Peanut Butter, Jelly Time

One of my to-do’s when I first arrived on campus was finding the local grocery store. I am generally a lunch-packer, so I needed to purchase groceries for my peanut butter and jelly, baby carrot, yogurt, and teddy graham packed lunch. (Yes, my lunch in grad school is eerily similar to what my mom packed for me during grade school. I’m only missing the Dunkaroos, but those are pretty hard to find.)

Over time, I have found a few options for grocery shopping. Here is a list of the different  locations near Fisher Commons, in reverse order of my favorites.

3. Giant Eagle on 5th. This is a bigger grocery, and I have to give Giant Eagle the edge on produce selection and freshness. If you are an avocado fan, Giant Eagle has giant, delicious avocados! They also have a nice meat counter. Really the only reason they earned the #3 spot is because I don’t have a Giant Eagle discount card, and I find paying an extra $0.20 cents on most items really annoying. Other than that, it is a great option!

2. Kroger on Chambers. This is another great grocery! Kroger on Chambers is a decent size and has all of the essentials. They even have a nice “Naturals” section and an OSU fan shop. Being able to grocery shop and fill up on gas in one trip is also convenient. I don’t like the produce selection quite as much as Giant Eagle, but I do have a Kroger Plus Card, so the savings make Kroger a strong #2 in my mind.

1. Whole Foods on Lane. Whole Foods specializes in delicious, natural and organic foods and groceries. On top of having all the basics, Whole Foods offers a salad bar, hot foods bar, fresh pizza by the slice, soups, and other “ready-made” options. I find myself going for lunch quite often! They also have the best fresh seafood and meat bar. The only major con is the price. Whole Foods is generally the most expensive of these three grocery locations, but the price speaks to the quality of their foods. You can sign up for coupons to help curve costs, and I also tend to buy the lower-priced Whole Food’s 365 brand for most items.

If you are a foodie like me, you can rest assured there are several grocery options near the campus (and especially Fisher Commons)!

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

I was working with my teammate Logan this afternoon on an Accounting case study, and we both were scratching our heads over a certain problem. After some discussion, he found an important number in the case, I found a hint from our textbook, and together we were able to solve for the answer to the problem. My response, “Teamwork makes the dream work!” Logan: “You are a nerd. I wish we could take our final in groups.” Ugh… if only…

I have to admit, coming into the MBA program, one of the aspects I was most worried about was the idea of being tied to the same core team of five for an ENTIRE YEAR. In the past, I felt I always got burned with being placed on a team with free riders, or people who just lacked motivation to perform at a high level. I was dreading being “stuck” with people I didn’t get along with.

Little did I know, I had nothing to worry about! The Fisher MBA program only attracts motivated, high-achieving students. We haven’t even come close to having an issue with someone not pulling their weight. In fact, I am consistently impressed with how my teammates are always ahead of the game. We leverage each others strengths, use our time effectively, and have been successful in our group work. But for me, that hasn’t even been the most rewarding aspect…

When it comes down to it, I really, really like my team. That is not to say we always agree, but we are able to constructively challenge each other to create the best outcome for the group. I can appreciate each individual for what they bring to our team’s dynamic. Logan always has a funny story to share, Adam helps us all keep perspective, Aaron’s laugh can make me laugh any day, and Ankita is the most thorough and sweet one of us all.

So for those perspective students who are a little nervous about the group dynamic – take it from me, you have nothing to worry about! My guess is that your group experience, like mine, will be one of your favorite aspects to the MBA program. I’m excited to be “stuck” with my team for another two quarters!

Supplying Time for Demanding Exams

Countdown: 2 days until our first economics exam. I can’t believe we are over half way through the quarter! For all my classmates that could use an extra econ “lesson” check out this video.

Tonight was the review night for our first exam and here are my top three takeaways:

1. I have some more studying to do.

2. Our professors are really accessible. It struck me as I walked in to our review that Professor Campbell had been there since 4:00 PM for back-to-back sessions. This meant that he volunteered to be in Gerlach from 4:00 PM to about 9:00 PM on a Sunday, answering student questions and preparing us for Tuesday’s test. I’m not sure how many school’s have professors this dedicated to the success of their students or this willing to give up their personal free time to help. The accessibility of professors is just another advantage to the Fisher experience!

3. My classmates are ready and willing to learn. I am incredibly impressed with how much effort everyone puts into their own success. We had one of the largest classrooms reserved for an optional review session on a Sunday evening, and we easily filled the room! For those considering Fisher for their MBA experience, should you choose to attend, you will be studying among the best! Not only are classmates ready to learn, they support their peers and are committed to the collective success of our class as a whole.

Well, time to get back to studying. Good luck to my classmates on the midterm week ahead!

Dear Time, We aren’t friends. Love Christina

3 midterms, 1 paper, several group projects, 2 speeches, various interviews, plus normal everyday coursework. Sound familiar? If your work load looks anything like mine, this pretty much sums up your next two weeks. Major yikes. That doesn’t even include other priorities like keeping up with email, checking the Hub, Fisher Connect, My Fisher, Carmen, and other websites, keeping tabs on internship opportunities, going to the gym, putting in hours at work, making time for a significant other, etc., etc. That reminds me… I should probably give my mom a call to let her know I am still alive.

Man, it can pile up fast, can’t it?! If I surveyed my classmates on the toughest part of grad school so far, I wonder how many would consider “time management” the biggest challenge. For me, that has been something I’ve really had to focus on. Without a clear schedule, daily to-do lists, and color coded binders and notes (no, I’m not kidding)… I’d be lost. Everyone has their own time management style, but the trick is, no matter what your system is, KEEP WITH IT.

If you haven’t yet mastered your own time management groove, then here are a few tips that might help you along the way:

1. Figure out where you are losing time. One of the best things you can do is keep a journal of your time allocation for a day. Literally log your activities and how much time you spend on them. Then, at the end of the day, go back and see how much time was devoted to non-priorities. This exercise was an eye opener for me. Now I know I shouldn’t check Facebook, ESPN, or MSNBC when I have other priorities. Sometimes I even turn my wireless router off when I have an assignment that doesn’t require the internet.

2. Get a calendar – any calendar! I prefer Outlook only because I’m comfortable with it, but many of my friends use G-Cal or other tools to help them stay organized. Every day I block off time to work on certain projects and set reminders to make sure I’m on task. At 7:45 this evening I had a reminder to write a blog post – and here I am! The trick with this is sticking to your schedule. If you fall behind, it is hard to make that time up!

3. Learn to say no. (Or at least to prioritize.) Some of my classmates have been commenting on my ghost-like tendencies over the past couple of weeks. While I’d love to socialize as often as possible, I’ve learned that I have to say “no” to going out sometimes. It’s a bummer, but it saves me freak out moments the night before a big assignment is due. If you have a hard time saying “no,” then the best thing to do is prioritize. For example, I promised myself I’d go with my classmates for $3 Brazenhead burgers on Wednesday nights, and I’ve gone every week! Remember to give yourself breaks and reward yourself for your hard work.

I hope this helps some of you who are stressing for time! When in doubt, just keep swimming!

Additional Thoughts on NAWMBA…

If you haven’t yet read Stacey Schroeder’s Post about NAWMBA, make sure you check it out! In addition to her summary of the high points, here are a few of my own insights from the conference this past weekend…

1. You are at an advantage because you attend Fisher. The conference included a variety of sessions and events throughout both days, as well as a career fair on Saturday. Ohio State was the lead academic conference sponsor which offered our students a variety of extra perks during the weekend. I was consistently impressed with how often professionals and recruiters specifically sought out Fisher women to connect, network, or talk about job prospects. Major kudos to our career services and NAWMBA planning teams for helping Fisher stand out in such a unique and positive way.

2. Elevator speeches (and other things that you think don’t matter) DO MATTER. I am admittedly a people watcher. One of my favorite parts of this conference was simply watching candidates from other schools speak with recruiters during the career fair. I could literally see a difference in a recruiter’s facial expression and body language between candidates that were well prepared with a brief self-introduction (mostly Fisher women) and those who approached recruiters blindly. Trust me… it is worth the 15 potentially awkward minutes of standing in front of a mirror and practicing to perfect your elevator pitch.

Lynn Tilton of Patriarch Partners

3. Yes, Lynn Tilton IS that ridiculously awesome. Stacey did a good job of explaining why Lynn Tilton’s message was so captivating – but actually seeing her in real life is another story.  Lynn has long blonde hair, wears a minimum of 6″ platform heels (which is both painful and impressive), and dons a wardrobe that made me blush from the furthest row back. She gives her audience just enough time to form an opinion based solely on appearance, then she absolutely smashes it. You quickly learn that this woman has purchased and “flipped” 150 companies, single-handedly saving 250,000 jobs. I found her to be so impressive because she is who she is, and doesn’t apologize for it. That’s not to say I’ll be copying her fashion trends anytime soon, but I definitely aim to inspire others as Lynn has.

Thanks again to all those who helped coordinate such a successful conference!