Found My Path at Kelley
"Kelley is where I learned how to learn. The business school taught me what questions to ask, how to ask them, and how to find the answers."
It’s easy to understand why Mitch Olsen describes his experience as a student in the Kelley School as a “collegiate paradise.”
Thanks to the wide range of double major and minor options at Kelley, he combined his majors of marketing and international business with a minor in Japanese. He spent a semester abroad in Copenhagen, and even represented Kelley on an all-expenses paid trip to Veracruz, Mexico, for Habitat for Humanity’s Jimmy Carter Work Project 2004 (where he spoke with the former president on several occasions). And when it was time to start thinking seriously about where to go next, Kelley helped connect Olsen with an internship opportunity at Procter & Gamble.
Olsen thought of the internship with P&G as a “test run” for both him and the company. “It was like we were dating for eleven weeks,” he says. “We both had to like each other if we were going to take this relationship any further after graduation.”
Ultimately, he found the compatibility he needed for a lasting relationship with P&G. “In the end, I really enjoyed the company’s culture and my job as well,” Olsen says. “The last week of the internship, I traveled to the corporate headquarters in Cincinnati and basically made a sales pitch to some of the top executives on why they should hire me.”
He received his job offer a week later. Olsen believes his education gave him the foundation to succeed in his career, and he credits Kelley’s outstanding faculty and resources for helping him understand the basics of business. “Kelley is where I learned how to learn,” he says. “The business school taught me what questions to ask, how to ask them, and how to find the answers.”
What makes Kelley such a special place, Olsen says, is the combination of the faculty, resources, and opportunities. Kelley does more than open doors for students, he says. “In reality, Kelley bulldozes through all the doors, hurdles, mountains, mole hills, and any other obstacle-related clichés standing in the way of where you want to go.”
Best thing about Bloomington:
“The best thing about Bloomington is the IU campus! It’s one of the most gorgeous campuses in the country. Sometimes, I’d just go for a walk and enjoy it. If it was a sunny day, this would invariably lead me to Kirkwood Avenue, which has many restaurants and a lively social scene. The place is always alive and full of great people.”
What’s (not) on Mitch’s iPod:
“I feel like a bit of a pop-culture anomaly here, but I actually don’t walk through campus with an iPod. I prefer to travel around IU headphones-free so I can stop and talk to any friends I might see in between classes.”
Most memorable Kelley experience:
“In the fall of my junior year, I took an international business class. My professor, Alan Rugman, formerly taught at the University of Oxford and was one of the key drafters of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). In Copenhagen the following semester, my class studied his theories. This event hit home the fact that Kelley’s faculty really are some of the best in the world.”
Advice for Kelley students:
“Go for it! Seek out the opportunities that will enable you to get to where you want to go! Also, get to know your professors. They’re an invaluable resource, and I think they sometimes get lonely during office hours. Pay them a visit every once in a while.”