Eating Italiano in Columbus

For those that actually read my random musings here on this board, I wrote about some local restaurants in the Columbus area that had more American style specialties.   This time, I would like to cover some great places for Italian food within a 5 minute drive of OSU’s campus.

Carsonie’s Stromboli and Pizzeria Kitchen, 1725 W. Lane Ave

Carsonie’s is a niche pizzeria style restaurant.   They have a good product and they know it, therefore the casual yet intimate, small dining room and bar is perfect for the mood they try and represent.   They feature a fair amount of traditional Italian dishes, as well as salads, seafood and soups.   But, the reason you go to Carsonie’s is for the pizza and Stromboli.  I decided to try the traditional Stromboli while my friend created his own spicy pepper pizza.   The Stromboli was excellent, well worth the wait (which was about 20 minutes after ordering) due to the perfection on how it is baked.   Comes with dipping sauce and just enough of a portion to satisfy someone with a decent appetite for dinner.  My friend reported the pizza was tasty as well.   Prices are fair, I think with a beer and Stromboli look to drop around $15.  Good stuff.

Pizza or Stromboli? Or you could go twice and try both.

Z Cucina, 1368 Grandview Ave

I walked in the Z Cucina with a couple of my friends and immediately felt under dressed.   This is most definitely an upper-end Italian restaurant perfect to take your significant other for a special occasion.   The menu is completely seasonal so don’t expect it to be a redundant compliment similar to that of Olive Garden.  Like most gourmet Italian restaurants, the menu had 15-20 entree selections, again seasonal, and in our case the menu was geared towards “Fall” flavors (squash, pumpkin, ginger, etc).   I went with the Classic Lasagna and I must report it was average.  Perhaps it was the fact that the center of the large portion was a bit cold, but flavor wise, the use of homemade sauce and hand made Italian sausage surely saved the day after the cooler interior of my meal.   The price on a glass of wine and the meal will run you easily near the $25-30 mark for one, I think on most good nights this place has great food and is worth a shot for a special occasion or to simply celebrate round 1 of SMF finals done.

Looks fancy? Darn right it is! Great for special occasions!

d-tix: happiness on a budget

Concerts, plays, baseball & hockey games, Wexner Center exhibits, Zoo Lights, COSI and more.

My poor wallet already seems lighter just thinking about all these incredible things…but Ohio State University has a fantastic resource that allows students to spend a relaxing night enjoying Columbus – while sticking to a budget.

d-tix at the Student Union (ground floor) is something that cannot be missed.

A quick snapshot of d-tix’s web page – can you just smell all the great deals?!

One of the many treasures at OSU, d-tix is the discount ticket hub for students – both undergraduate and professional. Discounted tickets range from sports, concerts, plays and more. Even better, some restaurants and comedy clubs in Columbus partner with d-tix and offer discounted gift cards. For example, you can purchase a $25 gift card to Champps for only $10. Or, why not buy a Cedar Point ticket for only $15?

For free tickets, students can only pick-up one ticket per BuckID. For discounted tickets, the limit is two per BuckID.  Some of the more popular tickets sell out quickly, so get there early and be prepared for a line. Tickets go on sale Tuesday at 5 pm. They can sell out, so I recommend getting there a little bit early. But, it’s a great mental break and a chance to enjoy some fresh air while you walk to the Student Union.

Business school is busy…but there is always time for a little bit of fun! And when you pay your tution and fees, you PAY for a student activity fee. So why not enjoy some of the perks? I bought tickets to a Columbus Clippers game a few months ago for my boyfriend, and we had a wonderful time at the game! My roomie and I are planning on seeing the Nutcracker in December – tickets go on sale in November and they are only $5! Can you think of a better deal or way to celebrate the holiday season?!

So go check out d-tix during your free time (that’s actually a laughable concept while in school…) and see what sparks your interest!

Talk to you guys soon!

It’s begun! Case Competitions.

It’s begun! Case Competitions.

So, after reading all the posts you guys must be taking MBA to be synonymous to fun, frolic, and excitement. If you do, you are absolutely right!  The MBA program is turning out to be a really exciting time to learn, experience, and implement. ‘Learning’ through a mix of people – professors, classmates, and project partners, ‘experience’ by actually interacting with CEO’s, CMO’s, Directors of top notch Fortune 500 companies, and ‘implement’ in real business problems through various opportunities such as case competitions.

Just a couple of weeks back we participated in the P&G Case Competition where we implemented our classroom learnings and professional experiences to help P&G address one of their key business issues. With Managers coming in and interacting on a personal level to explain about their problems and at the same time listen to what concerns we had was an experience in itself. Let me tell you three things which made the experience appear like an actual business premise.

1. Time Frame:  Having a serious case competition pertaining to a real business challenge for a client as huge as P&G barely one month into the program was a huge advantage to us. We didn’t have as much to worry about as the second year students. Moreover, the case was required to be submitted and presented in just over 24 hours. We could participate without actually missing any of our classes or other commitments.

2. Battleground: The battleground was neither the library nor the internet. And guess what, it wasn’t P&G’s financial statements either. It was a 10 feet by 12 feet room with a board and 4 minds in it. The time for coming up with a feasible solution was 4 hours. This actually fostered creative business thinking and working our minds rather than crunching numbers or ‘googling’. Advantages – learning in an innovative setting rather than sinking under a huge pile of data.

3. The Reward: What better way to celebrate the completion of the case competition than by hanging around with the trio – Professor Gray, Professor Campbell, and Professor Matta – over beer at The Varsity Club.

With the P&G factor and the M factor (Professor Matta) working in tandem, the entire experience was a great learning experience as well as a lot of fun. It was not only me, who found out the competitiveness of my peers, but also the P&G team who acknowledged that our batch turned out to be the most competitive and creative batch in the history of this competition.

Next milestones – Michigan State University Supply Chain Case Competition, National MBA Human Capital Case Competition, and Internal Case Competition.

Getting Through Finals Week

Finals week has come and gone. I am glad to say that I made it through and am looking forward to the next term. Finals week is always a stressful time for college students. There is really no way to ever stop the stress from presenting itself in your life during that week. I have learned that during finals week, the best option is not to try to stop the stress, but to contain it. Here are a few of the ways that I made it through our first “finals week” here at Fisher.

Study Smart

It is not a secret that you need to study smart in order to score well on finals. If you are not prepared then you have nothing to pull from come test day. If you study smart and have the knowledge, you will do well. Unfortunately, most students don’t study smart. Turn off the cell phone, find a quiet room, and put away the food and drink. All of those are distractions that take time away from effective study. These simple steps helped me to make the most of my time studying as I tried to balance my school and family time.


Much easier said than done. Trust me, I know. I have a 4-month old baby boy. But as they say, you must take time to rest your body and mind or you will burn out. This couldn’t be more true during business school. The time to sleep will be there, if you study smart as stated above.

Have Fun

Fun is a necessary aspect of business school. If you don’t have fun, you will probably go crazy. Students need to get involved in outside activities, not just MBA clubs. Play recreational sports, go to the movies, hang out with friends and classmates, watch a football game, etc. Columbus has plenty of fun activities and ways to take your mind off of school and difficult tests. For me, my fun comes from hanging out with my family. This video will give you a glimpse into my fun! His name is Will, and he is pretty much the most awesome baby!

Why I didn’t go to Detroit with my wife to see Louis CK last week

Subtitle: …and other dumb stuff I do

Before classes started, my wife informed me that Louis CK was touring and that, as luck would have it, he was coming to Detroit on Friday, Oct. 12th. At the time, this seemed perfect… my last final should be sometime earlier that day, I thought. We’d be able to make it up to Detroit in plenty of time for a 7:30 PM show. So we bought tickets (Louis CK subverted Ticketmaster and sold tickets to his show directly on his website… awesome business savvy on his part).

Fast forward to Day 1 of orientation for the SMF program. Each student gets a really nice Fisher folder, chock full of papers with information we’ll all need in the coming days, weeks, and months. One of the enclosed documents was a calendar. The calendar showed that Saturday, Oct. 13th was also a day on which I could have a final exam (or at least that’s how I read it). Keep in mind that I had not yet received the syllabi for all of my classes yet. Based on the calendar, I informed my wife that I would likely not be able to attend the Louis CK show and that she should find a friend to use my ticket.

Fast forward to about 10 days ago… I realize that I do not have a final on Saturday. In fact, my finals are over by 10 AM on Friday. I called my wife and informed her of my incomparable stupidity (she’s already aware of my affliction); my call is a few days too late. My wife has already asked a friend who is working up in Michigan to join her. To my dismay, this friend accepted the invitation.

That is why tonight I sit at home in Dayton alone with my dog (is “alone with my dog” an oxymoron? if so I’m going to use it as the title for my first book) while my wife is probably laughing her pretty butt off to the comedy stylings of Louis CK (seriously, if you haven’t seen “Louie” on FX, check it out… it’s an odd combination of funny and sad that you won’t find anywhere else on TV… Louis CK has a rare talent for making fun of his own life in a way that induces both pity and laughter simultaneously).

The answer to the “why” in the title of this post is: because I’m dumb.

As promised, here’s some other dumb stuff I’ve done:

1) I ran myself over with my own car (it was a Ford E-150 van, actually).

2) I once asked my wife if she needed anymore “Versus cotton panties,” to which she replied, “Do you mean ‘VICTORIA’S SECRET cotton panties’?” Watch enough sports and your brain automatically turns “VS” into “Versus,” not “Victoria’s Secret.” My bad, Mr. Wexner.

3) While driving down the freeway, with the radio already turned off, I’ve reached for the radio’s volume knob because I was having a hard time conversing with my wife over the road noise. My wife noticed this and asked, “Did you just try to turn down the road noise?” Yes. Yes I did.

Enjoy the Buckeye game Saturday night. I’ve been to a game at Indiana’s stadium (yeah, just one). They call it “The Rock” (must be one of those ironic names). Not a great college football town (basketball’s a different story), but the stadium should be filled with Ohio State fans. I love it when Buckeye fans can do the O-H-I-O chant around an opposing team’s stadium. GO BUCKS!


A Shoutout to Team 22

Throughout the first year of the full-time MBA program, each student is strategically placed on a team of five other first year students. Based on work experience, probable major, and general background, these teams are assigned based on the admissions teams’ experience and strategery… and it’s an ingenious idea!

The Method Behind the Madness

During our pre-term program here at Fisher, we received our team assignments. There was a lot riding on this- these four people you are grouped with will be in every core class with you for an entire year! And not just class… but they’ll be with you throughout a high ropes course, team projects, seating assignments, extracurriculars, and public speeches. But what I have come to find out is you’ll depend on your group for more than just school work when all is said and done- I know that in this short 8 weeks, I already have.

From a group, you gain the power of four additional minds. You can bounce your ideas off one another in low-pressure situations. You’re all sharing the same amount of stress, and can keep each other motivated and confident. I know that as I’ve juggled class work, internship search, and extracurriculars, it’s been so helpful to know that I’m not alone! Learning about my team members’ backgrounds and cultures has been an awesome experience- I know these four teammates have been and will continue to be an integral part of my experience here at Fisher.

Finals week – survival tips

This one goes out to all of my MAcc classmates…

First of all, let me say that I CANNOT believe this is the last week of classes for the first term of the MAcc program.  The past seven weeks have flown by, and now it’s time for finals.  So for now, here are some tips to succeed this week:

1.  Remain calm – you will study much more efficiently if you’re not thinking about every class, scheduling for next term, when you’re going to sleep, etc.  I find it best to list out what I need to study or practice for each course and then create a schedule I can follow easily.

2.  Get comfortable – but not too comfortable!  Set up some place where you won’t be distracted and you can sit undisturbed for a generous length of time.  That being said, I would not suggest bundling up in bed and attempting to read anything on a Sunday afternoon.  That only resulted in a wasteful, albeit enjoyable, nap.

3.  Review, don’t re-do.  Theoretically, it should be easier to go through notes and examples now that we’ve been over them once in class.  For example, don’t spend hours recalculating every number from every case in Financial Reporting, one of the autumn term 1 core courses.  Review each of the topics and focus on the ones you don’t understand.

4.  Ask for help!  It’s not too late to reach out to your professors or classmates.  Each one of the MAcc faculty members is very understanding and will make themselves available to help you.  Study groups are also a great way to prepare for finals.  Chances are you’re not the only student who needs help with a problem and studying in a group also makes it more likely that someone else will know the answer.  It’s not a bad idea to reserve a room in Gerlach or Mason for some group study time.

At this point, we’ve all been through this before as undergrads.  Finals aren’t anything new, but we seem to be stressed out each time finals week rolls around.  So for now, don’t stress, study for a few days, and before you know it we’ll all be celebrating the completion of our first term as MAcc students!

MLB Playoffs!

If anything helps to subdue the increasing about of work this fall and as SMF finals roll through this week for the 1st half of the year, something needs to keep one sane.   For me, it’s the MLB Playoffs.   Both of my teams, the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Cleveland Indians, failed to make it this year, but there are some “new” teams to the playoffs this year.   By new I mean, some teams that haven’t been in the playoffs lately.  I have my predictions on who will advance and who will find themselves with a world championship.

American League Divisional Series’

Baltimore Orioles vs. New York Yankees- As I am writing this on Monday, the Orioles are already down in this best of 5 series.  However, Baltimore’s younger pitching staff and more versatile offense still has the edge in my opinion.   My predictions depend on this series, but I still have faith in Baltimore who is playing in the playoffs for the first time since 1997.  Baltimore wins series 3-2

Detroit Tigers vs. Oakland Athletics- Oakland entered the season with the 28th lowest payroll in MLB (out of 30) and found themselves with an excellent second half run.  Bob Melvin, manager of the A’s has experience in the playoffs yet playing against the repeat AL Central champs in the Tigers is a rough task.  Detroit has stable, power hitting, and a great staff to back it up in the pitching department.  Detroit wins series 3-1

National League Divisional Series’

St. Louis Cardinals vs. Washington Nationals- The Nationals boasted the best record in the NL after a breakout season.  The controversial closing down of starter Stephen Stausberg caused many to wonder if the National’s still had a chance?  In my opinion this is the most balanced team in terms of age, production and performance. Washington makes its first return to the playoffs since the 1980s when they were the Montreal Expos.   St. Louis squeezed into the playoffs yet again, but their run will be short lived.  Washington wins series 3-1

SF Giants vs. Cincinnati Reds- The Reds easily rank near the top in terms of MLB teams, and their pitching staff and offense are the best rounded in baseball.  However a recent potential injury problem to starter Johnny Cueto could be an alarming point for a deep playoff run.   The SF are literally finished as I write this, so Cincinnati wins series 3-0

American League Championship Series:

Baltimore Orioles vs. Detroit Tigers- Perhaps in what will be the closest series of the playoffs, the Detroit pitching staff will fall just short of Baltimore’s power hitting offense and will find enough pitching to sustain a trip to the world series.  Baltimore wins series 4-3

National League Championship Series:

Washington Nationals vs. Cincinnati Reds- While the Reds are the favorite of many, the magic rests with the Nationals and bringing playoff baseball back to Washington for the first time since the 1930s.   Nats will win a nail bitter of a series.   Washington over Cincinnati 4-3.


The world series will see 2 fresh faces.  The Orioles who last made it to the Fall Classic back in the early 1980s will be thirsty for a championship, however the Nationals will prevail.   The Nationals win the world championship and set a president for future championship. Washington over Baltimore 4-2.

Only time will tell how accurate my predictions will be, but it should be a fun time.   Fall is always perfectly transitioned into with playoff baseball!

In a bold prediction, I have the Nationals winning the world series over the Baltimore Orioles, 4-2.

Advice on advisors

“Hi Jess, come on in. What can I help you with?”

You wouldn’t think these simple words would be so meaningful – but coming from an advisor, they’re a beautiful thing to hear.

Scheduling at Ohio State is an undertaking – after four years at OSU as an undergrad, I am well-aware of the pressure of scheduling. Funny thing, that doesn’t seem to be present at Fisher.

My window to schedule opens later this month and I plan on a marketing track with a focus in brand management. However, should I combine that with strategy? I also want to learn as much as possible about operations…and we can’t forget about the importance of data analysis.

OK, starting to feel a little bit stressed again.

Best way to handle the stress feeling? Go talk to an advisor. Best part about Fisher? The advisors know your name, know how to help and know the incredible resources at Fisher. Within minutes of talking to my academic advisor, Jen Mercer, I was already developing a plan for my Fisher career.

There are numerous class opportunities offered at Fisher and it can be quite an undertaking to figure out your schedule by yourself. As a first-year, some of my classes are scheduled for me, but I get to decide a couple of classes for spring semester. After a quick 15 minute conversation with Jen, I had a clearer path of what classes are required to graduate and how to ensure I have a strong, diverse, academic background.

Here at Fisher, you have the opportunity to talk and connect with advisors. They know how to help and support you along your journey as an MBA student. My advisor’s office is located on the first floor of Gerlach Hall in the Graduate Programs Office. You simply walk in and talk to someone at the front desk to make an appointment.

When you’re there, stop by and say hi to Ms. Alisa McMahon, probably the BEST resource at all of Fisher. One sentence in this post doesn’t do her justice, so I’ll tell you more about her later. But in a nutshell, she is the keeper of all knowledge, second-mother and smiling face that you need to have in your life (and she makes tea if you’re not feeling well).

During my program I’ve found that my Fisher family includes an incredible group of people that are all behind me, cheering me on. This fact, along with countless others, makes me so happy that I chose Fisher.

See you soon!

Touring the Woody Hayes Athletic Center

As an Ohio State sports junkie, I jumped at the opportunity to take “The Business of College Sports,” a course that provides a business-focused analysis of intercollegiate athletics, including an in-depth look at the OSU athletic program.  The course is a combined class of Sports Management and MBA students.  I am actually neither a Sports Management nor MBA student, but the flexibility of the MAcc program permits us to take any elective MBA course, which is a unique feature of the program.

The course is structured as follows: we hear from a different guest speaker within the Ohio State Athletic Department every day, with each of them discussing a different topic.  For instance, the Head Athletic Director, Gene Smith, was the first speaker and he presented us with the mission, values, and organizational structure of the athletic department.  He also spoke on current NCAA issues such as conference realignment and the BCS.  We also got to see the Athletic Department’s budget and the contract of head football coach, Urban Meyer.

Another feature of the class is that we have the opportunity to tour a few of the athletic facilities on campus.  Last Thursday, we were given a tour of the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, which is an indoor training complex for several of Ohio State’s varsity sports.  We toured the football portion of the complex, which was essentially an Ohio State football museum.  I felt like a kid in a candy shop as we got to see several Big Ten Championship trophies, all seven Heisman Trophies, and the crystal ball-looking National Championship trophy from the 2002 season.   We walked down a long hallway of Ohio State memorabilia with sections designated for legendary coaches (Paul Brown, Woody Hayes, and Jim Tressel), All-Americans, Academic All-Americans, and NFL players.

There was a tour guide who provided us with various facts about the program throughout the tour.  The tour guide explained that, according to ESPN, Ohio State is the most-watched college football team in the country.  He also highlighted that College Gameday, the ESPN college football preview show, has visited Ohio State’s campus more than any other school in the nation.

During the tour, I also learned about former Buckeye football players who not only played in the NFL, but made a significant impact on society as well.  For instance, I learned that Max M. Fisher (the benefactor of the business school) was in fact a football player and after graduating, grew an oil business into what we eventually become Marathon Oil.  I also learned that a former football player was instrumental in developing the computer animation for the comedy film, Toy Story.

Lastly, I saw the team meeting room, the indoor practice field, the outdoor practice fields, the massive weight room, and the state-of-the art training room.  To conclude, it was a dream come true to get this inside look at the Ohio State football program.   I was in awe as I toured the remarkable facility while also learning more about the history of the storied program.