By Jeremy Zurawski, MBA’18, MS’19
In July of 2016, I received an exciting package in a big red box: my Kelley School of Business acceptance letter and a new branded backpack to mark the occasion! The Kelley Direct (KD) Online MBA program through Indiana University was the ideal fit for me. I had originally planned on going full-time to earn my MBA, but I wasn’t ready to step away from my career, and my family with four children was not in a position to support that lifestyle. Kelley Direct was the perfect alternative. It was consistently at or near the top of the most prominent business school rankings, was within a 4-hour drive from my home in Nashville, TN, and offered the most flexibility for someone in my position with a demanding full-time job and a growing family.
In my opinion, the best features of the KD program are the face-to-face interactions that are built into the program through Kelley Connect Weeks (KCW), the global immersion courses, and the variety of dual degree options that are available. One of the benefits of the KD program is that you have a high degree of flexibility. I was able to arrange my plan of study to maximize these various aspects on a timeline that aligned with my busy schedule.
As part of my dual MBA/MS in Entrepreneurship and Innovation degree, I chose to have two of my electives be immersion courses to Greece and Ireland. Greece was a consulting experience that put me into a team solely dedicated to helping an Athens-based meal kit delivery service expand its footprint globally. The in-country schedule was very open, allowing our team to focus our time on activities that we felt would help us to provide the best proposal to our client.
Ireland, however, was different in that it was an exploratory course that involved the study of high-performing organizations (HPOs) in the context of Ireland and the European Union. The main in-country activities were visits to HPOs in Dublin, including Google, Facebook, and Storyful. Both courses provided unique insights and valuable, alternative perspectives to what I knew going in. The relationships developed with classmates and professors during these courses were of some of the greatest value to me from the entire KD experience and far exceeded my expectations.
The coursework at Kelley is broad and challenging. Most courses included opportunities to work on teams, live and prerecorded sessions with instruction from professors and diverse, contemporary readings that helped to make the subject matter more meaningful. Each professor’s approach was a bit different, but the quality and experience that they brought to the table was world-class.
I truly enjoyed and value my time spent at Kelley in the KD program. I have applied my knowledge to benefit my current company, which yielded me a promotion during the program and another immediately following it. I am now a well-rounded employee and capable business leader.