First Impressions, First Challenges, First Action Steps

Hello there! My name is Mai Erana Salmeron and I am a first-year MHRM student at Fisher College of Business. I want to start by telling you about my background, especially how and why I am here today. Then I would love to share, as my title expresses, the first impressions, challenges, and action steps I am embracing as I start my year as a graduate student at Fisher.

A little bit about me

I was born in Mexico City, but moved to Chile shortly after, then to Venezuela, back to Mexico City, and finally to Ohio! My family has been in Columbus for some time now; I actually went to high school around here. I left for undergrad in Boston and came back for graduate school. (Fun fact: I moved to Columbus for the very first time on July 6th, and on that date exactly seven years later, I moved back permanently for grad school. Meant to be? I think so!)

I have an undergrad degree in hospitality administration, which is a result of my love for taking care of others, and the tremendous impact gathering people around the table served to help me adapt to various cultures growing up. Most of my work experience has been in the Food and Beverage industry, but it’s through those opportunities that I recognized a tremendous need for employee development and talent management. I had some great “lightbulb moments” as I like to call them that made me realize how much I like human resources and how this had to be the next step in my career.

Graduation from Boston University
Some of my work at a local golf club in Columbus

So why OSU? I think it took me to get out of Columbus to realize how much I love it! There is nothing more welcoming than this beautiful, vibrant city with a great balance of city and suburban life. There is so much to do, so many places to eat at, and so much community involvement to experience. Being part of this city means you are a Buckeye in some way or another, so I truly looked forward to moving back and being a part of it all again. Fisher is an even more exciting part of this decision. As I looked for HR programs, I couldn’t find anything that compared! The school has phenomenal rankings, opportunities, and most importantly, people who demonstrated they wanted to invest in me as much as I wanted to invest in them.

Columbus heads into the fall:)
Ohio High School D1 Golf State Championship at OSU Gray
Columbus Zoo lights!

First impressions

If I had to describe how Fisher makes me feel after the first few weeks of classes I would use the words capable and dynamic. Even before we got to campus, the staff and faculty were engaging with the students. We had prep modules, books, and other interactive plans that helped me become a part of the culture at Fisher; these also allowed me to see that I have what it takes to succeed in this career. I am unbelievably grateful for all the ways in which Fisher guides its students to take small, yet meaningful steps to prepare for class, career fairs, networking opportunities, and most importantly learn about yourself. There is never a dull moment at this school; there is always some organization providing involvement opportunities, or a chance to connect with the staff, alumni, and professors.

First challenges

Being told all the steps involved in becoming a competitive business student is terrifying, and quite frankly, you can feel overwhelmed. So far, I have had to learn to pause and think of all the things that I have done, career wise, and ask myself why they mean something to me. I have learned that it is invaluable to be patient with myself to process all these expectations, so I can figure out what to work on that will truly help me grow. I have had to get out of my comfort zone and just jump in, as I learn to solve problems whenever they arise. It’s a bit uncomfortable, but it has also been truly rewarding.

First action steps

These are a few pieces of advice I have heard in my time at Fisher thus far. I would encourage you to keep them in mind because they can help you be very successful and enjoy the program to the fullest. I also think they are helping me stay accountable and motivated🙂

  • Be present
  • Prepare
  • Be a life-time learner
  • Take on leadership fearlessly
  • Be kind to yourself

Author: Maite Erana Salmeron

Mai is a first-year student in the MHRM program at Fisher College of Business. She has lived in four countries, speaks three languages, and is passionate about hospitality.