Meet the MBA Class of 2024: Denis (DJ) Jerome Tuttle, Indiana University (Kelley)

Denis (DJ) Jerome Tuttle

Indiana University, Kelley School of Business

“Occupational therapist looking for adventures and opportunities to continue to learn and grow.”

Hometown: Pittsford, New York

Fun Fact About Yourself: I have been to more than 30 countries and want to keep the number of countries I have visited higher than my age.

Undergraduate School and Major:

University at Buffalo, BS Occupational Sciences

University at Buffalo, MS Occupational Therapy

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Thailand-United States Educational Foundation, Fulbright Researcher

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 Consulting Academy. I like the idea of working collaboratively to solve challenges. When I was considering different business schools, I met with Consulting Academy director J. Scott Laughner. As a career switcher, I appreciated how candid he was during our meeting, letting me know what to expect in the academy and the recruiting process. Not coming from anything close to a business-related career, I appreciated those insights to ground me. During our conversation, he shared his extensive consulting experience and I could tell he was drawing from his practical knowledge of the industry. I want someone guiding me with that type of experience. I am excited to learn how to integrate my clinical healthcare knowledge into projects and best leverage my background.

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?  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.

What course, club or activity excites you the most at Indiana Kelley? I am really excited to participate in Global Business and Social Enterprise (GLOBASE) while at Indiana Kelley. I have prioritized international experiences in my life and the opportunity to participate in solving real-life business challenges excites me. With my previous international experiences, I have seen the need to change the lens with which you approach a problem. Adding in the business component with this new lens will be exactly the kind of growth opportunity I am seeking.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: My biggest accomplishment is the successful completion of a Fulbright research grant. As part of the grant, I spent 10 months in northern Thailand, researching caregiver burden of that care for people with physical disabilities in rural Thailand.  My Thai colleagues and I have submitted a qualitative and a quantitative manuscript for publication in international journals. Working with the affiliated university, I engaged in community work, information exchange of occupational therapy practices, and mentoring of students.

What is one thing you have recently read, watched, or listened to that you would highly recommend to prospective MBAs? Why? Eyes to the Wind: A Memoir of Love and Death, Hope and Resistance, written by Ady Barkan. It is a memoir about the effect of a terminal diagnosis on Barkan’s life, and his political activism. I think during the MBA application process, it is really easy to focus too acutely on yourself and your immediate surroundings. You are constantly trying to share yourself in the most effective way for admissions personnel, stressing about the GMAT and extra-curriculars. I found this book a great reminder of the bigger world, and the extreme privilege I have. It helped me to reorganize things during the chaotic application process.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into Indiana Kelley’s MBA program? 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.


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