Culture Shock in Columbus?

Moving to Columbus for business school – talk about a change.  Coming here, I was expecting to be completely out of my element – maybe not culture shock, but close to it. Before I get into why Columbus is so much different than I expected, first, let me introduce myself. Hello! I’m Jamie, a first year in the full time MBA program, and this is my first time living in Ohio. Recently I moved back from Seoul, Korea where I taught an ESL Kindergarten class. So I guess you could say I am not the typical student, but who is these days?

I kind of always expected business schools to look for those with accounting, finance, marketing backgrounds for their incoming classes, but at Fisher it seems like diversity is key.

During the H1N1 epidemic, we had to wear masks daily.

Last year when I was chasing after kindergartners, I did NOT expect that I would be living in Ohio or even attending business school within a year. However, here I am with 120 or so other first years.

Before moving to Korea, I lived in New York City for a couple of years where I worked in the nonprofit field. While I loved the city and my job, I was looking for a change hence the move to Korea. It was in Korea, that I realized what I wanted to do with my life – or at least saw a path. Thankfully, there was also a business school fair where I was able to meet someone from Fisher, who immediately assuaged my anxiety towards business school and made me feel comfortable about my fit in this environment. Fast-forward several months, and I was back in Atlanta, GA (where my parents live) frantically packing my things for my next big move.

Since I had never had the chance to see Ohio State or even Columbus, I was a little nervous about moving into a small city – compared to what I was accustomed to – in the Midwest. Both Seoul and NYC are two of the largest and most diverse cities in the world, so my expectations were high. (I’m not going to sugar coat it, I was quite uneasy on my drive from Atlanta, but when I pulled into Fisher Commons after driving through Columbus, a lot of the fears I had drifted away.)

Let me just say first of all, Columbus, Ohio State, and Fisher have completely surpassed my expectations. Where I expected strip malls and suburbs, I have seen and visited cute restaurants, boutiques, and areas in the city. Thankfully, I have found some natives to take me to the local coffee shops and restaurants that make Columbus great. Now, I am getting a better sense of what the “Short-North” and “Arena District” mean. Along with exceeded expectations of this great, continuously evolving city, my expectations for the incoming class were completely debunked. I have met recent graduates, pilots, international students, bankers, fellow teachers and nonprofit workers, and numerous other people from various backgrounds who add so much value to the class.

Honestly, I am looking forward to these next two years more and more with each Columbus adventure, bus ride to Fisher, and trip down High Street.

4 thoughts on “Culture Shock in Columbus?”

  1. Jamie: Your mom gave me your blog site. Glad everything is working out for you at OSU. Things have certainly changed since I was a student there! Good Luck with your studies.

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