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Indiana University Bloomington

Center for Brand Leadership

Kelley Advantage

The Center for Brand Leadership is a close-knit group of top MBA students, faculty, alumni, and corporate partners who share a wealth of industry knowledge and contacts.

Making a Successful Transition from Agency to Client

Samyukta Markley MBA'12

Samyukta Markley

"What Kelley did for me was to give me a realistic view of what I would be doing day to day and the practical know-how to do the work."

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As an account executive at a small Chicago advertising agency, Samyukta Markley worked closely with clients to help them develop more effective promotions and campaigns.

"I've always appreciated the discipline and creativity involved," she says.

When her husband, Evan, enrolled at Kelley, she came with him to Bloomington and took a position as a search marketing consultant at a local internet marketing agency. However, she quickly became intrigued by the work her husband was doing in Kelley's Consumer Marketing Academy.

"I realized I wanted to move to the other side of the table so I could be more involved in developing strategies and understanding the business on a deeper level," Markley says. "I felt that studying brand management at Kelley was the best way to expand my professional skills."

So, the next academic year, she also enrolled in the program.

Deep Understanding of Consumer Marketing

In the Consumer Marketing Academy, she gained a deeper understanding of the various roles involved in consumer marketing and which were the best fit for her skills and interests. Being in the CMA also provided her with a support system that included her Academy Director Jonlee Andrews, career coach, peer coach, and fellow classmates.

"We had academy sessions where I learned a lot about myself and the ins-and-outs of a career in brand management. The academy project gave me hands-on experience working on a real business problem," Markley says. The project feedback also helped her improve her networking and communications skills. "I knew the questions to ask during informational interviews to learn about companies and how best to tell my story during interviews."

Landing an Internship Leads to a Career

Markley worked hard to land an internship at a leading consumer products company. After identifying Procter & Gamble as a company she wanted to target, she reached out to its large Kelley network to prepare for on-campus recruiting.

"I set up lots of mock interviews with my peer coach and other second-year students, and they provided me with valuable feedback," she says. Her preparation paid off—not just in earning a position, but also in evaluating her internship experience when she arrived in Cincinnati.

"I saw that P&G gives their employees a tremendous amount of responsibility, “Markeley says. When they offered her a full-time position as an assistant brand manager for their Vick's line of cough and cold remedies, she happily accepted. "I’m really looking forward to being challenged and learning something new every day."

With her career plans set, Samyukta spent her second year getting involved in Kelley's student clubs, serving as president of the Kelley Association of Women MBAs, and balancing her school obligations with her husband's new position at Cummins, about an hour away from Bloomington.

"I don’t think it’s been too difficult to manage our relationship because he understands what the MBA experience is all about and has completely supported me through it," she says. "That's another thing you learn at Kelley—you have to choose your priorities and stay true to what you want."

Published June 12, 2012