Meet the MBA Class of 2024: Claire Perkins, Indiana University (Kelley)

Claire Perkins

Indiana University, Kelley School of Business

“Ex-mechanical engineer who loves spin classes, Ina Garten, and, most of all, a good challenge!”

Hometown: Indianapolis, Indiana

Fun Fact About Yourself: I love to knit; it’s a great creative outlet for me and it’s also very satisfying to make something with my own hands. I’ve knitted lots of different things, including Christmas stockings, baby sweaters for friends, and even a pumpkin hat for my cat!

Undergraduate School and Major: Purdue University, Mechanical Engineering

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Allison Transmission, Hydraulic Systems Engineer

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? The Business Marketing Academy interests me the most because it focuses on business-to-business interactions and allows you to build a broad network of skills which can be applied to many different industries.

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? The program’s focus on leadership development is what led me to choose to study for my MBA at Kelley. Kelley puts a strong emphasis on professional and personal development, from one-on-one coaching and mentoring opportunities through Graduate Career Services, personal branding and self-discovery with Me, Inc. (and even internship interview prep). I have chosen to get my MBA to initiate a career pivot from engineering to management, and I knew Kelley was the best program to help guide me through this.

What course, club or activity excites you the most at Indiana Kelley I am most excited to take the course, “Power, Persuasion, Influence, and Negotiation” because it will push me out of my comfort zone and significantly strengthen my leadership skills. I also am intrigued by this course because I know it will be very different from any of the classes I took in engineering school during my undergrad.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: When I worked as a mechanical engineer for Allison Transmission, I spearheaded an initiative to address a customer complaint. I had to lead testing on our transmissions to diagnose the root cause of the issue and run further rounds of testing to assess newly designed hardware. Parallel to the testing efforts, I worked with our manufacturing and purchasing teams to determine the feasibility of these new designs. This project continued for a year-and-a-half and eventually resulted in two newly designed components being implemented in production. These new designs thoroughly mitigated the customer complaint and also provided a safety net from complaints in the future.

What is one thing you have recently read, watched, or listened to that you would highly recommend to prospective MBAs? Why? I would highly recommend the podcast Maintenance Phase to prospective MBAs. This podcast works to debunk diet culture fads and phenomena, but also brings in concepts interesting to MBAs, like how the marketing of products influences consumer thoughts and behavior and how data and studies can easily be misleading or misinterpreted.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into Indiana Kelley’s MBA program? My advice to potential applicants is to focus on writing memorable essays. The essays are a great way to stand out in your initial application; they allow you to show your true voice, build your personal story, and demonstrate the attributes you’ll bring to Kelley.


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