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!