Comedic Relief

The day after Christmas, my husband, his siblings, and I went to see Jeff Dunham in concert at Nationwide Arena in Downtown Columbus.  If you haven’t heard of him, he is a ventriloquist.  He has several different characters.  The show was very, very funny.

The night began with him sharing some of his old family pictures.  He knew at a young age that he wanted to be a ventriloquist.  He would use class picture days as a professional photo for him and his dummy.  He was making fun of himself as well as showing how he had a dream at a young age and wanted to make a career out of it.

Jeff has an entourage of characters including Walter, an old man; Jose Jalapeño on a stick (self-explanatory); Bubba J, a redneck; Achmed, the dead terrorist and his son A.J. (Achmed Jr.) and Peanut.  They are all very, funny.  Jeff and his crew make fun of all people equally.

The funniest part of the show was when Jeff and Peanut started talking with the audience.  There was a guy in the front row who owned a nursing home and they went off the cuff and laughed right along as he made up jokes for this guy.

Jeff Dunham’s show was a fun, two hour show that is slightly different than the Comedy Central specials but equally as funny.

If you need any comedic relief from the stress of classes, check out Jeff Dunham on Comedy Central or check him out on his current tour.

I’ve Realized I am an EX- EX-Athlete

Wow, we are SO sore this morning. Yesterday, Jen and I, along with about a dozen other First Year MBAs, decided to blow off some “first week back” steam by unnaturally defying gravity at Sky Zone, a large trampoline park north of campus. I realized it’s been a long time since I played sports regularly!

Had a blast hanging out with fellow classmates. That’s one of the greatest things about the small program here at Fisher…there are only about 120 of us in the full time first year class, so you really get a chance to get to know everyone. Now that we’ve been together for a quarter, we have no qualms about hurling small objects at each other, as you can see here in a great video taken in a December trip to the place, edited by our very own Scott Bear!

Ah well, it was a good way to expend our energy after our Leadership & Professional Development event on Business Resilience and it’s a good warm up for the Fisher Winter Games next Friday!


Weathering Winter Quarter

Ah, winter quarter, you have arrived! After spending a few weeks working as a full-time professional, spending time with the family, sleeping like a cat, and enjoying no fewer than a half-dozen social events, it’s time to get back to the school/work/no-spare-time schedule. Honestly, though, by the time I was watching the Bucks get taken down by the Gators, it was time to call it a break and snap back to reality.

Last winter quarter was probably my least favorite as an MLHR student. Sorry, professors! It was the second round of business analytics/stats, the second round of HR history/overview, and our overview of research methods. Yes, there are memorable projects from that quarter, but it is certainly the one I would vote off the island first.

So it was a pleasant surprise this week to attend two of the three classes for winter quarter (we didn’t get the third class due to the holiday), and find that the courses seem enjoyable, the professors are engaging and the weather is, meh, mildly chilly. There are already two group projects in the pipeline with what look to be two great groups of people to work with. Could this be the winter quarter that is actually enjoyable?

I’m holding my breath that the ice and snow will hold off, the enthusiasm will sustain for 10 weeks, and 2012 will be a beautiful start to the end of the graduate-school era. After all, the end is just five short months away, and picking up speed like a rolling snowball each week.

We’re back! New classes and catching up are in order.

Happy New Year! It has been wonderful to catch up with friends and get back into a routine. When I walked into my first class on Tuesday, I was faced with the usual dilemma of where to sit. However, this was not the usual “I don’t know where to sit because this is a new class” feeling- this was a “I don’t know where to sit because I want to sit by and catch up with everyone” feeling! What a great problem to have! There was so much excitement in the room as we chatted about our breaks and said how excited we were to see each other.  

After class, there were groups of people that stood around and continued to catch up. We were in no hurry to leave, since we had almost a month of things to talk about! Just a few hours later, the Graduate Programs Office had coffee, hot chocolate, and cookies in the study lounge to welcome us back for winter quarter. This was another time of excited chatting!

I am taking two accounting classes with MAcc friends (Foundations of Accounting and Fraud Examination), an MBA class (Services Marketing), and Economic Analysis of Health Services through the College of Public Health (which I petitioned to get to count for my degree, since I will be working on healthcare clients after graduation). I am very excited about my classes this quarter!

Garren’s 2K12 Resolutions

First of all before I go into my resolutions, let me preface by saying that I do not believe that the end of the world will happen in 2012 (knock on wood), because I watched a Discovery Channel special about it and Jay Sean made a song about it with Nicki Minaj.

Back to my resolutions, I really do not have that many so I will TRY to keep it quick and simple.

*Note: I am not putting anything in here that I KNOW will happen (like graduating), because resolutions are supposed to be challenging right?  I also don’t believe in having a resolution for the sake of “being a better person” if you don’t believe in it?  For example,  I could resolve to be more outgoing to people, but I don’t think I really need to and it is not something I find to be important, so why would I try to be more outgoing when I really don’t care to?

1.  Blog Once A Week Until I Graduate

This was a challenge last quarter.  I kind of felt bad, because the MLHR program dominated the blog last year.  I know it is not entirely my part, but I still feel bad.  I am glad that there are more people in other programs providing their experiences, because you can only hear so much about the same program before you start yawning.  Each program is told to direct their blogs toward their “target audience” (which for me would be people interested in getting their degree in Labor and Human Resources).  However, I think it is good for those interested and potential MLHR students to look at other student blogs too, because you will be interacting with all of the programs (if you do graduate school “right)”.  Ok maybe not ALL of the programs, but more than the people in your cohort.

2.  Spend Time In Gerlach Hall EVERYDAY For Winter Quarter

This will honestly be my biggest challenge.  I did really well GPA wise last quarter, but I felt SO lazy (hence the lack of posts too).  I already know that this quarter is going to be demanding on me.  I haven’t taken 12 credit hours since June either, so that will ALSO be a struggle.  I am vowing to come to Gerlach everyday, because this is the only place where I feel like I can really do anything productive.  When I’m home, I am less likely to do my readings and more likely to drink a glass of wine and watch ABC Family programming.  The biggest challenge will be coming in on Fridays and the weekends which I NEVER want to do (but I am motivating myself to come by working out at the Recreational Physical Activities Center or Jesse Owens North right across the street…which I know is weird that I am motivating myself with physical activity but I’ve recently become slightly obsessed with exercising).  For the fact that I essentially avoided this building like the plague other than when I was technically obligated to go to class last quarter will just be another road block.  However, if I can do this, I believe that I will be able to stay on task and have another great quarter.

Please note that this goal ends winter quarter, because I only have to take 2 classes in the spring, and I am going to have the 8th or 9th case of senioritis in my life (hopefully not too bad).

3.  Maintain My Exercise and Diet

Since August, I have really transformed my diet and exercise.  I am still running, and am eating a lot of vegetables.  One thing that I vow to do is (for the most part), cut out all red meat from my diet.  I am not going to be super crazy about it, but for the most part I am no longer eating any kind of red meat.  I mean if you are what you eat then why would I want to look like a cow or a pig?  I’d rather be a fish…because they’re the skinny creatures of the animal world (minus whales…not eating any whales).  Last year when I tried to be all healthy, school overwhelmed me and I sank into fatness.  I have made it more of a priority now, but I resolve to keep a balance, and make sure that I do not let grad school turn me into an obese monster.

4.  Be More Spiritual

I generally want to be more spiritual.  I am not going into my personal religious beliefs.  To me, being spiritual is more about having a connection with your faith.  I don’t plan on “going to this sacred building more” or “reading this religious text more”.  I generally just want to have a deeper faith in 2012.

I just wrote this blog entry, I am in Gerlach on a day I don’t have class, I ran 4 miles on my lunch hour, I ate healthy all day, and I prayed twice today.  I think I am going to do well in keeping my resolutions this year!


It’s National Spaghetti Day – Celebrate!

I can’t help it.  I love posting about National *Insert Food Here* Days.  First I posted on National Coffee Day.  Next up was National Cupcake Day.  I now have the distinct pleasure of helping you celebrate National Spaghetti Day right here in Columbus!

First of all, who doesn’t love spaghetti?  There are so many ways to eat the stuff and it can easily be prepared at home or found at a restaurant.  I will share one recipe with you so you can try it at home, but I’ll also give you a few places in Columbus to go get your pasta on!

Let’s start with the restaurants…

  • Piada:  I love Piada.  Think of it as an Italian version of Chipotle.  You walk in, get your noodles (or salad or piada, which is sort of like a burrito!), look across a bar to tell the staff what meats, veggies, and sauces you want, then go sit on modern, wooden furniture to enjoy.  There are tons of options…in terms of meat you’ve got chicken, Italian sausage and salmon, to name a few.  The sauces include pesto, a spicy tomato sauce called diavolo, a delicious red pepper pesto, and of course traditional marinara.  I guess this technically isn’t spaghetti, but it’s close enough!
  • Cafe DaVinci:  This is a great little cafe located a few miles off campus in Upper Arlington.  It was once a full sized restaurant, but the owners decided to downsize and relocate.  They continue to serve great tasting Italian food at very reasonable prices.  I would highly recommend checking this place out.  Their spaghetti is great – especially if you follow it with some of their homemade gelato!
  • Mama’s Pasta & Brew:  I’ve actually never been here, though I’ve walked by it plenty of times.  Located on High Street (okay, technically it’s right off of High St) this is an incredibly convenient place to get some spaghetti.  It’s as much of a hole in the wall kind of place as I’ve ever seen, which means it must be good.  Not to mention I always hear incredible things!
  • Noodles and Company:  Noodles is really not unique to Columbus at all, but it’s still a tasty place to grab a bowl.  There is a Noodles on campus (Lane and High), making it one of the easiest options to go to celebrate National Spaghetti Day.

    It may be a chain, but it sure tastes good!
Now, on to the recipe…  This is a great way to celebrate National Spaghetti Day in a more non-traditional way.  It technically isn’t spaghetti, as in the noodle made from flour, but spaghetti squash.  Yep, a vegetable.  But it looks like spaghetti.  It even feels like spaghetti!  And of course, you eat it like spaghetti.  Check out the recipe for Spaghetti Squash Pesto here and let me know what you think!
Is your mouth watering? Mine is!
And with that, I’ll leave you to some happy fork twirling.  Enjoy!

New Year’s Resolutions

Long time no blog!  The almost one month break between fall and winter quarter was greatly appreciated, especially considering that it’s our longest break for a year, thanks to the quarter-to-semester conversion this summer.  I spent the time between Christmas and New Year’s at my parents home in Cleveland, doing a whole lot of nothing – and enjoying every second of it.  However, I did manage take some breaks from streaming Friday Night Lights on my parent’s Netflix to think about the past year and make some plans for 2012.

I made two New Year’s Resolutions in 2011:  to start recycling, and to apply to the MBA program at Ohio State.  Good news:  I accomplished both!  I am a big believer in New Year’s Resolutions – it’s an opportunity to evaluate yourself and determine how you can be a better citizen, friend, employee – whatever.  At the start of 2011, I knew I wanted to apply to the Fisher MBA program, but was struggling to actually take the time to write my essay and complete my resume.  By creating the resolution and laying out the steps to complete it, I was setting myself up for success.  Same with recycling – I went to Target, bought a cute bin to place next to my trash can in the kitchen, and started taking my recycling to Goodale Park once a week.  2011 – check!

In 2012, I am committing to a few resolutions:
1.  Go to a yoga class once a week.  This is a habit I started last quarter: I took an eight-week beginner course in the fall and kept practicing after the course was completed.  I want to keep the habit up, and making a resolution helps.
2Pursue advancement at my job.  I have been working in the same position for three years and it’s time for a bit of a change, or at least some recognition.  I started talking about this with my manager last year, and it’s time to see it come to fruition.  I believe that I am in control of my own career, and by setting this goal, I am taking a step further to make sure it happens.
3.  Be a nicer person.  I know I said I like to make specific resolutions, but I am breaking that rule with this last one.  It’s not to say I’m currently a mean person – I’m not!  But I’m aware that I can stand to be a bit more gentle, a bit more patient with the people I love – and the people I don’t.  So I’m going to work on being a nicer person in 2012  🙂

Do you make New Year’s Resolutions?  If so, what are they?  If not, why not?

Yoga! (This is not me!)

Welcome Back!

After a brief hiatus (aka winter break) we’re back in the swing of things.  Classes have started, homework has been assigned, textbooks have been purchased, friends have been greeted, and I’m back to blogging.

Winter Quarter can be a tough quarter at Ohio State, namely due to the cold temperatures to which we are exposed.  There are many days in a row where all we have is gray skies.  Cold winds hit you as you walk across campus.  Sometimes, when Mother Nature is feeling particularly nasty, we even have snow.

That probably makes Winter Quarter sound unbearable and awful, right?  Well, luckily for you, I’ve got a few tips on how to make the most out of Winter Quarter!  And trust me, after 3 Winter Quarters and 22 years of Ohio winters, I can say from experience that it’s really not as bad as it sounds.

  • Load up on tough classes:  When its cold, gray, and snowy outside, you’ll want to be inside.  Take this opportunity to load up on some of the more difficult classes you’ve got to take!  When spring rolls around, you won’t want to be inside studying.  So while you’re stuck inside, you might as well clear your schedule for spring and enjoy the sun while you can!
  • Schedule Smart:  What I mean by this, is try to schedule your classes as close together as you can.  This reduces the number of times you’ll have to leave the building, which means you’re only cold twice a day (when you get to the building and when you leave the building).  Carefully selecting your classes and planning ahead can make this a certainty!
  • Catch up on movies:  Again, you likely won’t be outside for the majority of days in winter quarter.  Luckily, the Gateway Film Center is conveniently located at 10th and High and has great student ticket deals.  You worked hard in the fall, so go enjoy some movies with your friends!  What’s even cooler is that the GFC shows more than just mainstream movies, so you’ll definitely find something that suits your fancy.
  • Ohio State Basketball:  This year, we have an incredible team.  However, every year our team is at least pretty good and definitely worth going to watch!  Student tickets are very reasonably priced and aren’t too difficult to find.  Make sure you get to at least one game – you won’t regret it!
I’ve always felt that Winter Quarter also offers some of the best electives.  Make sure you check these out well before scheduling, so you can decide for certain which classes will help you battle the cold winter temperatures!

Tips on Surviving the GMAT

A year ago, after the holiday hustle and bustle died down, I started studying for the GMAT – The Graduate Management Admissions Test.  For many graduate level business programs, the GMAT is required or suggested for acceptance.  Some programs require a certain score so be willing to devote many hours of studying to get a score that will allow you in the program you want.  It is a lengthy exam that covers your writing, quantitative, and verbal ability.

Here are a few tips I will share from my experience with the GMAT:

  • Click here for the official website.  Read over this site to learn everything about how the test is structured, what you can expect on test day, and any other questions you may have.  This is where you register for the exam.   When you register, you will get a couple of practice exams.
  • Determine when you should take the exam.  It takes a couple of weeks for your schools to receive your scores so factor that into when you take your exam.  Give yourself plenty of time to study.  Take the exam early to allow yourself the option of retaking it.
  • Set a date as a goal for when to take the exam, then plan how many hours per week you should study leading up to the exam.
  • Begin studying by taking a practice exam.  There are many books you can purchase or find a library or websites online that have practice exams.  Taking a practice exam at the beginning gives you some basis of what you will need to focus your studying on.  If you are better at math, focus on the verbal, or vice versa.  Taking a practice exam will also give you a feel for how long you will have to answer questions.
  • Set aside time each day/week to study.  Find a quiet place with no distractions to study.  This website was very helpful to me.
  • Stay positive.  Go into test day with a positive attitude.  Get a good breakfast, get there early, have all the required documents and identification, and be ready to beat the GMAT!

The GMAT is adding an integrated reasoning section in June 2012.  So read up on the changes and determine if you want to take the new version or not.  The main advice I have for those looking to take the GMAT in the near future is to know what to expect on test day.  Review how the exam is structured, how much time you have and what type of questions you will expect to see.  Good luck!

Fisher+2011= awesome

So, I have been missing in action the past month or so but accomplished much in that time.

A brief rundown of what has happened over the past quarter. I attended and worked the NSHMBA event in Anaheim with my fellow Latino Graduate Students. The event was great, fun with peers and employers, as well as interviews. Upon my return more interviews ensued followed by offers. My plan was to go back to Nationwide, the company I left to complete my MBA full time at OSU. They also gave me an offer, after reviewing my options I accepted that offer.

My recommendation to everyone going through the process is to pick the opportunity that gives you the best feeling and culture fit. After going to various companies and meeting so many people each company had a unique feel and culture. When I went into Nationwide to interview I felt so comfortable and it seemed like I was home. I also noticed that I always get along best with fellow Nationwiders and we gravitate to each other at recruiting events. I am so happy With my decision and was fortunate to get various offers and was able to meet so many people.

I accepted the offer the week of finals which worked out well as I felt. Big weight lifted from my shoulders. I was to do well on my finals and have another very successful quarter.

Make sure you anticipate the time consumption of the job or internship searches and interviews as it cuts into your time for school. Many students signed up for so many clubs or other organizations that they felt stressed and their quality of work suffered on some fronts. Pace yourself and set yourself up for success!