Echoes from Fisher WPMBA – Erik Speicher

This quarter, I was blessed with a very good friend in Erik who is a Working Professional MBA and I will like to bring his perspective of Fisher to the world outside. We were group members for one of the finest classes this quarter – Risk Management by Prof. Rene Stulz. Prof. Stulz gave us some really engaging assignments and we worked together over the weekends to get over those. It was a great experience!

Without further adieu, let me pass it over to Erik.

Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” — Seneca, Roman Philosopher, Statesman and Author (c. 4 BCE – CE 65)

In September, 2008, I was a 44 year old man starting my MBA program at the Fisher School of Business.  It had been 21 years since I had left the hallowed halls of Ohio State with my liberal arts undergraduate degree, and now I was back for the sequel.

I was nervous about how the other (and younger) MBA students would accept an older colleague in their midst.  Would I be written off as irrelevant?  Would I be ignored?  Would I be considered an aberration or even a joke?

As the first few quarters rolled by, however, I quickly realized that I had far more in common with the other students than I had initially believed.  We were all going through same MBA ordeal with core courses, group projects, midterms, papers, and final exams.

I also noticed that I gravitated towards the same group of students.  These were what I called the MBA misfits.  By misfits, I meant that we were all unlikely candidates for business school.  Most of us had liberal arts, science, or other non-business undergraduate degrees, and each of us, in our own way, took a circuitous route in our careers which led us to Fisher.

My interactions with these colleagues reassured me that my presence in business school was not an aberration, but a trend.  More and more business schools were diversifying their enrollment to include people from non-business as well as business backgrounds.  Each group had much to teach and share with the other.

In like manner, as an older student, I had much to offer and share with my younger colleagues regarding my successes and failures in the “real world.”  They, in turn, have impressed me with their serious dedication, focus, and professionalism.

Fisher marks the beginning of a whole new chapter in my life.  In just six months, I will conclude my studies, and my goal is to become an analyst with the federal government.  You are never too old to begin again!

Best wishes to all my Fisher colleagues in their academic pursuits.

Erik Speicher

MBA Candidate Autumn 2010

Fisher College of Business

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