Meet the MBA Class of 2022: Nakia Lee, Indiana University (Kelley)

Nakia Lee

Indiana University, Kelley School of Business

“Dependable, driven, persistent, intentional Arkansan always looking to improve.”

Hometown: Little Rock, AR

Fun Fact About Yourself: I am the glue of my blended family. My parents have six children. I am the only one that is blood related to everyone.

Undergraduate School and Major: University of Arkansas, Industrial Engineering

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: BNSF Railway, Mechanical Operations Manager

In the second half of the year, you will be completing an Academy devoted to areas like Marketing, Finance, Operations, Digital Enterprises and more. Which Academy interests you the most and why? I am most interested in the Supply Chain Academy. I intend to major in Supply Chain and the hands-on experience such as factory tours and projects would be beneficial.

Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of the school’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? Me, Inc. was a key factor in why I chose to attend Kelley. Me, Inc. helps you with self-reflection and defining your career goals. For me that was really important. I knew what I didn’t want to do, but I wasn’t sure on what I wanted to do. I also liked the timing of Me, Inc. It takes place before classes start. So, I can go into recruiting with a clear idea of what I want to pursue.

What quality best describes your MBA classmates and why? The word “supportive” best describes my classmates. Everyone has been responsive and helpful. Whether it has been with interview prep or networking, everyone is always willing to help. Even before I committed to Kelley, students reached out to offer assistance to help me make my final decision.

What club or activity excites you most at this school? I’m excited joining the Black MBA Association which will allow me to interact socially and professionally with other black students.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: My biggest accomplishment is contributing to two consecutive perfect peak seasons. Peak season is the time from Thanksgiving to Christmas. During those two years I helped make sure every train carrying priority traffic departed on time from my location.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? I’ve been in operations my entire career. That career path wasn’t something that I saw myself doing long term. I was ready to move into a strategy-based role. I realized that I lacked the business knowledge. I also want to change industries. Getting my MBA will allow me to change industries and functions.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? Emory Goizueta, Cornell Johnson, Wisconsin School of Business, Rochester Simon

What was the most challenging question you were asked during the admissions process? The most challenging question I got was at the end of a Skype interview where I had to type out the answer. It definitely threw me off.

How did you determine your fit at various schools? I started by looking at rankings and majors that the programs offered. I knew I wanted a program that had supply chain and analytics. From there, I looked at class size and location. I wanted a program with a smaller class size. As far as location, I wanted to be in the South or Midwest. Kelley checked all of those boxes for me.

What was your defining moment and how did it prepare you for business school? My defining moment was taking a job half way across the country away from my family and friends. It forced me out of my comfort zone. Making that move gave me the courage to take a leap of faith and apply to business school.

What is your favorite company and what could business students learn from them? My favorite company is Netflix. Business students could learn about being able to evolve and staying persistent. Netflix started out in DVD rentals and is now one of the largest streaming services. They had to evolve as the DVD market started to diminish. By being flexible they were able to pivot into steaming and become a well-known brand.


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