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Living the Dream - Kevin Clem

Master of Business AdministrationKevin Cleam

May 2015

Post-Program Career: Financial Analyst, ExxonMobil

Pre-Program career: Certified Public Accountant

Previous Degrees: BS in Business Administration from University of California, Riverside

Why Krannert?

Krannert is such a tight knit community where alumni, faculty, staff, and fellow students are always there to help or provide encouragement.  The alumni network is vast and they are all die hard Boilermakers for life, so anything they can do to help the next generation of Boilermakers, they do.  With a relatively small class size, you get to know all your classmates and form a lifelong bond where everybody is pulling for everybody else to succeed. 

Tell us about your experiences at Krannert.

Krannert is a place where I grew so much not just professionally, but personally as well.  I am a natural introvert, but Krannert helped give me the confidence to step out of my comfort zone and try new things and take on new challenges.  I held office in the Krannert Graduate Student Association, worked on a student run business, participated in intramural sports, and found time to hang out with my classmates outside of school.  I learned a lot in the classroom, but I learned much more outside of it, and those experiences are the ones that will make a lasting impact.

What courses from the MBA program have you found beneficial?

Since I am entering a finance/accounting position, I found corporate finance, international finance, and portfolio management quite interesting and useful.  I also really enjoyed Macroeconomics, especially since the energy industry which I will be entering plays a major role in the world’s economy.  Spreadsheet Modeling was also quite useful as I used many of the excel functions and simulation tools learned in this course during my internship.

Are you a career changer, career enhancer or a new professional?

Career Enhancer

What was your internship?

ExxonMobil Downstream Controllers in Fairfax, VA.

What did you take away from your internship experience?

I took away that an education from Krannert puts you in equal standing competitively in the workforce with students from any and all other universities.  I also took away that networking and presentation skills are as important as analytical skills and work ethic when it comes to making a name for yourself in business. 

What did you enjoy about your internship?

I enjoyed interacting with MBA students from across the country while also having the opportunity to test out a company and industry that I knew little about going in.  I also enjoyed having a project that was actually meaningful to the company and getting to present my final deliverable to VPs who showed a legitimate interest in my findings. 

How did you find your new career?

I first connected with ExxonMobil through the Krannert Masters Career Fair just a few short weeks after starting the program. 

What drew you to this company?

I was not initially interested in oil and gas, but after speaking with their representatives and attending an information session I decided that it might be worth a look.  Then, through my summer project and meeting more young professional within the company, I decided that they were the company for me.

What will be the challenges of your new career?

The major challenges for me will be learning the ins and outs of the energy industry as it is quite complex and I have had little prior exposure to the industry.  It will also be a challenge moving back from student mode to professional mode in a new city with new surroundings.  There will definitely be challenges but I am excited for this new chapter in my life and ready to hit the ground running.

Advice for someone looking to work at the company you are working at?

My advice would be to pay attention to what is going on in current events in the industry and in the company itself.  I would also say to talk to as many current employees as possible and get to know their experiences and the day to day life of people that live it firsthand.