It has always been a goal of mine to get an MBA. I decided this year that it is finally time to make that goal a reality. I chose a distance program with Indiana University's Kelley School of Business. Last week I went out to Bloomington, Indiana to start the program. They had a week long in-residence that focussed mainly on Organizational Development and Change.
Here I am at the registration the first day of the program. We got our student ID, textbook for our class that week, and some trinkets.
They had a big dinner the first night. It was fun to meet some of the other people in the program.
This picture was taken the first day of classes. I'm sitting at a table with Rob (who I would later find out was in my group), Jaideep, Juan, and Tabitha.
Here I am in one of the classrooms. I was surrounded by other students, but when I asked the girl in front of me to take my picture, everyone around me scattered. I guess they didn't want to show up on my blog.
The instructors were all really great. I tried to get a picture with each of them. Clockwise from top left: Professor Linda Dunn-Jensen, Professor Sheri Fella, Professor Sarah "Intelligirl" Robbins, Usha Venkat, Professor Steve Hayford, and Professor Tatiana Kolovou.
Our cohort was broken up into groups of six. We did all assignments, presentations, etc. with our group. Meeting and working with my group was the highlight of the week for me. They are some of the brightest, most talented people I have had the pleasure to work with. I hope that we will all be friends the rest of our lives. In the photo above, from left to right: Pamela Trouw, Rob Suppiger, Katie Fox, Kelly Siple, Aaron Bock, and Whitney Carroll.
Here we are working hard on one of our assignments in class.
Here's my team working on a simulation. The goal of the simulation was to get 60% buy in from the employees regarding a shift in strategy. We had to choose which tasks to perform in what order. Each task would affect the employee buy in either up or down. We got up to about 56% buy in before we ran out of time and money. Lesson learned: just fire the guy who refuses to buy in.
Here we are preparing for the case competition. It was a long night, but we stayed on schedule and did some of our best work. Most nights we were up until 1 or 2 a.m. finishing our assignments. This night was no exception.
I've always been really into doing things that promote team unity. We had a social event on Wednesday night at a place in town called Nick's Tavern. Before the event we went to a store so some people in my group could get Indiana University gear. I thought it would be cool if we all got matching red Kelley Business School t-shirts to wear to Nick's.
I'm standing under a tribute to Bobby Knight, the famous former IU basketball coach. I had wanted to go see the basketball court where the team plays, but I never had time.
Despite our busy schedule, my group and I were able to get out and enjoy some of Bloomington's finer eating establishments. This night we were in the mood for Thai food.
I had the opportunity to participate in a focus group with a few of the other MBA students. Darren Klein, seated to my left, is the Director of Marketing for the program. He wanted to get our input on how to market the program in our respective geographic locations. I was happy to share my thoughts, and it gave me the opportunity to meet a few other people in the program.
It was a fun and rewarding week, but I was very happy to get back home with my family. I brought back Indiana University hoodies for Emily, Jacob and Andrew.
If this week was any indication, it will be a busy and challenging couple of years as I complete the rest of the program. --Kelly