Class of 2021 Q&A: Ally Staley

UIndy 360 spoke to Ally Staley ‘21 (Computer Information Systems and Applied Business Analytics, Math minor, Honors Concentration) about her UIndy journey.

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360: What advice do you have for incoming freshmen?

Ally: Get out of your comfort zone! Try something new that may challenge you. If you don’t leave college with a new skill set or experience, you really missed out. 

360: What is the most significant way UIndy has had an impact on you? 

A: UIndy allowed me to grow as a person, student, and professional. I was tested spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically during my time here and I am forever grateful for the opportunities and experiences that have come my way. I have met some of the most amazing people that I am confident will be lifelong friends and mentors. 

360: How has your program prepared you for the next steps in your career? 

A: The School of Business curriculum allowed me the opportunity to apply what I have learned in the classroom to real-world situations. The applied learning style of teaching really allows students to take charge of their education. Not to mention, the School of Business faculty come to UIndy with an average of 12 years of industry experience prior to teaching. This allows for meaningful and engaging conversation and networking opportunities. I have been able to enter interviews with numerous talking points as to what I have done in college – working, interning, volunteering, etc. as opposed to just what I have read in college. 

360:Do you have any faculty mentors? If so, who are they and how have they helped you? 

A: I love the connections I have been able to establish at UIndy! First and foremost, Dr. Jerry Flatto has been a significant part of my journey. He has challenged me in my coursework and has provided copious amounts of guidance and effort working with me on my Honors project. Dr. Matt Will has also played a significant role in my time at UIndy. As a mentor and boss, he has developed my communication and leadership skills tremendously. I would be remiss if I also did not mention Jeremiah Gibbs and Kirk Bryans and their mentorship. Jeremiah played a foundational role in helping me grow in my faith at UIndy and I am forever grateful for his impact on my life. As a career mentor, Kirk talked me “off a cliff” more times than I can count and always offered challenging advice and a listening ear. 

360: Have you been involved in any extracurricular activities? (athletics, RSOs, volunteer work, etc.) How have those experiences impacted your time at UIndy?

A: At UIndy, I have been a member of Student Business Leadership Academy, where I currently serve as president. This organization has allowed me to learn to manage and encourage people. I have had the opportunity to serve as a mentor to underclassmen as well as build relationships with my peers. SBLA has significantly increased my network through managing and attending events. I have also served as a Chapel Steward of Community where I led small groups centered around faith. These groups have entailed a variety of things – book clubs, dinner outings, volunteering, etc. and have allowed me to grow in my faith and encouraging others to do the same. Going along with this, I have consistently attending chapel and been a part of campus ministries since my freshman year. I am thankful for UIndy for helping me strengthen my faith through speaking opportunities, high school camps, RSO meetings, and faith-centered events. 

360: Have you done any internships, and if so, where were they? What skills did you gain? 

A: During my time at UIndy, I have had the opportunity to work for the School of Business as a Student Recruitment Manager. This experience has been full of learning and growing, both personally and professionally. I have managed events, planned and traveled to conferences to recruit high schoolers, facilitated meetings, and implemented strategic initiatives. Each of these experiences has pushed my leadership capabilities and challenged me to get out of my comfort zone. I had a unique internship with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in May of 2019 during race weekend. This internship challenged my people skills and allowed me to further my network with other Indiana college students. Also, in June of 2020, I received a virtual internship with MJ Insurance in Carmel, IN. At MJ, I worked as an Analytics Intern and was able to enhance my technical and interpersonal skills. I was asked to stay part-time at MJ, following my internship as I finished out my senior year. 

360: What would you like to do following graduation? What are your long-term career goals? 

A: After graduating in May, I will be starting a two-year program with the Orr Fellowship. I was offered a fellowship position with Offprem Technology where I will work as a Solutions Architect. I am so excited to begin working full-time and cannot wait to see what the next steps in my career journey will be. Long-term I am hopeful to consult with businesses and help them implement and integrate analytic strategies into their operations.

360: And finally, what’s your favorite thing about UIndy? 

A: The small campus feel is one of my favorite parts; it has truly come to feel like home. I love that I can get wherever I need to in 5-10 minutes and there are so many familiar faces. Not to mention, the campus is gorgeous, especially at sunset. UIndy is also really close to downtown Indy, making campus feel like an island in the city.