2018 Best & Brightest: Rachael Sun, Indiana University (Kelley)

Rachael Sun

Indiana University (Kelley School of Business)

“Will give hugs for coffee.”

Fun fact about yourself: I became a U.S. citizen in January of 2018!

Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio

High School: Sycamore High School

Major: Economic Consulting, Business Analytics

Minor: Urban Planning and Community Development, Spanish

Favorite Business Course: G350 Business Econometrics

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

Civic Leaders Center (2014-2016) – Member

Kelley Undergraduate Consulting Workshop (2016-2018) – Member

Kelley School of Business Honors Leadership Team (2017-2018) – Mentor

Kelley School of Business Dean’s Insight Board (2015-2018) – President (2017-2018)

180 Degrees Consulting at Indiana University (2015-2018) – President (2017-2018)

Model United Nations at Indiana University (2014-2017) – Treasurer (2016-2017)

Chinese Business Association (2014-2018) – Member

Citi-Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) International Case Competition – First Place Team and People’s Choice for Best Presenter (2016), Second Place Team (2017)

Champion’s Trophy Case Competition – Participant (2017)

Marshall International Case Competition – Upcoming (2018)

Where have you interned during your college career?

Deloitte Consulting LLP in Chicago, IL (2016) – Technology Summer Scholar

Procter & Gamble in Cincinnati, OH (2017) – CMK Assistant Manager Intern

Where will you be working after graduation? Business Analyst at McKinsey & Company

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? Of the decisions I’ve made in college, the hardest ones were those in which the choices I had were both right, instead of being clearly right and wrong. Business school has taught me that hard choices occur more frequently than we’d all like, and that the neatly identifiable conclusion – while easier – is much less rewarding to reach than the obscure one.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? I’d encourage students to think about how business-related skills might be applied beyond a conventional business environment. When I was looking for majors, I was worried that my major would define my career set, but soon realized that part of the beauty of a business degree is the variety in its application.

“If I didn’t major in business, I would be majoring in or studying…journalism – getting to an intimate understanding of a person, subject, or story and the process of crafting a narrative to accurately capture this understanding is something that still interests me!”

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? The number of introverts! I think business students often get a reputation for being talkative and sociable, but I’ve been so pleasantly surprised by the balance of extroversion and introversion both in business school and in my internship experiences.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? The summer before my senior year of high school, I participated in Kelley’s Young Women’s Institute, a pre-college program focused on bringing together female prospective business students to simulate a week-long college environment. Over the course of the week, my fellow participants and I bonded over lectures ranging from international business to personal dimensions of leadership.

When I look back at now at my business-related college experiences, I can’t think of one parent, teacher, or role model who most influenced me to come to Kelley or business school. Instead, what comes to mind are my floormates for the week I spent at the Kelley Young Women’s Institute. Having been surrounded by peers who would both challenge me to excel and support me in failure, I knew that a business-focused environment was where I wanted to be.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? I am most proud of my involvement with 180 Degrees Consulting at Indiana University, a non-profit and social enterprise-focused student consultancy that I joined my freshman year. As I head into my seventh (and last) semester with the organization, I’ve can reflect with pride on our organization’s ability to grow, adapt, and most importantly continue our mission of supporting clients in improving education, reducing homelessness, and alleviating poverty.

If you were a dean for a day, what one thing would you change about the business school? I’d love to see more students involved in dialogue surrounding school-wide changes, issues, and improvements. Having seen my peers tackle case questions in classes and apply their abilities to affect change in a variety of student organizations, I know that our student body of 6000+ people has the ability to keep improving our business school as well.

Which classmate do you most admire? One of my case competition teammates from this past year consistently juggles 20+ credit hour semesters, part-time jobs, various leadership roles around campus, and a platoon of younger students to whom she serves as formal and informal mentor.

However, these things are not the reason that Abigail Miller is the classmate I most admire. Accolades, accomplishments, and abilities aside, Abby’s compassion for others and perspective to think about anyone but herself make her a peer who will always push me and others to be the best version of ourselves; the Kelley School of Business is incredibly lucky to have her.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? Without a doubt, I’d thank each and every mentor who has coached me over the past few years. From advice to friendship to even ‘tough love’ conversations, I would be a completely different person without their help.

What would your theme song be? “Bird Gerhl” by Antony and the Johnsons – Antony’s song lyrics reference themes of identity, reconciliation, and metamorphosis. It’s a great melody and compelling message!

What are the top two items on your bucket list?Cliché, but definitely to backpack through Europe by myself at some point! Also related – to go internet free for a month or so.

Favorite book: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Favorite movie: Memento

Favorite vacation spot: Xishuangbanna region in China’s Yunnan province

What are your hobbies? Dancing, listening to podcasts, and (unrealistically) house-hunting.

What made Rachel such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2018?

“Rachael does it all. She’s a great communicator, she has great technical skills, she understands all business functions from marketing to quantitative analysis, and she knows how to pull it all together in a polished and professional package.

I have gotten to know Rachel well during her work for our Dean’s Insight Board, which performs research and consulting projects on issues that impact our undergraduate program. Her work for the board has been exemplary. She is a “doer,” certainly, but it’s not just about getting it done – she takes a real interest in the topic and genuinely cares about delivering the best results possible.

In her time as president for the board, I’ve seen how she interacts with her fellow students. It’s clear she has their respect, and I believe her work ethic is infectious. She raises others up and inspires them to do their best work as well, which is the hallmark of a good leader.”

Idalene “Idie” Kesner
Dean, Kelley School of Business
Frank P. Popoff Chair of Strategic Management
Indiana University




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