The Concrete Jungle

Before you go on reading this post, I want you to open this Music Video in another tab and allow the song to play while you continue reading….

Now that the mood has been set, here we go. This past weekend, from the evening of Wednesday the 21st to Sunday the 25th, I took a trip to the land of Sinatra, Bobby Flay, and Tupac. A little place called New York City.

As I was flying in, listening to the song you are hopefully listening to right now, it was around 8:30pm on Wednesday night. If you fly into LaGuardia and are lucky enough to get a seat on the left-side of the aircraft, you will have that 1-million dollar view of NYC lit up like a Christmas tree. That sight always seems to give me the chills, and I was left in awe and ready to take on “the City” the next day.

Now you may be wondering: Brett, what were you doing in NYC?Good question. I ventured on the trip with three of my fellow SMF classmates and an undergraduate group targeting the investment banks in NYC. Between Thursday and Friday, we visited banks like Goldman Sachs in the Financial District and J.P. Morgan in Midtown. With my intended career path of Investment Banking, it was an awesome look into the workings of “Wall Street” and the current state of Investment Banks.

Two of my classmates and I in Times Square.
Two of my classmates and me in Times Square.

Also, I used this trip as a means to network. From our trips to the banks, we were able to speak and network with Ohio State alumni working there, as well as at a reception on Thursday night. In addition, we had free time in which we could network with other working professionals and alumni in the City– and I feel that I established some awesome new connections.

Finally, despite having been to New York City before, I let the inner tourist in me come out a bit and I stopped by some of the most famous spots like: Wall Street, Times Square, the Raging Bull, the Rockefeller Center, and Broadway. Final takeaways? I really do love NYC and can’t wait for my next trip back!

 

A classmate and I at the Raging Bull near Wall Street.
A classmate and I at the Raging Bull near Wall Street.

 

 

 

Summit Vision

As an extension to our MAcc Orientation, all MAcc students got the opportunity to attend Summit Vision. Summit Vision is an outdoor experience where you work on team building exercises, solve complex problems and bond with your classmates. Last Saturday, we went to summit vision and came away with many memories, and having learned how to be a part of a high performing team.

I was on team six. Our team started out with an activity where you have to balance a seesaw with all 10 of us, which required a lot of strategy and communication. Our team learned the importance of listening to what others were saying, as listening is a crucial part of communication. Trey, our guide for the day, kept giving us more complex problems to solve and our team kept succeeding at them.

After that, we got to go zip lining! Many of the students on my team had never gone zip lining before so this was an awesome experience! We even had a GoPro to catch all of the action. Since the process of getting people up to the 50 foot zip line was lengthy, I got to learn more about my fellow students, including several international students that I previously had not talked to very much.

After the zip lining, we did a couple more team building exercises and our team was very successful at these. Before we wrapped up the trip, each team had to say what they were good at, and what they might not have been good at but with some improvement can become a strength. Our team recognized the success we had in communicating a strategy and successfully implementing it, but also realized that we weren’t perfect at getting feedback from everyone and brainstorming before we came up with plans.

Summit Vision
Team 6 at Summit Vision

This trip will help us in the classroom as well. Not only did we learn how to work together as a team, we learned how to solve complex issues and how to consider who is good for what role within the team. Summit Vision was a great learning experience and I am glad I got to spend my Saturday morning with my awesome classmates.

An Enlightening Week

Work this week began with the usual efforts, but soon turned into one of those times when everything flies by!  We got some new orders and I was spending a lot of time out of the office following up on leads and really getting into my sales role. It continues to be an exciting challenge, but I have retained my desire to keep learning and becoming more effective.  I took every opportunity to talk with the regional manager and draw from his experiences.  Slowly, all learning is paying off.  This coming week is filled with appointments.

In addition to a full work week, my wife has begun working on some home projects.  We have been married for fourteen years and she still amazes me with her persistence.  She is somehow able to be an amazing mother and tackle major household projects.  My son turned two years old this week.  He is the perfect combination of absolute sweetness tempered with the whispers of the “terrible two’s.”  The weekends are filled with me spending a lot of time with my kids, but my heart continues to break on Sunday nights as my daughter begs me not to leave for work and stay home and play with her.

School continues to be busy, but the feel of this semester is remarkably different than previous semesters.  I am fortunate to be in a class group with a diversity of experiences and perspectives.  Additionally, every member of the group is working together well and we all share a deep desire to maintain clear communications.  We have our ups and downs, but the underlying desire to be better is so motivating to me.  It makes the work so much more enjoyable.

On Saturday, I organized a volunteering day with my work colleagues and we all served at a soup kitchen.  Serving people breakfast and lunch was a truly enriching experience.  Most everyone said “thank you” as they left the cafeteria, but one moment in particular stood out.  A young girl, perhaps 4 years old, was being carried out by her older brother.  Just as she was exiting the door, she smiled, waived, and said, “Thank you!”  My colleagues and I were shocked at how touching the impact of her thanking us was. I confess that it emotionally impacted me and I felt the sensation deep in my heart.  It was truly a memorable week.

Buckeyes, Inc.: MBA Meets NCAA

Hi, everyone! My name is Catherine Banton and I am a second year, full-time MBA candidate here at Fisher working as one of our admission ambassadors in our Graduate Programs Office for the academic year. I’m originally from a small suburb of Seattle, WA and moved to Ohio after living and working in Los Angeles, CA for seven years.

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This is me with my pal Brutus when I visited Columbus for the first time in May 2015!

When I meet new first year MBA students in the full-time program, or when I’m introducing myself to our campus visitors, I often get the question, “If you lived in Southern California, how (and why) are you living in Ohio? Don’t you miss it?!” My answer is simple: the people in Ohio make this a great place to live and work, and the opportunities here are endless. I’ve had experiences here at Fisher and in Columbus that I wouldn’t be able to have anywhere else, and I am excited to share one of those with you in this blog post!

I’m convinced that no other MBA program offers a course like the one I am taking this semester: The Business of College Sports. This class is one of the elective options in my Leadership and Organizational Behavior major. It’s taught by none other than The Ohio State University’s own Athletic Direction Gene Smith (more about him here) and his amazing wife Sheila, who runs a successful fundraising and development consulting firm here in Columbus (and is a former star athlete and coach herself). Gene Smith is arguably one of the most well-known and respected athletic directors in the nation, and has been at the helm of tOSU’s athletics for more than 10 years as programs like men’s football have made historic championship runs (Go, Bucks!). The course’s student make-up in and of itself is unique: a mix of full-time and part-time MBAs along with MAcc, SMF, MHRM, and Master of Sports Management students make the discussions and dialogue in class engaging and enlightening, and we get to work on projects in teams that mix programs to further learn from each other.

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Our fearless classroom leaders, Sheila and Gene Smith

While you might initially think, “What could college sports and business possibly have to do with one another?” this course turns that misconception on its head – and quickly. Gene and Sheila bring in high-ranking members of the athletic department to speak candidly with us about everything from trademark licensing and partnership negotiations, to coaches’ contracts and revenue drivers for the university’s athletic events. While each guest speaker comes into class with PowerPoint decks and a planned presentation, they are all very open to student questions and truly give us special insight into how the athletic department functions and what goes into keeping a multi-million dollar organization within the university functioning smoothly and successfully.

The in-class experience is fascinating, but the out-of-class activities are what make our Buckeye fans’ hearts stop and keep our camera phone snapping. Throughout the semester, our class has the privilege of visiting Ohio State’s most prized and beloved athletic facilities, including Ohio Stadium, the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, and the Jerome Schottenstein Center.

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We were surrounded by Heisman and National Championship trophies in the entry way of the Woody Hayes Athletic Center!

Long-time staff members of the athletic department take us on guided, personal tours of each venue, explaining to us the history, significance and use of each room, hallway and collection. The best part is, we also meet special, unexpected guests during our visits! We had our first tour this week – of the Woody Hayes Athletic Center – and to our shock and delight, head football coach Urban Meyer appeared on the practice turf while we were taking pictures to share with us some thoughts from last weekend’s exhilarating game against Oklahoma (remember that wrap-around catch by Noah Brown?!) and the importance of the facility in player recruiting, team wellness, and program fundraising.

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This picture was taken moments before Ohio State football head coach Urban Meyer surprised us with an appearance on the practice turf!
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Our tour guide Mark took great care of us as we walked through the facility!

Since starting this course, I’m much more aware of the use of the Ohio State brand all around me, and I find myself thinking about different things when I watch my beloved Bucks compete for their next win. How much revenue was generated from food and beverage sales at the game today? What would-be sponsors may have used the OSU or Buckeye logos incorrectly in their game day flyers or signs? How will our championship run this year affect top and bottom line growth for the athletic department’s finances? As much as I enjoy cheering on our teams from the stands or in front of my TV as a fan, my perspective is now broader and deeper when it comes to understanding Ohio State’s sports teams and the administration behind them – all because of my time spent in the Fisher MBA program and the opportunity to take such a unique class with unheard-of access to one of the most important athletic directors in the nation today.

My advice to potential applicants to Fisher is: don’t forget to consider seemingly “less important” (but equally formative and fulfilling) things like elective courses and special life experiences when looking at an MBA program. Some schools offer incredible opportunities to take part in courses or events that just can’t be replicated on another campus – like this Business of College Sports class – and if you don’t take the time to look into these things, you might regret it later on in the process!

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The coach, the man, the legend: Woody Hayes.
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THE National Champions of the past, present and future!

Building our Team!

"We're always better when we're together"
“Always better when we’re together”

It’s hard to believe it’s September. As August wrapped up, our SMF class excitedly looked toward the start of new projects and classes in our autumn term– and now, we’re in the thick of things. We spent the last month getting to know both our fellow SMF candidates and program alumni. As this team grows together, we anticipate great results both on campus and during our career search.

Getting to Know Our Classmates

The SMF class spends time getting to know each other both inside and outside the classroom. After class, we frequently play soccer (or football, as some of us call it!) and badminton. Besides playing games, a group of SMFs and I cheered on the Columbus Crew Major League Soccer Team and another group attended a concert with Kesha. There’s a lot do do here! These events, and many more throughout the year, are free to all Ohio State students. Events are fun, but often the best way to build relationships is over food. The past three weekends, about 15 to 20 of us have met for dinner each Friday evening. This has been a time for us to share favorite international dishes and explore new restaurants.

Building strong bonds among the SMF candidates will pay dividends as we finish the month of September developing a company analysis report. This week, our team finalized our collective “story” of where our company is and where we see them heading. This project is a tangible report that we can discuss with potential employers. As we begin our job search, it is important to know that not only do we work well together–we are also building our network with alumni.

Getting to know Alumni

A great part about being in the SMF program, is that the team extends beyond the walls of Fisher College of Business. About 30 alumni attended an August alumni reception. This event allowed the current class to learn about different careers in Finance and ask questions. Alumni also come back to visit during career fairs and panel discussions. I’ve talked to a number of them already. Coming to Ohio State from a smaller school, I was not used to calling people that I had not met in person; but, after many friendly phone calls, I know that there are a lot of professionals cheering us on and offering their support.

Fall at Fisher

Fall—the season for football, changing leaves, and pumpkin spice lattes.

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September 3rd, 2016
OSU vs. BGSU

For Master of Accounting candidates at the Fisher College of Business, fall also means recruiting. Although many students enter the program with full-time job offers, a number are still looking for post-grad employment. I did not complete an internship this past summer, and, as a result, was eager to begin my job search once I got to Fisher. The Office of Career Management does a fantastic job of facilitating this process for its students by providing ample resources and programming for those still seeking placement.

For those who aren’t familiar with how the accounting hiring cycle works, here’s a brief breakdown:

  1. Over the summer, incoming MAcc students complete a series of “Career Modules” to begin preparing for the fall semester. Additionally, students submit an updated resume to the Office of Career Management to receive feedback prior to actually applying to jobs. This is also the time to identify service line and location preferences.
  2. A half-day of orientation is devoted to a Career Foundation Seminar. As part of this event, we had the opportunity to hear from a panel of recruiters which was incredibly informative!
  3. Networking kicks off with the “MAcc Mix & Mingle,” an event at Ohio Stadium hosted by the Office of Career Management during orientation.
  4. Classes start and firms begin to regularly visit campus, hosting a number of events and informational sessions during the first several weeks of school. This is a great time for students to learn more about all their potential employers. The Fisher Career Fair takes place at the beginning of September and is a great way to connect with companies that don’t necessarily have the same presence as some of the larger firms.
  5. Application deadlines vary, but most are due within a week or so of the Career Fair.
  6. First-round interviews are held on campus toward the end of September.
  7. Second-round interviews occur in October and include an office visit. Even within the same city, company cultures may vary drastically, so this visit can be incredibly important when determining a “best fit.”
  8. Most offer letters are out by the end of October, at which point it’s time to make a decision!

At this point, my applications are completed and I have started scheduling on-campus interviews. I will be sure to update you once I have come through on the other side!

Introduction

Throughout the course of this school year, I will be one of the many authors on this blog and wanted to introduce myself. My name is Hailey Nicholas and I am one of the Graduate Student Ambassadors that work in the Graduate Programs Office. I am in the MAcc  (Master of Accounting) program here at Ohio State. I am originally from South Florida and did my undergrad at Florida State University (and received my bachelor’s degree in finance and accounting). Moving out of state and starting a new program has definitely been a big adjustment, but it has been a very smooth transition since we began the program about four weeks ago.

This summer I had the opportunity to intern with Deloitte in their audit practice in the Boca Raton office. I recently accepted a full-time offer with them! I know the MAcc will provide me with even more experiences that will help me grow as a professional.

While I have only been in the program just short of four weeks, some of my favorite things so far are:

  1. Attending football games at the Shoe
  2. Lunch breaks with my classmates
  3. Walking around Ohio State’s beautiful campus

Something unique about Ohio State compared to my undergrad classes is that there is a lunch break built in to your day. From 11:45-1:00 there are no classes scheduled. So rather than having an awkward break in your schedule and pretending to stare at your phone, every day I eat lunch with my classmates. There is a graduate student lounge on the 2nd floor of Gerlach Hall (where all our classes are held) and there is a refrigerator, microwave, couches, tables, coffee machine, and even a café in the building next door. It sounds miniscule, but having this lunch break has helped me make new connections with my classmates. On the first day of classes, a group of about six of us walked to Panera across the street and all got to know each other. Little things like this make the MAcc program feel like a small piece of home.

Grad Student Lounge
Grad Student Lounge (it looks very different when it’s full of students)
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A microwave is a college student’s best friend, right?

5 Reasons to be Grateful for Fisher College of Business

The first 3 weeks of 2nd year FTMBA have been a joyful run and have inspired me to practice gratefulness:

5 Reasons to be grateful for Fisher College of Business

  1. 2nd year Classes: What a joy to pick classes that I have a deep interest in and to begin my specialization in Data Analytics & Operations (Supply Chain). A Global Sourcing & Field Problems in Logistics class that provides live projects connected to companies in Columbus; A Business of College Sports class taught directly by Gene and Sheila Smith (Director of Athletics at The Ohio State University); and a geeky Data Analytics course!  What a fun mix!
  2. Fisher Leadership Initiative – One new initiative at Fisher is gathering leaders within our class who want to grow.
  3. Career Services: In this season of career discernment and an impending job search, I’m super-grateful for Fisher’s Office of Career Management Career Services. Last week was the fall career fair and I was able to speak with 15 different companies of interest!  This week is a Data Analytics networking session.  Endless opportunities to network with OSU alumni here!shoe
  4. Football: To be brutally honest, 15 years ago I would have never considered attending such a large school for undergrad: too big. 5 years ago, I thought Ohio State was an evil sports powerhouse: too dominant.  Now I’m a convert, and I’m grateful for both the size of OSU and its fantastic sports programs.  O-H….. (for those of you uninitiated, anytime someone on campus or anywhere around the world says “O-H…,” you respond with “I-O!”)
  5. Internship Opportunities: Fisher helped me open a door that I couldn’t have opened beforehand – Just about 1 year ago today, I met some representatives from Greif here at the Ohio State Fisher career fair. After applying through our in-house career portal (FisherConnect), one thing led to another and I ended up accepting an internship offer in Supply Chain for thiinternships past summer!  The internship was fantastic– including strong project diversity, international travel, and powerful networking opportunities.

#grateful

Taking a Break during my Busy SMF Schedule

“A career fair last week, 3 case discussions this week, 2 mid-term exams  on Monday next week, and FINAL exams two weeks after that.” That’s how I describe my SMF life to my friend. Later, my classmates remind me that we also have one presentation and one case brief due next week.

This is not just busy. It is CRAZYYYYYY!!!!!

But the good news is that the director of our program, Professor Pinteris, adjusts the schedule after our classmates talk to him about this– which is super sweet. (After all, we can’t miss the big game between OSU vs. Oklahoma this weekend!!! GO BUCKS!!!)

GO BUCKS!!! & BEAT OKLAHOMA!!!
GO BUCKS!!! & BEAT OKLAHOMA!!!

Having a busy schedule doesn’t mean that we cannot have some fun!

On weekends, our class usually gathers for dinner and drinks together. We have tried one Chinese restaurant, one Indian and two Mexican so far. In terms of bars, I have no clue because I cannot handle alcohol (I have no intention of fighting against my genes). But if you are a fan of drinks, there are many decent bars in town. You can definitely get what you want here!

SMF dinner
SMF Weekend Dinner

Also, some of my classmates signed up for a soccer team and had a game on Tuesday. Sun, breeze, birds, and a soccer game for that afternoon–relaxing and beautiful!

SMF Soccer Team
SMF Soccer Team
Birds
Birds
Sun
Sun

But as I told you before, it was a busy week for SMF student. As I result, I headed back to Fisher before the game ended because I had to go to my next scheduled event — a group meeting for our project!

My team is awesome. Everyone contributes and teaches each other. My favorite part is that we do our project literally together, not just write sections separately and collect the pieces later. After every group assignment and meeting, we learn way more than we expected. I enjoy our days and nights together.

The life of SMF candidates is busy, but we have the support and help from each other. And all the things we do in the program prepare us to change from a student to a professional. We can actually see the alteration from time to time. It is amazing that some of our classmates now sound like investment bankers or financial analysts in class discussions!

10 PM at Gerlach Hall
10 PM at Gerlach Hall

“Swallow the Fire Hose”

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When your professor walks in on the first day of class…

Brace yourself.

The floodgates will open. The levees will break. You will be hit full force with the unstoppable torrent of knowledge that is the first week of class at Fisher.

Look, I love it here at OSU. It’s a beautiful cocoon that enwraps you and spits you out two years later as a beautiful Buckeye. But it is not for the faint of heart. This ain’t undergrad anymore, baby! You’re going to be thrown headfirst into the water and you’re going to have to learn to swim whether you’re ready or not.

I’ll be honest with you; by the end of my first week, I started to feel like it might all be too much for me. By the time I walked into my first class on my first day of school, I was ALREADY behind on school work. By the end of my first day, I had five chapters and four articles I had to read. By the end of the first week, I was starting to panic.

And this was just the first week. I hadn’t been introduced to the student organizations. I hadn’t even started working my assistantship. How could this much work possibly be done by a single person?

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When I was asked why I turned in a copy of my fourth-grade diary instead of my paper.

You know what, though? Another week has gone by and I’m still here. And you will be, too.

It’s not easy here. It’s not even close to easy. But you’re a businessperson. You don’t like easy. You’re not giving up a job, time with your family, two whole years of your life for easy. You’re doing it because you will learn. You will learn how to lead. You will learn how to succeed. You’ll even learn how to learn.

You’ll turn that deluge into your refuge.