Navigating Fisher: My First Steps & Networking with Alumni

Hi everyone! My name is Stefano Mejia, and I'm excited to share with you my experience as an international student in the SMF program at Fisher College of Business.

I'm now starting my fourth week in the SMF program at Fisher, and I won't sugarcoat it – these have been some busy weeks. Especially for us international folks, adapting to a new country is never a walk in the park. Getting your phone number, setting up a bank account, finding an apartment, and going through orientation – it's all part of the process. But let me tell you, once you get past those initial hurdles, you'll feel an immense sense of accomplishment.

If any of you are worried that life here might be monotonous, let me assure you, it's quite the opposite! In just a couple of weeks, you'll start feeling right at home. I've met some incredible people here with whom I've bonded like we've known each other forever. Moreover, the university and its organizations are a big help. I've joined FLGA (Fisher Latino Graduate Association) and FIGS (Fisher International Graduate Students), both amazing leadership organizations that offer numerous opportunities, such as attending conferences and receiving assistance with job seeking, CVs, and more. I'll delve into more details about these in a future post. I've even found a Peruvian Association, which is just incredible.

In this post, I want to share my experience attending an alumni event this week. We had the chance to meet SMF alumni who graduated from the program as far back as 2012 (the first cohort) up to the most recent in 2022! Around 20 alumni and 35 students gathered at Pfahl Hall, the conference center of Blackwell Inn.

The alumni represented a wide spectrum, from VPs and managers to entry-level analysts, working in various fields ranging from traditional corporate finance to investment banking, risk management, and real estate. I talked to a bunch of people, including Nick Donadio from Victoria's Secret, Mark Venzor from Think Unlimited, Weijun Fu from JP Morgan Chase, Darshan Kataria from Amazon, Havish Cherukuri from EY, and Sophia Lu from Genpact.! Each of them shared with me invaluable insights on how to navigate a career in corporate finance, essential soft and technical skills, and elective courses to consider at Fisher that were beneficial to them. The program moves fast, and this kind of guidance is pure gold as you embark on your job-seeking journey.

In the upcoming weeks, I'll be sharing more content, tips, recommendations on places to explore in Columbus, Saturday football game experiences, my job-seeking process, conference attendance, and much more. So, stay tuned!

I can't wait to see what the rest of the year has in store for us! Go Bucks! ??