I received a Kelley Coin for winning a case competition in which my team and I were tasked with finding a new strategic venture for NetJets, Inc., the private airline company. My role was to coordinate and solve problems – a role made even easier because I worked with some fantastically smart and innovative teammates with deep functional knowledge in diverse areas.
My team and I created a plan that would see NetJets expand further on both sides of the value chain on getting their customers to their destinations. Specifically, we proposed customized car services and destination benefits. Out of 30 different team submissions, NetJets chose ours as their favorite and implemented parts of the solution!
Easily the most challenging part of the competition was fully assessing what NetJets’ managers wanted from a strategic venture. However, this is something that I’m familiar with as a career military professional. Stakeholder management and consulting don’t always leave you with a straightforward path to success. My team overcame this challenge by listening closely to the NetJets managers, which helped us focus on delivering what they actually wanted.
Of course, we wouldn’t be successful without the help of Dr. Will Geoghegan, our professor for this capstone. He guided us through most of the process and continually coached every team on how to bring together all the different functions we learned about.
Overall, winning the Kelley Coin reminds me of the close friends I made at Kelley, both on and off my team. The cohort and core block approach that Kelley Direct uses in the MBA program makes you feel like you’re not actually attending an online program. You see the same people in every one of your courses and gain an understanding for what they’ve been through, where they are going, and what they can teach you. This is massively important.
The traditional cohort/block approach that kept students moving together is one of the main reasons I chose to attend Kelley Direct. I was unable to go to a full-time program and I was working in Japan, so flexibility was key. Importantly, though, I didn’t want to sacrifice the close connections I would make from a more traditional program. The cohort approach combined with the Kelley on-campus events gave me an invaluable education and a great professional network that I will use for the rest of my career.
The most important thing for me is the invaluable network of colleagues I met that challenged me over the past two years. In every one of my classes, my greatest moments and experiences all came directly from the interactions between the students. Kelley Direct students have such diverse backgrounds and experiences that challenge you and bring everyone up a level.
I came to Kelley Direct to expand my options and execute a career shift out of the military, and it gave me the tools to do this successfully. I started the program expecting to move in a specific direction and I now have so many new options! It’s a relief to know that I have the skills and knowledge to succeed in a variety of career opportunities. If you’re interested in gaining new skills and becoming a part of a world-class community, I recommend you check out the highly-ranked Kelley Direct Online MBA today.