Miguel Klee Roldan
Indiana University, Kelley School of Business
Describe yourself in 15 words or less: I am an inquisitive student of life constantly looking for challenges that will make me a better human being.
Hometown: San Diego, CA
Fun Fact About Yourself: I was born in the country of Guatemala and I immigrated to the United States when I was seven years old.
Undergraduate School and Major: University of San Diego, Accounting
Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation: After graduating in 2011, I worked at Sempra Energy for six years in the following capacities and units:
- Sempra Financial Leadership Program – three-year accounting and finance rotation program with rotations in financial planning and reporting roles
- Natural Gas – 2 years as a business unit accountant
- Liquefied Natural Gas – 1.5 years as a senior accountant in the LNG capital projects team
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: A big accomplishment in my career was to bring a senior executive from my company to speak to a group of high school students that I had tutored for a couple of years. The students that I tutored came from a low-income neighborhood in San Diego, where going to college was not the norm. When I first started tutoring these students, I noticed that I was having a difficult time connecting with them. I realized that if I wanted to build trust with these students, I had to do something to show them that I genuinely cared.
I devised a plan to have the executive speak to the students. I determined that this particular executive would be a great speaker for the students because like them, he started from very humble beginnings and through drive and perseverance, was now responsible for a billion-dollar company. I planned the logistics for the event and after about a month I was ready to pitch the idea to the executive. I was thrilled when the executive committed to drive two hours from Los Angeles to meet with the students in San Diego. The event was a great success on two aspects: the students were motivated by meeting someone like them who was doing big things in the business world and I was able to build greater trust with the students. This is a big accomplishment for me because I was the first in my family to attend college. Many people made sacrifices to help me achieve my goal of going to college. By helping other students like me I am able to pay back all those people that helped me along my journey.
Looking back on your experience, what one piece of advice would you give to future business school applicants? Really know why you want to go to business school and how it is going to enhance your growth as a professional, as a person, or both. The journey to business school can be trying and you don’t want to go through the whole process only to find out that b-school is not for you. Once you have a firm grasp on the “why b-school” question, it will become the foundation for your essays and interviews. Knowing “why b-school” and “why now” will also keep you motivated through the process and will give you a clearer perspective on what qualities to look for when evaluating a particular MBA program for “fit.”
What was the key factor that led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA and why was it so important to you? As a career switcher from accounting to finance, I knew that I wanted to attend an MBA program that was going to offer numerous opportunities for me to learn more about my intended career switch. Kelley’s academy structure provided what I was looking for. The academies at Kelley are a unique element of the Kelley MBA program that offer an experiential learning environment. Each academy is organized by function and each is led by professionals that have years of experience within that particular function. For me, specifically, my goal is to transition to corporate finance and Kelley’s Strategic Finance Academy. This will provide me with access to my academy director who has years of experience leading finance organizations; my classmates who are all also interested in pursuing a career in corporate finance; and numerous guest speakers from the corporate finance world who will share current issues that their organizations are facing. Every aspect of the academy structure is intended to coach me on how to be a leader in any finance organization and that was a key attribute in me deciding to attend Kelley.
What would success look like to you after your first year of business school? Surpassing any self-imposed limitations that I came to business school with. For example, I’m naturally an introverted person, so in business school I want to embrace situations that will push me beyond my comfort zone.