Fisher Season Premiere Kicks Off The Fall Recruiting Season

While the application season for the full-time MBA class beginning in the fall of 2012 kicked off officially in August with the launch of the application, it was kicked into high gear this weekend with the annual Fisher Season Premiere!

55 students from across the country were invited to campus this weekend to explore everything Fisher and the Columbus community have to offer. After being welcomed by Associate Dean Wruck, prospective students participated in a sample class with Professor Dial, toured the Fisher and OSU facilities, learned about the resources offered by the Office of Career Management from Director Jeff Rice, and dug into the details of applications and financial aid processes with Admissions Director Alison Merzel. Guests were also greeted by current 2nd year MBA candidates, who volunteered to speak with prospective students about their involvement in student organizations such as Fisher Professional Services, Fisher Board Fellows and other various social, cultural and professional organizations. While these events were well received, many of the students pointed to the lunch with Fisher faculty and staff as the highlight of the weekend, getting to explore their interests with experts in the respective fields in addition to interacting with our very own Dean Poon.

The event was topped off with a great dinner at Due Amici in downtown Columbus which provided the attendees the opportunity to get to know both other attendees as well as current students. The entire weekend not only provided guests a taste of the Fisher experience, but also provided us a snap shot of the Fisher class of 2014. I speak for all of the student ambassadors in saying we could not be more excited to welcome the new and diverse class into the Fisher community in the very near future!

For those not able to attend this weekend, I encourage you to check out the Fisher website to identify additional opportunities to come to campus and experience the culture first hand. The next on-campus event will be help December 10th and will include an admissions presentation, an application overview/Q&A session, a tour of Fisher/OSU, and a panel of current students to answer any additional questions you may have.




Surviving the WPBMA Program: Part II

How Not to Gain the “WPMBA 15”

I am an avid exerciser.  Despite not playing any sports in high school, my exercise habit started up fast and strong upon moving into my dorm freshman year of college.  I was determined not to gain the feared “freshman 15”, so easily brought on by late night pizza and free ice cream in the commons (not to mention the partying…).  I started working out on the elliptical and lifting weights, which lead to running, and both increased in frequency and duration over my 5 years of undergrad.  And that continued post-graduation, as I got used to my new work schedule and its demands.  Exercise had become a part of my life, something I did without question.

That is, until I started the WPMBA program this past summer.  For the first time since 2002, I had to question whether I would be able to fit exercise into a 40+ hour work, 8 hour class, and umpteen hour study week.  But I was determined to try.  Before beginning the program, I typically worked out in the evenings after work – it gives me the energy to make it through the rest of the evening, and doesn’t leave me as time constrained as working out in the morning before work.  However, having class two nights a week obviously made those evening workouts a thing of the past.  On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I would either have to work out in the morning, or skip it all together.  And what about Mondays and Wednesdays?  And the weekend?  For the first time in many years, making the time to exercise was not a given.

Ultimately, I decided that the key for me to survive the WPMBA program and not gain the “WPMBA 15” was to compromise.  Instead of cutting out exercise completely or driving myself crazy trying to fit it in, I made a point to fit it in most days of the week – but not all.  Usually I go to the gym one early morning before work, but not the other.  And I teach a spinning class on Monday nights, so that makes Mondays a given.  Most other days of the week I plan to go to the gym, maybe skipping a day here and there.  It works for me – I can keep my energy up without compromising too much sleep or schoolwork or work work.   What’s important is that you find the balance that works for you – and maybe that means not exercising at all.  But I would be willing to bet that if you find a way to work it into your life on a somewhat consistent basis, you’ll find that surviving the program becomes just a little bit easier.  Every little bit helps!

Running Shoes = Sanity!



Reflections of …The Way I Used To Be

First let me express, that I would like to apologize for not blogging for a little while and for the lack of MLHR posts in general.  We have all been pretty busy, and I will be the first one to say  that I have fallen behind in my studies, and now am desperately trying to catch up (if you thought this would change from undergraduate you are mistaken…procrastination never gets old).

So I have been reflecting about how I felt this time last year, and how I feel right now.  To tell you the truth, I have felt that things have been a little easier.  I am only taking 2 classes, have no group projects, and PRAISE BE TO GOD that I am not taking statistics.  Last year, I thought I was in over my head.  I thought that maybe graduate school was a mistake.  I either needed more work experience, actual business experience, or maybe I was not cut out for graduate school.  There were so many different group projects.  Such a different kind of learning atmosphere and subjects than what I was used to in undergrad.  And plus, I will say it took me a little longer than the others to warm up to the cohort.  I was still stuck in a weird phase of “learning how to be an adult but not quite there”.  The general adjustment to graduate school on top of the coursework can be very challenging.  And let’s not forget about that horrible feeling of being rejected from employers, and thinking that you will never get an internship, and will fail out or have to do another year in the program, because no wants to hire you (sorry about the terrible run-on).  There were definite times I felt like dropping out.

As I just stated, I have thought this quarter to be a little easier.  Sure there is still a lot of reading, classes are still long, and I have this internship paper looming over my head.  I also am working more now.  I think this quarter has been less difficult, because I have a year’s worth of maturity (or whatever) from being in the program.  When you’re a first year, I feel like you are trying desperately to prove that you’re worthy to be in the program and that you can cut graduate school.  All that trying can cause a lot of stress.  After a year in the program, I am just more knowledgeable and feel by getting through the first year I have proven that I will be worthy of this diploma I will receive in June.  One of my first blogs said that I was taking 3 classes.  It is now going to be 2 (still need to tell my adviser and the professor).  I just know that I don’t have the time for my Independent Study, and I am not going to burn myself out just to prove myself.  This year I also chose to be just a dancer for BuckeyeThon, and not involved with the organization.  Same goes with the Ohio Union Activities Board (they don’t know this yet).  I don’t need to prove myself in being involved with these organizations anymore.  I still am participating in the dance marathon, and am the Leadership Chair of the MLHR Council.  I know next quarter will be hard with taking 3 classes, but I have gotten through 4 (about to be 5) quarters of graduate school and I will get through the next 2.  I call it a different kind of difficult…there are still challenges that I and the second years are having…they are just different from when we were newbies in the program.

All the first years though should still try really hard to be involved and do things that will challenge them.  No one likes stress, but it builds character and you’ll be prouder of yourself that you got through it all looking to the future now.  And I’m really jealous that you guys have tutors.

All things Pumpkin at the Circleville Pumpkin Show

On Saturday morning, my Mom and I took a few hours and visited the Circleville Pumpkin Show.  Circleville is about 30 minutes south of Columbus.  The Pumpkin Show began in 1903 and is now one of the largest festivals in the country (however, if you say “Pumpkin Festival”, the locals will correct you.)  It’s a pretty big deal; especially in Roundtown.

The Pumpkin Show features anything you can think of (and wouldn’t think of) to eat made of pumpkin – pizza, waffles, pie, donuts, fudge, cake, brownies, cappuccino, chilli, ice cream, pancakes, cannoli, burgers, and more.  And to coincide with the festival idea to fry anything and everything, there’s also deep-fried pumpkin pie.  There’s many, many other options if you don’t want pumpkin related food.  You shouldn’t leave hungry.

Also at the Pumpkin Show, there are parades, rides, games, singers, demonstrations, crafts, and more.  There’s a queen’s contest to win the title of Miss Pumpkin Show.   Another big hit is the six foot in diameter pumpkin pie that is in the window of Lindsey’s Bakery.  Another contest is the Biggest Pumpkin.  Dr. Liggett have raised the largest pumpkins for the past several years.

Biggest Pumpkin; which was actually smaller than some years.

Mark your calendars for next year’s Pumpkin Show – October 17-20, 2012.  It’s worth your trip for great entertainment!




Carpe Diem: Seize the Day!

Hello! Before I dive into my thoughts for the week, I would like to ask: What characteristics of your current situation give you unique opportunities? Are you seizing these opportunities?

This week has made me think about how privileged I am to be in an awesome place, surrounded by amazing people. Ohio (and especially Ohio State!) is a wonderful place to be in the fall. Since the MAcc program only lasts one year, this is the only Ohio autumn some students will experience. You have to take advantage of as many opportunities as possible! Based on my experiences, here are a few suggestions:

  1. Take a few extra seconds to admire the beauty of red, orange, and yellow leaves.
  2. Treat yourself to pumpkin-flavored products, like pumpkin butter or UDF’s pumpkin soft serve.
  3. Visit Lynd Fruit Farm to go apple-picking.
  4. Explore a corn maze.
  5. Go to Circleville’s annual pumpkin show!

Even more important than recognizing opportunities in the place you live is recognizing the awesomeness of the people there with you. Seize the opportunity of having a year to get to know a diverse group of people! During brief breaks from group work, my classmates have taught me about Chinese intonation, how to say “Hello” in Korean, and about African languages and culture. In return, I have been recalling some Spanish vocabulary to teach my new friends. You do not get these opportunities everyday!

Thanks so much for taking the time to read about my experiences! I would like to leave you with this thought: What opportunities await you today, this week, and this year?

On-campus job – From outsider to insider

Lucky as I am, I got my first on-campus job with the university’s dining service. I make sandwiches, salad, fruit, and yogurt in Raney Commons, an on-campus undergrad dormitory cafeteria.

At first, I thought this was easy work to produce “easy” food.  I didn’t need to talk much. I just needed to do well and do what I am supposed to do. The fact, however, is totally different from what I have imagined. Although the food products are relatively simple, the process to produce them is rather complicated/requires a lot of coordination, especially for yogurt and some special salads. At first I did not know the thousands of names of dressing, meat, cheese, vegetables, etc. I was always lost during the production process because sometimes I could not understand what the student managers said and what the names referred to. I did not know the work rules, either.  Kind of frustrating, definitely!

The people I work together with are nice and patient. They always tell me how to do things in order and in an efficient way. And they explain to me more than one time if there is something I cannot understand. Gradually, I’ve become more familiar with the steps to do our kitchen work. At morning, we make the salad for that day’s order and sandwiches for that day’s second and third shifts. Then we do things listed on the prepare list. We prepare the meat sets and lettuce and tomato sets for all kinds of sandwiches, prepare eggs for egg salad, cook pita, bake bread, slice cucumbers, onions and celery, cut up fruit and prepare the yogurt parfaits, etc. After doing this, we produce turkey, chicken cordon blue, Italian, veggie club and egg salad sandwiches for the following day’s first order. Knowing this flow, it is easier for me to find something to do. And I learn new names every day. Now I even can remember sage, mayonnaise, orange dressing, provolone cheese, basil tomato bread and many other names and can match these things with their names. It is so exciting that you become more and more familiar with what you do every day.

Although I have some other challenges in my work, such as using all kinds of knives safely and holding a very heavy tray by myself, I will try my best to find ways to solve them. Now I have much stronger muscles than when I began work. I can hold a heavy tray myself without any help from others. This is a good thing to work independently. I am proud of improving my working abilities. The manager of our kitchen is really nice that she talks with me to help me adapt to working environment more smoothly and decrease my worries. She makes me feel that I am not an outsider anymore, but a valued employee of the department.

Beginning anything new is hard, but it will become better and better after a process of working hard.

Midterms midterms everywhere! (aka “Five Tips to Survive Midterms”)

For many of us, by the time we enter our MBA program, it’s been at least a few years since we’ve been required to take a midterm.  So, this week, a short post on some of my observations about taking midterms.

  1. Keep up with the work in class – don’t let the homework slide at the beginning thinking that you’ll catch up later.  It will be exhausting to try to study for midterms while you’re learning things for the first time. (This especially applies in accounting!)
  2. Study with friends – they may have the same questions you do and that will help you figure out the problem together.  Or they may have thought of a question you didn’t.  Either way, it helps to mingle solo-study with group-study.
  3. Spread it out – haven’t our mothers been trying to teach us this lesson since elementary school?  You get the syllabus at the beginning of the quarter.  Plan accordingly.
  4. Take breaks – I call them brain breaks.  Run and get food, watch an episode of your favorite show, or go out with friends and let off some steam.
  5. Enjoy yourself – stress can have a negative affect on your grade.  Find the appropriate balance between sense of urgency and enjoyment.

Good luck!

Surviving the Fisher WPMBA Program: Part I

Balancing Work and School

Work/life balance.  You’re heard the phrase before.  In the case of Working Professional MBA students, it is better said as “work/life/SCHOOL” balance.  The addition of this third demand makes finding that coveted state of “balance” that much harder.  So, for the next three weeks, I am going to focus on different areas of that precarious balance.  The first being the reason for this program – balancing work and school.

If you are lucky, you have a job that you enjoy, that challenges you, that makes you feel valued.  Perhaps it is more likely that you are not so lucky, and that is part (or all) of the reason for pursuing an MBA – a career change.  Either way, you have a great challenge facing you:  adding 8+ hours of class per week on top of a 40+ hour work week.  Add to that time spent studying, working with classmates, and generally pulling your hair out, and you are one busy person.  The word “busy” takes on new meaning.  So how do you make sure that in your quest to do well in school, you don’t let your performance slip at work?

That is the question that is at the top of my mind right now, and there is no easy answer.  The funny thing is, work and school don’t seem to care very much about each other.  Yes, they are “supportive” of each other, but in actuality, both are quite demanding and act without regard to the other.  Have a big presentation to make at work tomorrow?  Tough luck, because that is also the same day as your difficult midterm.   The key is figuring out how to focus on both, without letting one harm the other.

I am trying to apply this principle to my life right now.  I am a huge fan of lists, and they come in extremely handy during stressful times like this.  I typically make lists every week:  one for work, and one for school.  That seems to suite me fine when things aren’t so busy, but when things pick up like they have right now, that’s not going to cut it.  So I make a list every day – what EXACTLY am I going to accomplish at work today?  Being specific like this makes me more accountable and focused while I’m at work.   And the same goes for school.

The Notebooks I Can't Live Without!

Compartmentalizing my life like this helps ensure that I will actually accomplish something at work on any given day, and not leave for class that evening wondering where the heck the day went.  And that helps me achieve a little more of that coveted “work/school” balance.   Stay tuned next week for working exercise into that balance equation!

Taking a Spin Around Columbus

Map of Existing and Proposed Bicycle Trails in Columbus


As I packed my truck prior to leaving for Columbus, I faced the harsh reality that I would not be able to bring everything.  After fitting in a bed, dresser, furniture, and clothes, I had to decide which items would get to spend the year in Ohio and which items would stay in Kansas.

Included in the junk that did not make the cut was my road bike. Over the past few years, I have developed a very amateur passion for cycling. One day, while watching the Tour de France on TV, I decided to order a road bike online.  It opened up a whole new world, where I could ride far enough to explore new places but slow enough to take in all of the scenery.  As an added bonus, cycling offers a great endurance workout.

I was pleasantly surprised by the Columbus cycling community.  There are a series of paved bike paths that wind through nearly every part of town.  The streets are also very bike friendly, and drivers seem to be cautious around cyclists.  Even at football games, there is a free bicycle valet called Pedal Instead that allows Buckeye fans to bike to the stadium.  Three weeks into the quarter, I realized that I needed to invest in a new bike.

From a buyer’s perspective, the great thing about a bike-friendly town is that there are numerous new and used bicycle shops.  There are at least seven stores on High Street alone.  I spent one Saturday morning visiting many of these stores, and I found almost every store to have great service and a high level of expertise.  I ended up returning to a store called Handy Bikes, where I found a hybrid bike for $160 (I later discovered the same model used bike was selling online for around $300).  The advantage of the hybrid is that it offers the strong frame needed to bike on city streets, but it is light enough to take for a long road ride.

Although Columbus has one of the best systems of bike paths in the region, it is only going to get better.  There is a project right now, called the Ohio to Erie Trail, that aims allow cyclists to ride from Cincinnati to Cleveland (through Columbus).  When this project is complete, we will have a “Tour” of our own right here in Ohio.

So You Like Accounting – and Finance, and HR, and Logistics, and…

So far, I have only one complaint with Fisher and the MAcc Program:  There are far too many interesting classes that I want to take, and I know I won’t have time to take them all!

One of the best things about the MAcc program is the flexibility it gives you.  You need 23 credit hours in accounting (which is about 50% of the total degree credit hours minimum), but after that you can take classes in any discipline you want … finance, management, HR, logistics, marketing, economics, and if you really want to, even math.  Out of the 45 total required hours, that’s a lot of freedom and flexibility!


This is CoursePlanner - the easiest way to schedule all your classes!


You can probably guess that I love accounting, since I’m in the MAcc program and all.  I mentioned deciding on classes is tough because of how many disciplines you can take, but its also tough because there are so many fantastic accounting classes offered!  Luckily, the GPO (Graduate Programs Office) hosted the MAcc Winter Quarter Electives Session for us.  Any interested MAcc student was able to meet for pizza during our lunch break and listen to a few of the professors that are teaching classes next quarter talk about their class.  It really helped me get a feel for which courses I would find most interesting, and gave me a chance to meet my future professors before sitting in on their class.

In the end, I was able to pick some classes.  I’ll be taking a few accounting classes, but will also take a course on Entrepreneurial Finance.  It sounds really interesting, and the GPO was actually able to put me in contact with a student that took the course last year.  This allowed me to ask any questions I had, and I was able to make sure that the course will have everything I want in it!