Adam Manwarren '07 MBA
Less than a month after graduating from Kelley’s Evening MBA program, Adam Manwarren was featured in Indianapolis print and TV news stories as the architect of a business plan for a revolutionary new brand of lip gloss. Just weeks earlier, he and the product’s founder, April Morris, placed second in the state’s first Collegiate Idol competition – a contest for Indiana college students to showcase their entrepreneurial ideas.
“As part of a venture strategy course I was taking at Kelley, I needed to write a business plan,” says Manwarren, who had met Morris through his wife several months earlier and knew about her plans to market the lip gloss. “That’s when I called April and asked if she was serious about needing a business plan; she said ‘yes’, and here we are.”
As a sales and marketing veteran with his current employer, Dow Agrosciences, Manwarren says his experience, combined with what he learned through his Kelley courses and the school’s MBA enterprise program, enabled him to develop the winning plan for Morris’ THINgloss. Kelley’s enterprises offer MBA students a chance to gain hands-on strategic and consulting experience working with central Indiana companies. While pursuing his MBA, Manwarren worked on two projects for Kelley’s Discovery, Innovation and Ventures Enterprise (DIVE).
“Based on what I learned through DIVE, I can be parachuted into any industry or situation and get up to speed quickly and make recommendations based on the facts,” says Manwarren, who earned his bachelor’s degree in agriculture and food business management at the University of Minnesota in 1999. “The enterprise experience draws on all of the coursework; you get to apply so much of what you’re learning.”
In addition to participating in one of the enterprises, Manwarren also took advantage of another signature program for Kelley MBA students – the China in Transition summer course. Spending two weeks with classmates in China, Manwarren evaluated the promotions plan and loyalty card program of the world’s second largest shopping mall.
“One of the neat things about Kelley is the opportunities students have to hear from and work alongside real business people in real business situations,” he says, citing lectures by the CEO of Mattel and the marketing managers of Carrier Corporation as noteworthy examples. “It really sets Kelley’s program apart.”