Meet the MBA Class of 2024: Alyssa Rapelje, Indiana University (Kelley)

Alyssa Rapelje

Indiana University, Kelley School of Business

“Passionate, red headed problem-solver with a proclivity for exploration, efficiency, and adrenaline.”

Hometown: Columbus, Ohio

Fun Fact About Yourself: I obtained my scuba diver certification and most recently used it to explore the Riviera Mayan reef!

Undergraduate School and Major: Allegheny College, Global Health and Psychology

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: The Alzheimer’s Association, Community Outreach Coordinator

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 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.

Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of Indiana Kelley’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? After attending the admitted students weekend, what was obvious to me was the commitment that Kelley has to its students and that students have to one another. This experience made it clear to me that Kelley was the right place for me to not only learn but to develop as a professional.

Coming from the non-profit sector, I felt it critical to go to a business school that was dedicated to helping me develop as a professional.  Kelley was, from the many schools I considered and visited, unmatched. The building of this culture and community seems to be very organic and not just top down. Current students and alumni have reached out on their own accord and have made me excited to begin my journey before even arriving on campus.

What course, club or activity excites you the most at Indiana Kelley? I am most excited to join GLOBASE, the global consulting organization within Kelley. Travel is the vehicle through which I have experienced so much of my personal growth. The exposure to different people, places, ideas, and cultures helps me understand not only the places I visit, but my own role within these communities and the world as a whole. By taking part in GLOBASE, I’ll be able to help tackle unique business challenges in different ways than I am accustomed to.  It will be a wonderful opportunity to learn more and to grow holistically as a person.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: In early 2020, I was hired by a local non-profit that works with children and young adults with cancer, connecting them with career mentors.  The organization had stagnated within the local community, in danger of losing their biggest contract. This would cripple the organization, and was about to face a society-changing moment in COVID-19.  I was tasked with helping to expand this organization to a national profile, trying to become less dependent on their lone large contract within the Pittsburgh area.

So, I used COVID to my advantage.

By pivoting the organization’s entire business structure and strategy, I was able to develop a business plan and lead the team as we expanded our services into 14 cities, granting hope and opportunity to 250 children within one year. Instead of being fixated on in-person meetings, which were a medical impossibility for this vulnerable population, we became a hybrid organization. This allowed me to connect mentors around the country to children no matter their geographic location. It gave hope to not only those brave children, but also to the mentors, allowing them to connect and find purpose in a time that was so isolating and hopeless for so many of us.

It was a resounding success and allowed the non-profit to survive COVIS-19. I am proud that I was able to identify an opportunity amidst such chaos to help grow and differentiate an organization.

What is one thing you have recently read, watched, or listened to that you would highly recommend to prospective MBAs? Why? I was invited to interview with a consulting firm before beginning classes. I am coming from a non-traditional background and had one week to prepare for the case interview format. Upon the advice of a current Kelley student, I read Hacking the Case Interview by Taylor Warfield. I found this to be a concise, comprehensive resource that provided me with some wonderful tools on how to create case frameworks and approach the interview process.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into Indiana Kelley’s MBA program? Don’t let coming from a non-traditional background prevent you from applying to this, or any program. Showcase your transferable skills, and professional successes. Showing your authentic self will make you a more attractive and unique candidate.


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