Posts filed under 'MHRM'

Reflecting on Session 1: How Grad School Differs from Undergrad

The first session of classes is concluding, and I’m left wondering where the time went! Luckily, only one more final to go!

I’ve had an increasing number of people recently ask me what the differences between undergraduate and graduate school are. My initial thought is that you need to show up. I mean REALLY show up (Yes, literally. Go to class!). Also, BE PRESENT (Be prepared and ready)!

Current mood because of my last final for session 1 tomorrow.

Current mood because of my last final for session 1 tomorrow.

Several undergraduate classes are designed as lectures. However, that’s not the case for most graduate programs, and certainly not the MHRM program. Instructors expect students to have read the assigned readings and come prepared to engage in conversation and ask questions about the readings. This may be intimidating to those who are not comfortable public-speaking, as this is something I continue to challenge myself to improve on. Nonetheless, the instructors and classmates are extremely supportive and provide continual encouragement. Plus, this provides a great opportunity to learn from peers, and practice and apply real principles and concepts that are related to the field!

Another large difference for many students is having to adjust to the 7 week session classes. So when I was asked last week what I would do differently thus far in the program, I would advise anyone to start off strong with your best foot forward. There’s no more “syllabus day.” So during the first class of each course, when the instructor explains the course project (most courses have 1-2 exams and a paper/project), there’s no waiting until later. There’s not really a “later” to rely on because the session moves pretty rapidly. Use your time wisely and plan ahead. So if the semester looks like it is going to get increasingly demanding, get the ball rolling on the project earlier in the session or semester. Trust me, you will be incredibly thankful!

Additionally, since graduate programs are typically smaller in size, I think it’s fairly natural for a stronger sense of community to be created with classmates. Fisher plays an integral part in helping to create this community through different intentional efforts, though. Between the discussion-based classes, group projects, and weekly outings, graduate school definitely creates a very strong sense of community. It’s the best of both worlds. Fisher creates a space to learn and grow, as well as laugh and play.


First Round of 7 Week Courses = DONE!

Is it just me, or is this program flying by?

We just completed our first round of 7 week courses (out of eight rounds). OSU just recently switched from quarters to semesters so there are still some courses that can be considered “quarter classes.” My undergrad was organized in typical semesters so this was a big difference for me and I was a pinch worried about it. I was pleasantly surprised to find that 7 week courses shake things up a bit and keep things interesting. The switch to the new subject matter offered by the new courses is a fun change and keeps your mind sharp.

The only con I can find regarding these quick courses is that the subject matter of the course may require more time. Other than that, I genuinely appreciate the change and have found that it makes the semester fly by. The end of the 7 week courses marks the middle of the semester and I can’t believe that much time has already passed.

The completion of these courses comes with final tests, projects, and papers. While that may seem overwhelming on top of your other 14 week courses, it was incredibly doable (even with a two year old) AND I’ve still been able to watch The Walking Dead.

The next thing to tackle is the Case Competition.

(To be continued…)

 


Lions and Tigers and…Dinosaurs?!? OH MY!

Let’s be honest, between school, work, and life, it can get a little hectic at times. Nonetheless, I’ve quickly learned the importance of making sure I take care of myself as a whole so that I don’t get burnt out.

It can be easy to get caught up with the hustle and bustle of school, work, and going through the job or internship process. If we don’t manage our time properly or we don’t prioritize, other important things can fall to the wayside. At the end of the day though, we’re much more than a student. Whether it’s working out, shopping, going to sporting events, hanging out with family and friends, attending cultural events, or something else…it’s important to take time for ourselves. With that said though, it’s also really important to know your limits and know that it’s okay to say “no” sometimes.

I’m slowly (but surely) getting back into the groove of things, and I’m feeling better about prioritizing and ensuring that I have time to do what I ‘need’ to do, as well as what I ‘want’ to do. Columbus is too great of a city to let time fly by without exploring what it has to offer. From the world renowned Columbus Zoo, the Short North Gallery Hop, the concert venues, theaters, cultural events, Movie Tavern, multitude of restaurants for foodies with any preference, or the school spirit and pride that exists throughout the city during game days…there’s something for everyone! Gotta love this city!

Exploring the Columbus Zoo! Dinosaur Island...sign us up!

Exploring the Columbus Zoo! Who wouldn’t love Dinosaur Island?!?

 

 

 

 


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.


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.


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.


Hit the Ground Running with Fisher’s MHRM Program

For a stay-at-home mom, the prospect of going to grad school and immediately beginning to network with established business professionals was overwhelming, to say the least. 

Jill Westerfeld of the Office of Career Management made the transition from stay-at-home mom to graduate student incredibly smooth. She is available to help you perfect your resume, elevator pitch, and will even hold mock interviews with you.
While the balance of home and school life on top of attending networking events seemed ominous at first, the best approach is to take it one day at a time. I personally invested in a planner so I could write things down. Logging events into my phone has proven to be an unsuccessful approach for me but works great for others. Look through your planner or phone calendar every night and plan out what you need to do. Set aside time to study and network while still balancing your home and/or social life. For me, being able to see what I needed to do on paper was significantly less overwhelming than letting things just float around in my brain. This allowed me to adequately plan to get a babysitter for networking events while still having plenty of time to play with my son during the day and get some studying done at night.
The Fisher College of Business and the Office of Career Management do a great job making you feel relaxed about the tasks at hand while still maintaining a sense of urgency about getting an internship. As a very new student, I have found everything to be incredibly doable and your classmates and the second year students are available to help as well.
I have found my connection with recent graduates from the program and second year students to be invaluable. Not only can they offer pep-talks when you feel overwhelmed, their advice about the program paired with Jill Westerfeld’s efforts have made it so I’ve hit the ground running in this program. I can’t wait to see what more this program has to offer.

Game Days in Buckeye Nation

This weekend I went to the first Ohio State home football game. What a treat! I came from a small liberal arts school in Virginia where football was a thing we did on Saturdays if there was nothing else going on…totally different from how it is here in Columbus, where football is the priority and you pretty much plan every fall Saturday around it.

A view from my seats at the game. Pretty awesome view!

A view from my seats at the game. Pretty awesome view!

This game was especially fun because it was a night game, so I had all day to experience all the different kinds of tailgates and events around campus. I ended up meeting up with a group from my MHRM program and we walked around and explored before heading over to the game. You can really feel the excitement walking up and down High Street through the sea of scarlet and gray. Even if you aren’t able to get a ticket to a game, just head to any of the restaurants or bars and you’ll be able to partake in the game day festivities. It’s an amazing experience. I actually read somewhere that this first home game set a new attendance record at Ohio Stadium. Pretty cool! I am so glad to be a part of buckeye nation! Looking forward to the rest of the season. Go bucks!

At the first home football game against Virginia Tech

At the first home football game against Virginia Tech with two other MHRM first years.

Me with Brutus in the Ohio Union

Me with Brutus (our mascot) in the Ohio Union.


The Journey Begins…

It’s weird to think that this exciting new journey as a first year MHRM student has finally begun. Oh, the places WE’LL go!

From the moment I stepped foot on campus, both the faculty and staff have done a phenomenal job at extending a warm welcome and offering a helping hand to get students acclimated. It has been intentional acts of kindness such as this that has helped me quickly connect with the OSU campus, resources and community. I cannot stress how critical and helpful orientation was for me a couple weeks ago. I will be the first to admit that I was a little nervous going in to orientation. I didn’t really know anyone in the program, and I had no idea what orientation would entail. Nonetheless, it was a great opportunity to mix and mingle with faculty, staff and peers in a casual environment. Faculty and staff provided invaluable information about resources available on campus, as well as information about how to get involved in order to make the most of graduate school. In addition, we had an entire day designated towards Career Management where we learned the ins and outs of professional networking, utilizing the career management websites and tools, and conducting a successful internship search. This also provided us the unique opportunity to meet and network with knowledgeable HR professionals from different organizations, such as P&G, Rolls-Royce, PepsiCo, and Eaton.

Let’s not forget one of my favorite parts of orientation…meeting my peers! Graduate school emphasizes teamwork and group work, so it was really nice being able to meet my classmates before the academic school year began. It didn’t take long before making plans to hangout with my new MHRM friends outside of the classroom. It’s comforting knowing that we all are in this together, and that we can support one another through this new adventure! Together…we got this!

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Back to School

Happy first week of class! Wishing all my fellow Fisher classmates a great first week. It’s been two years since I’ve been in any kind of classroom setting, so needless to say, I am ready to hit the ground running. I think the fall is one of the best times of year because students are filled with such excitement, energy, and enthusiasm.

As a first year Master of Human Resource Management (MHRM) student, I am eager to begin the internship search for next summer, and have had my eye on a few of the companies coming to campus for fall recruiting. Because the internship or practicum is part of the MHRM curriculum, most MHRM students do the 12-week internship during the summer between their first and second year. Fisher does a great  job of helping students obtain internships and full-time positions at their target companies and the Office of Career Management is a great resource. I especially encourage first-year MHRM students to take advantage.

I am fortunate to have a graduate assistantship (GA) this year in the Office of Career Management, and although I primarily work with undergraduate students, I’ve been able to see firsthand the great work being done in this office.

Here is a photo of the team during my first day of GA training.

Two of the other women pictured here are also in my first-year MHRM cohort. It’s been great having them as a support system if I have any questions about classes or assignments. I’ve had so much fun getting to know these women through all of our trainings and orientations, and look forward to working with them throughout the year.

Here’s to wishing everyone a fantastic start to the new school year.


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