Archive for January, 2012



How’s your internship search going?

There was quite a bit of pressure during the first quarter to start the internship search, but that was nothing compared to the pressure that builds up in winter quarter!  You hear “How’s your internship search going?” multiple times a day.  Fisher has a strong Office of Career Management with people who are extremely willing to do everything they can to help you find the direction toward your internship.  And despite their prescriptive methods, what I’ve observed, is that the internship process is extremely varied.  Everyone has an interesting story to tell.

So I’ve been interviewing some of my friends about their internship search, and I have come to a few conclusions that may help you in the process.

1) Research – know your stuff (about the company, the interviewer, what’s currently going on in the world in your field of interest, etc).  This seems relatively intuitive, but I put it here to emphasize the importance.  I have a couple of friends that have really dedicated their internship search to researching absurd amounts of information and while it doesn’t guarantee a job, it certainly gives you the edge.

2) Practice – It seems to me that no matter how hard or often you practice, you will still be given a curve ball now and again.  So you might as well practice as much as you can!  Case interviews, as it turns out, are particularly varied.  The Office of Career Management is great at helping to conduct practice interviews to help narrow your focus for a given company.  I also suggest practicing in the mirror, to family and friends, at the bar, or to your dog.

3) Relax! – Have fun!  Think about it this way… you get to spend an hour with someone spelling out all of your accomplishments and competitive attributes.  Come on, who doesn’t like to do that??

4) Develop your own process. – The internship process is different for everyone.  Are you going to apply to every job available?  Are you going to target a certain industry? Are you wanting to be in a specific geographic location?  Will you wait until you see a job description that you know is perfect? Are you already aware of the exact kind of job/experience/company that you will target?  You have to tailor the search to your needs and desires.  Your friends will probably do something differently.  That’s ok.

The internship (and eventually job) search is a huge part of the MBA process.  It’s good to know what you’re getting yourself into!  I hope this helps!

 


You Can Be Healthy and Fit In Grad School-How To

Last blog I had, I was bragging discussing my weight loss, but did not share any of my secrets.  Though it pains me to share how I’ve lost it all, and having someone in the program look better/skinnier than me, I guess it is all for the best.

Exercise:

As much as we hate to exercise, it is a MUST.  You can lose weight by eating healthier, but you can lose even MORE weight by eating healthier and engaging in exercise.  It is standard to workout at least 30 minutes a day.  Thirty minutes may not sound like that much, but factoring in shower time, putting on gear and getting to and from the gym, whatever tiredness you may feel afterward that hinders productivity, and motivation (sometimes I have had 20-minute coaching sessions to get myself up to go to the gym) it can be a lot longer.  My modification of this standard exercise is to do something that makes you sweat at least for 30 minutes, 5 days a week.  You should give your body a break, but the other days you should engage in moderate physical activity…be moving but you don’t have to feel gross when you’re done.

As odd as this may sound, if you get into a long enough routine you can actually enjoy working out.  When I first started running, I HATED IT.  Nothing made me cringe more than having to go out on my run.  I actually look forward to exercise now, because I have seen the results, heard the compliments, and actually can feel the endorphins coursing through my body.  It takes a while to get there though, but you have to stay on top of it.

It is helpful to find a time of day where you just need to get away from everyone and go to the gym.  Some people find it easier to go to the gym with others, but most of my friends are not as motivated as me and when I am exercising I tend to be “in the zone” and not one to talk to anyone.  Some people  can get up early to workout (just getting it out of the way for the day), or do it at night at the end of their day when they are done with all of their activities.   I can’t do any of these things, because I am too tired.  By the time it is lunch at my workplace, I need to get out of the office so I head to the gym.  It breaks up my day, and I come back to the office jittery off of endorphins.  You just have to find out what works for you!

Last, campus has plenty of gyms all around campus.  There are 2 really close by Gerlach Hall.  There is the Recreation Physical Activities Center (RPAC) located by the football stadium.  It is state of the art with tons of equipment and they have shower facilities, so it is the perfect place to go to after work or class to get a quick workout in.  I don’t believe in being sweaty in class, and I’m pretty sure all of my classmates would hate me if I was funky in class, but there is a gym literally right across from Gerlach.  The only bad thing about campus gyms is that they are swarmed with young and overly muscular showcase exercisers (aka bros) that can kind of be annoying

Diet

Diet is the most important aspect of losing weight.  You can spend 2 hours in the gym a day (which is actually unhealthy for you), but if you’re still eating Taco Bell every night (like my roommate) then you won’t achieve all that you can in losing weight (and are still susceptible to a stroke).

First of all don’t buy snacks.  One time I read something that if you don’t buy snacks at the grocery store, then you won’t have them in your house.  Aka you won’t eat them.  Simple but genius!  By not snacking on bad food, you can have extra money to buy fruits and vegetables.  Okay the annoying thing about this is that fruits and vegetables are super expensive and expire super early.  However, they are better and skinnier for you.  Want a bag of Doritos?  Put that down AND HAVE SOME CELERY.

Second, cut down on red meat.  As discussed in an earlier blog, cows, pigs, and sheep are the fatties of the animal world.  Chicken (kind of) and fishes are the leaner (aka skinnier) meats, so that is what you should go for.  I mean it is still hard for me to resist Taco Bell sometimes, but if you are craving the taste ground turkey is lean and tastes almost like beef.

Third, cut out everything you KNOW is bad for you.  This can be hard, but like exercise, if you do it often enough it will become routine.  Like a veggie tray makes me as happy as a plate of cookies to me now.  I almost swear for the last 2 weeks, there has been Adriatico’s (this delicious but obscenely unhealthy pizza) in every class.  It can actually be annoying sometimes, so it is good to have that apple handy and then mentally compliment yourself for your self-restraint. Self-compliments also help.  If you have to eat out, eat the healthy options provided if they have any.  One thing that I have learned about being a Fisher graduate student is that the Subway across the street (NEXT TO THE GYM) is practically a staple.  The sell really good salads (enough for a meal) for only $4…and yogurt parfaits!

I also cook more and eat less.  What that means is that I cook a more than  an average size meal for myself.  I don’t eat it all in one sitting.  I pack up about half of it to use for lunch/dinner the next day.  So instead of eating out, you already have a meal the next day.  And in doing so you save money on eating out or have cut out one thing you have to worry about doing the next day.

Last, I know right, generally eat less in one sitting.  You can eat more but break  up that one meal throughout the day.  This helps because I am eating, but never really hungry (because when you’re hungry you tend to overeat).  I also never eat until I am full anymore.  Oh and  I drink  A LOT of water.  Many times when someone is hungry, they are actually thirsty (or so says this article someone posted on my mini feed on Facebook one time).

Ok so once again, I apologize for a super long post, but many have asked me how I’ve lost my weight (and no not really eating disorders which is a joke in my cohort).  I am no fitness expert, and I definitely am not a calorie counter or someone who analyzes every single nutrient of what I am eating.  These are the simple things that I do that have worked for me as a busy graduate student.

Hope I see less of everyone (as in weight not as in frequency)!

-G


What I Wish I Would’ve Known Autumn Quarter…

This post title is a little misleading.  There are a lot of things I wish I would’ve known Autumn Quarter.

I would have really liked to know the answers to my exams.

I wish I would have known exactly where in the FASB Codification to find what I needed to find.

BUT, if I had known those things, my Autumn Quarter would have been pretty plain.  So what I really wish I would’ve known relates to each and every class I’ve taken, am taking, and will take.

I really wish I would have known that participating in class is actually really fun.

I went in to Autumn Quarter a little bit afraid to voice my opinions and answer questions.  I’m not sure if I was worried about looking stupid or what, but I was a pretty quiet student.  For whatever reason, I felt like speaking up during the first few weeks of Winter Quarter.  And seriously, it’s been working out really well for me!

I find that by actively participating in class, I’m enjoying my classes a lot more.  I’m more motivated to dig deeper into the material so I can contribute to the class, and I’m more likely to challenge certain points that my classmates and professors make.  I’ve actually found that I have to spend less time studying too, probably because I’m paying much closer attention while in class.

The nice thing about the MAcc program is that you’re able to take classes with more than just MAcc students.  Participating in these classes lets you engage with MBAs and other students that definitely have different experiences than you.  This is a great way to talk with people who have real world experience, or if nothing else, will make you justify your views in a safe, academic setting.

If you’re one of those students that was like me, aware of what’s going on in the classroom but hesitant to join in – step up!  I really think you’ll have a better experience in your classes if you get a little more engaged.  Comment back and let me know (a) what’s holding you back and (b) if you agree that participating makes class more fun!


Jet Setter!

During my first two quarters in the WPMBA program, I only had to travel for work once – and it was during the three-week break between summer & fall quarters.  While that did mean I got a little “office fever”, it made things easier – I didn’t have to worry about missing class, group meetings, etc.  Well now, I do.  In the first four months of 2012, our marketing team is attending three trade shows and hosting our annual Sales Meeting and Customer Council – none of which are in Columbus.  I just got back from three nights in New York City for a trade show, then will head to Las Vegas in February for another three-night trade show.  Our Sales Meeting and Customer Council follows next in mid-March, also in Las Vegas (I know…you aren’t feeling bad for me!), and spans over 6 nights.  And finally, I’ll be heading to Dallas in late April for another trade show.

Whew!  I’m tired just writing all of that.  That may not seem like a lot to some of you, but I’m willing to bet at least a few of you find traveling while in school a bit tricky.  And keep in mind, this doesn’t include any weekend trips I have planned!  So, I thought I would give you some tips for how to travel during the WPMBA program:

1.  Try not to miss class.  I know this isn’t always possible, but try not to miss class when you can avoid it.  For this last trip I made to NYC, I worked it out with my manager to leave halfway through the last day of the tradeshow, so that I could fly back and still make it to class by 6 pm.  This means my co-workers had to tear down the booth without my help…so I’ll buy them a coffee to make up for it :)

2.  When you have to miss class, talk to your professors EARLY.  As luck would have it, our biggest meeting of the year – the Sales Meeting and Customer Council that spans 6 nights – is during winter quarter finals week.  I knew about this long before the start of the quarter.  When my professors emailed their respective syllabuses a week or so before class started, I contacted them right away to tell them about my conflict.  Both were appreciative that I notified them before the start of the quarter – and were willing to find an alternate time for me to take the final.  Finding time to study for those finals during the last week of class is another thing altogether!

3.  Prepare.  Whether your travel causes you to miss class or not, you are undoubtedly missing some regular study time.  The best way to combat this is to prepare, prepare, prepare!  Review your class syllabuses and pack the necessary material in your carry-on – you can read it on the plane or during some downtime in your hotel room.  If you are working on a group project, make sure to inform your classmates and complete any work before you leave town.

Do you travel for work?  What are some of your tips?

 


Renters Be Warned

This post is a follow-up to “The Key to Graduate Housing” post I wrote last year.  As turns out, when you live in a college town, beware before renting.  I beg you: learn from my mistakes.

1. If your sixth sense tells you there is something wrong, LISTEN and go somewhere else.

I should have known better.  From the moment I met my last landlord, I knew he was shady.  There was just something a tad slippery about his general nature.  Unfortunately, I was wooed by the prospect of living in a rather large apartment in a good location for a decent price – with my washer & dryer.  I was located near the Giant Eagle in Grandview in a 1000 square foot apartment with rent of $695/month.  Living with a roommate took my rent cost to approx $350/month.  It was a good deal… or so it seemed.

2. If your landlord does not have a rental office, THINK TWICE before renting.

Without a rental office, you’re basically left at the mercy of the landlord.  You have to drop rent off or mail it and you have no way to prove that you paid it on time.  It’s your word against his.  There is also no guarantee how fast your concerns will be addressed, if at all.  If something is broken, that might not get fixed quickly either.  No office means no staff… and probably skimping on all expenses.

3. Read the fine print.

Check out the lease document in detail.  If there is an attachment containing a laundry-list of items with a cost of replacement, be prepared to have to pay for any or all of them.  Even if the apartment is dirty when you move in, you will be penalized for any dirt you leave behind.  Why do you think they require a full month’s rent as a deposit?  Don’t plan to ever see it again; the landlord may do all he can to keep it.  In my case, I was sent the lovely letter attached here for your reading pleasure.  (two words: spelling, grammar)  As you can see, there is an itemized list of things that I could not prove were fine/not broken/in good condition when I vacated the apartment.  I’m an idiot and did not walk through the apartment when turning in keys.

4. Make sure you walk through the apartment with the landlord when vacating and turning in your keys.

I should have listened more closely to the Moving Out directions given to students by the Office of Student Life.  They specifically mentioned doing a walk through when vacating.  I thought they were probably over-reacting.  They are not.  Do it… especially if item #1 (listed above) applies in your situation.

5. If it seems to good to be true, there is a good chance it is.

See if you can get references on the landlord before renting.  Also check online to see if there are any comments listed about them.  If you are renting from an individual without references, you might be taking your chances.  In my case, this individual plays the system.  He knows the amount he charges for move out expenses is small enough to fall into small claims court which is probably not worth your trouble.  He also knows that it is difficult to share reviews on an individual landlord without a rental office.  He takes advantage of college kids and probably has done so for years.  As I mentioned to him in a follow up “thank you” note, I believe in karma.

So, there you have it.  There are plenty of good landlords out there I’m sure.  If this helps anyone avoid a bad situation, I’m happy to help.  It’s certainly not the end of the world but $500 is a lot of money when living on student loans.  Hopefully you fare better than I did.


How to Make Meaningful New Year’s Resolutions Last in 2012

Well, it’s here.  The year 2012.  The start of a new calendar year. The start of a new academic term in grad school and the Fisher MLHR program. And I know that with every new year comes (and I almost hate to say it) an attempt by many well-intentioned folks to make some kind of New Year’s Resolution.  Even as I write this blog, a lot of people are already 17 days DEEP into trying to achieve a myriad of personal resolutions such as:  losing weight, getting more organized, saving more money, paying off debt, hitting up the gym to get a P90X beach body, finding that special someone to share life experiences with, eating healthier, taking an exciting  and memorable vacation/trip, committing to stop smoking/drinking less, etc. Coupled with starting a new academic term in grad school, new courses, new teammates, etc., it’s a challenge to say the least.

Every year most of us (including myself) try to make unique resolutions.  We may plan it well and try to stay determined to our plan to fulfill those resolutions.  But somehow “something” happens and when we look back mid- year we have found ourselves ”off” the New Year’s Resolution wagon and back on the “well, there’s always next year for me to do it” wagon.

So, for all of us out there who either secretly or openly made resolutions this year, I want to share a few practical ways in which we all can make and achieve the promises we made to ourselves so we can finally produce the long-lasting results we “resolved” during the dropping of the ball.

1.  Be realistic.  One thing I’ve learned in my life is this:  Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is anything else that is worth doing or accomplishing.  If you made a promise this year to lose 38lbs, politely remind yourself that you will not be losing all 38 of those pounds in the first two weeks.  It will take time.  And a lot of hard work.  Sometimes making smaller goals that work along with the overall larger goal can make all the difference in achieving what it is you want.

2.  Don’t make too many resolutions.  Our ability to focus on more than a few things at once is limited.  So as it is with achieving your New Year’s resolutions.  I’m sure you’ve made a laundry list of things you wanted to accomplish this year.  My advice:  pick the top two or three things that are most important and meaningful to you…and go after it!  You will likely be more productive and will thank yourself for not over committing and regretting never finishing all those resolutions.

3.  Write them down…somewhere.  If you made a promise to take a vacation to Cancun this year, you need to write it down.  More often than not, if it’s not being talking about, then it’s not being done.  Post a beautiful picture of the white sands of Mexico on your bathroom mirror so it will remind and motivate you every morning to do something about making that happen this year!  It has worked for me.  And I’m certain it will work for you, too.

4.  Have some accountability.  Involve a friend.  Maybe get someone involved with the same thing you are trying to accomplish.  There is power in numbers and two is always better than one.  Plus, it is a greater motivator to have someone keep you committed to what it is you want to do this year.

and

5.  Expect a slip-up…or two.  It’s gonna happen.  Imagine, it’s week 3 and you’ve been working your tail off to lose that last 21 lbs.  You’ve been eating healthy, sticking to your workout routine and, then…duh duh duuuh…you eat that piece of cheesecake that’s been taunting you.  Just know this:  it happens to everyone.  Eating a piece of cheesecake isn’t going to derail your weight loss efforts.  However, eating an entire pan of cheesecake might.  Go into this New Year’s resolution thing with realistic (rather than unrealistic) expectations, knowing you might slip-up and that you might not give it your all every day.  What matters is that you keep pushing forward and achieve what it is you set out to do.

Good luck!


The Switch … it’s almost here!

On Tuesday, I attended a meeting focused on the big switch to semesters which is happening right around the corner.  Semesters will initially start this summer with a seven week term before the start of “Fall Semester” that will begin in the middle of August.  There’s a lot of work that goes into switching an entire program from a traditional 10 week schedule to a 7 or 14 week schedule.  There’s course plans available to show a sample outline of how to finish the program by when you started.  The advisers are doing a great job of trying to make this transition as seamless as possible.  Here’s a few of the nuggets I got out of the session:

  • Core classes will move to Mondays and Wednesdays.
  • Classes will be one night per week.  Instead of having class both Tuesday and Thursday evenings, classes will just be one night per week for a longer period of time (I think, she said 6:00 – 9:15)
  • Many of the elective classes will last 7 weeks.  Many of the core classes will last the full 14 weeks.
  • May session, which will last the month of May, will offer a “Workshop Core” or a project experience.  The workshop will focus on ethics, communication or other professional development topics.
  • The program will last slightly longer than previously, under the new curriculum, the program will finish up in slightly less than three years.
  • The electives will be structured so students could have a more clear concentration (if you want).
Overall, the switch to semesters seems pretty straight forward.  Another meeting will be held in late February to discuss class options.

MAcc weekends in Columbus

Hello again! I am happy to report that for me, winter quarter has definitely not been the “lazy, stay inside and be warm” quarter that it is sometimes expected to be! Last weekend and this weekend have been full of fun MAcc adventures. Last Friday, 12 of us MAcc students went to COSI (the hands-on science center in Columbus) because admission was free for Ohio State students and staff that evening. We particularly enjoyed the weather show and 3-D African safari experience!

On Saturday afternoon, my tax research group from last quarter reunited for lunch at Pei Wei, an Asian diner. That night, several of us MAcc students enjoyed a Gallery Hop, which is when art galleries and boutiques in the Short North area of Columbus stay open later and have special sales. On Sunday, a group of us went to lunch at Piada after church.

I had another excellent week of interesting classes, and then it was the weekend again! Friday was the Fisher Winter Games, an Olympics-like event between the Fisher graduate programs. On Friday night, I went to the OSU v. Michigan hockey game with a few other MAcc girls. Admission is free for students with their BuckIDs, and though OSU lost, it was a fun time!

Since Monday was Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (a campus holiday), some of us MAcc students participated in Ohio State’s day of volunteering. As you can see, Columbus and Ohio State have awesome opportunities, and what better way is there to experience them than with wonderful MAcc classmates?

 

Ohio State vs. Michigan hockey game!

 


You Can Be Healthy and Fit While in Grad School (I’m living proof)

Music Television (MTV) produces some pretty great TV shows…America’s Best Dance Crew, Teen Mom 2, Teen Wolf, JERSEY SHORE.  Though I could write an entire blog about MTV shows, the base of this blog is coming from a show they have titled “I Used To Be Fat”.  Basically, MTV takes some teenager with low self-esteem (caused by his/her weight) and sends him/her a trainer.  They have an entire summer to lose the pounds, and by summer’s end they can officially say “Hey! At the beginning of the summer I Used To Be Fat!” Genius.

Recently, I have had a physical transformation myself.   When I started graduate school, I looked semi-normal.  As I progressed throughout graduate school the pounds kept adding and adding and adding.  I had to go up a size in pants.  I had to abandon certain shirts, because they no longer fit me.  Everything was tight.  I embarrassingly broke several zippers off trying to put on pants, and many times I would have to pray to God to get clothes on.  I almost even considered wearing pajama jeans.  The worst part was the fact that I looked terrible in pictures!  I would have to crop out my stomach or not even upload or tag myself in certain photos, because of how awful I looked.  Also, my worst fear of graduating undergraduate was not finding a job or not getting into grad school.  If I was homeless, it would be fine as long as I was skinny.  My fear was developing what I call the “old man pooch”.  It is where you seen adult men who’s arms, legs, upper body, neck, face, and everything else all seem at a relatively average size for their body.  But their stomach is out of control, and they look like they could be expecting to have children or something.  THAT was happening to me.  Plus, other than that time of my life where I was an infant and barely alive, I’ve ALWAYS been really thin.  Plus, I ran cross country in high school which was a the prime time height of skinny in my life.  I felt like people were judging me, and it was just abnormal for me.  I got up to a weight that was way out of my BMI range.  It was just so terrible.

So at the end of the summer, I want to say right around the third week, I decided that I was going to start running again.  When I started was weird, because it was technically finals week, but all of them were side projects, so I thought it would be the perfect time.  Since then I have been consistently running at least 5 times a week.  I obviously hated it at first, so to better motivate myself, I started to run on the treadmill at my work during my lunch.  During winter break, I used the time not studying or learning anything to work out and run more.  I think one week I ran 40 miles (which was technically more than I worked that week, because we had a holiday).  Second week into winter quarter and I actually MISS running.  Like I wish I could be wearing my running shoes more.

Anyway, my place of employment had a holiday challenge put on by my office (Human Resources) called “Maintain Not Gain”.  The goal was to maintain your weight from the third week of November (during the Thanksgiving Holiday) until the end of the first week of January.  The idea was to maintain your weight, because with all of the eating that goes on during the holidays, pot lucks, bowl games, parties, and everything it can be a real challenge to lose weight.  My office, the sponsors, did not make it easy when they  were bringing in deserts and throwing random pizza parties for what felt like every day of December.  I got really into the challenge.  I knew I could maintain my weight, so my challenge was to lose.  Ideally, I wanted to lose 15 pounds but realistically I set my goal for 10.  So in doing this, I took my health to the next level.  I completely changed my diet and eating habits just to win (I’m not actually really that competitive of a person but when it is something I’m really into I can get a little crazy).

So last Friday was the final weigh in.  In 6 weeks I lost 11 pounds (1 more than my goal)!  Since I initially started my running again in August I’ve lost THIRTY ONE POUNDS.  It feels so good to be skinny again and in a healthy BMI.  Also, my friends, classmates, coworkers, people I don’t even know have given me rave reviews on my weight loss.

So remember.  The freshmen 15 (more like 50 for me) is not just a thing that happens to freshmen.  Actually, they should call it the “first year fifteen”…any kind of weight gain that could possibly happen under the new circumstances you are going through in higher education.  I’m sure this applies law students, doctoral students, and other first-year grad students.  However, as impossible as it may seem with going to class, reading out the you know what, studying, group meetings, quizzes, tests, work, internships, group meetings, student organization activities, and making some attempt to having a social life YOU CAN be healthy and fit in grad school!

Next week, I will give you insights in what I have done to get rid of the small human child that I lost off of my frame.

BEFORE and AFTER photos:

BEFORE – heinous with an obscene amount of stomach and face and I couldn’t even button up my vest (I know harsh and I may look normal to most people but I thought I was out of control).  Circa 8/2011

AFTER – vest is like HUGGING me tightly now. Circa 1/2012

 

 

 


Quickly Realizing Graduation Is Imminent

With my last academic holiday break ever coming to an end, this week welcomed the annual readjustment to being back in the classroom… gathering books… reviewing syllabi. This ritual, while familiar, included a facet this time that broke the mold… running an audit of my courses to ensure I will have the necessary components to graduate in June.

It hit me when I reviewed the audit report that graduation is imminent. This was not only important from the standpoint of family booking hotels and ordering graduation materials, but also from the standpoint of ensuring that I get as much out of Fisher and OSU as possible over the next 6 months. I now have a renewed energy to attend as many extracurricular events as possible, a desire to take the most interesting  curriculum possible as I build the toolbox necessary to be successful in the corporate arena, and a mission to make as many lasting connections with peers and professors to carry with me into the future.

I thought I have leveraged everything Fisher has to offer, but as I step back and prepare to leave in June, I realize that is nearly impossible, and there is more to be done! I look forward to seeing everyone soon!… whether it be at Winter Games…. Fisher Follies…. or following the Buckeyes on their way to the NCAA tournament!

 


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