Archive for September, 2013



MHRM Career Foundation Seminar

By now, recruiting season is in full swing. Last week was the Fisher Fall Career Fair open to all Fisher students and featuring over two hundred employers. This week is the more intimate graduate student recruiting event, where graduate students from all of our programs can have the opportunity to meet employers who are specifically seeking master’s level students. I am fortunate to have received a full time offer from the company with which I interned so I am skipping the recruiting mayhem this year. But, let me take you back a couple weeks to tell you a bit about what we’ve done for our first year MHRMs to get them prepared for the busy fall season.

As the MHRM class of 2014 rolled back in to Columbus after our various summer internships, we were beyond excited to get to know the incoming first year class. With a full year behind us, we didn’t want to waste any time sharing all we had learned in our first year with our new classmates. I had the opportunity to participate in the 2013 MHRM Career Foundation Seminar on the panel of peers.

The Career Foundation Seminar was hosted by the Office of Career Management with the purpose of exposing the incoming class to careers in human resources. The afternoon consisted of an opening from one of our Fisher professors, a keynote address by Brian Boukalik, Director of Human Resources, North American Truck Division at Eaton Corporation. Brian spoke about the path many HR professionals take in their careers today (hint: there is no one set path). The panel of peers followed Brian’s talk and a panel of professionals- including folks from Batelle, Eaton, Rolls Royce, and Marathon- followed us. Audra Fry wrapped up the day with some tips on competitive interview preparation.

Our panel was composed of four current second year MHRM students who spoke on behalf of our class to the incoming MHRM students. I was thrilled to sit on the panel with my fellow second years, as that portion of the day was easily one of the most fun and helpful parts of the day when I attended last year. We shared our experiences regarding preparation for the internship search, recruiting, and our unique experiences at our internships this past summer. Questions from the first years ranged from what to expect, what organizations are looking for in the interview process, how we applied our classroom knowledge to our internship work, and much more.

I loved having the opportunity to share my experiences with the first years, and I know they appreciated the chance to hear directly from us. We’ve continued to strengthen the connection between the 2014 and 2015 classes throughout our first full week through quick chats in halls, the initial MHRM council meeting, and of course our weekly outing at the bar across the street- The Thirsty Scholar. Everyone I’ve met so far has been wonderful, and I know we’ve got an exciting year ahead of us.


Freshmen Together!

OH-IO under the lights in Disney World!

I come from a large family, I am actually the eldest of five, and started the tradition of attending THE Ohio State University. This year is a special year for me as not only am I starting graduate school but my brother is following in my footsteps as he starts his first year in his undergraduate studies.

Having my brother here has been such an eye-opening experience for me. It makes me nostalgic of my freshman year, but also thrills me that I can live vicariously through him as he progresses through the year. It’s an exciting time for both of us. He is gradually adjusting to life as a college student as I attempt to juggle graduate-level classes, work, and also having a social life (don’t worry, it is definitely feasible!). Deep down, I like to think my brother fully appreciates the advice I give him and not just having me on campus for my chauffeur abilities. I also like to believe I’ll be getting a nice plaque/award/poster for all my help; yet I’ll settle for him asking me to a catch-up dinner instead. It’s neat to think that we are both starting a new chapter in our lives and that we are both able to go through it together. Most importantly, good news for my parents, they have only one stop to visit on Parents’ Weekend!


Bump, Set, Spike!

And the winner is …FLIPFLIP!

Friday night was the first volleyball tournament hosted by FisherServes (a student organization that focuses on volunteering and community service). I am the VP of Marketing for this organization and was so excited to be part of the team that put on this event.

Quick basics of the event:

FisherServes invited students from all programs to create a team for the tournament. There was a six player minim for teams and at least two girls needed to be present on the court at all times.

Players paid $5 to play and picked a charity to “play for”. FisherServes matched the funds raised and donated the total to the winning’s team charity.

So, obviously I am a little biased, but I thought it was a huge success. I was so touched by the generosity of the Fisher family.

The winning team on Friday was FLIP-FLIP. Due to their incredible volleyball skills, FisherServes will be giving $850 ($425 donated by the players and $425 matched by FisherServes) to the charity, Flip. This remarkable charity helps individuals live a lifestyle that prevents cancer through a shift of thinking and holistic approaches.

the winning team FLIP-FLIP and some members of the FisherServes Exec. Team

On FLIP-FLIP was Mary, Lindsey, Tara, Ryan, Todd and Joel. This combined team of MHRM’s & MBA’s played a hard fought game against, The Avengers, a team of talented MHRM students.

I know what you’re thinking – we have talented volleyball all-stars across ALL programs here at Fisher :)

*To learn more about FisherServes or other organizations that I am involved with, please see my recent post: Getting Involved – With Precision*

See everyone soon!

 


Columbus on a Budget

One of the coolest things offered by Ohio State to all students here (including MAcc) is its D-tix service. This service provides discounted tickets to different events. Some of these events include baseball (both MLB and Triple A), soccer, concerts, and even NFL tickets.  A great example of this is the USA vs. Mexico World Cup Qualifier. Tickets for the match, which I attempted to purchase, were a minimum of $50 but D-tix was selling the same ticket for $25. Unlike most tickets, these tickets were lottery based, not first come first serve. Sadly, for me, I was unsuccessful both in the originally lottery for US Soccer as well as the D-tix lottery.

One tip: be aware of the line for the bigger shows. They are long and you need to get there early!

USA vs Mexico D-tix Line. Photo Credit: Ritika Shah

In addition, to the tickets, D-tix also offered discounted tickets to many of the tourist sites around Columbus as well as $25 dollar gift cards for $10 to some of the best restaurants in Columbus. You are only able to purchase 2 per semester but these are just some of the small ways you can enjoy Columbus without killing your wallet!


Tests and Teams

A school without football is in danger of deteriorating into a medieval study hall.”      -Vince Lambardi
We have reached the time for our first exams of the semester.  For some this is a dreadful process and for others it is a walk in the park.  At the graduate level, you should expect tests to be composed of open ended questions and essays that cover material from readings, case studies, and classroom discussions.

The first test is somewhat worrisome because you don’t quite know what the professor wants or how they grade; and, it doesn’t help that there are usually only two tests and a project for each class.  As long as you actively read and apply it to class discussions you will be prepared.  Still, most of my classmates were a little nervous.

After completing the first test, two essay questions.  I feel good about my effort and knowledge.  Unlike undergrad exams, the questions were very broad and required a comprehensive understanding of the subject.  There was an organic meeting with some of my classmates after we finished the test and there were mixed feelings (although I feel we all did just fine!)

When I was in 8th grade, I had a teacher that said being able to work in teams is essential to getting ahead in life.  The MHRM program places a great emphasis on teamwork.  As a full time student, I am taking one semester long class and four half semester classes.  Each course has a component that requires teamwork to complete a paper and presentation.

The purpose of our current projects are to identify how organizations implement the elements of business that we have been studying.  For example we have been been reading and discussing about high performance organizations and how to determine if a business could be considered one.  As HR professionals, we will carry much of the burden of developing these aspects in the organizations we represent.  These projects have deepened my professional network and allowed me to understand what HR managers actually do… well at least gain a better understanding.

Aside from gaining valuable insight into actual businesses, our groups are composed of students with different backgrounds and some from different countries.  In my opinion, this is the best way to learn how to work with others.  With three projects going simultaneously,  I am sharpening my time management, organizational, and leadership skills.  As a former coach, I enjoy working with a tight knit group to accomplish a goal, and this is exactly what you can expect from the MHRM students in the Fisher College of Business.

On a side note, Ohio State football is awesome!  On home games, there is a sea of scarlet and gray all around campus.  The camaraderie and school spirit at Ohio State rivals any school in the country.  You can feel the excitement when you walk through the miles of tailgaters, join in the chants of “OH” “IO”, and smell the cooking from thousands of grills.  If you aren’t fortunate enough to have a ticket, I would suggest joining the crowds in one of the local bars or restaurants.  Just make sure your wearing the right colors and join in the spirit of Buckeye nation!

 


Getting Involved – With Precision

It’s no secret, I love to join clubs and organizations. You can ask people in my program! If possible, I would join every single club at Fisher. However, that isn’t always the best idea…it’s better to join organizations that align with your passions, interests and future career goals (I know, sounds kind of corny – but it’s true!)

Personally, I am the VP of Marketing for FisherServes, Treasurer for Innovation Fisher and on the Steering Committee for Fisher Follies. I am also a member of AMP (Association of Marketing Professionals).

 

Just for your reference:

  • FisherServes – An organization that focuses on philanthropy and community service. We connect FCOB students to volunteer activities in Columbus and we host events that raise money for the surrounding community. Tomorrow is our volleyball tournament – stay tuned for that post!!
  • Innovation Fisher- Is a group that focuses on innovation throughout all aspects of the business world. We offer workshops, engagement activities, tours/events and ways to truly see innovation in practice.

    IF homepage – click the icon to learn more!

  • Fisher Follies- A student group that fosters community at Fisher through creativity (and humor). The two major events are an auction and variety show

    The FisherFollies Exec Team getting ready for the 2013 Variety Show

  • AMP – The marketing group of FCOB. This group helps prepare students for marketing careers with support, knowledge and networking.

 

 

 

See? Told you that I like to be involved. But, hey, it adds excitement and things to do to my already busy school schedule.

Each of these clubs has a special place in my heart. I have met incredible people through these organizations and had an absolute blast. With AMP I traveled to Chicago last year for the marketing hop and am constantly getting to network with fantastic marketing professors and professionals. IF uncovered my passion for innovation and led to my internship at Alliance Data as their Innovation Intern. FisherServes allows me to really stretch my marketing and event planning skills, with lots of fundraising experience as well. FisherFollies introduced me to a great group and really shown me how a small, but mighty, group can impact the Fisher community.

HOWEVER – these are just the groups that I decided to join. Everyone’s story is a little bit different. My friend is a part of the Fisher Graduate Women in Business and putting on workshops that address issues women face in the business world. Another good friend of mine is part of the Fisher Networking Club and plans all of the events/happy hours/socials that make Fisher a family.

We also have a Consulting Club, a Veterans Association, a  Chinese Business Professional Association, a Sports Business Association and so, so many more.

Students are able to attend workshops and events of other organizations, so it’s a great way to learn more about topics outside your focus. For example, I have a one-hour Six Sigma workshop next week and lunch with a C-level Executive next month, and about ten other events in-between. Not too shabby :)

Bottom line – join the clubs that are going to be fun. Doesn’t matter if it’s not your major or your focus, join clubs that you think will interest you.

You won’t be bored here at Fisher!


MAcc Electives – Business of College Sports

One of the aspects of the MAcc program at OSU that really attracted me was the fact that the curriculum is made up of not only excellent accounting classes, but also a variety of electives in different areas of business. Having come into the program with my undergraduate major in accounting has allowed me to branch out and explore some additional areas of business that are of specific interest to me. I’ve always been a fan of Ohio State athletics, so one of my most interesting electives this semester is “The Business of College Sports” taught by Sheila and Gene Smith (Athletic Director for Ohio State!). Their experience and perspective into the business aspect of college sports, particularly here at Ohio State, is eye-opening and truly one of a kind.

Today our class had the opportunity to tour the Woody Hayes Athletic facility. This complex is where the football team’s main weight lifting room, team meeting rooms, and coaches offices are located. In addition, there is an indoor practice field for various sports teams to use during times when the weather isn’t cooperating.

Photo Courtesy of OhioStateBuckeyes.com

Taking this class has made me consider just how similar athletics and business really are. Just like a business, Ohio State must make investments in facilities and programs that will pay the best returns in helping their athletes achieve their goals. The administration must make decisions to innovate and stay at the “cutting-edge” of the college sports arms race, while at the same time staying true to the traditions , values, and core mission of Ohio State. There are countless other comparisons such as game day logistics, talent utilization and recruitment, and performance evaluation that we have talked about in class. When you stop to think about how much effort goes on behind the scenes of the athletic programs to help make the Buckeyes as successful as possible, it is simply astounding!

Classes like this are one of the reasons that I am so glad that I chose the MAcc program at Fisher. When I graduate I will not only have a greater working knowledge of my field, but also a more extensive knowledge and greater appreciation of the role business plays in many other areas!

To learn more about other MAcc electives and the program curriculum click here . If you have any other questions about this, or any of the other classes in the MAcc program, feel free to comment on this post and I would be happy to get back to you the best I can!


Keeping Pace

There was a saying that we used in the Marine Corps: “It is easier to keep up than catch up.”

This phrase mostly applied to things like running or forced marches in that context, but it seems to me that is is quite applicable to an MBA program as well.   Time management is a crucial skill that is needed in order to thrive in this sort of environment.  In the Marines they begin training in stress inoculation and time management almost immediately.  It is not uncommon in boot camp for something simple, like making a rack (bed), to be given an impossible, or nearly impossible time restriction, and it progresses from there to more complex issues with seemingly impossible time constraints.

Important life decisions.

Time management and the ability to work under duress are two of the many valuable skills (along with leadership), that the Marines helped instill in me.   So, back to the MBA program, during the program, there are a lot of priorities that need to be balanced.  Some of the main ones are:

  • School:  Not just going to all of my classes, but doing homework assignments, studying, and working on projects.
  • Future Careers:  Especially for people like myself looking to switch careers, I need to actively work on building my professional network, attend company info sessions and events, job fairs, apply for jobs, hopefully interview for jobs, work on my resume, and meet with my career counselor.

    First Career Fair as a graduate student today!

  • Student organizations:  There are a myriad of student organizations at Fisher, and they all offer valuable opportunities to students.  There is certainly not time to join all of them, but I have joined several, but each additional one requires an additional time commitment.
  • Personal:  This is possibly the easiest to neglect, but humans need sleep, and to eat, and every once and a while to relax.  Things like going to the gym take time, but it is something that should not be neglected.  Also, having a social life within the program is important.  A big part of business school seems to be networking, so doing things like going to happy hours, and football games are important to building strong relationships with classmates.

All of these areas need to be kept in balance, and maintained, sometimes one is going to be more in focus than the rest, but that doesn’t mean the rest can be neglected.  If I neglect an area, then I am going to fall behind in it, which means that in the future, I will need to expend the same amount of energy needed for it now, plus the energy needed for it in the future, in order to catch up.  That is in addition to meeting all of the other requirements from the other sections of my life.  So, a short term sacrifice now, causes long term harm if I decide to slack in one or more areas.  So, even though it might seem overwhelming sometimes, keeping up with it all is easier than trying to catch up with it all in the future.  I should thank my Drill Instructor for the life lesson.

 

Four simultaneous Script Ohio’s is an amazing thing.


Give yourself a break…

There will be times in graduate school where you will feel overwhelmed and helpless. You will wonder how do I survive this?! This past week has been one of those weeks for me. I wondered how can I juggle all of this and maintain my sanity? But you can and you will. This past week I experienced my first Career Fair, which was overwhelming to say the least. But all you have to do is pick and choose the companies that interest you. You approach their booth with confidence and questions. You hand them your resume and thank them for their time. Then you happily walk away. It is really not as scary as I made it out to be. My interview was the same, I was nervous and apprehensive, terrified of making a mistake. But at the end of the day you prepare to the best of your ability. You do background research on the company and get to know yourself. Know your resume and be able to explain your accomplishments. In the end it is all about exuding confidence and being okay with making mistakes, because they are inevitable.

The same goes for your exams, you will sometimes enter exams and draw blanks, other times you know the material like the back of your hand. Prepare to the best of your ability, meet with your peers, and ask your professors for help. I highly recommend in graduate school reading the material and taking good notes. But at the end of the day you prioritize and make time for yourself. There will be a lot of reading and a lot of preparation for interviews, exams, and class. After you get your work done, hang out with friends and enjoy your time here. Rekindle old friendships and be sure to make new connections with classmates here at Fisher. They will be your support system and your shoulder to lean on when times get tough. If you need help or guidance ask the 2nd year students here at Fisher for advice, or ask your classmates who have prior experience. A final note, be present and take things one step at a time. Then afterwards relish in your accomplishments, even if that is just getting through your first interview or exam…


Return of the MAcc

I will begin by saying the title of my first blog is a bit misleading. The Fisher Master of Accounting program only lasts one academic year, so you only get one Fall to be a MAcc student. However, it is the title of a song by Mark Morrison I used to listen to as kind of a joke during the long nights I spent self-studying for the GMAT last October.

I do not recommend doing this if you can avoid it, but if you do, start with Cracking the GMAT. I self-studied out of books from the library and videos I found online because getting into the MAcc program felt like a long shot for me and I am a risk adverse investor. My background is somewhat different than the typical MAcc student, insofar as there is such a thing. I received my bachelors degree in 2008 in Philosophy and History. After figuring out I did not want to be a lawyer and experiencing several part time jobs I decided to take an accounting course at a community college. One class led to many more and I ended up with the 30 hours of upper level accounting courses required to sit for the CPA exam. OSU’s MAcc program was the only one I seriously considered. In terms of reputation, quality of education, and geographical proximity, it was simply my top choice. The extensive amount of electives that make up the curriculum meant I could focus on what I was really interested in, a somewhat more career oriented version of the approach I took when choosing my undergraduate majors.

What I considered to be a distant possibility happened. Orientation was fun and its fast and furious pace set the tone for grad school. But the fact that all of the hard work I had done had paid off really only hit me during my first class, which happened to be with Dr. Arya. The first time I met Dr. Arya was during a tour of Gerlach last January, right before I was about to hear if I had been admitted. That day we sat down with the student tour guide and had a discussion about why I wanted to be a MAcc student and what the program entailed. To actually be sitting in a class with this same man who had I had talked with when I was so hopeful and uncertain was a bit overwhelming. I was here, in Gerlach. I had done it. So in a way, that hopeful accounting student really did get to return to the MAcc program.


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