2017 Best & Brightest: Caroline Cronin, Indiana University (Kelley)

Caroline Cronin

Indiana University, Kelley School of Business

Describe yourself in 15 words or less: My most prized possessions include my family ring and my Wombats Hostel loyalty card.

Fun fact about yourself: I can lick my elbow!

Hometown: Westfield, IN

High School: Guerin Catholic High School

Major: Marketing and Operations Management

Minor: Spanish

Favorite Business Courses: Business Culture in Greece and the Consulting Workshop classes

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

Kelley School of Business

  • Kelley Scholarship recipient (4-year merit-based scholarship)
  • Kelley School of Business Honors Program (2014-present)
  • Dean’s Insight Board, student researcher (2016-present)
  • Olin Case Competition 2015, First Runner Up
  • HKUST Citi International Case Competition 2016, Champions
  • Champions Trophy Case Competition 2017, upcoming
  • Semester abroad, Budapest, Hungary (spring 2016)
  • Kelley ACE Program, Freshman Mentor (2016-present)
  • Kelley Office of Admissions, Student Guide and Day Host (2014-present)

Indiana University

  • Indiana University Dance Marathon, Morale Committee and Linedance Teacher (2015-2016)
  • Alpha Gamma Delta, Vice President of Member Development (2014-2015)
  • Hutton Honors College Ambassador (2014-2015)
  • Grupo Teatro de VIDA, actress (2014)
  • Teter Quad Honors Leadership Council, Vice Chair of Programming (2013-2014)

Where have you interned during your college career?

  • enVista – Business Development intern, Carmel, IN (2014)
  • SIHO – Marketing intern, Columbus, IN (2015)
  • Ernst & Young, LLP – Advisory Consulting Program intern, Chicago, IL (2016)

Describe your dream Job: I have always been fascinated by the power of scent and memory association, so I would love to work for a firm that develops brands through olfactory marketing.

Which executive or entrepreneur do you most admire?  Maybe not an “executive” or “entrepreneur,” but certainly a self-made woman – J.K. Rowling made ends meet by working full-time while raising her daughter as a single mother and pursuing her passion for writing before her rise to international fame. I think her combination of tenacity and imagination made her who she is today.

What did you enjoy most about majoring in a business-related field? I love the interpersonal aspects and dynamics of team settings – how each teammate’s strengths and weaknesses compliment the others’.

Where would you like to work after graduation? ) I am thrilled to return full-time to Ernst & Young’s Advisory practice in the Advisory Consulting Program in August!

What are your long-term professional goals? My family is incredibly important to me, so I want to always work for a company that allows me the flexibility to maintain a healthy family life. I also look forward to staying in a very team-oriented environment.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? When packing for college, remember to bring a coffee (or tea!) mug and a healthy dose of humility; business-related fields come with team projects in abundance.

“I knew I wanted to major in business when…I attended Kelley’s Young Women’s Institute as a junior in high school and embarrassingly learned that tort law has nothing to do with pastries.”

“If I didn’t major in business, I would be…pursuing my passion for performing arts by opening a studio for mental health therapy through comedy improv.”

“Before I entered business school, I wish I had known…I have a very low caffeine tolerance! The first night I pulled an all-nighter, I ate half a bag of chocolate covered espresso beans, and I was absolutely wired and jittery the whole next day.”

What was the happiest moment of your life? I first danced at Indiana University Dance Marathon (benefitting Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis) with my sorority sisters as an 18-hour dancer in my sophomore year. Watching the crazy Moralers in tie-dye lead the twelve-minute “linedance” and keeping up positivity and spirit throughout every second of the 36-hour marathon, struck a chord with me and I knew I had to be one of them. The next year I interviewed and was accepted on the Morale committee. My third and final year, IUDM 2016, I had the honor of teaching the last two minutes of the linedance in front of hundreds of exhausted dancers in hour 33 – watching over 800 dancers rally to learn the choreography with me was the happiest moment of my life.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? Definitely winning the 2016 HKUST-Citi International Case Competition with my team! I think we came in as perceived underdogs – we were a little too friendly and enthusiastic, so no one saw us as the formidable team to beat. But that’s also why we work so well together; Mikey is a whizz at financials, Michael keeps his cool under pressure and plays devil’s advocate, and Rachael is an all-around star, but we never take ourselves too seriously. We went in well-prepared with plans to do our best, meet other teams, and enjoy the beautiful city of Hong Kong.

What animal would you choose to represent your professional brand? I would choose an otter – otters are resourceful and very team oriented, but also friendly, fun, and so darn loveable.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? In addition to my amazing parents who support me in every way possible, endless thanks to my musical director from high school, Marcia Murphy. She is the most incredible example of strength, grace, and patience. She taught me the power of servant leadership – how great leads make a great show, but a great ensemble makes a spectacular show. Our high school vision statement is “Lead with Humility, Serve with Love, Trust in Providence,” and she is the embodiment of each of those facets, lessons that made me the student, friend, and teammate I am today.

What would you like your business school peers to say about you after you graduate from this program? I hope they say I made them smile on tough days and was always there to listen and cheer them on.

Favorite books: The Bread of Angels by Stephanie Saldaña and The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Favorite movie: Now You See Me

Favorite musical performer: The cast of Hamilton (close second – Jon Bellion)

Favorite vacation spot: Lake Bled, Slovenia

What are your hobbies? Traveling, baking, skiing, kickboxing, and making slide decks

What made Caroline such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2017?

“Caroline Cronin is one of the top students to complete any of my courses. Her combination of professionalism, empathy, humility, and intelligence is rare. I admire her ability to serve as a role model to others as someone driven to succeed, but always aware that her success need not come at the expense of others.

But ultimately, it is Caroline’s humility that stands out – she knows how to fail, seek feedback, bounce back, and end up in a better place. And that same humility is shown in her leadership skills – whether as a mentor to other Kelley students or in her commitment to IU Dance Marathon, Caroline represents what it means to be a servant leader.

I’m proud to all her my student and my friend.”

Darryl Neher
Senior Faculty Lecturer

Indiana University, Kelley School of Business



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