2018 Best MBAs: Gregory Toupalik, Indiana University (Kelley)

Gregory Toupalik

Indiana University, Kelley School of Business

 “I am an adventurous, outgoing, curious, genuine, easy going person that loves to be challenged.”

Age: 26

Hometown: Findlay, Ohio

Fun fact about yourself: I took a two-week road trip with my cousin from Chicago to Anchorage, Alaska using only maps, no GPS.

Undergraduate School and Degree: The Ohio State University, B.S. Architecture

Where did you work before enrolling in business school? Fishing Physics, Production Manager

Where did you intern during the summer of 2017? Cummins, Columbus, Indiana

 Where will you be working after graduation? Infosys, Senior Consultant

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

  • MBA Association Vice President of Student Affairs,
  • Peer Coach
  • USA Hockey Ice Hockey Official
  • GLOBASE Ghana

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I am most proud of being elected to be vice president of student affairs of the MBA Association. It provided me the opportunity to be a leader among my peers, and a platform to launch social initiatives like Parents Weekend and Resilience Week this spring to promote mental health awareness. My role impacted every MBA student and the initiatives that my slate started will leave a legacy for years to come.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? The achievement I am most proud of is being on the patent for the fishing lures that we manufactured at my former employer, Fishing Physics. This is significant to me because I didn’t come from an engineering background, but I was still able to use my design background to contribute soon after starting, and eventually eliminate what was our largest bottleneck at the time to meet the orders of the growing firm.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? My favorite MBA professor was Rockney Walters. He teaches “Pricing Management” and is a favorite among not only marketing students, but all Kelleys. He takes the time to get to know each of us on a personal level that then leads to greater class participation among my peers. He also bases his class materials on frameworks and strategies that he teaches his actual clients. We know we are getting real world experience and that most of the firms that we go on to work for full-time will use similar tools.

Why did you choose this business school? I chose the Kelley School because of the people and the opportunities to learn abroad. I had heard about the “Kelley Family,” but it wasn’t until I came for my campus visit and interview that I truly understood it. In my undergraduate studies at Ohio State and while working for Fishing Physics, I was able to do a lot of traveling, so the GLOBASE program was an important offering for me when deciding between what school to attend. Kelley is a top-ranked school with global opportunities that also builds a closeness between faculty, staff and students, and when I experienced that at my campus visit, the decision was easy. This was going to be home.

What is your best piece advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program? My advice for someone trying to get into Kelley would be to be yourself. Kelley is full of unique individuals with diverse backgrounds, myself included. There is no mold that the admissions staff is trying to fit you into. Kelley is made up of students with traditional business backgrounds, but also former Green Berets, opera singers, humanitarians and NFL football players. Know “why Kelley,” and then be genuine, be yourself, and embrace your uniqueness.

What is the biggest myth about your school? The biggest myth about Kelley is that Bloomington doesn’t have much to offer students because it isn’t in a big city. Kelley does a great job of encouraging collaboration and the students embrace it to build a welcoming community. Bloomington has good dining, is only an hour from Indianapolis and has Lake Monroe and Brown County State Park only 30 minutes away. There is always something to do if someone is willing to try new things.

What was your biggest regret in business school? I don’t have any regrets about my time at Kelley. I went on consulting trips to Ghana and Germany, attended an Indiana University basketball game and formed long-lasting relationships with incredible people with a diverse set of backgrounds.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? I most admire Chelsea Trotter. I have known her since the first day of class when I sat behind her in the CORE and have gotten to know her even more during our time on the MBA Association slate together. She radiates positivity and is a role model for professionalism at Kelley. She has a zest for learning and a desire to help others that is unlike anyone else I have met. She had a successful HR career before coming to Kelley that allowed her to share insights and contribute to class discussions, as well as lead my peers through the recruitment process as vice president of professional development on slate with me. She has the ability to knock down any wall and climb over any mountain, and I am excited to see what she accomplishes next.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? I was most influenced by a mentor of mine that brought me to Fishing Physics. She was the first person I called when I considered leaving the architecture graduate school I was enrolled, in when I realized I no longer wanted to pursue a career in architecture. We talked about alternatives if I no longer decided to do architecture and getting into a top business school and going into finance became my new goal. She put me in situations to fail, grow and learn a diverse set of skills that helped me succeed at Kelley and also as a future consultant.

“If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be… making fishing lures in northwest Indiana.”

What are the top two items on your bucket list? Summit Mt. Everest, take a family trip to Italy

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? I want my peers to remember me as a good friend that positively influenced their time at Kelley, and that will be there to support them and encourage them after graduation.

What is your favorite movie about business? My favorite movie about business is It’s a Wonderful Life. The biggest lesson that I learned from it is that you don’t derive happiness from money, but from family and friends. It also makes you realize the ripple effect that one individual can have on so many others, and that every life is valuable.

What would your theme song be? “The Fighter” (feat. Ryan Tedder) by Gym Class Heroes

Favorite vacation spot: Alaska

Hobbies? Working out, playing hockey, golfing, traveling, spending time at the lake, and the outdoors

What made Gregory such an invaluable addition to the class of 2018?

“Greg served as the Vice President of Student Affairs for the Kelley MBA Association, and he worked hard to engage our students in a wide range of activities. He developed and worked with classmates to launch two new and highly successful programs this year: an MBA Parents Weekend in the fall, and a Resilience Week focusing on the importance of student mental health in the spring. He has brought a great deal of energy and creativity to his role and did much to strengthen our community at Kelley.”

Gale Nichols

Director of Student Services and Global Programs


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