned a team with whom we worked all week. It’s always fun to work with different people and learn from their diverse backgrounds and experiences.

The highlight of the week for me was the discussion on linking our HR strategy to our firm’s business strategy. We had to analyze a case write up about Intradevco, a Peruvian consumer products company. The lecture was led by Professor Kesner, who wrote the case and is an excellent teacher.

After our class discussion on the case, Professor Kesner introduced Luciano Arosemena, whose father runs Intradevco. Luciano had worked at Intradevco and helped Professor Kesner write the case. Hearing him give a first-hand account of how the company dealt with the challenges in the case took the analysis to a whole new level.

The first in-residence week was pretty intense. We didn't have a lot of free time for socializing. They gave us more time to network at the 2nd in-residence. We got to enjoy fine cuisine from some of the local restaurants, view priceless works of art at the art museum, and unwind at Nick's.

It was a great week. The next time I'll be in Bloomington will be for my graduation next year.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

KD-powered career upgrade

It didn't occur to me as it was going on, but in hindsight it's startling how KD's resources propelled me all the way through a career change I would've never thought possible prior to entering the program: 1. Got a great education through the Kelley Direct program. I had no intention to change careers when I began my studies, but as I developed more strategic sensibilities it occurred to me that my job may not be taking me where I wanted to go. 2. Used the IUAA's career services resources for introspective self-assessments and exploratory research into new careers and industries. 3. Took advantage of the complimentary “career strategy tune-up” when Kelley Graduate Career Services was swinging through my town to get constructive input, update my resume and craft a plan. 4. A week after I completed my studies, I saw an intriguing job opportunity on Kelley’s MBA Focus job board. 5. Leveraged the alumni network to connect with the target company. I also utilized IUAA career services' online resources for interview prep & negotiation advice. 6. 3 months later, I’m starting my dream job - and with a 40% salary increase! Thank you, KD!

Name: Jake Tamarkin
City: Brooklyn
State: NY

Monday, November 15, 2010

The True Power of a Kelley MBA

What’s up KD!! I hope that this blog finds you well. Life is super hectic right now with work and school, so this blog is a welcome mind relief.

This month’s blog is going to be a little different than normal. I had a great experience recently that taught me the true power and prestige of a Kelley MBA, so I figured that I would share, especially for those of you who are thinking about joining the KD program.

As a point of honesty, I should admit, I have never really been about rankings. I do not understand them. I know they are important, but for me, it has never really been that important. And while my sister went to an Ivy League university, I still never really got what it meant to be at a prestigious institution. I blame this on being an engineer at heart. It might not be an accurate place to lay blame, but it works for me. I have always been more interested in how, how well, and if something worked, more than what is looked like while it worked. Therefore, when it comes to rankings, I had always thought that as long as I went to a moderately respected institution, it would be fine. Well, at least I did until last Friday.

I have recently decided to pursue a Ph.D in Marketing. This is in large part due to my experience in the KD program, and the awesome experience that I had in Dr. Sexton’s Strategic Marketing Management class. I happen to work at an institution that grants Ph.Ds in Marketing, and my current institution provides free tuition for employees as a benefit. After doing a little preliminary research, I was strongly interested in the Ph.D program here, especially since you can go part time, which is not always allowed in Ph.D programs across the country.

This leads us to my life changing meeting this past Friday. I met with the Ph.D. admissions chair for the Marketing department to get more information on the program. During a great meeting, I shared that I was working to finish my MBA at the Kelley School of Business, and the complete direction of the conversation changed. The professor began to recruiting me to join the program, potentially for this coming fall, assuming I am able to finish my MBA by then. After walking into the conversation hoping to be admitted, I walked out of his office believing that due to the strength of my Kelley MBA, I would potentially able to start a Ph.D. program much earlier than ever imagined.

So, for those of you who were like me, and questioned what it meant to be “Kelley Kid”, or what the prestige of the program really meant, I hope this story helps you understand – there is some influence in this Kelley brand. And for those of you potential students who are reading this blog, and questioning if the prestige is real – take it from me – it’s real. And it has the potential to change your career and your life.

Well, I hope that’s helpful KD! Until next time, I’ll catch you later.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Women In Business

For the women at Kelley (and men too, if they want to be involved), the National Association of Women MBAs (NAWMBA) is our national affiliation. We have a student chapter, and participation in this group has been a highlight of my MBA experience. Recently I returned from the annual NAWMBA Conference in Louisville, KY, and I have a few reflections that I would like to share:

Connections and community – Through NAWMBA, I have built relationships with MBA students and professionals from all over the country. These relationships go beyond simple networking or connections to a next job. I have become a part of a community, one that is growing and gaining momentum. One of my most memorable conversations from the weekend was with Jessica Berger, NAWMBA National Student Director. She gave me some great advice on a few things, and when I thanked her for the insights, she simply responded with, “Jen, you don’t need to thank me. That is why we are here.” Yes, NAWMBA is indeed a strong community and one that I am so proud to be a part of. Navigating the MBA life and figuring out a career path can be a bit daunting, but I know there is an amazing support system just a call or an email away.

Exposure to inspirational business leaders - The quality of speakers that NAWMBA brings to its events is incredible. I've never left a session disappointed (and I've been to quite a few now). This year, we got to hear from Lynn Tilton, and in 6" stilettos and “liberal” dress, she may challenge everything you think Corporate America should look like, but, wow, can this woman deliver! A banquet room packed full of students and professionals was dead silent as she spoke...everyone was hanging onto every word. And here is one of my favorite points - the further away you get from your passion and natural talents, the greater decrease you will see in your chance for success - in essence, stay true to yourself…a simple message that is too easily forgotten.

Opportunities to give back – Embodying the spirit of women empowering women, NAWMBA has found a meaningful way to reach an underserved population. Through the Shideezhi Project, approximately 30 MBA students from around the country mentor high school girls living on the Navajo Reservation. And the value of this new initiative has not gone unnoticed. At the conference, Sam’s Club/Walmart awarded scholarships to 5 mentors to pay for program-related travel costs, including a trip to the Reservation. The energy around this program and the support we received was incredible!

While my involvement in this group has certainly made my already hectic life a little busier, the professional and personal growth, the fun, and the new friendships are well worth the few missed hours of sleep!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Importance of Giving Thanks!

What’s up KD! I hope this blog finds you well. Things are picking up at work and with school, but the pace is manageable.

Today’s blog is actually about a topic that we don’t always get to – saying thanks. It’s funny, I have been meaning to write this blog for a couple of weeks, but much like giving thanks in general, we run out of time – and it gets put on the back burner. In fact, I want to thank a friend (Stacy Oliver) for the idea.

Well, as you take on this experience, there are several other people who are also along for the ride with you. If you have family, or friends, or a job, then you definitely know the strain on them that any academic program can cause. Moreover, while we all know that things will be better at the end, we often forget to say thanks for all of the people that are involved in making the production of getting an MBA happen. Moreover, this doesn’t even begin to include the tons of KD staffers, who are rooting for each of us to do well in our experiences, but often fade into the background over the course of our experience.

Well, for all of those people – I am saying thank you. And since this list is nowhere near comprehensive, I’m also going to say thank you right now to anyone that isn’t on it. But, here are a few people that I need to say thank you to.

Stephenie, my wife – Honey, thank you for taking the kids when I need to study, or do a conference call, and/or take a test or anything else. Thank you for being willing to enjoy this journey with me - about my crazy stories about the Economy, my Business Simulation, Six Sigma, and/or any of the other crazy things that I often love to talk about with the program. But, mostly, thank you for your support. I couldn’t have done this without you.

Erin Kilbride-Vincent – Thank you for your encouragement, information, and help with the program. I can honestly say that without your encouragement, I might not have done the things I needed in order to be in the program. You have made a difference in my life – thank you.

Lindsey Spoonmore – Thank you for your energy and welcoming attitude. I am amazed at times at the number of people that come through the conference center for trainings and in-residences. If you are half as welcoming to them as you were to our group, I’m sure that they are leaving more connected to one another and KD. Thank you.

Sheri Fella – Thank you for your passion, IU spirit, and energy. I, often, will reflect on my experience during the In-Residence program, and find myself humming the IU fight song. Between your great stories, informative classes, and willingness to challenge us, you gave us all the confidence and passion for the KD program. Thank you, and I look forward to our reunion in the Spring.

Lisa Richey-Burgis – Thank you for your patience. I seem to call with the most random requests, at the most random times, and you have always treated me with elegance and grace – even when I haven’t always deserved it. I mean, I registered, withdrew, registered, and withdrew from the same class all within a 2 day period, and you were nothing but helpful and accommodating. Thank you.

Sherry Woosley – Thank you for your confidence in me, when I didn’t have it in myself. In addition, it was your idea for me to start this MBA journey, and I, now, am seriously considering getting a Ph.D. in the field. Thank you for getting me started, and being the best mentor I could ask for.

My Co Workers – I have worked at 2 institutions since I started the program – Indiana University, and now, Southern Illinois University. I want to thank my colleagues, my supervisors, my direct reports, and my students. You all have been bored to tears with stories that start with, “I’m in this MBA program, and …”, and all the while, you have been patient with me, as I learn – the material and about myself in the process. Thank you for your support, your willingness to deal with my kooky ideas, and your encouragement. I don’t say it enough, but it means the world to me.

My Fellow KD Classmates – Since I began the KD experience a year ago, I have had tons of group projects, partners, study buddies, etc. And throughout all of my experiences, I have never been disappointed. We all come from different backgrounds, work and learning experiences, have different goals for the program, and yet – you all have been the most amazing group of academic colleagues I have ever experienced. Thank you for allowing me to learn with and from each of you. I hope that I have been able to give you a small piece of the learning that you have given me.

I hope this blog encourages you to thank those in your life that are right there along for the ride with you in this KD program.

Well, I hope that’s helpful KD! Until next time, I’ll catch you later.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Getting Easier...

In my blog intro, I promised to reflect on the life of an MBA student and full-time working professional. I think I'm past due for a "how to balance it all"-specific post.

I still remember my first term, and to be completely honest, it was pretty overwhelming. Getting used to new teachers, new subject matter, and a new way of learning - all while keeping up with the day-to-day - was certainly not an easy feat. To make it all work and to push down the feeling of "what have I gotten myself into?!?", I started out with a very disciplined approach. I looked at my work for the entire week and used a planner to record what I wanted to accomplish each day. This tactic of breaking things down into smaller chunks worked very well for me. After a few weeks, I got into a groove and began to see that merging a student and professional life together was indeed very possible.

Now, it is about 1.5 years later, and I am only 4 classes away from completing my MBA and another 4 away from getting my MSSM. I can't pinpoint the exact moment, but somewhere along the way, perhaps in my 2nd term, everything just started to fit together. With each class, it became easier, more natural to find the time to get my assignments done to a high standard while still fitting in socializing time and sleep. Class no longer feels like this extra thing that I have to squeeze in; rather, it is simply a part of my day. With that said, I do believe that strong organization and discipline have remained key components to my success.

In addition, I found tools and techniques that worked well for me after a little bit of trial and error. I still use a planner to record all assignment due dates for the entire term during the first week of class. This allows me to see what I'm up against for the next 3 months and even gives me the chance to plan some small trips and other social activities. As far as actually tackling the assignments, I like to get my reading in during my lunch break and do some work each night so I have free time during the weekend. However, I know that other students prefer to do the bulk of their work over the weekends, treating Saturday and/or Sunday like a full workday. The takeaway is that there is definitely more than one way to be successful in this program; it is in the hands of each individual to find the balance that works for his/her lifestyle and priorities.

Monday, September 13, 2010

An introduction and 1st Post

Hi, this is my first post so I thought it would be best to introduce myself. My name is Leonardo Kim, but you can call me Lenny. I am currently an owner of two small international grocery stores in Bloomington. The first store is the Oriental International Mart and the second store is the Olive Market. The first store mostly sells Arabic products. The second sells mainly Indian and Mexican products. Each store consists between 5 to 8 employees, depending on season and sales, and both are open 7 days a week. My main goal in earning an MBA is to gain strong business knowledge and tools to help build my two stores. My goal is to build my two stores not as a chain or as a supermarket but rather both as unique small specialty stores.

My background, aka other life, was in classical music. I studied at the Jacob School of Music at Indiana University in which I earned a Bachelor's in Music in violin, piano, and composition. Some of my music accomplishments was performing at the La Roque Music Festival in the South of France and studying with Jacque Israelievitch, former Concert Master of the Montreal Symphony in Canada.

My main hobbies are playing the violin, piano, and composing. I also teach violin and piano when time permits. Teaching is something I really enjoy! Other hobbies are cooking, exercising, and traveling. I have traveled several times to Japan, Korea, China, and HK.

My stress relief hobbies, which I use quite often, consist of writing in my diary, dining at nice restaurants, watching Anime, and most importantly playing games on a Playstation (i.e. Splinter Cell and Metal Gear) or a computer (i.e. Starcraft and Warcraft).

I am currently starting my 2nd year at Kelley. I cannot believe a whole year has gone by. It feels like I just started by first In-Residence. By the way, the second In-Residence is a lot less stressful than the first. For you 1st year students, you can always post questions or comments about challenges you are facing in balancing school, work, and some time for family. I will try to provide some valuable insight from my KD experience.

I have found my KD experience to be wonderful so far!!! The faculty are experts in their fields, the students are intelligent and accomplished, and the staff really try to help. Everyone and I mean everyone at Kelley wants you to succeed and wants to be there to help out in any way possible during your long challenging journey in earning an MBA. If you are considering an online program, I strongly recommend you look into Kelley Direct!!!!!

Looking forward to writing more posts!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Our Greatest Fear

What’s up KD? I hope this blog finds you well. Life is going well, life is finally starting to calm down a little – well, at least the non-academic portion. Today is the first day of school for the KD program for the fall semester; and while I am not getting on a yellow school bus, all of the same emotions are there.

Today’s blog is actually going to deal with one of the emotions that you feel during the first day of school – fear.

One of my favorite quotes is the following quote by Nelson Mandela, by way of Marianne Williamson:

Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate,

but that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light, not our darkness that frightens us.

We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant,

gorgeous, handsome, talented and fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?

You are a child of God.

Your playing small does not serve the world.

There is nothing enlightened about shrinking

so that other people won't feel insecure around you.

We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us.

It is not just in some; it is in everyone.

And, as we let our own light shine,

we consciously give other people permission to do the same.

As we are liberated from our fear,

our presence automatically liberates others.

The reason that I love this quote is because it deals with one of the major issues for people – fear of a new situation. With the start of a new school year, especially if you are coming back to school after being away for a while, it is easy to fear this upcoming semester. Furthermore, during the course of the year, as your academics get more challenging, you may begin to doubt whether or not you can actually complete the coursework.

It is during these times that I encourage you to review this poem. The Kelley Direct program only admits the best of the best applicants from all over the world. Moreover, they would not have admitted you if they did not believe that you could complete the assignments and the work.

It is also during these times that I would encourage you to lean on those people within your support network – your family, friends, fellow classmates, etc. They may not understand your respective challenges, but hopefully their belief in you will fuel your to move forward. And for those of you without that support network, you can lean on me. While I may not know you personally, as a fellow KD student, I believe in and support you. You can make it through this tough time. You can and will do great things.

Well, I hope that’s helpful and uplifting KD! Until next time, I’ll catch you later.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Kelley Direct In-Residence Experience

I'm in the airport waiting to fly back to Indiana for my second Kelley Direct In-Residence. I can't believe it has been a year since I was on the Indiana University campus for my first in-residence. My first year in the Kelley Direct MBA program has gone by fast. It has been challenging, inspiring, rewarding, and fun. As I reflect on all my experiences from my first year, I have to say my favorite part of the program was the first in-residence in Bloomington. I thought I would share some of my experiences from that in-residence in this post.

It all started with a reception dinner in the Indiana Memorial Union Hotel. We heard from leaders and professors of the program, and it was our first opportunity to meet other students.

I was so excited for the program to begin, I was the first to arrive at the classroom on the first day of classes. I knew I was surrounded by greatness when the first two students to sit next to me had each previously earned their Ph.D. in different fields. I never knew any of the people in this photo before the program, but I became friends with all of them. Three of the four people in this photo were later in groups of mine in different classes.

The professors at the Kelley Direct In-Residence were awesome. Clockwise from top left: Professor Linda Dunn-Jensen, Professor Sheri Fella, Professor Sarah "Intelligirl" Robbins, Usha Venkat, Professor Steve Hayford, and Professor Tatiana Kolovou.

The lunch breaks were a good place to enjoy some delicious food and meet other students in the program. My advice to everyone planning to attend an in-residence: take advantage of every opportunity to network.

Our cohort was broken up into teams of six. We did all case analysis, assignments, and presentations with our team. Meeting and working with my team was the highlight of the week for me. They are some of the brightest, most talented people I have had the pleasure to work with. I hope that we will all be friends the rest of our lives.

The in-residence culminated with a case competition. Here we are preparing for our presentation for the competition. It was a long night, but we stayed on schedule and did some of our best work. Most nights we were up until 1 or 2 a.m. finishing our assignments. This night was no exception.

Despite our busy schedule, we were able to get out and enjoy some of Bloomington's finer eating establishments. This night we were in the mood for Thai food.

Here's my team working on a simulation. The goal of the simulation was to get 60% buy in from the employees regarding a shift in strategy. We had to choose which tasks to perform in what order. Each task would affect the employee buy in either up or down. We got up to about 56% buy in before we ran out of time and money.

One of the funnest evenings of the week was the Kelley Direct social at Nick's English Hut. My team and I arrived in matching Kelley School of Business t-shirts. It was fun to relax and hang out with new friends without having to worry about assignments or deadlines.

Here my team is working on our assignment for a social media module. Our assignment was craft a social media policy for our fictitious company. When the company I work for posted their first social media policy earlier this year, I had to pull out my team's policy form the in-residence and see how it compared.

I am looking forward to the second in-residence. It will be different than the first because I have a better idea o f what to expect. I know many of the faculty and students who will be there. I have a year of MBA training under my belt. On the other hand, I am currently enrolled in two other courses and will I have to balance completing assignments for those classes while focusing on the workload for the in-residence. In the words of professor Kolovou, I'll have to be a "total and excellent juggler." I'm sure I'll be fine. My first year in the program has taught me that I can do it all.

Monday, July 26, 2010

A Year in Review

What’s up KD!! I hope this blog finds you well. I am writing to finish up our double feature, as promised. Life is still busy, we have moved, and are about to move again – due to some challenging living conditions. But, we are still up beat and excited about life!

Today’s blog is some tips from my first year in the KD program. I just registered for classes for this coming fall, and it seems nuts that a year has gone by already. But, alas, it has, and with that idea, I figured that I would give you some tips as you prepare for your first year in the KD program.

  • Do the in-residence early!

Due to my career in education, I could not do the in-residence in August, but I really wish that I could have. I wound up doing the in-residence in February, which was great, but some of the information from the in-residence would have been handy during those first couple of quarters.

During the in-residence, you are welcomed to the Kelley Direct program, and meet many of your peers in the program. But, more importantly, you learn about ANGEL, the program your classes are in. You will also get a chance to meet a number of your professors and the other staff in the program. It was invaluable to have faces to go with names in this program – especially with everything being already distance, due to the nature of the program.

  • Figure out your study style.

Whether you are a person who groups assignments around certain days, or like me, someone that does a little every day, you need to figure out your study style and stick to it. I know people in the program who are successful a number of different ways, but I would advocate for doing a little every day. It makes the load more palatable, and is more manageable with a life. I have a family with two small children, so that was the only way that this was going to work for us.

If you are not sure, I would talk to colleagues in the program to see what they do. It might be a little bit of a transition moving back into school, especially if you have been out for a long time. Sometimes, getting advice can be helpful.

  • Understand your plan of study.

Whether you are a dual-degree student, like me, or just going for one degree, you need to make sure that you understand your class schedule. You need to especially understand what classes are offered at which times. If you don’t change your class schedule, you will be fine – but you may determine that you want to take different classes at different times.

Moreover, if you are a dual degree student, you really need to understand the plan of study, because it will allow you to take your dual degree classes to meet electives in your primary program. This is what I am doing with the MBA/MSSM degree.

  • Connect your class work to your everyday job.

This is the tip that is the most valuable on this entire list. Even if it is not the easiest fit, connecting your current job with your class work will make the class work much, much more interesting. I can understand if you have to strain a little to make it work, much like I had to with my job and operations management this past quarter, but you have to do your best.

If you are successful, not only will the class work seem more relative, you will be in much better position to work with other departments or individuals, as you will be able to speak their language. The best example I have of this is my experience in the finance/accounting course. My ability to get and apply those concepts made my conversations with the finance people in our department much different. They began to understand that they could not “talk over my head”. So, we greatly improved our communication – and it worked wonders.

Well, I hope that’s helpful KD! Until next time, I’ll catch you later.

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Process and Beauty of Employment

What’s up KD!! It’s been a while since I have been able to write you. There has been a lot going on in the life. So much that – you are getting a double feature this time around! I’m going to write this blog – and am I’m going to work to get a 2nd one out to you this month.

This blog is about my job search. I just finished searching for a job in the field of Education, as I work in Housing in the University setting. My new position is an Assistant Director of Residence Life for Southern Illinois University Carbondale. In this role, I am responsible for supervising an environment that houses 1600 students. It’s going to be a great fit – I have already enjoyed my first week here.

For those of you that are looking for a new position, or a position in general, here are a few tips that I gathered during my experience that were really helpful .

  • Looking for a new job is a job!

Between interviewing, looking for positions, networking, following up on leads, and travelling – looking for a job became my 2nd job. It took a lot of time, dedication, and follow up to make it happen. Furthermore, you need to have multiple plans for finding a position. I have degrees in education, business, and computer science, and created plans for finding positions all three areas. If you want to move up, in, or on, you need to put time and effort into finding a position. If you are not spending 15-20 hours a week looking, then you are not really trying.

  • Use your contacts and networks

This is often a repeated mantra in KD, but it is so true. I got my current position, in part, because I knew the people that I was interviewing with. It helped that I’m competent, and have a great attitude, but it started because I knew the people well. If you are not looking for a job, spend the time investing in meeting and getting to know others in your field. If you are looking for a job, use those contacts that you have gathered over time to figure out how to get information about positions that might be coming open soon.

  • Make sure your personal brand is strong!

This is a term from my marketing course – but it means that you need to make sure that you have a good reputation throughout the interview process. You need to make sure that you look good in all forms – paper, speech, and in-person. It is a great idea to have others review your resume and/or do a mock interview with you. For this, the KD Graduate Career Services is a great help. Dave Thompson, and his staff, did a great job in helping me get ready for my search.

  • Be patient

It is widely believed that when you are looking for a promotion, you need to give 3-6 months to find a position. This is an extremely long time. My job search process started last November, when I concretely decided to find a new position, and finished in June when I accepted the position that I just started. That is 8 months!! Therefore, you have to understand that this is a process, which will take time to happen.

Well, I hope that’s helpful KD! Until next time, I’ll catch you later!!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

A Global Network

I recently returned from a vacation to Europe, and who did I meet while hiking through the tiny Italian coastal town of Corniglia? A fellow Kelley MBA student, of course! What luck - my boyfriend happened to be wearing the IU shirt I had bought him during my first year in-residence. As we were walking through the town, a stranger noticed the IU crimson and introduced himself. After a couple seconds of talking, we discovered we were both current Kelley MBA students. He is in the full-time program and just finished up an internship in Milan. Not a bad way to spend the summer - I'm only slightly jealous...

During my first year in-residence, I remember hearing repeatedly from the faculty and staff that Kelley has a vast alumni network. I guess they weren't kidding. We are everywhere! And I guess it also pays to stock up on as much IU gear as possible - you never know when or where you'll run into a Kelley alum!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

My Love for Reading...

What’s up KD? I hope that this blog finds you well…

Life right now is a little in limbo; I’m in the middle of a job search. But, the school year is over, so things are quiet, and after a long year – that’s a good thing.

For today’s blog, I figured that I would talk about something that’s really passionate for me – reading!! I’m a pretty voracious reader; and normally, I am reading business management books. My favorite authors are Chip and Dan Heath, Patrick Lencioni, and John Maxwell – not necessarily in that order. I figured I would share why I got into reading, how I get it done with a full time job and family, and my top 5 business management books.

I have always had a love for reading in general. It started when I was growing up with the Book IT! program at our local library. With this program, kids could read books and get credit towards a free personal pan pizza from a local Pizza Hut. This was a great program – and what little kid doesn’t love pizza?

Well, that’s what got me started reading, and after graduate school I picked up business management books. After completing my first Master’s degree, I really wanted a greater understanding of how to develop myself as an administrator and lead within an organization. I stumbled upon John Maxwell’s 21 Laws of Leadership – and a passion was set ablaze. Since then, about 10 years ago, I have read somewhere around 300-400 books on leadership and business management. In fact, I’m so addicted that I actually listen to them in the car on my way to work.

When I talk with friends, both new and old – they ask me how I get so much reading done. I’m an MBA/MSSM student, husband, father of 2 toddlers, and I work full time. Well, I leave the books in my bathroom. I commit myself to reading a chapter a day, and that’s how I get it done. I have found that the bathroom is one of the few places that people will not bother you, so I am able to really get some major reading done in that space. So, there’s my secret, lol…

As for the selection of my top 5 books, I have to admit that I have read so many that it’s hard to pick 5. However, I will give it a shot. Most of my top 5 are books that I use in my work. I have found that by using the knowledge that I gain from each of these books in some small area makes me more likely to actually remember what I read.

So, here’s my top 5:

  • Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath

  • 4 Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive by Patrick Lencioni

  • Switch by Chip and Dan Heath

  • 5 Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni

  • The 360 Degree Leader by John Maxwell
Well, there you go. I hope that you are able to get some reading done on your own!! Until next time, catch you later KD!!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Dinner With Prospective Students

Terrill Cosgray, Executive Director of Kelley Direct, visited Seattle last week to host a dinner for prospective students. When asked if I would be interested in attending the dinner, I didn’t hesitate to say yes. I have had a great experience working on my MBA in the Kelley Direct program so far, and I wanted to share my insights and experience with the prospective students.

The dinner was held at the Canlis Restaurant. The food was delicious, the service was phenomenal, but the best part of the evening was the great discussion we had with everyone in attendance. In addition to the prospective students, there were other current Kelley Direct students as well as alumni. It was fun to share experiences and get everyone’s perspective on the program. I really appreciated hearing the alumni speak about how the MBA they earned through Kelley Direct has helped them progress in their careers. One talked about how his degree helped him get a great promotion at Microsoft. Another other talked about how Kelley Direct Career Services helped him get a new job at

I chose the Kelley School of Business because it is a highly rated business school, and the Kelley Direct program is, in my opinion, the best distance MBA program. I have been very pleased with my decision, which is good considering the significant investment I have made in the program both in terms of time and money. I am receiving an excellent education and I have already been able to apply things I have learned in my classes to my present job.

I was asked by one of the prospective students about work-life balance in the program. He wanted to know if it was really possible to take 6 credits per quarter while working full time. I told him that it can be challenging, but it is possible. Anything of value requires sacrifice. That is true of getting a quality MBA education. I have had to sacrifice sleep more than anything else. Luckily, I have the support of my family at home and my boss at work. That makes a big difference. The flexibility of the online MBA format provided by Kelley Direct fits my lifestyle and makes it easier to keep everything in balance.

I look forward to staying in touch with the people I met at the dinner. They are all a lot of fun to hang out with. I hope the information I gave the prospective students was helpful. It would be fun to see them in one of my classes in the near future.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Staying Involved, Even From a Distance

When I got into Kelley, I made a promise to myself - I was going to get involved outside the classroom, build my network, and take full advantage of the fact that I was going to a top 20 business school.

This determination led me to take on the role of president for the Kelley Direct Women in Business group (KDWMBA). Through this group, I have worked closely with KD staff, collaborated with fellow students on new initiatives, and even traveled a bit. I went to Indiana in the fall of 2009 to meet the new first years and talk about my KD experiences, attended an MBA conference in California last October, and participated in the NAWMBA leadership retreat in Utah this past weekend. NAWMBA, a not-for profit dedicated to "empowering women MBAs in order to propel more women into leadership positions in corporate America and to enhance the diversity of the nation's workforce", is KDWMBA’s national affiliation and an organization I am proud to be a part of (

The retreat last weekend was an incredible experience! I spent three days at a resort & spa surrounded by snow-capped mountain with some truly inspirational MBA students and professional women from around the country (yes, that picture to the left is of the view from my room!). We attended numerous workshops, learned about leadership and how to leverage our strengths, and participated in networking events that allowed us to build strong connections with one another.

I am so happy that I kept that promise to myself, as my experience at Kelley has been so enriched by my involvement with KDWMBA and NAWMBA. Of course, at the time, I didn't know that "being involved" would mean getting a facial at a spa in Utah, but who am I to question the small surprises in life?

Friday, April 23, 2010


Working in teams is an important part of most MBA programs. This is certainly true in the Kelley Direct distance MBA program. One of the things that I have enjoyed most about the Kelley Direct experience so far is the interaction I have had with fellow students and especially the team members I have worked with in each class.

Teamwork starts in the first in-residence on campus where everyone is assigned a team with whom they do all of the class work, presentations, etc. My team at the in-residence (pictured above) was awesome. They are all very intelligent and brought unique perspectives from their diverse professional backgrounds. We worked hard, but we also had a lot of fun together. I learned a lot from each of them.

For students who are new to the Kelley Direct distance MBA program, here are a few suggestions for forming teams:


Take advantage of every opportunity to network. Get to know as many people in the program as possible. That way you will know who you would want to work with in future classes. The best place to start this is during the in-residences. I made an effort to meet as many people as possible at my first in-residence in Bloomington. Most of the people I have chosen for my teams are people I met at the in-residence.

When I was deciding between MBA programs last year, I sought input from a current Kelley Direct student. He gave me really good insight into the program and great advice on how to be successful. He highlighted the importance of networking at the in-residences:

“As you move forward, you have friends in the program (which is good because there tends to be a lot of group work interaction) who have each others' back and that comes in very important! Through email and Skype calls, cell phones and Facebook pages, I am in constant contact with my classmates. The interaction, support, and camaraderie are wonderful.”

Time Zones

Consider the impact of time zones. Coordinating schedules can be difficult because everyone in the program has a full-time job as well as other responsibilities. Finding a time when everyone is available for a team meeting poses a unique challenge in an online MBA program because the students can reside all over the world.

In my Economics class, I choose teammates who live on the west coast like I do. Since we were all in the Pacific Time Zone, coordinating schedules was a little easier. My Marketing professor put us in teams based on our time zone too. Same-time-zone teams can be helpful for scheduling, but time zone should not be the only criteria in forming a team. Some of the strongest teams I have had were with teammates who live on the other side of the country.


Choose teammates with complimentary skills. Some of my most effective groups were with teammates whose strengths complimented my weaknesses or lack of experience. If you have less experience in a particular subject, it can help to have someone on the team whose area of expertise is that subject. My team in my Finance class was very successful, in part because we had someone who worked in the financial industry. The Kelley Direct student body is very diverse, both culturally as well as professionally. Utilize that diversity in your teams.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

MBA for the Family Man/Woman

Many people want to get an MBA but come up with lots of reasons not to go after it. Some say it’s not worth the money; the ROI doesn’t make any sense! Others know they want to get it because they desire the knowledge but find it difficult to justify for that reason alone. The majority those who are nearing 30+ years old find it difficult to tackle because they feel they are on a particular path already and aren’t committed to getting another degree. They are too busy with life and, for many people, the family they have begun to build. I delayed my MBA for all of these reasons. I began by getting a masters in engineering but knew my ultimate goal was to complete my MBA. I finished my MSE and was not very motivated to continue my education from a time perspective. I had a new daughter and didn’t see how I could fit it all into my life. I decided to give it a year or so and see what my thoughts were at that time. As time went on, I realized my original goal of obtaining my MBA was even more important to me. So I decided to apply to Kelley Direct and was accepted. During my 3rd quarter of the program, my 2nd child was born. It was amazing to be able to continue my education while having a new child and really not miss out on any of my schooling. With the flexibility of the classes offered by Kelley Direct, you can manage major life changes while keeping up with your studies. It was not uncommon for me to be awake at random hours of the night taking care of kids or taking care of class work. It may sound like a lot but anyone can accomplish this. For me, there was no better way to continue to enhance my learning and progress my career while balancing life events. Kelley Direct provides an outstanding education from one of the best business schools in the country with the flexibility needed for a family oriented professional.

Monday, April 12, 2010

KD and Financial Aid

What’s up KD? I hope that this message finds you well.

It’s been a month – so I figured I’d drop in, and say hello. Things for me are going okay, just busy. I’m in the middle of looking for a new job, working my old job, being a parent, and being a KD student. So, as you can imagine – I have really appreciated the flexibility of KD this past month.

As for this blog, I figure that I would give you some advice on financial aid – since it’s that time of the year. Right now, I pay for KD with a combination of employee contributions and federal loans. It is a good package – not the best, but I am definitely grateful for all of the support that I get.

I know that if any of you are like me, you wondered how you would be able to pay for an MBA – especially if your company doesn’t pay for it. Here are a couple of things to know that have been helpful for me.

  • Fill out a FAFSA.
I know that some people are nervous about the debt that can come from 2 years of college loans. But, it’s a really good investment. I’m only one year into my program – and I have learned about million things that have made me more marketable for promotions and given me other career options.

To fill out a FAFSA, go to They have all the information there. It can be done all online, takes about 20 minutes, and can take a lot of the financial burden of your MBA.

  • Talk to your Human Resources Department.
A lot of people do not talk to Human Resources for a number of reasons – but remember, they are there for you. There may be a number of programs that your company has that will pay for all or a portion of your MBA (or other degree).

The other thing to know is that their contributions to your MBA could be viewed as taxable income. Make sure that you get all the information about the contribution plan before you sign up.

  • Understand your financial award.
You may wind up being award more money per quarter than you actually need for your costs per quarter. This money will come back to you as a refund. I know that for me, I need that refund amount to get my books and other school costs.

If you can afford it, it would suggest that you reduce your award to make it stretch further. Once you run out of loans for the year, you have to pay the rest, which may mean that you are not able to take classes for a quarter.

Well, those are just my tips. I hope that you find them helpful. Until next time, I’ll catch you later KD.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Not Just an Online MBA

When I started the Kelley Direct distance learning MBA program, I had no doubt that I would be getting a high quality education. Kelley is, after all, a top-tier business school. Even so, the KD program has surpassed all my expectations. The classes are very engaging, challenging, require lots of teamwork, and are structured to emphasize real-world application of the material. Add to this the in-residence weeks, and "online MBA" doesn't even come close to describing the experience I've had so far.

There are two in-residences built into the Kelley Direct program, and each is a week-long, 1.5 credit class held on the beautiful IU campus in Bloomington, IN. I recently returned from my second in-residence, the one that marked the start to my final year as an MBA student, provided valuable face-to-face time with fellow classmates, and deepened my connection with Kelley and IU.

My 2nd year in-residence week was packed full of lectures, team projects, and networking events. The days were long and exhausting, but Kelley's "work hard/play hard" culture consistently shined through. Each morning began with a group breakfast followed by a day full of lectures. Now, I realize that eight hours of lectures may not sound even remotely appealing, but each class session was so engaging and entertaining that I had no trouble staying focused. Over the course of the week, we were taught by four professors and every single one had a terrific sense of humor, practical knowledge that made us eager to learn, and a remarkable ability to capture and keep our attention. I can say, without any hesitation, that I absolutely loved the lectures and interactions with my professors and classmates. Eight hours go by quickly when you're laughing (and learning) the whole time.

Teamwork is a big part of the KD program, and the in-residence is no exception. So, after a day of lectures, we typically had a team assignment due by the next morning. However, unlike in the 1st year in-residence, we were now experienced MBA students. We had an entire year of classes under our belts, were equipped with new skills, and were able to tackle assignments confidently and efficiently. Case studies - no problem! It was very rewarding to see how much I had learned since the start of the MBA program and to know that, just one year later, I was so much more effective at completing these difficult assignments.

We also had quite a bit more time to socialize and network than during the 1st year in-residence. After all, we had survived an entire year of classes, and our reward, the chance to explore Bloomington and strengthen relationships with one another, was well-deserved! Our evenings included a dinner at Assembly Hall, a formal dinner with faculty and staff, a social night at Nick's, and multiple team dinners at some of the local restaurants. One day we even had a special guest speaker, Marshall Goldsmith, a former Kelley alumnus who was in town to be honored at the IU Business Conference ( A New York Times best-selling author, Marshall shared some of the lessons he teaches to executives around the world, gave us a copy of two of his books, and even stayed late to do a book signing. This was an added bonus to an already fantastic week!

The in-residence weeks are such an invaluable part of the KD program. Yes, it is hard to take off work and leave family and friends for a solid week of class. Yes, the week is incredibly demanding and exhausting, requiring an intense amount of focus and creativity. The ability to balance personal, professional, and student life is undeniably a challenge. However, it is possible, and it is very much worth it.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Networking Reception with Louis Jordan & Wayne Winston

Kelley Direct students always talk about the sense of community they feel in the program. I have found that it extends beyond just the distance MBA program. I have enjoyed being part of the Kelley School of Business community. I try to attend any Indiana University or Kelley School of Business activity that is held in my home town of Seattle.

I had the opportunity to attend a Kelley School of Business alumni networking event last week hosted by Louis Jordan and featuring Wayne Winston. Mr. Jordan earned an MBA in finance from the Kelley School in 1980 and has had a distinguished career in finance. He currently serves as Senior Vice President – Finance for Starbucks Coffee Company. Dr. Winston is a professor of Operations and Decision Technologies at the Indiana University Kelley School of Business.

I enjoyed the event. It was fun to see how many Kelley School alumni currently live in the Seattle area. It was also inspiring to hear Mr. Jordan speak. The highlight of the evening was Professor Winston. I had followed him on Twitter and I occasionally check out his web site, to see how he uses math and metrics to predict the winner of sporting events.

Several of the people in attendance at the event had attended Professor Winston's MBA classes as students. It was interesting to see how beloved he is by his former students.

As if the evening wasn't exciting enough, I won a copy of Professor Winston's book, Mathletics: How Gamblers, Managers, and Sports Enthusiasts Use Mathematics in Baseball, Basketball, and Football. Professor Winston even signed the book for me. I look forward to reading it, but I won't have time until the current quarter ends. I have more than enough to read right now for my Marketing, Operations, and Supply-Chain Management classes.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Decision

I can honestly say that I love the path I am on right now. For me, getting my MBA and MSSM while working full-time just makes sense. It is so rewarding to know that I am gaining marketable and practical skills on an almost daily basis and that I can apply these skills immediately to my current position. However, I have to admit that up until about 1.5 years ago, getting an MBA was never one of my goals. In fact, I never even considered it. The thought never crossed my mind. And then one day it did.

Now that I am in this distance learning MBA program, the decision seems so obvious. But this wasn't always the case. It took me awhile and quite a few different experiences to fully realize my passion for managing projects and cross-functional teams, developing new products, and working with intelligent people to solve difficult problems. I also realized that while I didn’t want my lack of a business degree to limit my career (I have a B.S. in biology), I didn’t want to become a full-time student again. When I found out that flexible MBA programs exist and that I could earn my degree from a top university without having to quit my job or move, I was sold.

Within a 3 month period, I decided that I was going to get my MBA, took the GMAT, researched schools, applied, and got accepted. During this whole process, I knew that if I was going to make the investment (time and money), I wanted to go to the best school possible. So, when I got into Kelley, there was nothing left to decide. I had the chance to attend a top business school without putting my career on hold, and I was going to take it. I was going to become a Hoosier.

Now it's one year later. My time as an MBA student has flown by. So far the experience has been challenging, fun, frustrating, rewarding, exhausting, inspiring, and more - all the things that you would except to feel when you do something worthwhile. And this most certainly is worthwhile.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Hey, Kelley Direct!!

Hey Kelley Direct!!

I hope this blog finds you well. My name is Emery Jordan, and I am a first year student in the Master of Business Administration/Masters of Strategy Management program. I, actually, also work at Indiana University in the department of Residential Programs and Services as a Residence Manager. In this role, I directly and/or indirectly supervisor close to 40 people, a budget of $4 million, and creating a positive healthy living environment for the residents of my area.

I actually already have Master’s degree in Higher Education Administration, along with a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. I decided to go back to get my MBA at Kelley for a few reasons. First, I had always dreamed of getting an MBA – but my career path dictated a different initial Master’s degree. Since I worked at one of the best MBA granting institution in the country – I figured it was a no brainer to try to get on from here.

Second, the online KD program is really convenient for my lifestyle. I am also married with two wonderful children – Jalen (2 years old) and Gabriella (11 months old). So, having the flexibility to do work at my own pace during a week was extremely important. Moreover, my job is very time demanding at different times of the year for long stretches – so the added flexibility was a necessity.

Finally, I really believe that getting an MBA would help me in any career that I was interested in. Working in higher education now, it gives me a great foundation for understanding how to apply business principles in this field. While the natural ties between the business world and higher education are hidden, we are work with millions of dollars, plan for the long term future of an organization, and/or deal with supervision of several people and groups of people, among other things – all business issues. Moreover, I really loved the options that it gave me for working outside of the field of higher education. I am really starting to understand myself and my interests much better through the lens of this experience.

Outside of MBA stuff, I am an avid reader and athlete. I especially love weightlifting and basketball – they do a good job of helping me work off some of the desserts that I love to eat. As for reading, I love business management texts – and I’m sure that I talk about them a lot in the blog, I’m always reading something.

Well, this is my first ever blog and it was fun. I look forward to sharing my experience with you all out there in internet land…

Catch you later, KD.

The First Bill

Nothing can really prepare you for the first bill you get when finally start your MBA program. It is a time of thoughtful reflection for sure as you work through the loan paperwork or dip into hard earned savings. However, as I was recently paying that first bill of mine, I realized that my experience in Kelley Direct was already starting to pay off.

After a very long, but engaging week at my first in-residence (C511 Organizational Development and Change), I returned to work to find a number of projects and assignments in a state of disarray, including a very large project where I am the technical adviser and a key stakeholder. Initially dismayed at missing a week and seeing such an important project fall even further behind, I met with some other members of the steering committee to see what needed to be done to get things back on track. As we began to discuss the issues, it was quite an exciting feeling to realize that the tactics and strategies I had just learned about from Prof. Sheri Fella were very applicable to my current dilemma. And, instead of continuing down what would very likely have been a path of failure, I was able to apply the techniques Prof. Fella had shared with us to the change process this project was trying to manage. Long story short, instead of weeks, even months, of fruitless work, mounting frustrations, and loss of interest, I was able to diagnose and recommend actions that have immediately put the project back on track, renewed interest and energized the project team, saving us a significant amount of time and money.

Why was I able to have this impact? At Kelley Direct, you learn from the best faculty of any business university online. Not only do they really know the academic side of business, but they have amazing real world experience. Sure, I could have chosen another part time MBA college at a fraction of the cost and likely have covered the same theories and subject matter. But world-class faculty make a difference, and that is where Kelley Direct has really distinguished themselves from other online MBA colleges. Prof. Fella was not only one of the most engaging instructors I have ever had, she was excellent at making sure we all understood how to take the material she was presenting and turn it into something concrete and actionable. Being able to immediately act on what you are learning is definitely key to making it pay, and is why I am glad I chose Kelley Direct. Plus, paying that first bill was a lot easier knowing that I had already used what I had learned to save my organization time and money, earning some much valued career credits along the way.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Workload at Kelley Direct

My grandfather recently posed a question to me in an email. He wrote:

I would like to hear about the program for your Master Business Administration degree. My experience in grad school was that many of the professors felt that their course was the only one we took so they seemed to load us up on things to do outside class. This is not a problem for you? What do you experience?

I don't know about other Online MBA Universities, but I would say that the faculty completely respects our time. As a distance learning program, 100 percent of the students in my cohort have full-time jobs (in addition to spouses, children, pets, hobbies, etc). The faculty seems to understand the competing demands in our lives. Through the technology we use, the professors routinely poll us as to the best time to conduct virtual office hours or conduct live lectures.

So do they ‘load up’ on us? Only to the point where we learn the material. Many of the classes have group assignments so we can ‘divide and conquer’ and rely on each other’s skill sets to enhance our learning. For example, I just got off of a video conference call with my Econ C530 group and one of my team members is a financial analyst. He led the discussion on net present value and answered many the group’s questions. I believe the three of us would have struggled had it not been for the fourth’s subject matter expertise.

The professors themselves are available anytime through email (with a response time between two and 24 hours). My econ professor offered to meet with me in person (as I am local to Indianapolis) should I have trouble with some of the concepts (and by concepts I mean calculus … what is a derivative of a function, you ask? Me, too).

So far, I have been completely satisfied with the workload in my first two classes. I am feel that I will be able to earn my business degree online without sacrificing my family or work.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Yes, Your GMAT Score Matters

The Kelley Direct Online MBA program (unlike many other Distance MBA Programs) requires applicants to take the GMAT (Graduate Management Admissions Test). It is a critical portion of your application for a couple of reasons.

The first is that it is one of the few portions of your application that you can control. You cannot change your undergraduate transcripts (unless you have deep pockets, know the registrar and have no morals - if this is you, please apply elsewhere; the Kelley School doesn't need you). You can't change your work history or your accomplishments. Your GMAT score is something you can control.

The second is that it your score is important. I lost count of how many times the faculty mentioned our cohort's GMAT average (it climbed 10 points from the previous year). Your score is not everything, but it is something. The GMAT is an objective measure about how you perform against your peers. Don't get me wrong, I have yet to be asked in any of my MBA classes a standard GMAT work rate question. But, it shows that you have the motivation to learn (re-learn?) skills and apply them in a time-constrained environment. Further, it demonstrates to the admissions staff that you have the ability to operate autonomously (which is what an Online Masters in Business requires).

So what do you do? Buy a book. Get on and buy ONE study guide (I used the official GMAT book, but I think any would do). Start going through the practice problems. Identify ones you are struggling with (work problems, for example). If your book doesn't do a good job of explaining how to solve them, search for additional resources online. There are (literally) hundreds of free sites with additional practice problems, tricks on how to solve different types of problems, and strategies for the exam itself. Once you are confident, take one of the two practice tests that the GMAC (the folks that run the GMAT) provides when you sign up for the test. This will give you a good judge of how you are progressing.

Then, keep practicing. I say that because I was reviewing practice questions the morning of the exam and one that I reviewed was almost identical to a problem on the actual test.

So, study up. Remember that no one cares that you will can figure out the amount of water in a cylinder that is 4 feet high, has a diameter of 2 feet and is 60 percent full. What they do care about is that you are motivated enough to a) prove that you are smart enough to learn it b) demonstrate that you can learn it on your own and c) prove that you have learned it in the form of a standardized test. It is these characteristics that separate Kelley Direct students from those enrolled at other online distance MBA programs.

As soon as you are accepted, your score no longer matters to anyone. But until that point, it matters a whole lot.

Doug Huber is a first-year MBA student enrolled in the Kelley Direct program at Indiana University's Kelley School of Business. You can read more about Doug here.

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Online Classroom Experience

Before starting the Kelley Direct Distance MBA program, I was curious about how the online classroom experience would compare to a traditional classroom experience. I was hoping to be able to have a high level of interaction with my professors and fellow students despite the distance MBA school format.

The Kelley Direct program offers a unique way to attend online MBA classes. The instructors utilize software to broadcast the class to the students via the internet. This way, students from all over the world can hear the professor's voice as he or she presents the material, and students can ask questions and provide input either using a microphone or the online chat feature.

What I found is that not only is this format very convenient to my busy schedule, allowing me to attend lectures anytime from anywhere, it also mirrors the way we do business. In my current job, I am always collaborating with employees in remote offices across the country. In fact, I rarely attend a meeting that doesn't have either a conference line or some sort of Adobe Connect/WebEx/Live Meeting component to allow collaboration with remote employees. I'm sure that the trend to use remote communication solutions rather than in-person meetings will continue as corporate budgets tighten and travel costs increase. It's nice to be a part of an MBA program that reflects the way business is done in the technical age.

I have my computer set up with dual monitors. That way I can view the class broadcast on one screen while I follow along with another application (such as Excel) on the other screen. This was particularly effective in my C520 Quantitative Analysis class, which I took fall semester. We used Excel extensively for regression analysis, forecasting, simulation modeling, and linear programming.

One of the great things about the lecture broadcasts is that they are recorded so they can be viewed any time if students are unable to attend the live lecture. I usually go back and review the lecture recordings to make sure I haven’t missed any important concepts.

Here is a screenshot of a broadcast of my C520 class: