How to conquer Kelley intimidation

Within the beautiful stone walls of Hodge Hall lies something unsettling among IU students of all majors: Kelley intimidation.

The Kelley School of Business is one of the top programs of its kind. Between the difficult admission standards and the rigors of I-Core, it’s no wonder that you might be nervous signing up for your first few Kelley classes.

As a Journalism major I definitely felt this way. People told me that business classes were challenging and intended to “weed out” students who weren’t cut out to be in Kelley. I wasn’t majoring in business, but as a student in the Liberal Arts and Management Program I was diving into new territory by adding Kelley classes to my curriculum. 

Fast forward two semesters, and I’ve not only passed but THRIVED in my Kelley classes.

Whether you’re a direct admit, trying to get into Kelley, or simply taking business classes, here are a few tips to help you succeed:

Don’t pysch yourself out

A large part of succeeding in Kelley classes is a positive attitude. Just because your friend said that accounting was “impossible” doesn’t mean that you won’t do well in the class, you may even end up really enjoying the class! I've found Kelley classes to be extremely useful and relevant to real life, and A200 and L201 were some of my favorite college classes. Be excited to have the opportunity to learn from one of the best business schools in the country, and know that you deserve to be here. 

Make a game plan

College students are busy and time management is crucial for doing well in school. Begin the semester with an idea of how much work you’ll need to put in for each class, and what classes you will need to prioritize over others. This semester I struggled with E201 microeconomics - a class I was taking for the second time after withdrawing with a W my freshman year. I went into the semester knowing I would dedicate a lot of time studying and doing what I needed to do to succeed. I went to extra help sessions and stayed in contact with my TA when I had questions, and at the end of the semester I passed the class with a B knowing my hard work had paid off. Beginning the semester dedicated to doing well in a class that you view as challenging will help you start strong and stay that way. 


Kelley hosts a lot of professional events to gain experience outside of the classroom

Seek out advice

IU is a huge campus, chances are you know someone who has taken a few Kelley classes. Ask for advice on what professors to take, how to study for the class, and what you should do to succeed. Also check out ratemyprofessors.com to find tips on what to expect the class to be like in general.

Use your resources

Once you get settled into the semester, you’ll have a better idea of how much work needs to be put into your Kelley classes. If you find yourself struggling after the first test, you may want to go to office hours or put in extra time studying for that class. There are also tutoring services on campus and in residence halls for classes that are seen as particularly challenging. If you’re trying to get into Kelley you’ll want to avoid any grades under a B- or you may be denied admission. Turn to resources like these to help you get the best grades possible.

It’s not all about the classes

While I’ve been preaching about how to succeed in Kelley classes themselves, there are a lot of other factors to kickstarting your post-grad career in business. Kelley is great at hosting guest speakers and seminars to help you develop professional skills. There are also other resources on campus like career fairs, getting involved in extracurriculars, and internship opportunities that will help add so much more to your education. A great GPA is a plus during an interview, but experience and confidence is what will land you the internship or job of your dreams.

While it’s nerve racking to begin your first set of business classes, crossing the finish line and ending the semester closer to your goals makes it all worth it. 

About The Author
Megan TackettClass of 2017, Public Relations Major,

Hi I'm Megan! I'm a junior studying Journalism with a focus on Public Relations. I am also a student in the Liberal Arts and Management Program. I love being a blogger for WeAreIU.com because visiting this site was really influential in my decision to come here. IU has so many opportunities for students to get involved on campus. I'm currently completing two media-related internships at Author Solutions and the Johnson Center for Entrepreneurship in Biotechnology. I'm also a Hudson and Holland Scholar as well as a Cox Legacy scholar. My hobbies include frequenting Kirkwood eateries, travelling, and blogging.