Posts filed under 'Working Professional MBA'

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.


Operations, anyone?

Last week I had the opportunity to attend not one, but two Operations related Career Conference events and they were awesome! First, there was the Annual “Links Symposium” sponsored by the Operations and Logistics Management Association, and I volunteered to help organize this event, being a member of OLMA myself.

The half – day event was hosted at The Blackwell Inn, Fisher’s own hotel and Executive Conference Center. This year’s topic was Lean Management, and there were two discussion panels, one for Lean Management in Manufacturing and the other Lean Management in Services. For all the Ops and Supply Chain Majors out there, this was a fantastic opportunity to interact and network

At the OLMA Links Symposium

with the panelists, who were a mix of academic faculty and industry experts from companies such as Greif, Huntington, Cardinal Health etc. To top it all, we had a great moderator – Georgia Keresty, a lean expert with more than 30 + years of experience. 

The very next morning I attended an Operations Career Change Round table event hosted by the Working Professional MBA Program. Fisher’s apt selection of the panelists should not go unmentioned. The 4 WP panelists were each from different areas of Operations – the distribution side, Supply chain side, the IT side and the customer side. It led to a very interesting Q and A session where they shared valuable stories from their work experiences and advice on how we could better ourselves to become ideal hiring candidates for Operations Management roles in top companies.

The biggest perk in attending these kinds of events is that you get to meet such vibrant personalities who are willing to help you in your career any way they can . Drawing from their experiences is a big plus, and ultimately helps you in connecting with more people in the field of your interest. Kudos to Fisher faculty and the COE , for their amazing contributions year after year and a special thanks to Fisher alumni who are so eager to give back to the business community – you are invaluable resources to the current students and one of Fisher’s greatest assets.

And these networking events are right at your doorstep. My advice is to never let these chances slip, because these are golden opportunities that can lead to lifelong career connections. Boy, am I glad I came to Business school :)

With WP alums Megan and Jonathan at the Ops Career Change Roundtable


Whoosh! Time is flying by

Do you hear that whooshing sound? It’s the time at Fisher passing by!

In an earlier post I mentioned that since I got enrolled in the Fisher MBA Program, a curious thing has happened: although I have more stuff to do, I have much more time! What do I do with this time? Well… since school just started, and I believe that everything should start with a break, I took a vacation.

Yes, a VACATION. That thing that I wasn’t sure actually exists. I did it. I visited Washington DC, I visited Atlantic City (where I spent more time in the Atlantic waves than in the casinos), I’ve been for a few days in Nashville, TN and for a dramatic finish, I watched a colored Niagara Falls:

Colored lights reflect on Niagara Falls

Of course, this post is not about my vacation, but about my time at Fisher. I am amazed how fast 8 weeks of classes can pass whooshing by. I have never been in school – at any level – where I enjoyed so much actually being at school and I don’t think there was a time before when I actually thought “oh, good thing I have classes today, I’m looking forward to it!

Remember the time in middle school, high school and college (I don’t really remember my primary school years) when school meant “you’re dumb, the professor is smart, you shut up, listen and take notes while the professor talks”? Fisher is nothing like that.

As a first year at Fisher, am taking 3 classes in the first semester. First one is about Microeconomics (it’s called something else, but really, it’s Microeconomics). The best class I took in my whole life. Interactive and challenging. You have to be prepared (and there’s a lot of reading to do), but it is so fun to be in class, to discuss sometimes absurd situations (to better understand an economic concept), and to make sense of what seemed to be so random at the beginning! And Accounting… who thought Accounting can be fun? I always hated accounting, and I went to the class expecting to hear “bla bla bla bla bla debit bla bla bla bla bla income statement bla bla bla bla bla cash flow“. Surprise! It was nothing like that! I guess if you have very good professors anything can be fun.

Oh, did I mention how amazing everything is? If you want to hear more about it, join me every Thursday night at Varsity Club, and I’ll tell you all about it. There will be free beer involved. Or you can wait a couple of days and read my post about midterms. Until next time, GO BUCKS!


Change

4 undergraduate years + part of a 5th undergraduate year + one full MBA year = 18 quarters.

I have completed 18 quarters at Ohio State.  So, it should come as no surprise that the change to semesters part way through my second year in the WPMBA program has made me a little nervous.  With one summer term and almost one autumn term under my belt, I thought I’d share some of my initial thoughts on the change thus far:

What I Like So Far:

  • One class per night:  I know some of my fellow classmates don’t like this format, but I do.  I only have to think about one subject per night, which makes attending class after a long work day more manageable
  • Earlier evenings!  The difference between 9:15 and 9:48 may not seem like much, but trust me, it is!  That extra half hour is enough time to wind down before it’s time to hit the hay – or grab a beer at VC
  • More classes:  Because electives are split into 7 week terms instead of 10 week quarters, you get to take more classes in different subjects of your interest

What Will Take Some Getting Used To:

  • Longer class time:  Some professors are having a bit of a hard time adjusting to semesters – many of whom have taught in quarters for their entire academic career.  A three+ hour class is a lot of time to keep the class engaged, but I think this will improve over time
  • Syllabus restructuring: This is by far the biggest challenge.  Both of my classes this term are back-half heavy, meaning that I had very little I could work on in the first four weeks of the term.  Now, in the last three weeks, EVERYTHING is due.  I will need to plan for this in upcoming terms!

The transition to semesters was the right thing for the university – change is inevitable and it’s time we got on the same page as the rest of the country.  Ohio State and Fisher did an admirable job managing the transition – now it’s time for me to get with the change!


Corn Cakes, Paella, and Chocolate Milkshakes, Oh My!

A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to partake in a food tour with Columbus Food Adventures. I was attending a two-day company meeting, and many of our Swiss colleagues were in town. Our meeting planner wanted to show them that Columbus has good food too – it’s not just in Europe! So she scheduled a customized tour with Columbus Food Adventures. All we had to do was hop in the bus, and they took us around to three trendy restaurants for three tasty courses – and taught us about each one along the way.

Course #1: Hors’ Devours and Cocktails
Till
This was my favorite course of the evening. Although I live within walking distance of it, I had never been to Till. Previously a vegan restaurant called Dragonfly, the owners decided to mix things up a bit with a fresh name and fresh concept. Everything is as local and homegrown as possible – they grow their own herbs and produce on their back patio, and even compost! Our first course was this unbelievable corn cake. That’s an anchovy on top – I didn’t care for it (too salty), but the cake was rich and flavorful. It was served with dry champagne and Riesling – a perfect combination.

Till

Mouth-Watering Corn Cake at Till

Course #2: Entrée
Barcelona
I have been to Barcelona number of times, so I wasn’t as excited about this course as the others. However, it was the perfect spot for a quick and tasty dinner, and the non-locals loved the warm atmosphere. We were served an antipasto plate and a giant cast iron skillet of their signature dish – Paella. Along with a full-bodied Cabernet, it was perfect. My only complaint with this course was that we didn’t have enough time – one of the challenges of a food tour. It was in and out.

Course #3: Dessert!
DeepWood
Surprisingly, I wasn’t that full at this point. I think it had to do with the moderately sized portions and spreading out of the courses – I was pleasantly full and ready for some decadent dessert – my weakness. The atmosphere at DeepWood was a little formal and stuffy for my taste, but man was the dessert GOOD! I am a sucker for chocolate, and we were served a trio of chocolate and caramel. The milkshake was by far my favorite – rich but not overwhelming. Dessert was served with port, but I am not a fan of port and had had enough to drink for night (and a hangover the next day to prove it).

Chocolate Milkshake Heaven

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Overall, our experience with the Columbus Food Adventures was unique and tasty – I highly recommended it for any group activity or even just with a friend or special someone.  Thanks, work and CFA!


Fall Favorites

I’ve always wished that I had my own blog in which I could just muse about whatever I wanted and somehow people would read in awe.  I read a few blogs like that, and I’m always jealous of the writers.  So, indulge me a little with a blog post that pretty much has nothing to do with the WPMBA program or Fisher or even Ohio State – but it does have something to do with living in this part of the country so, yes, it does have something to do with “being here.” :)  After a (very) hot summer, I am finding myself enjoying fall even more this year.  Here are some of my favorites:

  • Skinny Cinnamon Dolce Lattes at Starbucks:  I know most people are obsessed with the Pumpkin Spice, but I prefer the cinnamon.  Sipping one on a crisp fall afternoon is perfection
  • Sleeping with the windows open and a million covers on the bed:  So. Cozy.
  • Boots:  Sorry, gentleman, this one’s for the ladies.  I am pulling on my camel-colored mid-calf flat boots again, with skirts and jeans.  Love.
  • Tailgating:  OK, confession – I haven’t done this yet this football season.  But the biggest and best tailgate of the year is fast approaching (the Nebraska game), and I can’t wait!  Hotdogs, buffalo chicken dip, day drinking…need I say more?
  • Running: I’m not a warm-weather runner.  I’d take running in 40 degree temps over 80 any day.  But the perfect weather for running is what we have right now – 50s, 60s, and sunny, with the leaves crunching at your feet.  Leave the iPod at home and just enjoy.
  • Chili:  I made a big pot of turkey chili with lots of beans and cumin last week – best served with sour cream, cheddar cheese, green onions, and crackers on top.  It freezes well and gives me a cozy lunch or dinner long into the fall
Starbucks

mmm Starbucks

What are some of your fall favorites?

 


Time Management for Working Professionals in the Fisher WP-MBA Program

I guess I’m lucky that my 1st week at Fisher coincided with a long weekend for Labor Day holiday!  However, I know this is not always going to be the case, which means, I need to work better at time management to ensure that I am staying ahead with this rigorous program.

So I am giving you some advice on how to manage your time and stay ahead of the game, while still enjoying somewhat of a personal life.

1) Cook in bulk on Sundays so that you have enough food for the week.  Make sure you pack your meals so you are not wasting time and money on food

2) Keep up with your reading and homework assignments during the week (on the days that you DO NOT have class)  Trust me, if you keep up with the work during the week, you can enjoy some free and personal time on the weekends!

3)  Make time for the gym, either before or after work!  You will have more energy to combat those long sessions!  On days where I don’t have class, I go to the gym after work for about an hour.  On class days, I either skip the gym, or go in the morning before work.  Either way, make time for it and you will be HAPPY you did!

4) Use Saturday and Sunday mornings for catching up on reading and any remaining assignments you were not able to complete during the week.  This way, you have the rest of Sat/Sun to enjoy the football games, and other personal activities of your liking!

5)  Don’t stress!  If you manager your time efficiently and plan ahead, you will not need to worry about playing catch up or feeling stressed!  I had an amazing 1st week and I know that planning ahead will ensure me staying on track and enjoying this program!

Good Luck!


My 1st day at Fisher as a WPMBA student

I made it through my 1st real day at Fisher and my 1st class last night.  I was a little nervous and wasn’t 100% sure what to expect.  I am very outgoing by nature, so didn’t think I’d have a tough time making friends, but it has been years since I was last in school, and the thought did put some butterflies in my stomach.  To my excitement, everyone was friendly and many had similar concerns about the 1st day.  We had Economics last night, and I already formed my team for the class group project.  It was very easy to strike conversations with your fellow students.  Professor Campbell is also very engaging, funny and witty.  I am  pretty sure this is going to be an interesting class!

Everyone in the Working Professional program is going through similar circumstances and you’d be surprised to see how many work colleagues are actually in your class.  That’s why it was an easy and comfortable 1st day.  Please be warned, the ease was in networking and making introductions, not in the class work or the program in itself.  That I have yet to gauge… of course we were all told in orientation that it’s a rather rigorous program and that you must stay on top of readings and assignments, especially that it’s now on the Semester system, which only means, same work load and less time.  I will certainly write a blog on the actually program once I have more experience under my belt to share.

Nonetheless, I enjoyed my 1st class and 1st day and the connections I made.  I am looking forward to Accounting tonight, since almost everyone I met in Economics is going to be in my Accounting class as well.  So that just eased the introductions for this course.  Now I can focus on deciphering all these Accounting formulas :-)


Barely have time to breathe? Get an MBA!

FREE BEER!

Before I start with the real deal, you should know that if you carefully read my posts you will learn about FREE BEER! And who doesn’t like FREE BEER? Of course, not every post will have FREE BEER in it, and I may even not talk about beer at all, but chances are one day will be your lucky day and the nectar of the gods will be bestowed upon you.

OK – now that I have your attention, back to business …

If you are like the “old me”, you barely have time to breathe. You probably work about 70 hours per week, not because you have multiple jobs, but because at your only job if you don’t do your tasks nobody will, and even more your colleagues come to you for help and you help them all the time. Oh, and that moment at the office when the unspeakable happens and the fan is hit… that means you’ll be there over the weekend too, to fix the problem. Vacation? You’re not exactly sure what that means. You didn’t have one of those in ages, but you remember reading about them in a newspaper. Or did you see it on TV? Things are blurry and unclear if this “vacation” thing is even real, or just a figment of your imagination. And then it happens.

I don’t exactly know how the transformation was triggered. I know I decided I really want my MBA sometimes mid-January (why I want it in a future post). I scheduled my GMAT exam in 8 weeks from that date, and I started to study every day for 2 hours. At first it was more like 1 hour, because I would start looking over the study books close to midnight, when my nine-to-five job allowed me to get home and then I was too tired. But then, day by day my priorities started to shift. I still finished all my tasks in time at work. I still helped all my colleagues that asked for help (probably not always taking the task from them and doing it instead, but pointing them in the right direction, on what/where to search). I started to get home sooner and sooner. At 10pm. Then at 9.30. Then at 8, and then at 6.15pm.

I got a pretty good GMAT score, and I applied on May 15th (that was the last day one could have applied for the fall semester). I got accepted (best day of this year, so far). I even had time to go to a VMware training course and a week-long Cisco conference. Somehow, without finishing any less tasks at work, and without neglecting anything important in my life, I am now reserving anywhere from 1 hour (weekdays without classes) to 5 hours per day (days with class or weekend days) for my MBA, and I still have more time than I had at the beginning of the year.

Maybe it’s just me, maybe starting an MBA will not clear your schedule. It did clear mine. I think the best decision I took this year so far was to start my MBA.  And did I mention now I also have time to get my FREE BEER?


What a difference a year makes

I’m officially done with a year of the WPMBA program!  It really has went by pretty fast.  Sarah’s post is really true.  Her last bullet for me was the hardest to get used to when I started.  (Don’t obsess about grades…) When you start the program, you soon learn that you have to maintain a 3.0 average in all of the core classes.  Which is a B.  When I first started a year ago, that really intimidated me.  What if I get below a B?  Or how much work is it to get an A?  As I began to learn, B’s are ok.   There will be classes in which you know you may never use the material again and are just doing what you can to get by; but even in those classes, there are still tips and information that is valuable to learn, or enough to at least sound like you know what you are talking about in conversation.  Most of the classes incorporate current/local events into the topics which helps the “Why do I really need to learn this?” question.  Virtually nobody will know (unless you share) what grades you get and employers (for the most part) will not ask to see your transcripts, just that you have graduated.

To go along with Sarah’s list, I have a couple more bullets to add after a year in the program:

  • Commuting an hour (or more) is doable.   Patience is needed when dealing with traffic on a regular basis.  I don’t know how many times I came to class complaining about the traffic on 315, but it was a lot.  It helps to be open and accommodating when it comes to group projects.
  • Take time to exercise.  The first couple of quarters, most of my free time was spent on studying and that came back to bite me.  Treadmill time and reading articles is a great combo!
  • Beware of the vending machines.  Buying a candy bar and pop before or in between classes every day is not good for the weight or the wallet.
  • Meet as many classmates and get to know them.  Networking is such a great aspect with classmates and it helps later on when you need to form groups or need expertise in a specific area.
Enjoy your summer break!

 


Next Page »


The content and opinions expressed on this site do not necessarily reflect the views of nor are they endorsed by The Ohio State University or Fisher College of Business.