Archive for December, 2011

SMF End of Autumn Social Dinner

Ah, winter break! That time when you can get caught up on things like Dexter and your SMF blog posts.  For this blog post I present you with another great reason to come to Ohio State: extracurricular dinners with classmates! (For those of you counting that’s two exclamation marks in one paragraph.)

We recently went out to Buca di Beppo for an SMF dinner date with friends and family.  The best part for me was finally getting to bring my girlfriend out in a social setting and introduce her to all my classmates.  By now my classmates and I have all become pretty good friends, so I think the time was definitely right to bring in my significant other. Luckily, everyone was very nice to her (of course they would be!) and having her along gave us something to talk about besides finance, which was nice.

Which also brings up another good reason to have as many SMF dinner dates as possible: Talking about things besides finance!  It’s very nice to have the opportunity to interact with my classmates outside of the classroom, which we don’t get to do very often what with all the school work and studying.  We talked about how Ohio is so much colder than Florida.  We talked about how weird the food was compared to back home (a.k.a. China). We helped cheer up a classmate who had recently broken up with his girlfriend.  And we definitely got to stare at Ben’s cute children (photos after the jump).


Well the Rest of Fall Quarter and Winter Break

Apparently, since I dropped off the face of the blogging world during the latter half of fall quarter, I feel I should give an update.  I tend to ramble in my blogs, so I am going to try and keep it quick and simple (we’ll see how that goes).

So first, I feel like I need to explain my absence of postings.  I feel actually bad.  But I am attributing this to two things.  One, my job has gotten more intense, so the adjustment of working and going to school was taking it’s toll on my free time…sort of.  Though this hasn’t been the hardest quarter I have had(ish) academically, I just lost all energy to do anything once I got home from either work or class.  The main reason I took summer classes was to make sure that I kept on going with the program.  I honestly thought if I had any kind of mental break that I would not return to the program.  I am starting to realize that I should have actually taken the summer off.  I think without having time to rest and soothe my brain, it seeped into fall quarter and made me way lazier than I wanted to be.  I may go further into this in another blog, but I don’t want to give any particular advice on taking summer classes (if able based on internship location).  However, I only had to take 2 classes for the fall and only have to take 2 in the spring.  Technically I only have to take 2 in the winter, but all 3 are required so that should be fun for my life.

Ok back to not rambling. Though I felt kind of lazy in how I was approaching my academics last quarter I ended up doing really well.  I got a 3.77 for the quarter.  I was extremely proud of my internship paper.  With writing and appendices, it was approximately 140 pages!  I’ve never wrote something that extensive by myself in my life.  I was not really sure about how to approach it so, once again I need to make a note to myself to refer to this blog for future material.

As far as my winter break goes, it has actually been “meh. ” Since I work for a college, as SOON as I go on break, I get swamped with hiring for instructors to teach in the winter quarter.  I thought I would get some kind of break from it all with my academic break, but to no avail.

Outside of work, I have been using the time not in classes to work out more.  I am participating in a “Maintain Not Gain” wellness challenge at Columbus State.  Between the week of Thanksgiving, until the end of the first week of the New Year, the goal for employees is not to lose any weight but maintain your weight.  Between all the gorging people do at Thanksgiving, various December holidays, New Years, and holiday potlucks/parties in between, it is pretty hard to do.  I’ve taken the challenge a little bit more seriously, and have been trying to lose weight.  I’ve been getting rave reviews on my progress, and can’t wait to see my results for my final weigh in!

The other thing I’ve been doing is watching Switched at Birth.  It is show obviously on ABC Family.  SUCH A GOOD SHOW…I cannot wait until the winter premiere.

Ok that’s about it.  Just for memory sake, I am going to outline future topics for me to write about for memory purposes (and for you guys to hold me to later)!

1. New Year’s Resolutions

2. To take or not take summer classes

3. Writing your internship paper

4. Maintain Not Gain results and my new found healthiness

5. The sanity I achieve from my cable TV

6. Classes

7.  My planned winter quarter study structure

That’s seven topics and I am sure more will pop up, so I should be good for almost all of winter!  I’m not going to lie that I kind of was struggling with topics last quarter, so I am glad I was able to brainstorm some while writing this winter break blog.

Happy Holidays Everyone!

-G

PS-I wrote this last week and never actually published it so by the way my holidays were very happy!


Get To Know Your Peers

 I overheard an interesting conversation during my last week at work in September that left me scratching my head. The rest of the dialogue is mostly irrelevant, but it ended with one guy saying to the other, “Hey, get it straight – we are coworkers, not friends.” He did not mean it to be rude, but that is certainly how it comes across to me. Moreover, why do the two have to be mutually exclusive? In my opinion, the same goes for classmates. You know you will be spending a great deal of time with the same group of people (especially in a program like the SMF, where all four autumn quarter classes are taken together), so why not get to know them on a more personal level.

I firmly believe that my experience has been enhanced by getting to know my peers outside the classroom. Some of this is through organized events, which I think are great ideas. Many students in the SMF program have expressed their enjoyment from the Summit Vision trip from the beginning of the year. Although some of the activities had a business world undertone, this set the stage for getting students to interact with one another outside of an academic environment. Throughout the quarter, interactions between many of us shifted from strictly school-related to more social in nature.

Another great event was the happy hour at Hampton’s where all Fisher grad students were in attendance, and the SMF students met there a couple hours early to have our own private party. I recall a fellow classmate saying how happy and surprised he was that almost none of the conversation was revolved around school. The same can be said for our end of the quarter dinner at Bravo. Even with professors in attendance, I overheard very little academic discussion. Although there are clearly a number of fantastic organized activities, there is still a bit of a “school-related function” tag to it.

Shedding this tag has been relatively easy and enjoyable. A handful of us have been playing pick-up basketball together, and I know of others doing the same with soccer. I had the luxury of being with my family, but I know a number of students got together and spent Thanksgiving together. I attended a Christmas party last week with a few people. And I am sure I am not the only person who has shared a few beverages on weekends with classmates.

While this may seem like a bunch of rambling about my interactions with SMF counterparts (basically, it is), it is meant to urge people to embrace getting to know their peers. It can be very simple, but you have to put forth a little effort. Everyone has a busy schedule, and unless you are new to an area, your own circle of friends. I encourage everyone to break out of that comfort zone. Having friends for colleagues makes work more bearable and at times even enjoyable. The same sentiment applies in the working world. If nothing else, it is a great excuse to hit a happy hour.


Gifts to make you smile.

And so another Christmas comes to a close in our household.  It was wonderful, delightful, and any other kind of “ful” (or “full!”) you can think of.  Today I found myself thinking about how my mom (and dad, but mostly mom) keep the magic of Christmas going in our house year after year.  I have decided that one of the ways she does this is by giving gifts that make us smile.  While there are always a few “list” items, for the most part, our Christmas gifts are comprised of clever and crazy items we would never dream of getting for ourselves (or items we were never be clever enough to find).  So I thought that this week I would share with you a few of my gifts that made me smile….and I hope they bring a smile to your face as well.

1. Gummi Fried Eggs – exactly what they sound like.  I haven’t opened them yet, so I can’t vouch for the taste, but it clearly is a goofy candy product that you don’t normally find in the candy aisle at Target.

2. Mom/daughter ornament – My mom has a hard time passing up the keepsake ornaments at Hallmark.  I particularly like this year’s, especially because when I opened it, my mom immediately said, “Just so you know, I’m the big crown!”  As if she had to clarify.

3. Necklace -  compliments of my dad!  He recently traveled to Israel for work, and came back with a necklace for my sister, my mom, and myself.  When we were little and he traveled, he would always bring us a doll.  The necklace is the grown up version. I love it.

4. New PJ’s – My Mom discovered personalization.com this year, so many of our gifts came from there.  This is one of mine and a particular favorite, as the statement on the front of the shirt is decidedly true.

5. And speaking of Einstein…. Mom made him his own pillow — using the little bandanas that the groomer puts on him when he gets groomed.  He also has a blanket that she made for him, so he now has a nice little set.  You’ll also notice in this picture that he’s sporting a brand new holiday argyle sweater, also a Christmas gift.

And now our holiday break is winding down and it’s time to start thinking about school again!  It’s also time to start thinking about New Year’s Resolutions.  One of mine is to snuggle even more with my Einstein!

 

 


Interviews and Using Career Management

I have said it to a number of people this quarter – a huge part of the reason I came back to grad school at Fisher was for the Career Management Office opportunities and connections. I cannot compare to other universities because I have attended only OSU, but I know it is well-respected. The real benefit is when comparing to the alternative of searching on your own, something you are unfortunately forced to do in the real world. I could go on for days about the hassle of personal job searches, but I’ll leave that for another post (actually, for everyone’s benefit, I’ll probably pass, it would just be me reliving and venting frustration).

The point here is to emphasize a few of the most important lessons I have learned in my second go-around with interviewing and Career Management.

First, as I have mentioned, is to USE THE RESOURCES AVAILABLE TO YOU!! Set up meetings with your advisor. Let them know what you want to do and they can point you in the right direction (shoutout to Audra!). Not to mention the numerous connections that people in the office have. It is an entire department devoted to finding students jobs at one of the largest universities in the country – they know a few people.

Next, even if you are not in love with some of the opportunities on Fisher Connect during fall quarter, schedule a few interviews anyway. Too many students make the mistake of seeing a ton of opportunities immediately available and thinking it will always be that way. However, recruiting is heaviest in the fall, so take a few chances while you have the options. If nothing else, schedule a couple of interviews for the experience. Familiarize yourself with the process – it never hurts to practice. Also, if you have the chance to interview on-site with a company, you usually have the chance to meet students from other similar programs, which is both fun and useful (mostly to brag about how much better Fisher is than their program. My personal favorite is to let them know I am from “THE Ohio State University” and correct them if they leave out “THE” at any point). And if you’re really scraping for a benefit, a lot of these will have networking events with free food. Which brings me to my next point…

If you have the choice, do not schedule Thursday evening classes. This is something that I discussed with many interviewees from various schools. I personally had two separate opportunities during fall quarter where the company held a networking or pre-interview session on Thursday night and interviews on Fridays, and two of these required some travel, so I had to choose between missing the event or missing class. This may be an easy decision for some of you, but I would avoid the quandry altogether if possible.

Finally, and very generally, using career management and setting up a few interviews gives you a great idea of what is out there, what people are looking for, and potentially sets you up with some options to keep on the back burner while you pursue your dream job.

Office of Career Management, I will gladly accept any gifts you would like to send my way for this awesome endorsement!


Taking a break

I hope everyone is having a lovely holiday season! The day after my last final, I set sail on a cruise with some of my friends. It was a very fun and relaxing trip! From O-H-I-O pictures with cruise staff to calling out “O-H” to other Buckeyes on the boat, we were sure to carry our Ohio State spirit with us! We took a jeep tour of one of the islands and were sure to get the red jeep for Ohio State :-) A South Carolinian in a cab with us, upon finding out we were from Ohio, asked “Oh, the place that’s round on the ends and “hi” in the middle?… I’m sure you’ve heard that before, but not in the Bahamas yet, right?” That was fun :-)

Of course I miss MAcc friends, but with postcards, Christmas cards, texts, and facebook, I would say we are keeping in touch pretty well! I have gotten some emails about classes next quarter and am very much looking forward to them. Until then, I will enjoy the break, baking and spending time with family for Christmas! Happy holidays everyone!

 

This is the top deck of the cruise ship...it created the perfect "I" for an OHIO picture!

 


Why this kolaveri (rage) towards application essays?

“Why are these B-Schools making me write such long stories for admission?” If you are like me, you would have asked yourself this question many times.

Having been in Fisher for less than 4 months, I can tell you that this is only the beginning. After you get into a B-School, the stories will only need to get more sophisticated, polished and precise. And most importantly, your stories will need to be aligned with your audience’s interests.

An MBA admission committee at a school like Fisher is approximately faced with at least 1000 applicants per year, which amounts to about 5 applicants a day for a 6 month admissions process. Assuming the admission committee spends about 4-hours a day going through applications, that’s about 1 hour per applicant.

Now, compare this to a corporate recruiter, who looks at roughly 100 resumes in an hour, amounting to only a little over half a minute per resume. That’s definitely tougher odds. What does this mean for you, a prospective student?

You need to look at the process of writing admission essays as an investment of your time that will have long-term benefits. Dig deeper into who you truly are and why you want to do what you want to do. Business school is a journey about self-discovery and now that you have made the decision to get an MBA, start that journey now.

Don’t look at the admission essays as an opportunity to impress others, rather an opportunity to truly write about your own self. The temptation to write and speak what others want to hear is very high but it gets you nowhere, you have to be yourself. This is the only way you can distinguish yourself to an admission committee and eventually to a recruiter. Take as an example the Johnson & Johnson and Procter & Gamble interviews for internship positions. These are 4 daylong interviews with endless rounds. If you are not passionate about what you are talking about, it will show. I have not yet seen a showman, who can be someone else for that long in such intense interviewing environment. Sooner or later, you reveal who you truly are. So, why not begin with who you really are and naturally bring out the passion.

The hard work that you put in right now to discover yourself and present your true self in a polished and professional way will give you a head start when you are in b-school.


Have you finished your shopping yet?

I’ve always loved Christmas shopping.  It combines two things that I love: showering gifts on those I love and spending the money that’s always burning a hole in my pocket.  Because I have such an urge to spend money, I’ve had a job of some sort since I was 11.  I chose not to work this quarter as I readjusted to academic life, which means that I had to get pretty creative in my Christmas shopping this year.  So here are a few tips on how to give creative gifts on a student budget.

1. Ebay – So the great thing about ebay is the variety of objects you can find.  Look for a classic game from a prior decade, or fun old postcards from places you’ve visited.  You can find toys from your childhood and get great vintage pieces of clothing.  There are also crazy deals around the holidays on just about every thing.  Plus you can shop from the comfort of your recliner in your slippers.

2. The Dollar Store (or some variety of).  When my sister was little, she was famous for buying all of us Christmas gifts from the dollar store.  She is clearly the frugal one in the family.  But you never know what you can find in there.  They have cute chotskies, kids toys, cleaning supplies and food.

3. Use your head! Write a poem, draw a picture, write a short story, sketch something.  We all love something personalized.

4. Print a picture.  You can print a digital picture for less than a dollar, and you can find really inexpensive frames at Wal Mart, Target, drug stores, etc.

5. The OSU bookstore – there are all sorts of OSU pens, stickers, mugs, etc.  You can show your school spirit with your gifts!

I hope this helps with your shopping this year!  Happy holidays to all!

 


How To Celebrate National Cupcake Day in Columbus

Ah – December 15th.  I wish you were better known as National Cupcake Day, but don’t worry…you’ll get there.

For those of you that didn’t know, December 15th is in fact National Cupcake Day.  A few months ago, I gave you all some suggestions on how to celebrate National Coffee Day so I thought it would only be fitting to share some suggestions on how to celebrate National Cupcake Day in Columbus, too!  I will say many of these suggestions are based on word of mouth…I personally have not tried a lot of these cupcakes!

I’ve been hearing a lot about a place called Our Cupcakery (out of Dublin) lately.  They specialize in cupcakes and wedding cakes, and I hear they specialize very well.  Their website proudly boasts a “Create Your Own Cupcake Bar” which to me, sounds like a ton of fun.  Luckily, I’ll be checking them out on Monday!  I bought a Groupon (actually I think it’s a Faveroo…same thing as a Groupon but only focused on Columbus) for a Basic Cupcake Icing class.  I’m very excited to check it out!  Their cupcakes do look pretty good!

Some of their cupcakes....seeing as I'm a triathlete, these immediately drew my attention!

Some of their cupcakes....seeing as I'm a triathlete, these immediately drew my attention!

Next up is Pattycake Bakery.  Pattycake is conveniently located on High Street, and offers much much more than cupcakes.  I’ve actually never had a cupcake from Pattycake, but the muffins and cookies I’ve had assure me that their cupcakes would be outstanding.  Pattycake is a vegan bakery as well, which makes it really fun to try items off of their menu!  If you’re not in the mood for a cupcake next time you’re there, I suggest the “Marry Me Blueberry Muffin”.  Seriously, I’ve considered marrying it.  Seriously.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rob Chabot was highly recommending this next one to me – it’s a cupcake food cart called 3 Babes and a Baker.   I love the name!  Their website makes them seem new to the game, but that makes it even more exciting.  However, go check out their menu.  Their cupcakes do sound delicious!  Also, they’ve got to be a winner if they come with such a high recommendation from Rob.

They have a Buckeye Cupcake.  Oh.  Yes.

They have a Buckeye Cupcake. Oh. Yes.

Another place that comes highly recommended, yet I haven’t tried, is Surly Girl Saloon located in the Short North.  Yes, I know, you probably think I’m crazy suggesting a saloon has great cupcakes.  I’ll admit…I’m skeptical too!  But from what I hear, these cupcakes are the bomb.  I hear the regular food is really good too.  I checked out their website, and it looks like they offer Red Velvet Cupcakes and a Cupcake of the Day – not a huge selection, but I bet that means what they do offer is fantastic.  They’re definitely on my “Go To” list!

If you’re feeling a little less adventurous and just want to pick up some cupcakes at the grocery store, that’s okay too.  Especially if you’re doing your grocery shopping at Giant Eagle.  Giant Eagle delivers a solid cupcake (and cake) experience…the cake is always moist and fluffy, and they have a few different frosting options to suit your mood.  I love their Aunt Martha’s Buttercream frosting.  The cream cheese is decent as well, and my mom loves the almond one…sorry, I forget exactly what it’s called.  Don’t write them off just because its a super market – give the cupcakes a try!

I’ve got a few others places to list, but these are all places I haven’t yet tried.  Again, I’ve heard good things about them, but not specifically from friends so I didn’t feel I could write an entire paragraph on them.  Anywho, other places you can go to satisfy your sweet tooth on National Cupcake Day (or any day) include Bakery Gingham, Sugar Inc. Cupcakes, and the Tremont Goodie Shop.

I’d also like to take this post to shamelessly promote another blog I co-write.  I really enjoy baking and cooking, and decided that I’d like to share some of my recipes.  Check out my blog, Bake Yourself Happy, and see what you think!  Unfortunately I don’t have any cupcake recipes up yet, but there are fantastic muffins on there!


MIA No More…Welcome to Break!

I looked at my watch a few days ago. It was six o-clock and I was sitting in a Steak-N-Shake with my family enjoying a Wednesday night dinner thanks to a canceled piano practice. With the exception of a surly tween, it was relaxing, enjoyable and everything I had missed during the past 10 weeks of fall quarter. Suddenly, I was a mom returned to her family, and in some respects it was a little….weird. At that moment I would have normally been beginning another long night of class, learning new things and enjoying the company of people who are not my family.

I think there’s a period of adjustment at the end of every quarter. Some sort of re-introduction to your normal life. A recent feel-good news story showed a pack of Beagles who had been rescued from a research lab in Spain and sent to the U.S. Cameras rolled as they took their first tentative steps to freedom, unsure where they were, but sure that it was a good place to be.

I’ve noticed this at work too. Normally I work about 20 hours a week as an HR co-op. With the holiday, though, I’m now working closer to a full-time schedule. Each day I’m asked whether I’m coming back in tomorrow. It’s a nice feeling, I appreciate the extra time to tackle projects and earn more Christmas cash, but I’m left wondering…what happened to my holiday vacation? Where are the homemade cookies? Where are the beautifully wrapped presents? Where is all the house cleaning I had planned to tackle?

Let’s just say, I’m still adjusting to life “on the outside.” It will take a couple of weeks and before I know it–poof!–I’ll be sitting in Gerlach at 6 pm on a Wednesday night wishing it were still holiday break.

 


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