Unique Experiences

Hello there!

I know it has been a while since my last post… I feel like I say that every post, unfortunately. Since my last update, several wonderful things have happened at Fisher!

The first event was the Internal Case Competition for 1st Year MBA’s last Friday and Saturday. It was amazing how many first-year students participated – 28 teams x 4 students per team = 128 students, out of about 150 students total. Each team was given the same business case to analyze and present a future strategy to the company’s executives. Other bloggers have described the competition in much greater detail in their posts, so I will refrain from re-hashing it.

I had never participated in a case competition before – it was really exciting to be charged with creating and presenting a viable business plan in such a compressed time period. The members of my team: Andrew Boyd, Anthony Cayce and Fan Liu, bring a strong and diverse set of skills and experiences, which I think gave our team an edge (and the judges agreed). After a long day of analyzing the case and creating a strategy, we came in early Saturday morning to practice the presentation a  few more times. I’ll admit I was nervous! Our team presented really well, and the judges gave us very clear and direct critiques, which I am very thankful for. It was refreshing to get third-party opinions on my presentation style; I realize that working on moving around the room, and showing a little more emotion will definitely enhance my presentation skills. Our team won “best team” for our room – so the next step is individual interviews next week, for a chance to be on the CIBER or Big Ten Case Competition Teams for Fisher! I am very, very excited for this opportunity – I never imagined how exhilarating a case competition could be!

The fun social event of this weekend was the “End of the Week” (EOTW) event at OSU’s Ice Rink. For $5, students could rent skates for two hours! As a special bonus, a second-year MBA student skated in a black tutu with orange ribbons (he auctioned off this event at last year’s Fisher Follies Auction)! Thank goodness he was a good skater – he had to make a lot of quick maneuvers around skaters that were rather… confused… about his outfit. He  tried to skate with the young ladies in spandex and tutus, but they obviously had had a little more training than him!

This afternoon, the Black MBA association hosted the first luncheon in the Black Leader’s Series. This year’s theme is “Revering the Past, Embracing the Present and Uplifting the Future” from an economic empowerment perspective. The speaker today was Margot James Copeland; the Executive Vice President – Director, Corporate Diversity & Philanthropy and an Executive Council member at KeyCorp. I really enjoyed her presentation because she is a very engaging speaker who presents her ideas and opinions very clearly. The part I found most interesting was her discussion of “diversity” versus “inclusion.” She defines diversity fairly broadly – every person is complex and complete, not only because of their gender, race, age, and nationality, but because of their life and work experiences. Every single person is unique. As an example, she said a room full of white men IS diverse, because each man brings different experiences and perspectives. However, the room would not be inclusive. To determine inclusion, one needs to look around the room, and see who is missing. This means that a room that is inclusive will have men and women of different races, ages and nationalities, with different life experiences. She also talked about many other topics – the purpose of affinity groups in corporations, the history of diversity, where it’s going in the future, and her personal thoughts on how to ensure future generations are prepared for the realities of a diverse working environment. I really enjoyed this talk, and I am looking forward to the next three speakers this month.

The rest of this week will be devoted to studying – we have three midterms coming up in our core classes, and I also have a take-home midterm for my elective. Good luck to all the other students in their preparations for exams!

Take care!