The IU Kelley School of Business Indianapolis is looking for central Indiana companies to partner with undergraduate student teams for its renowned Integrative Core (I-Core) Program.
I-Core is a distinguishing component of Kelley’s bachelor’s degree program. Junior-level students take a set of four integrated classes—marketing, finance, supply chain management and team dynamics and leadership—during a single semester. Kelley students say I-Core is one of the most meaningful experiences of their Kelley careers—a rite of passage to understanding the business world and the value of teamwork.
A team of students will meet with company representatives to establish a project that works to benefit the company. Students conduct research, analyze findings and provide a recommendation at the end of the semester.
Students may consider new goods or services, providing a feasibility study of the new product and market. They will determine if return on investment justifies risk and capital investment.
Company representatives are asked to participate in an on-campus meeting to talk about the company’s current business and provide background information to help student analysis.
Last academic year, one student team worked with RICS Software in Indianapolis. VP of Products and Technology Chris Kozlowski says the I-Core group looked at additional revenue opportunities for the company.
“If you have the resources to spare, and you are looking for ways to think about your business differently, it’s a no-brainer,” Chris Kozlowski said about his experience with the Kelley I-Core team.
“You have students who will think about the ways you do business, and the exercise—just going through the process—is worth it. It’s always nice to hear a different perspective. The fruit is in the ideation that they produce and present to you. It’s a different take on your business, which allows you to see things differently,” said Kozlowski. “The ideas were original and well-thought through. It’s a great exercise because it casts the lens inward a bit. It’s always good to hear new and different ideas.”
Kelley student and supply chain major Salman Al Muqaimi, BS’17, was one of the students who worked with RICS Software.
“Working with RICS Software was a great opportunity,” Al Muqaimi said. “Interacting and working with business professionals taught me that important skill everyone needs to be successful in business: communication. Taking I-Core gave me a better picture of what business is and how companies use the science of business to help them succeed.”
Chris Gray is the Founder and CEO of Track Ahead, a career development app that facilitates firsthand and indirect engagement between college students and employers to match them based on mutual fit. He also worked with a Kelley I-Core team, who used Track Ahead data to build their own business model.
“When you’re talking to students about an idea, they’re asking questions. Those are often the same type of questions we thought about when the business was just getting started. It puts you back into that ‘day one mindset,’ thinking about the answers to the kinds of questions that hadn’t been thought about in a while,” said Gray. “In the startup world, you have to keep that sort of ‘day one thinking.’ You can’t lose sight of the thought process and the things you were thinking about in the first place. I think it was a good exercise.”
“I would recommend the I-Core experience to any company,” said Chris Gray. “Being involved with Kelley Indy students helps all of us in the business community—to make sure we’re growing and cultivating the next generation. We have to find the time to reach out to them.”
Accounting and finance major Jalen McCoy, BS’18, says I-Core taught him to work efficiently with a team and the importance of being a leader.
“I enjoyed working with a company that genuinely cared about the ideas we came up with,” said McCoy. “The I-Core experience for a company could be an excellent recruiting tool, and students may come up with ideas that act as a catalyst for growth. I know personally that this I-Core experience was truly one of a kind, and I appreciated the participation of the company that I was involved with.”
Please complete an application if you’d like your business to be involved.
Any for-profit organization can apply. The ideal company will have been in business for at least 10 years (minimum of 5 years) and will have shown an operating profit for at least three years (minimum one year). The company must be incorporated as an S corporation, C corporation or an LLC.