Commencement: A spotlight on our students

Hundreds of students will graduate from the Kelley School of Business on IUPUI's campus on May 14.

Both graduate and undergraduate students will be recognized at the commencement ceremony. It's a moment that, for many, has been years in the making. 

We asked just a few of our outstanding students about their Kelley journey - and the moments that made the experience worthwhile.

Amadin Agho, BS'17, marketing

During his time at IUPUI, Amadin has been involved in multiple student organizations, was an RA for three years on campus, helped to start IUPUI's Track and Field Club and fencing team, conducted marketing research over the summer, and also was involved in the JagStart Student Idea Pitch competition.

Kelley Biz Blog: What are your plans after graduation?

Amadin: I'll be working as an Operations Manager at the Target Distribution Center here in Indianapolis.

Kelley Biz Blog: Why did you choose to attend the Kelley School at IUPUI?

Amadin: I originally gained interest in Kelley during my sophomore year in high school when my sister was accepted. Being on a campus located within the city only made the decision easier.

Kelley Biz Blog: Looking back at the journey, what are some moments that stand out to you? 

Amadin: Representing Kelley at the University Innovation Fellows national conference in California the last two years was one of the most transforming experiences I've had. The real world experiences/skills I've gained from BUS-W 311 (New Venture Creation) and BUS-X 320 (Career Perspectives) have prepared me as I pursue new endeavors.

Kelley Biz Blog: What advice would you give to current students, as you graduate?

Amadin: Your time here on this campus will go by faster than you know it, so be sure to use your time wisely. Opportunities don't fall in your lap, so you have to create them for yourself. Outside of all the hard work, make time to enjoy yourself as well!

Stephanie Atallah, BS'17, finance and international studies

Kelley Biz Blog: What are your plans after graduation?

Stephanie: I will be attending law school full-time starting this fall. I aspire to combine my passion of business and global affairs by focusing my degree on corporate and international law. 

Kelley Biz Blog: Why did you choose Kelley Indianapolis?

Stephanie: When deciding which university to attend, I was immediately attracted to the opportunities at Kelley Indianapolis. I knew that by obtaining a business degree in downtown Indianapolis, I would expose myself to a world of professional development opportunities. The educational programs, extracurricular activities, and faculty at Kelley have done a fantastic job of preparing me for my career.

Kelley Biz Blog: Looking back at the journey, what are some moments that stand out to you? 

Stephanie: One of my favorite Kelley moments has been the opportunity to form lifelong relationships with my Kelley classmates Sarah and James. Additionally, my study abroad experiences in Strasbourg, France and London, England have been highlights of my undergraduate career. These study abroad programs have allowed me to gain a better understanding of the globalized business environment. In France, I surrounded myself with a diverse group of international students while also learning about European integration and European business. While in London, I was exposed to the UK’s business climate as well as the economic and political implications of Brexit.

Kelley Biz Blog: What advice would you give to current students, as you graduate?

Stephanie: Make the most of your time at Kelley. Be sure to pursue all the opportunities that are offered to you as students. Your time at Kelley is invaluable to shaping your professional trajectory. The professors and faculty are incredibly supportive and willing to help you grow. Kelley offers many amazing programs ranging from study abroad to internships that will allow you to develop your professional skills and grow as young leaders.

Shelby Caulk, BS'17

During her time at the Kelley School at IUPUI, Shelby Caulk was involved in multiple student organizations and student government, studied abroad, and she mostly recently served as president of Kelley Indianapolis Student Government. 

Shelby received the J. Dwight Peterson Key Award in 2017, which is awarded annually to an outstanding senior who demonstrates excellence through scholarship, extracurricular activities, leadership and character.

After graduation, Shelby will begin work in New York City at Macy's, with the executive development program for financial and merchandise planning. Read her blog here about her internship that served as a pathway to a full-time position in New York City.

Sarah Fiege, BS'17, human resource management and management

During her time at IUPUI, Sarah served as the director of marketing for the 2015 IUPUI Regatta, and as executive director for the 2016 Regatta. She received the 2017 Outstanding Student Award for Management.

Kelley Biz Blog: What are your plans after graduation?

Sarah Fiege: I plan to find a full-time position in the event planning industry.

Kelley Biz Blog: Why did you choose to attend the Kelley School at IUPUI?

Sarah: I decided to choose KSBI because it was near my home and in the city. I knew the location would be both convenient and a good place to find internships and eventually, a full-time position.

Kelley Biz Blog: Looking back at the journey, what are some moments that stand out to you? 

Sarah: The moments that stand out to me are meeting my best friend Stephanie and my fiancé Adam. I will also always remember my work with the 2015 and 2016 IUPUI Regatta, and my participation in the 2015 Natatorium Battleships.

Kelley Biz Blog: What advice would you give to current students, as you graduate?

Sarah: My advice is to find balance. Make time for family and school first, but try to work in as much time for friends as well. I find building relationships to be extremely meaningful and fulfilling.

Lindsey Gray, BS'17, accounting, finance, international studies

Kelley Biz Blog: What are your plans after graduation?

Lindsey: I will be working with Ernst & Young as a Staff 1 Auditor starting in September.

Kelley Biz Blog: Why did you choose Kelley Indianapolis when you first started?

Lindsey: Honestly, I never thought I would have ended up at Kelley Indianapolis. My parents encouraged me to apply to see what would happen. After I received my acceptance letter, I noticed that I also received a direct admittance into Kelley, which was something that I could not pass up.

Kelley Biz Blog: Looking back at the journey, what are some moments that stand out to you?

Lindsey: Where do I even begin with these? One would be traveling abroad. I never thought I would have had the opportunity to travel outside the country twice in four years, especially to London, Paris, Barcelona and Madrid. Secondly, it would be the student organizations. Delta Sigma Pi has been my second family while at college. Each person in that fraternity has made my college experience that much sweeter. Thirdly, it would be my Kelley professors. Professor Kim Donahue, Professor Steele, Professor Wright, and Professor Brown are just a few of my professors that have made a strong impact during my time here at Kelley.

Kelley Biz Blog: What advice would you give to current students, as you graduate?

Lindsey: If you give college the chance, college will be the best four years of your life. Get involved, get to know your professors, and try to go outside of your comfort zone.

Mike Huang, BS'17, management, human resource management, international studies

During his time at IUPUI, Mike Huang served as the vice president of IUPUI International Club, member of Oteam, and a campus ambassador. He also studied abroad in Japan and interned at the Indianapolis Mayor's Office of International & Cultural Affairs.

Kelley Biz Blog: What are your plans after graduation?

Mike Huang: I plan on pursuing a graduate degree in technology management in innovation, then seek to excel my abilities in the startup scenes around the world.

Kelley Biz Blog: Why did you choose Kelley Indianapolis?

Mike: I was born and raised in Taichung, Taiwan. I came to Indiana when I was 15 years old and finished high school in Anderson, Indiana. During my senior year, I went on a campus tour and decided to attend after seeing all the promising opportunities that IUPUI and Kelley offer to incoming students. Kelley Indianapolis's effort on promoting diversity and inclusion has provided international students a comfortable environment to learn, grow and strive.

Kelley Biz Blog: Looking back at the journey, what are some moments that stand out to you?

Mike: I had the opportunity to be the orientation leader for first year business students, and I also mentored a group of bright business students in the summer and fall of my sophomore year. It was not only a fantastic time, but also a great learning opportunity for me as well, and words simply cannot describe the pride after seeing the students I mentored reach for their success.

Going through I-Core was also one of my favorite memories. It's incredible to see a team of six random individuals from diverse backgrounds somehow work cohesively, and we went from complete strangers to close, long-lasting friends in a short semester. I realized how powerful teamwork can be, and I am extremely thankful to have had a rewarding I-Core experience.

Kelley Biz Blog: What advice would you give to current students, as you graduate?

Mike: Be open to any experience. It is okay to try out different career interests, internships, or even pursue a crazy idea. Your heart and intuition somehow already know what you truly want to become, and all the experiences you gain along the way will become linking dots to ultimately achieving your goal.

Through Kelley, I have seen and experienced the many aspects of the entrepreneurial community. From winning pitch competitions, to leading design thinking workshops, or even experiencing Silicon Valley in person, Kelley prepared me for all the unique opportunities presented along my journey. Through these experiences, I have developed an understanding of how the startup world works, as well as passion for innovation.

I am proud to say that I am a student and soon-to-be alum of the Kelley School of Business Indianapolis.

Karen Preusch, MBA'17, supply chain management

Kelley Biz Blog: Why did you choose the Kelley Evening MBA Program?

Karen: I chose Kelley Indianapolis because of its outstanding reputation, not only in Indiana but around the country. I also chose Kelley because I liked the hybrid course format. It provided the flexibility that I needed to pursue my degree while working full time.

Kelley Biz Blog: Looking back at the journey, what are some moments that stand out to you?

Karen: Looking back on my time in the Evening MBA program, the moments that stand out to me the most have to do with my involvement with the Kelley Indianapolis MBA Women’s Association (KIMWA).

I had the opportunity to join KIMWA when it first started, and I have served as its Events Chairperson from January 2016 through June 2017. Since KIMWA was formed, we have held numerous events to encourage professional development and networking, including negotiation workshops, community service drives, golf clinics, and socials. I am so grateful to have been a part of the KIMWA board with such talented Kelley women, and it has been wonderful to see how much we have been able to accomplish together.

Kelley Biz Blog: What advice would you give to current students, as you graduate?

Karen: The advice that I would give to current students is to attend as many activities outside of the classroom as possible. Kelley provides its students with several opportunities each year to attend conferences and events focused on business and leadership. In addition to getting to know other students at these events, it is also a chance to connect with faculty, alumni, and local business leaders. Going into the MBA program, I knew that Kelley would provide me with a great foundation in the classroom. What I hadn’t realized was that I would also leave the program with friends for life.

Joseph Vaughn, BS'17, finance, accounting, international studies

Kelley Biz Blog: What are your plans after graduation?

Joseph: I will be studying/taking the CPA exam this summer and starting with EY in September.

Kelley Biz Blog: Why did you choose Kelley Indianapolis?

Joseph: I chose Kelley Indianapolis because I liked the idea of being in the city with hundreds of businesses surrounding the campus. When I was looking for business schools I knew Kelley's reputation, so I was confident that I would receive a great education.

Kelley Biz Blog: Looking back at the journey, what are some moments that stand out to you? 

Joseph: I've had a lot of great memories at Kelley. They range from initiating in Delta Sigma Pi my first semester, being in X103 road trip and visiting multiple businesses, interning at a few companies, shopping for Christmas presents for Damar with KIC, and many more. It would be hard to choose just a couple of favorites, but those are a few.

Kelley Biz Blog: What advice would you give to current students, as you graduate?

Joseph: I would tell current students to get involved with a couple organizations on campus, not just Kelley but campus-wide. I think being involved is a great way to meet people, build your resume, and learn about causes and yourself. Additionally, learn which classes you should take at certain times. As an accounting major, it is helpful to take certain classes in order. Meet with your adviser, and figure out a good plan for all of college - not just what works next semester.

Iris Huixian Wang, MSA'17, MBA'17

Kelley Biz Blog: What are your plans after graduation?

Iris: I will start work at EY in September.

Kelley Biz Blog: Why did you choose the Kelley School at IUPUI?

Iris: When I first moved to Indianapolis from Shanghai, I was telling my host family how passionate I was about business, so they immediately recommended the Kelley School of Business to me.

When I looked online, I found this amazing program which is a dual masters degree – an MBA and an MSA. I never knew I could get two masters degrees. I don’t think many other schools offer this dual masters degree.

Throughout the dual degree program, there were a lot of courses that were transferable: What I learned from my MBA courses could apply to some of the classes in my MSA program, and vice versa. The combination of these two majors works perfectly for me.

Also - the Kelley School has such a large network of alumni that I believe you can network with and learn from. When I interviewed with EY – of four interviewers, at least two of them graduated from the MSA program at Kelley.

Kelley Biz Blog: Do you have a moment that stands out to you as you look back at your journey?

Iris: There are many, but the student organizations I was involved with definitely stand out. For example, KIMWA, the Kelley Indianapolis Women's MBA Association, is growing very fast. I'm so thankful to have great professors like Kim Saxton, Cathy Bonser-Neal, and other women professors involved with KIMWA, who are very supportive and empower the young female MBA students to get together and do some great things and inspire each other. I think that’s really important.

Also, as an international student, I found all of the faculty and staff were very supportive and helped me to find all the opportunities I could. I really felt included. The faculty, staff and students took care of the international students in ways that went beyond my expectations. I am very thankful for that.

For example, Susan Cauble, the director of the Graduate Accounting Programs, has been an amazing female role model for me. As international students, there may be cultural or language barriers, and Susan was so supportive and showed me opportunities I would have never known existed.

Kelley Biz Blog: Do you have any advice for current students as you look to graduate in May?

Iris: Take advantage of all the resources our school offers. The first one I always say is the Kelley Career Services Office. They help you create a resume, and they can connect you with many companies as you pursue a business career.

Also: get involved in student organizations. And, take advantage of all the different programs offered through your school. For example, the study abroad trips: I would highly recommend those. They were eye-opening experiences.

And lastly, I would tell students to learn as much as you can from your professors: They have such great knowledge in their field. They will mentor you and coach you to help you through your courses and as you begin your professional career.