Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Kelley goes 'King' Khan crazy in Delhi

By Tom Paprocki, second-year MBA student

In what was undoubtedly one of the more bizarre moments of my two years here at Kelley, I recently had my head put in a guillotine while participating in a game show in Delhi, India -- all of which was broadcast on national television.

Let that sink in for a second.

Every year a school in India called IIPM hosts an international marketing case competition. Or so they say. In actuality, it is a “quiz show,” though you won’t know that until after you’ve been accepted to participate. This year, 50 graduate business schools took part, 45 from within India and five outside of the country: Duke, Columbia, London School of Business, University of Chicago and Indiana University. All expenses are paid by the host school in India, including the flight, hotel, food and all transportation while in the country.

A fellow classmate and I were selected by the host school to represent Kelley in the competition, and in spite of the fact that we did not receive our airline tickets or visas until four hours before our flight was to depart, we soon found ourselves amid the hustle and bustle of India’s energetic capital. Our hosts treated us to a visit to the Taj Majal, a tour of Delhi, and then brought us to their school to participate in the marketing competition.

In the end, only six schools out of the original 50 made it to the finals. We were fortunate enough to advance, along with Chicago Booth and four Indian schools. The finals were held in a professionally constructed outdoor studio on the school grounds. In addition to random performances of Bollywood-style dancing and the liberal use of fog machines, the event was highlighted by the appearance of the game show host Shah Rukh Khan. For those of you who are not familiar, Khan is the biggest movie star in India. My Indian-born friends in Bloomington describe him as “the sum of Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt in their respective primes … times two.”

Over the course of the two-hour broadcast, my teammate and I competed in a very strange but very fun “quiz show” that included a dance-off with “King” Khan and what I still believe to be a near-death experience with the aforementioned guillotine while "Carmina Burana" blasted in the studio.

Although we didn’t win the grand prize of 250,000 rupees, it was an unforgettable experience and just another example of the sort of global opportunities available at Kelley.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Rock star of accounting coaches Kelley students on the future

Kelley students in professor Terry Campbell’s International Financial Reporting Standards class got to learn from the nation’s top accounting executive recently.

Barry Melancon, president and CEO of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, took questions for more than an hour and a half from the students, who were participating in a one-week intensive “boot camp” to learn more about impending changes in financial reporting.

Melancon said this is a great time for Kelley accounting graduates, who are prepared for the transition from a rules-based system to a principles-based system.

“I always say to young people entering the profession, the time you want to enter the profession is at the most significant point of change,” he said, explaining that the last two generations of accountants in the U.S. have been trained in rules-based financial reporting and will have to relearn their profession in some ways. “Your gap is closed.”

Campbell said Melancon reinforced some key principles in response to questions where
integrity, independence, objectivity and professional skepticism are the appropriate and needed behaviors.

Melancon also encouraged students to develop knowledge and skills in other disciplines, including world politics, the sciences, world history and communications.

“When you leave this campus, you need to have the confidence that you can handle yourself in any situation.”

He said Kelley boot camp students are uniquely positioned to do just that.

“A person who has been through this program – this single program – you ought to have so much confidence in what you can do,” he said. “You have been exposed just this week to more than 99.999 percent of the people in this world who are going to be somewhere related to professional accountancy.”

Jaclyn Geary, who is working toward her MBA in accounting in Kelley’s 3/2 program, said Melancon’s advice about confidence came at the right time.

“That’s something I feel like I’m lacking a little bit,” said the fifth-year student who has completed half of the four-part CPA exam. “I’m on the verge, so that was important.”

Melancon travels about two-thirds of the year and visits only a handful of universities during that time.

“Most, if not all, of our graduate accounting students will become CPAs,” Campbell said. “Having access to the president of the AICPA for questions and answers prior to becoming a CPA provided a window on the breadth and depth of the accounting profession.”

Student Derek Johnson agreed.

“He brings a lot of experience and insight that we students don’t have,” said the fifth-year MBA in accounting student. “I really enjoyed that and getting his opinion as well as his political experience in how things get done. He just understands the process.”

Guest blog entry provided by Jeni Donlon.