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The Pioneering MBAs In The Class Of 2019

Kyle Lewandowski  

Indiana University, Kelley School of Business 

Describe yourself in 15 words or less: Future supply chain manager fueled by camaraderie, coffee, and humor.

Hometown: Muskego, Wisconsin

Fun Fact About Yourself: As an intern for his congressional office in Wisconsin, I once spent a day with Paul Ryan to travel throughout his district and meet constituents.

Undergraduate School and Major: Drake University, BSBA in Economics and Management

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation: U.S. Army, Chemical/Biological/ Radiological Officer and Military Intelligence Officer

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: The platoon I led represented the U.S. at a North Atlantic Treaty Organization training exercise in Canada. We donned HAZMAT suits and teamed up with partner nations’ militaries to enter 13 toxic environments containing real chemical warfare agents and radiological contamination. I am proud of my platoon members’ performance in dangerous conditions under intense scrutiny from international observers.

Looking back on your experience, what one piece of advice would you give to future business school applicants? If you are like me and are not a stellar standardized test taker, consider budgeting enough time to re-attempt the GMAT or GRE even before tackling applications. Continuing a regimen of studying is frustrating and may not be possible for everyone’s timelines. You may be surprised, however, by the higher score you achieve after you walk into the testing center for a second time with boosted confidence, fewer nerves, and greater familiarity with the test. A test score constitutes only a single data point in your candidacy, but, all else equal, even an incremental increase widens the menu of schools you can target and begin to evaluate.

What was the key factor that led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA and why was it so important to you? Leaving military service is a profound career pivot for veterans. The Me, Inc. orientation program demonstrates Kelley’s desire to lead us to an even deeper understanding of why we are making this transition. It revealed the strengths and weaknesses we offer to a non-military organization, and how we can use the next two years of our MBA experience to leverage and overcome them, respectively. No other MBA program offered to challenge me as thoroughly through introspection and frank counsel.

What would success look like to you after your first year of business school? If my class had to repeat our first year but was able to select our own cohort and team members, my peers would choose to work with me again. Also, I never forgot to call my mother.