Reflecting on MHRM – Year One

What a year it’s been!

For those of us who took time between undergrad and grad school, the idea of coming back for another couple laps on this track of academia can seem pretty daunting. I know it did for me. The year was full of “firsts,” but also full of “agains,” since moving back to my home city and revisiting all the familiar people, places, and things that I left behind in 2014. In the spirit of reminiscing, I thought I would catalog my favorite moments from the past year in pictures.

Before the Michigan game. Easily the most memorable of the season, and arguably one of the best games of all time. Derek has a no-shoes rule, which is why we’re all wearing socks.

 

Fisher Scavenger Hunt/Bar Crawl with, You know, some Pokemon.

 

Pre-Fisher Halloween bash with my favorite bird of paradise? (Katie, please confirm your costume)

 

Internal Case Competition sponsored by Pepsico. An opportunity for us to dress up, match outfits, and win.
A fancy evening at the Fisher Follies auction! We clean up well, don’t we?

 

My beloved external case competition team. This is a ride-or-die friendship right here, and a win that we’ll never forget.
Getting’ fancy again (and silly) for Fisher Formal.

 

Pedal Wagon shenanigans in the Short North arts district for a double-MHRM birthday! Happy Birthday, Kate and Matt! You’l notice everyone was required to wear a hat to ride.
Honored to have a photo with the Dean (and my best MHRM buddy Chris Schoo) on Donor Day. Thanks Fisher donors, for making our experience the most stellar possible.

Overall, I have to say this year was one of friendship, challenge, and growth. The Fisher MHRM program has to be one of the best decisions I’ve made for myself in my adult life, and I am so excited for what the 2nd year has in store.

In the meantime, I’d like to wish all the best to the 2nd year “MHRMs” who will graduate this Sunday– as they launch into their careers as HR professionals! I can’t wait until our paths cross again. Until then, I’ll miss you all!!!

Signing off

-Jen

One Year Down, One to Go

In two weeks, I’ll move temporarily to Indiana for a 12-week internship with PepsiCo. Not only will I learn the practice of many things I learned in the classroom, but I’ll be tasked with specific, deliverable tasks and share what I create with leaders at PepsiCo in Dallas at the end of the summer. Classmates will move to places all over the country and work for various employers, including Boeing, Owens Corning, Ford, Texas Instruments, Exxon, Honeywell, Huntington Bank, Honda, and several others I can’t remember– and do similar things. We have an exciting summer ahead!

To that end.. and without further adieu… here are my Top 10 jewels of wisdom for 1st-year MHRM students:

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  • Be engaged. This may sound obvious, but the students who succeed are the ones who, as Professor Inks says, make the commitment to “be there” in class. When he means “there,” he means paying full attention and intently thinking about concepts, questions, and problems. I take it one step further: be engaged. Ask questions. Disagree. Faculty are more than willing to help you grow your knowledge and comfort with content if you ask for such help. Talk to them after class. E-mail them. Visit them during office hours. Soak in their knowledge!
  • Don’t overextend yourself. This is really easy to do on this campus. Fisher and OSU have many, many things that can take away from study time– including things that are otherwise good uses of time, i.e. student organizations, philanthropic causes, speakers, etc. But every minute of the day counts and you want to be “firing on all cylinders” in your coursework. I recommend involvement in one or two organizations at most and a clear understanding of what the involvement entails.
  • Partner early with Jill Westerfeld in the Office of Career Management. Jill knows what she is doing and loves to give students’ personalized insight and suggestions about anything career-related. Start by showing her your resume and LinkedIn page– and telling her where you want to be professionally.

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  • Be prepared for the first semester. It is overwhelming– no way around it. Classmates and I had been warned about this in orientation, but it is no joke. In addition to acclimating to so many new things, autumn is “recruiting season.” That means you’ll see recruiters early and often throughout the semester (mostly before the holidays, with heavy presence in September and October) and you’ll be able to attend many informational sessions, mixers, speakers, and… of course… interviews. So, in addition to getting the lay of the land in grad school and living in a new city, you’ll be competing for a summer internship with your classmates (and others across the country)! Prepare by managing your time well and understanding your personal goal of every recruiting event you attend.
  • When it comes to internship and job offers, don’t compare yourself to others. Now, this is not a very realistic suggestion, I realize. Perhaps a better way to express this is: compare yourself to others in a fair way and don’t take things personally. You will hear stories throughout the first year of classmates getting internship offers– and classmates who don’t. Some classmates get offers from very respected employers. Some get impressive compensation– allegedly. The truth is… you will never know the truth about other internships or about why you were or were not picked for an interview. There are many factors, some of which are out of your control. Control the things you can and don’t worry about the rest.
  • Take no more than one elective at a time. I made the bold decision of taking two electives during my three core courses in the second session of last semester and did the same thing this semester. Not smart. These are graduate courses, so you need to devote a good chunk of time and brainpower to them. Taking a high course load and adding that to other obligations, i.e. work, is a risky proposition.
  • Invest in a good laptop. Simple suggestion, but important. I started with a cheap, refurbished mini-laptop that was slow and is now in disrepair. You need a workhorse. By the way, some timed exams are taken online during class, so you don’t want to mess around with poor technology!
  • Build relationships with classmates. Not only will you benefit from having strong connections with great people, but you’ll find their ways of looking at things to be a great benefit. I cannot tell you how many conversations I had in the past year where I was able to clarify a concept or better understand something because I went to a formal study group, talked to someone in the hall, or took part in a GroupMe discussion. Side note: 2nd-year MHRMs are also great assets. They’ve been through what you’re going through. Don’t be shy! Introduce yourself.
  • Remember that Rohr Cafe closes at 7pm. So, don’t count on getting any food or drink during class breaks (there is typically a 10-minute break sometime around 7:30-8:30pm in every class). Pack your food and keep it in the Gerlach Lounge fridge. Also, don’t be shy about eating in class. At first, it felt strange; but you’ll get used to it. No fish, garlic, or similarly strong-smelling food, please!
  • Get comfortable with international students. Meeting and socializing with international students might seem uncomfortable at first, but I’ve built some good friendships with international students. It just takes a little effort to get out of one’s comfort zone. I also very much admire what they’ve done– imagine moving halfway across the world to Columbus, Ohio, for grad school! Their life stories are impressive and they share enlightening details about their countries and how HR works for them.

Before I started as a grad student at OSU, I knew on some level that my life would change forever. But truly, nothing can prepare you for this experience– this wonderful, deeply enriching, challenging experience that cannot be replicated. Take advantage of this time and make the most of it!

Gonna Make This Place Your Home

Despite living in Ohio my entire life, with the exception of my undergraduate years in South Carolina, I was relatively unfamiliar with Columbus prior to moving here in August. As a result, I spent my first couple of weeks (okay, months) feeling like a lost, overwhelmed tourist in my new hometown. I still have a lot of exploring left to do, but I thought I would compile a list of my current Columbus favorites to help guide future MAcc students as they acclimate to this wonderful city.

If you are hungry for pizza … try Harvest Pizzeria. There are three locations – German Village, Clintonville, and Dublin. They use local, farm fresh ingredients and offer reasonable prices. Oh, and the pizza is delicious!

If you are looking for somewhere to celebrate “Taco Tuesday” … Condado Tacos is the place to go. This casual eatery lets you design your own taco creations. They also offer great Happy Hour deals if you want to treat yourself on a budget! Pro tip: Get your tortilla in the Sweet Lucy style (both soft flour and hard corn shells with queso and guac).

If you are a fan of BBQ … check out Sweet Carrot. Fresh ingredients, unique menu, and a cool atmosphere. Pro tip: get the Mac ‘n’ Cheese with Pulled Pork.

If you are in the mood for ice cream … you have two choices:

  • Jeni’s is a certified B-Corp that calls Columbus, Ohio home. The company is known for its quality ingredients and Fellowship business model. Jeni’s sets itself apart by offering unique flavors, such as Wildberry Lavender and Riesling Poached Pear Sorbet.
  • With its corporate headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio, Graeter’s is a family-owned business that offers French Pot ice cream made in small batches. The company has more traditional flavors than Jeni’s and is its signature flavor is Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip.

The Columbus Museum of Art is a great way to spend a rainy afternoon. Ohio State students can get free tickets through D-Tix. The CMA offers free admission on Sundays.

Be sure to get to the Wildlights at the Columbus Zoo during the holiday season!

For all your shopping needs, Polaris Fashion Place and Easton Town Center are the places to go!

If you want to get outside, you have lots of options! Here are my top picks:

  • Hocking Hills – Located in Logan, Ohio, about an hour and a half from Columbus, Hocking Hills is worth the drive. My favorite hike goes from Old Man’s Cave to Cedar Falls and back, via the Grandma Gatewood (Buckeye) Trail (6 miles roundtrip). You can also take the Grandma Gatewood Trail to Cedar Falls (3 miles) and return to Old Man’s Cave via the Gorge Overlook Trail (3 miles).
  • Clear Creek – If you are looking for something more challenging, Clear Creek is the place to go. I like to park in the Creekside Meadows Picnic Area and take the Cemetary Ridge Trail to the Fern Trail to the Hemlock Trail to the Creekside Meadows Trail.  
  • Battelle Darby Creek – This is a great option if you are looking to avoid the crowds but do not have the time to drive all the way to Hocking Hills or Clear Creek. I like to park in the Cedar Ridge Picnic Area and take the Cobshell Trail to the Indian Ridge Trail to the Terrace Trail Loop and back.

Other things worth mentioning:

Columbus Crew

Columbus Blue Jackets

Columbus Clippers

Columbus has so much to offer and while it is easy to get bogged down in schoolwork, be sure to take the time to get out and enjoy the city!

Brett Has Left the Building

Dear Loyal Following,

Over the past nine months, we have shared so much. You have witnessed a special and intimate viewing of the journey from the beginning of the Specialized Master in Finance program to this final week. From my introductory blog to my first semester recap to this final thank-you letter.

Roughly one year ago, I submitted my deposit for the program and solidified my change from a Political Science/International Affairs undergraduate student to a Candidate for the Specialized Master in Finance program at the Fisher College of Business. Arguably one of the biggest decisions of my life, I switched from a pre-law track to a finance track. Looking back, it was the defining moment in my life.

I have been exposed to a vast array of financial instruments and models that I will use in my future career. The amazing faculty and staff here have been awesome in supporting my growth as a student of finance and a student of The Ohio State University. In addition, the friends I have made here will last a lifetime, coming from backgrounds all across the globe and from different avenues of business. One thing you may have noticed throughout my blogs was the influence of the different cultures in the restaurants we visited. That is one of the greatest attributes of our program.

With all that being said, this is my final week at Fisher and my final week serving the program as a graduate ambassador. I have never been great at goodbyes and thus will keep this soliloquy short and sweet. To everyone at The Ohio State University, it has been an amazing ride. I am excited to see what the future holds for us in our future careers.

Adiós. 再见. 안녕. Tạm biệt. αντιο σας. अलविदा. Ijeoma. ลาก่อน.               Goodbye, Blog World.

Brett Hornung                                                                                                     Specialized Master in Finance, Class of ’17                                                       The Ohio State University – Fisher College of Business

 

Out of the Scarlet Planet

Goodbye Class of 2017: It is that time of year: graduation. Our group finished our client presentation to Vantiv (A Risk Management M&A Framework) and with that, the SMF class of 2017 is finished. Excitement, bittersweet, earnestness, calm; our class is experiencing a variety of emotions as everyone looks towards their next steps. Personally, I feel content and restful– thankful that I came to Ohio State. As I step away, I would like to take a moment to address the incoming class.

The OSU team after our presentation

Hello, Class of 2018!: Everyone will tell you that it goes fast, it will go even faster than they warned you. One of the unique beauties of our program is its diversity. You will travel from all Earth’s corners to study in Columbus. For some of you, this may be the first time in the United States. Things will be different. Before I left the U.S. to spend a summer in southeast Asia, I didn’t understand how different things could be. Sometimes, it may feel as if you are on another planet. Ohio State is a big school, we like football, etc. It’s OK to be scared, but I assure you, you will feel welcome here.

The Arrival by Shuan Tan: A imaginative novel about the struggles and awe of moving to a new country

One of my favorite authors (C.S. Lewis), tells a story about a man who goes into outer space. He first expects that space will be cold and empty, void of all his comforts. Near the end of the story, he realizes that space is not empty; the entire time it has been full of good things, the beautiful and bright creation of the galaxies. In this story, what was scary from the traveler’s perspective is actually good. It only took some time to be recognized.

If you are new to Columbus, there will be some pros and cons compared to your hometown. I encourage you to recognize and embrace the pros. Don’t hesitate, because your time here will be brief. This is my best advice for the incoming class.

To close, as we are talking about “space,” this is my final shameless plug for our campus. Check out the OSU planetarium. You will be glad you did, and I hope you will be glad you came to Ohio State.

Looking forward to meeting you.

– Ethan

A Year in Review

Reflecting on the last nine months brings to light many memories with the Fisher MAcc program at Ohio State.

What I learned in Grad School is… What I’ve come to realize is that grad school really isn’t about technical knowledge or skills. That’s one misconception that I personally came here with. Grad classes aren’t about turning in a worksheet, doing hours of busy work each night, or cramming for that exam. In fact, grad classes are the opposite. What I once hated about undergrad classes is now what I love about my grad classes. Group projects are a blessing (that’s right, I said it). My biggest takeaway from grad school as a whole is how to better work with others. With literally almost every assignment being worked on in groups, there are many opportunities to improve your interpersonal skills.

Graduating from the MAcc program on May 5th will be a bittersweet moment for me. My college years are over as well as my time spent in Columbus. The stereotype of Midwest kindness is real; these really are the nicest people you will probably ever meet.

Couldn’t have made it through this year without them!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, what’s next for me? Following graduation, I will move back to sunny Florida. I’m excited to connect with my family and friends that I have missed over the school year. This summer, I hope to finish taking the CPA exam (currently half-way there!!) and relax before I start working at Deloitte’s Boca Raton office this fall.

As always, go Bucks!

Tailgating during the football season with MAcc classmates
O-H-I-O!!!!!!

 

My Top 5 Moments of This Year

1. #3 Ohio State vs #2 Michigan (“The Game”) – Although this year’s rivalry week did not include the Mirror Lake jump this year, this was one of the best rivalry games in OSU history. The only game vs. Michigan that may have been better was the 2006 edition of “The Game” when #1-ranked Ohio State beat #2 Michigan to secure a spot in the National Championship. This past year’s game secured us a spot in the Playoff, but we won’t talk about that. As a lifelong fan, this rivalry means so much to me and once you step foot on campus, you will understand the rivalry.

Omar, Mark and me before rushing the field after we won in OT

2. Random Social Events –This one is sort of a catch-all. One thing I am very grateful for is getting to know my classmates pretty well. I knew some of my classmates before the program, but I also met some really awesome people through the program. Throughout the year, we had many social events with everyone in the MAcc. We celebrated birthdays together, tailgated before footballs games together, and went out on the weekends together. While there are still people I wish I got to know better while I was in the program, I am glad I went to as many social events as possible this past year to get to enjoy my final year with classmates.

Celebrating Heewon’s Birthday

3. Fisher Formal – I was hesitant to buy my ticket for this event, but it was definitely worth attending. Fisher Formal is advertised as Prom for graduate students, and since we are of age this time, an open bar is included! Everyone at formal looked amazing and it was a really great time with fellow classmates. Even though I am horrible at dancing, you would have seen me dancing like nobody was watching. Fisher Formal will be one of my most memorable moments from the MAcc program.

4. MAcc Olympics – I wrote about MAcc Olympics a few weeks ago, so if you did not read that blog, check it out. This event got everyone active and playing childhood sports together. We played basketball, volleyball, kickball and dodgeball. This event was also conveniently timed to be right after our Exit Exam was due, so everyone was pumped to be done with that and we celebrated with one big “recess.”

5. Intramural Sports – I’ve blogged about this before as well, but playing intramurals is a great way to get involved and get to know fellow classmates. There are many sports in which you can play and several competitiveness levels for you to choose from. So no matter your skill level, there is an intramural league for you. If you are still not sold on playing intramurals while you’re in the MAcc, just know that if you win the league you get a free t-shirt and get to call yourself Intramural CHAMPION for the rest of your life.

MAccletes could not win it all, but we looked good doing it.

This past year has been one for the books. I have grown a lot as a person and learned more than I thought possible in just 9 months. I have made lifelong connections and feel blessed to have been apart of this class. As promised, I made the most of this year and I encourage everyone to do the same.

The 7 Things That Will Vastly Improve Your 1st Year in the MBA Program

I wanted to leave some advice for the incoming class that will make your life a little easier as you start this crazy thing called the MBA program. So I present you another Buzzfeed-style list to vastly improve your 1st year.

1. Redefine success.

Guess what? This isn’t undergrad where you got to take awesome classes in your major, like Children’s Literature and write papers on Harry Potter (was that just me? Good times.). Instead, you’ll be taking classes across a wide variety of business subjects and it’s unlikely that you’ll be getting As in all of them; Accounting, Marketing, Data Analysis, Operations and Finance all have very different skill sets. Don’t forget to give yourself a pat on the back for the little wins! (laundry, making time to see a friend, turning in all your assignments on time, getting above the average on a test) Which leads into my next point…2. Grades are not important. Focus on the bigger picture.

Most likely, you are not attending business school to stay in academia and become a professor, so getting straight As shouldn’t be your focus. Instead, your goal is to get your MBA and get a great job that you love afterwards. The most important things are to learn new skills, get to know your fellow students, and be better prepared for leadership positions in a company. The school wants you to be successful and go on to be great alumni that strengthen the reputation of the program.

3. Go to happy hours.

Make friends! Your fellow classmates will go on to be crazy successful and you’ll definitely want them in your network now and for years after graduation when they’re all CMOs, CEOs, CFOs, and CHROs. Don’t be the person who no one can remember!

4. Spend time with your core team outside of school.

You will spend a lot of time with your core team in your 1st year. Things will be stressful and there will be weeks that you feel like you spent every waking minute together. So, just make sure to take the time to know each other on a personal/social level. Go to dinner, explore the city, go to a trivia night, do karaoke, drink! It will make the stressful times a lot better.

5. Invest in your mental health.

Make sure that you’re taking care of yourself. Again, there will be crazy weeks, but make sure you’re doing what you need to do to stay happy and focused. For me, I usually set goals and rewards, or took the time to enjoy a TV show with dinner so that I didn’t get sad or even more stressed than I needed to be. Work smart! For me, it wasn’t worth the dozens of extra hours to get my grade up in Accounting when I knew that I would never use those skills again, but I spent extra time in the classes that I knew I would use after graduation.

 

6. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

The MBA curriculum looks daunting at first, so just focus on it week by week, and you’ll get there– I promise! Don’t think about a semester’s worth of work; focus on what you need to accomplish this week and next, and then get it done. Stress can be demobilizing, so as long as you keep moving along, you’ll be fine.

7. You WILL get through this and you WILL be successful!

Other people have done this and you will, too! And trust me when I tell you that there will be intense weeks where you wonder why you’re doing this, but eventually you will learn a lot in a very short amount of time and all of that blood, sweat and tears will be distant memories. You will find strength you didn’t know you had and you’ll find yourself enjoying the coursework, your classmates, your impressive professors– and before you know it, you’ll be looking at graduation and feeling very sad. It’s a crazy journey, but I know I’m stronger for it and well-equipped to go out into the world and do great things. Best of luck! 

Photo Sources

  1. I adulted today. https://rlv.zcache.com/i_adulted_today_sticker-rb3b47fcc102949df97a8b9a9f6e9b130_v9waf_8byvr_540.jpg
  2. Happy Hour: http://www.trainingforwarriors.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/HappyHour.jpg
  3. Yoga pose: http://www.bloomyoganj.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/yoga-pose.jpg
  4. Hedgehog: http://www.funnyjunk.com/You+can+do+it/funny-pictures/5910280#1c0d9c_5909836

 

 

 

 

The 6 Surprising Things I Learned in Business School

As my 2nd year begins to wind down, I was debating about what helpful nuggets of advice I could leave for any current or future MBA students. So I present to you a Buzzfeed-style random list of “The 6 Surprising Things I Learned In Business School.”

1. It’s important to have an answer to the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” 

Maybe not the first week, but eventually. Probably in the 1st semester. Do everything, see and listen to every speaker, attend plenty of company info sessions, and eventually you’ll figure out what you like and what you don’t– which is the first step in deciding what you want to do.

2. How to interview like a boss

Okay, maybe not like a boss, but you will improve. I got rejected from almost every company I interviewed with my first year, so I’m not really a beacon of shining interviewing success, BUT I’m a heck of a lot better at interviewing than when I joined the program, and that’s a skill I’ll use for the rest of my life! And always remember that jobs are like spouses; it’s not a question of success rates or batting averages, you just need to find the one.

 

3. Super-crazy insane time management

I will let you in on a secret: I watched TV most weeknights. I know, it’s crazy, but I was able to prioritize insane amounts of homework, group work, a graduate assistantship on campus, student organizations, recruiting happy hours and info sessions– and I still had a social life!

I did sleep, but definitely gave up working out, cleaning and cooking, but knew that I needed to do some things to invest in my mental health, and that’s why I watched TV (usually as I wolfed down dinner before diving into homework, but it counts!). Even though I was stressed, it definitely helped keep my life into perspective when I talked to my classmates with children; now, they are the real heroes here!

4. I am not and never will be the smartest person in the room/organization.

Your classmates will be crazy smart! Everyone in the program is smart, motivated and has probably been pretty successful up to this point. So, it can be a pretty humbling and inspiring experience to hang out with these people for two years. It’s also a great feeling to realize that YOU made it into this impressive group too, so it’s a strange mix of self-confidence boosting and some humble pie, too.

5. I have a newfound appreciation for free food.

“Free food” is one of the most beautiful phrases in the English language, especially when you’re a poor graduate student who isn’t earning any money and is too busy to take the time to cook and eat well. I can’t tell you how much pizza I’ve eaten in this program, and I LIKED it.

6. Introspection is a rare and beautiful thing.

I expected to gain technical skills during this program, especially since in my English Literature studies I had literally never taken one of these business classes, and I certainly did. What I didn’t expect, though, was how much the program pushed me and developed me as a person.

In leadership courses, you’ll learn about your strengths and weaknesses (some knew what to expect and some people were really taken aback), but it’s very good to know these things about yourself, so that you can continue to improve in those areas. I also recommend taking Professor Rucci’s Leadership Legacy class, where you think about what you want your life’s work to be and how you want to be perceived by the people around you. Since you’ve stepped out of the workforce, take the opportunity to do a little soul-searching and make sure you understand your priorities. That way, you’re prepared for life and can make deliberate decisions about your path that lead to your long-term happiness.

Image Sources:

  1. Baby in suit. http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2014/03/31/article-2593486-1CB8CB6700000578-692_634x567.jpg
  2. Interview. http://belimitless.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/maxresdefault.jpg
  3. Balancing act. http://imworld.aufeminin.com/story/20140102/candace-cameron-bure-balancing-it-all-154578_w1000.jpg
  4. Average student.  http://0.media.collegehumor.cvcdn.com/63/67/cc67ed1901e9a3178f44e723c1f6c629-collegehumors-average-student-scholarship-contest.jpg
  5. Free pizza. http://s2.quickmeme.com/img/32/324ee338a4ce69e815a9ef7839eea7830fb46a92b4494b70b9e1c4cc5c56e405.jpg
  6. The Thinker.  http://d279m997dpfwgl.cloudfront.net/wp/2016/05/0512_the-thinker05-wide.jpg

A Day with Warren Buffett

About 20 Fisher graduate students traveled to Omaha, Nebraska to spend a day with Warren Buffett. The highlight of the trip was a 3.5 hour question and answer session with the Oracle himself.

Our group with Mr. Buffett

Mr. Buffett spent a large amount of time speaking about the importance of family. He said that as we grow older, our relationship with our children, (not how much money we have), will be one of, if not the main, measuring stick defining success.

Mr. Buffett supported this point by claiming, “being rich is over-rated, but if you have the chance, take it.” He explained that ease of air-travel was the only tangible “day to day” advantage he has over others.

These two concepts offered an opportunity for us to reflect on our long-term goals and decide what is truly important. Mr. Buffett serves as a reminder that choices we currently make will impact these goals, and that those of us who prioritize family will not “fail.”

I am thankful for the opportunity to meet and listen to Mr. Buffett. Traveling with our group formed a good bond as we all learned more about each other.

Our gift to Mr. Buffett – to match the Tressel ball he keeps on his desk – Go Bucks!