Archive for November, 2012



My Trip to President Gee’s House

A few weeks ago, I had the unique opportunity of visiting President Gee’s house.  As president of The Ohio State University, Dr. Gee hosts several events at his house throughout the year.  On this particular night, President Gee hosted a dinner to welcome the new president of Wittenberg University, Dr. Laurie Joyner.  My cousin, who is on the Board of Trustees as the graduate student representative, frequently attends the events at President Gee’s house and he invited me to join him on this evening.  Being a recent Wittenberg alum, I was excited about the opportunity to meet President Joyner as well as President Gee.

The evening started with a quick tour of President Gee’s elegant house.  In his backyard resides a tennis court and a large swimming pool.  Inside the house, the rooms are wide-open and well-decorated.  There are two pieces of art which I found especially interesting in the house.  First, there was a large painting of President Gee and his signature bow-tie; interestingly, though, he was also sporting a red athletic headband in the painting that stretched from the floor to the ceiling.  The second fascinating piece of art was a sculpture of Johnny Cash playing his guitar.  The sculpture was made entirely of several thousand small crayons.

The Johnny Cash sculpture and painting of President Gee

After the tour, my cousin and I ate some delicious food and mingled with several Ohio State and Wittenberg board members.  My cousin briefly introduced me to President Gee before the formal welcome reception began.  Shortly thereafter, everyone made their way to the living room where President Gee provided President Joyner with a gift and some welcoming remarks.  President Joyner then returned the favor to President Gee with a very thoughtful gift: a Wittenberg bow-tie.  The formal welcome ceremony concluded with Ohio State’s men’s a capella group, Buck That, serenading the party with several Ohio State songs, including: Buckeye Battle Cry, Hang on Sloopy, and the alma mater, Carmen Ohio.

Throughout the evening, I was impressed with President Gee’s hospitality and generosity in welcoming President Joyner to the state of Ohio.  I had the opportunity to meet President Joyner after the formal welcome reception and she was very appreciative of President Gee’s kind gesture and welcoming remarks.  And as a Wittenberg alum and Ohio State graduate student, I felt very fortunate to be a part of such a great event and also be connected to two very outstanding university presidents.


Success in an MBA program: A Self-directed Journey

A few weeks back, a prospective MBA student asked, “What really determines success in an MBA program?”  That got me thinking about how I would define success here at Fisher.

Most Fisher MBA students have very different backgrounds. That includes financial services, consulting, dance, education, engineering, auditing and many more. We all join the program with our own objectives in mind, which are similar but very different. And, we’ll no doubt go on to have many more distinctive experiences following the program.  To successfully get to that point though, each of us has to focus on our personal and professional objectives and allow those goals to shape the activities and opportunities in which we involve ourselves as students. Those activities definitely start in the classroom, but experiential learning is a huge part of the MBA program as well.  There are three specific aspects of the program that come to mind as things that shape the MBA experience and help determine success:

Coursework: In the first year of the program, MBA students take a variety of coursework in every functional area of business. That includes some that you might be extremely interested and ones that allow you to build on areas where you are not as strong. The reasoning behind that is you want to be a well-rounded leader and have a breadth of knowledge about business.  In your second year of the program, the courses that you choose should continue to strengthen areas of weakness.

Professional and Leadership Development: Staying true to you in this area is incredibly important.  We each have different sets of developmental opportunities that we need to identify and strengthen.  There are many formal and informal ways to do that at Fisher. There are over 30 student organizations, a corporate mentor program and a host of experiential learning opportunities such as business case competitions.

Internship: The internship between the first and second year of the program allow you to experience what its really like in your desired career. I really enjoyed my internship experience this past summer as and Associate Brand Manager at Abbott Nutrition and it definitely makes me excited about a career in that field. Not everyone had same experience; others have decided to refocus on a different functional area of business after interning this past summer. The internship is great for that reason; we have an experience that helps shape the final year of the MBA program in term of choosing a specialization and long-term career goals.

How well those things are executed really determines success in the MBA program. Ultimately, success in the program will mean something a little different for everyone. The great part about it is that Fisher has incredible career advisors, faculty and mentors to help along the way.

 

 


Apples to Apples

In Ohio, when the leaves change from green to red and yellow, you know Fall is finally here! It’s time for football, bonfires, festivals, Halloween, and perfect weather for sweatshirts and jeans. Fall is a sign that summer is over and school has begun. When I was little, my grandparents used to take all eight grandkids to Fulton Farms to pick apples and sweet corn and every year we went on a hayride together. A couple of weekends ago, I got to share our Ohio tradition with my friend and California native, Ashley.  We went with a few of my friends from undergrad to Lynd Fruit Farm. Lynd Fruit Farm is located in Pataskala, OH about 35 minutes from campus. (But definitely worth the drive!) We picked apples and pumpkins straight from the patch! Check out a sampling of the 10,000 pictures we took that day:

What a gorgeous day for picking apples…

With my beautiful friends: Ashley, Lauren, Kati and Sarah!

Real friends…walk with you…

Share with you…

And laugh with you!


Weekend is Family Time!

Earlier this year, I had to choose between two graduate schools. Staying in Cincinnati was an easy, comfortable choice. But I had my heart set on the Ohio State University. This amazing opportunity to attend Fisher and Moritz was offered to me, I just couldn’t pass on it. I thought, ‘Oh, so many couples live apart, we can do it. It’s only 2 hours away.’

Luckily my husband was open to the idea. Bless him! I have never met anyone who’s more loving than Mike. I knew he was the one after the second date. That was 7 years ago and we are now married for 2 years.

It was really hard to ask my dad and sister if they would be OK with it. See, they moved to Cincinnati all the way from Portland, Oregon at my request. Dad was too sick to work, so I asked them to relocate. 3 years later, he is much healthier and has a lot of friends in the Korean community. Eunsol is a high school senior. We have a big age difference - she is like a daughter to me. (Teenage daughter, that is) Both of them wanted me to follow my heart and attend Fisher.

Do I ever regret moving to Columbus? No. But I feel guilty sometimes. Being able to go home every weekend makes me feel better. Many students in the MBA program are involved in long distance relationships. Some have loved ones in another country! I can’t complain about being 2 hours away… what I’m trying to say that having a significant other may complicate your decision on which school to attend if you’re looking at MBA programs. But, together, you’ll end up making the best decision for both of you!

Family lunch at Panera Bread

Mike and Eunsol troubleshooting a computer problem together.


Becoming a Buckeye – A Transformation

Two worlds collide – A great problem to have!

As was pointed out by a previous poster (Thanks Dan), football is king in Columbus; and by football, I mean The Ohio State Buckeyes. In my first season of exposure to the OSU football experience, I can assure anyone who questions this notion: It is true! This fact has presented me with an interesting situation (or predicament, if you will).

You see, I was born 200 miles east of Columbus in the town of Morgantown, West Virginia.  Not only is it my hometown though, it also happens to be the home of the West Virginia University Mountaineers. To add fuel to the fire, I also spent five wonderful years studying finance at WVU during my undergraduate education. As most would assume, I am a big Mountaineer fan.

Prior to enrolling in the Fisher College of Business, I had no preconceived ill feelings toward the Buckeyes. I had never gone out of my way to cheer for them either, though. In fact, I never went out of my way to cheer particularly hard for anyone but my beloved Mountaineers. So as I accepted my offer to attend the Ohio State University in early 2012, I realized a transformation was necessary. I was going to have to adopt a second team, and I was going to become a Buckeye. Some diehards may scoff at me, and say there is no way I can be a true fan after passing only one football season in Columbus (Is that you again, Dan?), but I am giving it a go.

I began by adding a few articles of red to my wardrobe, and upon arrival in Columbus invested in a “Block O” doormat. I even bought an Ohio State chair for my apartment (okay maybe that was a bit over the top).  Living on the 9th floor of River Watch Tower and having a perfect view of the new scoreboard at the Horseshoe (which played old OSU football games for three weeks straight) helped too. But there was still one BIG piece of the puzzle missing: my first game. So after doing some research on current players and the 2012-2013 team, I bought my first ticket OSU football ticket. The Buckeyes would be squaring off against the mighty Knights of Central Florida (maybe a slight exaggeration).

In hindsight, the game was an amazing experience; from the tailgates to the in-game experience. The Fisher MBAs always put together a tailgate at Fisher Commons that is open to Fisher graduate students (food and “beverages” for $5). The tailgate is also a short walk from The Horseshoe (stadium) that leads you through a sea of tailgates (perfect pre-game build-up for my first game).

After all of the hype and all of the build-up, The Ohio State Buckeyes did not disappoint. Watching from Block “O” (the south side student section), I was wowed by Braxton Miller & Co. as they stuck it to an overmatched UCF. There was an atmosphere worthy of the team it surrounded too. The student section stayed enthusiastic throughout the game (letting UCF know exactly how they felt about them) and the rest of the crowd managed to remain interactive, even as OSU pulled away from their lesser opponent. It was an experience I will not forget.

All in all, I am excited about having a second team. Call me BuckEer? A MountainBuck? Maybe not, but I do know red and blue look just fine together, and I can’t help but let  a new personal motto run through my head: The more football, the merrier!


A Lesson in Ethics: Aaron Beam Visits Fisher

Greed.

This one word was what Aaron Beam used to describe the cause of his and other top executives’ motivation for “cooking the books” of Healthsouth.  The former CFO of one of the nation’s leading outpatient healthcare providers visited Fisher for a MAcc Applied Talk unlike any other I’ve attended.  If you’re unfamiliar with the story behind Healthsouth and the fraud Mr. Beam was involved in, I’ll do my best to fill you in.  While Mr. Beam was acting CFO, he and other accountants falsified revenue and misstated financial statements in order to meet Wall Street analysts’ expectations.  He plead guilty to involvement in the fraud and served three months in prison.

Mr. Beam’s stories of the fraud, his relationship with former CEO Richard Scrushy, the trials, etc., were all enlightening.  The former CFO made a few points that I found to be full of wisdom and extremely good advice for us as students and future business people.

Success, as defined in the Webster’s dictionary in 1806, meant “being generous, prosperous, healthy and kind.”  Today, the definition of success is “the attainment of wealth, fame, and rank.”  Culture, especially in business, has transformed over the years to where many people are focused on getting rich no matter how many lines they cross.  If everyone is doing it, that means it’s okay, right?

Mr. Beam told us that we, as students, are the beginning of the change of the culture in the business world.  We don’t just do something because we’re told – we want to know why; we want an explanation.  We’re not afraid to blow the whistle when we know decisions being made are unethical or unlawful.

One student asked Mr. Beam what he would have done differently.  After the first white lie he was asked to go along with, he said he would have left.  He wouldn’t have stayed at a company that pushed employees to go outside their ethical comfort zone.  In giving us advice, he suggested to look at the tone at the top.  If it’s one we’re not comfortable with, we’d better have an exit plan.

Lastly, when asked how his friends and family reacted to the fraud, Mr. Beam was quite short.  He was ashamed of his cowardly behavior and was disappointed in how he hurt his wife, daughter and friends.  I think if he had been thinking of all of his loved ones when Mr. Scrushy had asked him to commit fraud, he would have acted quite differently.  That’s something that we should all take with us as we go into the business world and will undoubtedly be faced with ethical decisions down the road.

And we could probably all be a little more focused on being generous, prosperous, healthy, and – most of all - kind.

 


Serving the Community – ‘Fisher Serves’

One of the biggest things that forms an ingrained part of the MBA program here at Fisher is developing a sense of responsibility of giving back to the society. The faculty and the staff make sure they lead by example by continuously involving themselves in events such as Pelotonia, Fisher 5K, and Fisher Follies in an effort to raise money for charitable purposes. Along with the academic excellence, such a commitment forms the core of the values instilled by Fisher to the students.

Inspired, I participated last week in Fisher’s Community Service Day. This is an annual volunteering event organized by FisherServes, a graduate student organization committed to promoting awareness towards civil and social responsibilities. Community Service Day is celebrated to help and support the local Columbus communities by making small contributions in their day to day working and showing our appreciation and patronage to these communities.

Steven Fields @ The Huntington Bank

This year the event was in partnership with The Huntington National Bank. The day started with the keynote speech by Steven Fields, President of  The Huntington Foundation, who emphasized upon the mutual benefits that the community as well as the volunteers reap by participating in such activities. He mentioned that the camaraderie and bonding that such an event establish among individuals in an important take away that corporations have. This year there were six projects on which the students participated:

1. Mid – Ohio Food Bank: Helping by preparing newsletter to help spread a word about the cause.

2. Faith Mission Homeless Shelter: Helping by harvesting and maintaining community garden from where all food harvested goes towards feeding the homeless.

3. Animal Shelter: Helping by taking care of pets, cleaning their shelter, and doing various other associated tasks.

4. YWCA: Helping by organizing donations for building a women’s shelter.

5. Four Seasons City Farm: Helping the community by harvesting plants for the urban garden. Food harvested from the farm went to benefit food banks and/or homeless shelters.

6. Ronald McDonald House: Cleaning the common areas of this organization which provides housing for families that have to temporarily relocate to Columbus so that their children can receive medical care.

The OSU Team

I participated in the Mid-Ohio Food Bank which is a non-profit organization working for more than 32 years towards obtaining food from potential donors and distributing it to the needy individuals and communities. Here I, along with the team of OSU students, helped prepare newsletter which were to be distributed across Columbus to spread the word and awareness about the organization and the cause it works for.

In the words of Steven Fields, these events not only help the communities but also help the individuals and corporations volunteering towards the noble cause. He mentioned about the ‘collective impact’ that a group can have on these communities and that was exactly what we realized working there. Overall the event gave me a productive and purposeful break from the rigor of the MBA.

Looking forward to more of such opportunities!


Matching supply with demand at a Japanese cuisine restaurant (a case study)

One of the many perks of being in the Fisher Master of Accounting program is that you get to pick your electives from a large set of classes. (Almost 80% of the Fisher MAcc degree consists of electives!) One elective I chose to complete was Matching Supply with Demand. So far I have thoroughly enjoyed this class and loved learning something different then accounting. One of our most recent group projects was a Benihana simulation. If you are unfamiliar with Benihana it is a restaurant in which they cook the food right in front of you at tables of 8. Sometimes you sit with people you do not know at the table. It is one of my favorites types of restaurants; I always would choose to go to a similar type of restaurant back home for my birthday with my family. So I was excited to do this project and it even made me go visit a local hibachi grill in Columbus! I worked with a few other students in the MAcc program in this class. For the project we were instructed to go through 5 challenges to pick our best option for running a Benihana restaurant for the night. The challenges included:

1) Picking to batch the customers or not batch the customers as they arrive.

2) Pick the amount of bar seats and tables in the restaurant

3) Pick the dining time during three different intervals of the night. First 5pm to 7pm, 7pm to 8:30pm, and 8:30pm to 10pm.

4) Pick an advertising technique (Happy hour, discounts, or increase advertising)

5) Pick different types of batching at the three interval hours. We could: not batch, or seat tables of 8, or seat tables of 4, or seat tables of 4-8.

Lastly we were asked to come up with our best solution to maximize profit and utilization for the night. I don’t want to spoil the answer for anyone who has not done the project but our group was able to come up with a great solution after analyzing our 5 challenges. I look forward to more interesting projects/ cases to come in the future in my Matching Supply with Demand class!


Annie Leibovitz at the Wexner Center

As an SMF graduate student with limited funds, I love to maximize the utility I can get with every single bill that leaves my wallet, or rather, with every swipe of the plastic these days. From plotting all the happy hour spots around campus (check out James’ blog post on $3.50 burgers on Wednesday at Brazenhead), to scoring deeply discounted tickets to events (check out Jessica’s blog post on d-tix), there’s nothing more exciting than discovering fun things to do on a tight student budget.

One of the activities I would love to spend more of my free time on is visiting museums. Luckily for OSU students, we have the Wexner Center for the Arts on campus. Not only is the museum conveniently located, but admission is also free for all college students with ID. Do not worry if you are not a college student. The Wexner Center takes care of the general public as well by offering free admissions on the first Sunday of each month and every Thursday after 4 PM.

Currently, the masterpieces of Annie Leibovitz are on display through the end of the year. Annie started her career in the early 70s as a photographer for the Rolling Stone magazine and has amassed a huge collection of well-known celebrities she has worked with over the years. The works of art are not limited to musicians. The exhibit also includes iconic athletes like Muhammad Ali, actresses like Angelina Jolie, and political figures like Condoleezza Rice.

If you are on campus, you should definitely swing by the Wexner Center for the Arts and check out the exhibition! I promise you will not be disappointed.

 


Beautiful Ohio State: Top-Five Visual Moments of the Fall Season

There is a certain magic that sweeps through campus during fall at The Ohio State University. Between the start of MAcc classes, Buckeye football, and wonderful autumn weather we are truly spoiled in Columbus, OH. Moreover, Fall is a visual reminder of how beautiful our campus truly is. And so, without further ado, I would like to present Beautiful Ohio State, a countdown of my top-five visual moments of the Fall season on campus.

5.) Running along the banks of the Olentangy River on the Olentangy Trail.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4.) Bringing a date to Mirror Lake (grab ice-cream at the Mirror Lake Creamery).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.) Hanging out with friends in the Oval (Frisbee, football, or soccer ball recommended).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.) Simply walking around campus (don’t underestimate this one).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.) The Shoe (There’s nothing like a football game at Ohio Stadium).


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