Meet Indiana Kelley’s MBA Class Of 2024

Indiana University Kelley School of Business

Indiana University Kelley School of Business

P&Q: You kick off your program with Me, Inc. Tell us what that entails and how it prepares students both academically and professionally for what is to come? Also, how does Kelley maintain its coaching culture with students across two years?

GGN: “Me, Inc. is a three-week professional development bootcamp that is focused on career management and brand building at an individual level. Students spend time in small classroom groups, discovering their own skills, interests, values, personality types, and preferences — which they may not have spent much time thinking about up till this point. They find out more about the career environment in which they intend to work post-MBA. They learn about the importance of their personal brand and work with classmates and a facilitator to refine the communication of their brand. They learn how to network effectively and have a daylong “RoundTables” session in which they do so with alumni recruiters.

“They get to know and begin bonding with the team that they’ll be with through the first half of the MBA Core. They hone their presentation skills and develop case analysis capabilities. Me, Inc. is a transformative experience for the students. We hear this year after year.

“Beyond Me, Inc., every student has a career coach and an academic advisor who works with them throughout their time in the MBA program. In addition, there are lots of other people in the ‘Kelley family’ — faculty, staff, alumni, and peers — who are here to support our students. That culture of support is essential to who we are as a program. All of us here are eager to see our students succeed.”

P&Q: Who is a standout in your faculty or administration – the kind of person who graduates talk about a decade after they leave? How does he or she personify your school culture and the best of your MBA program?

GGN: “One such standout is our director of admissions and financial aid, Jim Holmen. Long after graduation, alumni talk about how they met Jim at a recruiting event and how his sincere interest in them as individuals drew them to Kelley. Many students and alumni have shared how Jim encouraged them to apply to Kelley, even when they themselves had doubts about their ability to succeed as applicants or as students. They often have said how grateful they’ve been that Jim and the Kelley School were ‘willing to take a chance’ on them, and they are so proud of their academic and career achievements that had once seemed like they were only possible in dreams. Jim embodies the warmth of our program, our high ethical standards, the ways in which we invest in our students, and the ‘personal touch’ that we have here at Kelley.”

Clock Arboretum outside the Kelley School of Business in Bloomington, Ind.

5 REASONS THE MBA CLASS OF 2024 CHOSE INDIANA KELLEY

1) Me, Inc: “Besides Kelley’s outstanding values, core curriculum, academies, and electives, what convinced me to choose Kelley was the Me, Inc. program. Through an immersive process of self-discovery, Me, Inc. enabled me to understand how my personal story, strengths, weaknesses, values, ideal work environment, and leadership style connect with the next steps in my career. Before this program, my personal brand was not a priority. Nevertheless, now I understand its significance, and most importantly, I have a clear vision of how it will guide me through my future professional development, before the start of classes.”
Juan Diego Vasquez (’24)

2) Academies: “I plan to join the Consulting Academy. In my previous professional experience, I enjoyed creating innovative solutions to challenges, utilizing extremely limited resources. What excites me about the consulting academy is the ability to apply what I learn in the classroom through real-world consulting projects, as well as gaining exposure to top-consulting firms of all sizes.”
Alyssa Rapelje (’24)

“I come from a clinical healthcare background. When I was looking at MBA programs, I wanted a program that had resources to support my interest in the business of healthcare. While I was researching Indiana Kelley, I learned the position Indiana, as a state, has in life science careers. Indiana is #2 in U.S. states for life science exportation and the life sciences makes up 28% of the total exports for Indiana. The PLUS Life Sciences Academy is an optional academy that helped tip the scales to choosing Indiana Kelley. I liked that the PLUS Life Sciences Academy has electives to learn formally, and networking events with leaders in the industry. While I was looking at schools, George M. Telthorst, the director of the program, made himself available for a conversation. The availability of him and others at Indiana Kelley was definitely noticeable. I am looking forward to the discussions among peers and healthcare executives that visit for scheduled events.”
Denis Jerome Tuttle (’24)

3) GLOBASE: “The Global Business and Social Enterprise (GLOBASE) program is an activity that excites me the most at Indiana Kelley. It serves as a platform to support various business entities around the globe, equipping them to attain higher level of impact in their communities. The diverse culture, work experience, and expertise that the MBAs bring to bear through this program have the capacity to revolutionize businesses which in most cases have not had such level of professional touch. I find such engagement exciting and fulfilling as it opens a world of opportunities to business owners while offering Kelley an avenue to give back to humanity.”
Chukwuka Stanley Ekeocha (’24)

4) Bloomington: My wife and I thought moving to Bloomington would be in the middle of nowhere. I’ve lived many years in New York City and Houston — two of the four biggest cities in the U.S. My wife is from the massive metro of Johannesburg. We moved to Bloomington blindly, thinking we’d be in for a very low-key, dare I say boring, two years (besides school). We were wrong. Bloomington is beautiful and happening! Rolling hills, four beautiful seasons (winter is a little long for us though!), and proximity to outdoors activities. We’ve dined at several international restaurants, taken in shows at the top-ranked Jacobs School of Music, and attended games and events. The town is big enough to have lots to do, but small enough to feel like real community. Plus, being in a smaller college town meant connections with my classmates were made that much stronger.”
Adam Cochran (’22)

“The biggest myth is that Bloomington is a college town. It isn’t a myth though, but there’s always something going on so you will be able to find something to do. Bloomington is centrally located. It’s close to bigger cities such as Indianapolis, Louisville, Cincinnati, and Chicago.”
Nakia Lee (’22)

5) Kelley Clap: “At the end of each class, Kelley students clap. The Kelley Clap is iconic and is indicative of the Kelley community. The Kelley Clap comes from a distinguished Kelley professor, Walt Blacconiere, who passed much too early from pancreatic cancer. Professor Blacconiere was known for clapping at the end of each lecture to celebrate and express gratitude for the learning that had taken place. Eventually, students started joining in. This is now a tradition that continues in every single classroom at the end of every single class. I love clapping at the conclusion of class, whether it’s with my two hands or an emoji on Zoom, as it reminds me to be thankful for the learning I get to experience at Kelley.”
Sam Yoder (’24)

Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business

ADVICE TO PROSPECTIVE MBA APPLICANTS TO KELLEY

“While doing your research, applying early, and getting to know the campus community are all great steps, I also wanted to touch on the importance of self-reflection throughout the application process. A clear, authentic representation of who you are as a person will be a strong asset in an interview and on paper as you’re writing your application essays. Think about who you are: your strengths, weaknesses, values, passions; and think about what you’ve learned throughout your professional career while working as part of a team. This type of reflection goes beyond the basics of establishing your career trajectory and developing an understanding about how Kelley can help you get where you want to be. You’ll make the most out of the application process and ultimately out of your MBA program if you engage fully in this process of self-reflection and personal growth.”
Rachel Tuskes (’24)

“I would tell applicants interested in Indiana Kelley’s MBA program to reach out to students, staff and faculty. It seemed that after every video call I had, I had two more names of people to reach out to.  I think it is more than just the ‘Midwest nice’ and truly a culture at Kelley. I was skeptical at first that the friendliness of the people I was talking to was genuine, but the more people I talked to, the more I realized it was sincere interest. I know it can be intimidating and tiring having a lot of video calls, but I encourage potential applicants to reach out and I think they’ll feel a difference.”
Denis Jerome Tuttle (’24)

“I also tried to fill out my applications as authentically as I could. I knew that I was choosing a place for the next two years. If I didn’t show up as myself, neither side would know if it was a good fit. I had people who knew me outside of the application process read my essays and listen to my interview stories to make sure I was being genuine throughout. While I’ll never know for sure, I’m convinced that being myself helped Kelley know I was a good fit.”
Sam Yoder (’22)

MBA Student Hometown Undergraduate Alma Mater Last Employer
Daniel Alfaro Arellano San Diego, CA Cal State University, San Marcos UC San Diego
Rod Baradaran Mishawaka, IN Indiana University R&R Applications LLC
Chukwuka Stanley Ekeocha Owerri, Nigeria Nnamdi Azikiwe University Hyde Energy Limited
Chabi Gupta Ranchi, India Rashtreeya Vidyalaya College Of Engineering Gametion Technology Pvt.
Rita Korkor Agyei Accra, Ghana University of Ghana Nestle
Andrew Lash Salt Lake City, UT Brigham Young University (BYU) SmartClick Advertising
Jada Linton Atlanta, GA University of Kentucky Inspirato
Claire Perkins Indianapolis, IN Purdue University Allison Transmission
Rachel Tuskes Chagrin Falls, OH Ohio State University Ohio Northern University – Claude W. Pettit College of Law
Denis (DJ) Jerome Tuttle Pittsford, NY University at Buffalo Thailand-United States Educational Foundation
Juan Diego Vasquez Lima, Peru Universidad de Lima Arquipets Peru
Alyssa Rapelje Columbus, OH Allegheny College The Alzheimer’s Association

Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.