Indiana University, Kelley School of Business
Hometown: Vincennes, Indiana
Majors: Finance; Economic Consulting; Business Analytics
25 questions with Campus Correspondent Tanner Snider
When did you know you wanted to go to business school?
Throughout high school, I was heavily involved in Business Professionals of America and served as my chapter’s president for two years. After competing and placing at the national conference, I became interested in pursuing a business degree and realized that my skill set could lead to a rewarding career in business. Then, during the summer after my junior year of high school, I finally made the decision that I would apply to undergraduate business programs when applications opened.
When you found out you were accepted into Kelley, what was your reaction?
I was very thrilled about the opportunity to attend a great business school in my home state of Indiana; however, I hadn’t made my final decision on where to attend, so the greater excitement came later.
What other schools did you apply to?
I also considered the University of Michigan, Notre Dame, and a few smaller schools in Indiana.
Why should students preparing to enter college consider going into business school?
I believe there are three reasons why students should consider undergraduate business school. First, it provides a degree that can lead to an extremely diverse set of opportunities upon graduation. I’m doing consulting, but I have friends going into banking, law school, advertising, public sector positions, and nonprofit work. Secondly, business school (at least my experience at Kelley) teaches you how to work extremely well with others which is a core skill needed in almost any post-college scenario. Lastly, business school grads typically have strong employment outcomes upon graduation. At Kelley, 95% of students have a full-time job or pursue graduate school within three months of graduation.
What has been the most surprising thing about B-school?
Coming to Kelley from an extremely small rural high school in Indiana with only 76 students in my graduating class, I worried about the size of Kelley (nearly 7,000 undergrads) and its classes. To my surprise, the faculty of large classes are some of the best in Kelley and do an exceptional job engaging with their students through in-class participation, technology, and office hours. Additionally, Kelley has 60+ student organizations, a business honors program, and many other groups that quickly allow you to find a smaller group of like-minded students. Getting involved early really helped me build friendships and feel surprisingly at home, even at such a large school.
How many internships have you done and with what companies?
I’ve completed three internships throughout my undergraduate career–one each summer. My first summer, I worked for a small law firm in New York City called Urban Cartographics. After sophomore year, I worked for Oracle in Chicago as a Client Services Consulting Intern. Last summer, I worked in Chicago as a Summer Business Analyst for McKinsey & Company.
Have you studied abroad?
When, where, and what was the experience?
My first study abroad experience was one of Kelley’s Global Business Immersion courses that consists of an eight-week class about a country’s economy followed by a 10-day trip to immerse yourself in that country’s culture. I studied the unique economic growth plan implemented in South Korea since the 1960s and then traveled to Seoul. There, we visited businesses such as Samsung, Hyundai, and the Bank of Korea and took cultural excursions to places like the DMZ and Gyeongbokgung Palace. It was an incredible trip that gave me new friends, great memories, and an enriched understanding of Korean social, historical, and business culture.
Next, I decided to spend a semester abroad at City University of Hong Kong studying finance. While there, I got to know the city extremely well and traveled to five other countries. I made friends from around the globe and had a very fulfilling academic experience as well. My semester in Hong Kong was definitely one of the highlights of my undergraduate experience.
If you had to choose one: an internship or studying abroad?
Wow, that’s a tough choice. Although studying abroad certainly expands your horizons and teaches you many skills, I would probably choose an internship if I could only do one. Internships provide so many experiences that are crucial to business students and cannot be taught in the classroom. Often, internships also lead to full-time career opportunities which could give you the means to travel outside of a university-related program. Luckily though, you most likely won’t need to make this hard decision. Kelley offers numerous study abroad programs that can fit into almost any student’s schedule and allows you to also find an internship.
What has been your most memorable moment in B-school?
Taking part in Kelley’s annual Senior Week event, the Mr. and Ms. Kelley Competition, has been my most memorable experience at Kelley. Competing as a Mr./Ms. pair with one of my best friends, Kexin He, we completed goofy tasks like Minute to Win It challenges and PowerPoint karaoke in front of a room of over 200 Kelley students, our families, and a panel of faculty/staff judges. At the end of the night, Kexin and I were dubbed the 2017-2018 Mr. and Ms. Kelley, but something else made this event truly special. Our Kelley Class of 2018 lost one of the most passionate, kind, and giving classmates, Megan Yoder, to a hard-fought battle with cancer early last fall. Tickets to the event raised money for Megan’s memorial scholarship fund, and over $1,200 were raised in her memory by the five competing pairs. It was a remarkably memorable and special night that shows how amazing the Kelley community really is.
Why should students apply to Kelley?
I could probably come up with a list of 100 reasons to come to Kelley, but I’ll spare you and just give my top five!
- You will receive a fantastic business education at a top ten business school in the United States.
- You will learn from extremely talented and engaging professors that truly care about their students’ futures (example given in question 24).
- You will collaborate with and become friends with a diverse group of other students from around the globe that are all just as passionate as you.
- You will leave Kelley with a great career opportunity! Ninety-five percent of Kelley students graduate with a job or go to graduate school and a similar amount have an internship throughout their undergrad career.
- You will leave Kelley equipped with the skills necessary to succeed on almost any career path that you choose and will be supported in chasing your dreams by an incredible alumni base of over 100,000 former Kelleys.
What are your goals after graduation?
After graduation, I hope to start a successful career as a Business Analyst at McKinsey & Company, stay connected with my friends and family, and find ways to give back to my hometown, the IU community, and my new home city of Chicago.
When you’re not studying, where on campus can we most likely find you?
I am very involved with multiple student organizations on campus, and as a senior, I serve as a mentor to several freshman Kelley students. So when I’m not studying, I can often be found meeting with my mentees, serving on IU’s student Funding Board, or attending meetings for Out at Kelley, the school’s LGBTQ+ group. If I’m not busy with extracurriculars, I enjoy going out to eat at Bloomington’s amazing array of restaurants with my friends.
What are you most excited about for the new semester?
For my final semester at Kelley, I am excited about ensuring that I leave a positive legacy at the Kelley school. To do this, I hope to serve as a strong mentor to many younger Kelley students because it’s extremely important to give back and pass on the valuable insights that I gained from my mentors as an underclassman. Additionally, I look forward to continuing working with Kelley administrators and Out at Kelley to strengthen LGBTQ+ initiatives at the school. Lastly, I’m excited to spend my final semester with the great friends that I’ve made at Kelley before we all go our separate ways to conquer our dreams.
What are your hobbies outside of B-school?
I grew up on a small cattle farm in southern Indiana and showed horses until coming to Kelley. So when I go home, I enjoy riding horses and spending time outdoors. Additionally, I have my pilot’s license, so I like to go flying in my family’s small Cessna airplane.
What advice would you offer your freshman self?
Not everything is a big deal… starting out at Kelley, it can be overwhelming and easy to worry about every little detail in your classes, organizations, and social circles. Looking back, everything always worked out pretty smoothly, and I probably could’ve made things easier on myself if I hadn’t taken everything so seriously at first.
What is one thing that could improve your business school to make it an even better experience?
I believe a more widespread mentorship program for Kelley underclassmen could give students an even more positive, engaging experience. Currently, there are smaller subsets of students in the Honors program and certain other groups that receive upperclassmen mentors. I know how much I benefited from having experienced mentors early on in my Kelley career, and I believe every student should have this opportunity.
What is the one class or who is the one professor every B-school student should take?
I recommend taking Managerial Economics with Professor Robert Ridlon at the Kelley school. Not only is the course extremely interesting and intellectually stimulating, but Professor Ridlon will make you laugh throughout the semester with his dry, witty sense of humor. It was certainly one of my favorite classes at Kelley.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
As my dad always says, “plans are made to be changed,” so I don’t really have a solid plan at this point. I believe I have the skills and drive to start a great career at McKinsey, so that’s what I will focus on first. Rather than creating a life plan, I think it’s far more important to always be prepared and on the lookout for the next great opportunity that awaits.
What is one life changing moment you’ve experienced as a business school student?
On my first study abroad trip to Seoul, South Korea, I was able to accept myself as gay for the first time after having many discussions with a fellow classmate going through the same realization. Since then, I had the opportunity to attend the Out for Undergrad Business Conference where I realized that being your true authentic self at school and in professional business settings is encouraged by most companies today. In fact, during my summer internship at McKinsey, I was part of GLAM, the firm’s LGBTQ+ affinity group, which encourages all employees to be themselves and supports them in doing so. Together, these realizations and experiences have certainly changed my life in positive ways and allowed me to meet other successful LGBTQ+ business students and leaders.
What one word would you use to describe the professors at Kelley?
Dynamic. Kelley professors come from diverse personal and professional backgrounds, strive to build relationships with their students, and aim to foster a strong sense of community within the school. The faculty truly make Kelley the strong business school that it is.
What word to describe the students?
Passionate. All the successful Kelley students that I know are extremely passionate. Each one has a passion for something different – technology, finance, public sector work, environmental concerns… The list goes on and on, but Kelley students bring an immense amount of passion to the classroom, the student organizations we run, and the people we interact with.
What is the culture like there?
I would call the culture “collaborative.” Students, faculty, and staff, alike, work together to help each other learn, grow, and succeed both personally and professionally. There is not an intense, cut-throat culture where students are afraid to share their ideas or ask for help. Collaboration is the key to success at the Kelley school and beyond, and you will certainly feel the collaborative culture if you visit Hodge Hall.
Who is your favorite professor and why?
My favorite professor, who is now a great friend to me, is Tatiana Kolovou. I took Business Presentations from Tatiana my very first semester at Kelley and became a much stronger speaker and generally more confident person because of her. Since then, I have stayed in close contact with Tatiana and even worked with her to improve a student-led consulting group that I co-founded at Kelley. The energy that Tatiana brings to the classroom and the support that she is willing to provide to students long after they’ve finished her classes is impressive and unparalleled. I know that years from now, when I am deep into my professional career, I will always be able to count on Tatiana as a great mentor and friend.
When you graduate what do you think you’ll miss most about business school?
The people. From the students to the faculty and staff, I have built so many great relationships at Kelley that will continue well beyond my graduation in May.
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