GMAT practice resources … for FREE!

In my opinion preparing for the GMAT should akin to studying for a class (study 6-10 hours a week for a 2-4 months.  The GMAT is a tough test and you need to practice a bunch to do well.  This may help …

If you really knew me … you would know that I love deals but only if they’re relevant.  If you are preparing for the GMAT then check out this deal.   Kaplan Publishing is offering selected Kaplan eBooks for Free using iTunes iBook.

GMAT eBooks Titles (subject to change):

  • Kaplan 101 GMAT Verbal Practice Questions
  • 2011 CCRN GMAT Math Workbook
  • GMAT Verbal Foundations
  • GMAT Verbal Workbook
  • GRE & GMAT Exams Writing Workbook
  • Kaplan Portable GMAT
  • MBA Fundamentals: Accounting and Finance

GRE eBooks Titles (I took the GRE for engineering grad school):

  • Kaplan 101 GRE Quantitative Practice Questions
  • 101 GRE Verbal Practice Questions
  • Kaplan Portable GRE Exam
  • GRE & GMAT Exams Writing Workbook
  • GRE Exam Advanced Math
  • GRE Exam Advanced Verbal
  • GRE Exam Math Workbook
  • GRE Exam Subject Test: Psychology 2009-2010
  • GRE Exam Verbal Workbook

Kudos to the undergrad program!

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Fisher moves up to 14 in U.S. News ranking

The undergraduate program at Fisher College of Business climbed two places to 14th in the 2010 U.S. News ranking of best business programs in the magazine’s “2011 America’s Best Colleges” edition released on Tuesday. The program ranked seventh among public institutions.

U.S. News rankings are based solely on a survey of deans and senior faculty at undergraduate business programs accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, according to the magazine. Respondents were asked to rate the quality of programs with which they’re familiar on a scale of 1 (marginal) to 5 (distinguished). The undergrad business rankings are based solely on this peer survey.

“We are pleased that deans and faculty at other business schools who are surveyed for the U.S. News rankings place such a high value on undergraduate education at Fisher,” said Christine A. Poon, dean and John W. Berry, Sr. Chair of Business. “Much of the credit goes to Fisher’s world-class academic departments who continue to attract high-quality faculty, and our talented staff, who ensure we offer the finest programs to develop skilled graduates who possess the knowledge and global perspectives required to be effective leaders in business. We are also grateful to our partners in the business community that provide internships and other learning opportunities to students.”

Student Health Insurance … was nice to have, but I’ll pass

Just a heads up for any working professional enrolling for classes for the first time … If you have health insurance through your employer, make sure you waive all university-sponsored student insurance coverage.  You will need to indicate your choice via your online Student Center.   The last think you want as a student is another $400-500 charge per quarter to your account.

Don’t get me wrong though.  Student health insurance was a godsend for me about ten years ago.  Back when I was pinching pennies as a engineering grad student, I waived student insurance my first year.  After about year into the program, my wife, also a student at the time, become pregnant with our first.  I went a couple days thinking I’d have to drop out of the program and get a real job.   Fortunately pregnancy isn’t consider a pre-existing condition and I was able to enroll in the OSU insurance the following quarter.  Just in time, too, since the wife had to spend 3 weeks with pre-term hospital bed rest.  Whew!!

The Student Health Insurance has changed since then so it’s still good to consider your options.

“To MBA or not to MBA” :: Opportunity cost to social capital

This topic has been weighing on my mind for awhile.  I’ve talked before in my podcasts about the sacrifices required for a mid-career professional and family man to go back to school.  Some weeks seems to fly by with no problems.  Other weeks, it seems that I am slapped with the reality that I am missing important and irreplaceable time with my family.  The saddest thing is that I’m too busy to even realize it.  This is summer time and the kids are already spending a lot of time at home without their father.  In MBA-speak, the opportunity cost to the social capital at home sometimes outweighs the prospective ROI of school.

I am too susceptible to bringing home the stresses of work and school and “kicking the dog.”  Perhaps that one of the untaught lessons of the MBA, how to disconnect and leave your baggage at the door. I am now aligning my attitude and schedule to make the time spent with my family real: solid, quality time.   My family is my biggest customer.  I don’t want my studies to take me away from anything my wife and daughters needs.

This is a major struggle for me and for others in the program, I’m sure.  I’d like to hear your thoughts.

Oh, this is going to hurt ….

Quarter-to-Semester Update

Any student taking one class per quarter or any prospective student will be facing the Quarter-to-Semester conversion at OSU.  My concern is the student will lose credits or have to review redundant topics in class after the conversion.  This may be especially true in my case where I am cherry picking my electives first rather than following the “standard” curriculum flow.  At the very worst, students will have to take (and pay for) more classes.   I doubt OSU can make any promises to alleviate this concern.  Regardless, here’s a clip from Peter Koltak, former USG President and Member of the Semester Conversion Communications Subcommittee:

Ohio State is committed to protecting the academic progress of its students during the transition to semesters. A pledge to that effect has been developed by students, faculty, advisors, and advising administrators. The pledge is the university’s promise to students that they should see no disruption towards earning their degrees if they:

1. Decide on their major and degree within a time compatible with four-year graduation;
2. Meet the standards for progress defined by their academic unit and continue to complete appropriate course loads successfully; and
3. Actively develop and follow academic plans in consultation with their academic advisors.

Academic advisors will understand how the changes in courses and curricula may affect students’ degree programs, will know where and how programs can be flexible, and will be prepared to assist students in planning for on-time graduation. Students will be responsible for getting and using this advice, which will be essential to their progress toward their degree.

To see the full text of the semester conversion pledge to students, click here.

Video – Year in Review 2009-2010

This video is a great year in review for this past year; very well produced. No, it’s not mine but it would be a shame to not include it somewhere on the Fisher MBA Blog. This may be more suited to the full-time students but it still gives prospective students an idea of what all goes on outside of classes.

OSU Fisher College of Business – Year in review

Red, White & Boom

For anyone not familiar , the Friday before July 4th is the date of the Red, White & Boom fireworks.  If you’ve never seen it I suggest you check it out.   But if you don’t like crowds or traffic, stay far away!!!

If you’re going, I’d suggest getting a room for the night and avoiding the traffic, though it might be pricy.  Otherwise save some money and use the COTA bus, just remember that it may take over an hour to wait for the right bus.  Yikes!!

The largest is in downtown Columbus, attendance typically averages 500,000 people. Red, White & Boom was started in 1981 by some local radio and TV stations and is paid for by corporate sponsors. A few hundred of the attendees begin  gathering over 24 hours before the fireworks, and Bicentennial Park is typically full of people with tents by mid-morning the day of the fireworks. Entertainment typically starts at 11 a.m. or noon with stages both at Bicentennial Park and Battelle Park.


More info:

Summer training

As the summer solstice burns on, I fail to convince my kids that their bedtime is earlier than 9:30.

I figure that I’ll give up my strategy for summer training.  Usually once classes start, my workout routine is usually the first thing to drop.   This summer quarter, though, I roped myself into a morning swim class at the local community center.  The swim classes carry enough obligation for me to stay loyal to myself.  However, a 6am workout, work, family and a 8-10pm class makes for a long day.  We’ll see how it goes…

I hear that the RPAC Aquatic center is awesome.  Perhaps I’ll make it down to the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion and swim with the sharks.

  • The RPAC Aquatic Center is home to three distinct swimming pools – leisure, class and lap, and also a recreation whirlpool spa. Lap swimming is available during all aquatic center hours in the six lane, 25 yard lap pool. Lap swimming may also be available in the eight lane, 25 yard, class pool if scheduling allows. The leisure pool is a 2,848 square foot shallow depth pool with warmer water temperatures and interactive water features.

Happy Father’s Day

Just a quick note all the new fathers in the MBA program, namely Theo and Matt, and to all the other fathers juggling work, school and family! Happy Father’s Day!

It’s really nice that Father’s day falls on the break between spring and summer.  No projects or homework to think about!!

Here’s a shout out to my Dad:  Thanks for everything thing you did for me.  I hope you can see us now.  I love you and miss you, Dad.

Strategic Leadership: Business and the Public Policy Process

I’ve received a number of emails about a program that Fisher offers.  This is something I’ve been thinking about recently.

Titled “Strategic Leadership: Business and the Public Policy Process”, this seminar is an intensive, one-week course repeated in six different sessions in Washington, D.C., providing participants with first-hand exposure to the political process and its impact on management. The Washington Campus seminars are designed to equip students with the understanding necessary to anticipate, influence, and respond intelligently to government initiatives. I hear it’s a great opportunity to use the resources of the US Capitol to understand the relationship between government and business. Sample topics include:

♠ Decision-Making in Washington: The Issues, The Players and The Process
♠ The Politics and Economics of Federal Regulation
♠ Congressional Committees and the Role of Staff
♠ Monetary Policy and the Federal Reserve
♠ Globalization and the U.S. Trade Policy
♠ The Role of the Media in Shaping Public Policy

From what I understand, it is offered as either a 2 or 4 credit hour class:

  • The two unit course (Students preferring just to attend the week long Washington Campus seminar should choose this option.) Click here to view the two unit course syllabus
  • The four unit course (Students preferring to receive four credit hours will be required to do additional course work upon return.) Click here to view the four unit course syllabus