I often find myself reflecting on a phrase that my father used to say to me – “surround yourself with all-stars.” His goal in teaching me this principle wasn’t to have me avoid those that I didn’t view as all-stars, but it was to help me learn from those with experience and passion for what they do.
I am proud to say that Fisher College of Business and the FTMBA program have fit that mold in every aspect. Attending Fisher has forced me to be surrounded by all-stars. The faculty, admissions staff, career service department, and students, are all solid all-stars that have pushed me to my limits. One group of all-stars that I have had the privilege to meet at Fisher has been the corporate executives that speak and interact with students.
Within four weeks of being at Fisher, I have had the chance to hear from the following:
Russ Klein – CMO Arby’s
Jim Lyski – CMO Scotts Miracle-Gro
Sharen Turney – CEO Victoria’s Secret
John Kennedy – VP Corporate Marketing IBM
All of these business executives were open to answering any questions presented. Not only did they give insights to their company’s strategy, but they also provided leadership advice. Each one of them spoke about where they came from and how they got to where they are today. I think I can speak for all in attendance when I say that we truly enjoyed and benefited from being around them. They are true all-stars.
A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to partake in a food tour with Columbus Food Adventures. I was attending a two-day company meeting, and many of our Swiss colleagues were in town. Our meeting planner wanted to show them that Columbus has good food too – it’s not just in Europe! So she scheduled a customized tour with Columbus Food Adventures. All we had to do was hop in the bus, and they took us around to three trendy restaurants for three tasty courses – and taught us about each one along the way.
Course #1: Hors’ Devours and Cocktails Till
This was my favorite course of the evening. Although I live within walking distance of it, I had never been to Till. Previously a vegan restaurant called Dragonfly, the owners decided to mix things up a bit with a fresh name and fresh concept. Everything is as local and homegrown as possible – they grow their own herbs and produce on their back patio, and even compost! Our first course was this unbelievable corn cake. That’s an anchovy on top – I didn’t care for it (too salty), but the cake was rich and flavorful. It was served with dry champagne and Riesling – a perfect combination.
Course #2: Entrée Barcelona
I have been to Barcelona number of times, so I wasn’t as excited about this course as the others. However, it was the perfect spot for a quick and tasty dinner, and the non-locals loved the warm atmosphere. We were served an antipasto plate and a giant cast iron skillet of their signature dish – Paella. Along with a full-bodied Cabernet, it was perfect. My only complaint with this course was that we didn’t have enough time – one of the challenges of a food tour. It was in and out.
Course #3: Dessert! DeepWood
Surprisingly, I wasn’t that full at this point. I think it had to do with the moderately sized portions and spreading out of the courses – I was pleasantly full and ready for some decadent dessert – my weakness. The atmosphere at DeepWood was a little formal and stuffy for my taste, but man was the dessert GOOD! I am a sucker for chocolate, and we were served a trio of chocolate and caramel. The milkshake was by far my favorite – rich but not overwhelming. Dessert was served with port, but I am not a fan of port and had had enough to drink for night (and a hangover the next day to prove it).
Overall, our experience with the Columbus Food Adventures was unique and tasty – I highly recommended it for any group activity or even just with a friend or special someone. Thanks, work and CFA!
“Don’t forget to take a a little bit every day for yourself.”
I heard these words a few times during the pre-term program last month and I couldn’t help but wonder exactly what that statement meant. I mean, of course I was going to be busy with school/homework/projects/exams/getting involved/football/networking, but why the frequent reminder to take time for yourself?
Well, about a month into school, I know EXACTLY why our professors, advisors and second-years tell us to take some personal time.
If you don’t take a step back every now and then, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and slightly panicked. (And when I say overwhelmed, it’s sort of like the feeling of juggling five objects in the air and getting nervous that one is about to drop).
After getting through the first few midterms terms and starting to study for the SECOND round of exams (I know, it’s insane) I finally am finding a balance. When I come home I study and study – but I make sure I take 1 hour and go for a run a few times a week, and I try to find one night a week to have dinner with my roomie, and I make sure that I focus on my non-MBA friends as well. Because I need that. School is a huge (ok, it’s the main part of my life), but there are other aspects that need to be attended to. It’s all about balance. BUT, you cannot forget to take time for yourself.
When school feels overwhelming and I think that the next stats problem may cause me to bang my head against the table, I go for a ten minute walk. I don’t think about classes and I don’t make a mental to-do list, I simply just walk and get some fresh air. It always helps. One thing that the MBA program is teaching me is time management and how to focus my time. But it is also teaching me that school, work and personal life are all important. Now, back to to another crazy, wonderful week of exams, meetings and classes. See you again soon!
One of the greatest resources that we can utilize during our MAcc year is the mentorship program. It is a one-year program committed to helping MAcc students make a smooth transition to graduate school as well as building professional networks with MAcc alumni. This program will match you with a former MAcc student (e.g. alumnus) based on your career interests and past experiences. It also provides you an opportunity to get advice on all aspects of the program and life as a MAcc student, not just career coaching. The application for this program usually starts in early June, so make sure you check the announcement on admitted student gateway website weekly before the school begins because you won’t want to miss this great opportunity!
Fortunately, I applied to the mentorship program one day before the deadline and found my respected and beloved mentor – Rachel. When Samantha first introduced Rachel to me during the summer, excitement and nervousness filled my heart because I had no clue how to start a conversation with a mentor and what questions would be appropriate to ask. After I had a conversation with Samantha, I sent my first greeting email to Rachel, which included self-introduction and basic career-related questions, such as how to launch your career exploration and why you want to be an accountant.
To my surprise, Rachel’s response was not only taking care of all my questions but also provided me additional tips and recommendations on how to achieve academic and professional success, such as what kinds of resources and tools are available in Fisher and how classes in graduate school look like, etc. Her informative and insightful advice inspires me a lot on planning my general school schedule ahead and getting ready for the recruiting season in autumn.
As we continue our conversation through email, our topics are expanding ranging from summer internship, strategies for professional development, to industry trends and insights. In order to support me “24/7”, she also gave me her “hotline”, which is her cell phone number in case I have any time-sensitive questions. She is a person with great character, unwavering determination and high integrity. Without her help and encouragement, I don’t think I can accomplish far more than I could have done alone. I appreciate her time and effort on becoming important part of my journey in graduate school exploration.
Now she is not only my mentor but also my best friend. We share our lives with each other constantly by a variety of methods. I would definitely recommend all prospective students to sign up for the mentorship program!
“I’ve been thinking about you.” Whether it’s a text from your high school friend, an email from a past co-worker or a call from an ex-boyfriend, everyone likes to hear those five little words. When most of us decided to go to grad school, we left some pretty important things behind us. Personally, I moved on from a full-time position in Human Resources at OSU. One of my best girlfriends left her friends and family in California. Another one of my best friends left a relationship of five years behind her in her hometown.
It was time to move on. It was time to be a little selfish and take a risk. We each had to leave our comfort zone. And I can tell you, I was hesitant. Did I really want to leave a full-time position in HR for a part-time job, lectures, homework, exams and internships? Thoughts flooded my brain: “In this economy, you’re lucky to have a job! Don’t be ungrateful. You can stay in this job for 30 years, retire and be completely content.” So why did I do it? Because it was uncomfortable, scary, overwhelming and more than anything, exciting.
Anytime you finish a chapter of your life, you are unsure of what’s to come. It’s not easy not knowing what’s next for you. Of course your friends, coworkers, or significant others will miss having you in their life; YOU’RE WONDERFUL! Now is the time to make a decision that is all for you. You are moving on with your life, and investing in your future. It’s time to step out of your comfort zone and take the plunge. Just know, you will be missed.
This first half of the semster is flying by. I can’t believe our first 7-week session is almost over! I have enjoyed getting to know some of the city of Columbus. Columbus is fortunate to have many different festivals to attend on the weekends. Another MAcc classmate and I attended the Country Living Show the other weekend at the Ohio State Expo Center. (My mom had come to Columbus to visit to attend the fair but was not able to go on Sunday so she gave me the tickets to use.) The fair was full of antiques, homemade accessories, clothes, and some snacks. There were tons of vendors there from all over the US selling what they make. A few things I enjoyed looking at was the handmade jewerly in which a man made jewelry out of quarters. Also the paintings or decorated trailer homes for sale. Each booth was different and exciting to hear about the process the vendors went through. Here are a few pictures from the show:
I look forward to experience the other fairs and festivals in Columbus!
I’ve always wished that I had my own blog in which I could just muse about whatever I wanted and somehow people would read in awe. I read a few blogs like that, and I’m always jealous of the writers. So, indulge me a little with a blog post that pretty much has nothing to do with the WPMBA program or Fisher or even Ohio State – but it does have something to do with living in this part of the country so, yes, it does have something to do with “being here.” 🙂 After a (very) hot summer, I am finding myself enjoying fall even more this year. Here are some of my favorites:
Skinny Cinnamon Dolce Lattes at Starbucks: I know most people are obsessed with the Pumpkin Spice, but I prefer the cinnamon. Sipping one on a crisp fall afternoon is perfection
Sleeping with the windows open and a million covers on the bed: So. Cozy.
Boots: Sorry, gentleman, this one’s for the ladies. I am pulling on my camel-colored mid-calf flat boots again, with skirts and jeans. Love.
Tailgating: OK, confession – I haven’t done this yet this football season. But the biggest and best tailgate of the year is fast approaching (the Nebraska game), and I can’t wait! Hotdogs, buffalo chicken dip, day drinking…need I say more?
Running: I’m not a warm-weather runner. I’d take running in 40 degree temps over 80 any day. But the perfect weather for running is what we have right now – 50s, 60s, and sunny, with the leaves crunching at your feet. Leave the iPod at home and just enjoy.
Chili: I made a big pot of turkey chili with lots of beans and cumin last week – best served with sour cream, cheddar cheese, green onions, and crackers on top. It freezes well and gives me a cozy lunch or dinner long into the fall
A month down as a SECOND YEAR MBA student and still coming to terms with it. It’s amazing that just a year ago, I was in the shoes of a First Year, one with an appetite of a million questions but now I’m the one with the answers. Hope that I live up to the expectations and that I’m as helpful to them as my second years were to me.
Looking back at the vra vra vroom year that just went by, a lot has changed with respect to not only the academics (read semesters) but also in the way we (new batch of second years) work, study, communicate and are in general.
Looking at my version of what my First year Vs Second year at Fisher has been:
Life: Chaotic and unsettling –> a lot more organized and settled
Networking: From everyone –> THE CHOSEN ones
Classes/ Grades: Very worried about grades and the grading –> there’s much more to Life at and after Fisher than grades
Career Aspirations: Hazy/lofty/unclear career goals and aspirations –> a sense of direction and much stronger focus
From the one asking my second years questions about everything –> becoming the one being asked questions about everything (Life sure has come a full circle)
A lot of focus on academics –> a lot of focus on securing a full-time job
Being the audience at student organization events and eating the pizzas –> Leading and organizing the events as well as buying the Pizza
Partying outdoors a lot –> Partying Indoors not so often (this one’s strictly my story)
It’s been great being on both sides, though I have just started with the second year of the program and am still getting used to it. But Fisher has changed (for me) from being just a B-school to my alma mater, a place I look forward to coming to every day. I am looking forward to making the most out of my last 9 months here and living the dream here- 1 day at a time.
This weekend I had the pleasure of leaving Columbus and all of the demanding schedules of grad school to relax and attended “The Nation’s Largest Oktoberfest” in Cincinnati. Rumor has it, the 5+ blocks of 5th Street that Cincinnati closes every year for this celebration is by far the largest Oktoberfest in the USA, and ranks close to the top with some globally.
For those that are unfamiliar, Oktoberfest’s traditionally are German celebrations held in the fall to drink, eat and enjoy music and other entertainment. Some people choose to dress in traditional German outfits as well.
The Oktoberfest in Cincy proved to live up to its expectations. There were over 20 different beer vendors sampling and selling their brews of fall seasonal flavors. For the low price of $4, you could purchase a plastic stein and enjoy refills in your cup for a reduced price. The city truly was alive, and with music, drinking and authentic and unauthentic (deep fried) German treats and eats, Oktoberfest in Cincinnati proved to be fun. The Cincinnati Reds also clinched the National League Central Division as well that evening which helped to intensify the celebrations.
Columbus and local cities around have various Oktoberfest celebrations and opportunities to take part in this fall event. Columbus’ happens to be this weekend, and the admission is free! See for yourself …
A a few weeks ago I mentioned that I would get back to you on interview updates now that the career fair rush has finally passed. After giving my elevator speech to what felt like 100 people, passing out resumes at both the Accounting and Fisher Career Fair, and applying for positions on FisherConnect, I have scheduled interviews with 3 companies. Typically, companies that recruit at Fisher have a two-three round interview process before issuing offers to qualified candidates. The first round (what I am experiencing right now) is of course the most important.
The first round is where you give your first impression, allows the recruiter to see how you handle pressure and if you would fit with the company’s personality/if you even have a full understanding of the company itself, and provides an opportunity to ask questions (you should always ask questions). The time frame for all of this is only about 30 minutes to an hour-not much time at all to make a lasting impression. In my experience, the type of questions asked in a first round interview are primarily behavioral-though this year I have been surprised at the more conversational interview structure so far. While I am of course not an expert or a pro at interviewing by any means, I think these 5 points have been helpful in my interview experience during my Undergraduate Career here at Fisher and so far in the MAcc program:
1. Know Yourself-be prepared to describe who you are, what you hope to accomplish, and why the recruiter should hire you
2.Know the company-understanding the company you are interviewing for seems obvious, but it is still important! I once had an interview in which the first words out of the recruiter’s mouth were “Tell me everything you know about our company.”
3. Prepare some behavioral style examples-I think it is helpful to keep track of leadership examples, milestones you have achieved, struggles, etc. so your mind doesn’t go completely blank in the interview room.
4. Dress smart-another given, but still important. As an accounting student, black suit/white shirt conservatism is a must.
5. Ask questions and follow up-Recruiters love talking about their jobs and of course remember if you follow up with them.
I know those are simple tips-but definitely a list I keep in mind during the interview process. Stay tuned for any second round interview updates! Wish me luck :-).