I always dreamed of someday setting out on my own and becoming an entrepreneur, so I figured getting my MBA would provide a solid foundation for that career path. What I didn’t figure, however, was how instrumental my MBA, and the Kelley Direct program, would be in helping me achieve that dream.
Beyond the tangible business skills, Kelley Direct gave me the confidence to start my own business. During my time at Kelley, I participated in the Entrepreneurship & Venture Capital Association’s pitch competition — and won! That was a huge confidence boost and the motivation I needed to start my own business, which I did in October 2020.
I am currently the Chief Encouragement Officer (CEO – get it?) of Light Speaks Loudest, a company that curates quarterly subscription boxes for teen Christian girls to give them the knowledge, empathy, and confidence they need to live out their faith. Now, I do everything from connecting with vendors to packing our subscription boxes to crafting Instagram and TikTok content – and I do it all out of my home office in Denver.
That was another reason Kelley Direct appealed to me. I specifically pursued an online program because I didn’t want to commute to classes after my full-time job and I wanted flexibility in my geographic location without having to sacrifice an excellent education and expansive alumni network.
Although I grew up visiting Indiana University for basketball games and hearing about the incredible business program (my parents are Kelley alumni), I never thought I’d be a student there. When I began researching online MBA programs, I kept seeing Kelley at the top of the rankings lists and it was generally more affordable than other options. Plus, I loved the opportunity to connect in person during Kelley On Campus week while still maintaining the overall flexibility of an online program.
I’m so glad I made the decision to pursue a Kelley Direct MBA, because I had a fantastic experience. The professors are extremely talented at what they do and truly care for their students. Even within the virtual environment, most of the classes include group and interactive components that make it easy to feel like you’re constantly growing your network while meeting new and interesting people. This way, I still felt connected to my classmates.
The program’s virtual nature also proved beneficial once the pandemic hit, because while many schools found themselves scrambling to transition to online education during the pandemic, the Kelley Direct team already had it down pat. The structure truly sets students up for success, and the professors are some of the most brilliant, kind people I’ve met.
Even though I graduated from the program, I still use the lessons I learned through the Kelley Direct program. As an entrepreneur, it’s incredibly important to become a “lifelong learner.” Every single day brings a new — and more often than not, unexpected — challenge, so I appreciate how Kelley taught me to roll with the punches and continue learning and growing.
If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur interested in the Kelley Direct program, I’ll leave you with a piece of advice – don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions and keep in touch with the professors who are gracious enough to challenge and help you along the way.