Lunch with President Gordon Gee

This week at Fisher: lunch with President Gordon Gee! Meeting the president of any university is an exciting event, but Gordon Gee is not just any president.

President Gordon Gee

In 2009, he was named one of the top 10 university presidents in the United States by Time magazine, and for good reason: among other things, he is charismatic, charming and very passionate about higher education. Oh.. and he wears bow ties 🙂

He is a legend on The Ohio State University campus. During a class a few weeks ago, a professor asked the class how many people had met Gordon Gee: every student who attended OSU as an undergrad and many of the graduate students raised their hands. Many of them had met him at a party, as he is always walking around campus, and is known for stopping by at parties (as late as 3AM!). On Facebook, many of my fellow Buckeye’s have a “with Gordon Gee” picture, at various places around campus. He has a knack for connecting with the younger generation, and the passion he has for the university, and education in general, is inspiring.

The International Business Club sponsored the lunch, and Gordon Gee spoke to us about international experiences. He emphasized the importance of learning from those around us, and seeking opportunities at Fisher to study abroad through the many international programs available, as he stressed that true education happens as much outside the classroom as within. He also spoke about the importance of working on multi-cultural teams during our education, as many cultures of the world are already here at Fisher, via our wonderful international classmates!

Gordon Gee at Fisher (picture from Fisher’s Facebook page)

I never got a chance to take a picture with him after the speech, but given how ubiquitous he is on campus, I know I will get plenty of chances to run into him and get my own “with Gordon Gee” memory.

Lots of Lasts for a Buckeye Fan

What a sentimental week for a senior…

As a combined BSBA/MAcc student, this is my fourth and final year at Ohio State.  This past week was what I would fondly refer to as an epic one – complete with the Mirror Lake jump, my first OSU men’s basketball game of the year, the Michigan game, and of course Thanksgiving and all the food and napping that may imply!

The epic “Beat Michigan” week started off with the Mirror Lake jump on Tuesday night.  Let’s put it this way:  tens of thousands of students jumping into a waist-deep, unclean pond in what was actually mild weather for late November.  Words really can’t describe the experience, but it’s a great way to feel some Buckeye pride and pump yourself up for the big game on Saturday.  I’ll leave the rest to the imagination…

The first of many basketball games this season!

After spending a wonderful Thanksgiving with my family, it was back to campus on Friday evening for the OSU men’s basketball game versus UKMC.  I’ll play the role of stereotypical accountant here and refer to the numbers by pointing out the final score of 91-45 does indicate that our boys scored more than twice as many points as those “Roos” from Missouri.  Some people to watch out for this season:

  • Aaron Craft – our star point guard…yeah, not much else needs to be said there
  • Deshaun Thomas – so glad he came back this year!  Look for him to become the 49th player in OSU history to hit 1,000 career points…he’s only 7 away!
  • Sam Thompson – one word:  aerodynamic
  • Lenzelle Smith Jr. – this kid knows when to light up a game.  He had some great moments in the playoffs last year, so I’m looking forward to more this year!
  • Evan Ravenel – yep, he can dunk
  • Amadeo Della Valle – our only freshman and the kid with the coolest name ever

After a nice win on Friday, I was ready for the THE GAME.  The Buckeyes’ big win over TSUN (“that school up north”) was the perfect last OSU football game as a student at Ohio State.  It was bittersweet singing “Carmen Ohio” in the stadium after our big win; I felt so proud of the team and so proud to be a Buckeye in that moment.

Big win for OSU against that team up north to complete a perfect season!

Before I start tearing up as a realize all of the “lasts” that I’ve experienced in the past few weeks, I should probably wrap this one up.  So, after a great weekend for sports, here’s to being a Buckeye!

Career Support at Fisher

I attended the 2012 MBA Women International Conference, thanks to Fisher Graduate Women in Business (with support from the Office of Diversity and Inclusion). This conference was a great opportunity for networking with a wide array of professionals. It was a small conference, which meant there were shorter lines for the career fair, as well as opportunities for more in-depth conversations. The smaller size also allowed for smaller sessions and panel discussions, and an opportunity for those of us in the audience to actively participate in the conversation and interact with members of the panel.

The opportunities for networking were plentiful – the attendees of the conference ranged from entrepreneurs and CEOs to C-suite executives of large firms to fellow MBA students, and everything in between. I had the chance to hear from several inspiring keynote speakers (Lee Rhodes, Scott Woelfel, Leo J. Hindery Jr among others!), as well as meet and network with people from all over the world!

I met many graduate students, from schools all over the US, all of whom were second-year MBA students or recently graduated from an MBA program, all targeting full-time jobs. Most were surprised to learn we were first-year MBA students aiming for internships, which made me very grateful for the support that Fisher offers us very early in our job-search process.

Based on this experience (and countless other experiences!), I was not surprised to learn recently that Fisher moved up 5 spots in the Bloomberg rankings, something I expect will continue annually!

Warren Buffet Visits Ohio State

In late October, Fisher students had the unique opportunity of hearing from arguably the most successful investor of the 20th century: Warren Buffet.  The Chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, also known as the “Wizard of Omaha,” was joined by Jeffrey Immelt, Chairman and CEO of General Electric, in a fireside chat open to Fisher students.

Jeffrey Immelt played host during the conversation as the two of them discussed a variety of topics, including: the economy, the presidential election, Buffet’s philosophy as an investor, and his advice for students as they enter the business world.

Some of my notes from Warren Buffet’s talk:

  • Buffet believes our economic system is self-generating; he says the economy is cyclical and it will heal itself following times of recession.  Furthermore, he believes that while the short-term economic future is typically uncertain, the long-term future is more certain.
  • He believes fixing the budget has to be the number one priority of the presidency.
  • When looking for companies to invest in, Buffet prefers to buy businesses that are already well-managed.  It is also essential for the individual’s running the business to love the business – not the money.    Furthermore, managers should not only have great passion for their business, they must also be customer-oriented as well.  Lastly, he typically avoids buying businesses he does not understand (for awhile, he did not buy technology companies for that reason).
  • He encourages students to look for the job they would take even if they did not need the money.  He says that, while this job may not be immediately attainable, this is the job we should strive for in the future.

After listening to Warren Buffet speak for a little over an hour, I am amazed by not only his high level of intelligence, but by his charismatic personality as well.  He carries himself with an overwhelmingly strong sense optimism that I imagine is contagious to those around him.  He is surprisingly very quick-witted and had the crowd laughing throughout the duration of his talk.  Without question, Warren Buffet is one of the most impressive individuals I have encountered and it is easy to see why has been so successful throughout his life.  What a unique opportunity to hear from him during my time here at The Ohio State University.

Take a risk

Last Tuesday, I was part of a lunch session with Anne Dunlap, an AVP in Enterprise Applications at Nationwide. Put on by Fisher Graduate Women in Business, Anne talked about personal development and self-awareness in the work-place…but she also talked about taking risks and knowing the type of environment that is perfect for YOU.

Anne Dunlap

She spoke about her incredibly career and about having a dialogue with your manager. She also touched upon never being afraid to ask the hard questions and for honest feedback.

She shared her own stories and outlined how communication can open doors and pathways to relationships.

It can be incredibly scary to ask for honest feedback after an interview, or when you are passed over for a job or promotion. Anne talked about going and asking face-to-face, and not letting yourself get defensive – but really listening to what others had to say.

Also, find a mentor and learn from others around you. Anne told us what she learned from her own mentors and the effort she puts into developing other talent. I loved that she stressed taking risks, and not being afraid to make an impact (and maybe some waves along the way).

It was an incredible, and empowering, lunch. Thank you to FGWIB for bringing such strong female role models into Fisher!

Beat Michigan Week!

This past week marks the greatest week of Ohio State football season: Beat Michigan week! This week marks the final football game of the regular season against longstanding rival, University of Michigan. Before I came to Ohio State, I had always heard of the rivalry, but never fully acknowledged how important this game truly is to the University, alum, students, and anyone affiliated with the University. Events were held on campus each day of the week to mark this tradition. The schedule included events such as the Michigan Blood Battle, a fight to beat Michigan in the amount of blood pints donated to the Red Cross, Beat Michigan craft night at the Ohio Union, and the Beat Michigan pep-rally fully equipped with OSU cheerleaders, the OSU marching band, and excited fans! The history of this rivalry is long and extensive; there is even a great documentary produced by HBO. Here is a snippet of some OSU-Michigan trivia per the University archives:

  • Ohio State didn’t win until the 16th game in the series (1919).
  • From 1968 through 1980 (that’s a 13 year period) the Big Ten Rose Bowl rep, was either Ohio State or Michigan.
  • Jim Tressel was only the fourth coach in Ohio State football history to win his first game against Michigan and only the 2nd Ohio State coach to start 2-0 against the Wolverines. The other was Francis Schmidt, who started 4-0 from 1934 to 1937.
  • Schmidt also introduced the tradition of the “gold pants.” After accepting the coaching position, he was asked how he expected to cope with the OSU nemesis from Ann Arbor. His matter-of-fact answer developed into a cliché: “They put their pants on one leg at a time same as everybody else.” Schmidt’s comment led to the formation of the “Golden Pants Club,” which awarded miniature gold football pants to all players who had a hand in a victory over the Wolverines.
  • Biggest margin of victory in the series for the Buckeyes was in Schmidt’s second season, 38-0 in Ann Arbor.
  • Under Tressel, the Buckeyes posted a 8-1 record against arch-rival Michigan.
  • This year (2012) will mark the 109th game between the two Universities.

This time around, we won the football battle! The final score of this year’s rivalry game was 26-21 with OSU picking up the win!! It was such a great game and the fans rushed the field for celebration as soon as the clock hit 0:00!! It could not have been a more perfect ending to my last OSU football game as a student. Now, about those alumni tickets…

Storming the field with friends after the Buckeye win!

2012 Ohio State vs. Michigan Football Game

The OSU-Michigan football game is always one of the hottest games of the season, and the hype surrounding it starts well before the game. There are several traditions for “Beat Michigan week”, including a “blood battle” and a jump in a lake!

The dedication to the game runs deep… and there was a series of amusing commercials on ESPN a few years ago poking fun at the rivalry, like the one below.

Football fans love it here at OSU, especially during Michigan week. The energy is contagious, and it infects even those of us who aren’t the biggest football fans 😉

One thing that everyone can agree on, regardless of football fandom, is the brilliance of the OSU marching band (aka TBDBITL). This is a video of the incredible halftime performance from the Nebraska game, back in October.

The Buckeyes won the game (26-21) and beat Michigan, finishing an undefeated season this year!

Go Buckeyes!

Mirror Lake Jump 2012

The Ohio State vs. Michigan game is one of the greatest rivalries in all of sports.  In fact, “The Game,” as it is popularly known as, was ranked by ESPN in 2000 as the greatest American sports rivalry.  Thus, it goes without saying that there is a lot of tradition surrounding the Ohio State vs. Michigan game.  For instance, one tradition is that, during “Beat Michigan Week,” any signs on campus with the letter “M” are crossed out with red athletic tape.  Perhaps the most popular tradition of the week is the Mirror Lake Jump.

The Mirror Lake jump, typically held on the Thursday night of Michigan week, is a tradition in which thousands of Ohio State students show their Buckeye pride by leaping into the freezing-cold lake (which is actually more the size of a pond) from approximately 10pm to 2am.  During the past two football seasons, the Michigan game has been played on the Saturday following Thanksgiving break, which has forced the tradition to be moved to Tuesday night when students are still in campus.  This was the case again this year, as thousands of students made the trek to Mirror Lake fully clad (and some not so fully clad) in scarlet and gray.  Chants of “O-H-I-O” and other Buckeye cheers could be heard all throughout campus and became louder and more frequent as you approached the lake.

Although I had witnessed the Mirror Lake jump two years ago, this was my first time jumping.  Given this was my one year as an Ohio State student, I figured this was not only my one chance to jump, but also a rite of passage of becoming a true Buckeye.  As a Buckeye fan growing up in Columbus, I had heard about the Mirror Lake jump for years and my opportunity to take the plunge as a student was finally here.  The weather was perfect – it was a calm, mid-40 degree night (in previous years, there has been cold rain and even snow).  My roommates and I jogged down to Mirror Lake in a pack until we were about 40 yards away from the water.  At that point, we had to nudge our way forward through hundreds of bodies surrounding the water.  When we finally made it to the edge, we jumped into the freezing-cold water which went up to our waists.  The feeling of being in the water was similar to that of being in an ice bath – the numbing sensation made it difficult to feel any part of my legs.  As cold as it was, it was difficult to stay in for more than a few minutes at a time, but it was well worth it – because now, I am a true Buckeye.

So thankful

With Thanksgiving last week, it was hard to think of much else besides seeing my family, food and FOOTBALL! (stay tuned for a Beat M!ch!g@n post – I cannot wait to see how campus celebrates Urban Meyer’s first OSU v Michigan game).

It has been very interesting to learn about my fellow students’ traditions and ideas for Thanksgiving. Traveling hundreds of miles away to visit family, a town over, staying in Columbus and having a “non-traditional” Thanksgiving – everyone has someone and something to be thankful for. 

It’s too easy to not see the forest through the trees. However, I am so incredible blessed and so happy that I get to go to THE Ohio State University every day and learn from the best faculty and students around.

My life is far better than I deserve  – here are my other top reasons to give thanks this season:

  • My small, but very mighty, family: I have a fantastic support system, and I don’t know what I would do without their cheers during my MBA program.

    My family last June @ my sister’s high school graduation
  • The simple fact that I wake up every morning and learn something new. I know, how incredibly cheesy is that statement?! But, it’s so true it had to be said. I am becoming a smarter business woman, but also a better person overall. No matter if I am in marketing, finance, operations or accounting – I am constantly pushing myself.
  • I am so thankful to have found such great friendships within just a few short months. And I am extremely thankful that they know how to make me laugh when I am stressing out just a bit too much.
  • The opportunities at Fisher. If I listed out every lunch, seminar, activity or special event – you would still be reading on Black Friday and missing TONS of great sales. So I’ll just say thanks for opportunities 🙂
  • I have thankful to go to school in a city with such energy and life. Really, do I need to say anything more than Beat Michigan Week?!
  • Thankful for my other support system, my boyfriend, Sam. Sometimes I feel that he should get his own diploma! I don’t know how I would have gotten through data analysis without him.

    Happy Thanksgiving everyone! See you next week.

Great Individuals Inspire Greatness

About a year ago I read this quote from Mark Twain (emphasis mine):

“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.

During this first semester at Fisher, we MBA students have had the opportunity to interact with so many people, including faculty, classmates, and guest speakers. One four-day stretch about a month ago (October 23-26), though, we had the incredible opportunity to hear Jeffrey Immelt- CEO of GE, Warren Buffett- CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, and Les Wexner- CEO of the Limited Brands, speak. In addition to hearing them, I got to see Mr. Wexner and Mr. Immelt field questions from my MBA classmate peers about 20 feet away from me in a Gerlach classroom.

I was impressed by all three of these individuals (and have been a big Warren Buffett fan for quite some time), but perhaps the most impactful speech came from Mr. Wexner.

While Mr. Wexner was speaking, the above quote from Mark Twain kept coming back into my mind. His talk was perhaps the single most encouraging speech I have heard since being at Fisher. Some people maybe would have just seen a classroom of dressed-up MBA students, but he saw a classroom brimming with potential greatness. He himself came from an extremely humble background, but combined a passion for excellence, an impeccable work ethic, and an insatiable curiosity, and has (obviously) had significant success.

One of my primary takeaways from that session was this: don’t allow culture, society, friends, or family to belittle your ambitions! Be kind, respectful, and friendly to everyone that you meet, no matter their status, be it high or low. However, strive to have your closest friendships and professional associations be with the kind of people who truly believe impossible things are possible. I can say that I have been blessed in that regard. I have an extremely encouraging wife, a supportive family, great friends, and the opportunity to be here at Fisher to learn from numerous people (classmates, faculty, and guest speakers) who believe the sky is the limit.

Do you have a dream that your classmates, the world, or someone else thinks is impossible? Go for it with everything you’ve got! That’s what Mr. Wexner, Mr. Buffet, Mr. Immelt and scores of other successful people would say… adamantly refuse to be disheartened by those who don’t think it’s possible!