Some moments change everything. And for hundreds of Kelley students graduating on May 8, that moment is now.
From undergraduate supply chain majors to MBA students, these Kelleys have made the most of their time at IUPUI.
They’ve secured jobs at prestigious locations: from Rolls Royce, to Interactive Intelligence, to Ernst & Young, to Frito Lay.
Here’s a spotlight on just a few of our outstanding students – we could go on for days!
Sandra Hanna – Majors in Management and Supply Chain Management
Opportunities at your fingertips.
It’s just one of the reasons Sandra Hanna, BS’16, says she’s glad to have found the Kelley School of Business. Hanna will graduate with highest distinction in May, with a BS and majors in management and supply chain management. She grew up in Cairo, Egypt, attended the American University in Cairo for her first two years, and transferred to IUPUI in 2014 to complete her degree.
Hanna received the Kelley School of Business Outstanding Management Student Award this year. She also served as the VP of Outreach for the Women in Business Club, served as a Kelley Ambassador, and was a member of two Kelley teams in case competitions.
“My favorite thing about Kelley is all of the professors who were so very nice, approachable, and knowledgeable,” said Hanna. “They were so helpful and resourceful.”
Hanna has landed a full-time position with Amazon after graduation, and she says she can’t wait to get started.
“Kelley has best equipped me for the working field by just being Kelley! That is, the classes, the professors, and the education I received,” said Hanna. “There are an amazing amount of opportunities right at your fingertips. It’s not hard to get involved on campus. It’s not hard to find volunteer opportunities. Being in the city – it’s all right here. That was really helpful. I’m so glad I ended up here,” said Hanna.
Momo Wilson – MBA, Major in Marketing
For Momo Wilson, the Kelley experience was exactly what she was looking for and more.
“The Kelley School has given me a robust understanding of what it takes for a business to succeed, and especially what it takes for an individual to be successful,” she added. “The program has also given me so much confidence on a personal level and allowed me to cultivate and expand my leadership and teamwork capabilities and skills”
“Professors are always willing to go the extra mile: all you have to do is ask,” Wilson said.
Wilson will be graduating from the Kelley School Evening MBA program, with degree in Marketing. She was awarded the Evening MBA Leadership Award and has served on the Kelley Student Advisory Board as Vice President from 2014-2016. Wilson started the Kelley Indianapolis MBA Women’s Association (KIMWA), where she served as president.
“I love getting to know people, networking, and making connections,” she explained. “We needed a community to build lasting relationships between the women of Kelley: students, faculty, and alumni here in Indianapolis. There is such a wealth of experience, knowledge, and accomplishment among us – we all have as much to give as we have to learn. KIMWA is an environment that inspires and empowers, as well as supports and provides opportunities for professional development and networking.”
“We have received so much amazing support from the women faculty and alumni. It’s a true testament to the Kelley network,” she said. “It really makes you realize that you are a Kelley for life, and I couldn’t be more proud.”
Dr. Naresh Agarwal – Business of Medicine MBA
The Kelley Business of Medicine MBA program will officially graduate its second class in August. The program is designed exclusively for practicing physicians, to help them navigate and succeed in the changing world of healthcare.
Several Business of Medicine MBA students will participate in the May Commencement ceremony, including Dr. Naresh Agarwal, who is currently practicing in an outpatient setting in Peoria, Illinois. Dr. Agarwal is also a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois College of Medicine-Peoria.
“The Business of Medicine MBA at Kelley offers an academically stimulating environment with focus on a real-life pathway to become the next healthcare change agent,” explained Dr. Agarwal.
Agarwal graduated from medical school in New Delhi, India in 1992. This will be his first traditional American graduation exercise.
“Commencement presents an opportunity to celebrate a milestone achievement and marks the beginning of a new chapter in my professional career,” said Agarwal. “Thank you Kelley for making my moment become a momentum.”
Tierney Sharpe Dioffo – This one’s for mom
Her mother scraped together coins so she could play the clarinet as she grew up. From there, Tierney Sharpe Dioffo taught herself to play piano.
She became a talented classical pianist, playing and winning a national competition.
“My mom wanted me to go to school for music, but that’s not what I wanted to do,” said Sharpe Dioffo.
Life happened. She was married, had two children, and years later, now 30-year-old Sharpe Dioffo decided to get her business degree.
She transferred from Ivy Tech to the Kelley School of Business Indianapolis, and she says she was immediately blown away by the amount of support she received.
“My first classes at Kelley, all my teachers were like, ‘Let me know if you need anything.’ They asked me what I wanted to do with my life, and ‘how can I help you.’ I was overwhelmed!” said Sharpe Dioffo. “They still check in to see how I’m doing. They’re really interested in helping me with my résumé, writing letters of recommendation. They’re really there to help you.”
Through it all, Sharpe Dioffo says, her mom was there for her.
“These past few years, she’s been my biggest support, when she saw I was doing something I really wanted to do,” said Sharpe Dioffo. “Before we found out her cancer had won, she already had my graduation date in her calendar.”
Sharpe Dioffo’s mother passed away last semester. She says it’s the support from her peers and professors at Kelley that helped her through.
“Everyone was helping me to make sure I was making it through the semester. I love it. It’s my alma mater,” said Sharpe Dioffo.
Sharpe Dioffo graduates from the Kelley this year with majors in management and human resource management. She graduates with a degree from SPEA in August. After that, she plans to attend law school.
“This is really for her [her mother]. She never got to finish college,” she said. “I really feel by getting two degrees, one’s for her.”
Tiffany Saizon – I’m ready for a career, not just a job
It was about 2001 when now 48-year-old Tiffany Saizon began considering a certificate in business.
Her son had just left for the Air Force, and she started thinking about her personal goals.
“I really didn’t think I could do it, to be honest with you,” said Saizon. “I thought college was out of my reach.”
But it most definitely wasn’t, and Saizon decided she wasn’t going to stop with a business certificate.
“Once I started with a certificate, I thought, why don’t I go ahead and get an associate degree?” Saizon explained.
Her family moved to Indianapolis, and it was then Saizon says she started pursuing her associate degree at Ivy Tech. She graduated magna cum laude in fall 2013, and she wasn’t done yet.
Saizon started considering a bachelor’s degree.
She met with a Kelley advisor, and she says that provided her with direction in her career and with the confidence to pursue it.
“The biggest thing for me is that it exposed me to a lot of different career avenues,” said Saizon. “I knew I wanted to pursue a business degree, and I knew it would complement the experience I had. You’re exposed to so many different careers; the instructors are just awesome. I feel like I’ve gone to the best school in the country.”
Saizon received the Outstanding Human Resource Management Student Award for 2016, and she was one of the first five chosen to be a Bowen Scholar at IU. She was named to the Dean’s List in 2014 and 2015, and she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business and Human Resource Management (with Distinction). Saizon will start a new job just before commencement.
“The HR classes prepared me for my next steps. I have no doubt now, that with the education I’ve had, on top of my experience, that I’m ready. I’m really ready for a career, not just a job. Because I’ve had a lot of jobs. Now, I’m at my best,” she said.
It’s never too late to do what makes you happy: Dana Mason
Dana Mason decided to go back to school at age 40, wanting a career change. She decided on a business degree, and she says she hoped the Kelley School would be the place to pursue that.
“What helped me was just the coursework alone. There was so much we learned in the classroom that really impressed a lot of employers. I had 12 or so interviews in the past three weeks, before I chose this position. Kelley definitely prepares the students to be candidates for employment,” she explained.
Three and a half years later, Mason landed a job as a transportation planner for Prime Distribution Services after graduation.
She will graduate with degrees in supply chain management, marketing, management, and international studies. Mason was awarded the Outstanding Supply Chain Management Student award and has been part of the Kelley Honors Program, IUPUI Honors program, and was on the Dean’s list every semester.
And – adds Mason, “It’s never too late to do what makes you happy. It’s never too late to go back to school. It’s never too late to get a new job, find a new career path. I just really feel everybody should do what makes them happy.”
From infantry to business school: Casey Nicholas
Casey Nicholas served in the Marine Corps for four years. He deployed three times to Iraq and Afghanistan. After his service, he says he asked others in the military what they pursued afterwards: many said they wished they would have gone to school for business.
Nicholas started out at IUPUC and says he had an internship at Cummins, Inc. It was there, he says, he started hearing about the Kelley School of Business Indianapolis. He decided to apply.
Nicholas will graduate this year with a BS in marketing. He received the Moe Silverman Family Scholarship and the IUPUI International Experience Scholarship, was on the Dean’s List multiple years, and was invited into the Beta Gamma Sigma Business Honor Society. He says after graduating, he has a temporary marketing position with Aearo Technologies lined up.
“The curriculum [at Kelley] is very holistic,” said Nicholas. “To see how marketing decisions affect finance decisions, which affect operations. Being able to see the big picture, taking that into the business world, it’s going to be a big positive.”
All in the family: Shelby and Jim Moss & Sharon and Bryan Lutz
For four students, studying at the Kelley School is “all in the family.”
Sharon and Bryan Lutz will both graduate with a management major from the Kelley School of Business Indianapolis. Sharon is Bryan’s mom.
It’s a similar story with senior Shelby Moss and his dad Jim.
Shelby will graduate with his dad with the same double major: marketing and supply chain.
The two started school at the same time. Jim says he had decided to return to school for a degree through the Kelley School of Business Indianapolis after working years in another career. His son Shelby said once he took business courses his sophomore year – he knew what he wanted to do.
“I developed a passion for business, and especially supply chain,” said Shelby.
“All my professors say we are the first father and son duo they have had in their classes,” he added. “There have been times when he has helped me with understanding a topic in class, and vice versa.”
“I hope that hanging with his dad wasn’t too embarrassing for him,” joked Jim. “I really enjoyed the time spent with Shelby on campus and graduating together is something that very few people get the opportunity to do.”
“We are the second and third people to graduate from my family (my brother was the first in 2012) so it’s neat to have this experience together,” said Shelby. “He has always been a role model to me, so seeing him make the decision to go back to school has pushed me to work even harder and to really appreciate the value of an education from a school like Kelley.”