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Indiana University Bloomington

Center for Brand Leadership

Kelley Advantage

The Center for Brand Leadership is a close-knit group of top MBA students, faculty, alumni, and corporate partners who share a wealth of industry knowledge and contacts.

Taking Her Career to the Next Level—and Around the World

Carol White MBA'12

Carol White

“Kelley delivered on everything I set out to accomplish—I found my dream job, made amazing friends, and got to study abroad.”

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Carol White has always had big ambitions. After graduating from college, she envisioned a career that would take her from an entry-level marketing position to an MBA program to a position as a brand manager. It turns out landed her first job in brand management before she earned an MBA—she quickly became associate product manager at a small cleaning products company. But she realized the degree would still be essential to move into a career with one of the multinational companies she was targeting.

Connecting with Companies and Alumni

Kelley helped her connect with those companies. As a Consortium fellow, White had the opportunity to meet with recruiters before classes even started. During the summer, she worked closely with Graduate Career Services to create a more powerful resume, sharpen her networking skills, and tell a compelling story about her experiences. The preparation paid off; she received three internship offers and decided to work at Colgate-Palmolive.

White spent the next year preparing for her upcoming internship. As a member of the Consumer Marketing Academy, she met Kelley alumni who dealt with the same challenges she would face on the job.

“It was so valuable to hear about their experiences,” White says. “How do you reach a multicultural market? How do you launch a product? By the time I got to Colgate, I knew so much more about what to expect.”

Colgate Culture

In fact, she discovered in her internship that Colgate is a lot like Kelley. She loved the work and the company culture.

“Their philosophy is that helping you succeed is helping the business succeed. It wasn’t a competitive environment,” White says. “For 10 weeks, I got to come to work every day and be myself.”

So when Colgate offered her a position as an associate brand manager at the end of the summer, she didn’t hesitate to accept it. With her career plans in place, she returned to Bloomington determined to take advantage of another opportunity: the chance to study abroad.

The Possibilities of Studying Abroad

“Where I grew up, the idea of living overseas seemed like an impossible dream. Kelley made it possible,” White says. She spent the spring semester in Milan at Kelley’s partner school Universita Commerciale Luigi Bocconi studying at SDA Bocconi School of Management. In four months, she visited 10 countries and 30 cities—and got a brand new perspective on global business.

“Studying abroad opened my eyes. I understand the world differently now. I think it will make me a better brand manager whether I work here or abroad, because now I question what I’d automatically assume was ‘the norm,’” White says.

Her travel schedule won’t slow down as she begins her career at Colgate. As an associate brand manager she’ll spend her first four months with a sales team on location near one of its major retail partners. Next comes five months in New York mastering the everyday responsibilities of a brand manager. After three additional months focusing on global marketing, she will return to New York and be assigned permanently to a brand.

White is ready to get started. “By the end of my internship, I was absolutely certain Colgate was where I wanted to be.”

Published May 29, 2012