Kellogg World Alumni Magazine Winter 2009

The KEAN difference

A strong pool of prospective students is headed Kellogg's way, thanks to the Kellogg Executive MBA Admissions Network

By Rachel Farrell

  Carolina Piña
The Kellogg School knows that many of the world's top business leaders reside in Latin America. And it knows that many of those executives would be a perfect fit for the Executive MBA program.

But many of those business leaders don't know yet that they would be a perfect fit for Kellogg and the Miami campus.

That's beginning to change, thanks to the Kellogg Executive MBA Admissions Network (KEAN), which was founded in November 2009.

In addition to a group of Kellogg administrators, KEAN is comprised of alumni from the Miami campus, including Francisco Ruiz Maza EMP-67, Gloria Guevara EMP-75, Ed Fernandez EMP-71, Daniel Molina Wood EMP-71, Rodrigo Valenzuela EMP-71, Joaquin Larrea EMP-71, Juan Felipe Muñoz EMP-75, Alexander Schad EMP-67, Jenny Molina EMP-75, Pablo Rodriguez EMP-75, Mike Rodriguez EMP-67 and Sofia Saracho EMP-75. The group's objective is to proactively spread the word about the Kellogg School throughout Latin America.

In Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Honduras, Guatemala and the Dominican Republic, KEAN members are visiting top firms and attending information sessions to share their Kellogg experiences, recruit prospective students and answer questions about the Executive MBA program in Miami.

"KEAN's goal is to activate our alumni's personal and professional networks in a focused way in support of our Miami EMBA program," explains Eric Fridman '97, a KEAN member, assistant dean and director of marketing for executive education. "The energy and commitment our alums have brought to this initiative is nothing short of inspiring."

In only six months, KEAN has made a tangible difference. Carolina Piña, associate director of the Miami Executive MBA program, notes that attendance numbers at Kellogg information sessions in Latin America have doubled. "These KEAN ambassadors are really helping to spread the word," she says.

The network is also working to clarify perceptions of the time commitment required by the Executive MBA program. Many executives mistakenly believe that EMBA is a full-time program, which has deterred them from applying, explains KEAN member and Mexico resident Ruiz Maza. By setting the record straight, Ruiz Maza and other KEAN members "change the perception of business education for many executives," he says. "It is a long and dedicated effort, but I believe considerable inroads have been made."

Ruiz Maza adds that, as he's shared his experiences as a Kellogg student, more business leaders have come to appreciate the value of the Executive MBA investment. "When I describe [to prospective students] the caliber of Kellogg professors and the quality of the classes, they understand the pragmatism and commitment that goes into receiving a Kellogg MBA," he says. "The fact that all the students are seasoned professionals gives this program relevance and appeal. This resonates very effectively with business leaders, HR heads and prospective students."

But there is still much work ahead for KEAN, notes Valenzuela, who lives in Chile. "Remember that a decision about whether to pursue an MBA can take between 18 and 24 months," he says. "[So] this is a long-term effort. But I am confident that the results will come." 

"I believe that by placing Kellogg at the center of discussions with business leaders, we are raising awareness of the school," Ruiz Maza adds. "Kellogg is setting the standard for elite business education in the world." – RF

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