How the time has flown! I have gone from being a prospective MAcc student reading the My Fisher Grad Life Blog and wondering why some authors didn’t post more, to being a soon-to-be graduate who is impressed they posted so much! The past nine months have been the most intense period of self-growth and change I have ever experienced in my life. I met so many amazing people and was exposed to different perspectives on life and business. I know I will walk into my first full time job as a finance auditor at the Auditor of State’s office better prepared to be a successful professional thanks to my time at Fisher.
Here is a small sample of some of the things I was doing over the past year while I was too busy to blog:
One of the greatest games ever invented is golf. There are a number of cheesy quotes from either Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus, or Happy Gilmore once said in reference to the game. Any way you look at it, golf is the best frustrating game out there. Many of us experienced this last week at the 2014 Fisher Golf Scramble at the Golf Club of Dublin.
I love playing golf and have enjoyed the game for most of my life. For this reason, I was excited to hear that there would be a fun event for students to get together and hit some balls around the course. For me, this would be my third time playing golf since the beginning of business school (I know, where are my priorities?).
One of the best parts of the day was that the weather cooperated for the first time this year. The course was in great shape and the sun was shining. Perfect conditions for golf!
My team started off pretty well going birdie birdie on the first two holes. That’s when things changed, sort of. We double bogeyed the next hole, which was a par 3. I guess I could finish this post there because that’s about the time when you want to walk off the course in a scramble. Anyway, we kept playing and had a great time. Some how, even with a double bogey and a bogey, we came in at four under par.
One of the most memorable moments of the day was when two MBA students (who shall remain nameless) “accidentally” parked their golf cart on the green while they were putting. Needless to say, the marshal wasn’t too happy when he gave them a stern warning.
After the round everyone gathered together for awards and a nice meal. It was fun to relax and enjoy golf with friends and classmates as we wind down our time here at Fisher.
When the AMP (Association of Marketing Professionals) executive team got together at the beginning of the school year, we outlined some of the important topics that we wanted to be a part of our AMP Engagement Series. As we all discussed our internship experiences, one common challenge we all faced was leveraging large amounts of consumer data (whether it’s IRI/Nielsen or other secondary research) to help shape our projects and recommendations. As a result, the AMP executive team organized a “Working with Data” engagement series lunch for AMP members. We were very fortunate to have the privilege of welcoming Sarah Bader and John Lewis from the Scotts Miracle-Gro Team to speak about key market research/data terminology and to talk about ways to leverage data in order to find consumer insights and/or help direct business decisions.
My favorite part of the lunch discussion was the mini case study we did at the end. The objective of the case study was to look at secondary data and make recommendations on what markets Scotts Outdoor Cleaner should advertise in. The data outlined important geographical areas and multiple metrics that we needed to analyze in order to provide our recommendations. Everybody had a great discussion on what markets they thought Scotts should advertise in and supported those recommendations through the data provided!
As an executive leader in AMP, I wanted to thank Sarah and John for all the work they put into this presentation and case study! We are extremely lucky to have such great relationships with companies like Scotts who are always willing to come in and talk with current Fisher MBA students!
Two days ago I sat in one of the most impressive presentations I have witnessed during my time here at Fisher. I was able to learn the story of success and failures of a popular American outdoor brand, Patagonia.
Vincent Stanley, the “chief story teller” for Patagonia discussed his 41 year career with the company and how he helped in growing the brand to what it is today.
I was impressed most of all with his humility and passion for profitable sustainability. He spoke of lessons he learned during failures and successes within his tenure at the company. He noted that he nearly bankrupted the company of number of times, but was fortunate that the company’s culture pulled them through tough times.
Stanley highlighted the fact that the hiring process is crucial to the company’s success. The company makes sure that new employees understand the importance of being profitable, yet sustainable. The products that Patagonia manufacture and sell to the public are high quality and priced at a premium, because the company believes in minimal waste. The hope is that customers will use the clothing for 5-10 years and then return the product to be recycled into a new article to be sold as a different product. Stanley noted that the company believes firmly in cradle to cradle sustainability.
I enjoyed not only the stories of the success, but the on-boarding steps taken to increase morale and productivity. Patagonia makes sure its employees are passionate about the outdoors. Many employees participate in a 2 month internship with a NGO. During this experience the company provides the employee with full compensation as if they were working at corporate.
It is no surprise that a company focused on selling outdoor products invests so much time, resources, and money into keeping the outdoors sustainable and beautiful. My hat’s off to this company and its impressive leadership team full of people like Vincent Stanley.
Chuck Gehring is passionate about his job and his company’s mission. His passion is evident in the way he talks about his company and the role he plays in leading such an organization. Having him come and speak was a special treat for students in the Leadership Legacy course.
Chuck’s organization, LifeCare Alliance, is a nonprofit that focuses on helping communities by identifying and delivering health and nutrition services to those in need. A few of the well known programs include Meals-On-Wheels, Columbus Cancer Clinic, IMPACT Safety, and many others.
Having Chuck in the classroom allowed students to ask questions and learn more about his career path and leadership style. Chuck was enthusiastic about the opportunities that recently minted MBAs have in the nonprofit sector. He stated that many nonprofits could benefit from having younger business leaders included in the board room in order to assist in connecting with younger generations.
Chuck’s career path has been anything but traditional. He started his career with Anheusser Busch before moving on to Sanese Services. From there, Chuck moved into nonprofit and has enjoyed being in this sector.
His take on leadership was inspiring. He noted the importance of doing the right thing, not only for yourself and your company, but for the community in which one resides. It is obvious that Chuck has a great focus on making his organization successful and doing so in an ethical and professional manner. I was struck by one comment he made about his struggle sleeping at night if he feels like the company fell short in one area or another. He truly believes in creating sustainable change for the community by providing wonderful health and nutrition services to those in need.
Last week, I had the incredible opportunity to have lunch with Mr. Jesse Tyson. Jesse is currently the President and CEO of the National Black MBA Association. Previously, Jesse led the Global Aviation business for ExxonMobil based in Brussels, Belgium. Jesse was in town to receive the Fisher College of Business “Pace Setter Executive Award”, which is the highest award our college could bestow on an executive.
Jesse’s story is one that is common and unique at the same time. Growing up in the segregated south, the lessons of his grandmother shaped his moral compass and drive for success. This drive took him to Lane College for a BS in economics and to Ohio State for his MBA. After Ohio State, Mr. Tyson began what would be a 35 year long career with ExxonMobil that would take him to dozens of companies and allow him to rise through the ranks.
Jesse’s career has truly been global and he encouraged students to take risks and develop international careers. This is his top suggestion for being successful in a large company. Jesse shared his thoughts on the evolution of diversity over his career and how he managed his career throughout. When asked about his 35-year career at ExxonMobil, he engaged and facilitated the group in a discussion about the positives and negatives of either staying at a company long term or short term. What was most impressive about Mr. Tyson was that he has demonstrated a career of service. He understood his obligation to Fisher and the university and he truly wants to pay his experience forward. I feel fortunate that such a strong individual is closely aligned with Fisher.
It is hard to believe, this this school year is already coming to a close. Last August seems like such a short time ago, and the months have gone by in the blink of an eye. I am currently in the middle of mid-term exams for the second term of the spring semester, and will be halfway through my MBA journey in under a month.
This summer is showing no signs of being any less busy, between working during my internship, to participating in the GAP program, and taking advantage of other opportunities around Columbus. One of the activities that has occurred in Columbus every summer for the better part of the last decade is the Pelotonia charity bike ride, which raises funds for the James Cancer Center here on campus. A short description from the ride’s website:
The model of Pelotonia remains simple: Pelotonia’s operating expenses are covered by funding partners so that 100% of every dollar raised by Pelotonia riders, virtual riders and volunteers goes directly to fund cancer research at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center—Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute. Pelotonia was initially funded with a five-year, $12.5 million commitment, with a goal to raise $39 million during this time period.
The ride has raised over $61 million dollars to help fund cancer research over the years, and is a great way to give back to the community. This year, I will be riding as part of the Fisher College of Business team, along with several of my other classmates who are also going to be in the Columbus area over the summer. So, along with my internship this summer, I will be balancing my training regime in order to prepare for the ride. If you have any interest in learning more about myself and the other Fisher students who will be riding, you can follow this link: Dan Reeder
On March 21, 2014, Innovation Fisher and the Association of Marketing Professionals present INNOVATION CAMP 2014 to a group of approximately 200 students and business professionals.
The speaker line-up was phenomenal:
Sucharita Mulpuru, VP and Principal Analyst of Forrester Research
Cathy Lewis, VP and CMO of 3D Systems Corp.
A panel discussion – “Marketing Columbus as an Innovative City”
Daryl Butler, Director of Brand Marketing for Beats By Dr. Dre
Each speaker and discussion brought a different outlook and great takeaways of marketing and innovation in today’s world. Sucharita outlined disruptive innovation in the customer service industry, food and shopping/delivery models. Buying groceries online and having them delivered or picking them up at specific location? Count me in!
The discussion about 3D blew me away. From retail, electronic, automotive…even food! I am excited to see what happens next with this cool tool – the possibilities are endless. Cathy talked about the possibility of personalized organs and bones.
Then, there was a panel that told the audience how they are putting Columbus on the map. We compete directly with other cities such as Cincinnati, Chicago and etc. for talent and resources – how do we bring, and sustain, life in the good ol’ Columbus? Our brand of ColumbUS has always caught my eye, but it was interesting to see where that stems from. THE state of Ohio losing to Michigan because of the “Pure Michigan” campaign?! Say it isn’t so!
Fisher voted Beats by Dr. Dre as the Marketer of the Year. The event ended with a talk about Beats advertising that was incredible – Daryl talked about the “Hear What you Want” campaign and how storytelling plays a critical role in all commercials. The attribute of noise cancellation became the campaign of “Hear What You Want”. Daryl also talked about how products, culture and music support the company of Beats by Dr. Dre – but at the core is passion.