Monday, March 14, 2011

The End Is Just The Beginning

At the end of February, I finished my MBA. In some ways, I feel completely exhausted, thinking about all the hard work, as well as the sacrifices I've had to make over the past two years. Another part of me just can't believe that I'm done with my MBA already! The two years really did fly by.

I pretty much had the perfect end to my MBA experience. It was an incredibly busy term to say the least, one of my busiest in fact - the professors certainly didn't let us off easy. We were expected to give it our all right up until the end. However, for me all the hard work culminated in a trip to the Bloomington campus to meet the incoming MBA cohort of Spring 2011. It was a bit surreal to be at IU during the last weekend of my MBA, greeting those who were just beginning their journey. And it was amazing to take a step back and reflect on all the wonderful relationships that I've made over the past two years. While time at Bloomington this time around, I saw so many friendly faces, from current students to alumni to faculty and staff, that I felt like I didn't have enough time to catch up with everyone! I also felt completely at home while strolling through the gorgeous campus, walking through the impressive halls of the business school, sharing my experiences with the incoming MBA students, and having a beer at Nick's with friends. Even though I wasn't on campus every day, I absolutely feel like I am a part of this school.

Also coinciding with the completion of my MBA was a job offer, one that has me moving halfway across the country in less than a week. There is no shortage of change going on in my life right now! Although the formal education part of my MBA is now complete, my post-MBA career is just beginning, and I am confident that going forward, my ties with Kelley will only grow stronger.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

A new experience. A new In-Residence.

I recently attended the first year In-Residence for the Spring 2011 online MBA class last month. Since I have completed both In-Residences and will graduate in May, it was a nostalgic feeling interacting with the new students during registration, orientation presentation, and the welcome dinner. Throughout the evening, I interacted with several students and answered questions they had about the school and challenges going through the program. Some questions asked were “How much study time does one need to spend per week?”, “How are the professors?”, and “What are the team like during on-line sessions?”. Those and many others were the same questions I had during my first In-Residence.

The following day I participated in the first day of course work for the first year students on a second year alumni panel. The purpose was to answer questions students might have, like the ones I mentioned above. During the Q&A, I came to the conclusion that these students are in for a unique experience. An In-Residence experience that is better than what I experienced. Kelley Direct actually renamed the In-Residences “Kelley Connect Week” to better fit this experience. These new students experienced an entirely revamped format for Kelley Connect Week. Dean Dan Smith and many other senior faculty members taught the course material throughout the week. Now, I had a wonderful experience at both my first and second year In-Residences; my point is that the Kelley School of Business KD program is constantly evolving to become better and better.

Think about your undergraduate years or educational programs at work that taught the same information every time and it made you feel like “why am I here?” Even if you requested changes to happen, you knew nothing would change. While I was watching the interaction among professors, staff, and students during the first year Kelley Connect Week last month, I could tell from my past In-Residence experience that something new and wonderful is about to happen for KD. The great thing about some of the changes I saw was the fact that my classmates and I suggested these changes only 6 months ago. It was a great feeling to see the changes we requested actually be seriously considered and implemented for future Kelley Connect Weeks. This is one reason why Kelley Direct MBA is one of the best online MBA programs and why I encourage you to consider the program.

Leonardo Kim, Second Year KD MBA student

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Your Professional Development

What’s up KD!! It’s been a long time since we last talked. I hope that all is well. I have been swamped with work and life, but I had a minute, so I wanted to drop you a line.

This month’s blog is about great professional development resources. I was once told “You will be the same thing that you are a year from now only with the added books that you have read, knowledge you have acquired, and experiences that you have gained.” So, I, as you could probably guess, place a very high value on developing myself professionally.

I know that it may seem odd to suggestion additional resources or readings, since we are in an MBA program, but I have found a few tips that have been really helpful for me to easily incorporate into a busy life.

So, here are a few tips that I have for developing yourself professionally.

  • Pick a topic or area where you wanted to develop yourself personally or professionally.

For me, I have spent a lot of time reading management texts because I have wanted to add those resources to my professional tool kit. Since then, I have expanded other areas, and of late, my topic of choice has been related to my faith. However, independent of the topic, you have to first pick one to get started.

  • Start finding resources on your topic.

For many people, resources often mean purchasing and/or attempting to read books. However, there are tons of other resources that are out there to be used, many of which are free. Here are a few examples of things that I use.

First, I have become a lover of audiobooks and podcasts. One of my favorite podcasts is “What Great Bosses Know” by Jill Geisler from the Poynter Institute. It has great resources for supervision of staff. However, there are tons, upon tons of other free podcasts that have valuable information that you can use around just about any topic. Additionally, all of these podcasts often have small nuggets of learning that you can immediately use.

Second, start using your colleagues in your job or community. Since you know the topic you want to ask about, invite people out to a lunch interview or other meeting. Use the time to ask them questions about themselves, their job, their experiences, or other valuable knowledge. I got this idea from John Maxwell, and it has been very valuable for me, as I try to figure out my next career steps.

Finally, use social media. There are lots of people who have Facebook and Twitter accounts for communicating with friends; however, there are also tons of pieces of news and professional development from all fields that can be found in both Facebook and Twitter. In fact, I have found that Twitter has become one of my most valuable pieces of professional development because of the sheer value of information available by following the right people and/or groups.

  • Use the resources immediately.

I have found that with most professional development tools, the sooner I use them, the more likely I am to retain the information. So, find ways to immediately use the information you find, if you deem it valuable. The earlier you use it, the fresher it will be in your mind, and the more likely it will help you grow.

Well, KD, I hope that you have found these tips helpful for your professional development. I know they have been helpful for me. Until next time, I’ll catch you later!!