A Wrap to My First Year of Grad School

As grades are out and summer is here, I finally get to sip on a good cup of iced coffee enjoying the sunshine by the window in a coffee shop – this time I’m not studying (hooray!), instead I’m writing a blog post to reflect on the crazily wonderful and crazily stressful year I just had here at Ohio State.

Where do I even begin? I remember unloading the U-Haul truck, and buying Ohio State jerseys at the bookstore last August. It seems just like yesterday. When I first enrolled at the MBLE program, I knew it was going to be a good year, but I had no idea it was going to be this good. I strengthened my professional skills, found mentorships, challenged myself to new things, and made lifelong friendships. Fisher provided me with way more than what I expected, and I can’t wait to start my summer internship and show my future employer what I can do as a future supply chain professional.

Our class only has 28 students, which is very small, but that also meant closer relationships and stronger bonds. In the first semester, as some classes were introductory, we were learning new things, but most of us also had time to enjoy ourselves at football games, at happy hours, at hiking trips, and also constantly finding ourselves going on food adventures in large groups. I know some people would argue that it is grad school and the world knows grad students have no life. Like that old saying “pictures or it didn’t happen”, well, I’m attaching a few photos here to show I did at least have some fun despite the heavy workload from school:

Hanging out at Short North (along with a few MAcc students)

Game Day at the Little Bar
Picnic at Doctor Zinn’s house

Game Day at the Stadium (featuring two of my Purdue friends)

Me picking pumpkins during an MBLE Council Outing Trip
Dinner party at Forno’s Kitchen and Bar Restaurant

As the weather got colder, the Spring Semester hit us by storm. All of a sudden, I found myself struggling with meeting all the deadlines. To make it worse, the second quarter of the semester had two additional classes that required project work. All I remember from the month of March and April were the smell of espresso shots, and the horrible sound alarms make in the morning. Towards the end of Spring Semester, most of us had at least 4 projects, 1 paper, and 4 presentations to deliver within a 2-week window. It was absolute chaos. I remember pulling an all-nighter in the computer lab working on the simulation project along with my teammates. We used chairs and floors as beds, we used printing papers as pillows, and we took a short break by getting breakfast from McDonald’s when the sun was just about to rise. Nobody in the team gave up, and nobody in the team complained. It was a weird feeling, knowing that you’re probably in serious trouble because time is running out, but also knowing that you’ve got a good team and you WILL make it when the time does run out.

I’m a bit of a procrastinator, so I tend to work my schedule according to the deadlines. Here is my piece of advice for the future MBLErs: Do not procrastinate! Maybe you’ve had success in undergrad or in a workplace where you can relax for the first half of a project and pull off deliverables last minute, but it simply does not happen here at Fisher, and it certainly won’t work for anyone who enrolls in the MBLE program. It doesn’t matter if you’re smarter than the average person, because everybody in the program is smarter than the average person. Being smart does not mean you spend less time on assignments and projects, because coursework here requires both critical thinking and detailed execution, and without a significant time commitment you won’t be able to deliver good results. I learned that lesson the hard way, and in the coming semester I certainly will start working on things early instead of trying to be “Just In Time’. JIT is a wonderful methodology, but it doesn’t work when you’re hitting a learning curve and need additional time to fix mistakes from an earlier stage of the project.

Spring Semester was painful, but at least we can all now be relieved that it’s over. I think everyone in the class should be proud of what they’ve accomplished so far. I myself have grown so much professionally and personally, and I’ve seen so much growth in my peers too. To wrap it up, I’d like to attach pictures from some of my favorite professional events I attended this past year via Fisher.

APICS conference in San Antonio, TX
OLMA’s 2018 Supply Chain Symposium
Volunteering at the COE Summit 2018

Cheers to a good year and the finally warm weather!

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