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Going Beyond the Cold

OSU-Cold weather

It’s been a cold start to the year for most of the country, Columbus included.  The first two days of “Spring” semester were cancelled due to cold weather (not snow) which seemed like a great thing initially.  Turns out, we had to make up those days.  After all, we are paying to go to class, not to have classes cancelled.  The make-up days have been on Fridays, a day usually for catching up and getting ready for the next week.  All that to say, it’s been a busy start to the year.

Go Beyond

The new brand for Fisher College of Business centered on “Go Beyond” was launched this week.  There was a launch party where Fisher unveiled the new brand and also had speakers like Craig Bahner-Chief Marketing Officer of Wendys, John Lowe-CEO of Jeni’s and Mark Anderson-Chief Experiential Officer of Omelet to Go share how they have been impacted by the Fisher experience and how going here has helped propel their careers.

Hearing from these Fisher alums and seeing the success they have obtained in their careers was refreshing and inspiring.  It was a chance to think beyond the moment (of cold days and feeling behind on reading) and to remember why I am here and to dream about what’s next.  It was encouragement for us in the MBA program to Go Beyond the circumstance and keep pushing towards greatness/success, however those terms may be defined.


The Family Man (Not Nicholas Cage…)

 

It’s ok…It will be alright.

This is for all of the spouses and parents out there.  I thought coming to Fisher the thing I would get in 2 years would be an MBA, but I quickly learned that I was gaining a whole new discipline in the process.  As a husband and father who wanted to be around his family, I knew coming to business school was going to be challenging both inside and outside the classroom.  However, I feel that having a family has actually made me be better as a student and at home.  The three things I have learned through this process have been:

  1. Time Management: You just have to be good at managing your time.  I don’t have a lot of margins in my life right now, so it’s a sink or swim situation.  Often when you’re in this spot, not having a choice can actually push you to be better than you might have chosen on your own.
  2. Devote time to thinking about what’s important: The forethought you put into what you want to get out of business school is positively correlated (what’s up data analysis!?) with the opportunities you’ll be able to take advantage of while here.  There are a ton of events and if you don’t know what you want things may pass you by without you realizing it.  Better to be prepared and do the heavy lifting on the front end.
  3. Learn to say no: Like I referred to in point #2, there are a ton of events out there.  The temptation is to go to all of them.  It’s a temptation because there are a ton of awesome and interesting events.  Otherwise, it wouldn’t be a temptation, right?  Well, due to family parameters, I can’t go to everything, but I can go to the events I’m really interested in and passionate about.  That’s where the power of saying no comes in.  You have to pick your battles, and part of that is saying no to good things in order to say yes to great ones.

Let’s Do Lunch

Jesse Tyson (left), former Global Aviation Leader for ExxonMobil came to speak at a Cullman Luncheon in late September 2013

Recently, I had the opportunity to attend a Cullman luncheon with the former President and COO of Wilson’s Leather, Dave Rogers. Earlier this fall I participated in a Cullman Luncheon that featured Jesse Tyson, Global Aviation Leader for ExxonMobil. The Cullman Executive Luncheon Series is designed to bring 10-15 graduate students and senior executives, many of whom are also graduates of Fisher, together in an informal setting. Past executives have identified their current roles, discussed work history, and have provided insights into business in general. There is also a time for Q&A at the end.

Personally, it was hugely beneficial to interact with and glean “best practices” from these executives who had 35+ year careers to draw upon. Jesse and Dave both shared things that they did well and also shared about things to avoid as a manager and an executive. The questions asked by my fellow classmates were also very informative and brought out the richness of their experiences in business.

In an age where there seems to be a lack of either good or ethical leadership, the luncheon was a great way to get face to face with an executive who led well and could share those experiences and lessons learned along the way.

Jack Detzel, Director of Supply Chain Capability & Baseline Optimization/Productivity for PepsiCo, is coming to speak at a Cullman Luncheon in October

Craig Bahner, Fisher alumnus and Wendy’s chief marketing officer came to speak at a Cullman luncheon in April 2013

 



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