Monday, December 22, 2014

Happy Holidays from Kelley Direct

Be sure to watch the Kelley School holiday video and share it with everyone whose holidays can be made brighter by IU's beautiful sights and sounds too!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

A BRIC Nation Ready to Launch: Insights on the Labor Market and Business Climate in Brazil from My MBA In-Residence Trip

By Dan Alldridge

Enjoying the visit to BM&F Bovespa

Traveling to Brazil with my online MBA classmates through Kelley Direct’s AGILE course was a great experience. It was a unique opportunity to learn about an emerging market that could not be replicated in the classroom.
I was immersed in the whole country - learning the Brazilian culture through its, business environment, economy, and politics.  During my trip, I was able to observe business politics during the lull between presidential election votes.  The business leaders in Brazil all noted their concerned about the negative effects to the economy if President Dilma Rouseff were re-elected.  These fears came to fruition on 27-October, the day following President Rouseff’s re-election, the market fluctuated drastically ending 3% down and the Brazilian real weakened even further. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Why MBA Students Should Work or Study Abroad - Kelley Direct Student Reflection

By Kash Faheem

Earlier this year, I was working as an engineer in the System Integration Laboratory at Raytheon where Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), EO/IR (Electro Optical/ Infrared) and SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) Sensors are engineered and developed. Because of my experience there, I was offered the opportunity to go to Japan as a Field Engineer Consultant supporting our overseas customers on UAV that Raytheon was subcontracted to. I was a technical engineering consultant in my new role and got to serve as the liaison between Raytheon, our customers and the end users of the UAV.

This opportunity came only a few months after I had already started my online MBA at the Kelley School of Business. Fortunately, I was able to accept this role because of the flexibility of the Kelley Direct program, and it has greatly enhanced my learning in the classroom and on the job.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Why the Networking and Faculty Coaching at Kelley Connect Week was Awesome and What it Taught Me

By Craig Davis

I did not know what to expect from Kelley Connect Week. I knew I had signed up for the #1 onlineMBA program in the country and that “orientation” weeks at top-tier MBA programs were not meant to be easy. So as I sat, perhaps a bit apprehensive, in our first session on Saturday evening within a room full of very professional looking individuals I wasn’t sure how to interpret Professor and Faculty Chair Phil Powell’s statement “You will not be the same people when you leave next week as you are today”. Reflecting back, I can say that his statement was entirely true. The Kelley School of Business’s impeccable approach to Kelley Connect Week (KCW) transformed me by generating connections that I truly value and creating an immediate and positive impact on my job performance.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

How to Maximize Your Kelley Experience - Healthcare Club Webinar on September 17

The Kelley Direct Healthcare Club invites you to a webinar on how to Maximize Your Kelley Experience: Learn from Experienced Healthcare Professionals and Alumni.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Clabber Girl Moving Forward with MBA Student Recommendations from Kelley Connect Week

It was around this time last year when a new class of MBA students finished presenting their recommendations to faculty and executives from Clabber Girl Corporation. I recently followed up with Lori Danielson, Vice President of Clabber Girl, about her team’s experience working with our online MBA students last August. 
Every Fall and Spring, our online MBA students come to the Indiana University Bloomington campus for KelleyConnect Week where they work on real cases from both local (first year) and global (second year) businesses. The fall 2013 case was from Clabber Girl, an industry leader in customized food products based in Terre Haute, Indiana.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Announcing the Fall 2014 Kelley Direct Networking Event Schedule

Are you considering Kelley Direct for your MBA?

Our upcoming networking events are a great way to learn about our online MBA and MS programs. You’ll get the opportunity to meet students and alumni who live and work near you. It is very likely that they were considering the same schools you are right now so they understand what you’re going through.


Network with Kelley Direct students and alumni

Although our online MBA students get face time with their classmates during Kelley Connect Week and AGILE study abroad trips, they are still eager to meet more often – and many do on their own. We started hosting these events in cities all over the U.S. to make it easier for even more students and alumni to come together for casual networking and conversation.

Bring your questions for them as they will be happy to share their experiences with you.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Kelley Direct Honored at U.S. Military Base in Afghanistan

The U.S. Military recently recognized Kelley Direct for the educational opportunities we provide for our service men and women by flying an American flag in our honor at a base in Afghanistan. Jeff Hendricks, a current Kelley Direct student and Director of Logistics at the base, stopped by our Bloomington office to present us with the flag.
He is on the left in the picture below with Kelley School Deans Idie Kesner and Ash Soni.

Monday, August 4, 2014

The 2014 Innovation Showcase: From Inspiration to Motivation

By Melissa Dylan

Ideas are easy.  Mine hit me mid-project.  I had just learned how to sew.  After discovering that Joann Fabrics rendered part of their product unusable by putting their logo on it I sat on the floor of my apartment and vowed, Scarlett O’Hara-style, to never shop at Joann Fabrics again.  My resolve failed the next day when I realized I had no other local options, and that shopping online for fabric is the worst.  The resolve restarted when I vowed to build the greatest chain of fabric and hobby stores of all time.  I really need to stop vowing things, because it’s clearly getting out of hand.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Tips for Doing Business in Myanmar from Kelley Online MBA Students Who Consulted There

“We board a plane for 20 hours and wake up in a world that is completely different from what we are used to. The language, the way business is conducted is different (and frankly so is the food), and you have no choice but to produce a result. Talk about learning; Talk about being uncomfortable. 
I quickly learned that a combination of instinct, experience, luck, and appetite for risk was enough to make it work. As a business leader I need to take risks because there isn’t always a clearly defined right answer. Honing my instinct through AGILE was nothing short of cool; I was hooked and I was in.”

That is how Josh Mitchell, a Kelley Direct online MBA student, describes his feelings after completing two global immersion trips through our AGILE program. AGILE, which stands for Accelerating Global Immersion Leadership Education, sends Kelley Direct MBA students to emerging markets around the globe once every quarter to develop leadership skills and cultural intelligence.
Josh’s last trip was in spring of 2014, when he joined a group of other online MBA students in Myanmar (formerly Burma) to sharpen his business analysis, marketing, finance and management consulting skills while working with small businesses there.

The students who went on this Myanmar trip were divided into four groups; each group consulted one of four local businesses who had partnered with our program. There was a logistics and supply chain company, an accounting and financial services firm, a chemical and flavorings company, and a mapping and environmental assessment company.

Our MBA Students Were Pleasantly Surprised By What They Experienced in Myanmar

From 1962 until 2011, Burma was tightly ruled by a military dictatorship. It was a closed economy—meaning they had almost no interaction with the outside world—particularly the democratic West. Given the country’s history, students expected to see a struggling economy. Quazi Fawad, one of the other students on the same trip thought he would encounter runaway poverty and crime, a bureaucratic system and a lack of infrastructure and optimism before he arrived in Myanmar. What he found instead was a polite and helpful people who were optimistic about business in their country. There were no obvious signs of crime, but the signs of wealth were plentiful.

Spending time with the business owners further dispelled some of the students’ preconceived notions about Myanmar and often surprised them. Quazi had this to say about the business owners he worked with:

“The amazing degree of sophistication and their willingness to follow along academic models and ask detailed questions surprised me. One of the biggest challenges was that our client was already using many of the tools that we wanted to propose. So we had to find a real gap in their capabilities to provide real value.

Their willingness to share information and help each other was also surprising.  Our client and others were very close to their employees. The hierarchy was present, but it was not visible.”


Tips for Conducting Business in Myanmar

The week-long immersion in Myanmar enabled the students who went with them to internalize what they read and heard about the country in the weeks preceding the trip.  Here are some of Quazi and Josh’s takeaways from this AGILE trip about doing business in Myanmar:

1.    A strong relationship matters more than formal agreements. Taking an interest in their culture is the best place to start. Exchange gifts.

2.    Banking and international transfer of money is still antiquated. Many local businesses operate a branch in Singapore to avoid the problems.

3.    The workforce is loyal and respectful; they should be treated as a family rather than as a commodity.

4.    Partner with a local – relationships and local knowledge win here.

5.    Be wary: Contracts and agreements are based on personal word of honor and are hard to enforce in courts.

6.    Many ‘standard’ items in the West will be new to the Burmese – gaining acceptance of ‘foreign practices’ is a challenge and an opportunity. A perfect example is that there are four types of financial statements per company there.

7.    Be patient. Myanmar is a ‘soft sell’ culture (i.e. slower to act) and westerners who are used to getting to quick results can be frustrated. 

AGILE Rewards MBA Students With Global Connections and Professional Growth

Although the majority of the trip was focused on the consulting and presentations the students gave to the business owners at the end of the week, they came away with much more. Josh was able to make real connections with the people he met in Myanmar and had this to say about his experience:

“The most rewarding part of the experience is when I was able to let go of everything I was taught about ‘bucketing people’.  As Americans, we take cultural sensitivity courses on how we should act. Scrapping all this training on what I ‘ought to do’ with people freed me to just listen; that’s how you connect to another human whether American, Asian, African, or European.  Let go of the need of listening to respond but rather listened to learn.
When I was able to sit in front of the client and see her as a human being who desperately wants to see her business succeed, I quickly realized this common goal was enough for a connection.  This commonality allowed for a flight to authenticity which is where leadership lives.  Leadership is meeting people where they are and focusing on a goal bigger than any of us as individuals.  This is rewarding for me because my connection to the client and the project became something that was deeply emotional and less transactional.”  

Not only do our students gain cultural awareness and international connections, but they have consistently shown that they are able to apply what they learn in their AGILE trips to the workplace. Quazi has already received tangible benefits in his career:

“This experience has taught me to be comfortable with ambiguity, welcome the unexpected and improve my communication skills – especially in business settings. What I learned during my Myanmar trip was instrumental to my recent promotion from an engineering role to a Technology Strategy Leadership role at Cummins.”
We’ll conclude this post with final thoughts from Josh and some pictures from Quazi:

“The AGILE experiences have changed me; I was uncomfortable and vulnerable. Watching the human spirit unleash unlimited creativity and potential through economic systems that literally raise millions out of poverty every year is what AGILE is about. AGILE puts you on fertile soil to see the seeds being planted with your own eyes.  Your MBA training provides the tools needed to plant the seeds but it is your spirit that allows you to dig the first hole. The first step is believing in yourself and boarding that plane.”


About Josh Mitchell

Josh Mitchell was recently promoted to an Associate Director role of Culture and Communications at a biotech company in New York City.  Over the last 11 years of his professional experience, he has worked in Banking in Learning and Development, sales, M&A, and strategy.  His roles have been global and he has lived internationally multiple times. He lives and loves working in New York City, and is an avid fan of the beach, cars, and investing in real estate. 


About Quazi Fawad 

Quazi Fawad is a Tech Strategy and Innovation Project Leader at Cummins Inc. who has 12 year experience in a variety of customer facing and problem solving roles. His basic training (Bachelors and Masters) is in Mechanical engineering. Engineering – according to Quazi – is a social sport, so making the transition into a business facing role and earning an MBA was the logical next step for him.



Related Posts:

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Kelley Direct Prepares Online MBA Students for the Free Agent Economy

Kelley Online MBA’s Learn Importance of Personal Branding & Adaptability
We Teach Our MBA Students How to Manage Their Professional Development

MBA programs used to be designed to help students land their dream jobs after graduation. At Kelley Direct, we prepare students for dream careers.
In today’s global economy, people are changing jobs more rapidly due to technological advances and globalization. On average, employees in Silicon Valley switch positions every 15 months. We call this type of environment the “free agent economy,” and it changes the way students look for jobs and promotions.

We recognize that most of our students are somewhere in the middle regarding the new and old job search models. We want to help you navigate this fog of confusion. So we prepare you for the new model, which encompasses everything you need for the old method, too.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

How My Kelley Online MBA Helped Me Transition from Accounting Support to Business Analyst

Quiana Edmond, a current online MBA student, was recently promoted to a Business Analyst position at Xerox Corporation. She reached out to us to share how her online MBA experiences and classes helped her secure the position:

My undergraduate education was in arts & entertainment management, but all of my full-time work experience has been in various accounting functions. Because I didn’t have an accounting or finance degree, it was always hard for me to advance that part of my career.  I ultimately want to transition into entertainment management full-time and I felt that getting an MBA would help put me in a position to do that.  It was a win-win situation for me because I felt like even if I decided to continue working in accounting roles, an MBA would put me in a position to propel my career and avoid further stagnation.

Deciding Between Traditional Part-time and Online MBA Programs

When I was trying to decide between MBA programs I was apprehensive about both online and in-person part-time programs. As far as online, I was concerned about what my learning experience would be like. I wanted to make sure that I would be able to keep up with everything that was going on online because I knew that there would be a lot of moving parts.  I was concerned about selecting an in-person program because I wasn’t sure that I could commit to being in class at a certain day and time.

I ultimately selected the online MBA from Kelley because I felt that the curriculum would challenge me and give me the general management skills that I was looking for with my busy life. Kelley also provides me with much needed credibility and allows me to set myself apart from others with arts backgrounds.

The Kelley Direct Online MBA Was Right for Me

After being in the program for a year, I am convinced that I made the right decision. I absolutely love taking classes online!  I can watch class sessions and do my work based on my own schedule. It has made going back to school easier for me and my lifestyle. Another aspect of Kelley’s online MBA that is amazing is the networking opportunities. I’ve seen the Kelley faculty in Chicago three times over the past year and there are various student clubs where I can participate. This is great because when I show up in Bloomington for Kelley Connect Week, I don’t feel like I’m seeing strangers.  It’s always like I’m just catching up because I stay in contact and attend the Kelley networking events in my city.

If it were not for working on my MBA, Xerox would not have promoted me to Business Analyst. Because this role was part of an analytics team, the hiring managers wanted to know about my knowledge and ability to do analyses in Excel. I was able to provide concrete examples that demonstrated an advanced understanding of Excel based solely on things that I learned in my Quantitative Analysis course.  I was also asked to describe something that I can do in Excel that the average person would not know how to do. I described the process of running multiple regression analyses in StatTools and using Solver in Excel.  These are all things that I was unfamiliar with before I started my MBA. This is why I believe that had I not chosen to pursue my online MBA with Kelley Direct, I would not have been in a position to become my department’s newest Business Analyst so soon.

About Quiana Edmond

Quiana Edmond currently works for Xerox Corporation as the Business Analyst for the Managed Services Billing Center of Excellence in the Chicago area. She graduated from Columbia College Chicago with a BA in Arts, Entertainment & Media Management, and is currently pursuing her online MBA at the Kelley School of Business. She expects to graduate in May 2015.

Related Posts

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Networking is Part of Your Kelley School Online MBA Experience

Prospective students often assume networking is more difficult in an online graduate program than in a residential program. Student organizations, career services, technology, and pedagogical design make this untrue in Kelley Direct. Connection between peers and alums within the program match the caliber of connection between individuals and businesses in the twenty-first century workplace.

Networking is active and intentional in the Kelley Direct program. Kelley Connect Week, LinkedIn groups, student organization webinars, weekend courses, virtual town hall meetings, global consulting trips, and frequent receptions across the U.S. enable online students to connect with 1000 actively-enrolled Kelley Direct peers and over 100,000 Kelley School alumni (3000 from online programs) to achieve their professional goals.  

Kelley Direct’s career development curriculum PROPEL teaches students the art of networking. How do I contact professionals in my industry? How do I introduce myself?  How do I maintain an active group of contacts?  How do I leverage contacts to support career advancement? Online MBA and MS students graduate with answers to these questions. Through coaching and interaction with faculty, peers, and alumni, Kelley Direct students build a robust network inside and outside of the Kelley School.

Virtual Networking Skills Are Essential in the Workplace

Most students virtually engage with work colleagues via phone, email, chat, and web conferences. This mimics interaction with Kelley Direct peers during online class sessions and group projects.  The curriculum pushes students to more efficiently communicate and solve problems when team members physically sit in different parts of the world.   

As more professionals work remotely, virtual management skills become more essential for career success.  Group assignments, discussion forums, webinars, impromptu video chats, and cloud-based project management tools normalize virtual interaction for students. The Kelley Direct ecosystem instills virtual communication as a sixth sense among its students.  Technology enables wider contact than a residential program. Through continuous interaction with peers,

Online MBA Students Meet in Bloomington, Abroad, and at Local Events

Kelley Connect Week brings a student to Bloomington twice during their online MBA tenure (and at least once during MS studies). The six days on campus purposefully mimic a week of the residential MBA experience.  Students work in small teams and compete against one another to solve a live case written by the faculty. They interact in classroom sessions taught by the Kelley School’s best MBA faculty. The schedule sets aside time for networking so students with a common interest find it easy to connect. Events at Nick’s, Assembly Hall, and other venues in Bloomington cement a student’s social bond to the Hoosiers and Indiana University. Students typically complete their first Kelley Connect Week before the start of their first term. This means they meet and befriend their peers before the first online course begins. Students feel a sense of community from day one.     

Students also form social bonds through AGILE global consulting courses. Together in teams, students solve high-stakes problems for small businesses in an unfamiliar emerging market such as Botswana, Brazil, or Myanmar. In such projects, failure is not an option.  Immersion in the management challenge is very personal; participants learn executive skills through trial-and-error in solidarity with peers. Collective reflection deepens the experience and gives each student a high performance team example to put on a resume and chat about in an interview.

Kelley Direct holds networking events twice a year in all of our big markets. At a nice venue, current students, alums, and prospective applicants come together for good food, drink, and fellowship. Deans, faculty, and staff members who attend provide an update on the program, gather feedback for future improvement, and advise everyone on ways to further the Kelley brand. We invest in special effort to help current students make connections that further their career network.



Clubs Help Students Focus Networking Efforts on Their Professional Interests

Expansion of graduate student life online is a priority at Kelley Direct. Online MBA and MS students launched six student organizations over the past eighteen months with the support of the Student Leadership Association (Kelley Direct’s student governing body). Kelley Direct now has the Consulting Club, Entrepreneurship and VC Club, Healthcare Club, Investment Club, Marketing Club and Women’s MBA Club. These groups host conferences to bring the members together in person, host webinars with industry experts, and have even helped shape the curriculum.

Through technology and deliberate program design, the Kelley School’s online MBA and MS programs are a hub of continuous and diverse professional and personal contact.  Kelley Direct students build their network while they work and learn. Multiple touch points immerse our students in the largest business school alumni network in the world.

By Phil Powell, Faculty Chair of Kelley Direct
Got a comment?  I love ‘em…. Comment below or tweet me at @MBAPropheteer or @KelleyDirect

Related Posts:

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Fall 2014 Application Deadlines and Special Virtual Open House

The application deadlines for the Fall MBA and MS quarter are almost here!
  • Deadline for international applicants:  June 1, 2014
  • Deadline for domestic applicants: July 1, 2014
If you are interested in scholarships we encourage you to apply as early as possible. 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.

Special Virtual Open House with Kelley Deans & Faculty

If you still have questions about any of our programs and would like the opportunity to speak directly with the Kelley School Deans and Faculty, consider attending one of the upcoming Virtual Open Houses in June.
Learn about new initiatives that the Kelley School is implementing in our innovative online MBA & MS programs including:
  • How we prepare students for the global, virtual workplace in a free-agent economy.
  • How our scholar faculty bring cutting edge information to the classroom and the market.
  • Why our students learn about the social & environmental impact of business.
  • How action-based learning leads to stronger relationships with classmates & colleagues.

The virtual open houses will take place on 6/4 and 6/23 at 9 p.m. ET.

Please RSVP with your preferred date.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Kelley Faculty Bring Unmatched Combination of Innovation, Accessibility & Research to the Online Classroom

Kelley Direct faculty members are resident to the Kelley School.  Unlike other online MBA programs, we do not outsource instruction.  Many of our scholar teachers are tenured researchers who provide valuable insights to the market.  They are the same faculty members who deliver award-winning instruction in our top ranked residential and evening MBA programs.


Faculty Research Shapes the Way Business Happens

Professor Randy Heron Kelley SchoolOur faculty members conduct research that shapes the way business happens.  Research is the discovery of new knowledge.  This knowledge forms the backbone of content for our online MBA classes.  This is content that does not yet appear in cases and textbooks.  Exposure to this early knowledge and possession of ideas that few others have makes Kelley online MBA students competitive in the job market.

Professor Randy Heron embodies the Kelley scholar teacher.  A finance scholar with two dozen teaching awards to his name, Professor Heron co-authored an article that linked statistical anomalies in stock returns with fraudulent backdating of options among corporate executives.  The article received a best paper award from the Journal of Financial Economics and inspired a series of investigative articles in the Wall Street Journal that won a Pulitzer Prize.  Professor Heron uses these findings to inspire both ethical behavior and creative analytical thinking among managers who enroll in his Kelley Direct finance courses.

Online interaction between students and faculty members moves research both ways.  Always on the prowl to answer practical questions, faculty members leverage the wisdom of Kelley Direct’s working professionals to generate data and research ideas.  For example, Professor Matt Semadeni recently surveyed online MBA students on their appraisal of executive performance.   This informed Professor Semadeni’s nationally recognized research on the division of labor between CEOs and Board Chairpersons in the Fortune 500.



Kelley Students Envision a Course, Faculty Members Make it Happen

Shared creation between students and faculty members is an emerging theme at Kelley Direct.  Merger of faculty research expertise with new course needs expressed by students keeps the curriculum fresh and relevant.  Bottom-up innovation of this nature is a strength that insures a top ranking among online graduate programs.  

Members of the Kelley Direct Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital Club wanted a class or conference to teach them skills in business plan pitching to angel investors or venture capitalists.  Faculty advisor and Indiana Venture Faculty Fellow Professor Todd Saxton did them one better.  He worked with the club leadership and Kelley Direct office to offer a new elective “Business Models and Venture Ecosystems” during summer 2014 that will include online instruction and bring students to Indianapolis for three days for The Innovation Showcase to meet and interact with hundreds of entrepreneurs and venture capitalists. Some have even applied to pitch! Saxton's entrepreneurial teachings and work in the venture community are both informed by his research in this area, and vice versa.

Faculty Mentors Support Kelley Direct Students On & Off Campus

Faculty members not only co-create knowledge and curricula with students, they coach them through solutions to real projects and networks for professional development.

During Kelley Connect Week, our one-week immersion course in Bloomington campus that emphasizes networking and action-based learning, faculty members coach students through a live case.  Faculty coaches meet each day with their team.  They help team members frame problems, brainstorm solutions, and break bottlenecks in team dynamics. 

When the Kelley Direct Marketing Club leaders sought speakers for their recent marketing conference in Chicago, they turned to their marketing professors for help. Professor Kim Saxton, who recently won the 2014 President’s Award for Teaching, connected the club to local marketing professionals in her network.  This enabled an impressive roster of speakers that focused on social media and untested new marketing approaches.

Innovation, accessibility, and research scholarship define a uniquely powerful combination that Kelley School faculty bring to the online classroom that is unmatched by any other top ranked business school.

By Phil Powell, Faculty Chair of Kelley Direct