“It can feel uncomfortable asking questions or making recommendations when you’re new to the business, but my professors and peers in the Evening MBA Program encouraged me to be curious, to challenge what’s normally accepted and to offer creative solutions outside the box,” she said. “My comfort with communication and leadership served me right away because I had greater confidence in those workplace conversations.”
Chrissy took part in a corporate consulting project in which she and her Evening MBA team strategized e-commerce offerings for a global manufacturing company based in Indianapolis. The experience gave her real-world, directly applicable marketing experience. Similarly, courses in digital marking and statistical methods helped her approach data and grasp statistical analysis in ways she could immediately apply in her new role.
“I could put these lessons into practice right away because marketers need to know how to process and dissect enormous amounts of data,” she said. “Tools we learned in class about segmenting consumer populations and appropriate targeting based on data sets were applicable daily, whether in analytics, case studies or simply asking better questions.”
At Kelley, Chrissy became involved in student organizations Kelley Indianapolis MBA Women’s Association (KIMWA) and Student Advisory Board (SAB). As a busy professional working full-time and attending the Evening MBA Program, she says the organizations were worth the time she carved out to connect with her peers.
“Student organizations gave me the inside scoop on how to approach a certain project or which professor to seek out as a mentor. My classmates were my informal guidance counselors,” said Chrissy. “I built a network of people for moral support. Plus, many of the students in the Evening MBA Program are not from Indy, so as a transplant myself, student organizations helped me meet people outside my cohort. I felt well networked with large companies throughout Indianapolis.”
Through career coaching, Chrissy developed a career management plan that allowed her to map out where she wanted to go professionally and how to get there.
“I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but I knew I wanted to be leader in the healthcare system. My professors connected me with Kelley alumni for informational interviews so I could understand their responsibilities and career paths,” said Chrissy. “These connections helped me network with senior leaders from companies like Roche, Eli Lilly and Company and Franciscan Health. If it weren’t for the Evening MBA Program, I wouldn’t have known how to navigate the next steps in my career.”
Chrissy spent several sessions with her Kelley career coach refining her career plan. Having already secured a marketing role, she focused now on the next step toward leadership and a larger company. Eventually, Chrissy interviewed and accepted a position that checked all the boxes: senior associate brand manager for Elanco Animal Health (a division of Eli Lilly and Company.)
Chrissy says the Kelley Evening MBA is a perfect complement to her scientific background and a step she urges other dietitians and healthcare providers to take in order to transform their careers.
“Earning an MBA helps you understand the big picture. I’d never seen an income statement before I enrolled in the Evening MBA Program, and now, I’m exposed to that kind of information every day,” she said.
“Not having a business background motivates you even more to earn your MBA. It gives you the technical skills to be good at your job, but also the business acumen and cross-functional leadership you need to be successful in the workplace.”