Archive for November, 2013



Best Damn Band in the Land!!

On October 26th, the OSU football team put its winning streak and undefeated season on the line vs. the Nittany Lions of Penn State – who had just come off a dramatic win over the team up north!  While our football team jumped all over Penn State from the opening kickoff, in route to a 63-14 drubbing, the OSU band is the one stole the night with its halftime tribute to “Hollywood Blockbusters.”

This eight minute performance captured not only the music rendition of some of America’s beloved movies, but the band also marched its way into depicting some of the movies favorite and most memorable moments!  Click here to see the full performance.

Personally, my favorite renditions were Jurassic Park and Pirates of the Caribbean (the last two in the attached link).  In the Jurassic Park montage, the band transformed into a T-Rex and ran down the field to gobble up an unexpected person.  This attack was capped by T-Rex spitting out the humans hat – a marque moment in any Jurassic Park movie!

The band capped off this amazing half time show with a classic Pirates of the Caribbean battle between two ships –OSU vs. Michigan.  Of course, the OSU ship proved to be much stronger and a better shot, as it sunk the Michigan boat!

What even made this day even more special was spending it tailgating and enjoying the game with other 1st and 2nd year Fisher MBAs.  The two years here at Fisher fly by and it’s moments like the Penn State gameday that truly create an amazing MBA experience!

 

 

 

 

 


Making the Most of the Spring Semester!

Course selection can seem like a daunting process at first due to the variety of electives available within Fisher. To make this process slightly less stressful, the MAcc program hosted an electives information session a few weeks before it was time to register for Spring courses. During this session, several professors spoke for a few minutes about their electives that would be offered during the Spring term. They discussed the course components as well as some of the topics that would be covered and then opened up the floor for questions from students. This informal session really helped me gain a better understanding of what courses were being offered within Fisher’s accounting department and I was able to narrow down my selections to the courses I was most interested in taking. However, I have also asked students in the MBA and MHRM programs for their recommendations on elective courses that I should enroll in from other academic departments. Asking my peers from within the MAcc program for elective recommendations was also a great idea because I was able to get a feel for some of some of the accounting electives from the perspective of a MAcc student as opposed to that of the professor. Utilizing the available resources really simplified the process of deciding which electives to take and will hopefully allow me to make the most of my last semester within the MAcc program.

MAcc Students in AMIS 7510 – Assurance Services and Information Quality


No global brands, just global marketers

Last week was the 2013 National Middle Market Summit - Leading From The Middle, which is a collaboration between Fisher and GE Capital. The event ensures that the middle market receives the attention it deserves – and helps drive conversation around these vital industries. Fisher students have been given the opportunity to have Q&As with C-level executives from GE, and if this event is anything like last year, it’s going to be a great experience for students.

I had the chance to sit-in on a round table discussion with Ian Forrest, the Vice President of Global Marketing for GE Capital on Monday afternoon. Here is a quick snapshot of Ian’s bio:

“Ian is responsible for the GE Capital value proposition, brand and global marketing communications activities. He is responsible for the GE Capital’s National Center for the Middle Market partnership with The Ohio State University.”

Bottom line, it was a really interesting discussion and a great opportunity to learn from a very talented marketer. Ian talk about how winners will redefine scale and that markets are becoming frictionless.He stressed the importance of not being constrained by traditional thinking and always, always, always investing in R&D. Ian discussed how R&D is the sure way to become better and point the company forward.

I thought the most interesting point was his opinion concerning global corporations and brands. Ian talked  about how there are “No longer global brands, only global marketers”. He told our small group of Full Time and Working Professional MBAs that some companies know how to win in every market – and that’s what will keep them in the forefront of their industries. To be successful, a company needs to be global and treat every market differently. Taking the exact business model that works in the US and trying to force its success in Brazil or China will only lead to failure.

There’s me – to the right, three people over!

Ian made several well articulated points – my notebook was full of snippets I want to remember! It was a great kick-off to the Middle Market summit, and I am excited to attend the main event on Wednesday!

 

 

 

Here are some ways to join in the Middle Market conversation:

#MidMarketSummit

@MidMarketCenter

@FisherOSU

@GECapital

 


#MidMarketSummit

Yesterday was the 2013 Mid Market Summit, and thanks to my GA, I was able to attend the afternoon sessions and help with social media. It was an incredible opportunity listening to business leaders discuss current trends, the future of the Middle Market and more.

One of my favorite moments was listening to ESPN’s Darren Rovell talk to Billy Beane (GM of the Oakland Athletics) about big data. Mr. Beane discussed the similarities between baseball and business – and how you need to trust your head, not your gut. It was a fascinating story — and I know that I will be renting Moneyball in the very near future.

Some of my classmates even got to meet Mr. Rovell after his segment and got a great photo!

Right: ESPN’s Darren Rovell
Left: Oakland Athletics’ GM, Billy Beane,

 

The Fisher Sports Business Association had the great opportunity to meet with Darren Rovell from ESPN/ABC today — he’s the authority on the business of sports.

These opportunities are what I absolutely love about my school. The National Center for The Middle Market, in collaboration with the Fisher College of Business and GE Capital, host this event and put critical attention on the Middle Market. Other speakers from yesterday included Under Armour’s CEO Kevin Plant, The Washington Post‘s CEO Don Graham, Jonah Berger (author of Contagious: Why Things Catch On and Marketing Professor at Wharton School, and more.

Story from Fisher about GE Executives visiting and sharing their expertise with students: http://fisher.osu.edu/newsroom/?folder=65&news=3744

It has been a very educational 72 hours for me, and everyone at OSU!


Accepting an Offer

A job offer is the holy grail of business school. After all, this is the main reason that so many eager professionals return to school and put their professional lives on hold for two years. When I see someone after they have accepted a job offer, they appear to be much more relaxed – almost as if they have received a second wind.

I recently accepted a job offer from 3m. My family and I will head up to the frozen tundra of Minnesota to work in 3M’s marketing leadership development program. We couldn’t be more excited. However, it was a decision that took a lot of thought and consideration. When considering offers and what we were looking for in a career, here is a little glimpse of our criteria and what we valued:

  • Total Compensation – Clearly, financial compensation was important to me, but it wasn’t everything. I had to look into health insurance, vacation days, paid time off, 401k, stock options, signing bonus, relocation,  etc. Too many people may focus solely on base salary or variable compensation. My advice to anyone would be to not make that mistake.
  • Community – Moving to a new city is never an easy thing to do. When you have a family, it makes it that much more difficult. I recognize that I will be at work most of the time, but my wife and child will not.
  • Professional Development – I wanted to make sure that the company I would work with after my time in b-school would provide exposure and opportunities for professional development. The more responsibility and exposure, the better.
  • People/Department – Who I work with is extremely important. Nobody wants to work with a jerk or a terrible department that doesn’t receive recognition. Working for a good boss and a company full of great people was extremely important to me in my evaluation.
  • Work-Life Balance – I believe in working hard and working smart, but I also value my family and the time I get to spend with them. If I have to miss tee-ball games and kindergarten graduations, that isn’t the job or company for me. No success outside the home can compensate for failure within.

Again, this is just a short list of a few things I had to consider when evaluating job offers and future opportunities. Everyone’s list will be different, but I suggest that everyone make a list before the offers start rolling in. It’s harder to setup an objective list once offers have been seen

 


GE Capital CMO Visits Fisher

Ian Forrest, the current CMO of GE Capital, was on campus a few days ago as part of the 2013 Middle Market Summit. A handful of marketing students were able to sit down with Ian to learn about marketing in a global economy. Luckily for me, I was able to learn from his well of knowledge.

Not only did Ian talk about how to be a great marketer, but he highlighted the importance of being a great leader. Here are a few highlights that I took away from my hour with this fantastic business leader.

  • There are no global brands, only global marketers. Brands can be known throughout the world, but they may differentiate depending on location. A marketing manager in the Unites States will not be able to market effectively in the German market without living there and experiencing the culture. Marketers need to understand the importance of how consumer behavior and insights differ throughout the world.
  • Brands have lost the power, consumers hold the upper hand. Consumers have many options within the marketplace. Gone are the days where brands can afford to make mistakes with their consumers. Products and brand comparisons can take place instantly using smartphones, tablets, computers, and other technologies utilized by consumers. Marketing managers must consider the power of consumers when constructing the marketing mix.
  • Pricing is becoming more and more transparent. Similar to the prior point, consumers can figure out more and more if a product is priced competitively in the market. Proceed with caution when setting a pricing strategy because customers will search for the value.
  • Most insights are found in the long tail, not the majority. The insights that really matter are not found within the majority of the market. Differentiation doesn’t come through core customers, but through the incremental gains in new clients and customers.

This list is not an exhaustive list of everything he shared, just a few tidbits that stood out to me. Fisher continues to provide me with opportunities to help me develop myself as not only a good marketer, but also a great leader. This event was one of those times. It really doesn’t get much better than this.


Interview Prep

I know that preparing for interviews can seem like a waste of time sometimes.  In the basic sense, it is just having a conversation, so why not just go in with the attitude of: “I’m just gonna go in there, be myself, answer their questions with great stories, and knock the interviewer’s socks off.”  And the answer is, because that probably isn’t how it will go at all if you don’t do any prep work, like having answers for common questions prepared.

When I was up in Chicago for the MBA Veteran’s conference, I participated in a conversation with some fellow combat arms vets that probably could have been titled:  The greatest hits of terrible interview question answers.   The questions that were asked in the interviews were generally along the lines of:

“Tell me about a time you were in a seemingly impossible situation, how did you find an innovative solution?”

“Tell me about a time when you were under a lot of stress and had to make a difficult decision?”

“Describe a time when you worked as part of a team to meet a seemingly impossible goal?”

“Describe a time when you used your leadership skills in order to resolve a conflict?”

As a former infantryman who went on multiple overseas deployments, I have a fair amount of experience working in adverse situations, making difficult decisions, working as a part of a team, and using leadership skills.  But, as the mental Rolodex clicks through my life’s story, the first experience that comes to mind for any of those questions is not one that I am going to use in a job interview.  The reason I say that isn’t because I lack pride in my time as a Marine, or am ashamed of what I did overseas or anything like that.  The reason is that the interviewer is not going to be able to understand how to translate those answers into potential value for the company.   During a job/internship interview, the potential employee has to show that it would add value to the company to bring them on board.   If your answer takes the interviewer to a situation and place that they will never understand, full of acronyms and jargon that sounds like a foreign language, they are not going to be able to grasp the value that you can add to their company through your past experiences.  Instead of stories appropriate for the VFW hall, focus on positive stories, that showcase skills like the ability to work as part of a team, be a leader, use time management efficiently, make timely decisions, ect…

So, in my humble opinion, if you are in a situation where you are going to be going to interviews, taking the time to think through some answers to typical behavioral interviewing questions.  That is what I have done, and now I have alternative experiences to draw on, and don’t need to rely on the first experience that comes to mind when someone asks me about a time when everything was going wrong, and success seemed impossible.

I know this post seems rather veteran-centric, but I think it applies to everyone.  It is a good idea to think before you speak in an interview, and make sure that your story conveys a sense of added value to the company that they will be able to understand.  That generally isn’t something that is going to happen without some prep work ahead of time.


Staying in Shape at Fisher

Here at Fisher there are plenty of opportunities to get out and do things other than schoolwork and studying.  I am a very active person and as such have taken advantage of the many physical activity programs that are available at Ohio State.

  • Intramural Football – Fisher put together a co-ed flag football team that was comprised of people from a variety of programs.  It allowed me and a few of the other SMFs to meet some of the individuals in the other Fisher programs.  Football was a good chance to get out on the weekends and get some physical activity while in a fun, competitive environment.
  • Club Swimming – I was an NCAA Swimmer in undergrad at the University of South Carolina so I am always looking for ways to continue to stay in shape and Club Swimming is one of the best opportunities that I have found.  We practice a few times a week and then swim a few meets a semester against other colleges in the area and it is a great chance to not only do a little training but also get up and race every few weeks.
  • Recreation Facilities – Ohio State offers some of the best on-campus recreation facilities in the country with the RPAC, Jesse Owens North, and Jesse Owens South all within a few minute walk of Fisher.  The RPAC is the flagship of the rec department and is one of the largest collegiate rec centers in the country.  They offer over a dozen basketball courts, a massive weight room, hundreds of pieces of cardio equipment, an indoor track, as well as one of the nicest aquatic facilities in the country.  It is very convenient to Fisher and is just a 5 minute walk into campus and is a great place to grab a quick workout in between classes or to break up a long study period.

RPAC exterior


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