Diamonds in the Rough: Kelley School of Business’s Kelley Academies

MBA applicants can get carried away with rankings. In this series, we profile amazing programs at business schools which are typically ranked outside the top 15.

Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business believes strongly in experiential learning, with its Kelley Academies at the heart of this model. Each Kelley student can choose an academy—a practical and intensive specialization—to complement their educational experiences. Business Marketing, Consulting, Entrepreneurial Innovation, Supply Chain and Capital Markets are among the eight options. In these academies, students build personal and professional relationships with their Academy Directors, who have contacts in their industry, to facilitate greater career opportunities. Although each academy includes a slightly different “training plan,” most combine classroom curriculum with three Academy Intensive Weeks, during which students stop all other course work for a “full-immersion” experience. Most academies also meet on Fridays for guest speakers and industry discussions. According to Philip Powell, the faculty chair at Kelley, “The classes teach you the science of what you want to do; the academies will teach you the art.” That art—the hands-on experiences and real-world projects in a specialized field—ensures that the school’s MBAs graduate with the skills and experience necessary to be seen as experts worth hiring.

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