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How’s your internship search going?

There was quite a bit of pressure during the first quarter to start the internship search, but that was nothing compared to the pressure that builds up in winter quarter!  You hear “How’s your internship search going?” multiple times a day.  Fisher has a strong Office of Career Management with people who are extremely willing to do everything they can to help you find the direction toward your internship.  And despite their prescriptive methods, what I’ve observed, is that the internship process is extremely varied.  Everyone has an interesting story to tell.

So I’ve been interviewing some of my friends about their internship search, and I have come to a few conclusions that may help you in the process.

1) Research – know your stuff (about the company, the interviewer, what’s currently going on in the world in your field of interest, etc).  This seems relatively intuitive, but I put it here to emphasize the importance.  I have a couple of friends that have really dedicated their internship search to researching absurd amounts of information and while it doesn’t guarantee a job, it certainly gives you the edge.

2) Practice – It seems to me that no matter how hard or often you practice, you will still be given a curve ball now and again.  So you might as well practice as much as you can!  Case interviews, as it turns out, are particularly varied.  The Office of Career Management is great at helping to conduct practice interviews to help narrow your focus for a given company.  I also suggest practicing in the mirror, to family and friends, at the bar, or to your dog.

3) Relax! – Have fun!  Think about it this way… you get to spend an hour with someone spelling out all of your accomplishments and competitive attributes.  Come on, who doesn’t like to do that??

4) Develop your own process. – The internship process is different for everyone.  Are you going to apply to every job available?  Are you going to target a certain industry? Are you wanting to be in a specific geographic location?  Will you wait until you see a job description that you know is perfect? Are you already aware of the exact kind of job/experience/company that you will target?  You have to tailor the search to your needs and desires.  Your friends will probably do something differently.  That’s ok.

The internship (and eventually job) search is a huge part of the MBA process.  It’s good to know what you’re getting yourself into!  I hope this helps!

 


Gifts to make you smile.

And so another Christmas comes to a close in our household.  It was wonderful, delightful, and any other kind of “ful” (or “full!”) you can think of.  Today I found myself thinking about how my mom (and dad, but mostly mom) keep the magic of Christmas going in our house year after year.  I have decided that one of the ways she does this is by giving gifts that make us smile.  While there are always a few “list” items, for the most part, our Christmas gifts are comprised of clever and crazy items we would never dream of getting for ourselves (or items we were never be clever enough to find).  So I thought that this week I would share with you a few of my gifts that made me smile….and I hope they bring a smile to your face as well.

1. Gummi Fried Eggs – exactly what they sound like.  I haven’t opened them yet, so I can’t vouch for the taste, but it clearly is a goofy candy product that you don’t normally find in the candy aisle at Target.

2. Mom/daughter ornament – My mom has a hard time passing up the keepsake ornaments at Hallmark.  I particularly like this year’s, especially because when I opened it, my mom immediately said, “Just so you know, I’m the big crown!”  As if she had to clarify.

3. Necklace -  compliments of my dad!  He recently traveled to Israel for work, and came back with a necklace for my sister, my mom, and myself.  When we were little and he traveled, he would always bring us a doll.  The necklace is the grown up version. I love it.

4. New PJ’s – My Mom discovered personalization.com this year, so many of our gifts came from there.  This is one of mine and a particular favorite, as the statement on the front of the shirt is decidedly true.

5. And speaking of Einstein…. Mom made him his own pillow — using the little bandanas that the groomer puts on him when he gets groomed.  He also has a blanket that she made for him, so he now has a nice little set.  You’ll also notice in this picture that he’s sporting a brand new holiday argyle sweater, also a Christmas gift.

And now our holiday break is winding down and it’s time to start thinking about school again!  It’s also time to start thinking about New Year’s Resolutions.  One of mine is to snuggle even more with my Einstein!

 

 


Have you finished your shopping yet?

I’ve always loved Christmas shopping.  It combines two things that I love: showering gifts on those I love and spending the money that’s always burning a hole in my pocket.  Because I have such an urge to spend money, I’ve had a job of some sort since I was 11.  I chose not to work this quarter as I readjusted to academic life, which means that I had to get pretty creative in my Christmas shopping this year.  So here are a few tips on how to give creative gifts on a student budget.

1. Ebay – So the great thing about ebay is the variety of objects you can find.  Look for a classic game from a prior decade, or fun old postcards from places you’ve visited.  You can find toys from your childhood and get great vintage pieces of clothing.  There are also crazy deals around the holidays on just about every thing.  Plus you can shop from the comfort of your recliner in your slippers.

2. The Dollar Store (or some variety of).  When my sister was little, she was famous for buying all of us Christmas gifts from the dollar store.  She is clearly the frugal one in the family.  But you never know what you can find in there.  They have cute chotskies, kids toys, cleaning supplies and food.

3. Use your head! Write a poem, draw a picture, write a short story, sketch something.  We all love something personalized.

4. Print a picture.  You can print a digital picture for less than a dollar, and you can find really inexpensive frames at Wal Mart, Target, drug stores, etc.

5. The OSU bookstore – there are all sorts of OSU pens, stickers, mugs, etc.  You can show your school spirit with your gifts!

I hope this helps with your shopping this year!  Happy holidays to all!

 


Go with your gut.

Many prospective students are in the process of filing applications and visiting potential schools.  (It’s strange to think that I was in that position at this time last year!)  I was recently asked what was the one thing I wish I would have known at this point last year.  And my answer to that is I wish I would have known that trusting my gut was the right decision.

It seemed so difficult to make a decision about where I wanted to take my MBA journey. I was so afraid of making the “wrong” decision.  At the end of the process, I went with my gut.  I chose the place that felt right to me; not necessarily to friends, family, strangers (and whomever else was unfortunate enough to engage me in a conversation about the grad school decision process).  When I chose to go with my gut, then my successes are mine, and my failures are mine. And I wake up every day decidedly motivated to do my best work for me.

We all have that level of intuition about our own decisions.  And we are also fully capable of making lists and spreadsheets and complicated mathematical formulas that are supposed to predict what we’re going to do with our lives.  But it doesn’t work that way.  No formula or spreadsheet can make your final decision for you.  It’s simple psychology.  If you really want it, you’ll succeed.

With that in mind – good luck to all of you who are in the process of deciding where to invest your time and money!  And remember to trust your gut.


Final-ly!

It’s final-ly here, the end of the term!

And I can certainly reconfirm,

That whether or not it was what we thought,

In our first quarter, we learned a lot!

 

Does marginal benefit equal marginal cost?

In accounting, do you ever find yourself lost?

On a cash flow statement, you subtract a gain,

Are you aware of the intangible value chain?

 

Extra study sessions may be something you savor.

Can you manage post contractual opportunistic behavior?

Rational, Evaluating, Maximizing individuals have a choice,

Make sure you evaluate your strong leaders using VOICE.

 

While we’re studying and prepping for this final week

For once in our lives, we’re not unique,

We are all working hard (of course, not to cram!)

Good luck to all on your final exams!


To be thankful for… a break!

In the full time MBA program, the week leading up to Thanksgiving is a whirlwind.  Suddenly, there are final projects, final papers, final presentations, and of course, final exams, on the horizon.  It seemed as if my classmates and I were spinning like tops as we organized meetings, conducted research and attempted to accomplish as much as we could before Thanksgiving break.  One wise second year student said “If I could go back and give myself advice, I’d tell myself to calm down.  It all gets done.  It’s like magic.”

She’s right, of course.  But it’s hard to believe that when your to-do list is growing exponentially and time is flying by.  The saving grace?  A great Thanksgiving.  Even though most students (including myself) are probably using at least some of their Thanksgiving break to do work, it’s so important to take time to relax with family and friends, laugh, share stories, and eat and eat and eat (and eat).  This break is perfectly timed to rejuvenate us before our final week of classes and exams.  And my advice is to relax and enjoy it.

I sure did.  And as you can see, so did Einstein.

 

Too. Much. Turkey.

 


From Indian food to India land

In Sept of 2001, I left the good ol’ US of A for my junior year abroad in St Andrews, Scotland.  It was, as you can imagine, a tumultuous time.  Despite my fear of the unknown, being so far away from my family, and attempting to come to terms with the events of 9/11; it ended up being one of the greatest learning opportunities and most fun adventures I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing.  It was during my time in Scotland that I tried Indian food for the first time.  Being an adventurous eater, I’m not sure why it took me so long to discover the delightful flavors of tandoori chicken and palak paneer, but alas, I’m glad I finally did.  There was a restaurant on the edge of town called The Balaka, which my friends and I frequented in between our meals of fried fish and mushy peas.

Fast forward 10 years.  This past week, I attended the first meeting for our i4 class for winter quarter.  We will be studying what management in an emerging market looks like, working on a group project for a company in Mumbai, and ultimately traveling to India to present our research.  The i4 program at Fisher gives interested students a chance to do exactly what my class will be doing in India.  Some of the other current program options include Germany/Poland, Brazil, and Ghana.  (Click here for program information).  While I was sitting with friends eating my green herb chicken and garlic naan 10 years ago, it never occurred to me that I would eventually have the opportunity to study about and travel to the country that inspired that delicious food.  Thank you, Fisher College of Business, for this incredible opportunity.


The Power of Teams

It’s happened multiple times already this quarter:  I sit at home struggling through a chapter of new material, referencing slides from class, the book, my notes, or even an occasional Google search in the hopes that someone out there has created a website that simplifies the concepts.  I trudge through the questions and come up with answers that are headed in the right direction, but may or may not be accurate.

Then I meet with a group of fellow students (sometimes my core team, sometimes other classmates).  Each of us comes to the meeting thinking we don’t know what we’re doing.  It’s amazing to me what the power of a team can do when united.  We may each come with absolutely no idea of how to solve a specific problem, but amazingly, as a group, we are able to solve the problem and understand the material.

This behavior reinforces the power of teams.  And business school is all about teaching you how to work in teams; from creating those teams for you and expecting you to perform together, to using tools to analyze your effectiveness as a part of a team and as a group unit.  This makes sense – the business world is filled with necessary teamwork.  And for the most part, it produces better results.  To quote our econ professor “5+ smart people working together will turn in good work.”

Since b-school is heavily focused on teamwork and producing work with team members, this is a very compelling reason to visit schools, sit in on classes, and talk to students!  Develop an idea of the kind of people that you will be working with during school – because those people are going to become a big part of your life and your academic career.

Fisher, in my opinion, happens to be home to some great people to have on your team.

Studying for our accounting midterm!

 


Is it time for the perfect cheer??

This past week, during a brain break from studying, I was watching old Saturday Night Live clips.  I came across one of my favorites – the Spartan Cheerleaders at the Chess tournament.  I decided that there are some lessons to be learned from Craig and Ariana, and they are even applicable to B school.

1) No matter what you choose to do, you might as well do it like it’s the most important thing in the world.

2) Just because you’re not invited doesn’t mean you can’t make an appearance. (Although the Chess team might ask you to leave)

3) Sometimes the best opportunities are found in unexpected places.

4) A best friend that’s ‘got your back’ is a great person to have around.

5) When life’s got you down, the “perfect cheer” will fix it every time. (Like after an accounting midterm).

And maybe the most important thing that I took away from my brain break was the importance of laughter.  When you start to feel bogged down or overwhelmed, pull up some old SNL skits (or whatever you find funny) and just laugh.  There’s a whole science that studies the effects of laughter on the body, called gelotology. And that fact, in and of itself, might just be enough to get you laughing.

 

Spartan Cheerleaders!

 

 


Two Deans in One Week!

Over the course of the past week, I had lunch with Associate Dean of the MBA Program, Dean Wruck, and I also had a meeting with the  Dean of Fisher College of Business, Dean Poon.  That may sound stressful – like being called into the principal’s office.   I can assure you it was anything but!  Both meetings were supportive, helpful, and encouraging; and I left each one excited to enact some of the new ideas that the Deans and I had concocted.  I can’t imagine that there are many other MBA programs that give you the close access to faculty that you will receive at the Fisher College of Business.

With a student-faculty ration of 3-1, the events of my past week are not uncommon.  Whether you are seeking advice from a dean, academic support from a professor, or just the opportunity to chat with a distinguished academic, you will find those opportunities easy to navigate at Fisher.  The faculty are not just available to you – they are eager to offer their support and encouragement.  This is such an important part of the reason that I chose Fisher, and I’m realizing it to be even more beneficial that I originally thought.

It’s yet another item on the checklist to be aware of as you go on campus visits and informational tours, meet faculty, and think about your move into B-school.  A small, intimate program with a focus on developing the individual is how Fisher describes itself.  And I’m here to confirm how true that is.


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