Amanda Sharpe, MBA’19
When I was first thinking of getting my MBA, I was a financial analyst for a semiconductor company in the Bay Area. I was budgeting, conducting product analysis, creating PowerPoints, and using Excel a lot. Fast forward 2 years and now I am an Associate Brand Manager at E&J Gallo managing two large wine brands. You might not think these two jobs have a lot in common, but through the help of my Kelley MBA, I was able to see the similarities and skills that were transferable to help me achieve my dream job and successfully make a career switch.
Me, Inc.Me, Inc is a special time during the first 2 weeks of your first year of the Kelley MBA program where you start to dig into your prior experiences to develop an in-depth understanding of your personal story and how it connects to the next steps in your career even before classes begin. Regardless of where you want to go after school, Me Inc challenges you to uncover the amazing things that shaped who you are before you got to Kelley. People sometimes forget how important that piece is when uncovering where you want to go next. Me Inc helped me understand the invaluable skills I learned my three years in finance that would ultimately help me excel in marketing as well. During Me Inc, I also discovered the career path that I wanted to pursue. Like most people, I was a little unsure of where I wanted to go post-MBA, and the programs in Me Inc are designed to helped guide you to answers. I was able to talk to classmates in these industries prior to school, faculty that have seen countless students enter these jobs after school, and even representatives from companies that recruit at Kelley. Between all of this, I was able to narrow down my search and begin transitioning into my new career path!
While the classes at Kelley help shape your overall business skills, the academies dive deeper into the various roles you can begin post-grad school. The academies probably helped the most in my career search because not only did it open doors to companies to network with, but also we discussed brand roles in detail and I really got to imagine what life would be like in this new career path. In the Consumer Marketing Academy, we had the opportunity to speak with and hear from top CPG companies in the country. We visited offices in Ohio, Chicago, and Indianapolis and were able to uncover various roles in consumer marketing. I also did a “mock” internship project with Proctor & Gamble that helped me tackle my summer internship project at E&J Gallo. The academies were a very helpful tool and gave me a leg up while applying to internships and landing that full-time offer. It is something unique the Kelley MBA offers that enables students to understand specific industries before your summer internship.
Ultimately, Kelley helped me realize all the transferrable skills to highlight when speaking with new industries and companies. Kelley also prepared me with the necessary industry skills to completely change careers. I went from being a financial analyst budgeting for semiconductors to managing wine brands for the largest winery in the US. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience at Kelley or a better job post-MBA!