Kelly Blair, MBA’17, enjoys learning. Several years after graduating from Cornell, she discovered she missed the classroom, and she knew she wanted to earn an MBA. But as a full-time HR analyst, Blair also knew she didn’t want to pause her accelerating career.
“I was serious about pursuing a part-time MBA program because I didn’t want to sacrifice career momentum to expand my education,” she says. “When I looked around Indianapolis, I didn’t seriously consider any other programs. If I’m going to get my MBA, there’s only one school I’m going to: Kelley. I didn’t know if would stay in Indy long-term, but if I left, I knew the prominence of the Kelley name would stay with me.”
Like many professionals who enroll in the top-ranked Kelley School of Business Evening MBA Program, Blair sought to add greater depth to her professional knowledge. She certainly understood human resources, but she noticed most of her leaders held MBAs. While she considered earning a master’s in HR, Blair decided an MBA would give her a more applicable and broader understanding of her organization and how HR plays a role.
“HR professionals are often pigeonholed as the party planners or just the hirers and firers. I wanted to be more of a business partner,” she says. “To do that, I needed to understand business better. I knew an MBA would make me more versatile and help me to understand more than just how to hire people or handle employee issues. Even if my future deviates from HR, having that overall business background would be helpful wherever I go.”
Blair says the hybrid online and in-person nature of the Kelley Evening MBA Program added flexibility that allowed her studies to fit into her life. It had been some years since she was enrolled in school, and back then, she wasn’t doing it alongside a full-time job.
“Flexibility was really important because I had a life, work, friends and family who needed my attention. The hybrid concept of the Kelley Evening MBA assured me I could be successful while also getting the one-on-one faculty interaction that would help me learn better.”