Meet Indiana Kelley’s MBA Class Of 2020

Jasson Muir Clarke

Indiana University, Kelley School of Business

A Fulbrighter and communications specialist who believes strategic decision-making is key to happiness and well-being.”

Hometown: San José, Costa Rica

Fun Fact About Yourself: I was terrified of the town name – Llanfair­pwllgwyngyll­gogery­chwyrn­drobwll­llan­tysilio­gogo­gochuntil I learned how to say it correctly. If you see me around, ask me how it’s pronounced!

Undergraduate School and Major: Bachelor degrees in Journalism and Public Relations from the University of Costa Rica, MA in Communication Business Management from the Distance State University, also in Costa Rica

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: World Animal Protection, Global Communications and Media Officer

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: In handling media relations and communication campaigns for the promotion of animal welfare in Latin America, I’ve been able to get hundreds of thousands of people involved in causes such as the protection of the Amazon pink river dolphin in Brazil and Colombia, the fight against cruel wildlife selfies, responsible pet ownership, and disaster preparedness and risk reduction (among others).

What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? Collaboration is far more important for a Kelley student than individual competition, and that’s valuable because it acknowledges that we can’t improve as humans if we don’t go at it together. There are so many spaces at Kelley for students to get involved and collaborate, and teamwork is part of the curriculum from the very beginning.

Aside from your classmates, 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? Kelley’s program gives me so many options to develop different skills and bring them together in real-life projects. Kelley has a very solid certificate program in Social Entrepreneurship, which I can then combine with other traditional concentrations. There’s also the Kelley Academies, where classroom knowledge is put to use in solving real-world business problems in fields like consulting, marketing, finance and others. Plus, Kelley has a top-ranked Graduate Career Services department, greatly thanks to the Me, Inc. program that helps you build your personal brand and stand out from the crowd. That wide variety of options to gain perspective from different fields and aspects of business, and prepare myself integrally to lead businesses and organizations is why I chose Kelley.

What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? As one of this year’s Reaching Out MBA fellows at Kelley, I’m very excited to join Out@Kelley and help strengthen relationships between the LGBTQI+ community at Kelley, allies, and the rest of the community. I also look forward to staying connected to my roots through the Latino MBA Association.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? As a public relations specialist, I’ve always been intrigued with how strategy shapes an organization’s development and how its decisions affect it, its stakeholders, communities and the environment. There is also, I believe, a wealth of best practices and insights from the for-profit sector that other types of organizations can learn from and apply to improve their operations and make a more positive impact. My first step towards the business field was a master’s degree in communication business management, and it opened my eyes to how relevant business principles are for every type of organization, situation and process.

How did you decide if an MBA was worth the investment? Deciding to pursue a second master’s degree is not easy, much less moving abroad to do so. However, I considered how the skills I would develop through an MBA can enhance the positive impact I can make in helping an organization with its community and environment – and allow me to help it be more strategic in achieving it.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? Goizueta at Emory University, Questrom at Boston University, and San Diego University 

How did you determine your fit at various schools? I’m currently a Fulbright Scholar, so I was fortunate enough to work with Bill Kolsun, academic advisor at the International Institute of Education, during the Fulbright process for university admissions. With him, I discussed academic interests and goals, and his vast knowledge in MBA programs was essential for my shortlist. I spoke with second-year students and alumni from different MBA programs about the school culture and values, location benefits, career paths and top takeaways from their first year. Online forums and MBA program rankings were also important to determine what kind of impact a school would have on my resumé after graduation. When time came to make a decision, Indiana University was always at the top of my mind, and was decidedly the more strategic choice to make.

What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? Experiencing bullying through middle school was an eye opener on how much impact a person’s decisions and actions can have in someone’s life. I took it upon myself to help others make better decisions to improve their lives and those of other people through having the best information possible, which is why I became a journalist and specialized in science journalism. Thereafter, I decided to also help organizations make better decisions to improve the world, which is why I got involved in the not-for-profit sector and corporate social responsibility. Every decision has the potential to bring happiness to someone, so why not strive to make the most of the next one we make?

What do you plan to do after you graduate? After graduation, I’m looking to return to Costa Rica and work with businesses and nonprofits to implement social responsibility programs that tackle pressing social issues in the country and Latin America. I also plan to start a Ph.D. in Government and Public Policy, so I can drive public-private partnerships that help improve people’s lives through social responsibility.

Where do you see yourself in five years? In five years, I plan to coach organizations in Costa Rica and Latin America in engaging productively with their stakeholders through corporate social responsibility programs and strategic communication, so that they can not only benefit themselves by acting ethically and managing their social and environmental impacts, but also create value and help bring happiness, equality, and prosperity to people.

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