Monday, November 26, 2012

Kelley Direct Degree Supplies Grad with the Skills to Stay Afloat after Hurricane Sandy

As the supply planning manager for several production lines in Windsor Locks, Conn., that run 24/7, John Boullie puts his Kelley Direct degree to work on a daily basis.

However, it wasn’t until Hurricane Sandy struck that he came to truly appreciate the skills he gained in the school’s Global Supply Chain Management program.

“We had to shut operations down entirely when the governor of Connecticut closed the highways,” says Boullie. “When we reopened a day and a half later, we had to manually coordinate our just in time raw material deliveries with each supplier and look at how the unplanned shutdown would affect our promised ship dates to customers.”

Complicating matters even further was the extensive destruction found in the ports of New York and New Jersey.

“The ports were closed for more than a week with no power and a great backlog of traffic,” he says.

Keeping his plants running and shipments moving in the midst of such chaos was no easy task. To stay on track, Boullie relied on his Kelley Direct education.

“The process mapping skills I learned in Prof. Lummus’ class allowed me and my team to outline and focus on the pieces of the chain that were the most critical and needed the most attention,” Boullie says.  “I even pulled out some of the Excel files we worked on to help me maximize our production output and get the most shipments out in the smallest amount of time!”

Things are getting back to normal now, but Boullie continues to be thankful for his Kelley degree.

“Getting a Global Supply Chain Management degree from Kelley Direct was a great decision for me,” he says. “I’ve applied many of the more unique tools and concepts I learned at Kelley to my work here.”

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Kelley Direct students help launch a start up to cap off their studies

By Kelley Direct Programs

Most graduate students have to write a thesis to complete their degrees. A recent group of Kelley Direct students helped launch a company.

As their capstone experience, a group of six students embarked on a two-phase consulting project for Covinia—a technology start up focused on enterprise social business software.

First, they developed a Private Placement Memorandum (PPM), including a detailed market and competition analysis, a risk analysis, and financial projections.

Next, they initiated the first round of funding, contacting venture capitalists, angel investors, and others who would be interested in financing Covinia.

And they did it all virtually.

“Our team was not only spread from coast to coast across the U.S., but we had a team member serving in Kabul, Afghanistan, as well,” said Ron Gicka, project manager. “But we turned the spread-out nature of our team into a strength. When necessary, someone could be working on the project almost 24 hours a day!”

Shari Abbott, president of Covinia, was very happy with the results.

“I was very pleased with the caliber of the students on our team. I like to think they were excited that they were not only learning, but doing something real,” she says. “The work they’ve done for us will actually help the company get up and running. That’s pretty cool.”

That, says Phil Powell, faculty chair for the Kelley Direct MBA and MS Programs, is the whole point.

“Capstone projects like this allow students to roll up their sleeves and get working, using all the skills they’ve learned at the MBA level to solve a problem,” he says. “ It solidifies the development of their management acumen . . . the only way to learn this stuff is by doing it.”

Gicka agrees. “This project has been an excellent way to end my time at Kelley Direct. The project was real, the customer was real, and most importantly, the deadline was real—this wasn’t a case from the Harvard Business Review,” he says. “I don’t think I have ever been more proud of earning an A in a class as I was in this one.”

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Kelley Direct Online MBA Students Explore Emerging Markets in South Africa

Phil Powell, Faculty Chair of Kelley Direct

Africa offers opportunity, and that is why I am here with Dean Ash Soni, Professor Jamie Prenkert, and Kelley Direct’s executive director Terrill Cosgray, and 17 online MBA students from our program.  I teach MBA students to look not just at, but beyond the horizon, and in twenty years, Sub-Saharan Africa will be booming like China and India. 

For two days, we have had great sessions led by faculty from GIBS (University of Pretoria’s award winning business school – briefing us on the peculiarities of business in Sub-Saharan Africa.  Ethnic diversity, political risk, and selling to markets “at the bottom of the pyramid” are topics of special emphasis in these emerging markets. 

Tomorrow we head to Alexandra Township to help family enterprises identify small improvements they can make in their business models.  The township is a poor community scarred by the racial discrimination of Apartheid, but it is full of new public investment and private entrepreneurship.  The consulting experience will make real the challenges and opportunities of small business in South Africa and hone the executive mindset of our online MBA students.

This trip marks a renewed emphasis of Kelley Direct on executive leadership education and management literacy within emerging markets.  Such an opportunity would not typically be associated with an online MBA program, but thirteen years of online MBA teaching experience place Kelley Direct as a global market leader in curricular innovation.  As Kelley Direct’s new faculty chair, I am proud to help lead this charge.     

- Phil Powell, Faculty Chair of Kelley Direct

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Amazing 2011-12 Online MBA Graduate Salary Data

By Darren Klein, Kelley Direct Staff

Every year we collect data from our graduating students.  We want to understand the impact that earning the Kelley MBA online through Kelley Direct Programs is having on their careers.  We also want to understand the return our students are getting on their investment.  For the class of 2011-12, the outcomes continue to be outstanding.  Specifically:

  • The average salary three months after graduation was $104,160.  This is a 36% increase over the average salary of the graduates when they started the program.
  • Over 66% of our graduates received a promotion during their time in the program.
  • Based on this data, the average amount of time for our graduates to receive a full pay back on their investment in their online MBA is 2 years.
For 2012 graduate Katie Davis, the impact of her Kelley education has been immediate.  Since starting the program, she has been promoted 4 times at Ingersoll-Rand.  "The coursework with Kelley really has enabled me to grow, and it's enabled me to accept new challenges."


Monday, September 17, 2012

New Spring MBA Application Deadlines

By Darren Klein, Kelley Direct Staff

As summer turns to fall, it is not too early to start thinking about starting your application to Kelley Direct.  For international students, the application deadline is January 7, 2013.  For domestic students, the application deadline is February 1, 2013.

If you are interested in scholarships we encourage you to apply early. Scholarship decisions are made at the same time as admission so the earlier you apply, the more likely it is that scholarship funds will be available.

Finally, we invite you to our upcoming events, both in-person and online.

  • 19:  Chicago Cocktail Reception  RSVP 
  • 25:  Online Virtual Open House  RSVP
  • 26:  Online Admissions Q&A   RSVP
  • 1:  Philadelphia Cocktail Reception & Dinner  RSVP
  • 2:  New York Cocktail Reception (Financial District)  RSVP
  • 3:  New York Cocktail Reception (Midtown)  RSVP
  • 4:  Alexandria, VA Cocktail Reception & Dinner  RSVP
  • 9:  Cincinnati Cocktail Reception  RSVP
  • 17:  Online Virtual Open House  RSVP
  • 19-20:  Bloomington Experience Kelley Weekend  RSVP
  • 24:  Online Sample Class  RSVP
  • 7:  Louisville Cocktail Reception  RSVP
  • 8:  Lexington Cocktail Reception  RSVP
  • 14:  Online Virtual Open House  RSVP
  • 28:  Online Financing Your Kelley Degree  RSVP
  • 5:  Online Admissions Q&A  RSVP
  • 11:  Online Virtual Open House  RSVP
  • 12:  Online Student Q&A  RSVP
We look forward to meeting you soon!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

A Visit to Washington, D.C.

By Karen Villatoro, Second-Year MBA student

I consider myself really fortunate to be part of the group of KD students attending a Business and Public Policy course at the Washington Campus in D.C.

Whether we are well aware of this or not, there are key policy issues being developed in Washington on a daily basis, and these policies are likely to have a considerable impact on the businesses we own or work for, so it’s of paramount importance that we gain a better understanding of how our government works and how we can participate in the policy making process.

The course Business and Public Policy: How Washington works and what issues really matter, accomplishes just that objective: it’s teaching us how the government works, why we should care about it, and how we can take action to be effective participants in the process.
Our teachers this week have been an impressive array of Washington characters. We have heard from lobbyists, former congressmen, former White House officers, senior vice presidents from well-respected think tanks, and current staff directors working on committees from the House of Representatives, just to name a few.

All of these people are true Washington insiders who provide a unique perspective on how things are done in our nation’s capital. You may agree or disagree with their particular point of view; but without a doubt it is extremely valuable to hear their insights, and we have heard some really candid feedback, so you can form your own opinion.

I came in with some preconceived notions that have been blown away during these few days. I used to think a lobbyist was a synonym for an individual who was up to no good; this couldn’t be farther from reality! I have heard that the act of lobbying is actually protected under the First Amendment of the Constitution, where it allows for “… the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances.”

I also used to think the Executive Branch was the most powerful branch of government, but I have come to realize most of the power actually resides with Congress. From appropriation of funds to the ability to declare war, there are so many things the Executive Branch couldn’t possibly do unless Congress takes specific actions. Similarly, I have learned that most of the work Congress does takes place at the Committee level, so you really need to know who is the Chairman and who are the members of the key Committees that are more likely to have jurisdiction over your industry, and thus have a large probability of impacting your business operations.

We even had the opportunity to see the government in action, by attending a Senate session in the Capitol. We had gallery passes that allowed us to watch the action in the Senate Chamber. There were just a few Senators on the floor, given that most of their work takes place outside of the chamber, but their staff is always monitoring the action on the floor so Senators can go to the chamber when there’s a call to cast votes on the issues being discussed. 

And what stay in Washington would be complete without a visit to the Washington Monument and all the memorials in West Potomac Park? At each one of these sites there are always people trying to take in all the history and significance behind these memorials, and reflecting on the thoughts and actions of great leaders who have helped build this nation.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Reflecting on the Dean’s Words

The beginning seems so fresh in my mind. I recall the opening ceremony in Bloomington. Dean Dan Smith welcomed us to campus in the beautiful Whittenberger Auditorium at Indiana Memorial Union. Listening to the dean speak was like building a collage in my mind. He said he wanted to remind us that choosing to pursue an MBA from a top-ranked institution was “doing nothing short of changing our lives.” The dean continued by saying that, make no doubt about it, the Kelley School “chose us.”

Those were powerful statements. I exited the auditorium ready to take on the world, and the next week was filled with networking opportunities that validated the dean’s comments. Each student I met was impressively successful, intelligent and ambitious. I knew that I was with current and future leaders of the world’s most important organizations.

Nearly a year later, I’m returning to Bloomington, remembering my initial feelings and the memories I’ve created over the past year. The dean’s comments seem as true now as they ever have. I feel privileged and honored to be a small part of the Kelley School.

A year later, wiser and more experienced, I can’t wait for the dean’s next words to build in my mind. I wonder which words will stick with me this year. Will they be broad, inspirational phrases that make good quotes at the bottom of emails? Or, will it be the subtle guidance that is typical of great leadership? I’m thrilled to find out.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Kelley Direct Online MBA Fall Application Deadline Now July 1

We have good news for Kelley Direct fall 2012 online MBA and online MS applicants.  The application deadline is now July 1, 2012.  This will provide you a couple of extra weeks to get your recommendations lined up, your personal statement perfected, and to prepare for the GMAT.

In the meantime, we do want to remind you of two more opportunities to learn more about Kelley Direct:

  • Financial Aid Q&A - May 23, 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.  Jay Adams of the IU Office of Student Financial Assistance will join KD Executive Director Terrill Cosgray to discuss the various options available to finance your Kelley online MBA or MS investment.
  • An Evening with Dean Daniel C. Smith - June 6, 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.  Dean Smith will provide an overview of the Kelley School and share what makes Kelley Direct so unique among online MBA and MS degree programs.  He will also answer your questions.
To RSVP click here.

We look forward to talking with you soon! 

Friday, March 9, 2012

Intro to Kelley Connect Week

I had the privilege and pleasure of attending the first few days of Kelley Connect Week last weekend to help new students start their journey with Kelley. For those who don’t know, Kelley Connect Week is a one-week course held on the Bloomington campus for new MBA students in Kelley Direct. This week introduces them to the program, the staff, the faculty, and IU. It’s a chance for the students to meet each other face-to-face, work together as a team, begin their course of study, and present to faculty what they learned. This term’s program also had the in-residence course for 2nd year students as well, so 1st years and 2nd years could meet each other.

The week started off with registration on Saturday afternoon (March 3rd). I (along with four other current students and one alumnus) greeted each student as they arrived for registration. We gave them information about the mentoring program for 1st year students and the Student Advisory Board and answered questions that they had. That evening, we attended the induction ceremony, champagne reception, and dinner where we got a chance to talk with students more.

On Sunday, March 4th, we had a panel discussion for an hour where the new students could ask any questions they wanted. Later in the day, we mingled with students during lunch and also at dinner where the IU/Purdue basketball game played on a large screen in the background.

I met many interesting and impressive people last weekend, and I believe that they will all do well at Kelley. I hope that many will keep in touch and let me know how the program is going for them. Best wishes to all of them!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

A Special Thanks to Veterans Support Services

A few days ago, I wrote about the amazing faculty and staff that make up the Kelley School and teach the Kelley Direct program.  I (shamefully) forgot to mention the folks that sit in a tiny office in the IU Memorial Union.

The Veterans Support Services, championed by Margaret Baechtold (the director), serves countless veterans and Indiana University.  Whether these students are undergraduates on campus, or serving on an aircraft carrier in the Indian Ocean, Margaret and her team are there and ready to serve at a moment's notice.  Her team made navigating the G.I. Bill easy and the paperwork seem almost transparent.

On behalf of the all of the veterans at Indiana University, a big, BIG thank you to VSS for all of the tireless work that they do.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

An Open Letter

As I finish my last week in the Kelley Direct MBA program, I just wanted to take a moment to say how wonderful the program has been and how proud I am to be part of it.  I recently spoke on the phone with a prospective student and recapping my experience brought home how much I have accomplished.  All of the learning and discovery would not have happened without the wisdom, expertise and dedication of the faculty.  Names like Eric Richards, Idie Kesner, Professor Venkat, Sheri Fella, John Talbott, Joy Brown, Randy Heron among others have been instrumental in my journey through the Kelley Direct program.  The classes were enriching and the 1st Year and 2nd Year Kelley Connect weeks were second-to-none experiences.  I would be remiss if I didn't mention the staff and their untiring efforts (Lindsey Spoonmore, Erin Kilbride-Vincent, Mark Bridenstine, Terrill Cosgray, Jane Sears, et al) to make it all appear seamless.

Thanks to the faculty and staff for promoting, fostering and delivering a premier educational experience.  

To my classmates and colleagues; Jeremy, Drew, Bryan, and Greg for being great partners (in a couple different classes).  To the others I have learned so much from and enjoyed interacting with: Amy and Brittany (The P&G twins ... and, no, I won't let that go), Raghu, Patrick, Lauren, Lee, Mike, Hongo, Ana, Tamir, Katie; among others.  To my brothers- and sisters-in-arms (both past and present) Clark, Jonah, Gabe, Laura and Jeff, thanks again for keeping the world safe for democracy.  I have taken something from everyone I have met and studied with during my virtual stay at the corner of Fee and 10th Street.

I look forward to submitting my final paper on Saturday.  Before you get too sad, I am one of the lucky ones as I will continue in the Kelley School as part of the dual degree program (MSF)!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Closing Thoughts

On March 5th, I start my last class at Kelley. I finished the MBA last year and lack this one course in completing my MSSM. My feelings are very mixed right now. I’m excited to be finished and to embark on a new adventure, yet I’ll miss the constant connection to this wonderful program and the constant depth of learning and exchange of ideas.

It’s been almost four years since I started at Kelley, and I’m so glad that I chose Kelley for my education. When I started this program, I wasn’t sure how an online business program would work, but it has far surpassed my expectations. The professors have been experts in their fields and are very accessible and amenable to answering questions. I’ve kept in touch with several and will continue to do so. I’ve made great friends with many classmates over the years – ones that I’ll be in touch with forever. I’ve learned so much that I can’t possibly begin to outline it all here, but I can tell you that my whole thought process has changed as I see business and the world differently now. My husband even comments that he’s seen changes in how I solve problems, react to situations, and look at the world. I agree with him. My experiences at Kelley have changed me – all for the better.

Over the years, friends and acquaintances have questioned how an online business program can be any good. I venture to say that it’s been better for me than a full-time MBA program would have been. I’ve worked with people from all over the world. I’ve learned to work across time zones and cultures. I’ve learned how a real-world team really works when other forces vie for each member’s time. I’ve learned from others’ work experiences as they are going through or have gone through the very topics that we cover in our courses. Yes, I believe that Kelley Direct has been a better program for me than a full-time one would have been.

So as I leave this great program, I have a few words of advice for incoming students. First, don’t forget to network with your classmates and professors. Get to know them and learn about them. They are all experts in one way or another, and you will learn from all of them. Second, take advantage of the opportunities that present themselves while you are in this program. There are clubs to join, special courses to attend, webinars, extra readings, discount subscriptions, access to the IU library, and more. Third, enjoy yourself! This program is intense, and at times, it may feel overwhelming, but it is a wonderful process of growth and development that can be incredibly fun.

I wish you all the best in your future endeavors! Go Hoosiers!