Moving to Columbus

Not from Columbus? Not from Central Ohio? Not from Ohio? No problem! Columbus is a city eager to please and with a generous learning curve to ride while acclimating yourself to a new environment.

I grew up in a rural area of Springfield Ohio about 45 minutes southwest of Columbus near a small artsy little town called Yellow Springs (definitely worth the day trip if you’re interested!).  I completed my undergraduate degree at Hiram College in rural northeast Ohio, about 45 minutes south east of Cleveland.  My knowledge of Columbus started with the fastest way to get through/around the city to get to Cleveland and ended with the general location of the Columbus Zoo with few auxiliary details in-between.

Fisher College of Business caught my eye the summer between my junior and senior year of my undergraduate degree. While visiting, not only did I fall head over heels for Fisher’s MAcc program and the opportunities it offered, I fell in love with the city of Columbus.  So this person who had always lived in the middle of nowhere decided to pack up her things after graduation and haul a carload of memories and very uncomfortable high heels to a 3 bedroom house in Grandview Heights, a community located about 2.5 miles from Fisher Campus.

I started looking for places to live 3 months before finding my roommates and our house in Grandview Heights. I live with two OSU Veterinary School students who are both in their final year and will graduate along with me in the spring of 2014. Finding roommates for me was unconventional. I lucked out and they found me. I did plenty of searching before that opportunity came around though!

Trying to find an apartment for the first time is hard enough now add on top of that the fact that most students are not from Columbus, many are not from Ohio and some are even from different countries. The staff at the Fisher Graduate Programs Office was extremely helpful.

Using their own experience with the city they helped me to familiarize myself with the area before I started my search. I found Columbus to be a city that was easy to get to know. The apartment owners I spoke with were kind, accommodating and patient. Rent was pretty standard across the board and each landlord was relatively transparent and even went so far as to give me an idea of what bills would be. As someone who was terribly naïve concerning “living on your own in the real world” it was wonderful to have so many resources and kind people available to me.

Columbus is a city begging to be explored. I have only been here since
May and already I have been to a Clipper’s game, found the best taco truck in town, explored OSU’s campus, wandered the German Village and eaten a giant cream puff from Schmidt’s. I have even found a hole-in-the-wall restaurant to get some amazing and cheap Thai food and a little Chinese grocery that carries all the things I miss from my time abroad. I have my own secret places in Columbus now! You’ll have to keep reading the blogs to discover them along with me.

I am so glad that I chose Fisher and Columbus to become my new home. If given the choice I would pick Columbus all over again and I would definitely recommend it to any considering the move.

The Importance of Orientation

SMF Students at Orientation

As anyone in the business world will tell you, one of the most important factors in being successful is building relationships.  Whether with potential clients, co-workers, or in our case, fellow students, the importance does not diminish.  Getting to know your classmates and their interests will be paramount not only to building relationships with them, but also to your success.  In a program that is as team oriented as the Fisher Specialized Master in Finance, getting to know your classmates is even more important because they are also going to be your teammates.

William Oxley Statue

That being said, the SMF program does a great job of helping us to get to know our classmates through a two week orientation period.  During this time we did activities to get to know our classmates as well participate in seminars that would help us to understand the expectations we should have for ourselves.  This orientation period was a great time for us to get to know each other outside of the classroom as well since we had plenty of free time with classes not yet in session.  Our program set up a picnic at a local park where we were able to not only meet all of our other classmates, but try food from different cultures.  We also had the opportunity to take a tour of campus with pre-assigned groups which gave us the opportunity to get to know our way around campus as well getting know more of our classmates.

As we start to get into our classes and split up into groups for our many projects, the many activities we did the first few weeks are really showing their importance.  Ensuring that you are working with the best possible group of people for you is paramount to your success and we would not have been able to gain that knowledge before classes start without our efforts during orientation.  In closing, the main lesson is that even when you have downtime there are plenty of things you can do that are going to set you up for success once school really starts.

MAcc Does Ohio Stadium

It was a week of firsts. The first days of orientation, the first time meeting my future classmates, and the first time actually stepping foot on the field of Ohio Stadium. Although this will be my fourth year here at Ohio State, I have never actually been on the field before and it was such a neat experience.

Actually on the field of Ohio Stadium for the first time!

The entire current MAcc class and faculty, as well as many accounting professionals were invited to attend the MAcc reception at the Ohio Stadium the day before classes began. Not only did we enjoy food and beverages in a massive press box, we also partook in an official tour of the stadium! The tour opened with our friendly tour guide taking us to a radio press box as he gave details of just how much security goes into the production for a home football game. Some of you, including me, had no idea the production that goes into making sure our game days are as safe as possible (including FBI agents, trained dogs, snipers, and airport-like security). These people are trained to make sure on game day, all you have to worry about is which tailgate to attend! After the press box, we took the elevator down to the field and it was such an exhilarating experience being on the field. I am shocked that in all of my time here at Ohio State, I’ve never had the opportunity to be on the field and I think my peers from other schools had such a similar feeling! A great start to the year!

Fellow MAcc students on the field with me!

Intopia – The Class that Makes You CEO

Yesterday evening was my first Intopia class…I don’t think my team and I will be getting much sleep on Tuesdays.

A quick recap of the glorious Intopia: students split into teams of four and own a computer/PC business. With a home office and the ability to enter the markets in the USA, Brazil and Europe – teams will act as internal business owners. We will chose (and modify) a strategy, negotiate, look into market research and R&D, review financials, convert currencies and 1,000 other things.

We will learn how to work with team-members – both defending positions and compromising.

I am very excited, yet very apprehensive, for this class.

However, opportunities such as this is the core reason I entered into Fisher’s MBA program. I want to push myself out side my comfort zone and really understand a business. This class is going to force me to take a deep dive into financial reports (see how I used an awesome BSchool word right there?!), something that isn’t my strength.

This simulation class is also permitting me to work with different classmates. I am excited to get to know them a little bit better, and the hours and hours I will be spending at Gerlach Hall on Tuesday evenings will be the perfect opportunity.

Thanks for reading! Talk soon,


Welcome back! (courtesy The Band Perry)

After a summer away I could not be more excited to return to Columbus for my second and final year in the MHRM program. I spent this summer interning at SpringHill Camps in Evart, MI. It was an incredible three months, but it is safe to say that by the end I was beyond ready to come back to friends, family, and Fisher.

Amanda Rose, Me, Ashley Canfield, and Mary Alexander at the concert


The Band Perry, courtesy of OUAB

We finished up our first mini week of classes by attending The Ohio Union Activities Board’s (OUAB) Welcome Week concert. This year, OUAB sponsored The Band Perry and special guest Charlie Worsham. Last year’s concert artists included Big Sean, Chainz and Krewella. So, naturally, I was super excited to hear that country music was going to be featured this year. OUAB set up the stage in the Northwest Stadium Parking Lot to accommodate all OSU students. Best fo all, the Welcome Week Concert was completely free to students!

Having all our MHRM classes at night sometimes inhibits our ability to go to concerts, lectures and other special events. Since it was our first Thursday in class, we got out of class early enough to not only see The Band Perry, but catch most of Charlie Worsham’s performance as well.

Kimberly Perry, The Band Perry’s lead singer was incredibly energetic and exciting on stage.  The Band Perry performed all their biggest hits, “You Lie,” “If I Die Young,” “Better Dig Two” and “Done.” While singing “All Your Life,” the generators suddenly blew out and the stage went completely dark. Luckily, the sound was still working and The Band Perry continued their set. The technicians worked diligently and one song later, the spotlight returned. It was a great start to the year! I am looking forward to OUAB presenting “An Evening with Josh Radnor,” a lecture with How I Met Your Mother star and writer in September!

A student once again

Saying that I am a student once again may not be completely accurate, because really, we are all constantly students in life, expanding our horizons and our knowledge.  Perhaps “back to being a professional student” is a more accurate description.  It has been a little over six years since I received my Bachelor’s degree in Ohio Stadium (a.k.a. the Horseshoe), and in those six years I learned a lot about myself and the world.  I am sure I will talk more about the journey in future posts, but here is a picture to serve as a primer.

Seeing the world, one muddy field at a time. Yes, all that stuff was quite heavy.

But coming back to Ohio State, and going to the Fisher College of Business for my MBA was the kind of offer that I just could not turn down in good conscience.  The reasons to come here at this point in my life are varied, but things like Fisher being a top rated MBA program (including in Operations, Logistics and Supply Chain Management), a world class faculty, beautiful campus in a vibrant city, and small class size for more exposure to faulty and staff certainly didn’t hurt.  But, I also get to go to one of the happiest places in the world, on a regular basis for the happiest time of year:  Ohio Stadium for Football Season.

A slightly dated, but beautiful, Horseshoe picture, I will need to take some new ones this Saturday.

Another Year Begins

Even though it still feels like summer outside, the long lines at Starbucks, empty shelves at Target, and packed parking lots mean school at The Ohio State University is officially back in session. However, while I may be new to the Fisher College of Business and the Specialized Master of Business-Finance (SMF) program, I am not new to life as a graduate student at OSU. This past May I graduated with an MS in Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics from the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. I decided to come back to Ohio State and pursue a second Master’s degree, not because I never want to work, but because I knew that the practical skills and experience using programs like Excel, Bloomberg, and Capital IQ that I will gain from the SMF program, when coupled with my background in applied economics, will be immensely helpful for me during the competitive job search process. One of the benefits of having been through a graduate program already, besides not having to stand in line to get a new BuckID and already generally knowing my way around campus (though I still get lost sometimes), is that I have learned a few things that should make this upcoming year a little bit easier, so I thought I would share some of these lessons with you.
1. Be organized– between classes, team meetings, career management events, social outings, and all of the little things that will inevitably come up every day, you are probably going to be busier than you have ever been before. As such, it is essential to be organized. Write down all of your meetings and deadlines in a planner and check your email often for any changes in locations or times. For class, print out lecture slides ahead of time so you can focus on the professor instead of frantically trying to write down every word, and try to get your backpack together the night before so you do not accidentally leave your homework on the kitchen counter!
2. Manage your time– every new school year I say I am going to keep up with the reading and get that term paper done way ahead of time, but, regardless of my good intentions, within a few weeks the work begins to pile up, and so does the stress. Luckily (or unluckily), the SMF program, with its seven-week terms, is going to be so fast-paced that I will not have time to procrastinate. I just try to remember that other students have survived this program so the workload is doable, but the marathon TV-watching sessions may have to wait until next summer. My weakness: 30 Rock reruns on Netflix. One episode just flows right into the next!
3. Find balance– being in graduate school, especially in a program as intense as the SMF, it would be easy to spend all day every day reading text books and editing your resume, but it is important, for your health and your sanity, to do something you enjoy every day. It is going to be a long year and you do not want to burn out before fall semester is even over. For me, my stress relief comes from going to the gym or running outside if the weather is nice. Kickboxing is particularly therapeutic. The RPAC has a great group fitness schedule with classes pretty much all day, even on the weekends.
4. Don’t sweat the small stuff– from my experience, graduate school, more so than undergrad, is about the bigger picture. And while getting good grades is definitely still important, it is less important to memorize a hundred definitions and get the exact right answer on every test question than it is to really understand the material you are learning, to understand the logic and assumptions that went into getting to that right answer. It is also more important now to take advantage of the learning opportunities outside of the classroom. Talk to your classmates and professors, do a practice interview in the career management office, and stay in touch with what is going on in the world. Your classes will teach you the technical skills that you need to succeed, but these extra lessons could be essential to landing that dream job and being successful in the long-term.

Ohhhh, back to school. Back to school. Back to school…

As of last night I’ve had three classes, I’ve become friends with some of my classmates, and I’ve learned that I can make it through three hours of lecture after working all day. Most importantly, I’ve learned that my decision to become a Masters of Human Resources Management student at Fisher College of Business was most definitely a good one.

The last two weeks have been an exciting whirlwind. I decided to take the plunge as a MHRM graduate student after five years of working as an Account Executive in advertising and marketing. In May I was convinced that this was the program for me. On August 12, the day before our orientation, I had some nervous hesitations. For instance, I didn’t graduate with a business degree and it’d been a long time since I’d gone to class, had homework and studied for exams. Lastly, I knew no one in my program. However, I am so glad that I ignored these fears.

Fortunately, the first night of orientation proved that the MHRM program at Fisher College of Business is exactly what I wanted. My classmates are incredibly friendly, successful, and intelligent and even had the same insecurities as me on our first night. The first-year MHRM class is diverse in experiences but still united in our goal to become leaders in Human Resource Management. I know I will learn so much from them. The second-year class is amazing and ready to offer snippets of wisdom from everything they’ve learned and experienced in the program. The faculty at Fisher is outstanding. Class is interesting and engaging. I feel so fortunate to have such accomplished teachers.

So now after a week of class, lots of reading, learning my way around campus and even a class field trip to the Thirsty Scholar, I find myself smiling. I am so happy to be a first-year MHRM student.

My Summer Internship

Hello again, Fisher! It’s great to be back on campus as a 2nd year Full-Time MBA Student and Admissions Ambassador. One of my favorite aspects of being back is hearing about my classmates’ summer internships; we all worked so hard last year to nail our positions down, and it’s great to learn more about each experience. I’ve loved sharing my own as well!

This summer I was at dunnhumbyUSA, a customer science company based out of Cincinnati, OH that has been a partner to Kroger since 2002. I was a Client Line Intern on the Kroger team, and had a wonderful experience getting to know the company- and owning my own project from start to finish that will be implemented by my team and our client. My team was genuinely interested in my personal and professional growth- I was able to utilize my critical thinking skills and develop my analytical skills, which was a goal I had set for myself upon entering the program. I was surrounded by a wonderful intern class, and we had a blast exploring the city together.

Me (right) and my summer roommates- also interns at dunnhumbyUSA.
The dunnhumby intern class out at a Cincinnati Reds game.

I also had the opportunity to meet up with other Fisher MBAs while in Cincinnati- we explored restaurants, concert venues and even caught a few Reds games! It was nice to have good friends nearby to share the experience with.

A Cincinnati Reds game with fellow Fisher Ambassador Graham Rouse (left) and Fisher Alum Dan Brown (center).

I look forward to sharing my internship experience with prospective Fisher MBA students as they begin to make their own B-school decision. The Fisher MBA program has opened so many doors for me and my classmates- I can’t wait to see what else will unfold for us as we progress into year two!

The Beginning…

The lovely Ohio Stadium, or the Horseshoe, as we Buckeyes call it, represents life here at Ohio State University. It is a place where we all congregate, no matter what year or major. Life here at Ohio State isn’t just about school, there is so much more here to discover. There are literally thousands upon thousands of students surrounding you that want to share in similar experiences. There are organizations, clubs, and social events at our fingertips. Click here for a link to the student organizations that are available at Fisher – be sure to check these out.  There are so many opportunities here to allow you to flourish as a young professional. With all this being said I know it is scary. It is never easy to leave home, to start new and to challenge yourself. But that is what school is about.

If I could give one piece of advice today it is to take risks. Starting my Masters of Human Resource Management program was a big step for me. I took two years off after I graduated in 2011 with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology to step back and explore potential career paths. I would sit for hours researching companies, fields, and employment opportunities. But at the end of the day I knew I wanted to go back to school. I chose the MHRM program here at Ohio State because it is ranked as one of the top 10 programs in the United States. Another major appeal to the program is the staff – they are tremendous. Your professors have worked at top-notch companies and they have real life experiences to share to you. They will offer to help you with resumes, cover letters, and will help guide you. It is not just about sitting in a classroom and listening to a professor lecture, this program engages and challenges you every step of the way. Like I stated before, graduate school is about taking risks and let me tell you it will all be worth it in the end.