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Final Exams!

I can’t believe we are in the midst of final exams – the first semester of the MBA program has flown by!  It’s been a wonderful journey. I’ve learned so much and gotten to know so many great people here at Fisher – my classmates, the second-year MBAs and the wonderful faculty and staff.

I’ve only got two final exams left, and then the first semester will officially be over! We get almost an entire month of break, so I am looking forward to a bit of relaxing and recharging after this hectic semester.

I am also looking forward to practicing more case interviews, researching companies and applying for more summer internships. Interviews for many of my target firms start in January, so I need to get all my applications in before break!

I’m looking forward to a new set of classes next semester, several case competitions and a trip to Silicon Valley with the Fisher Entrepreneurship Association in February (more on those to come!).

Almost there … just two more finals to go :)

 


It’s Cold Outside!

Columbus has had an unseasonably warm winter this year (luckily, for those of us who aren’t polar bears!), but we’ve still had plenty of 30-40°F  weather. Since it’s still December, I expect there will be more of that to come… :(

The first few days of cold, I bundled up every time I walked the short walk from Gerlach Hall (where my classes are) to Mason Hall (where my GA appointment is located). Alisa, living up to her moniker of resident Fairy Godmother at Fisher, saw me bundling up on my way out of Fisher and saved me (as usual!) by leading me into the tunnel system.

The Fisher campus is gorgeous, with beautifully designed buildings and classrooms. A brilliant architect – to whom I will be forever grateful – connected all these beautiful buildings with an underground tunnel system, so everyone can access any building without stepping outside! I no longer have to worry about the cold (or the rain!), thanks to these awesome tunnels!

As if that wasn’t great enough, the tunnels are decorated with pictures of the Fisher campus in various stages of completion. Here are some of my favorites:

Fisher Campus

 

Fisher Campus (1997)

 

Fisher Campus, 1998

 

Mason Hall (1998)

Mason Hall (2000)

(If you’re curious about what the Fisher campus looks like today, you can take a mini virtual tour here).

These tunnels have saved me on many a rainy and/or cold day.. and the beautiful pictures of the Fisher campus are always an added bonus!


Lunch with President Gordon Gee

This week at Fisher: lunch with President Gordon Gee! Meeting the president of any university is an exciting event, but Gordon Gee is not just any president.

President Gordon Gee

In 2009, he was named one of the top 10 university presidents in the United States by Time magazine, and for good reason: among other things, he is charismatic, charming and very passionate about higher education. Oh.. and he wears bow ties :)

He is a legend on The Ohio State University campus. During a class a few weeks ago, a professor asked the class how many people had met Gordon Gee: every student who attended OSU as an undergrad and many of the graduate students raised their hands. Many of them had met him at a party, as he is always walking around campus, and is known for stopping by at parties (as late as 3AM!). On Facebook, many of my fellow Buckeye’s have a “with Gordon Gee” picture, at various places around campus. He has a knack for connecting with the younger generation, and the passion he has for the university, and education in general, is inspiring.

The International Business Club sponsored the lunch, and Gordon Gee spoke to us about international experiences. He emphasized the importance of learning from those around us, and seeking opportunities at Fisher to study abroad through the many international programs available, as he stressed that true education happens as much outside the classroom as within. He also spoke about the importance of working on multi-cultural teams during our education, as many cultures of the world are already here at Fisher, via our wonderful international classmates!

Gordon Gee at Fisher (picture from Fisher’s Facebook page)

I never got a chance to take a picture with him after the speech, but given how ubiquitous he is on campus, I know I will get plenty of chances to run into him and get my own “with Gordon Gee” memory.


Career Support at Fisher

I attended the 2012 MBA Women International Conference, thanks to Fisher Graduate Women in Business (with support from the Office of Diversity and Inclusion). This conference was a great opportunity for networking with a wide array of professionals. It was a small conference, which meant there were shorter lines for the career fair, as well as opportunities for more in-depth conversations. The smaller size also allowed for smaller sessions and panel discussions, and an opportunity for those of us in the audience to actively participate in the conversation and interact with members of the panel.

The opportunities for networking were plentiful – the attendees of the conference ranged from entrepreneurs and CEOs to C-suite executives of large firms to fellow MBA students, and everything in between. I had the chance to hear from several inspiring keynote speakers (Lee Rhodes, Scott Woelfel, Leo J. Hindery Jr among others!), as well as meet and network with people from all over the world!

I met many graduate students, from schools all over the US, all of whom were second-year MBA students or recently graduated from an MBA program, all targeting full-time jobs. Most were surprised to learn we were first-year MBA students aiming for internships, which made me very grateful for the support that Fisher offers us very early in our job-search process.

Based on this experience (and countless other experiences!), I was not surprised to learn recently that Fisher moved up 5 spots in the Bloomberg rankings, something I expect will continue annually!


2012 Ohio State vs. Michigan Football Game

The OSU-Michigan football game is always one of the hottest games of the season, and the hype surrounding it starts well before the game. There are several traditions for “Beat Michigan week”, including a “blood battle” and a jump in a lake!

The dedication to the game runs deep… and there was a series of amusing commercials on ESPN a few years ago poking fun at the rivalry, like the one below.

Football fans love it here at OSU, especially during Michigan week. The energy is contagious, and it infects even those of us who aren’t the biggest football fans ;)

One thing that everyone can agree on, regardless of football fandom, is the brilliance of the OSU marching band (aka TBDBITL). This is a video of the incredible halftime performance from the Nebraska game, back in October.

The Buckeyes won the game (26-21) and beat Michigan, finishing an undefeated season this year!

Go Buckeyes!


Classes and Majors

There are so many things going on in any typical week and it can be easy to get overwhelmed and lost in the details. The incredible faculty and staff at Fisher anticipate this, and make sure to keep us informed of what we need to know.

Recently, there was a host of Major information sessions during lunch, where faculty members introduced us to all the elective classes available at Fisher and how to organize them according to the major/minor we wanted to pursue. This was very helpful, since there are more than 100 electives offered through Fisher, and we can also choose to take any classes from OSU if they relate to the major/minor/track chosen.

In my case, I wanted to customize my major (one of the reasons I chose Fisher!), so I was mostly interested in the “Customize your Major” info session, but I attended several of the other sessions to learn more about the different classes in each major. I knew I wanted classes out of the Strategy and Marketing majors, and the sessions helped me narrow down which ones to keep in mind.

I’m now registered for Spring semester, and am currently working with the incredible MBA academic advisor here at Fisher (Jen Mercer) to map out the rest of my curriculum.

I also met with the Executive Director of Graduate Programs, Nancy Lahmers. She and Jen are providing their considerable expertise to help me align my customized MBA major with my future career goals.

The help and support from everyone in the Graduate Programs Office at Fisher is invaluable. I know that I can count on them for guidance and help, no matter what I need. And of course, if there is anything I am unsure about, I can always stop by to see the resident Fairy Godmother, Alisa McMahon!. This amazing lady in the Graduate Programs Office is loved by all, faculty, staff and students alike, and for good reason! She knows everything and everyone (or will get to know them/it, if you ask her for help), and she can Make Things Happen! Alisa once told me that Fisher was like a family, which is the perfect description of the environment here… and I love being part of the Fisher family!


Business Etiquette Dinner: “re-learning” how to eat

We recently had the opportunity to attend another great event made available to students at Fisher: a  business etiquette dinner at The Blackwell Inn,  a hotel and conference center on the Fisher campus.

 

The session was presented by Judith Briggs, a consultant for At Ease Inc., which specializes in domestic and international business etiquette programs.

Judith was informative and entertaining. She covered basic issues (like etiquette of napkin usage, passing the bread basket and so on), how to arrange utensils to indicate that you have completed your meal, how to handle awkward foods (olives with pits!) and the different styles of dining (American vs. European).

It was a nice evening with with my classmates (I even got to meet some great students from  the Working Professional MBA) and we had the added bonus of some delicious food, especially the chocolate mousse dessert.

 Knowing how to sit down for a meal and use proper business etiquette is an under-appreciated skill. I’m glad I was able to sharpen my skills before I start interviewing!


Happy Baby Shower!

As I’ve mentioned before, one of the best things about the Fisher MBA experience is the small class size – you can get to know your classmates pretty well. I am surrounded by a group of smart, interesting and diverse set of classmates, and no matter how stressful our schedules get, we are always there to support each other. Last week, the ladies in the class decided to host a surprise mini-baby shower for our classmate, Amanda, who is due this month.

We were able to surprise her pretty well, thanks to her team members who faked a Team meeting :)

I was hoping to get a picture of all the fabulous ladies of Class of 2014, but couldn’t (people were trickling in and out according to their schedules). I did manage to get a picture just after the guest of honor walked in.

Happy baby shower, Amanda!


Columbus Favorites: Blue Ginger

One of the things about being a Fisher MBA student and living in Columbus is your food choices, especially if you like to dine out on occasion. If you like Asian Fusion, you will love Blue Ginger. It’s located on Sawmill road, so it’s about a 15 minute drive from campus, but it is definitely worth the drive (plus, Sawmill road has all the best places to shop, including one of my favorite places: Trader Joe’s).

Their appetizers are delicious! One of my favorites is the shrimp tempura, which has a lemongrass sauce that I have never been able to replicate (and not for lack of trying!).

 

 

Their selling point (for me, anyway!) is the shrimp pad thai… hands down, the best shrimp pad thai in town!

 

Would you like to see it from another delicious angle? Sure thing!

 

They also have some great sushi.. the Sawmill Road roll is famous around here, and for good reason!

I have out of town friends who request a trip to Blue Ginger just for the Sawmill Road roll.. and I am always happy to oblige!

 


Case-Based Interviewing

 I first learned about case-based interviewing in my first week at Fisher, when we participated in a mock team-based case interview during a workshop hosted by Ernst & Young.
During the first meeting of the Fisher Consulting and Strategy Club (FCSC), we got the chance to participate (as a group) in another mock case-based interview.
A few weeks ago, I attended a talk by Marc Cosentino, a leading expert in case interviewing and author of  the best-selling book “Case in Point: Complete Case Interview Preparation“.
He gave a really great breakdown on the anatomy of the case interview, how to prepare for one, and some tips and tricks for success! We also went through a practice case interview.
As part of FCSC, the first years are grouped with a second-year mentor, and our mentor introduced us to “interviewer-led” case-based interviews.
I also attended an information session for Kalypso (a wonderful consulting company!), where we ran through another case-based interview.
Are you seeing a pattern here? I’ve heard it over and over again: if you want to succeed in a consulting-oriented interview, you need to practice case-based interviewing! And then you need to practice some more.
I was very intimidated at first – people spoke of cases with dread; a necessary evil, that had to be mastered. Very few spoke with enthusiasm and excitement, but it was these people I related to, because I have a secret: I love cases! They are challenging, but exhilarating..  intimidating and yet, intellectually stimulating!
It forces me to organize my thoughts in seconds, think on my feet, be succinct and concise and state my “conclusions” with confidence I don’t really feel ( not yet anyway.. not under that amount of stress!). I haven’t had a chance to practice much, but I can already feel myself becoming better organized in my thinking, coming up with better ideas, and definitely feeling more confident!
I will have to practice many more cases before I can confidently sail through a real (read: stressful) case-based interview, but I am very much looking forward to the practice!

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