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The Kelley Advantage

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This Kelley MBA Just 'Makes Good Business Sense'

Erland Porter MBA/A’05



"I definitely use the skills I learned at Kelley—especially communication, networking, and technical proficiency.”

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Working as an accountant at Ernst & Young is the fulfillment of a childhood aspiration, says Kelley 3/2 MBA graduate Erland Porter. “Business has always seemed to come naturally to me. I always did well during the school fundraisers and my parents regularly taught me fiscal responsibility,” he says. “I knew I wanted to pursue accounting."

By the time the Indianapolis native hit high school, he was all business. He took some accounting courses and learned that it was “the language of business” and could give him access to any industry. It was around this time that he heard about the Kelley School's 3/2 MBA in Accounting program, which allows Kelley students to apply to the MBA program as juniors and spend the next two years in graduate school. After just five years, these students have earned both their BS and MBA.

That was music to Porter's ambitious ears. “Kelley's nationally ranked business school was close to home, and its five-year program met my need for 150 credit hours to become a CPA along with a meaningful post-graduate education. As an aspiring accountant, it made good business sense,” he says.

His fondest Kelley memory is pretty spectacular: during his first year of graduate school, he won the John Deer Case Competition. At first, though, he didn't know just what he had signed up for. “I did not realize the complexity of the case competition and that it would require staying up all night and presenting the next day,” recalls Porter. “My team and I stayed at the business school until nearly 6 a.m., and I only returned home to shower, change into a suit, and have breakfast.” He says it was all worth it. The judges rated his team's presentation the highest, and he used the $500 award to buy a digital camera and fund some travel.

Now working in E&Y's Assurance and Advisory Business Services, Porter is quite satisfied with his Kelley choice. As a student, Porter took full advantage of Kelley's career services, including career fairs, roundtables, and other recruiting events, and nabbed an internship at E&Y, which led to his current job. He spends his days on-site with clients performing audit services with a team of individuals. He says that he loves the learning environment at E&Y and that there is no such thing as a “typical” day.

Perhaps most important, though, Porter says he is always putting his Kelley knowledge to good use. “I definitely use the skills I learned at Kelley—especially communication, networking, and technical proficiency with programs like MS Excel, MS PowerPoint, MS Access, and ACL,” he says. “These tools are used every day within our firm and by our clients. From my interactions with clients and colleagues, it is clear that Kelley does an excellent job of preparing its students to be technologically savvy.”

Published April 15, 2011