Where Did Two Years at Fisher Go?

Wow, I cannot believe in a less than a week, I will be graduating from The Fisher College of Business with my MBA. Where did the time go?

My incredible core team (L to R: Gustavo, Shiva, Michael, Ben and myself). We spent so much time together our first year working on projects for every class. Some of the best friends I made here at Fisher.

I still remember going through pre-term before classes started where I met my cohort and my amazing core team (picture of us above!). I felt so much energy from my peers, from professors, and from the professional staff at Fisher who would help and guide us all through two of the hardest years of our lives. That energy carried through the entire first year, and was replaced by a different, but equally amazing, type of energy in the second year where my peers and I felt more at home at Fisher and with each other.

Jeff, Nikki, Margot, Adam, and I picking apples for my birthday!

I came to business school to pick up the technical skills I didn’t learn in undergrad. As a journalism and art double major, I never touched subjects like accounting, finance, economics, or operations. Those skills, I knew, would be critical to my success in the next phase of my career.

Margot and I at one of the home football games in The Shoe.

But what I didn’t expect was how much I would grow as an individual and as a leader, and how much I would discover about myself. Within the walls of Gerlach Hall, I was exposed to topics on leadership, motivating teams, and developing subordinates. I was forced to think about who I wanted to become, what type of leader I wanted to be, and what I wanted to be remembered for. Professors challenged my ideas and views on a variety of topics, which pushed me to think differently and take a hard look at how and why I saw the world in a certain way. Sure, I gained technical skills that will undoubtedly help me after I leave Fisher, but those softer skills and self-reflection will be the driving force behind my performance as a leader in the workplace.

Meeting Anderson Cooper (for the second time!) at the ROMBA Conference in Boston.

One of the main reasons I chose Fisher was because of the casual environment. When I came to campus for Red Carpet Weekend, I felt this unique energy among the people around me. The focus was on collaboration over competition, and students were encouraged to be themselves versus trying to fit into whatever mold they thought a graduate business student should be.

My winning case competition team (L to R: myself, Matt, Sammy, and Ross).

After two years at Fisher, I cannot tell you how beneficial that feeling is. I never felt pressured to come to class in a suit every day, and I knew if I was ever having a bad day, all I had to do was walk into the Graduate Programs Office or the Office of Career Management unannounced, and one of the professional staff members would have the right words to help me through whatever I was dealing with that day. That, without a doubt, is one of the selling points of Fisher. Classes are classes, but the people who help you along the way make so much of a difference on your success.

My good friend, David, and I. We were both in Seattle last summer for our internships. He was at Starbucks and I was at Expedia.

Business school is one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life. But it’s all worth it. After two years of staying up late reading cases, working on an assignment, or trying to build the perfect financial model, I am so happy with this decision. It’s one of the best I have ever made. I met my best friends at Fisher, and I know the best is only yet to come for us. Somehow, I also found time to start my own online business, which my Fisher peers and professors were instrumental in helping me get off the ground.

My dad and I in The Shoe for his first OSU football game!

And so, as I begin the next phase of my life, I leave you with this. It’s not a sales pitch for Fisher (though I do hope you consider it!). Instead, find the program that works for you. Find the energy and support I found at Fisher. Find the place that will push you harder than you ever thought possible. But most of all, find the place that feels like home. I found that at Fisher and I hope you find that too.

Five Things I’ve Learned in Two Months of Business School

Time Management

One of the biggest adjustments for me was getting back into a routine of planning out my daily schedule. While working full time, I had an easy daily routine of work, happy hours, and Netflix. Once I got to Fisher, I had to quickly relearn how to make sure I blocked off time to study, get to the gym, meet with my core team, put in hours in my GA role, make it to networking events, and many other things. Google Calendar became my best friend. It’s really easy to let things pile up or forget to get an assignment done, but with a little proper planning each week, staying on top of all of the agenda items is very much manageable.

Personal Time

When you’re in the thick of studying for your next exam or getting a group project done on time, it’s easy to forget to take time for yourself. I found myself pretty stressed a couple of weeks into classes and knew I needed to make a change. So I became more conscious of making sure I set aside a few hours each week just for myself to do non-school things. Whether it’s getting to the gym for a quick workout, catching up on some TV, or reading a fun book at a coffee shop, I make time to be alone every week to recharge. It might seem like you don’t have time when you have a finance exam next week or a big interview to prep for but making time for yourself is important to keep yourself balanced.

Don’t Stress About the Small Stuff

There will be many things to stress about when you’re in business school—interview prep, staying on top of homework, and the next data analysis exam will all be pressures for you. It’s easy to get caught up in all of the stress, including the stuff that doesn’t matter. When I first started, I worked too hard to make sure everything in my life was perfect outside of school and that’s not realistic. My apartment is messier than I’d like it to be, I eat a few too unhealthy meals, and I sometimes forget to text someone back for a couple of days. Learning to not stress about the small or insignificant stuff in my life has been a huge stress relief for me. I focus on what is important and learn to live with the rest of the imperfections. If you try to worry about everything that’s not quite right, you’ll drive yourself crazy.

Friends are Important

Getting through business school is a challenge (and I’m only 10 weeks in!) but friends make it so much easier. The best friends in my life are the ones I have met and forged relationships with since arriving in Columbus just a few short months ago. When the going gets tough, your business school friends understand you the most because they are experiencing the same highs and lows. Take time to build meaningful relationships with people from other backgrounds, geographies, and points of view. Friends make life fulfilling and they’ll be the best ones to help you relieve some stress when you don’t think you’re going to make it through the next finance exam.

Fisher Friends at Apple Orchard
My friends surprised me with a trip to the apple orchard on my birthday!

Fisher is a Great Place

Sounds pretty cheesy, right? It’s true, though. I was not quite sure what to expect when I decided to go back to school full time and move halfway across the country to do so. But I have been overjoyed with my decision, especially choosing Fisher. The admissions team took a lot of time to curate a class of people who complement each other, push each other to think different, and most importantly, get along with each other. Yeah, classes are tough and sometimes you don’t know if you’re going to make it through the week, but at the end of the day, the people here are amazing. Everyone wants to make sure I have the best possible experience and are willing to go out of their way to help me make it happen. I know I would not find that everywhere but I am very thankful I found it in Fisher.