What Stress?

Does this resemble how you feel sometimes?

Just kidding…

You may or may not have picked up on the fact that it is midterm time from previous posts, and it seems like Gerlach is a bit busier than normal. While I am definitely someone who gets stressed out (maybe easier than some), I am trying to abide by the “Laid Back Positive Mental Attitude” philosophy. You may be wondering just what is LBPMA? Well, if it was a song, it would probably be sung by Jimmy Buffet or the Beach Boys. As a child who grew up listening to these artists, my family is big into the “laid back positive mental attitude.” How many times did I hear “Jamie, have a positive mental attitude!” growing up? Way TOO many – it drove me NUTS. However, in weeks like this and next, I think that might just be the best way to deal with stress – at least for me.

Weeks like these next two make me thankful for a lot of things such as: friends, family, caffeine, and blue skies. Friends and family are probably the best because you can rely on them to pick you up when you are struggling and offer those little encouragements that help you to remember why you are here (as in studying at 3 AM on a Sunday). And, I am really excited to have my family come this weekend – even though technically it is in the MIDDLE of crunch time.

A lot of posts have been about how great and helpful all of our classmates are, and I think these crunch times really show it. I know I have received A LOT of help from classmates recently when trying to learn Stats and Accounting. I honestly would be struggling so much if without the generosity of people here. Yes, we are still in a competitive environment, but even so, kindness and compassion are clearly present. At the graduate student lounge this weekend there were quite a few groups of people working together helping each other, and I know that a lot of people donated their time to help others whether it be one-on-one tutoring or in a study group setting. So often, I have heard stories about how some schools have the culture where competition thrives to the point that relationships fail. I am thankful that Fisher is a school that encourages hard work and competitiveness but also establishes a strong community where goodwill for each other thrives.

So, whether it be applications, midterms, projects or papers, take time to appreciate the good around you and try to embrace the laid back positive mental attitude way – or at least the Positive part.

Take a break to have some fun!

Not Just a Number…

… even though we are currently #1 in football! Go Buckeyes!

At Fisher, blending in with the scenery is really not an option. The faculty, staff, and other students make it virtually impossible to be a number, which is a GOOD thing. From day one, when I walked into the Graduate Programs Office, people knew my name… scary.

Actually, let me take you back to before day 1. Applying to Fisher was a new experience for me. I had previously applied for Law School and filled out applications for other business schools, but Fisher’s stood out because I met David Smith – if you don’t know him, get to know him – at a Business School fair in Seoul. Right away, he was BEYOND helpful. As previously mentioned, I do NOT have a business background, so I was always on the fence about what I could add to a class of business students. David helped me to see my fit and did a great job advocating for Fisher – in fact, the other schools I looked at that day did not even hold a candle to his pitch. I mentioned that I went to Vanderbilt, and right away he told me to email President Gee, whom I have met on a few occasions back at Vanderbilt. (Side note -when I emailed Dr. Gee, he DID get back to me immediately, and he continues to respond  every time since the first email.) Leaving the fair that night, I felt more confident than ever that I should apply.

Throughout the entire application process, I felt that I could reach out to Mr. Smith and others at Fisher – probably a little TOO much… sorry. When decision time came, and I was not able to visit my top two schools, Mr. Smith and others in the office put me in contact with students, professors, and others in Career Management to help me decide. So even though I was thousands of miles away, I was really just a phone call from someone at school who went out of their way to help me. While my experience may not be what everyone had, I am VERY thankful that I was not just a number (and I would encourage ALL future applicants to take advantage of the resources available in their search).

So, after that LONG sidetrack – whoops – I’ll get back to my topic: not just a number.  In undergrad, I pretty much wanted to blend in with the class. I was involved, but I definitely did NOT go above and beyond. However, at Fisher, it is kind of the norm to be heavily involved. While we are a smaller business school, we are a part of a MASSIVE institution with many opportunities available. Learning about these opportunities was a bit overwhelming at Fisher Advantage, but after a week long of information sessions, with pizza of course, organization involvement has picked up tremendously… ie. my free lunch schedule is now filled up with meetings, but I’m not complaining.

Furthermore, every time I walk around Fisher or really around the entire campus of Ohio State, I run into people who I know, and who know me. It is oddly a “small world” here. I cannot even jam out at Kroger without being spotted by a classmate or two. Yes, I definitely jam out whilst grocery shopping. Fellow classmates are not the only ones who make blending in impossible. The faculty and staff make it a point to know who you are and what you are interested. Seriously, speak to anyone in Career Management, and chances are they know who you are and what types of jobs and internships you are looking for. They are ON the ball. It’s the same in the Graduate Programs Office, and I am sure other offices – though I haven’t really ventured too far out of Gerlach. Teachers also call on you in class. So far, I have not been cold called – or as Professor Ankerman likes to call it “impromptu” moments, but I know my time is coming.

Being in this setting makes me want to participate more. Since you cannot blend in – and really who wants to “blend in” with the opportunities available here – stand out. Take advantage of the opportunities – email that teacher or classmate who you want to know better or who may be a great networking potential. Join the group that is different from what you normally do – hello, I am joining finance (which if you talked to me last year, you would probably laugh at that thought). Fisher is an environment that helps the you be an individual who has the best resources to succeed in the way you want. Not being a number might just be the best thing about Fisher – even though our rankings are CONSISTENTLY soaring.

Culture Shock in Columbus?

Moving to Columbus for business school – talk about a change.  Coming here, I was expecting to be completely out of my element – maybe not culture shock, but close to it. Before I get into why Columbus is so much different than I expected, first, let me introduce myself. Hello! I’m Jamie, a first year in the full time MBA program, and this is my first time living in Ohio. Recently I moved back from Seoul, Korea where I taught an ESL Kindergarten class. So I guess you could say I am not the typical student, but who is these days?

I kind of always expected business schools to look for those with accounting, finance, marketing backgrounds for their incoming classes, but at Fisher it seems like diversity is key.

During the H1N1 epidemic, we had to wear masks daily.

Last year when I was chasing after kindergartners, I did NOT expect that I would be living in Ohio or even attending business school within a year. However, here I am with 120 or so other first years.

Before moving to Korea, I lived in New York City for a couple of years where I worked in the nonprofit field. While I loved the city and my job, I was looking for a change hence the move to Korea. It was in Korea, that I realized what I wanted to do with my life – or at least saw a path. Thankfully, there was also a business school fair where I was able to meet someone from Fisher, who immediately assuaged my anxiety towards business school and made me feel comfortable about my fit in this environment. Fast-forward several months, and I was back in Atlanta, GA (where my parents live) frantically packing my things for my next big move.

Since I had never had the chance to see Ohio State or even Columbus, I was a little nervous about moving into a small city – compared to what I was accustomed to – in the Midwest. Both Seoul and NYC are two of the largest and most diverse cities in the world, so my expectations were high. (I’m not going to sugar coat it, I was quite uneasy on my drive from Atlanta, but when I pulled into Fisher Commons after driving through Columbus, a lot of the fears I had drifted away.)

Let me just say first of all, Columbus, Ohio State, and Fisher have completely surpassed my expectations. Where I expected strip malls and suburbs, I have seen and visited cute restaurants, boutiques, and areas in the city. Thankfully, I have found some natives to take me to the local coffee shops and restaurants that make Columbus great. Now, I am getting a better sense of what the “Short-North” and “Arena District” mean. Along with exceeded expectations of this great, continuously evolving city, my expectations for the incoming class were completely debunked. I have met recent graduates, pilots, international students, bankers, fellow teachers and nonprofit workers, and numerous other people from various backgrounds who add so much value to the class.

Honestly, I am looking forward to these next two years more and more with each Columbus adventure, bus ride to Fisher, and trip down High Street.