Duke MBA Games!

Normally it takes me a few days to collect my thoughts about an event and get it down on the blog but while at the Duke MBA Games this past weekend, I kept thinking, “I need to write about this is as soon as possible.” The reason was that it was an amazing weekend.

A little back story first…

The Duke MBA games is a competition that brings MBA schools from all over the country to compete against one another, all while raising money for the Special Olympics of North Carolina. This year Fisher along with over 15 other MBA programs attended the event. What made this weekend amazing was not just the fun we had as a team but what we got out of it as well.

Each MBA team was paired with an athlete from the Special Olympics. Our athlete, Grant, was with Ohio State last year and requested to be with us again this year. He not only was awesome at all the events but had the best personality and great sense of humor in joking around with us on the field.

So how did we do? Well not only did we place in almost every event, Fisher raised more then $2,500 for the Special Olympics of North Carolina. This ultimately put is in Second place over all in the competition, the highest we have ever finished! Needless to say I am very proud of our team!

This past weekend was one of the best I have had at the MBA program for an amazing cause, one that my team and I are going to continue to work with locally in the future outside of the Duke MBA Games.

Here’s a pic of our awesome Fisher group and athlete Grant who promised to join us again next year to try to win it all.

ULI Results, RealShare, Finals and then Greece!

I write this to you as a take a break from reviewing CAPM and Betas for my Finance final tomorrow.

ULI Results: Yesterday we finally got feedback on our ULI Project (see the post below). Although we didn’t make it into the finalist selection our group fared pretty well, better then expected actually. (See full results here, they are pretty impressive http://www.udcompetition.uli.org/) Our feedback report noted that our project was well designed and was better then average along with our financial model that myself and ND slaved over for two weeks. Although we didn’t win, it was a wonderful experience being able to build a proforma from scratch and helping design a whole new part of San Diego. Thanks to my group for making it a great experience. Maybe we will do it again next year!

RealShare: Part of being an MBA student is not just building a network within your business school but branching out and meeting professional from around the country. This past week I had an opportunity to do that with a trip to my hometown of Philadelphia for the annual RealShare Philadelphia conference. It was an event that had over 400 real estate professionals in attendance with different panels speaking on debt opportunities all the way to urban development, a passion of mine. It was a great to be able to take a day outside the academic environment and get back into the world of business. Having an opportunity to listen to great panel discussions along with meeting and reconnecting with national real estate executives was an experience that every student should seek out. It was also nice to be back in Philadelphia, albeit that it was for less then 18 hours.

Finals: Now we are in the last week of the quarter. It is that fun time, Finals! Luckily I am doing well in my one class that had an optional final in so it gave me ample time to study over the weekend for my other tests (I did get much more quality college basketball time in than originally planned). So after the first final this morning, so far so good. Two left and then it’s spring break. Normally people on spring break go to hot places to drink beers and get a tan but this spring break I will be visiting my sister who is currently teaching English in Athens, Greece (She has her own blog called “Smiling at Strangers” which is pretty interesting). Needless to say I am extremely excited. I think my Nikon D40 with accessories will take up more room then the clothes I throw in my backpack. I’ll be sure to share pictures!

Food Reviews!: Continuing Up High Street

So the last post was all about the great locations in South Campus Gateway. Lets continue to move north on High Street and see what is offered.

PhatWraps: Talk about Phat! Hidden on 12th street across from the UDF, this wrap shop doesn’t get the credit that it should. Full of delicious natural foods, these wraps are customizable and have lots of flavor. As you walk in you choose your protein (meat, chicken etc) and once they cook it on the grill, they throw it on a huge warm freshly baked wrap and let you go wild with condiments and fresh veggies. Delish!

Panini’s: Now I don’t think the Panini was invented here but they are massive. Although incredibly loud at times, this restaurant/bar offers huge TV’s on game days and has, well, big Panini’s. Usually they throw a whole chicken breast with your favorite condiments inside and it can get messy.

Chipotle: No need to review. I can’t do it justice.

Bento Go-Go: Bento is a Chinese/Japanese restaurant with a lounge upstairs. I haven’t been to the lounge but I have had some of the food. They have great typical Chinese dishes (Garlic chicken, General Tso’s etc.) along with a wide sushi selection which from what I have had isn’t bad for a fast place on High Street. By the way, if you’re on a grad student budget like some people I know, the Chinese dishes are huge and enough for two meals.

OK well that takes us another block up High Street. We will continue with two more posts in the coming weeks of some additional favorites.


A Trek Up High Street: Food Reviews!

So as I mentioned in my first blog, I would at some point review some of the local eateries near campus. Well that Time has come so here we go…

First we will take a selection on the south side of campus. I live at South Campus Gateway, which is across from the Law School at the south end of campus. It has many amenities such as a movie theater, bars, clothing and most importantly, lots of food choices.

Five Guys Burger - Yum!

Five Guys: A must for that much needed Sunday burger to help you get your day going after a long Saturday night before. The burgers are excellent, not too greasy and made to your liking all with fresh ingredients.

Panera: I am not the biggest fan of the food there but their breakfast is pretty good. Try the egg soufflé if you have a chance but you can never go wrong with any of their fresh bagels.

Inta-Juice: Kind of like a Jamba Juice but a little less corporate. They have lots of different verities of fruits and juices, all made fresh before your eyes. A favorite on those days when you think your catching a cold.

Potbelly: I need to preface this and say I dislike subway because I don’t think it has any flavor. Potbelly on the other hand has simple sub sandwiches for the same prices and more flavor. My favorite is the Pb&J. It comes on a long roll that is toasted. Nothing like a warm gooey PB&J sandwich for lunch.

Eddie Georges: Now I am somewhat biased since I have a friend who is a bartender there but it is a great place to watch a game, weather it is for a big game or any Saturday OSU game. The place gets packed and filled with scarlet & gray, which makes for some great atmosphere. I have only eaten here a few times but each time I had a great meal. If you’re at the bar on a game day try their sliders. Sitting down? Try the steak dishes. All reasonably priced for a nice restaurant/bar and tasty too.

My friend Sara bartending on an OSU Gameday
My friend Sara bartending on an OSU gameday

Ok so that was a little bit of the food choices at the Gateway. Later this week we will continue up high street to some other favorites which include Chipotle, Insomniac Cookies, Ali Baba and more…..

ULI Case Competition Over!

For the last two weeks I have lived in the Architecture building. Any time outside of class here at Fisher I would walk across the street and work on my proforma for the ULI Urban Design Competition. After adding it all up I spent on average about 5 hours a day for the last 14 days over there. Our architects and planners however probably had double the amount of time put in with all of the drawings involved.  the architecture building is actually one of the coolest buildings on campus, and one of the most unique work/learning environments (See pics). But it is all done now and I am really proud of my team. I had never done anything like this before and having the opportunity to work with students from other programs was amazing. This competition is offered at other schools but, from what I am told and have experienced, the Planning and Architecture programs here at OSU are top notch. It shows in our final product we submitted. This week my new friends from the other programs are all gonna go out and grab a celebratory beer. Now that that is over it’s time for midterms to start….

2:00 am. A typical sunday night here for Arch Students
2:00 am. A typical sunday night here for Arch Students
2:15 am. Project Almost Done. Another MBA on my team Nate
2:15 am. Project Almost Done. Another MBA on my team Nate
Our Final Plan!
Our Final Plan!

A Cloudy Winter

Knowlton School of Architecture
Knowlton School of Architecture

Well it’s official. The winter cloud has parked itself over Columbus until mid March. Although at times it can be cold and dreary, there is plenty that has been keeping my mind off the weather and on other things. As I mentioned in my last post I joined the ULI Case Competition. It has been a lot of work since getting our location (Downtown San Diego) and lots of hours in the Architecture building (see picture) which is across from the business school. My self and the other MBA student in my group have been busy building a proforma for Residential, Retail, & Office properties to see if what our architects want to build is feasible. So far so good but I am sure it will all change.

Along with the ULI Competition to keep my mind off the weather, I am on a team for the Fisher Internal Case Competition. This will be my first actual case competition with a true business focus. Kind of looking forward to it although it is going to take up my whole weekend.

And lastly, during these cold dreary times, one needs to engage in some physical activity. Well to fill that small space left in my schedule, my first inter-mural soccer match is this Friday. Wish me luck since I haven’t played soccer since I was 12 years old. I wonder if anyone is bringing orange slices?3498947030_e35cbccf0c

Any blog requests? Food reviews? Bar Reviews? Class thoughts? Bueller?


First Week Back

And we are back once again. Winter break was amazing (see my post on Peru), and I was looking forward to getting back to school to get back into the grind but I think I was ready to walk back into the grind, not run into it, which it seems like I have. This quarter my classmates and I are taking some more core classes as well as an elective. The core classes are Marketing Management, Cost Accounting, Operations Management, & Corporate Finance. All of these classes I am taking at their normal times during the week. The elective I have chosen is on Sundays. Yes you read correctly, Sundays. The elective is called Financial Modeling in Excel and is taught by one of the best teachers at Fisher, Dan Oglevee. Now this is one tough class because all we do is build financial models, 55 of them. So after sitting in the first class today, although excited, I have my work cut out for me because I think that this class is going to be very rewarding if I put some hard work in. I’ll keep you updated.

Also this quarter, there are some fun activities outside of the classes I have signed up for. I am involved in the Urban Land Institute Case Competition which is a cross disciplinary competition. My self and another MBA student are paired up with a student working towards his Masters of City Planning, a student from the Masters of Landscape Architecture program and a student from the Masters in Architecture program. Our task will be to provide a redevelopment design plan along with supporting financial figures for a certain redevelopment area in the country. We hear about it on MLK day and will have two weeks to put it together. From what I am told it is a lot of work but I am really looking forward to it. Check out a little bit more about it here.

If that isn’t enough, I am in the middle of an intense internship search. I have been making phone calls non-stop and working a billion angels to meet and learn about different companies and try to find the right fit for myself this summer. Anyone in need of a smart guy with some real estate experience?

Also, can it please stop being in the 20’s and get warmer?


Allillanchu means hello in Quechua. You’re probably thinking what the heck is Quechua? Quechua is the local language spoken by the people that live on Isle Amantani, a small island in the middle of Lake Titicaca. This is one of the places I stayed for a night on my winter break trip to Peru.

Now your probably thinking, why Peru? Well as it turns out, one of my best friends is currently taking a year off from med school to do medical research in Peru. Needless to say this was a great excuse to visit, so one of my other friends and I flew down and spent two weeks traveling around visiting and staying with native people, white water rafting, paragliding, seeing Juanita the Ice Princess (a 600 year old Incan mummy), and of course Machu Picchu! Needless to say it was an amazing trip.

So why do I tell you about my trip and how does this make any sense with my Fisher experience. Well while being in business school, I have been exposed to different classes that teach economics, organization structure etc. These classes, while taught with American businesses in mind, can not only be applied internationally but to daily life also. After taking my economics class, I was able to get a little more understanding as to how the bus system, while insanely crowded, is the most efficient form possible in Lima. Or after my organizational behavior class, how one large restaurant chain has the same pushy way of operating in each location, not to drive business, but to meet the expectations of their customers.

While Peru was an amazing experience from a traveling point of view, my short time in b-school so far has given me another way to look at things, which was pretty cool too.

(P.S. What would a trip be without and O-H-I-O!!)

O-H-I-O Atop Machu Picchu

The Internship Search

Half of the work you do the first quarter of an MBA program involves doing all the class work that revolves around your classes. Think about that for a moment, HALF. With all the work I have mentioned and all the group meetings that I have attended, that has only been half of the work that is part of my MBA program, the other half is the internship search. What makes it especially hard for myself is that I am focused on real estate. As many of you know the real estate industry isn’t necessarily in hiring mode, so looking for the right company is tough.

Yes, real estate can be a lucrative field but it is not the reason I am interested in pursuing a career in the industry, it’s because I have a passion for it. From a little kid I have always been interested in the built environment, whether it was by building Lego cities in my basement or playing SimCity on a computer. I was always involved in doing something that related to real estate.

So here is what I am getting at, half of business school is the work to learn and grow as a person and as a business professional but the other half is about pushing yourself not just to find an internship or job, but to find that company or career that lets you do something in your life you will enjoy, and oh yea, make some money.

Okay so back to my current search. There aren’t many training/leadership/rotational programs in real estate to start out with compared to marketing or finance. What has helped me has been working with my career advisor Kara Albert. She isn’t going to find me a job but she is a great coach. I worked for the last few weeks researching who recruits at other schools within the real estate industry as well as using Linkedin and other online resources. With a list of companies and some additional ideas I now have a path to walk down towards a hopeful internship this summer, and not a job when I graduate, but a career. I’ll keep you updated as to what happens later in the winter.

P.S. Any real estate professionals out there need an intern this summer?

OSU vs IOWA – A Photo Blog

While studying for the GMAT this past spring I got into photography as a way to take a break from the fun that the GMAT offers. So with he last home game this past weekend I decided to take out the camera and take some pics to share with all of you. Fortunately it was an excellent game that ended with all the fans running on the field to celebrate a win over Iowa and a trip to the Rose Bowl. So after sifting through 240 pictures, here are a few that came out alright. I am slowly building up a folder of pics around campus at sunset so look for that in the future. Shoot me an e-mail (barkan_9@fisher.osu.edu) or comment to ask for a photo blog on anything around campus. I could use some ideas for stuff to shoot.

Brutus rallying the fans!
Brutus rallying the fans!

– JB

Walking into the stadium
Walking into the stadium
Mr. Nick Fischer
Mr. Nick Fischer
Blimp over the Shoe!
The Best Damn Band In The Land
The Best Damn Band In The Land
Rushing the field after an overtime win!!!
Rushing the field after an overtime win!!!