- 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
Monday, November 22, 2010
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Name: Jake Tamarkin
Monday, November 15, 2010
Monday, October 11, 2010
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
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
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
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
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:
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
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
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
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
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
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
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
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 Amazon.com.
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
Friday, April 23, 2010
“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.”
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Monday, April 12, 2010
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.
To fill out a FAFSA, go to fafsa.gov. 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.
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.
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
Monday, March 22, 2010
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
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
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.
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
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
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 Amazon.com 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.