The Kelley School of Business at Indiana University ranked No. 11th this year, climbing 8 places from it’s No. 19 spot in last year’s rankings. The B-School climbed up from its 17th spot in 2020’s rankings and 2019’s 13th-place finish as well.
Kelley had an acceptance rate of 48.96% this year, slightly more exclusive than last year’s rate of 50.65%, and this year’s incoming class had an average SAT score of 1438— a few points up from last year’s average of 1432.
At Kelley, business education is founded on professional and leadership development, and Kelley students graduate with strong employment outcomes. Some 89% of the Class of 2021 had at least one business-focused internship before graduation, down only slightly from last year’s 91%, and 96.47% of the Class of 2021 was employed full-time within three months of graduation, up a few percentages from last year’s 93.98% for the Class of 2020.
Additionally, a great 91.25% of surveyed 2019 alumni reported that their first job after graduating was in their desired industry, and 85.00% said that first job was at their desired company. Of the three methodological categories, Kelley had a stellar performance in the Alumni Experience category, coming in 2nd.
Kelley’s undergraduate business education is best characterized as one that emphasizes professional and leadership development through its comprehensive curriculum and industry-specific workshops.
Kelley students have access to 18 majors and co-majors including Accounting, Business Analytics, Digital and Social Media Business Applications, Digital Technology Management, Economic Consulting, Entrepreneurship and Corporate Innovation, Finance, Information Systems, International Business, Law, Ethics, and Decision-Making, Management, Marketing, Operations Management, Professional Sales, Public Policy Analysis, Real Estate, Supply Chain Management, and Sustainable Business.
At the core of each of these majors is the Kelley Compass. Often considered the DNA of the Kelley curriculum, Kelley Compass is a set of classes taken once per year during the first three years of the undergraduate education.
The first course is “The Individual,” in which encourages students to better understand themselves by creating a comprehensive and market-ready personal-branding deliverable. The second course is “The Team,” in which students collaborate with teammates to construct strategies for real-world problems. Students also develop professional resumes and cover letters through this course.
The third course is “The Business Professional,” in which students learn important skills such as self-awareness, self-management, and leadership. This final course focuses on emotional intelligence and real-world, practical applications.
The Kelley Compass courses are highly characteristic of the type of education and values that Kelley strives to instill in each of its students: One that nurtures both hard and soft skills to develop a nuanced individual, team, and ultimately, business professional.
And many Kelley alumni agree. Surveyed 2019 alumni rated the quality of teaching at Kelley a strong 9.1 average rating. When asked to rate the opportunities offered at Kelley to nurture and develop their soft skills in business such as verbal and written communication skills, adaptability, delegation, and time management, 2019 alumni gave a strong 9.6 average rating.
The Kelley education places heavy emphasis on specialized skill development. Students can gain industry-specific knowledge and build in-demand skills by applying to one of Kelley’s 13 workshops that range from investment banking to consulting.
“I was a member of the Investment Banking Workshop during my undergraduate years,” one 2018 alumni told us. “I was faculty-selected into an intensive program preparing students to enter the investment banking industry and was trained in fundamental valuation techniques through participation in weekly lectures and Training The Streets seminars.”
Another 2018 alumni highlighted his experience in Kelley’s consulting workshop, where he and a group of 30 students developed the necessary skill sets and network for a career in consulting.
“The experience melded distinctive teaching that provided me a core consulting toolkit, hands-on learning through case studies and case competitions, and access to a network of peers and alumni in the industry I looked to work in,” the alumni told us.
Kelley’s industry-specific workshops are a prime example of how the b-school strategically develops market-ready business professionals for nearly any career. Through these workshops, students can build the necessary skills and knowledge while making meaningful connections in their chosen industry.
“The workshop programs are incredibly unique and valuable at the Kelley School of Business – being part of the Investment Management Workshop not only prepared me for my future career but connected me and put me in front of top employers for internship and full time opportunities,” one 2018 alumni told us. “The rigorous coursework, seminars and networking opportunities as well as the commitment by faculty and upper class-men members to this program made it invaluable to my undergraduate experience.”
“Just about every business class held real world work simulations and projects to some extent. These focused on a real world problem, working with a team to find a solution, and communicating that solution through paper or presentation. Some of the key classes included large capstone projects that require in depth research and problem solving skills.”
“All Kelley students are connected through a shared experience: I-Core. The integrated core, and its accompanying week long business case form quintessential Kelley DNA and serve as a commonality anytime I encounter a fellow graduate. The I-Core experience is successful because it mirrors real life by placing students together where the stakes are high, authority is unclear, and the answer is ambiguous. Group work is typically limited to a single course in isolation, but I-Core shatters the silos by drawing across disciplines such as finance, operations, marketing, and leadership. Kelley has created a controlled Lord of the Flies moment in their curriculum, with three years of coursework before dropping students on an “island” and asking them to navigate to shore together. I-Core creates beautiful results from the most unlikely pairings. I-Core was important to me because it challenged me to put faith in strangers, compromise for the greater good, and ask for help.”
“My senior year I co-founded the ‘Failing Successfully’ summit at Kelley which was aimed at breaking down the perception that you have to be perfect to excel in the business world. This is important to me because if you don’t fail, you don’t try. And my worry with many business school students is that they’re so focused on perfection, they stop focusing on creativity and innovation. It also addressed the mental health component associated with these concepts. Something that is near and dear to my heart.”
“Indiana offered me a life-changing experience allowing me to study abroad at ESADE Business School, a prestigious European University. Additionally, Kelley empowered me with the tools and resources to get my dream job in Silicon Valley working as an analyst at venture-backed startups.”
“My capstone Course for my honors program was one of my favorite classes because of the engagement from the professor the ability to talk about real things in the classroom and having a completely comfortable and creative environment to learn and ask questions.”
“I led a consulting group whom worked with a jewelry manufacturer in Havana, Cuba, and helped create a strategy for them to enter the US marketplace and set up a business plan. It was my first experience getting deep into the realm of real world business, and building something from the ground up. We were able to help them set up a LLC, import their products into NYC, create a website to promote e-commerce, and set up shop successfully.”
Where The Class of 2020 Went To Work:
EY – 53
Deloitte – 49
PwC – 32
Grant Thornton LLP – 21
Protiviti Inc. – 16
Oracle America Inc. – 15
Bank of America – 13
KPMG, LLP – 17
Kohl’s – 13
Huron Consulting Group – 13