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Columbus Favorites: Northstar Cafe

My long week of final exams ended with a three hour Econ final. I needed to load up on some much-needed comfort food, so I headed to one of my favorite places in Columbus: Northstar Cafe.

 

 

They have three locations, but since it was an unseasonably warm fall day, we headed to the one on High street, which has a nice outdoor seating area.

 

Their food is delicious, all locally grown and organic. I ordered my favorites: chicken avocado sandwich (slow-roasted bell peppers, chicken, avocado, topped with cheddar cheese and arugula) with sweet potato fries (tossed with caramelized onions and rosemary), paired with their legendary ginger ale (ginger, organic cane sugar, lime juice and mint).  Yum!

If you still have room after that delicious meal, their cookies are DIVINE… and I love how they note the time the cookies were made!

This is definitely one of my favorite local places.. it never disappoints!


Marketing in the Real World

Marketing is a fascinating class, one that has made me actually pay attention to advertisements to look for things I’ve learned about in marketing. Last week, we got a special treat: two visits from marketing professionals!

The first visit was from Jim Lyski, CMO at Scott’s Miracle Gro.

Headquartered nearby in Marysville, Ohio, Scott’s is a local company that I’ve already studied this semester in Economics class (case history of the company’s organizational architecture). When Jim Lyski came to talk to us, it was very interesting to hear about the current marketing direction of the company, and how it evolved over the years. He also provided us with some great insight and background into his own career (he had been working at FedEx when Tom Hank’s Castaway was in production, and he had some funny stories to share!). It was a great talk, from an intelligent, impressive professional.. if you ever get the chance to hear Jim Lyski speak, I highly recommend it!

The second visit was from John Kennedy, VP Corporate Marketing at IBM.

Not only did he visit during Marketing class, but he also gave a talk at lunch. Having always been impressed with IBM (“Smarter Planet“, anyone?),  I jumped at the chance to hear John Kennedy speak twice in one day.

 

 

John Kennedy’s talk was incredible. I’ve always been fascinated with IBM, and after hearing John Kennedy speak, this has only intensified! He gave us great insights into the culture at IBM, as well as some inspiring career advice. One thing that really impressed me was how much he wanted to hear from *us*. We’re still in our first semester of our first year, but this established career professional wanted to hear what we had to say.

All in all, it was a great week. In the chaos of classes, exams, assignments, deadlines, etc…. it’s moments like these that remind me why I decided to join the Fisher MBA program.


Organize to Stay Sane!

Organization is key to success, both in your personal life or your professional life. This is certainly true at Fisher, because you have to balance so many things – from classes and assignments (which include both individual and team assignments), to obligations (like assistantship duties) to involvement in professional organizations… all while trying to network efficiently and apply for  summer internships positions!

In my case, I depend heavily on a great iPhone App called iStudiez (I know, I hate the spelling too!). I downloaded it onto my iPhone and my Macbook a week before classes started, and it has been a lifesaver. I plugged in my semester dates and my class times and it automatically created my calendar for me. I can then put in assignment info, and link the assignments to each class, with a due date for each and a custom reminder time. The calendar is color coded, and linking the classes and the class assignments means they are the same color, so it’s easily to visually interpret my day within seconds (and it looks pretty!). I can add or edit any item on either my phone or my computer, and it automatically syncs between them. Here’s a sample from the iStudiez website:

 

 

Another great thing about this app is it’s ability to display my iCal calendar events from, so I can input all the non-class items into iCal, and it will sync right into iStudiez. I can see my entire calendar (class/MBA events/GA schedule/personal calendar) and my to-do list for each day all in one place, all color-coded and organized!

My iPhone is an essential part of organizing my day, and organizing my day is an essential part of my success here at Fisher.

Therefore, I have come to the perfectly logical conclusion that it is absolutely essential for me to continue to invest in my success as an MBA candidate by purchasing the newly-announced iPhone 5:

Photo courtesy of engadget.com

 

Isn’t it beautiful? I’m very excited about about this sound investment!! ;)

 


Heed the Warnings!

During the Pre-Term MBA program, we were exposed to all that Fisher has to offer but we were also inundated with warnings:

 Don’t overextend yourself!

Your schedule will get packed very quickly – be careful!

Your classes are intense – don’t let yourself fall behind or you won’t be able to catch up!

Don’t get excited and join too many organizations – you won’t have time!

Don’t forget to sleep!*

(*Okay, that one was from me, but still equally true).

Fisher has so much to offer, so it is too easy to get excited and want to sign up for everything. All events are in one centralized website, the Leadership & Professional Development Events Hub, also known as “The Hub”. (By the way, kudos to the brilliant designers behind the creation of The Hub and associated functionality – you simply log in, scroll through ALL events available and sign up for the ones you’re interested in. You will then receive an email with a calendar file attached for each event – two clicks, and all event details are imported into your calendar!). But those Pre-Term warnings were not exaggerated – you will NOT be able to attend every event you are interested in, simply because there is so much offered (and unfortunately, you only have 24 hours in one day)!

The classes I have this semester are all very interesting and, more importantly, relevant. Everything we learn is applied to real-world cases and situations, and the classes are very interactive – sometimes, it seems like the class is one long conversation with the professor and my classmates! Yes, there is a lot of work involved with class preparation and such, but it is enjoyable (for the most part that is :) – it didn’t seem so fun when I put in my first all-nighter last week!)

I’m also excited about the student organizations I joined. I was interested in so many of them, but I had to force myself to narrow it down to only four: Fisher Professional Services, Innovation Fisher, Fisher Consulting and Strategy Club and Fisher Entrepreneurship Association.

There will be lots more to come on these groups and all the exciting events involved (but in the meantime, check out this great blog post about Fisher Professional Services written by a fellow classmate).

In addition to all the classes and organizations, there are constant networking opportunities and career events (we’ve already had two career fairs!), so my schedule is definitely packed. There is much to take advantage of, but there are only so many hours in the day (and the night!). I have to be careful, or I may have to start scheduling “sleep” into my calendar (that is, if I can still find some empty blocks of time! :))

 


How the Fisher MBA Won Me Over

When I was researching schools for my MBA degree, I had a very long list of reasons why Fisher was in my “top schools” list. A simple Google search will produce a plethora of rankings telling you (deservedly so) that the Fisher MBA is one of the best programs in the country. If you’re like me, a detailed search will have you writing a list of why you want to attend Fisher. Some of the things from my list were:

  1. The small class size means you’re a person, not a statistic.
  2. Emphasis on real-world experience (leadership and development, corporate mentorship team-building, etc) means they’re training you for your future career, not just disseminating information.
  3. Customizing major/curriculum means that whatever your background or your career goals, you will be able to customize your major to suit YOUR unique future – there is no one-size-fits-all here!

I could go on and on (and ON!) but you can find all this out for yourself. Because in two weeks of the Pre-Term MBA program and a few days of classes, I already have another long list of reasons, and I could not be more grateful that I chose the Fisher College of Business as my new home for the next two years. I’m not going to share them all here (the list is FAR too long!) but here are a few reasons :

  1. Joining Fisher is like joining a family. From the moment I first made contact, I realized this is a Graduate Programs Office like no other. From application to admissions to start of classes, I was welcomed and assisted by the NICEST people I have ever met! No matter how small my question or concern was, everyone went above and beyond to help. Thanks to all of them, I already feel like I’m at “home” here!
  2. Three words: Intake Interview. Interview, you say? But I haven’t even started classes – why am I interviewing for a job?!  That’s the key here – we start applying for internships in the Fall, and we need to update our resumes, practice our interviewing skills, set career goals and put together a plan for how we will achieve those goals. That’s not easy to do, which is why we were assigned to a career consultant, who will guide us along every step of the way. And it all begins with that Intake Interview, where my interviewing skills were tested and graded (yikes!).
  3. Diversity! That word gets thrown around a lot, but it is truly implemented here. My peers come from extremely diverse backgrounds – ethnic, cultural, education and even work-experience. The opportunities to learn from your peers are plentiful, and I am taking full advantage!
  4.  Career guidance/exposure events. I came into the program knowing exactly what I wanted to do after graduation –the industry, the company and the exact job description. I chuckled to myself when we were told during Pre-Term that we would likely change our minds before graduation: I knew what I was doing, even if everybody else did not. I went to a Career Foundation Event out of curiosity during my first week here, and I’ve realized that I was looking at my future from the limited scope of my past experiences, and my time here at Fisher is broadening that scope daily. While my career goals have not changed, I am now open to changing the way I go about it, simply because I have much to learn!

I could spend all day writing about the multitude of other reasons I love this program, but the bottom line is – no matter how much you know (or think you know!), Fisher will open your eyes to a whole new world of possibilities. I was prepared to learn much in my time here, but I had no idea just how much my horizons would be broadened. I am not a sheltered individual by any means: I have lived in multiple continents, travelled to many places around the world, have earned multiple degrees and consider myself to be a well-rounded individual. But I am already amazed at everything I have learned so far, and how my perspective has shifted.

I am so grateful that I chose Fisher as my new home, and I am looking forward to two incredible years of learning, both in and out of the classroom!


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