Tracy Schrauben, a recent graduate of the Kelley School of Business and new team member, compares business school with agency life.

The Kelley School of Business MBA Program provided an excellent environment in which to study all sorts of business problems. With case-based learning, my classmates and I were always looking for the best way to solve or evaluate prominent issues in a broad range of Kelley School of Businessindustries. Case-based learning is a method in which students consider and analyze realistic, business-based problems, then resolve the questions presented―there is usually no single correct answer. One of the most exciting ways to engage in this type of learning was to participate in a case competition―a timed event where teams of students would go head-to-head to produce a winning business solution in front of a panel of judges.

Now that I am out of school I wonder, what is the difference between the classroom and the real world? Every day I look for the best solution to client problems―all who face a diverse set of challenges in their specific industries. The difference is, instead of being awarded a prize for a great solution the reward is seeing branding recommendations come to life and clients succeed in meeting their business objectives.

Case Competition Traits Used Every Day


The desire to understand a client, their business problem, and the industry landscape better than anyone else in key. Though I’m no longer a student, I’ll never stop learning and asking “why?” This persistent state of discovery helps uncover client and industry nuances that generate better solutions and identify additional opportunities to drive the brand forward.


Business school was certainly a team sport, and―to my delight―it is no different in the agency world. Different perspectives, experiences, and ideas are important when it comes to producing the best branding results. It’s exciting to see a solution morph and reach a new level as team members add individual insight, raise challenging questions, and solve problems in new ways.


Whenever we were at a standstill while working though a case competition, a team member would say “what about innovation?” But, what seemed to be a sarcastic comment at 1:00 am in a school break out room, really does apply every day. There is always a better way of doing things―even for someone who may have been doing branding for years―truly, it can always be done better. Innovation should always be a consideration.

Winning Mentality:

It wasn’t possible to win a case competition by just fleshing out a complete recommendation and presenting it. Just “showing up” wasn’t enough. Success meant, and still means, having the best, most effective, and most enduring recommendation. It’s imperative that the solution be not only impressive, but actionable, and one that the team truly stands behind.

As a self-proclaimed branding nerd, I can’t wait to keep learning, innovating, and winning as my career develops at Monigle. From business school to real world―let’s keep on achieving and succeeding.

Tracy Schrauben is a consultant at Monigle and is in no way a nerd. 

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Tracy Schrauben
July 7, 2014 By Tracy Schrauben