An Evening with T. Boone Pickens and Les Wexner: Inspire. Enrich. Impact.

I was both honored and excited to attend An Evening with T. Boone Pickens and Les Wexner on Wednesday, February 5th. What a night!

The evening kicked off with a welcome reception where a blend of Fisher graduate and undergraduate students, community executives, military veterans, New Albany high school students, and leaders of The Ohio State University were able to mix and mingle. We had an opportunity to speak with leaders from some of the largest and most successful companies in Columbus, including Limited Brands, Scott’s Miracle-Gro, DSW Inc., Pearl Therapeutics, and the Columbus Dispatch.

Fisher Graduate and Undergraduate Students at An Evening wtih T. Boone Pickens
Fisher Graduate and Undergraduate Students at An Evening with T. Boone Pickens

We were pleasantly surprised and privileged to be joined by three of the nation’s most successful businessmen: T. Boone Pickens, Chairman of BP Capital Management, Les Wexner, Chairman and CEO of Limited Brands, and Mike Morris, Chairman of AEP’s Board of Directors. After our group was able to snap a few photos with these guests of honor, we were ushered to an auditorium where we listened to the three of them speak and share thoughts on different areas such as their upbringing and how it influenced their character today, leadership, philanthropy, world events and the future of clean energy.

T. Boone Pickens, Les Wexner and Mike Morris share thoughts on leadership and life
T. Boone Pickens, Les Wexner and Mike Morris share thoughts on leadership and life

The event was part of a series of forums titled The Jefferson Series. These events are held by The New Albany Community Foundation, and are based on the mantra, Inspire. Enrich. Impact. I truly experienced these words on Wednesday while in the presence of these three leaders. But for Ohio State and the Fisher College of Business, I would not have such an amazing opportunity to hear from these leaders in person!

Andrew Gardner, Tom Weirich and Ryan Stiers, fellow Fisher MBAs in attendance
Andrew Gardner, Tom Weirich and Ryan Stiers, fellow Fisher MBAs in attendance

Make Yourself Uncomfortable!

One of the coolest aspects of the Fisher MBA program has been the ability for me to get involved in things that allow me to get out of my comfort zone. This is a risk-free environment- why not?!


I know that I will be entering into a marketing career upon graduation- because of this, I have viewed my 2nd year of school as a chance to take tough classes that will make me as well-rounded as possible. Both Intopia and Corporate Finance II have fit this bill for me:

Intopia: This is a business simulation class in which you and a team of two or three other people run a company in the PC and/or computer chip industry in one of three global markets. Decisions within all functional areas of business are required- finances, marketing, pricing, operations and R&D, just to name a few. As you can imagine- it is challenging and very complex!

Corp Fin II: This class takes a deep dive into mergers & acquisitions. The class is instructed by Senior Associate Dean Wruck, and has been the most worthwhile class I have taken during my time at Fisher. I have learned about analyzing mergers, acquisitions and corporate governance- which includes really cool subject matter like hostile takeovers, golden parachutes and poison pills. Take the class to learn what these crazy terms mean!

New Skills:

Last semester, I wanted to challenge myself to learn golf, and had an opportunity to sign up for lessons through the RPAC. I got together with a coach and three other trainees once a week to go over basic golf skills, including swing (yes, I can now effectively chip!), club selection, putting and even terminology. It provided great balance with class, and I now feel confident that I can practice this spring on a local course with classmates.


Looking back on my experience so far, I am pleased that I have sought out unique teams for every elective class project in my second year. I feel that it is so valuable to hear different opinions and ways of thinking- if you continue to work with the same people for over and over, it will be hard to expand into new and different ways to solve problems.

My biggest piece of advice if you’re applying for or entering into the Fisher program- get involved in things that push you to your limits!

My Summer Internship

Hello again, Fisher! It’s great to be back on campus as a 2nd year Full-Time MBA Student and Admissions Ambassador. One of my favorite aspects of being back is hearing about my classmates’ summer internships; we all worked so hard last year to nail our positions down, and it’s great to learn more about each experience. I’ve loved sharing my own as well!

This summer I was at dunnhumbyUSA, a customer science company based out of Cincinnati, OH that has been a partner to Kroger since 2002. I was a Client Line Intern on the Kroger team, and had a wonderful experience getting to know the company- and owning my own project from start to finish that will be implemented by my team and our client. My team was genuinely interested in my personal and professional growth- I was able to utilize my critical thinking skills and develop my analytical skills, which was a goal I had set for myself upon entering the program. I was surrounded by a wonderful intern class, and we had a blast exploring the city together.

Me (right) and my summer roommates- also interns at dunnhumbyUSA.
The dunnhumby intern class out at a Cincinnati Reds game.

I also had the opportunity to meet up with other Fisher MBAs while in Cincinnati- we explored restaurants, concert venues and even caught a few Reds games! It was nice to have good friends nearby to share the experience with.

A Cincinnati Reds game with fellow Fisher Ambassador Graham Rouse (left) and Fisher Alum Dan Brown (center).

I look forward to sharing my internship experience with prospective Fisher MBA students as they begin to make their own B-school decision. The Fisher MBA program has opened so many doors for me and my classmates- I can’t wait to see what else will unfold for us as we progress into year two!

More than Academics

Through my semester and a half at Fisher, I am come to realize that this college offers so much more than academics! Our MBAs have a natural tendency to get involved in extracurricular activities- and I am happy to be a part of many student groups and orgs because of this. One area in particular that has surprised -and excited- me has definitely been our involvement athletics and intramurals.

I am a sports nut! While soccer was my first love, I find it hard to say no to anything related to sports – not only is it fun and healthy, but I feel it is one of the best ways to help balance out academics.

During the fall, nothing brings a new group of students together like OSU football. A few of my classmates took the lead on creating a seating section for games, and because of this, our first-year class was able to watch each football game as a group. It was a great way to become acclimated to the school and program, as well as meet some great friends.

Within time, an MBA Ambassador intramural flag football team was created. I proudly joined this team with co-ambassadors, and we had a blast. Most recently, I took part in our dodgeball tournament to support Honor Flight of Columbus. Sponsored by FisherServes, students in all of our MBA programs at Fisher formed teams of 6 to compete in a half-day tournament. I can proudly say that a donation goal of $500 was set, and we have hit 95% completion! Here is a picture of our killer team:

This week, a group of first-year MBA students is kicking off a co-ed indoor soccer season, and I am excited to be part of it. Hopefully I will have some good updates to come once our season gets started! 

If you are looking at Fisher as a potential school for your MBA- and you share our love for involvement- you are at the right place. With over 25 student organizations, there is no doubt that one will spark your interest.

Take a Break with the Buckeyes

The weather outside is cooling down, but things in the Graduate Programs Office are heating up!

One of the best aspects of the admissions process at the Fisher College of Business is the ability for prospective students to meet with current students in different cities throughout the United States- and even internationally. Over winter break, a program called “Take a Break with the Buckeyes” will be in full force.

If you are thinking about applying to Fisher, current Fisher MBA students will be traveling around the world during winter break and have volunteered to meet with prospective students in a relaxed setting to answer any questions you may have about the program. You can check out the list of cities here: Connect with Fisher on the Road

If you have any questions or if you’d like to schedule a meeting near your hometown, please contact us!

Fall is in the Air

It seems like it was just summer and we were all arriving to Columbus, OH to begin our first year in 90 degree weather. How time flies when you’re having fun!

The excitement has definitely continued – fall is in the air, and everyone here in the Graduate Programs Office is gearing up for Fisher Season Premiere. We are excited to host over 70 prospective students at the event this weekend – between informational sessions, team building activities, tours and a chance to meet faculty, staff and students, we are excited to have everyone on campus to show what the Fisher full-time MBA program is all about. We have so much to be proud of, and I am excited to be on the ‘current student’ side to showcase our wonderful program, facilities and opportunities.

One recent event that I must showcase is an opportunity I was able to take advantage of on Wednesday evening. We had the wonderful fortune of hearing GE CEO Jeff Immelt and Warren Buffett speak at Mershon Auditorium. Hosted by Fisher, these two amazing leaders took part in the ‘Fireside Chat’ event to kick off the second National Middle Market Summit. It was so influential to hear these powerful leaders discuss the economy and their backgrounds – and even crack a few jokes! This is an experience I will never forget.

Along with the seasonal change, as you all know, comes football. It was such great fun to be at the game to see OSU’s big overtime win against Purdue last weekend (GO BUCKS!), but there is also football excitement going on over at an intramural field near campus. On Sunday afternoons, you can find the GPO Student MBA Ambassadors (from all programs) combining to form one of the best flag football teams in the league. Excitingly enough, we have made the playoffs! (…More to come on this after we hopefully pave our way to the championships!)

A Shoutout to Team 22

Throughout the first year of the full-time MBA program, each student is strategically placed on a team of five other first year students. Based on work experience, probable major, and general background, these teams are assigned based on the admissions teams’ experience and strategery… and it’s an ingenious idea!

The Method Behind the Madness

During our pre-term program here at Fisher, we received our team assignments. There was a lot riding on this- these four people you are grouped with will be in every core class with you for an entire year! And not just class… but they’ll be with you throughout a high ropes course, team projects, seating assignments, extracurriculars, and public speeches. But what I have come to find out is you’ll depend on your group for more than just school work when all is said and done- I know that in this short 8 weeks, I already have.

From a group, you gain the power of four additional minds. You can bounce your ideas off one another in low-pressure situations. You’re all sharing the same amount of stress, and can keep each other motivated and confident. I know that as I’ve juggled class work, internship search, and extracurriculars, it’s been so helpful to know that I’m not alone! Learning about my team members’ backgrounds and cultures has been an awesome experience- I know these four teammates have been and will continue to be an integral part of my experience here at Fisher.

At the Forefront of Innovation: Watershed Distillery

The first few weeks of the full-time MBA program have been a whirlwind! Between classes, career prep, joining clubs and meeting classmates, there is always something going on. The opportunities are endless, and I can’t imagine going through this process anywhere else! One of the many benefits of Fisher’s FTMBA is a student’s ability to join organizations that speak directly to their interests and intended career.  For me, Innovation Fisher (IF) instantly stood out- marrying marketing and innovation is natural… and IF’s first event of the year definitely solidified that.

IF had the opportunity to tour Columbus’s locally owned Watershed Distillery, a true example of a company that has literally (and figuratively) ‘gone against the grain’ of others in the industry. Founded in 2010 by OSU Alumni Greg Lehman and Dave Rigo, the company focuses on three (and soon to be four) main products: Gin (two types), Vodka, and, (coming in November) Bourbon.

A Small-Scale Approach
The company’s mobility in the industry stems from its smaller size and innovative spirit. The custom-built copper still in the back is the smallest in the region; the next smallest size Greg mentioned was that of a distillery in Kentucky. At this smaller scale, Greg and Dave have quite a bit of flexibility, as they can switch gears between their offerings quickly. They also have the ability to try out or test a new innovation at the drop of the hat if they’d like to.

‘Watershed Moment’
According to Greg and Dave, a ‘Watershed Moment’ celebrates a point in time or event in one’s life that symbolizes change. Their brand is built around this ideology; celebrating and embracing life and these moments has been the backbone of this rapidly-growing company. It has also been the driving force of their marketing and social media campaigns, which have drawn serious momentum for the distillery.
Watershed Distillery was founded in 2010, from an idea that came about years prior. Dave and Greg recognized a gap in the industry; there was little to no presence of locally produced spirit in Columbus or the surrounding areas. Recognizing this ‘Watershed Moment’, the two entrepreneurs jumped on the idea quickly, and have seen great success, and as of late, great recognition.

Young Professional Achievement
On Friday, September 21st, Greg will receive the Young Professional Achievement award at the Max M. Fisher College of Business Alumni Awards Dinner. Recipients are “alumni under the age of 41 who have records of distinguished career accomplishment and who serve as role models in business for younger individuals.” After visiting Watershed Distillery and seeing the true innovative ‘spirit’ of the company, I know this award is recognizing a genuine, entrepreneurial achievement. What a great example of entrepreneurship and innovation coming from the Fisher College of Business!

The tour group from Innovation Fisher. Thanks for a wonderful experience, Greg!

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