Time Management: It’s a Thing

This guy set the bar pretty high for the rest of us bloggers when he wrote about his 11-year-old self coming up with a pretty sound proposition for Barnes and Noble employees to let him buy a not-so-11-year-old-friendly CD. But not all of us have that much swagger.

In fact, it was a shock I got into the Fisher MHRM program at all as I tend to stumble over words when put on the spot. One of my interview questions was, “What recent news stories regarding business have you heard?” My response? “Umm…we don’t have cable…but I do know that Bob Costas who reports on the olympics has an eye infection so he just had Matt Lauer take over. Ahem…must be some sort of PR move.” I’m not kidding. My exact thoughts were [insert favorite expletive here]. And you know what happened literally a month and a half earlier? The Target security breach. Face/palm.

What I am good at is time management (great segue, right?) Having an active two-year-old while reading, writing, organizing group projects, and studying for classes has definitely been a challenge. Unlike my undergrad self, I’ve learned that time management is actually a THING. And incredibly helpful (sorry to point out the obvious). What are your priorities? What’s at the top of that list? Get it done. What’s next? Get it done and check that off of your list as well. Repeat repeat repeat.

My main priority: Making sure my kid feels valued. Is he learning? Is he eating? Is he having fun while avoiding activities that have the potential to cause severe injury? Yes? Good. Next thing.

Reading for class. With a two year old, it’s been surprisingly manageable.

Parenting Win

What’s better than making the bed? Teaching a two-year-old about economics and HR’s role within business.

Next priority: studying for tests. In the MHRM program, our first test was almost immediately after the semester began. I have learned that I’m a visual learner (as well as experiential…but generally most everyone learns from experience). I can’t just read and memorize. I have be able to see it it. In my undergrad, I learned a trick that has never let me down: color coding.

I will only take notes in black or blue ink. Before I begin fully studying for a test, I condense my notes from the readings and class into the information I think is the most important and will likely be on the test. Instead of writing these notes in black or blue ink, I use a weird color. Red, pink, green, etc. I then use another color to underline and emphasize things I am positive will be on the test. It ends up looking something like this:

Color Coded Test Notes

Color Coded Test Notes

Using colors I’m not used to seeing in my notes has been a successful study approach for me. It allows me to visualize my study notes. I’m happy to report I did very well on my first test, thanks to time management and color coded test notes.

Rather than focusing on what you’re not-so-good at (like talking about the possible business implications of Bob Costas’ eye infection), focus on what you’re great at. What you’re great at is likely what got you (or will get you) into the Fisher College of Business and will definitely help you succeed in your program.

Time management is my thing. I doubted myself entering grad school with a kid and having different priorities. But after the results of my first test, I know I’ve got this.


The Interview

When I used to hear the word “interview,” the most daunting images  would come to mind. Whether it be getting drilled on finance questions by a recruiter that you don’t know the questions to, forgetting your resume, or even worse, forgetting your interview time, the interview process can be a scary, scary thought. I have a Nationwide interview for the Financial Leadership Rotation Program. It is an 18-month rotation program in which you will work with top executives in strategy, finance, investments, M&A, enterprise risk management and much more. The job is mainly open to 2nd year MBAs, so to get an interview without being one, it took some work, but it is possible. So, if you know you are interested in finance, do not think this program is inferior to the MBA and that you are somehow at a disadvantage.

Career Management offers tons of resources; from helping you perfect your cover letter to doing mock interviews beforehand. You’ll even find out that some of the professors have extensive knowledge with the company you are interviewing for, or have even worked there, especially companies based in Columbus. If you utilize your resources here, you will be ready.

Normally, I am one to be extremely nervous for a position that I am highly interested, especially with a well-respected company. However, today that case isn’t true. Between my research and the help of Career Management, I am well-prepared to fight anything that comes my way. I prepared for days and know I put in the work to do well.

And  cue the Peyton Manning hum to..."Nationwide is on your side."

And cue the Peyton Manning hum to…”Nationwide is on your side.”

Update: I feel like the interview went extremely well. The mock interview with the professor helped tremendously. He helped me understand certain questions that I would have never thought of. So … definitely utilize the help of your professors. I will say it again, they are among your greatest assets in the SMF program.


Getting to Know Your Peers

The people I’ve met at Fisher thus far have been nothing but kind, helpful, and dedicated to making my time here a positive one. As long as you put in the effort to meeting new people, you will develop strong relationships with your class cohort and with people outside of your program.

Make sure to involve yourself with lots of graduate activities, join clubs, and talk to people. Get to know the people you see in the hallway and in your classes. Everyone is in the same boat on the first few weeks of class, so be the one to break the ice and strike up conversation. Your classmates will be happy you did. Here are a few examples of some of the graduate clubs you can get involved in here at Fisher.

Additionally, this time of year students oftentimes start feeling a little overwhelmed. With your involvement in student clubs, group projects, papers, and midterm exams, there will be a lot you need to focus on as a graduate student; successful time management is key. Just remember to relax and know that it’s ok to rely on your classmates for additional help. It’s been extremely beneficially for me to have group study sessions to go over class notes and class readings. Little things like this do make a big difference. I am glad that I’ve gotten to know so many of my peers and have been able to collaborate and work with them both inside and outside the classroom.


Living in Columbus: A New Yorker’s Perspective

After living in NYC for 4 years, I kind of feared moving to Columbus. New York City had it all – culture, world class entertainment and sports, a vibrant nightlife, every walk of life, great public transportation, a diverse music and food scene, iconic parks, etc. In my mind, Columbus would be the typically college town, with a few rundown bars overrun by undergrads, some chain and fast food restaurants, a sleepy downtown area, and lots and lots and lots and lots of open space.

I have now been living in Columbus for a few months, and I must say this couldn’t be further from the truth. While I do miss the NYC subway, Columbus offers everything that NYC does, except on a smaller scale. You will find great diversity (e.g., ethnicities, nationalities, LGBT community) in and around the city, especially since Ohio State and the Fisher College of Business draws students from all over the U.S. and world. Major companies located in Columbus, including Nationwide, L Brands, and Cardinal Health, also bring in a diverse crowd of young and seasoned professionals. There is a great nightlife, especially in the Short North area, which caters mostly to young professionals and graduate students both during the week and weekend. Columbus residents, not surprisingly, are extremely passionate about sports, especially since Ohio State harbors some of the best U.S. college sports teams (Go Buckeyes!). There are also plenty of opportunities to get yourself into shape with the numerous bike paths, top-notch sports facilities, and parks in Columbus and on campus. And there is definitely an active Columbus foodie scene – every type of restaurant you can imagine from vegan to Indian to Asian to Ethiopian to American to Mexican to you name it! There is even the Columbus Food Truck Festival right before fall semester begins.

I’m still pretty new to Columbus, but it is feeling more like home every day. I still have more to explore, but thankfully there will always be something to do.

Full disclosure: I do live across from a cornfield, but it is a part of the Ohio State campus ;)


Midterms, Quizzes, and Cases … Oh my!

Reality hit this last week … grad school is not all fun and games. We Fisher MAcc students had multiple midterms/quizzes/case studies/assignments and they all seemed to fall on the same couple of days. Isn’t that how it always works out? In order to keep my head above water, here are a couple tips I like to follow!

Busy week tips -

1) Stay Organized – During the busiest of your weeks it is so hard to keep track of everything and the worst thing would be to allow something to fall through the cracks. I would highly recommend a planner! I know some people are more on top of their game and use an electronic calendar but I like to keep it a little more old school, paper planner for the win. This allows me to stay on top of all my assignments and *hopefully* never miss a due date.

2) Prioritize – I think one of the hardest things to do when you are extremely busy is to realize that maybe not everything will get done or get done with the quality of work you normally do. While it isn’t ideal to hand in less than fantastic work, sometimes it is absolutely necessary. In order to know what to focus on and how to allocate your time wisely, I always make a list of priorities. This allows me to quickly scan and know what is first to get done and what is last to be done. This way you are more efficiently working and if all goes well and time is allocated correctly, everything will get done!

3) Quality of study time > Quantity of study time – It may seem like it is necessary to devote hours and hours to studying, but in my opinion it is not the total hours you spent studying but rather the quality of the time you put into studying. After a couple hours of studying where you are focused and working hard will always beat a day of studying with frequent computer/snacking breaks (my favorite kind of break). If you study hard and really devote yourself to an exam, the results will probably beat days of mediocre studying.

4) Rid yourself of distractions – I cannot study at my apartment, it will just not get done. There are too many distractions from the TV, to the kitchen, to the possibility of taking a nap…it is just a complete fail. I also think a library is just way too quiet and serious (though it is better than trying to study in my room), the best place to study for me is a coffee shop. The perfect mix of a relaxing environment but not relaxing enough that you want to take a nap. For the last couple exams/quizzes I have gone to various coffee shops and managed to get some good quality studying in. There is also the added perk of delicious coffee which can really help the studying process (I highly recommend Stauf’s and Luck Bros‘ in Grandview!)

5) Sleep – I know everyone always tells you to get a good night’s sleep but it actually does help. You wake up in the morning feeling refreshed and ready to go instead of waking up dreading getting out of your bed. Before I go to sleep I like to review my notes once more and then put it out of my mind. It doesn’t help to dwell on journal entries while trying to fall asleep, put the textbooks down and relax…it will all be okay!

So these are just a few things that help me stay sane during a crazy week. The nice thing is that everyone is going through it together so you always have a friend to commiserate with. One good thing about a busy week is the following weekend, that is always the light at the end of the tunnel!

 


Going Global with GAP

The Global Applied Projects (GAP) program was one of the biggest factors in my decision to attend Fisher. The program pairs groups of 6 students with a business facing a real international business problem and tasks the students with finding a solution. Our group of first-year full-time and working professional MBA’s was matched with DHL Supply Chain to analyze consumer buying behavior for third-party and lead logistics services within the automotive manufacturing industry in Europe.

DHL Headquarters

After our final presentation at DHL Headquarters in Bonn

Before we even arrived in Germany, we had 7-weeks to work on the project with our client, form our hypotheses, and develop the project plan for the trip. This included the opportunity to visit a global automotive supplier in Akron, Ohio as well as a DHL/Exel distribution center in Detroit, Michigan. When we landed in Germany, we met with our project sponsor, a Senior Vice President for DHL Supply Chain, and discussed our work to date. He joined us throughout our trip as we toured DHL facilities and operations and interviewed senior executives at DHL’s clients throughout northwest Germany. We even had the opportunity to meet with the CEO of DHL Supply Chain at their world headquarters in Bonn!

Travel Map

We traveled all over northwest Germany

The trip wasn’t all work, our team took advantage of our weekends off to travel and take in the culture. We visited Hamburg’s 825th anniversary port festival, where we enjoyed brats and beer on a German battle cruiser, checked out the amazing nightlife, and made an early morning trip to their famous fish market. The team also traveled to Amsterdam the following weekend where we visited the Anne Frank House, the Van Gogh museum, and took a nice cruise into the city on its canal system. On our final weekend, we explored the old fort overlooking our home-base of Koblenz and visited a 900 year old castle!

Castle

O-H-I-O at Burg Eltz

The GAP program is another great example of how Fisher allows students to Go Beyond the classroom to get great international business and real-world project experience while making memories that will last a lifetime.

Team Amsterdam

Enjoying the canals of Amsterdam


The Internship

The Internship-Vaughn and Wilson
Second year MBA students-they’re older, wiser, and more mature, right?  The first one in that list is guaranteed to happen.  The others, not necessarily, but the internship between the first and second year of the MBA program is aimed to help towards that.  This summer I interned as a Global Supply Chain Project Manager at Greif, which is a $4.5 billion industrial packaging company headquartered here in the Columbus area.

Greif Global Supply Chain
It was a great internship.  The Greif supply chain folks welcomed me as a full member of the team and never looked at me as an “intern”.  The projects I got to work on were ones that the other full time team members would have been working on if I weren’t there.  Not only that, but I also worked on a project that had an international focus and was able to travel to Amsterdam for a week during the summer to pitch the solution we had come up with to the leader of the business unit there.

I’ve found as a 2nd year MBA this year there are a lot of things I’ve been able to hit on from my internship at Greif while at career fairs and in interviews.  The things I learned while doing the internship have been beneficial in growing my experience and understanding of supply chain management, and it was largely due to the role I had there.  So, when looking for an internship it’s worthwhile to focus on what kind of internship it will be and if you’ll get a great experience out of it.  I sure had that at Greif, and was more than happy to intern there this summer.


The Newest Pieces at the Wexner Center

On Friday night, after a long day of working on group projects and assignments with some of my SMF peers, I donned a suit and tie to attend an early showing of the newest exhibit at the Wexner Center for the ArtsTransfigurations: Modern Masters from the Wexner Family Collection was nothing short of breathtaking. The blockbuster paintings were remarkable pieces by Pablo Picasso, Alberto Giacometti, and Jean Dubuffet.I found myself arrested with two paintings in particular.

The first was Diego dans l’atelier by Giacometti. At first glance it’s an ashen man in a dirty room. But upon closer inspection, it’s an inscrutable, otherworldly figure. The artist seems to have poured his tensions and anxiety through his brush, yet the feverish pitch left nothing concrete for the onlooker to see. We are left to ponder.

Diego dans l’atelier by Alberto Giacometti

The other was Three Spokes by Susan Rothenberg. The horse reminded me of a cave painting, but everything else was a mystery: the color scheme, the cut off hooves, the inexplicable cracks, and the white dividing line. I could not possible imagine what it meant, but I could barely take my eyes off it.
Three Spokes by Susan Rothenberg

Three Spokes by Susan Rothenberg

Sherri Geldin, Director of the Wexner Center, assembled the exhibit and its début in stunning fashion. Between chatting up the University President and a member of Columbus City Council, I had the pleasure to meet some executives from Huntington Bank, one of Ohio State’s closest partners in delivering value to students. While Friday ended up being very long indeed, I thoroughly enjoyed the exhibit and made a few contacts along the way.

Business School, Or Why I’m Enjoying Not Having a Minute of Free Time

Business school is filled with reading, class, club information sessions, studying and professors with fancy hair (maybe too fancy?). But that probably describes every business school in these United States. Every school has a finance association and every school has textbooks and every school has quiet rooms. But Fisher and The Ohio State University has so much more than that and as I told a second year, “I can’t handle myself right now.”

Your views are not appreciated here, Business Cat

Your views are not appreciated at Fisher, Business Cat

I could describe abstractly my schedule and everything I’ve had to do in the month plus I’ve been at Ohio State coming from New Jersey and another huge state school in Rutgers. I could just say you could get lost in everything here, but I think there’s a better way to do this: I’m going to lay out as much of my schedule on Monday September 16, 2014 as I possibly can. It may seem like a crowded day, but I promise this is pretty much what every Monday is going to be for me for the foreseeable future, so here it is COMIN’ AT YOU HARD.

8-8:30AM: Print out Econ discussion questions for that sweet participation credit.

8:30-10:00AM: Accounting class featuring Jolly Bob’s Jerk Joint and joining intramural flag football leagues. I am a good student I swear.

10:15-11:45AM: Econ class! A blur of supply and demand curves even a day later. Reminiscing about Jolly Bob’s.

12-1PM: 3M Marketing Info Session: Free lunch! It was sammiches. And free pens! Oh and learning about 3M’s marketing internships and full time opportunities.

1-2PM: I exercise/listen to the Pitch Perfect Soundtrack. Barden Bellas 4 lyfe.

2:30-3PM: The two team captains for intramural football draft our players. It can get challenging determining the net present value of Ryan McClellan vs. Adam Tedrick. I should be doing work now butttttttt….no.

3-7PM: Studying for Marketing Math Quiz tomorrow and realizing I don’t have a calculator. I buy a $3.50 one from the bookstore. It does not have exponents. Also studying marketing cases and doing finance homework. I realize (have it reinforced, more likely) that I have no idea what is going on in finance. This is important as the midterm is 3 days away. I need to pack in all this studying for tomorrow because the day’s about to go sideways.

7:30-8:45PM: Intramural Soccer. I’m also one of the captains for one of our two intramural flag football teams. While the football one entails duties like drafting people you know and pretending to be Urban Meyer, the soccer iteration involves bothering people endlessly to get them to officially sign up and telling them where the hidden field at Lincoln Tower Park is. But hey we won 7-6! Woo go Fisher Gray!

9-10PM: Go home and lay facedown drinking Gatorade. But today’s not over because I’m dumb.

10:30-12: Go play intramural Broomball with people I don’t know. I am a crazy person. It’s played with sneakers on a normal ice rink. I fell on my butt about 12 times and sent part of a broom almost into the stands that were filled with kids with nothing better to do than laugh at me fall on my face (no it was funny I don’t blame them). I did not know this sport existed before OSU and now I have a sore butt from it. Oh and we lost.

1AM: Finally eat dinner. Subway was literally the only thing open since McDonalds switched to their breakfast menu at midnight. I do not like eggs so this did not fly.

2AM: Bed.

7AM: Study for marketing math quiz.

SOOOO that was my day and a little added afterward. It may seem like I was annoyed or frustrated with the day, but there are just so many opportunities to take advantage of at Ohio State and Fisher. If I went to a smaller school or one with fewer opportunities, my day could have been over early and I could have been sleeping by 11. But why waste what’s out there? You’re not going to find stuff like this everywhere or maybe anywhere else.

 


Career Fair Preparation

This past week we had the Fisher Fall Career Fair, an event for undergrads, grad students, and anyone else who is part of the Fisher College of Business network. Of course, any student at Ohio State is also welcome to attend the fair because it is a great way to network with the employers and companies from across the region and the U.S. This experience is great for all students, whether they are looking to get some extra interview practice in, or maybe they are on the hunt for that full-time, post-grad position.

I attended the fair to start networking with companies that I’d like to do my HR summer internship with. I spoke to about eight different companies and was able to get a better sense of all the options for HR grad students. I then spent the remainder of my afternoon working at the fair with the Office of Career Management (this is the office that coordinates the entire event), checking students in and helping with last minuted questions and directions. The fair is held on three different floors of the Ohio Union, so as you can imagine, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. My advice is to make sure you review the list of companies attending and pick out a few that you’d really like to talk to, and then target those companies.

It’s also important to have an idea of what you are going to say about yourself during your introduction when you get in front of a recruiter. Make sure you leave a good first impression by being enthusiastic and knowledgeable, and be prepared to talk about your experiences listed on your resume.

I came away from this experience with some really great conversations with the recruiters. It was a chance for me to explain my background, what I’m looking for in an internship, and learn more about the interview process. If anything, it was a good warm up for the on-campus interviews that are starting this week. You will feel so much more comfortable walking into your first interview if you feel prepared and confident.


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