The Most Difficult Assignment of Grad School…

Last month, I completed the most difficult (and fulfilling) assignment of the MBA thus far.  It didn’t involve an extensive group strategy session, or a Sunday afternoon in R studio learning to better work with data, or even a 40-page case read with analysis…. It was even more difficult than those other assignments.

This assignment involved digging deep to develop my personal legacy statement.  What do I want my friends and family to say about me when I retire?  What do I want the overall impact of my professional life to be?

The premise is that nobody makes it to their deathbed and says “gee, I wish I’d spent more time at the office grinding in Excel.”  How much more effective (and challenging) is it to consider your life impact on the front end of your career than the back end?

Our Leadership Legacy class had to not only flesh out our legacy into a paper, but also to present our statements in the form of 5 minutes speeches to the class.  It was a beautiful experience to learn how my classmates have overcome crucible moments and how they plan to make a meaningful impact in their careers.

In the end, I’m so grateful that Fisher is not just training me to be a sharp analyst and a strategic thinker, but also to be an effective, authentic, ethical leader who very carefully and intentionally considers my impact on the world.

Image result for leadership legacy fisher tony rucci

(here is a shot of our professor, Tony Rucci)

5 Reasons to be Grateful for Fisher College of Business

The first 3 weeks of 2nd year FTMBA have been a joyful run and have inspired me to practice gratefulness:

5 Reasons to be grateful for Fisher College of Business

  1. 2nd year Classes: What a joy to pick classes that I have a deep interest in and to begin my specialization in Data Analytics & Operations (Supply Chain). A Global Sourcing & Field Problems in Logistics class that provides live projects connected to companies in Columbus; A Business of College Sports class taught directly by Gene and Sheila Smith (Director of Athletics at The Ohio State University); and a geeky Data Analytics course!  What a fun mix!
  2. Fisher Leadership Initiative – One new initiative at Fisher is gathering leaders within our class who want to grow.
  3. Career Services: In this season of career discernment and an impending job search, I’m super-grateful for Fisher’s Office of Career Management Career Services. Last week was the fall career fair and I was able to speak with 15 different companies of interest!  This week is a Data Analytics networking session.  Endless opportunities to network with OSU alumni here!shoe
  4. Football: To be brutally honest, 15 years ago I would have never considered attending such a large school for undergrad: too big. 5 years ago, I thought Ohio State was an evil sports powerhouse: too dominant.  Now I’m a convert, and I’m grateful for both the size of OSU and its fantastic sports programs.  O-H….. (for those of you uninitiated, anytime someone on campus or anywhere around the world says “O-H…,” you respond with “I-O!”)
  5. Internship Opportunities: Fisher helped me open a door that I couldn’t have opened beforehand – Just about 1 year ago today, I met some representatives from Greif here at the Ohio State Fisher career fair. After applying through our in-house career portal (FisherConnect), one thing led to another and I ended up accepting an internship offer in Supply Chain for thiinternships past summer!  The internship was fantastic– including strong project diversity, international travel, and powerful networking opportunities.

#grateful

Redeeming the dreaded GROUP WORK!

What does your group work scar look like? Maybe it’s just me, but I was all messed up from a few particularly dysfunctional group work experiences in undergrad. If you had asked me a year ago, I’d tell you that group work is where at least 1 person doesn’t pull their weight and everyone is trying to just get through it, but doesn’t really enjoy it.

Enter in Fisher CORE team to my life. 5 people (including me) assigned intentionally to work together for all of the 11 CORE classes. This system is brilliant, and something I like to highlight when people ask me, ‘what has surprised you about your time here?’ Here are a few quick reasons why the CORE team has been a redemptive group work experience for most folks.

  1. Desire: Everyone wants to be here and is much more mature than undergrad. You don’t just pause your career for 2 years without some serious intent to learn and grow!
  2. No more free loading: Having the same group for every class means we are all incented to put our best foot forward and build trust with a team for a whole year. #incentivesaligned
  3. Friendship: Teams often become good friends with each other given all the time you spend together. I recently hosted my team member Sahil (from India) at my parents’ house in Austin TX over winter break (pictured below).Core Team 4
  4. Logistics: Scheduling with just 1 group is much simpler than multiple groups for 1 class.

Thank you Fisher (and CORE TEAM #4!) for redeeming group work and giving my group work scar time to heal! I’m even more ready to enter the workforce and work in teams than when I started here. #teamlearning

Top 10 Most Memorable Experiences from the 1st Semester:

Tepper

1: Tepper Case Competition – This past weekend I traveled to Pittsburgh to participate in an international supply chain case competition with three others from Fisher. While our team didn’t advance to the finals, we learned a TON, networked with executives from a handful of companies, spent 30 hours working on a LIVE company problem and experienced a first-class wine and dine experience. #istillneedtocatchuponsleep

OHIO

2: Football games – I used to think OSU was the evil powerhouse team that wins too much. Now, I’ve drunk the scarlet Kool-Aid. #punintended #O-H…

3: CEO of Cardinal Health – About every other week a C-suite speaker comes in for a lunch seminar. My favorite has been George Barrett from Cardinal Health. Here is the article (I was even quoted in the article!) #freepaneralunch #greatopportunity

4: Fisher prayer – every other week between 3 and 10 of us gather to talk about how life in Fisher is impacting our lives. Then we pray for 20 minutes. Great memories reflecting and opening up to classmates.

5: Winning the MBA poker tourney. We are a competitive bunch! #thisblogpostinnowaysupportsgamblingbutdangitsfun

Urban

6: Urban Meyer spoke on leadership to the College of Business just 24 hours before JT Barrett was arrested for a DUI. I snapped this picture from my seat!

Red Lobster

7: Red Lobster – Our marketing final involved a 24-hour deep-dive into a case about Red Lobster’s effort to re-position itself in the market. This required some memorable late night studying sessions and the obligatory trip with my family and classmates to Red Lobster for ‘market research’. #thebestcheesybiscuitsontheplanet

8: Diwali celebration – Learning about Indian culture from dozens of my classmates and professors. A true highlight and such a fantastic cultural exchange. #deliciousfood

9: This coming weekend…. There are still a few weeks left in the semester, but I’ve been looking forward to the coming weekend. Fisher Follies, MSU vs. OSU, and a families of Fisher parent gathering!

10: I love classes. Seriously, I am SO grateful for a number of my classes this semester. Honorable mentions also go to Data Analysis and Econ and Leadership. The personal development and challenge we have been given to grow our emotional intelligence in leadership is invaluable!

Jumping into the Full Time MBA World!

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A picture of my kitchen table on the first day of pre-term MBA program

I’m a 33-year-old (balding) dad of two young kids with 10 years of non-profit work experience.  How do I fit in at business school?

That was the gut-wrenching question in the back of my head as I entered into Fisher’s 1st year MBA pre-term program just one month ago. Little did I know that most of my peers were asking similar questions about their own identity and status.062515Greenawalt-18

It’s no secret that leaving your job as a budding young professional to pursue a degree will cause you to evaluate your identity.  We have left behind our previous jobs, social networks, and, in many cases, even family to live in Columbus and immerse ourselves in a world of academic, career, and personal growth.  While my first day jitters have subsided, it’s that very process of wrestling with issues of identity that I believe contributes to such a powerful experience here at Fisher.  When else in my adult life will I have another opportunity to jump a different direction in my career trajectory, and remove myself from my comfort zone for 20 months in order to learn, grow, and develop as a person and a professional.

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My CORE team of 5 along with some other 1st year MBAs

From my experience so far at Fisher and Ohio State, I’m so grateful for how our resources are pointed towards my personal (and our communal) growth, development, learning, and future career placement.  This university is vast and it’s set up to help many thrive.  From working with career management to tell my story and clarify my career direction, to networking among other MBAs and learning how they are wrestling with their identities, to reading case studies and engaging in class content that relates to my previous work experience and challenges my paradigms, it is nothing short of awesome to be a part of this program!  I’m one of many students here who is utilizing the MBA experience to shift career directions, know myself better, and have a great time doing it.

In the end, I’m thankful to be a 33-year-old balding dad with unique experience to bring to the table here.  Besides, balding gives you wisdom, right?