Archive for October, 2011

Two Deans in One Week!

Over the course of the past week, I had lunch with Associate Dean of the MBA Program, Dean Wruck, and I also had a meeting with the  Dean of Fisher College of Business, Dean Poon.  That may sound stressful – like being called into the principal’s office.   I can assure you it was anything but!  Both meetings were supportive, helpful, and encouraging; and I left each one excited to enact some of the new ideas that the Deans and I had concocted.  I can’t imagine that there are many other MBA programs that give you the close access to faculty that you will receive at the Fisher College of Business.

With a student-faculty ration of 3-1, the events of my past week are not uncommon.  Whether you are seeking advice from a dean, academic support from a professor, or just the opportunity to chat with a distinguished academic, you will find those opportunities easy to navigate at Fisher.  The faculty are not just available to you – they are eager to offer their support and encouragement.  This is such an important part of the reason that I chose Fisher, and I’m realizing it to be even more beneficial that I originally thought.

It’s yet another item on the checklist to be aware of as you go on campus visits and informational tours, meet faculty, and think about your move into B-school.  A small, intimate program with a focus on developing the individual is how Fisher describes itself.  And I’m here to confirm how true that is.


I survived this week’s midterms

After 2 week relay, I am back to write my blog again. The two week absence is result of three midterms this past week. When the class started, I already felt that focusing on the lecture for longer than 100 minutes was impossible. Even if I am paying all of my attention to the professor, I can hardly catch his humor. Studying in a foreign language is really a big challenge for me.

The first exam, Logistics Management, turned out quite unexpected but was unexpectedly good. Although I struggled to try to remember all the key points for a question, the professor is kind to only ask for two main points.  The exam was simple in format but was complex in that it tested our understanding of the class content.

For the second exam, the professor wrote the exam and included some of his personal humor. For the bonus question, he set up 5 choices of names, asking which one is the president of US that brought about most changes in the transportation regulation. However, 3 out 5 names are those of former football coaches at Ohio State. I was surprised when I heard the underlying story of his choices and felt embarrassed because I happened to randomly picked the most famous coach!

I was rather unsatisfied with my performance in the third class, Linear Programming. It is the the only course we are taking from the College of Engineering. As MBLE is a combined program between Fisher and Engineering, we will spend half of the total credit hours on engineering related courses. My classmates were happy to see that the exam was not as difficult as the homework.

Now the first exams in Fisher are over, I am much more aware of how to study and prepare for the exams, so I guess I will be fine for final exams – at least I will not be sleepless for 2 nights out of nervousness :-)


No Need To Fear the MLHR’s Future

After midterms, my brain has still been in recovery mood and it took me FOREVER to finally think of a blog topic to write about.  I have been to two different meetings that concern changes to the MLHR (which I am assuming will be called MHRM next year) program.  Hopefully, discussing what I learned (and my jealousy being that I will be graduating this spring) about the changes to the program will make future applicants and current students even more excited about the program.

Last Tuesday morning, I and a few other MLHR students got to sit down with the new Director of the MLHR program, Professor Raymond Noe.  Dr. Robert Heneman was the program Director for the past 20 years or so (but don’t worry and be THANKFUL he hasn’t retired from teaching because he is one of my favorite professors).  This meeting was a way for Noe to get to know some of the students in the program. It was good to meet to him and discuss the program with him and other students.

Now nothing I say is set in stone and should be taken as “given.”  These are just ideas that have been discussed.

  • Workshops on Excel before program orientation
  • Expanding employer relationships with more companies in the Midwest for placement for internship and full-time job opportunities
  • Setting up additional employer relationships with more non-profits
  • Getting students more familiarity with PeopleSoft and Access
Last week, I had a meeting with faculty, staff, and other students about leadership development for students in the program.  Here were some of the things discussed.
  • Having a leadership development program starting before orientation that includes training in Excel, basic finance overview, Access, and team facilitation
  • Developing workshops on issues not discussed in class like government documents, grievance provisions, and handling downsizes and terminations (no undergrad, graduate, and probably even PhD program could accommodate EVERY single aspect of human resources that an organization faces)
Like I said, none of these ideas are set in stone.  None of them could even happen (but I highly doubt that … I am sure a few (if not all) of them will come to fruition – this is just my standard disclaimer).  Fisher MLHR faculty and staff are working really hard to not only ensure the switch to semesters is as smooth as possible, but that it is still improving despite all the changes occurring university-wide.  Also, at the meeting, I got the opportunity to express things that 2nd year students in the program are concerned about and will (eventually, if not immediately) be important. The first year students do not know what is going on (yet) since they are still adjusting to graduate school, interviewing for internships, etc.  Most people who apply to the MLHR program do not have business or human resources experience.  Even with the HR experience I had when I came into the program with my student job, I had no idea about what I would need to know to be a true HR professional.  These are some things that you should explore if you plan on being an HR student.  And when the program offers all of these great future opportunities, it is something that you should definitely want to participate in.
I almost wonder whether the 1st years will come out of the program more knowledgeable than me with the future opportunities the program plans to offer.  I know that we will still have the labor classes under our belt (which, since I work in a union environment, is beneficial to me), but I get a little envious planning out the framework for something that I will not be able to experience myself.  If you are in the program starting autumn 2012, don’t let all of our hard work go to waste! :-)
Stay tuned for what the future of the program holds and Happy Halloween weekend (the link below will give you the hint to what my costume will be).

Ice Cream Lover? Go to Jeni’s

When I came to Columbus for the first time, lots of people recommended me this brand of ice cream. Jeni’s, which is a local brand in Columbus, is an awesome place to enjoy ice cream and hang out with friends. I want to recommend it to you.
Jeni’s

There are 3 Jeni’s shops in Columbus, and the one that is closest to OSU is at 714 N. High Street, Columbus, OH 43215. You cannot miss it because there is a reproduction of a distinguished printing, American Gothic by Grant Wood, on the wall outside.

 

 

Are you excited about the ice cream? If so, then you won’t be disappointed. There are numerous sorts of hand-made ice creams with different flavors. The most popular one, which is also my favorite, is salty caramel. It gives a mouth-watering salty sweet balance. It seems that every customer who comes to this shop will have a different preference. And there are many other splendid flavors, such as, beet cake with black walnuts, brown butter almond brittle, cherry lambic sorbet, gravel road, lemon & blueberry frozen yogurt, the buckeye state, etc. Are you still undecided? Can you decide which one to have? The shop assistant will give you little spoons of every flavor you want to try.

menu

 

If you are starving, there are ice cream sandwiches as well for you to consume. The sandwiches are all in the most popular flavors with delicious cookies outside.

ice cream sandwich

The popular Jeni’s shop is often crowed with her fans. On weekends’ nights, especially, there is always a long queue, and people even line up outside Jeni’s shop. So it is better to come here on weekdays or early on weekends.


Tales from “the Married Couple”… Part One

Everyone we know thinks we’re crazy.

A little background is in order. Three years ago we set out on a five year plan for my husband Joe to go to law school and get an MBA. He moved to another city and we lived apart while he was in law school. It was tough, but we made it through. He graduated in May, took the Bar Exam in July, and found out that he passed the Bar a few weeks ago!

This past November my husband called me up and said those 5 words that always make me nuts: “I have a crazy idea…”

“…why don’t we go to do the MBA together?”

I was a little surprised, to say the least. The plan was always for him to go first, and for me to get my MBA in a few years. Joe had a good theory, though: we had just spent three years apart, so it would be a good chance for us to reconnect and was I really going to go back to school in five years? I had a good career going already, so this might be my only chance. So we applied, and Fisher accepted us.

So far it’s working out pretty well. Since all the first year students have the same classes, I have a built in study partner in addition to my Core Team. We use each other’s strengths, like Economics for him this quarter, and Operations for me next quarter. We have the same schedule two days a week and we survived mid-terms together. We haven’t strangled each other yet, so we must be doing something right!

We’ll keep you up to date on how it’s going, but for now it’s just been a lot of fun to go to school with my best friend. For anyone considering the same crazy idea, take it seriously. It’s an experience we’re sharing that we’ll never forget.

 


I want a Master’s Degree….now what?

One year ago, I decided it was time to get a master’s degree.  In the midst of planning my April wedding, working 40+ hours a week, helping with 4-H activities in my community, and the start of the busy holiday season, I thought I would add something else to my list.  So I began my search.  Here are my steps to figuring out what program to choose.

  1. Decide the focus area(s) you want to pursue a master’s degree.  Whether you want to continue the path that you are on currently or want to consider switching paths into a new field.  Sometimes a dual degree is an option.
  2. Determine how you want to go about obtaining your degree.  Will you attend school full-time? Will you be working full-time and want an evening, weekend, or online program?  This will begin to narrow your search.
  3. Begin searching for schools.  As a full-time student, you have virtually unlimited options (except cost) and could participate in a program across the globe.  A working professional has fewer options; evening or weekend programs have to consider travel time and work requirements but online opportunities are growing and may be a viable option.  Consider schools that are ranked nationally for their programs; potentially employers will view the strength of the program when looking to separate a stack of potential employees.  As a working professional, also speak with your employer to see if they provide any incentives for selecting one school over another or offer flex time when pursuing your degree.
  4. When you have decided on a few potential schools, take time to research the schools and programs.  Take a tour of the college/university (if it’s not an online program) and visit with faculty and staff.  Participate in information sessions about your program FYI – the next Fisher Working Professional MBA session is Tuesday, November 8th.)  Look up course schedules, email professors for a sample syllabus of a course, and read about or talk to students about the programs.  Also learn about the school.  What is the school known for?  What are the traditions and history of the school?  Contact alumni and hear their stories and experiences while attending the school.
  5. Determine the requirements and deadlines for acceptance in the programs and begin the steps to apply.  Many requirements include: filling out an application which usually includes writing essays, obtaining letters of recommendation, requesting transcripts from your undergraduate programs, and taking the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT).  Taking the GMAT requires some time to invest in brushing up on math and verbal skills to prepare for the four hours of GMAT fun.
  6. Play the waiting game.  Once you apply, take a breather, have some fun, and wait on your decision letters/emails/phone calls.
  7. The Decision.  Ok, so you probably are not going to go LeBron with your decision but once you have received your decision letters from the schools, determine your next steps.  Did you get in to the top school that you wanted to?  Are you and your family ready to begin the next phase of your education?
  8. Enroll.  Begin your new program with a positive outlook, meet new people, and make the most out of the opportunities that await you.

Good luck in your search!


Do it all … or nothing at all

This year I have decided to get involved as much as possible, and I’m losing some sleep for it. Currently I’m involved in the following:

  1. Continuing my internship at Cardinal Health
  2. President of GHRA
  3. Delegate – Council of Graduate Students
  4. Senator – University Senate
  5. Member – The Ohio Union Council
For me this essentially means 3 things 1.) Sleep is awesome 2.) I have to stay organized & 3.) I have an absurdly long e-mail signature. All joking aside, for me staying busy is what I prefer, and it has helped me grow and develop along the way. While I can talk about all the different areas, for this blog I will focus on my time at Cardinal Health.

This summer I interned at Cardinal Health in Dublin, Ohio. This was the best thing for me. The people there are great, I had a fanatic manager, it was fast-paced, challenging, rewarding, and was made up of people who like to win. This was the perfect place for me. While there, I work as an HR generalist supporting Global Manufacturing & Supply Chain. This is a long way of saying I worked with the parts of our business that were in other countries. It was great to work with an international team, and certainly was a learning experience.  I even go to travel around the country a little bit. Below is a picture of me doing some of the daily stretches with employees in our plan in Waukegan, Il.

As the summer came to an end, I was approached by my manager informing me that there was opportunity to stay on-board during the school year. I jumped at the opportunity. I couldn’t be more excited to stay on-board with the co-workers, team, and friends that I made this summer. I would be lying if I said its not a challenge to balance work, all of the above, school, my girlfriend, friends and family. However, I can say it has been one of the best times of my life. I’m busy, contributing to society, and so far keeping my girlfriend happy. Plus whenever I feel tired, I just think of the people in my program who have kids – hats off to you all.

So, what has this taught me? Well it’s still early on, but there are some clear takeaways.

  1. If you’re not having fun in anything that you’re volunteering to to – quit. I’m lucky that I still enjoy everything very much
  2. Treat work like a full-on-land-assault. Go as hard as you can till you know everything
  3. Take times to get away from it all. I have phone blackouts, no email, no texting, no twitter
  4. Laugh everyday – If I didn’t laugh everyday I’d lose my mind
  5. Mind your actions – People will remember what you do. If you make a promise keep it, and lead by example
  6. Don’t get in a pissing contest with a skunk – Don’t set your self up to do something that you know you will lose. Knowing your limits is key
More to come, but I’m about to go into step 3 so it’s difficult to blog with no electronic device.
Till next time, enjoy yourself.

Comments on the Rationality of Human, and their Behavior in Finance

I’ve heard way more things about the behavior economics recently in class, on TV(CNBC), during lunch at Fisher, and even in a conversation in my dream (just kidding).  Economists, Psychologists, and Financial managers spend years and years trying to figure out their own behaviors-“why are we humans making so many irrational decisions which deviate so much from what they expect them to be, or what they could benefit from?” They want to find some sorts of laws, rules, or some patterns that could explain such phenomenon well.

Scholars make this even more complicated. So far, they could only say “some” of those activities and decisions are just irrational. I’m not going to explain what the behavioral finance is since you can Google it, right? All I want to say from my observation on behavior rationality is that: that people are irrational or making irrational decisions is because there are three things happening that distract them from realizing their target or goals. These things are:

  • Concerns over what other people do in a similar situation
  • Events that are in favor by the people but twist the outcome
  • Incorrect interpretations of problems

“Concerns over what other people do in a similar situation” refers to that people would chose the solutions that are not optimal or even are opposite when taking other people’s solutions into account.  For example, when you wanted to buy Apple’s shares but you found out that everybody else bought Google’s shares, so you bought Google’s share instead even though your 10-hour homework made you believe that Apple is going to blow out after tomorrow’s earning report.

“Events that are in favor by the people but twist the outcome” refers to that things that are happening within the processes of achieving goals are what you preferred but change your optimal solutions.  For example, you had a car accident because you saw an attractive person walking down the street which distracted you. In this situation, looking at the attractive person is what you preferred. But it increases the risk of car accident, twisting your optimal solution which is to drive safely to your destination.

“Incorrect interpretations of problems” leads to wrong decisions that what you know already.

If you are interested in behavior finance and want to discuss it, contact me.


Return of the MAcc

One of the most fun parts of the MAcc program so far has been meeting everyone.  I know I’ve mentioned this in previous posts, but its so cool to be in class with such different people.  It really adds a lot to our group projects (which there are a lot of!) and makes every discussion fun.

I don’t want to make it sound like you only get to know people in class though.  There are always events going on, whether they are sponsored by Fisher or created by other students.  For example, last weekend one student in the MAcc program hosted a Harvest Festival, which just gave all the MAcc students a chance to relax and talk outside of the classroom.

 

One of the other incredibly fun things we’ve done is intramural sports.  We’ve got an intramural volleyball team – “SMAccdown” and a flag football team – “Return of the MAcc”.  I play on the flag football team, and am proud to say that so far we boast a 2-1 record.  Not bad for a bunch of accountants!

We really do have a lot of fun together, and we’re also building a great network for the future.  The relationships and friendships we’re making today will last beyond our year in the MAcc program, both personally and professionally.  You never know when you’ll need a great peer reference, and it’s got to be fun to come back to OSU to watch a football game with your friends from grad school!


The Circleville Pumpkin Show: The Greatest Free Show on Earth

 

Yes, that is the weight written on the pumpkin!

The Circleville Pumpkin Show began in October 1903 as an event for residents and visitors of Circleville, OH and to display the best of Pickaway County’s agriculture. (See more Pumpkin Show history.) I personally have always known it as the best thing to do in the month of October for so many reasons!

One of the benefits of growing up in a smaller school in Pickaway county was not having school during the Pumpkin Show. Yes, that’s right! It is a huge event that requires the involvement of the community, which meant no school for me growing up! The admission-free festival packs live entertainment, parades, the Miss Pumpkin Show pageant and an amazingly vast array of pumpkin-flavored fair food into 5 days every mid-October. Is is any wonder they call it “The Greatest Free Show on Earth?”

Circleville, Ohio is only about a 30-minute drive from Columbus – which was an easy trek for me last Friday. These days, however my excitment for the Circleville Pumpkin Show surrounds the food, rather than the parades – and I have to say, this year it did not disappoint! Because I love them, I took my younger cousin and sister with me and below is a summary of our adventure:

  • Arrive in Circleville
  • Head to Corndog stand
  • Eat Corndog
  • Head to pumpkin pizza stand
  • Eat pumpkin pizza
  • Browse the craft booths
  • Take picture of giant pumpkin winners! (see above)
  • Head to Schmidt’s Sausage Haus stand
  • Buy pumpkin cream puff (this one was not for me!)
  • Head to pumpkin ice cream stand
  • Eat pumpkin ice cream
  • Depart Circleville Pumpkin Show

If you happen to be in Central Ohio in October 2012 – it will be WELL worth your while to take a trip to the Pumpkin Show – trust me!


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