Fisher Formal

Last Friday, Fisher graduate students had the opportunity to relive the past.  Fisher Formal is basically a “grown up prom” except much better! (mostly because there were drinks 🙂 ).  The party was held at the Social Room in the Arena District.  Fisher secured the club’s top floor and roof deck for the party which ensured that there were no random people roaming through the party.

It was refreshing to get all dressed up and see all of my classmates looking spiffy.  Of course, there was a pre-party at Fisher Commons before the formal which gave everyone a chance to have a few drinks and see each other’s outfits before we headed out. Overall, it was a great time.  Below is a pic of me.

Long overdue…

Hey out there!  Wow… it’s been a while.  It’s been a crazy quarter and I’m working hard to finish the quarter out strong.  Here are some updates since I’ve last blogged:

  • I was elected VP of Communications of the Fisher Real Estate Society.  I’m really looking forward to working with this group next year.  My fellow blogger, JB is prez 🙂  It should be a good year filled with great events.  We’ve already started planning for the Real Estate Boot Camp in the fall.
  • I was also elected VP of the Black MBA Association.  I’m looking forward to helping this organization enhance its events and reach out to the broader Fisher community.
  • I was recruited to be on the Logistics Committee for the National Association of Women’s MBA Conference which will occur this October in Louisville, KY.  Fisher is sponsoring the conference and so, I, along with my classmates, will help to organize the conference.   Specifically, I will be orchestrating the volunteers at the conference.
  • The internship search is still going strong.  I’ve been working hard all quarter to line something up for the summer and just as I was starting to get discouraged, some opportunities came through.  I’ve had a host of interviews over the past week and I’m hoping that something pans out.  I’ll keep you posted.

Well, I think that’s it for now.  I’m really going to make an effort to blog more often!  Ttyl


I finally have a few minutes to breathe and so, here I am to update you on the past week! This past week was finals week which means that I drank way too much Starbucks, ate unhealthily, stayed up way too late and woke up way too early.  I had four finals: Operations Management, Financial Management, Cost Accounting and Talent Management.  I think they all went pretty well.  Now it’s just time to sit and wait for grades to come out.

Tomorrow, I am hitting up sunny Miami, Florida with four other classmates.  We’re staying the entire week and I am really looking forward to the opportunity to just DO NOTHING!  No thinking involved.  I have never been to Miami before, so it’s also a chance to check this vacation spot off of my list.  I’ll update during the week with pics of the vacay!

Being A Rainbow In Someone’s Cloud

One of the advantages of attending Fisher is being able to take advantage of all the events and opportunities provided to the university at-large.  Tonight was one such opportunity.  I went to see world renowned poet and author, Maya Angelou, speak.  And not only, was I able to attend for free with my BuckID but I was also able to snag a front row seat!

If you are unfamiliar with Maya Angelou and her work, I encourage you to  “google her” because I can not give her accomplishments justice in this blog.  The topic of her discussion really inspired me because she discussed everyone’s ability to inspire others.  She expressed that our duty here is not to just get a piece of paper, to go make a decent salary and live in a 3 bedroom 2 bath house.  But it is to pave the way for those that will follow behind us.  She talked about how each of us have people in our lives who have encouraged us, provided for and helped us and that we have the obligation to do the same for others.  This is what she called “being the rainbow in someone else’s cloud”.

Her speech also centered on crossing cultural boundaries and not living siloed lives never stepping outside of our comfort zone.  Her speech ended with her recitation of a poem she was asked  to write to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the United Nations.

Tonight was definitely one of those moments which allowed me to put my life in perspective and focus my attention on what is really important.  Below is a pic of Maya Angelou since photography wasn’t permitted during her performance.

Guest Lecturer provides real world perspective

Marketing class is one of my favorite classes this quarter.  That statement is the result of our professor, Neeli Bendapudi (who is absolutely great!), and the subject matter which I think is much more engaging that some of our other courses (i.e. Accounting!).  In today’s class, Prof. Bendapudi invited one of her colleagues, Alan Harris, to guest lecture.  Alan Harris was the former Chief Customer Officer of Kellogg Co. and also formerly served as the company’s Executive Vice President.

Our class involved creating a positioning statement for Kellogg’s All-Bran and Starbucks’ Via Ready-Brew Coffee.  It was interesting to take a rational look at many of the products that we all buy without really considering why we buy. Take-aways from the class include:

  • Pressure test your brand positioning.  He explained that Kellogg’s re-evaluates the brand positioning of each product every year.
  • Simplify and clarify communication in all that you do.  Less is more!
  • Be a student of the business.
  • Search for consumer insights, everywhere.

Thanks Alan for speaking at Fisher!  It was great to hear your perspective working on some of the best known brands in the world.

ULI 2010 Hines Competition is DONE!

My lack of blogging in the past few weeks has been in part due to my involvement in the 2010 Urban Land Institute Hines Competition.  Let’s just say that I didn’t know what I was getting myself into.  As an architect, Ive missed the opportunities to be creative and design while here in b-school.  So, I jumped at the opportunity to get involved in a project that involved the redevelopment of a blighted warehouse district near downtown San Diego.  My team was forced to consider realistic expectations for the site and had to design a master plan showing what types of buildings would be developed and when.

My group was composed of 2 grad students from the architecture program, 1 grad student from the landscape architecture program, and 1 grad student from planning program.  The competition only lasted 2 weeks and so that meant  a lot of late nights in the studio.  My role as the MBA on the team was to develop a financial pro forma detailing the costs of the development and the subsequent revenue generation.  This required a lot of research of construction costs and research of what types of building the local market will support.

On a side note, I’ve learned from this experience that I can no longer endure the studio culture that thrives in architecture school.  One of the most important things I’ve learned at Fisher is time management and although I know that the creative process doesn’t happen on a 9-5 schedule, I also know that it can be managed.  Moving forward, knowing that I want to incorporate my business skills into the design profession, I know that I will have to learn to manage the design process effectively to meet deadlines.  Thankfully, I haven’t graduated yet, so I still have time to develop an effective strategy for doing this.

Anyway, back to the subject of this post.  I’m very proud of what my group was able to accomplish and I hope that we are able to advance to the next round of the competition.  I’ll keep you posted!

MBAs show support for Haiti

During the past week, I’ve been horrified to see and learn of the devastating earthquake in Haiti.  I felt so helpless as I sat in my cozy apartment and attended classes at one of the top b-schools in the country.  After watching too much CNN, I decided that even though I am in Columbus, OH there is something that I can do to help.  And so, I  joined with another classmate to raise money on behalf of the Class of 2011 to give to UNICEF for the Haiti relief.  We only collected for four days and I was astounded by the overwhelming support.

We set a very modest goal of $500 which meant that we asked each student in our class to donate $3.52.  On the first day we surpassed our goal and by Friday we had raised $1195! I’m proud that our class was able to help and I pray that our money truly helps the earthquake victims.


Artie Isaac – Leading From the Heart

On Friday, I attended a mandatory Leadership and Professional Development event.  It was a lecture given by Artie Isaac.  I approached my attendance to this lecture with a hint of apathy and a feeling of “I have to do this”.  Well, let’s just say that I was pleasantly surprised!

As seen from the title of this blog, Artie discussed following your passions.  He explained his experiences: how he received an MBA from Columbia and then started his own advertising firm, only to realize  fifteen years later that he’d chosen a career in business only because it was the logical thing to do and not because it was his true passion.  After selling his company, he now runs a social networking site for public speakers and he speaks to groups and companies.

It was an extremely engaging talk that was almost part part stand up.  Here are the “take-aways” I got from his talk:

  1. Follow your passion because it’s more likely that you’ll be better at it than someone who is simply doing it for money.
  2. Be selfish.  Make time for yourself.
  3. I don’t need to pay dues, I just need to go do

Check out Artie Issac for yourself at

Snapshot of ’09

As 2010 begins, I can’t help but take a sentimental yet objective look at last year.  And so, I’ve compiled a list of my highlights from last year.  As you will see, some are more important than others!

  1. Traveled to and witnessed the inauguration of America’s first Black president
  2. Left Atlanta to return to my native Ohio
  3. Passed 2 Architectural Registration Exams
  4. Completed my first independent project – a redesign of a residential basement and attic
  5. Joined a new church
  6. Accepted into Fisher College of Business
  7. Passed my first quarter at Fisher College of business
  8. Rediscovered frozen yogurt through Red Mango, Pinkbery and Yagoot
  9. Joined Twitter (finally!)
  10. Exercised consistently for five months in a row