May 2015 Student of the Month

25 May

May 2015  Student of the Month

Leo Robles

1) Discuss your career goals and why you targeted the Kelley School MBA program and how it will help it help you reach your goals.
When I was looking for an MBA program, I knew that I wanted to attend a top school that provided ample opportunities for interaction with classmates and professors, opportunities for hands on “real life” experience, and above all a valuable degree that will help me in my succeed in my military career as well as my post military life.  As I narrowed down my options to my top 4 schools, I became even more selective. One of the things that I did was contact the veterans office at IU and ask to be put in contact with veterans who had completed the program.  For me, the conversations I had with Kelley students were enough to convince me to attend KD.  The items that stuck out to me the most were:
– Opportunity to study abroad through AGILE
– Real, valuable, job offers post graduation
– Top ranked program, with global recognition
Having spent my entire post undergrad career in the military, I knew there were some things I needed to brush up on before someday returning to a life in corporate America.  The military has done a very good job of giving me plenty of challenging leadership opportunities, but I knew I was lacking a bit of experience on the quant and business side of things if I were going to someday transition.  Through out my time in Kelley Direct, I’ve made it a purpose to stick to the quant classes and take as many AGILE classes as possible.  Currently, I’m in Greece, wrapping up an AGILE project for a Greek medical device manufacturer, which has given me plenty of experience and the ability to identify my own strengths and areas needing improvement.  I also just wrapped up an independent study AGILE project for Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, which was just as equally challenging and an amazing opportunity to work in a different field and gain real consulting experience. I firmly believe that the Kelley Direct classes and the various AGILE projects I am or plan on taking will help me make the transition to civilian life when I’m ready and will allow me to pursue my professional goals.
2)  Discuss your involvement with the KDSLA, KD Consulting Association, KD Veterans Association and the benefits of the organization. 
Back in the Fall of 2014, I reached out to the KDCA and expressed my desire to join.  I began attending the webinars and monthly meetings, and when an opportunity to join the leadership team arose, I accepted it.  Around the same time, Brian Misuraca approached me to see if I wanted to help him found the KD Veterans Association.  After a few months, we began the search for a new leadership team, and then KDCA President Joey Paglinawan, approached me to see if I was interested in the President’s position and after some thought, I decided to run for the position and was elected. I have been blessed to work with a very motivated team we’ve been able to hut the ground running with a few new ideas, one of which is the Newsletter we rolled out last month. We’re about to release the second edition and we received student volunteers for every article, an amazing feat.  Between the three associations, and full time class load, I have been very busy.  Luckily, my wife is extremely supportive and understands when I have to schedule conference calls in between family events etc… In the end though, it is an extremely rewarding experience to remain engaged with both the student body and faculty.  It is an experience that anyone that is serious about maximizing their professional development opportunities while in the program should undertake.
3)  Describe your interest in KD Consulting Pathway.
I’m very interested in pursuing the Consulting Pathway and believe that it is one more of the many things that distinguish KD from the rest.  I know that when I’m done with the military, I want to pursue a career in consulting.  I love traveling, solving problems and above all working on teams, perfect fit, right? Well, maybe.  That is where the pathway comes in.  I expect to use the pathway to develop my understanding of the field more and expand my resume so that I can be competitive in the job market.  While the pathway itself, will not land anyone the dream job offer, it will surely help equip us for  a successful job search and career transition.
4) What you suggest to others to do while in the program?
Anyone that is just starting or has been in the program for a while should do three things if they haven’t done so already:
-Take an AGILE Level 3 Course
-Get in involved with one of the student leadership associations
-Build friendships
In the end, any university or college can give you a diploma.  When you narrow it to the top students and programs, all of the students have competitive resumes.  What will set you apart is your willingness to seek additional responsibilities and to get as much hands on, real life experience.  Lastly, make it a purpose to get to know your classmates, build relationships, friendships and above all stay in touch.

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