Going to college can be a scary experience, moving to a new place, meeting new people. At Indiana University Bloomington Kelley School of Business, they’ve created the Kelley Compass, a required, three-class sequence taught over the course of the first three years in the undergraduate program that is considered the DNA of the Kelley curriculum.
Kelley School isn’t a small place. Located in Bloomington, Indiana, the public research university has over 40,000 students. In Fall 2018, the school received 15,267 applications to join their four-year program. In the end, 6360 students were admitted, giving them an admittance rate of just over 40 percent.
Students in the incoming Fall 2018 class had an average high school GPA of 3.92, and an average SAT score of 1437, and ACT score of 31. The school shared that the estimated cost of attending including tuition and fees for an in-state student was $46,519, while an out-of-state student would pay triple that at $140,896. For additional expenses such as food, lodging, transportation, and supplies, students should expect to pay another $56,562.
While the fees may be intimidating, it’s worth noting that over 90 percent of students in the incoming class of Fall 2018 received some form of scholarship support to help ease the burden of attending, with the average scholarship amount at $9,611.
KELLEY’S POPULAR COMPASS CURRICULUM
Students at Kelley can choose to major in Accounting, Economic Consulting, Entrepreneurship, and Corporate Innovation, Finance, Information Systems, Management, Marketing, Operations Management, Professional Sales, Public Policy Analysis, Real Estate, or Supply Chain Management. The school also has co-majors available in Business Analytics, Digital and Social Media Business Applications, International Business, Law, Ethics, Decision-Making, Sustainable Business, and Technology Management.
Regardless which major a student chooses, they begin their education with the Kelley Compass 1 that focuses on the understanding and development of the self, where they locate their strengths and interests, their personal brand, and how they might fit into the business landscape.
“We find that many students choose Kelley and come here because they are certain they want to pursue business. They can begin on day one as a freshman, but sometimes, that’s all they know and they’re not sure if it’s something in finance, international business, or marketing that’s their calling,” Josh Perry, Chair of the Undergraduate Program, said. “Compass 1 helps them explore all the co-majors. This sets them up on a path while working with academic advisors and career coaches to begin thinking about LinkedIn profiles and resume development.”
Students then move on to Compass 2, where they work on their understanding and development of teams, and how they function in a team setting. Here, they explore diversity and inclusion with their peers. About 11 percent of students at Kelley school are international students, giving their classrooms discussions global input and perspective. Students also learn about cross-cultural conflict resolution in this section of their Kelley education, while polishing up their resumes, learning how to work with recruiters, and what to do at career fairs.
Kelley school’s major career fair takes place in the fall. Everyone, including freshmen, is encouraged to attend. After all, more practice never hurt anyone. However, the real focus begins when students are sophomores and juniors, as they’ll want to get noticed to land that covets internship that they can impress into a full-time position.
When students enter their junior year, most of them will be working on Compass 3 to discover leadership through emotional intelligence and real-world application. The curriculum was launched about five years ago, and the idea was to help orient students along a variety of domains, Perry said.
With Compass 3, students are guided to start thinking of their leadership profile and values alongside developing an understanding of organizational dynamics. This is where they gain business savvy and maturity.
“We help students think about how they fit in an organization, to build emotional and social intelligence, so they’ll be better managers and leaders. We refer to these as soft skills, but it’s these intangibles that employers tell us sets our students apart,” Perry said. “We hear routinely from recruiters that Kelley students show up 6 to 9 months ahead of their peers. This has to do with our compass program and tech classes such as required comms classes and computer classes in freshman and sophomore years. We invest in technical practical skills. We want our students to find meaningful work so they can be intentional about the kind of businessperson they want to be, and the kind of org they want to be a part of.”
GLOBAL FOUNDATIONS CORE TAKES STUDENTS WAY OUT OF INDIANA
Another major program of Kelley education is the Global Foundations Core. Second-year students are required to take three courses in sequence as part of their education. The courses are designed to teach students strategies to analyze and interpret the economic, social, political, legal, cultural, and technological influences that drive the global economy.
It begins with a course looking at how business, government, and society works and affects one another, before having students move to look at how business works in a global context. Here, students learn about different economic systems around the world and how businesses look in different markets. Finally, students take a deep dive into a country. They can choose to be based locally, or take a course where the first 8 weeks are held in the traditional classroom setting, and then the group takes a trip abroad. Perry says the school now offers students 17 countries to choose from, covering every continent except Antarctica.
“I went to Costa Rica and Peru to see for myself recently, and it really is amazing. We learned about ecotourism and sustainability in Costa Rica, partnered with entrepreneurs on the ground, and the students got to go on a rainforest tour,” Perry said. “In Peru, we met with Kelley alums who had launched massive businesses. Each country trip is different but powerful, and completes the broad exposure students get to the global environment.”
Last year, over 280 second-year students participated in a Global Core travel course.
Whether it’s Budapest or Barcelona, Perry added that the school is constantly developing new partnerships as over 60 percent of students have traditionally participated in a study abroad event. From developing business plans to sell solar lamps in Nicaragua that culminated in a trip to the Central American nation, and taking classes on business and human rights in South Africa, to immersion programs in England, accounting classes in Switzerland, and working abroad in China, Kelley students are a well-traveled group.
While at Kelley, Laura Lueken, Class of 2016, took two global travel classes and went on four international volunteering trips. With her classmates, she traveled to India and Greece, visiting local companies and consulting with local industry leaders, and through her participation in two student organizations, she traveled to several countries in Central America and Africa to work on topics ranging from microfinance and micro-consignment, to affordable housing and child slavery. Today, Lueken is a senior consultant at Ernst & Young and said that she would recommend the program at Kelley School of Business without hesitation, as it prepared her exceptionally well for the world of work.
The school shared that 75 percent of the graduating Class of 2018 participated in a consulting project with an external organization, and all students are required to complete three global business courses. The courses available include classes on cross-cultural competencies, public policy and the international economy, and the global business environment.
Also integral to the Kelley experience is the Integrative Core, a required, semester-long block of four courses that bridges together everything students learn inside and outside the classroom during their first two years. I-Core is a rite of passage for Kelley students as it pushes them to examine the relationship between finance, marketing, operations, and leadership, and culminates in a capstone project. Most students take it in their junior year, also when they must declare their majors.
The classes are taught using a combination of lecture and experiential team-based work on specific problems or projects and the aim is to help students connect the dots. It is here that students bring their Compass class experiences, and Global Foundations experiences together with their general education knowledge, and math and computer skills.
STRONG JOBS REPORT BUT NO NBA LOTTERY PICK THIS YEAR
Outside of the classroom, school administrators shared that 87 percent of students in the Class of 2017, and 91 percent of students in the Class of 2018, had business specific internships before graduation. A high 98% of students from the Class of 2017, and about 96% percent from the Class of 2018 found full-time positions within two months of graduation, with impressive starting salaries of $77,499, and $62,734 respectively. The top ten employers of Kelley graduates include the Big Four accounting firms, Oracle America, PepsiCo, Grant Thornton, Macy’s, Kohl’s, and Anheuser-Busch InBev North America.
Even so, the school is continuing to work towards improving internship rates even further to get their students into even more companies of their dreams.
Recognizing the challenge of being located in the Midwest, Kelley recently created 4 new business development positions as part of the career services office. The staff in these positions will be located across the country: one on the East Coast, one on the West Coast, one in the Midwest and one in the South East. The strategic focus will be in geographic areas and business fields that are the fastest growing and most desirable. The newly hired staff will go to market to connect with employers and cultivate relationships that will ultimately offer Kelley students the best internship and job opportunities from coast to coast.
Kelley also facilitates a variety of opportunities to intern outside of the US. Students have the opportunity to participate in a wide range of international summer internships that are embedded as part of a study abroad program. During the 2018 summer, students interned in Spain, China, Ireland, Hong Kong, England, Chile, Italy, Singapore, and Australia. Further, the Kelley Institute for Social Impact (KISI) offers international internships in social impact and non-profit fields.
These opportunities allow students to use their business skills in a non-traditional, international setting. During the 2018 summer, KISI students interned in South Africa, Peru, Guatemala, Ghana, and Cambodia.
In response to a survey conducted by P&Q, over 92 percent of alumni of the Class of 2016 said their first job after graduation was in their desired job function, and 90 percent said that their first jobs were at their desired company. Considering this, it’s easy to understand why 85 percent of Kelley graduates from the Class of 2016 said the believed their business education would be instrumental in helping them get their dream career. It seems, Kelley’s leaders, don’t rest till dreams come true.
A NURTURING ENVIRONMENT DESPITE LARGE STUDENT POPULATION
At every stage of the Kelley experience, their leaders have thought about how a single student can get lost, fall behind, and feel like they’re walking on the wrong path. That’s why they’ve planned programs to help make sure uncertainties are captured before they become regrets.
All Kelley students go through Camp Kelley, a four-day, off-site retreat facilitating the college transition for newly-admitted first-year undergraduate business students. The program uses adventure activities, facilitated discussion, peer mentors, and faculty interaction to introduce campus culture, foster community, and build confidence among entering students.
When they become Sophomores, the school turns the attention on them into efforts to prep them for success. The Sophomore Success Breakfast kicks off the academic year for second-year students with a celebration brunch and helpful tips from representatives from all across the school, including faculty, career coaches, advisors, and administrators, while the Sophomore Professional Conference gives students opportunities to get to work practicing their networking skills with real corporate recruiters and get authentic experience in attending an academic conference.
Even as students run the race, they need to be reminded that failure is not an end point and that slowing down is better than working oneself to death.
Over the last three years, the school has also made several changes to the student experience to help them develop even more holistically. Understanding the stresses of constantly “rising to the occasion”, the school has begun to dedicate more resources to mental health and wellness of the students.
Beginning in the fall of 2017, Kelley launched comprehensive programming designing to reduce stigma around issues of mental health and promote social connectedness. Today, the school has a mental health-focused student organization called “Balance at Kelley, a Balance Week, where students can engage in a week of positive programming just before final exams each semester. That week had formerly been known as Dead Week, but today, that week is filled with yoga classes and meditation sessions as students can meet therapy dogs, take part in gratitude events to ground themselves, go for a massage and join other activities to destress and stay mentally healthy. The school will also be opening a student contemplation room with hammocks, cubbies, lounge chairs, dimmable lighting, and soft music, for students to re-center themselves amid the stress. And to better support the students, 30 staff and faculty members completed a Mental Health First Aid Training & Certification course offered by trained educators. After all, every person can help prevent a student from feeling defeated by the stress of college.
“My dean says we choose students who have the talent to succeed, humility to grow, and tenacity to persevere. That captures the Kelley student profile,” Perry said. “Most of them have done extremely well in high school, and are ambitious with big dreams. When everyone who has been at the top of their class comes together, not everyone is going to be at the top. That teaches students resilience, grit, and the ability to pick themselves up and rebuild.”
What Alumni Say:
“I had two global immersion opportunities: a trip to India (to learn about globalization) after my freshman year and a trip to Istanbul, Turkey (to learn about international trade, currency, and current account deficits) after my sophomore year. I also completed the honors version of ICORE, which was a semester-long group project where we were tasked with coming up with a business idea, creating a holistic business plan and presenting it to a panel of judges at the end of the semester.” – Class of 2016 alum
“Investment Banking Workshop was without a doubt the most impacting experience of my academic career. The program trains and teaches you the soft skills required to succeed in business and the financial / accounting skills. More importantly, it creates and fosters relationships with alumni to serve as a catalyst for finding (and getting) your dream job/company.” – Class of 2016 alum
“I took a Marketing course that initialed developing a business plan to sell Solar Lamps in Nicaragua. During spring break we traveled to Nicaragua and got to engage with community and employees in order to develop our business plan. I also studied abroad in Milan, Italy.” – Class of 2016 alum
Where The Class of 2018 Went To Work:
EY – 68
Deloitte – 43
PwC – 39
Grant Thornton LLP – 19
Oracle America Inc. – 19
KPMG, LLP – 17
JPMorgan Chase & Co. – 16
Kohl’s – 14
Macy’s – 14
Cummins Inc. – 12