I’ve been the Executive Director of the Kelley School of Business’ MBA program for the past 18 months, and I’m thrilled for this opportunity. Since my graduation from the MBA program in 1996, I worked in investment management for about 14 years at a variety of sell-side and buy-side firms. I came back to Kelley in late 2009 and worked in Graduate Career Services for the seven years prior to my current role. I am grateful to Kelley for how it shaped my career and provided me the skills and networks to excel, and it’s been awesome to be back working here.
The past 18 months have been an exciting time of investment and change in the program. This fall we welcomed 204 new students with the highest average GMAT and GPA scores we’ve ever had. Of course, as always, we admit students based not only on their strong GMAT scores and high GPAs but also on their interpersonal skills and their projected employability. Our students are exceptionally talented and it is a great honor to work with them. I hope you get the chance to meet them—and of course, I hope that you look for opportunities to hire them! If you have any opportunities (internship or full-time), please email Nina Camfield at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since introducing Me, Inc., our capstone professional development program, in 2010, we have continued to evolve and push the program based on student feedback and employer needs. Me, Inc. continues to be a differentiator for our program and allows our students to develop interviewing techniques and gain the necessary soft skills and emotional intelligence needed to be successful in the workplace. The next iteration of Me, Inc. will have an increased focus on emotional intelligence and how to grow each area while the student is at Kelley. We offer Me, Inc. 2.0 for our second year students when they come back from their internships as a refresher on networking, interviewing, and how to negotiate their offer, and we launched Me, Inc. 3.0 this year in the spring for our second-year students to focus on reputation and legacy, both at Kelley and in the workplace.
Our coaches in Graduate Career Services continue to build up their skills, with most of the GCS coaches (as well as several of us in the MBA Program office, including me) becoming executive-coach certified. We offer executive coaching to our students as well as to alumni and corporate partners. We continue to build out our connections to companies around the globe and several new initiatives are in the works on this front. Stay tuned for more information!
We have expanded our global opportunities through Global Business and Social Enterprise (GLOBASE), which provides students with an experiential learning opportunity working with non-profits or NGOs in emerging economies around the world. GLOBASE also provides leadership development for second-year students who lead the teams and participate in our Leadership Academy. We continue to try new countries and clients and a large percentage of our students take advantage of this opportunity. This year we had successful trips in China, Ghana, Guatemala, India, and Vietnam with more than 130 students participating.
In the past year, we hired two additions to our MBA staff: Sarah Nagelvoort, who is handling our alumni relations, and Tiesha Douglas, who is in charge of diversity and inclusion. Sarah has been instrumental in helping new graduates transition to alumni status, engaging our alumni through events and communication, and developing resources for alumni such as directories and continuing education. We encourage you to work with Sarah to utilize these resources or if you want to increase your engagement with the program.
Tiesha has been working hard on issues of diversity and inclusion in both admissions and student services. We know that diverse organizations are stronger performers, and we are committed to nurturing an environment where all can thrive. We are delighted to have Tiesha helping us plan and execute in this area.
In addition to my role as Executive Director of the MBA Program, I also am the Director of the Capital Markets Academy. I work closely with the directors of the other Academies (business marketing, consumer marketing, consulting, strategic finance, and supply chain) to bolster this bridge between academics and careers. Academies and the involvement of alumni in the Academies continue to be another differentiator for our program, so please reach out if you are interested in participating.
These are only a few highlights of a number of initiatives in process as we work to continuously improve. I appreciate your engagement with the program and our students and look forward to hearing from you.
Rebecca Cook, CFA, PCC
Executive Director, MBA Program
Director, Capital Markets Academy