Experience and Education Help Build a Bright New Career
Nikki Benet Rogers MBA'07
ge energy human resources leadership program
"I decided to pursue my MBA so that I could reach a more strategic level in HR. Kelley was my top choice."
When Nikki Rogers decided to leave her entry-level human resources job at Provident Music Group in Tennessee to pursue an MBA, she didn’t have to look hard to find the perfect program.
"I had a friend who had gone through the Kelley MBA program, so I knew what a great program it was, " remembers Rogers. "And when I looked into the top business schools in the country, I learned that Kelley is also one of the three founding schools of the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management.”
At Kelley, Rogers found that she could design her own MBA program: she took courses in strategic management to expand her existing human resources experience, and took courses that interested her from both the Indiana School of Law–Bloomington and the School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA). Her Employment Law class gave Rogers in-depth knowledge of how to approach various employment issues at work, while the Public Labor Relations course she took from SPEA ended up relating directly to her future position at GE. “I was an HR manager for a union-represented site. The class gave me a great foundation for some of the issues that I had to manage—especially labor contract administration and the grievance process.”
Just as she knew she wanted to come to Kelley, Rogers knew she wanted to work at GE. “Often human resources does not have a seat at the table, but at GE, it does. There are also locations all over the world, so I knew it would be an opportunity with global impact.”
Because human resources leaders at GE are considered business partners, they need to understand all of the aspects of the business. As a participant in the Human Resources Leadership program, Rogers has enjoyed the opportunity to apply some of the real-world skills she learned at Kelley, such as analyzing financial models. The program places new employees in three different jobs over the course of two years; after the three rotations, employees can interview to become human resources managers.