By Jack Floyd, MBA’24
Before coming to Kelley, I lived in downtown Atlanta for three and a half years and Midtown Detroit for three years. There is a lot to like about living in a large city, but the constant hustle and bustle was starting to get to me. It is interesting that big cities, while full of people and things to do, can also feel cramped. When it came time to submit my MBA applications, I was looking for a change of scenery that would provide a breath of fresh air.
My first visit to Bloomington was in early February. It was the day after a large snowstorm, and it was cold and clear. I will never forget my first time walking through the Sample Gates—the surest sign that you have arrived at IU. Campus was covered in a blanket of snow, and the energy was palpable as the IU Women’s basketball team was playing our rival, Purdue, at Assembly Hall. After walking through Dunn’s Woods, along the campus river, and past IU’s iconic limestone buildings, it was obvious that both IU and Bloomington were special.
While it is important to choose a full-time MBA program that is an academic and professional fit, to me it is equally important to choose a program and city that feel like home. After that first visit in February, I knew that Kelley, IU, and Bloomington were home. Now through my first semester, I want to share a few of my favorite things about my home.
Tight-knit Kelley community
Admittedly, class size was not something that I considered much when applying to MBA programs. However, it quickly became one of my favorite aspects of Kelley. The program is small enough that it feels like everyone knows your name but big enough that you can continuously get to know new people. Part of what I believe makes the program so close is that everyone has self-selected to be in Bloomington, which means that everyone wants to stick around and hang out on the weekends. I know that I am building lifelong friendships here.
Big Ten atmosphere
Of course, when you become a Kelley, you are first and foremost a Hoosier. Athletic events get off to a fast start in the fall with MBAA-hosted tailgates for every home football game, many of which have corporate sponsors. Once football season winds down, basketball season starts up, which is an Indiana tradition. There is nothing like watching the Hoosiers play at Assembly Hall. Whether it is basketball or football, campus is always buzzing the day of the game; classic Bloomington pregame food and drink spots, like Nick’s English Hut and BuffaLouie’s, are packed with people ordering drinks and wings.
Bloomington—Small town feel with big city amenities
My friends and family are probably tired of me saying this, but my apartment in Bloomington is easily the best-located apartment I have ever lived in. I live on the north side of downtown, so I can easily walk to both campus and downtown Bloomington. My apartment is within three blocks of the B-Line Trail (great for walks and runs), multiple breweries, and a great coffee shop (with the best quiche in town). The only place I can’t walk to within 15 minutes is the grocery store, and it is just a five-minute drive away. I love how walkable Bloomington is.
When it comes to MBA programs, any top school will give you an excellent education. After that, it is important to ask yourself what kind of experience you want outside of the classroom. If you want to build close relationships with your classmates, enjoy world-class athletics and atmosphere, and do it all in a vibrant, walkable college town—then Kelley, IU, and Bloomington are a great place to call home. Go Hoosiers!