Monday, July 19, 2010

Aid to Artisans MBA summer internship

My name is Blake Grosch and I’m a second year MBA student at the Kelley School of Business. This summer I’m working for a non-profit called Aid to Artisans located in Hartford, CT. ATA provides business training, product development, and market access to handcraft groups located in developing countries. My project is to support the development of 8 artisan enterprises in Ethiopia.

In a few days, I will take my first trip to Ethiopia and even Africa. I feel very fortunate and lucky to have this opportunity. This will be a great chance to utilize the business knowledge I developed at Kelley this past year in an international setting, as well as the skills I learned as a Peace Corps Volunteer. I’m not entirely sure what to expect, but from what I’ve heard, the country is beautiful and the people are open and friendly.

I will land in the capital Addis Ababa and from there travel south to the Konso Community. My primary objective while in-country is to conduct market research on handcraft applied to the tourism sector. I will be visiting various communities in both the southern and central parts of Ethiopia to interview members of the 8 handcraft groups, shop owners, tourist guides, and hotel owners. It is my goal that the information I obtain helps expand the distribution and sales of these groups.

Apart from my work in Ethiopia, I’m extremely excited to experience the culture and customs of the communities I plan to visit. I have a feeling that this trip will be both eye-opening and extremely educational, and a trek that I will soon not forget! This journey will definitely put me in a better position for my full-time job search in marketing and will aid my student leadership role for GLOBASE Ghana at Kelley next fall.

Upon my return in three weeks, I look forward to posting an entry detailing my trip.

Guest blog entry provided by Blake Grosch, Kelley School of Business second year MBA student, Globase Ghana leadership team member.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Kelley Globase goes to Ghana

As I reflect on my March and June visits to Ghana, I consider myself extremely lucky. It's been a privilege to travel and learn alongside Kelley School of Business faculty scholars, staff and students, to push my personal limits, and challenge what I know, or thought I knew, about the global economy.

The March trip to Accra with the Kelley School of Business Undergraduate Emerging Economies class proved to be an excellent introduction to the business and cultural nuances of a developing country and its economy. Meetings with The Ghana Cocoa Board, Cummins-Ghana, SEND-Ghana (an NGO that focuses on poverty-related research), and others, provided first-hand exposure to food, culture, climate, and diverse viewpoints regarding the advantages and complexities of living and conducting business in West Africa.

The June planning trip was a full-immersion experience. Although I find the diversity of thought and energy of a big group stimulating, there is real benefit to traveling with a small troop. Numbering just three, the agility of the Globase Ghana Leadership Team allowed us to be flexible with our schedule and take full advantage of the introductions and gracious hospitality provided while in-country. In essence, our ability to build meaningful relationships with potential partners was greatly enhanced. And isn't that really the foundation of global business?

Guest blog entry provided by Kate O'Malley, Kelley School of Business Office of Marketing & Communications, Globase Ghana leadership team member. Follow the Globase Ghana team at

Friday, July 9, 2010

Kelley School finalist for GMAC's TeamMBA Institutional Award

The Kelley School of Business MBA Program was one of three finalist business schools for the GMAC's TeamMBA Institutional Award (2009-2010). This is the first time the Kelley School of Business MBA Program reached the finals for this award.

Team MBA is part of GMAC (Graduate Management Admission Council) and is the global initiative for community service by students in graduate management programs. Since GMAC launched Team MBA in 2005, hundreds of students, staff, and faculty from scores of schools have donated thousands of volunteer hours and raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for charities and community organizations: more than $500,000 raised for charity and more than 25,000 volunteer hours as of 2009.

The annual TeamMBA Award program recognizes schools that exemplify a commitment to social responsibility through the actions of their students and the school's demonstrated support of these efforts. The awards are presented in June during a ceremony at the GMAC® Annual Industry Conference. Entries are reviewed by a committee composed of business school professionals.

The overall institution award recognizes a school for its commitment to promoting and supporting social engagement by its students through school-led programs, services, institutional culture, and more.