When I returned to Columbus back in August, I assumed I already knew everything there was to know about Ohio State and the Columbus area. I went to Ohio State for undergrad and graduated from Fisher with a major in Marketing. Because of this, I expected to have a good feel of Fisher and all that it has to offer. However, now that I am two whole days into our second session, I have to say that I have discovered many new things about Fisher and Ohio State. There have been many differences between my time as an undergrad student and now, but there are a few key differences I have to highlight.
1) Class Size/Interaction: I am sure many of my fellow students considered Fisher’s intimate class size as one of the reasons they chose to get their MBA here. However, for me this has been a drastic change that I really enjoy. As an undergraduate student here at Fisher, I knew some of the other students, but classes were large and everyone was free to make their own schedule. With just 120 classmates who are taking the same core classes as me, I love that I have the opportunity to get help if I need it, talk through class assignments and even just have classmates to eat lunch with in the lounge between classes. This brings me to #2…
2) The Graduate Student Lounge: As an undergrad at a university as large at Ohio State, it was sometimes hard to even find a seat in the library (especially during finals week). It was also hard to find areas for groups to meet and discuss projects. The lounge has been the perfect place to meet with other students, grab a seat for lunch and even just to get some homework done when you have time to kill between classes. It has also been so convenient to have a fridge and microwaves so that you can bring lunch instead of eating out every day (which was a bad habit of mine during undergrad).
3) Enhanced Student Organizations/Opportunities: Ohio State has numerous student organizations available as an undergrad. However, I have been so impressed with the options available to Fisher students in the MBA program. From Fisher Board Fellows, where you have the opportunity to sit on an actual non-profit board, to Fisher Follies, that hosts the annual Auction and Variety show, there is an organization for everyone. What I find most exciting about our MBA organizations is the amount of involvement/leadership opportunities. This all ties back to the benefits of a small program, but everyone has a chance to take a role in an organization if they would like.
4) New Columbus Areas to Explore: As an undergrad, you tend to act as though you are confined to the campus area. Now that I am back in Columbus as an MBA student, I find that I am exploring new restaurants and areas more often. As a graduate student, everyone seems more willing to explore outside of the campus area and as a result I feel like I am living in a brand new city.
As I said before, there are many differences between being a graduate student here and an undergraduate student. I loved my time as an undergrad, but I am just as excited for these next two years as a graduate student. I would say I will be a Columbus/OSU “pro” by the time I am done, but I thought that before so I am sure there will still be new things to explore!