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John Talbott
Kelley School of Business

George Vlahakis
IU Communications

Anne Auer
Kelley School of Business

Last modified: Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Kelley School's Art of Business program offers career-building skills for arts and sciences majors

April 4, 2012

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University's Kelley School of Business will offer a summer academy designed for undergraduate students attending liberal arts colleges who are looking to enhance their career-building skills.

Kelley School of Business

Kelley School of Business

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The academy, The Art of Business, is open to arts and sciences majors at IU and other research universities and colleges. The centerpiece of the program is a three-week immersion experience that begins June 10.

"The Art of Business summer academy is designed to show students of the liberal arts how the education that they are already getting, when supplemented appropriately, provides them with the skills that they need to be successful in business or any organizational setting," said John Talbott, the program's co-director and assistant director of the Center for Education and Research in Retailing.

"Most liberal arts colleges have chosen to explicitly not include career skills courses, but these are crucial for students who need to attain and succeed in their first jobs after college," added Brenda McNellen, a lecturer of communication, professional and computer skills.

They noted that many employers have approached IU seeking students with strong communication, research and critical thinking skills as well as a broad understanding of civic life and culture -- hallmarks of a liberal arts education. However, it is often difficult for these students to define career directions, approach potential employers and become acclimated quickly to the world of business and nonprofit organizations.

Brenda McNellen and John Talbott

Brenda McNellen and John Talbott

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"Our program is designed to provide a sense of vocation, help them to fluently speak the language of business and learn the skills that will make them marketable and promotable," Talbott said.

Kelley joins several other top business schools in offering such a program, including the Stern School of Business at New York University, the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University and Stanford University.

This isn't the business school's first time joining forces with the liberal arts. For example, the Liberal Arts and Management Program, a partnership with IU's College of Arts and Sciences, continues to thrive at IU Bloomington, where it has been a fixture for more than two decades.

"Business is an umbrella profession that looks for leaders from all walks of life and professions, such as medicine, engineering, the sciences and liberal arts," said Dan Smith, dean of the Kelley School. "While Kelley offers joint degree programs for students enrolled in other schools of medicine, law and engineering, this is a unique initiative for students in the liberal arts, not only for those from Indiana University, but from around the globe.

"This will be an exciting leadership program from a top-ranked business school and another offering that meets our mission to transform people and society through education," Smith added.

In the program, students will learn strategies for the practical application of their written and verbal communication, research and critical-thinking skills in a variety of business and organizational contexts. Each day will include daytime instruction and professional interactions. Evening activities will include guest speakers, professional dinners and opportunities for personal mentoring.

Alumni of Kelley's MBA program who earned their undergraduate degree in the arts and sciences have been invited back to campus to spend time with students enrolled in the Art of Business program.

The world-renowned faculty within the Kelley School will be involved in the teaching activities supported by expert staff from the school's Undergraduate Career Services Office. After completing the program, students will have enhanced their professional marketability and earned a certificate from the program attesting to their achievement.

The program is designed for up to two dozen students entering their junior and senior years, although graduating seniors also will be considered. Students with all majors are invited to apply, including those now studying informatics, English, history and the sciences. The cost without housing is $4,950, and with housing it is $5,550. All meals and materials are included.

More information about the program is available at, or email The application deadline is May 15.