Posts filed under 'MHRM'

If You’ve Ever Wanted to Sleepover at School…

You’ll have the chance at the Fisher College of Business. Not just once – but TWICE!

Kidding. Sort of.

The Annual Fisher MHRM Internal Case Competition was held the previous weekend (November 7 and 8) and I’m 100% certain I’ve never spent that much time at school in my undergrad – or ever. While this might not sound like the party you’d expect to have during your weekend, it was an absolute blast.

The case competition goes like this: you wake up at an ungodly hour, attempt to make yourself look like a normal person, and arrive at school by 7:30am (how on earth did I do this on the regular when I was in high school?) Don’t worry; coffee and breakfast are supplied. Shortly after, you’ll be given case rules and then be presented with a live case*. Once the case has been introduced, you break into your (previously determined) teams and begin to come up with a viable solution for the company which presented the case. Some teams may finish quickly…others may not finish until well after midnight. My experience was the latter.

Despite being in the same room on campus for more than 15 hours, the time flew by because our team was coming up with great ideas as well as having a great time (pretty sure we played Taylor Swift’s new album at least three times).

The next day we had to be on campus again at 7:30am. More coffee – more breakfast. We were then given our presentation times and set out into our team rooms to practice our pitch. We definitely played T. Swift a few more times to harness some positive juju.

Nerves were high until we were in front of the judges ready to present. Rather than a lecture-like presentation which we’ve all experienced when presenting a project for class, the presentation is very conversational. The judges ask questions, you answer. Generally, your classmates don’t have a ton of questions for you regarding your presentation. But many of the judges are from the company which presented the case or a company facing a similar problem. They want to know why you came up with the solutions you came up with. Everyone in the room is very engaged. You’re allotted 25 minutes to present your solution and most people still have plenty they want to say when the time is up.

My suggestions for anyone interested in participating in the case competition: bring a pillow and blanket (kidding – sort of); get up and walk around when you’ve been sitting for too long; make sure you’re well-fed and hydrated (food and beverages are provided the whole day. Take advantage of that); you’re not given enough time to present all of your ideas – pick two to three of your best ideas and prepare to go into detail about them; have proof about why your ideas will work – while businesses generally value creativity, they also value results. Prove that your solutions will give them what they want.

Most importantly – HAVE FUN.

*Case details are omitted for confidentiality.


Class Projects in the Fisher MHRM Program

The majority of MHRM courses have a group project as one of the graded assignments. I know what you’re thinking, and I’m fairly certain that everyone could admit that working in teams isn’t “always” easy. Multiple people often means multiple and/or differing communication styles. On the flip side though, multiple people also means multiple strengths, abilities, and ideas that can contribute to the final product. Overall, I think this is good practice for the real world. We all need to be able to work effectively in teams and groups because we are going to have to do so after we graduate, so why not start practicing now?

Quite a few instructors will assign groups, which has been another great way for me to get to know people in the program. The program utilizes several ways to connect with peers, such as orientation, classes, extracurricular activities, socials, and yes, group projects.

Another benefit to the group projects is learning more about Human Resource practices currently being used in different organizations today. Through your own research and listening to peer findings, you learn more about HR best practices and what a high performing organization looks like.

 

Homage founder and creator, Ryan Vesler.

Business Excellence I assigned a group project that required each team to analyze an organization using the VRIO and Five Forces models. My group and I interviewed Homage, which is a vintage inspired clothing company that highlights moments and history around pop culture, sports, colleges, and cities. They are also known for their quality materials and products, as well as their comfort. We had the opportunity to meet the founder and creator of Homage, Ryan Vesler. His passion, innovation and motivation were truly inspiring, which made this a really fun experience. Plus, I got to take home a super comfy hoodie (an added bonus). It feels like I’m walking around in a snuggie. Needless to say, but it’s a new favorite of mine!


THE INTERNSHIP Search Process

The Internship

 

 

Fisher MHRM students have the opportunity to choose between completing a thesis or an internship experience to fulfill their graduation requirement for the program. The class makeup is pretty diverse with people from a wide range of academic backgrounds and working experience, so it’s convenient that people have two different options. Nonetheless, the majority of students choose to complete an internship. Luckily, Fisher does a phenomenal job at connecting students to different opportunities for the internship and provides resources and support throughout the entire process.

Those who choose the internship option have the opportunity to begin their search from the moment they step foot on campus. Fisher and the Office of Career Management are intentional in their efforts to provide students multiple networking opportunities, informational sessions with different companies, Career Fairs, and more. Plus, they make it super easy to arrange meetings, mock interviews, and resume reviews with the Office of Career Management. MHRM students have a primary contact in the Office of Career Management, Jill Westerfeld, who meets with each student within the first couple weeks of class to discuss and explore the individual’s goals and objectives, potential industries and companies of interest, and general requirements and/or restrictions for their internship. Once this assessment is completed, she continually provides resources and support to help students find a good fit and the experience they’re looking for.

In addition to utilizing the Office of Career Management, it’s important to frequently utilize Fisher Connect to review and apply to open internships, and to utilize Fisher’s HUB to register for information sessions and Career Fairs. Not everyone knows what type of industry they’re wanting to work in for their internship during week 1, and that’s okay. The important thing is to respond with curiosity, and to learn more about different industries and companies so that you get a better feel for what would be a good fit!

Once you’ve submitted your resume through Fisher Connect and you’ve been granted an interview…prepare! Before the interview, do research on the company and practice interviewing. During the interview, dress business professional, make frequent eye contact, try to remain upbeat/positive (it’s understandable that there may be a certain degree of nervousness, but you got the interview for a reason so ‘TRY’ to remain calm and confident), listen carefully and ensure you respond to the questions being asked, utilize the STAR approach (Situation-Task-Activity-Result) when answering questions, and ask the interviewers questions about topics you genuinely want to know more about.

The internship search process is what you make of it, but there are many possibilities. You have the option to secure an internship through Fisher’s networks or to conduct an independent search, and you can decide whether you want to relocate or stay within the Columbus area. At the end of they day, it’s an opportunity for you to learn more about yourself, as well as an opportunity to learn more about what you’re looking for and what you’re not looking for.

Be proactive in learning more about what you need and want with regard to the internship experience then seek out different opportunities that are aligned. Prepare. Keep and open mind and remain positive. Lastly, don’t compare yourself to others because what may be a good fit for them, may not be a good fit for you. Both the search process AND the actual internship experience are learning opportunities though, so don’t forget that!


Fisher Serves Community Service Day

This morning I had the opportunity to volunteer with Fisher Serves, the graduate business school community service organization. We traveled to Clarfield Urban Farm, a non-profit organization called Urban Farms of Central Ohio, which is  dedicated to utilizing unused land and turning it into community farms. They are actually expanding to three acres of land this coming year. Pretty neat organization! We helped to pull out the leftover squash and picked and shelled pinto beans. Everyone had a great time!

photo 4

 

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Group work

We just recently finished up our first set of 7-week classes. At Fisher, most of our courses are on a 7-week schedule, which is nice because it allows us to take a variety of different classes. This is especially nice being in HR because there are so many different components of HR that we need to learn about, and this schedule gives us the opportunity to explore all of those different topics.

The classes here in the business school are much different from my classes in undergrad. I didn’t come from a business background and so I didn’t have as much group work in my experiences.  Here at Fisher, though, there is definitely a greater emphasis on group work, projects, case studies, and presentations.

Although it can be tough working in a group, the more frequently you work in groups, the better you become. In the majority of our classes our groups were assigned to us, so it was fun learning the best techniques and practices for working most effectively. I think that most of my classmates had pretty good group experiences, but we’re definitely glad to be done with all the exams, papers, and presentations. Looking forward to starting my next set of classes next week.


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.


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