In The Presence of Greatness

When evaluating whether or not to return for grad school for the SMF degree, I came up with a litany of “pros”, most of which have come to fruition. One that I had not given much thought to is the exposure to unbelievably successful people right in the classroom. Certainly I knew I would be among other motivated and talented students, many of whom will be worthwhile friends and acquaintances moving forward. Also, as I have mentioned before, there is a great gateway to an unbelievable number of companies via our Career Services Team. What has been more surprisingly impressive is the quality and quantity of professionals we interact with every day in the classroom.

Just in the past week, I have met the CEO of Bob Evans (Steve Davis) in a class co-taught by the former CEO of Hyperion/President of Americas at FedEx (Jeff Rodek – who was also told he was one of 3 people in the company who could replace founder and current CEO Fred Smith) and former Chairman of Sears Mexico/CAO at Cardinal Health (Tony Rucci). I had the pleasure of meeting with the current President of JobsOhio (Mark Kvamme), who also happens to be one of the more successful venture capitalist partners from one of the most well-known companies, Sequoia. Although much of what he told us was confidential, let’s just say he was in on the ground floor of some incredibly savvy investments into what are now global icons. And this is for a class co-taught by the CFO of Ohio State University, and a quite successful Asset Manager at JPMorgan in his own right, along with a well-respected and published professor, Michael Weisbach. Finally, I had the pleasure of meeting with a Senior Analyst and a VP from Wells Fargo Equity Research. To sum that up in the parlance of our times, most of these people are on the short list of Google results for searching only their first name. And that was just this week!

Although last week was admittedly more action-packed than most, it is certainly not out of the ordinary. We have countless other opportunities to meet with incredibly successful and well-respected professionals and professors on a daily and weekly basis, something many people probably take for granted. Sometimes you need to step back and realize just how remarkable many of our interactions at Fisher can be.



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