Throughout my time in the Kelley Direct online MBA program, I received two Kelley Coins. Both coins I won for group project experiences, which highlights Kelley Direct’s emphasis on collaboration to achieve success. Wining these coins are great badges of honor and represent the hard work my teams and I put into these projects.
The first coin I won was for the 2021 virtual Idea Blitz competition. The Idea Blitz was an extreme challenge, as we had limited time to meet our team, brainstorm ideas, and execute our final idea – an app that pairs DIY homeowners with professional contractors and experts to walk them through DIY projects virtually. The Idea Blitz was judged by a panel of Kelley professors, as well as individuals with extensive experience in startups.
One reason the judges selected us was because we clearly identified a pain point and provided a solution that addressed it. Many homeowners want to do DIY home improvement projects, but they often do not know where to start or what to do, and the resources they have today (such as YouTube videos) are limited in specificity. By partnering with a professional as a virtual consultant, the homeowner can still complete the project themself, but they have support for real-time responses to questions specific to their situation. Ernest O’Boyle was our faculty coach for the Idea Blitz, and he did a great job of encouraging our team to think outside the box in how we approached the problem at hand.
The second Kelley Coin I won was for the Core Capstone project. It was a similar experience to the Idea Blitz, but it was tailored to an actual client and there was a clear definition of the project parameters. However, the challenge with this was to truly understand the client and their goals and objectives and develop a business plan to appeal directly to them, all while fitting in the Core class concepts and content.
From these experiences, I learned the value of identifying and leveraging strengths of the team as a whole, and that each individual member is critical to team success. Both projects taught my teams and me how to react and think on our feet while understanding how the team members’ strengths can complement one another.
I came to Kelley Direct looking for further opportunities to advance my career and learn about other business functions, as I hope to one day work within general management. I did my undergraduate degree in marketing at Kelley, so I knew the caliber of students and faculty that Kelley attracted.
In the Kelley Direct program, the faculty understand how to teach working professionals and provide experiences that allow for flexibility and experiential learning. Each has a good blend of synchronous and asynchronous materials that make it easy to learn.
Overall, the Kelley Direct Online MBA allowed me to apply many of my learnings to my current role and become a better people manager and strengthen my cross-functional expertise. Over the past two years, I learned to think more strategically and become a better leader. If you’re looking to gain these skills, check out what a Kelley Direct degree can do for you.