Chrissy Arsenault, MBA'19

Some alumni of the Kelley Evening MBA Program use the degree to achieve a promotion with in their field, while others use it to springboard into a new one. Chrissy Arsenault, MBA’19, used it for both.

Twice.

When she first decided to pursue an MBA, Chrissy had been working as a registered dietitian for several years and felt she’d exhausted her career options. While impacting patients’ lives as a healthcare provider was rewarding, she lacked opportunity for skill development or advancing her career path.

“My managers were having discussions that, frankly, I did not understand,” she said. “With my science degree, I didn’t bring any business skills to the table. I felt clueless when they were discussing things like forecasts, operations, clinic utilization rates and client satisfaction measures.

“I thought earning an MBA would help me gain the business acumen to understand these tools and propel me into the kind of leadership role that would challenge me.”

To read more of Chrissy's story, click here.

Anna Bewsey, MSA'19

Why did you decide to pursue further education after your undergrad degree?

I started out with a double major in finance and accounting when I was an undergrad, but after struggling through intermediate accounting in my junior year, I dropped the accounting major. I always regretted not finishing that part of my degree. I worked as a financial analyst for about eight years but once I had kids, I took a step back from my career to be home with them and only worked part-time doing bookkeeping and payroll. I knew that when I went back to work full-time I wanted a more challenging and rewarding career. When my youngest son turned one, I decided that I wanted to go back to school and earn my master’s in accounting, so that I would have more options and be more valuable when I went back into the job market.

Looking back at the journey, what are your favorite experiences while at Kelley? Anything you got involved with, or classes you took, that you would recommend to other students?

By far, my favorite class was auditing with my favorite professor, Diane Sturek. Professor Sturek could teach a master class in how to engage students and make any topic interesting. Our entire class would routinely stay past the end of the session so that we could keep working through questions and get input from her. She is truly the best teacher that I have ever had, and I would urge every Kelley student to enroll in one of her classes.

What have you gained from your time at Kelley that will help you in your current or future career?

As an undergraduate, I stayed to myself. Unless group work was required, I usually worked alone. As a graduate student, I quickly realized that working with classmates is a much more efficient use of time. I made so many more friends as a graduate student than I did as an undergraduate, and these are people that I can now turn to in the real world for help or advice in my career.

What advice would you give to current students as you graduate?

You can never overestimate how long it will take you to finish a project or prepare for a test. I always felt like I was fighting deadlines and running out of time. My own procrastination was my worst enemy when it came to causing stress over school.

Adriano Donatelli, BS'19

Adriano Donatelli, BS'19, learned about international business and different global accounting and finance standards through his internship with iwis, an international chain manufacturer headquartered in Munich. 

Donatelli's fluency in Portuguese and Spanish (he was born in Germany and lived in Brazil for 10 years before moving with his family to the U.S.) is what helped him land the internship and become a valuable asset to the company. He has traveled with company leaders to Brazil, and has learned to report financial information in German and Brazil and the United States' systems.

To other students, he recommends learning a second language if you can.

"For me, knowing another language has opened doors that may not have been opened otherwise," explained Donatelli. "I encourage students to look into that -- It sets you apart on your resume."

Looking back at your journey at the Kelley School at IUPUI, what are your favorite experiences?

My study abroad trip to London was by far my favorite experience/moment with Kelley Indianapolis, besides the moment I was admitted! Finishing I-Core and having the project my group and I worked on actually be implemented into the company we worked with was an amazing experience, as well. Lastly, meeting new peers and faculty who have turned into friends was a great experience. I expected to make new friends with other students, however, I did not expect to develop friendships with faculty as well.

What are your plans after graduation?

After graduation I plan on taking two years off to work and travel prior to going back to school and pursuing an MBA with a concentration in marketing. I have an offer from my current internship at iwis.

Do you have a Kelley moment?

My Kelley moment was getting accepted into the Honors Program. It was a moment that I rejoiced because it reflected my hard work, and at the same time, it motivated me because I proved to myself just how much I was capable of.

What other advice would you give to current students as you graduate?

Be sure to acquire an internship, several if you can, and try to tie in your personal interests with your internships. For example: If you like cars, pursue an internship with GM or Chrysler, or if you enjoy volunteering, look for an internship in a not-for-profit organization.

Seth Fickel, BS'19

Seth Fickel, BS'19, is the recipient of the 2019 J. Dwight Peterson Key Award, the most prestigious award conferred to undergraduate students by the Kelley School of Business Indianapolis.

Looking back at your journey at the Kelley School at IUPUI, what are your favorite experiences?

My favorite experience at the Kelley School at IUPUI was I-Core. I really enjoyed getting to interact and present to a real company from here in Indianapolis and develop a new service offering for them. Outside of that, I got to be part of some fun high-level teams for different class projects. My favorite class project was for P-429. In that class, we got to do a Six Sigma project, and I was fortunate enough to be able to do one for Delta Faucet Company, which is where I had my internship as a buyer/planner. In doing the project, I was exposed to a lot of different things and found a real love for process improvement.

What were you involved in/with, during your time at the Kelley School at IUPUI? 

During my time at Kelley, I was fortunate enough to be a part of many different student organizations, guest speak for a class, and participate in other things off campus. Outside of Kelley, my fraternity, Phi Delta Theta, has had the biggest impact on me. I've been very involved with my fraternity holding 5 positions, including an executive board position. Most recently, as philanthropy chair, I led the planning and execution of our biggest event yet, a 5K to raise money for the LiveLikeLou Foundation. LiveLikeLou helps families who have been impacted by an ALS diagnosis. Currently, I am the director for the 2nd Annual Onward Run/Walk for ALS. I will continue in this role post-graduation through the event on September 19, 2019. You can learn more here Phideltatiupui.com/5k.

What are your plans after graduation?

I will be starting my full-time position at Acuity Brands as a buyer/planner on June 10th. In this position, I will be responsible for the supply of material to 3-5 lines and the management of the hourly employees at those lines. Prior to starting, I will be traveling to New York and North Carolina with my wife, who is pregnant with our first child.

Do you have a Kelley moment?

My Kelley moment was when Professor Mohan Tatikonda came to Delta Faucet Company when myself and fellow classmate and intern, Neil Lampe, were presenting our continuous improvement project to three managers for approval. Neil Lampe and I took on this project for Professor Tatikonda’s Continuous Improvement class.

It was the engagement that Professor Tatikonda showed that helped me realize just how special the school I was attending is. I knew it was a great school, but for a professor to take time out of their day to listen to a 30-minute presentation with a Q&A, and then stay even longer to give feedback on the presentation was truly special. The project has since been implemented with annual savings of about $10,000.

What advice would you give to current students, as you graduate?

Be open to trying new things and to taking classes that you aren’t certain you would enjoy. I was 'certain' I would be going into marketing. Thanks to I-Core and a supply chain internship, I found a love for supply chain that I didn’t know I had. I will be pursuing that career instead.

Ariel Gastelum, BS'19

Looking back at your journey at the Kelley School Indianapolis, what are your favorite experiences?

Some of my favorite experiences were: getting ready for my I-Core presentation with my team, interning with Knauf Insulation last summer while being mentored by professor Peggy Daniels Lee, professor Mark Ippolito and professor Smith and attending my last leadership class with my friends.

What were you involved in/with during your time at the Kelley School Indianapolis?

I was a member of Kelley Indianapolis Cares, executive secretary of Kelley Indianapolis Student Government, a 2018 500 Festival Princess, marketing intern at Indiana Soccer Association, and logistics intern at Knauf Insulation.

What are your plans after graduation?

I will be moving to Minneapolis, Minnesota to work as a channel development and sales support analyst at Cummins.

Do you have a Kelley moment?

My favorite Kelley Moment was being part of the 500 Festival Parade as a 500 Festival Princess. It was an amazing experience that I will never forget, and I was able to get there thanks to my hard work, my family and friends and everything I have learned as a Kelley Indianapolis student.

What advice would you give to current students, as you graduate?

Be persistent and do not give up on yourself. Senior year can be hard and getting ready for the real world can be challenging and stressful, but you are responsible for your own happiness. Work hard and believe that you will get what you deserve. Everything happens for a reason, and the best things are worth waiting for.

Kelsey Harrington, BS'19

Looking back at your journey at the Kelley School Indianapolis, what are your favorite experiences?

When I reflect on my journey at the Kelley School Indianapolis, my favorite experiences were the moments that I was confronted with a challenge, project or opportunity that I did not believe I could persevere and accomplish, and yet I or my team did. Two primary examples of this were in I-Core and J411. In I-Core, my team found a financial error the day before our presentation that took our project from an obvious “reject” recommendation to an overwhelming positive net present value, making it an “accept” recommendation. All of the documents we had previously submitted contained the wrong information, and we were charged with making an unexpected presentation to our professors. Desperately preparing, we spent the entire day before the presentations in the library to get ready. When we finally presented our semester-long work, we were shocked to be the team that our business partner chose to talk to about initiating our idea. In J411, my team chose to pursue a niche differentiator strategy for our corporate simulation. Although we strategized, we were disappointed not to see any results in the first few rounds. We decided to keep our heads down and stick with what we hoped would pay off. In the end, we were one of the top performing teams in our industry, rising from the bottom of the rankings. Both of these experiences were some of the ways that I felt I embodied and strengthened my tenacity to persevere as a Kelley.

What were you involved in/with, during your time at Kelley Indianapolis? 

My involvement while at the Kelley School was kind of spread out across the board. I began my journey in Bloomington for my first year, lived on IUPUI’s campus the second year, and then commuted from Muncie for the last two years. I was primarily involved in community service, volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House at Riley, assisting with their data management and guest services. Further, I really enjoyed my internships in sales, marketing, and events at the Horizon Convention for two summers. Last summer, I traveled to Cape Town, South Africa to complete an internship in social entrepreneurship. This was definitely a highlight of my student involvement during my time at the Kelley School.

What are your plans after graduation?

As of April 29th, I have begun my role as the program associate for the George and Frances Ball Foundation. In this role, I work directly with our grantees, serving as a liaison between these wonderful organizations and our board of directors. My experience with them began in September when I was brought on the team as the community engagement intern. Through my internship experience, I really saw ways that this work could be a career for me. This space has allowed me to connect my business and philanthropy degrees with my passion for supporting and engaging with my community. I am eager to pursue a career with such a proactive and family-oriented organization that s eager to invest in my hometown of Muncie, Indiana.

Do you have a Kelley moment?

My Kelley moment is a unique one, as it happened before I ever stepped foot on campus as a student. Both of my parents have business-specific degrees; my dad’s a software executive and my mom was a high school business teacher. Business was my natural path, but when I applied to Kelley, my test scores were inches shy of the requirements for direct admission. For this reason, I decided to attempt direct admission through petition. On a snowy night in February, I had just cheered a basketball game. On my way out to the bus, I saw the email notification that I had accomplished direct admission. I ran to my parents to tell them the news and my dad picked me up and spun me around. I will never forget the sense of pride I felt to be a Kelley in that moment.

What advice would you give to current students, as you graduate?

The advice that I would give to current students after experiencing this journey is that it really is all about who you know. Network, make friends, build connections. Take advantage of unique opportunities because they make your journey and story “yours.”

Daniel Jared, BS'18

Daniel Jared, BS'18, and his twin brother Jonathan, BS'19, both will graduate from Kelley Indianapolis. While Daniel graduated in December, he plans to attend commencement this May with his brother, because they "started together and they are going to finish together."

Looking back at your journey at the Kelley School Indianapolis, what are your favorite experiences?

Out of all the experiences at the Kelley School of Business Indianapolis, my favorite experience is working with my brother on the same team in professor Todd Roberson’s class for J-411. Kelley teaches you to work with those who bring out the best in you, and that is exactly how my brother and I destroyed the simulation. This reflects my journey I have had throughout Kelley, because my brother and I have always worked together, even in our different classes.

What were you involved in/with, during your time at the Kelley School Indianapolis? 

When I transferred, the first activity I got involved with was working at Barnes and Noble with my brother. I then got involved with OTEAM where I served as an advocate for the interests, needs and rights of first-year students. Later, I joined the marketing club where I worked my way up to an executive position. Then I studied abroad in London. After this, I joined the accounting association as the only marketing student in this association. Kelley motivated me to obtain an internship at Blue Ribbon Transport to further my understanding of logistics. Jonathan and I have done Regatta for three years at IUPUI, and I have also worked at Berkshire Hathaway throughout my college career.

What are your plans after graduation?

I graduated in December and I am currently working for AT&T as an outside sales representative. This summer, I will be managing my own sales territory in Cleveland, Ohio.

Do you have a Kelley moment?

I would say studying abroad was the greatest Kelley moment for me, because it showed me how far-reaching businesses are. In order to give yourself the greatest opportunity to succeed, you must view the world from many different perspectives. It was amazing to see how small we are in the business world, and I realized that each of us are just a piece in this massive world of business. 

What advice would you give to current students as you graduate?

“Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard”

This quote is an exact replica of what truly happens in the commercial world. Once you get into the workforce, it doesn’t matter if you are the most talented person. The only way to reach the top is if you outwork the next person. Make sure you plan your week out. Find out what assignments you have, make a plan, put in your calendar and stick to it. It will be hard, but it will be worth it.

What it has meant to attend college with your twin:

It’s always been me and my brother -- He’s my best friend, and I am going to be his best man at his wedding. It’s always him and me against the world. I chose Kelley because it is one of the top business schools, and I knew it would help us tackle the business world.

Jonathan and I did everything we could to take classes together, even with our different majors (I'm a marketing major with a minor in psychology and Jonathan is a double major in accounting and finance). We just wanted to be together, to teach each other and study together. That is why, even when I graduated in December, I am walking with him in May. We started this together and we are going to finish together.

Jonathan Jared, BS'19

Why did you choose Kelley?

Back in 2015, my twin brother and I were attending our freshman year at a small college in middle Tennessee, when our Mom was transferred to Columbus, Indiana as part of her job with Cummins. After exploring the area and the schools in Indiana, Daniel and I saw a wonderful opportunity at Kelley Indianapolis to learn at a top business school and be connected with so many companies in downtown Indianapolis.

What has it been like going to school with my twin?

It has been awesome going to school with my twin. Daniel is my best friend, and our skills complement each other very well. His personality complements mine well, and we work like a top-notch team together. Going through our classes at Kelley, we always tried to take as many classes together as our different majors programs would allow. This has allowed us to have some wonderful experiences together. Because we enjoy working so much together, we want to open a consulting business later in life together.

Looking back at your journey at the Kelley School Indianapolis, what are your favorite experiences?

My favorite experiences were going through I-Core and the senior capstone courses with my twin brother, Daniel, experiencing the opportunities at Kelley (Kelley Indianapolis is amazing for gaining connections and experience) and the day that Daniel and I were accepted into Kelley.

What were you involved in/with, during your time at the Kelley School? 

While at Kelley I was involved in the Kelley Indianapolis Accounting Association in many positions including the class delegate, vice president and president. During my last couple of years at Kelley, I became heavily involved with tutoring students for both A100 (Basic Accounting Skills) and A201 (Intro to Financial Accounting). My love for tutoring led me to take a position as a teaching assistant for A100. Outside of school I have been very involved in obtaining real world experience. So far, I have interned at three different companies and will begin my fourth internship with Salesforce this summer. I have been fortunate enough to intern with Ehlen Heldman CPA as a sales and use tax intern, Dauby O’Connor and Zaleski as an audit intern, and Republic Airways, Inc. as a accounting and finance intern.

What are your plans after graduation?

I will be attending the MSA program at the Kelley School in Indianapolis, while continuing my real-world experience at Salesforce this summer.

Do you have a Kelley moment?

My Kelley moment happened when I discovered my love of teaching. Spring 2017, Professor Angela Andrews messaged me to see if I would be interested in helping some of her students out in the Intro to Financial Accounting course. I happily agreed. This moment has defined my career path and has strengthened my accounting skills.  

What advice would you give to current students, as you graduate?

Invest in yourself. Take the time to develop yourself in your career path of choice and as a leader. College is the perfect time to set yourself up for excellence, so take advantage of it, by not just attending classes but becoming involved in clubs for networking, obtain multiple internships and never stop bettering yourself.

Akash Khanna, BS'19

Akash Khanna, BS’19, was one of Kelley Indianapolis' two recipients of the prestigious William M. Plater Civic Engagement Medallion.

At IUPUI, he was involved in Jagathon: IUPUI's Dance Marathon, Be the Match on Campus, Marketing Club and he was a member of the Delta Sigma Pi-Kappa Sigma professional fraternity. He also was an information specialist at the Undergraduate Admissions Office at IUPUI and an orientation leader. 

Akash started his college career as a biology major -- But it was during a field day his freshman year that the team captain for his group happened to be a leader for Jagathon: IUPUI’s Dance Marathon for Riley Children’s Hospital.

That introduction changed everything.

To read Akash's story, click here.

Andrew Koch, MBA'19

Why did you decide to pursue further education after your undergrad degree?

I’d been interested in business school for quite a while-- following music school and graduate school in arts administration—as a way to get great high-level perspective that would be useful in almost any field.  When my family and career plans presented the opportunity to stay in Indianapolis for a while, the part-time MBA program was the right fit at the right time to pivot out of my industry and into something new.

Looking back at the journey, what are your favorite experiences while at Kelley? Anything you got involved with, or classes you took, that you would recommend to other students?

I was grateful to be placed in a small “core” group within my cohort that was phenomenal in many ways.  Five people of differing backgrounds, industries, cultures, personalities, strengths and weaknesses, and we really functioned well as a team and as friends throughout the three years.  This was a great microcosm for business leadership teams and taught me the value of working with a balanced, non-homogenous team.

What have you gained from your time at Kelley that will help you in your current or future career?

I see every learning opportunity from Kelley as another tool in my toolkit.  After three years, I feel well-equipped to understand many business leadership situations and find the right tool to make confident, informed decisions.

Do you have a Kelley moment?

Early on, I thought my unusual background in non-profit arts management would be an impediment. Kelley MBA candidates are a high-achieving and intimidating bunch! My Kelley moment came when one professor reminded me that a unique perspective made me even more valuable, business needed more leaders with my skills, and that my classmates would benefit so much more from my input. That was so empowering!

What advice would you give to current students as you graduate?

Always remember to thank the loved ones who support you through the degree.  Part-time MBA students give up a lot to attend school while working—and the family and friends that support us do, too.

Marisa Kwiatkowski, MBA'18

As an investigative reporter focusing on social services and welfare, Marisa Kwiatkowski’s name lies beneath some of the most hard-hitting headlines throughout The Indianapolis Star and the USA Today network.

In a 2015 article detailing what it’s like to write about social services, Marisa wrote, “There are easier jobs; that's for sure. But I wanted this one because I believe that people — particularly those who can't speak for themselves — deserve a voice.”

Her investigations have led to major changes at both the state and national level and have earned her more than 50 awards in a little more than a decade as a reporter, including Indiana Journalist of the Year. In February 2018, she was honored as one of the Indianapolis Business Journal's 2018 Forty Under 40. In December 2018, she received the 2019 Louis M. Lyons Award for Conscience and Integrity in Journalism at Harvard. 

In February 2019, she accepted an offer to join USA TODAY’s investigative team.

To read more about Marisa, click here.

Devi Neelakantan, BS'19

Devi Neelakantan, BS'19, was named to the Top 100 at IUPUI, received the Visionary Leadership Award at the 2019 Student Organization Award Ceremony and was named the 2019 Outstanding Management Student Award at Kelley Indianapolis. To see Devi's feature in our Top 100 write-up, click here.

What is your Kelley moment?

It was never just one moment, but rather an amalgamation of moments. The first was getting honored this semester, not just once, but with three distinct IUPUI awards. I was pleasantly surprised, but I also recognize that I would not be where I am without my support system of family and friends. Also while at IUPUI and Kelley, I got to meet and work alongside some of my closest friends in college. They continue to inspire me with their work ethic, tenacity and drive.

The last moment was participating in the alternative spring break program sponsored by Kelley Honors, in collaboration with Alternative Spring Breaks. We travelled to Boston (MA) for a service-learning trip centered on corporate social responsibility- meeting with the head of GE’s CSR team in the process.

Collectively, these moments mark the pinnacle of my undergraduate time through the Kelley School.

What are your plans after graduation?

I'll be taking half a gap year to travel to Dubai (UAE), Trivandrum (India) and Manila (Philippines). Before I begin my professional career, I wanted to give myself time... crucial time to decide on my 'best-fit' career path that aligns with my passions. During this interim period, I will also prepare for the GMAT.

What were your favorite organizations or extracurricular activities you were involved with during your time at Kelley Indy and IUPUI?

I’ve been able to make the most of my undergraduate time by finding a balance. It’s difficult for me to categorize them all, but several favorites come to mind:

1) Being a third year Social Justice Scholar. This role has allowed me to develop my passions for both social and global issues, which has ultimately fueled my desire to pursue a career that aligns with diversity, equity and inclusion work.

2) Former President and current Student Advisor of the Filipino Student Association at IUPUI. This organization is a remarkable documentation of my leadership, growth and grit; which ultimately helped me emphasize the importance of cross-cultural understanding and diversity.

3) Economic Development Intern at the Indy Chamber of Commerce. All of my work connects to the central effort of driving economic growth to Central Indiana. The current President & CEO, Michael Huber, is also a Kelley MBA graduate, and a remarkable leader driving the Indianapolis region forward.

4) Lead Volunteer at Paws Pantry IUPUI. Food-immediacy is a microcosm of socio-economic privilege, which feeds into the larger pool of equity issues. Paws Pantry is one of IUPUI’s solutions to resolving this for our community here.

During my time at IUPUI, I also was a First Year Seminar mentor with OTEAM, a summer undergraduate researcher through CRL at IUPUI, participated in the Kelley Honors Program, and was a strategic planning office assistant at IUSM's Space Planning and Utilization Office.

What is your advice to current Kelley students?

Get involved! It doesn’t matter if the experience is not an immediate or direct connection to your major. College provides multiple opportunities for you to better understand yourself and your passions. Getting involved will also broaden your network and teach you how to better serve your future self. You’d be surprised to find the intersections between your current interests and future career path. Gain student organization leadership experience, volunteer for a cause you believe in and intern – Downtown Indianapolis is your career playground!

Rachel Ogden, BS'11, MSA'19

Rachel Ogden, BS'11, MSA'19, received the Graduate Accounting Academic Excellence Award and the Graduate Accounting Leadership Award through the Kelley School of Business at IUPUI.

After earning her undergraduate degree in finance at the Kelley School at IUPUI—and spending a year abroad teaching English in China— Rachel accepted an accounts payable position at a startup in California. She enjoyed the challenge of a small company and worked her way up to cost accountant. But as the company grew and the roles became more fixed, she recognized she needed to become a CPA to advance further in her career.

“I was 24 credits short of the 150 required to sit for the CPA exam, and the Kelley Master of Science in Accounting (MSA) Program at IUPUI provides 30,” she said. “I really enjoyed attending Kelley for my undergraduate degree, so it wasn’t even a question of where I would earn my master’s degree. There aren’t very many programs of this kind, and I knew Kelley is a very respected business school.”

To read more about Rachel and her time at the Kelley School in Indianapolis, click here.

Autumn Orser, MD, MBA'19

Autumn Orser, MD, MBA'19, will graduate from the Kelley School Business of Medicine Physician MBA Program this year. She currently works at Peak Vista Community Health Centers in Colorado, where she will transition to Vice President of Medical Services this month.

Dr. Orser is most proud of her use of Lean Six Sigma principles to revamp the immunization documentation process at her place of work, which led to fewer errors, increased team member satisfaction, and a potential cost-savings of over $100,000. She says it "was amazing to take lessons learned from the entire MBA Program and make a difference in the way we deliver care to our patients."

She says one of the things she enjoyed most about the Physician MBA Program was being able to learn alongside incredible leaders in the healthcare industry, who've taught her just as much as the professors ("and the professors are excellent, so that's saying something!" she added.)