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

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Apply What You Learn: Kelley Direct Focuses on the Workplace

At Kelley Direct, we are proud to be the nation’s top online graduate business program as ranked by U.S. News & World Report. We are a market leader because fifteen years of experience allows us to teach students to prepare themselves for the twenty-first century workplace.

While helpful - earning a paycheck and continuing to gain work experience are not the most valuable professional benefits of an online MBA.  More fundamentally, a Kelley Direct student weaves daily learning with daily management challenges faced in the workplace.  On-the-job “trial and error” application of new insights accelerates development of executive decision making skills in a way no residential MBA program can offer.

Abandon the Traditional Classroom

Abandon the traditional classroom as your measurement stick of the online learning experience. Instead, use your workplace as the context against which you judge an online MBA program.

Just like the new 24-7 global workplace, you use digital tools in Kelley Direct to link with your faculty and classmates.  As the norm for connecting and learning, the online MBA develops your skills in leading virtual meetings, managing virtual teams, and networking virtually across organizations.

Virtual teams do not function with regularly scheduled staff meetings.  An effective boss in New York does not make her India team get up at 3AM each Tuesday to meet with their U.S. peers.  24-7 global teams manage work in multi-modal ways.  Similarly, you can miss the weekly video session in your Kelley Direct class and watch the archive.  Learning occurs through different channels.  Our faculty members must not see you on the video at a prescheduled time each week to judge the quality of your investment in the course.  Doing so shackles learning to an obsolete “brick and mortar” classroom model.

Invest In Face-to-Face Time When It Matters

Just like in the workplace - when we come together in person, we make it count.  We do not do things we could otherwise do online.  Kelley Connect Week in Bloomington, AGILE course travel experiences in emerging markets, and weekend courses in strategically chosen U.S. cities organize Kelley Direct students into teams to solve real problems.  We purposefully insure students have multiple opportunities to network with their peers.

Faculty members write cases and assign student teams to clients. 
Students must pitch executive level solutions that are practical and actionable.  Because recommendations will be implemented, mediocrity is not an option.  Action-based learning prepares Kelley Direct students to organize analysis and make decisions under pressure.  Students gain impact experience they include on their resume and talk about in job interviews. 

Beyond the “live fire training” of residency courses, members of Kelley Direct meet each other through student organizations.  These communities of common interest build the same camaraderie as traditional MBA programs but adapt themselves to the reality of virtual organizations.  Members from around the world bring themselves together for high value encounters.  For example, the Kelley Direct Marketing Club recently hosted a weekend conference in Chicago.  Members organized company visits, industry speakers and informal networking events to grow professionally and to build lasting relationships. 

Your Workplace is Your Lab

Kelley Direct students treat their classes like a job and their job like a class.  This reversed thinking motivates a high level of organization to get assignments done and a high level of energy to experiment in the workplace.  Students immediately apply knowledge they learn in courses – they do not have to wait until they land a job at graduation.

With a curriculum designed with the 24-7 virtual global workplace in mind, Kelley Direct prepares aspiring executives for the future of business faster.
By Phil Powell, Faculty Chair of Kelley Direct
Got a comment?  I love ‘em…. Comment below or tweet me at @MBAPropheteer or @KelleyDirect

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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Online MBA Students Gain Cultural Intelligence by Consulting for Businesses in Emerging Markets

Kelley Direct teaches current and future managers to make tough decisions and solve problems through hands-on experiential learning. One of our innovative programs that accomplishes this is AGILE–our Accelerating Global Immersion Leadership Education classes that take students into emerging markets around the globe.

We believe that students don’t learn leadership by just studying great leaders in a classroom. Students become leaders by getting their hands dirty. AGILE teaches students team dynamics, leadership and cultural intelligence while exposing them to international business, consulting and entrepreneurship. Our students know how to roll up their sleeves and get the job done.

The businesses chosen for the Kelley Direct AGILE program vary in needs. Some are struggling while others are already successful and looking to expand. They come from a variety of industries including manufacturing, retail and service.

The stakes are high and failure is not an option. There are real economic consequences–for the business, for the family that owns the business, and for the surrounding community.

How the Kelley Direct Global Immersion Course Works

During the 12-week course, students spend a majority of their time collaborating from wherever they live – just like every other Kelley Direct online MBA course. In many of the AGILE courses, the students come together to meet the business owner in the United States early in the quarter. Towards the end of the course, students fly to the chosen country to get a better understanding of the business climate there and to help implement their proposal.

Students analyze the needs of individual small businesses within the local market to determine the challenges and opportunities. Then, they formulate a plan of action that results in a measurable, positive impact and present it to the business owners and faculty.

What Online MBA Students Learn from the AGILE Experience

We believe that the best way to teach someone to be a leader is to appeal to his or her emotions. It takes longer for our brains to learn intellectually than emotionally. In these situations, students feel and internalize the problems the business faces. This is one way we accelerate learning at Kelley Direct and train our students on leadership agility.

Kelley Direct MBA Students already learn how to evaluate business models from a Western world point of view in most classes – AGILE exposes them to the  non-Western view. They gain cultural intelligence, which is a vital skill in today’s global economy. Many Fortune 500 leaders attribute their inability to meet company growth goals to their lack of leaders who can manage across borders. Managers will have to learn to communicate effectively and comfortably with colleagues in a variety of countries to stay competitive.

Humility is also an important part of being a manager. Our MBA naturally brings out the humility in students while exposing them to unfamiliar business environments. Jonathan Pankiw, a student who recently went to South Africa for a Kelley Direct AGILE course, had this to say about doing business there, “You can’t throw money at a problem to solve it – it forced us to be innovative.” This is why we take our MBA students to emerging markets.


Upcoming Kelley Direct AGILE Course

The next AGILE course for Summer 2014 is going to Gaborone, Botswana. From late June to early August, teams will interact remotely with the client and complete research to determine a plan of action. In August, students will have one work week in Botswana to complete tasks and generate a high quality final deliverable for the client.

The clients for the 2014 AGILE class include:
  • All Kasi Clothing Company, an athletic clothing company
  • Eluve Company, a manufacturer of black shoe polish and household cleaning products
  • Wild Fruits of Africa, a production facility that converts indigenous fruits and plant products to food, cosmetics and medicine
  • Dips Motors, a manufacturing and installation company that focuses on CV joints, engine mountings, prop shafts and gear boxes for automobiles and other vehicles
  • Sunrise Travel and Tours, a travel company focusing on inbound and outbound trips

By PhilPowell, Faculty Chair of Kelley Direct

Got a comment?  I love ‘em…. Comment below or tweet me at @MBAPropheteer or @KelleyDirect

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