Kyle Egenolf, MBA’17, is an engineer—a strong critical thinker and problem solver—but to take his career to the next level, he needed more.
“I wanted to increase the velocity of my trajectory into management, and I looked at MBA programs to either advance my career internally or to change directions,” says Egenolf. “I wanted a challenging program—one with rigorous requirements. I chose the Kelley School of Business Evening MBA Program because it is top-ranked and proved to be the most impressive.”
While earning a Kelley MBA signals you’re gaining elevated leadership and management skills, Egenolf says it also provided him a wider perspective on his own company.
“There’s a lot to be said for earning an all-encompassing perspective of business,” he says. “From the engineering side, all you see is product and production. Earning an MBA opens your eyes; you gain greater perspective for various business units and what they accomplish together.”
During his time in the Kelley Evening MBA on the IUPUI campus, Egenolf leveraged the program’s Just-In-Time Career Coaching to develop a strategy for his career. Because Kelley MBA students come from a variety of backgrounds, career coaching is designed to meet you wherever you are and help you get where you want to go next.
“I started career counseling with Barry Joffe [the Evening MBA Program’s career coach] because I wanted some career advice. He coached me on how to evaluate my career and to handle recruiters,” Egenolf remembers. “When a recruiter first contacted me about my current job, I was able to respond in a strategic way to communicate my background and experiences and to insert myself in the interview process—all based on my discussions with Barry.”
Egenolf learned he didn’t have to respond to every recruiter, but instead, he understood how to respond most effectively to the ones that aligned with his values and the career trajectory he desired. Egenolf says the career development support in the Evening MBA Program was pivotal to securing his new position as operations manager at Endress+Hauser Wetzer Division.
“At Kelley, I found a career coach with experience who really listened to me, provided instant feedback, and a customized strategy,” says Egenolf. “Barry was even available for me throughout the phone interviews and negotiations process, giving me a quick pre-call at 12:30 PM with pointers and tips for my 1 PM interview. He really guided me through that process and helped me gain greater situational awareness.”
During the Endress+Hauser job interview, Egenolf not only discussed his professional experience but also the variety of hands-on consulting experiences he acquired throughout the Evening MBA Program. Through a global supply chain and innovation project, for example, he presented actual operations solutions at Whirlpool headquarters. Additionally, the program’s in-depth managerial simulations helped Egenolf bring more to the table than what a candidate can gain simply from a single position.
“A lot of companies want to see hard evidence of your completed work and what you actually did, not just that you checked the boxes to complete a degree,” he explains. “The experiential learning experiences at Kelley gave me really tangible projects that showed application of my education. I was able to use that in the Endress+Hauser interviewing process to illustrate my ability to manage diverse groups as well as manage projects and my time.”
In addition to the skill sets, education, degree, and new job, Egenolf says his experience in the Kelley Evening MBA Program also changed him personally. The sum of all of these experiences showed him a new side of himself.
“I was primarily an introvert when I started my Kelley MBA, but I’ve learned to adapt and become more extroverted. I can actually talk to and network with people; I’m a better communicator,” he says. “Before Kelley, I hadn’t really been interested in any of that, and now, I understand the value of communication.
“I feel a lot more comfortable in any setting, and that’s due in part to being in a physical classroom with quality peers—meeting new people and working on projects with them multiple times a week. The Kelley classroom environment is really critical to that development. That’s where I got a lot of value from the program.”