June’s Challenge from the Monastic Ones

So a lot of you remember The Monastic Challenge from February. You know, that crazy month of vegan, sugar-free, caffeine-free, alcohol-free living that I put myself through with the help of my personal board of directors, The Braintrust. The month after that we came up with The Media Fast Challenge where we attempted to wean ourselves from the constant stream of information that is our lives in the digital age. I’ll admit I failed a little on that one, but it did help me develop better habits with my Internet use.

April and May we sort of fell off the face of the earth a little with each of us putting our full efforts into our secular lives. Kris finished his first e-book “The Hollywood Acting Guide,” Drew and Matt threw themselves into their Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu training and I wrapped up an intense job search and began teaching two classes a week for the first time. Now that our lives have returned to a reasonable pace, we are proud to announce our challenge for the month of June. We really hope that you consider joining us for this one.

The challenge for the month of June is very simple:
Do at least one random act of kindness of day.

That’s it. Whatever you interpret that to be. Helping an old lady across the street, buying a homeless guy lunch, whatever. For accountability and motivation we will keep a log on our Facebook fan page. The act can be as big or small as you want. If there are multiple acts of kindness then that is even better.  It is our intention for this to be a way to bring awareness towards being more other-oriented while making small differences in the lives of those around us.

Best of luck in your efforts.

Mike ^_^

“If you can’t feed a hundred people, then just feed one.” – Mother Teresa

A Lesson in Persistence

It’s been a hot minute since I’ve gotten my blog on. I apologize. Spring quarter is a whirlwind of activity and it’s hard to believe we’re at the end of week eight!

Since the beginning of the quarter I’ve had some great experiences: Duke MBA Games, Fisher Grad Games, Fisher Follies, Fisher Formal, and most recently, Utsav. The most memorable event of the past quarter though was the culmination of my career search. It goes a little something like this…

Deloitte Consulting: No
Gallup Consulting: No
General Electric: No
Humana: No
Ford: No
Kaplan: No
Thermo Fisher Scientific: No
Vanguard: No
Nationwide: No

Emerson, Amazon, Liberty Mutual, Teach for America, Monsanto, DHL, Domino’s Pizza, Abbott, Mars, Mercer, Medtronic, Chevron, Merck, Accenture, Boston Scientific, Medtronic, Cintas, AT&T, Booz Allen Hamilton, Home Depot, American Express, Campbell’s, DuPont, Baxter, Brink’s, Nestle, Clorox, Whirlpool, Disney, Daiichi Sankyo, Battelle, Fox, Playtex, Vertex, Invacare, Mettler Toledo, Peak 6 Online, Cardinal Health, Rain Bird, USAA, Newell, General Mills, Kimberly-Clark, Intel, United Technologies:
“After careful consideration by our Talent Acquisition team, we have decided to close this position to pursue employment of an alternate candidate. We encourage you to visit our website and continue to apply for positions that best fit your qualifications. We will retain your candidate file in our database and may inform you of job openings that match your profile if you select this option.”

Johnson & Johnson:
“We welcome the opportunity to make you an offer to join Johnson & Johnson and the HR Leadership Development Program!”

It’s funny how things turn out. A couple months ago I was seriously doubting myself and my abilities. I thought about going back for more school. I thought about moving back home and starting my own business. Now I’m working for my dream company in the industry that I’m most passionate about in a leadership rotational program. Everything that I wanted.

Never. Give. Up.

Mike ^_^

“Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘Press On’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.” – Calvin Coolidge

Spring Break in Brazil

Tonight marks the last day of possibly the last Spring Break of my life. As I look back on the past year I can’t believe how lucky I am and what the MBA program has done for my quality of life. Travel is something that is very important to me and just in the past 12 months alone I’ve traveled to Germany for a week with my summer internship with DHL, traveled to Wake Forest and won $50,000 in a case competition, traveled to Omaha to meet Warren Buffett, traveled to multiple on-site interviews with some great companies, traveled home to Tucson several times for weeks at a time, and most recently traveled to Brazil for a week with the Emerging Market Field Studies program.

I knew the Brazil trip was going to be fun, but it totally blew away all my expectations. The group was a great mix of students from the full-time MBA program, MLHR program, Working Professional MBA program, and even the undergraduate program (Note to self: 20 year old superstar Bill Babeaux will be my boss someday). I don’t think I’ve laughed as much in a week in my life (mostly due to Celina, Micah and Horvath). Sometimes when you travel with large groups you encounter difficulties or conflicting personalities, but the entire trip went incredibly smooth and everyone got along exceptionally well.

Highlights of my trip included:

  • Meeting our Brazilian colleagues that we had been working with all quarter at ESALQ (Escola Superior de Agricultura “Luiz de Quieroz”)
  • Eco-trekking in Brotas and standing under giant waterfalls and laying out by the most beautiful pool ever
  • Jogging through the streets of Piracicaba, getting totally lost, but enjoying the scenery and covering much more distance than usual
  • Seeing the Rio Piracicaba, the most powerful display of water I’ve ever seen in person
  • Eating plates and plates of delicious feijoada, Brazil’s national dish
  • Visiting a green Wal-Mart and hearing about their sustainability practices
  • Enjoying the Sao Paulo nightlife, where things begin to pick up when I usually go to bed
  • Getting the “meat sweats” from eating unlimited amounts of meat at a churrascaria (Professor Costigan wasn’t joking)

The only small difficulty I encountered was the fact that I booked my return flight a day later. When we all went to the ticket counter on Friday night, I was told I’d have to stay an additional 24 hours on my own since my flight was booked for Saturday and the actual flight I was supposed to be on was totally booked. I made the most of it though and I was glad it didn’t happen to anyone else on the trip. I had a chance to walk around the city some more and take in the sights, sounds, and smells of Brazil. I also reread one of my favorite books ever, The Power of Optimism by Alan Loy McGinnis, which couldn’t have come at a more opportune time (the book that changed my life, available on Amazon for $0.01).

Now that I’m back in Columbus, I have to get back into moving at MBA speed. I’m teaching two sections of my undergraduate business class this quarter which I’m looking forward to. And for once I’m only taking three classes, so hopefully I’ll have more time for Duke MBA Games planning, Fisher Follies, Utsav, weekend barbeques, laying out on the oval, and all the other fabulousness that makes spring quarter the BEST quarter at Ohio State.

Mike ^_^

Try the Chicken Soup at Grandview Cafe

Life’s obviously a series of highs and lows, but I always try my best to maintain a positive attitude through it all. Due to a multitude of circumstances over the past week or so, I had been feeling a little downhearted to say the least.

I’m not one who likes to openly talk about challenges, tough times and difficulties, since I feel like they’re better left unsaid. I was one of the kids who actually listened when my mom told me “that if you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all.” This week was pretty rough though. I won’t go into too many details, but I just wanted to share a brief story.

After sleeping just a couple hours the night before, taking my last final and grading forty papers and forty final exams, I decided to join Molly and some friends of ours for trivia at Grandview Café. It was a really fun time and we even got second place this week. Woot! Halfway through though, I turned and noticed that there were a bunch of books on the bookshelf behind my head. I reached for one and it was Chicken Soup for the Teacher’s Soul. I got through a couple of the excerpts in between answering trivia questions, only around 40 pages worth. I had never read anything from the “Chicken Soup” series but it was all that I could do though to hold back tears at the end of each story.

It’s funny, but that book was exactly what I needed today. Earlier in the day, I had been feeling unsure of my abilities as a teacher, apprehensive about the future, frustrated at some of my colleagues, downtrodden from my finance final and a little sad about the MBA program coming to a close soon. After reading a couple short stories I felt back to my usual self, ready to teach 80 new students next quarter, upbeat about my future opportunities, more connected to others, eager to finish out the MBA program strong, and grateful for all my blessings. All the answers to our problems are right before us, often times closer than we think.

What’s also funny to me though is that by this point, I’ve probably already lost a good number of you. The ones who are saying something along the likes of “who cares” or “OMG, Mike is the most annoying dude ever. If he talks about his feelings again I’m going to puke.”

I’m fine with that.

I realize that I’m flawed and imperfect and that I still have so much to learn as we are forever students of life. But I’m not going to stop reaching out for opportunities to challenge myself, opportunities to lead, opportunities to present, and opportunities to teach. I’m not going to stop smiling, laughing, playing, learning and loving. And I’m definitely not going to let the opinions of a few salty people keep me from living this awesome life that I get to live every day (Note: See before-mentioned “awesome life.” You have one too).

If you find yourself always complaining, criticizing, arguing and disapproving, then realize that the only person that you’re hurting is yourself.

Mike ^_^

“The greatest fear in the world is the opinions of others. And the moment you are unafraid of the crowd you are no longer a sheep, you become a lion.”

Arnold Sports Festival Weekend 2010

This weekend was one of my favorite weekends of the year in Columbus, the Arnold Sports Festival. This year I went with my group from Patricia West’s Integrated Marketing Communications class to do some market research for our project. This quarter we have been working with Columbus After-School All-Stars, which is Arnold Schwarzenegger’s nationwide after school program. If you’re in the Columbus area, please look them up and think about getting involved if you can. It’s an exceptional organization run by some extraordinary people.

We got to the Arnold Fitness Expo just as it was opening on Friday morning. We walked around, took some pictures for our project, and then spent the next couple of hours walking around and experiencing all of the booths. Being a former powerlifter who used to also follow bodybuilding for years, it was great seeing a lot of the guys who I used to idolize when I was in high school. Some of the bigger names I met this weekend included Chris Cormier, Melvin Anthony, Mike O’Hearn, Timea Majorova, and one of the greatest bodybuilders of all time, Lee Haney. After coming off of losing twenty pounds in February I did feel a little scrawny though. I guess the grass is always greener on the other side.

After the expo, we went back home to get into our cocktail attire for the Arnold Sports Festival VIP Reception. It was a fundraiser to support the local After-School All-Stars chapter, so we felt that we should attend after working with them all quarter. Special guests for the evening included Mayor Michael Coleman, Sylvester Stallone, and Arnold Schwarzenegger himself. It was a fantastic evening of networking capped off by a moving speech by the governor. One of the more interesting people who I met at the event was Kelly Olexa, a social media strategist, who was one of the 100 people chosen to be a Ford Fiesta Movement agent (which is totally ironic since we talked about the Ford Fiesta Movement in our IMC class about a week prior). Anyway, she encouraged me to beef up my online presence and schooled me on some Twitter 101 basics.

Now I’m getting mentally prepared for the final stretch of the quarter, we have only one week of classes and then finals left. Then I’m off to Brazil with our Emerging Market Field Studies program. Yes, as in BRAZIL!!

I’ve spent the past quarter learning all about the country in class while working on a project for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio. The culmination of the trip is a week in Brazil with Professor Neil Drobny and twenty other classmates which will be around half business and half pleasure. It’s my first trip to South America and I can’t wait! Now that the sun has finally come back to Ohio, I hope to get a little color back before I go so I don’t scare the local citizens of Brazil with my pastiness.

In other news, I have three months and four days until I graduate. And I plan on making the most of each and every day and taking in all that is the Fisher MBA experience.

Mike ^_^

“For me life is continuously being hungry. The meaning of life is not simply to exist, to survive, but to move ahead, to go up, to achieve, to conquer.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger

One Challenge Done, Now on to the Next

The Monastic Challenge is officially over. I made it 28 days with no meat, dairy products, alcohol, caffeine or sugar. I’ve lost around twenty pounds and I’m the lightest I’ve been since high school. Food tastes better than ever, my sleep is amazing, and my energy levels are great. I’ll likely keep a lot of these good habits for a while, I’m really glad my crazy friends put me up to this. Special kudos to Kris Sharma, who came up with The Monastic Challenge and our challenge for March.

For the month of March, we are going to have a different type of fast, one from media. Think of your day-to-day activities, just a constant parade of emails, phone calls, text messages, web sites, television, movies and video games. Most of us spend ninety percent of our time looking at illuminated rectangles.

Does any of this stuff actually improve the quality of our lives? Or does it just let us ignore the lacking parts of life? What would happen if we unplugged from the Matrix for a month? Well, we’re going to find out.

The Media Fast Challenge:
No television
No movies or DVDs
No texting – if someone texts you with a question, you need to call back with your answer. And you should let that person know you’re not texting that much.
No video games or silly games on your phone
Email is permitted TWICE A DAY maximum
No newspapers, magazines, news sites, blogs, Youtube, Hulu, etc. In fact, no web surfing all unless it’s to achieve a work-related task you’re doing THAT DAY. This means if you’re booking a trip to Vegas, you better have your credit card in your hand. And even with work related stuff, you should be limited to ONE HOUR MAXIMUM on the web.

This should work for everyone. If there are specific bullet points that are problematic, adjust it as needed. But keep asking yourself, “Is this really necessary?”

Mike ^_^

“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” – Leo Tolstoy

Lunch with Warren Buffett

I recently headed to Omaha, Nebraska as part of the annual Warren Buffett trip. Every year the Fisher College MBA program gets to send a couple dozen students to meet with the Oracle of Omaha, and I was randomly selected to go on the trip. I knew the trip was going to be amazing, but Mr. Buffett exceeded all my expectations.

We flew out Thursday afternoon and spent the night in Omaha. In usual Thursday night fashion, we went out for a couple of hours, which was great since I got to meet some of the first years and working professionals that I hadn’t spent much time with yet.

Friday morning we had a tour of Nebraska Furniture Mart, the largest home furnishing store in North America. It was massive. Part of the tour was in the recliner section of the store. There were enough recliners to sit all of the students on the tour, around 200 in total! The history behind the store was also told throughout our tour.  The founder, Mrs. Blumkin, worked there until her retirement at the age of 103. Her son still works there and he’s 90. Their operations were very impressive and the core values that Mrs. Blumkin instilled in the company decades ago still drive the firm today.

After the tour we headed to The Field Club where we listened to Mr. Buffett field questions from the audience for over two hours. He was one of the most captivating speakers that I’ve ever listened to. He spoke about life, marriage, investments, public policy, dealing with adversity, emerging markets, integrity, and many other subjects in a very casual style. He mixed his words of wisdom with anecdotes from his past and punch lines that had the whole audience laughing. Sitting there listening to Mr. Buffett made me feel good about my life and good about living in this country. He said that we are in the luckiest 1% of humanity. He really helped put things in perspective for us on how good we have it here.

After Mr. Buffett’s question and answer session, we headed to Piccolo Pete’s Restaurant where we were treated to lunch. After the lunch, he stayed around to take pictures with every school, which took a couple of hours of his incredibly valuable time. He didn’t mind taking funny pictures either. Some of the poses in Mr. Buffett’s repertoire included: getting stock tips from a student, proposing on one knee, standing like a tough guy with arms crossed, letting a student wear his glasses, and joining us for an O-H-I-O. The entire time he was smiling and full of energy. Walking back to the bus, several of us said to each other, “I don’t believe that just happened.” He was so friendly and down-to-earth that it made you forget that you were standing with the richest man in the world.

It was a trip that was less than 24 hours, but it will stay with me forever. It was the perfect mix of motivation, encouragement and perspective that I’ll need to get me through the next couple of months as I figure out where my next adventure is going to take me. My interview schedule has really picked up lately, and I anticipate knowing where I’m going to be headed post-MBA by the end of March. I’m excited about leaving and a little sad at the same time. I’ve said it multiple times, but my tenure at the Fisher College has been the best time of my life. The Buffett trip was just one of the many amazing memories I’ll cherish forever.

Mike ^_^

“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” – Warren Buffett

A Weekend to Remember

This weekend I went to Winston-Salem with a group of six other second year MBA students to compete in the Wake Forest Marketing Summit Case Competition. It was an incredible experience, here’s a breakdown of the weekend’s events.

I woke up at 4:30am to meet up with the team at Fisher Commons at 5:00am. We had a 7:20 flight and we wanted to make sure that we had ample time to get to the airport just in case. We flew to Greensboro, NC and then rented a car to get to the hotel. Some of my teammates were dying to get some North Carolina BBQ, so we went to Little Richards Bar-B-Que for lunch (who’s website is eatmopig.com, not making this up). I’m still on my vegan, no sugar, no alcohol, no caffeine diet for the month of February, so I just had some coleslaw and almonds (See: The Monastic Challenge).

We got back to the hotel and then relaxed for a little until 3:00pm, when we met with our student hosts for the weekend. Brian and John were assigned to take care of us throughout the weekend and they did a great job of making our stay comfortable.

Thursday night was the kickoff event at the football stadium. In the past, they had teams run out onto the field and break through a banner, but with a snow covered field, this wasn’t possible this year. They brought the introductions inside, which was done in a very nice suite. We came out dressed in full Ohio State gear, jerseys and hoodies. We actually brought eye black, but then we decided against wearing them since we weren’t running onto the field anymore. After our introductions and some mingling, we went back to campus to receive the case at 8:00pm.

Upon receiving the case, we all read it individually and then started to strategize as a group. We worked only four hours that night, calling it a night at midnight, but those four hours were intense! I’ve never worked with a group as efficient before, we didn’t waste a single second that night and filled up pages and pages of notes on the whiteboard and giant post-it notes.

One disadvantage to having seven people was the fact that we only had one full sized car. Our coach, Marc Ankerman, had the other car but we weren’t allowed to have any contact with him during the case. Needless to say, I did a lot of driving back and forth from the hotel and school.

We got back to the hotel around 12:30 and most of us went to bed around 1 or 2am.

I woke up at 5:45 to meet in the lobby at 6:00am. We drove down to school (in two trips) and got back to work. We put in some more amazing work and had most of our ideas done by 2pm. We then split the work up and started working on our individual parts. We were feeling pretty good about where we were at the moment, but I think we lost a little momentum in the mid afternoon. We worked through to 6pm, where we had to attend a mandatory program on diversity.

The speakers that they brought in were dynamic, high-ranking executives at major corporations, but I think all of us were so tired it was hard to get much out of it. I definitely saw many case competitors catching a nap during the program.

We finally got back to the school at around 8:30pm, and worked straight through until the wee hours of the morning. After working 20 hours straight, things started to get a little weird as our brains started to suffer from the sleep deprivation. Vandana definitely had a lot of patience putting up with six loopy boys in a 6 foot by 12 foot breakout room for two days straight.

By around 2am, we had most of the presentation done, so everyone went to the presentation room to practice while I finished the slides. As I was working on the slides, Microsoft PowerPoint crashed twice, which made me almost throw my laptop through the window. I met back with the group at around 3am and we worked on the deck together for another hour. I think sometime around 4am, I dropped off the four presenters (Chad, Jeremy, Vandana and Ryan) at the hotel to get a little bit of sleep. Seth, Ed and I stayed behind for another hour or so, and then I dropped them off at the hotel to get an hour or two of sleep. I then made a trip to Kinko’s to print out all of our color material for the judges. The drive there felt like a dream. I was blasting gangsta rap and driving with the windows open a little to stay awake. By the time everything was done and ready to be turned in, it was around 6:30am. I slept on the hardwood floor in our breakout room for 20 minutes and then turned in our presentation materials by the 7am deadline.

I went back to the hotel to shower and shave and then drove the presenters to campus to get a couple more practice rounds in. I went back to get Seth and Ed and then drove back to campus where we waited until our 9:40am time slot.

At 9:20 we went to the waiting room and gave each other some last minute words of encouragement. At 9:40 they came and got us, and we delivered our presentation. Seth, Ed and I waited in the back of the room until the question and answer session, at which we joined the group. Our presentation was good, but I think we won it when Ed “The Mighty Moldovan” Lapteanu absolutely crushed the Q&A session. After leaving the room, we met up with Professor Ankerman and went to Bojangles’ Famous Chicken ‘n Biscuits, which Ed had been craving all weekend. After a hearty meal, we went back to the hotel and took a much needed nap.

At 5:30pm my alarm went off and I felt like one of the guys in The Hangover. I had no idea where I was and I tripped and fell getting out of bed. I woke up Seth and we stumbled around the room like a couple of tranquilized bears. We got ready in our best cocktail attire and jumped on a bus to the gala.

We pulled up to a huge historical building. The venue was gorgeous and there were a couple hundred people there. After several rounds of speakers and a great dinner, it was time for the awards. They announced the undergraduate awards first and then the MBA awards. It’s a little fuzzy in my head still, but it went something like this:

Announcer: “And now for the MBA awards. Third Place goes to Dartmouth!”

(heart beating faster, on the edge of my seat literally, Ankerman tells me to relax and that I’m making him nervous)

“This second place team had a fantastic presentation. Their creative was so good, we thought they outsourced it to an ad agency.”

(My stomach sinks, I look at Vandana, in our heads we prepare for another second place trophy, flashback to the Big 10 Case Competition last year and Mathcounts Competition in middle school, I HATE second place…)

“Second Place goes to Wake Forest University!”

(The crowd goes wild, standing ovation for the home team, I almost cry a little, heart is now beating a couple hundred beats a minute, we all link arms, we know it’s us. All the hard work, the meetings early in the morning and on the weekends, the other three case competitions I’ve done, it all comes down to this single moment…)

“And the First place team and winner of $50,000 goes to The Ohio State University!!!”

(I let out a guttural yell of triumph, we jump out of our seats like kids on the last day of school)

We walk onto stage to accept our trophies, a giant $50,000 check and the Cheerwine Cup. Ed is presented the cup and he holds it over his head like the Stanley Cup.

From here it gets blurry, I give Ankerman a bear hug, there are some tears of joy, high fives are flying around, and we receive a flood of congratulations from judges, other teams, and the Wake Forest volunteers.  We mingle for a couple hours, high off of adrenaline and sleep deprivation.

The adrenaline high lasts through the night, and after some celebrating with some new friends Seth and I make it to bed at around 4am.

And that’s the end of this story.

The next mission on my list is the Duke MBA Games. Please support the Fisher College team by donating to the Special Olympics at our fundraising page.

Mike ^_^

“Hopped up out tha bed, Turn ma swag on, Took a look in tha mirror said wassup, Yeeeeea im gettin money, ohh.” – Soulja Boy

It’s Go Time!

It’s less than 24 hours until we get on that plane to Wake Forest. I hope my body can handle two straight days with no sleep on nuts, berries, vegetables, protein bars and water. There’s a feeling of anticipation and excitement that I haven’t had since the day before last year’s Put-In-Bay trip.

I think we’ve done a good job getting ready for the competition. We’ve all participated and placed well in several case competitions in the past. We’ve been meeting as a team every week for the past four or five weeks. We’ve conducted countless interviews with professors, IBM employees, and past case competition participants. We have super-coach Marc “tell them what you’re going to tell them” Ankerman helping us prepare. And we’ve planned for every minute of the weekend, every change of dress, and every possible scenario.

As we get ready to leave for Wake Forest tomorrow, I wanted to give you some links that you can use to follow our progress online.

Tomorrow night, Wake Forest will be launching the new website: www.MarketingSummitLive.com. Student bloggers will be posting updates throughout the competition as well as interviews with the teams.

Also, you can follow the action on Twitter or join their Facebook group. That way, you’ll be the first to know the topic for our case and whether we win the $50,000 prize.

Have a great weekend everyone. As you lay your head down to sleep on Thursday and Friday night, keep us in mind as we’ll likely be working frantically into the night. And if we win on Saturday, that might just have to turn into a third sleepless night.

Mike ^_^

A Test of Willpower

I’m a firm believer in mastermind groups. The concept of the mastermind group was formally introduced by Napoleon Hill in the early 1900’s in his timeless classic Think And Grow Rich. He wrote about the mastermind principle as “the coordination of knowledge and effort of two or more people, who work toward a definite purpose, in the spirit of harmony.” In a mastermind group, your peers give you feedback, help you brainstorm new possibilities, and set up accountability structures that keep you focused and on track. You create a community of supportive colleagues who brainstorm together to move the group to new heights.  Consider it your personal board of directors.

I have several groups that I lean upon to help me navigate life’s challenges. There’s the Lost Boyz, my group of childhood friends who have watched each other grow up over the past ten to twenty years. I have The Crew here at the Fisher College (you guys know who you are). And then there’s a little group that we like to call The Braintrust.

The Braintrust is a group of four friends living all over the country. We are actors, producers, businessmen, academics, professional fighters, yoga instructors, computer programmers, salesmen, and philosophers. Drew’s called us “the most diverse group of geniuses every created.” We share our lives with each other over Facebook and email, giving each other a little helping hand and some encouragement when necessary.

Kris Sharma is one of the members, a super talented actor, producer, comedian, and writer. He recently decided to try out veganism for a month and convinced us to join him. Then over a series of emails and texts, the stakes got higher and higher. No meat, eggs, or dairy. Then no alcohol. Then no caffeine. Then no sugar. Then no harmful thoughts toward others. So for the month of February I’m taking on “The Monastic Challenge” with Kris, Drew and Matt.

I’m pretty excited about it as I’ve wanted to try going vegan for a while now. Hopefully my body will hold up on a lower protein diet, I have some important intramural basketball games to play. Our Fisher College MBA team is 2-0 so far, and we’re looking to repeat as champions of the Graduate/Faculty league. Priorities my friend.

In more MBA related news, we’re packing up for Wake Forest this weekend to take a shot at winning $50,000 in the Wake Forest MBA Marketing Summit Case Competition. I’m going to Omaha to meet Warren Buffett on February 26 with a group of Fisher MBAs. And I’m really enjoying my winter quarter classes so far through week four. My personal favorite so far is Patricia West’s Integrated Marketing Communications class. She’s very passionate about the subject matter and the class really moves. With my background in advertising, it’s interesting to see some of the theory behind what we did in practice.

And by the way second years, we graduate in four months. Gasp.

Mike ^_^

“For me, insanity is super sanity. The normal is psychotic. Normal means lack of imagination, lack of creativity.” – Jean Dubuffett (famous 20th century French painter and sculptor)