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Indiana Kelley’s Midwestern Location & Culture Has Global Appeal

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The Kelley MBA Program attracts students from all over the country and world—and of course, the Midwest—and prepares them for career opportunities across the US and abroad. In addition to its national rankings—#18 in the US (Financial Times, 2021) and exceptional career services—#6 in the world (Financial Times, 2021), students experience an outstanding return on investment. Consider:

  • The cost of living in Bloomington is lower than top programs in larger cities.
  • According to S. News and World Report, Indiana was number 10 on the list of the most affordable states in America at the beginning of 2021.
  • Both the Back to Bloomington Fellowship and Hoosier Heritage Fellowship provide additional incentives for Kelley MBA prospects who have ties to Indiana and Indiana University.
Robert Balikov, Kelley MBA ’22

Robert Balikov, Kelley MBA ’22, grew up in the Chicago area, went to college on the East Coast, and then returned to the Midwest to work as a chemical engineer. When he decided to change careers, he turned to Kelley.

“Kelley’s location in the Midwest was appealing but more importantly, I fell in love with the people and culture of Kelley,” he said.

Rob is majoring in business analytics and minoring in marketing. He gained valuable connections and real-world experience in the Supply Chain and Digital Enterprise Academy and in the Leadership Academy. He said that the collaborative and supportive culture at Kelley was apparent before he arrived on campus.

“Admissions staff connected me with professors to learn more about the classes and Academies, and with students to talk about the various support systems. Peer mentoring, career coaching, peer coaching, study groups, interview practice sessions, resume reviews—the examples were endless and consistent no matter who I spoke with,” he said. “Additionally, when I looked on the Kelley website, I saw the diversity and quality of companies that directly recruit on campus, and I knew that I would be set up for success to pivot in my career into a new company, role, and industry.”

Rob’s journey to achieving his career goals started early in the MBA program with Me, Inc., Kelley’s award-winning professional and career development program, conducted before MBA classes even begin.

“It’s led by our Graduate Career Services team and focuses on introspection to help us make the best of our short time at Kelley. Identifying my non-negotiables, meaning what do I champion above all else as the stress of classes, recruiting, and social life all collide, was invaluable,” he said. “For me, it was speaking with my fiancée and family in Chicago every day, sleeping, and exercising every day. This really helped me prioritize and manage my time as well as ensure I always brought my best self to class and my teams because my necessities were being addressed.”

Robert said he is looking forward to his new career after he graduates in May.

“As a true career switcher, from doing R&D as a chemical engineer at a chemical manufacturer pivoting into marketing strategy, my career goals are focused on enabling my career to blossom and branch out as I learn more about myself and my ambitions,” he said.