Welcome back! (courtesy The Band Perry)

After a summer away I could not be more excited to return to Columbus for my second and final year in the MHRM program. I spent this summer interning at SpringHill Camps in Evart, MI. It was an incredible three months, but it is safe to say that by the end I was beyond ready to come back to friends, family, and Fisher.

Amanda Rose, Me, Ashley Canfield, and Mary Alexander at the concert


The Band Perry, courtesy of OUAB

We finished up our first mini week of classes by attending The Ohio Union Activities Board’s (OUAB) Welcome Week concert. This year, OUAB sponsored The Band Perry and special guest Charlie Worsham. Last year’s concert artists included Big Sean, Chainz and Krewella. So, naturally, I was super excited to hear that country music was going to be featured this year. OUAB set up the stage in the Northwest Stadium Parking Lot to accommodate all OSU students. Best fo all, the Welcome Week Concert was completely free to students!

Having all our MHRM classes at night sometimes inhibits our ability to go to concerts, lectures and other special events. Since it was our first Thursday in class, we got out of class early enough to not only see The Band Perry, but catch most of Charlie Worsham’s performance as well.

Kimberly Perry, The Band Perry’s lead singer was incredibly energetic and exciting on stage.  The Band Perry performed all their biggest hits, “You Lie,” “If I Die Young,” “Better Dig Two” and “Done.” While singing “All Your Life,” the generators suddenly blew out and the stage went completely dark. Luckily, the sound was still working and The Band Perry continued their set. The technicians worked diligently and one song later, the spotlight returned. It was a great start to the year! I am looking forward to OUAB presenting “An Evening with Josh Radnor,” a lecture with How I Met Your Mother star and writer in September!

My Interview with Amanda Rose

Over the last few months, I have shared many blogs about me and my life.  I thought it would be interesting to learn about a couple of other students’ lives, their perspectives on the program and their journeys from undergraduate to graduate school. I interviewed Amanda Rose, a first year MHRM student.

Name: Amanda Rose

Hometown: Green, OH

Undergraduate Institution: University of Mount Union

Major: Business Administration

Undergraduate extracurricular activities: Basketball, Alpha Delta Pi Sorority, Student Athletic Advisory Committee

Work Experience: HR Intern-Fannie May Confections, HR Intern-University of Mount Union, University Relations Intern-The Timken Company, Graduate Assistant – Office of Career Management Fisher College of Business

What lead you to your decision to go to graduate school? I didn’t want to attend graduate school directly after undergrad because I had a great internship that could lead to a full time job and was really excited to begin my career. I knew eventually I would want to go back to school so I started doing some research and planning to take the GMAT. While doing that, I learned about the MHRM program at Ohio State and couldn’t wait to find out more. Once I visited Fisher, learned about the types of courses offered in this program and the career opportunities I could pursue because of it, I knew this would be great for me both personally and professionally. I was also lucky enough to be offered a Graduate Assistantship that would allow me to work part-time while financing my tuition. After that, my choice was very easy and I know that I made the right decision.

Why did you ultimately choose the MHRM program at OSU? This was the only program I applied to, but I was drawn to it because the HR program was housed in the business school, which isn’t always typical for every HR master’s program – not to mention it is such a highly ranked HR program and business school.

What is one thing that you like most about the MHRM program? I like how much of an interest all of my classmates take in each other. All the students in my program were top students in their undergraduate institutions and everyone wants to be just as successful here. We also have many employers coming to recruit us so we are all interviewing for the same positions at the same time. This type of environment could foster a lot of competition among us, but instead everyone really wants to see each other succeed. We are all more than willing to help out if someone is having trouble in a class and we are each other’s biggest cheerleaders when it comes to interviewing and receiving job offers. (The biggest competition in our program has been filling out the NCAA bracket!)

What is one thing that you like least about the MHRM program? Taking night classes. I never had to take night classes in undergrad and it has really been an adjustment for me. By the end of the day, it is sometimes hard to get motivated for a 3 hour class 3 nights a week.

What is the most difficult aspect of being a graduate student? The most difficult aspect of being a graduate student was learning when to relax a little bit and allowing myself to take a break from school and work.  There is always going to be reading to get done and projects to be completed but it is important to remember you need to take time for yourself – and that’s OK! I had to learn that I would get all of my work done and still do well in class even when I allowed myself to take a break sometimes.

What is something that you wish you were told when they had visited/started grad school at OSU? It is great to get to know and become friends with your program but also take time to get to know other graduate students outside of it too. Many students in my cohort are very similar so it is nice to branch out and always fun to meet more people with different interests.

Do MHRM students spend time together out of class?  Yes, many of us spend a lot time together outside of class going to lunch/dinners, movies, concerts, and even to Skyzone (an indoor trampoline park)!  Two of my closest friends are girls I’ve met since starting this program and we are always together. We just went to California together for spring break! Its great spend time with each other to have fun and learn more about each other outside of a professional/classroom setting. It makes spending 3 hours together every night in class much more enjoyable.

What are some of your hobbies and interests? Have you found a place to pursue those at OSU? I really love sports and obviously at Ohio State there are many opportunities to pursue that interest. I went to many football games and pre-game tailgates with Fisher friends, have had many “watch parties” for basketball games, attended my first ever hockey game and even played intramural flag football and basketball with other Fisher grad students.

Do the students have enough time for a social life? Students definitely have enough time for a social life. It is an adjustment from undergrad and it is important to prioritize your schoolwork but if you use time-management skills you can always make time for friends and fun. My friends and I have a tradition of heading over to The Thirsty Scholar after Thursday night classes as a way to unwind from the busy week.

What do you typically do for fun? I really just enjoy spending time with my friends so anything we do together is fun for me! We like to do many different things and always try to plan at least one fun activity for the weekend that’s different and can get our minds away from school and work. During the fall, we spent a lot of time experiencing Ohio State by going to happy hours, different local restaurants, and of course as many football games as possible. We celebrate each other’s birthday’s together and even have theme parties together too. But I also just enjoy “girls’ nights in” attempting to bake cookies, watching movies, and talking about anything and everything!

Do graduate students have access to athletic and other university facilities and events? Graduate students  have access to athletic facilities, libraries, and on campus computer labs. Here at Fisher, graduate students have their own computer lab, study lounge, and break out rooms that are great for study groups and projects. I am able to use any athletic facility on campus and participate in any intramural sport too.

Do you participate in any student organizations? I am currently in the MHRM Council and will be the MHRM program delegate in the Council of Graduate Students (graduate student government) next year.

What are your plans for the summer? This summer I will be interning with Shell Oil Company in Houston Texas in the HR department.

What do you hope to do after you complete your MHRM degree? I am excited for all of the opportunities available to me by graduating with my MHRM degree from Ohio State and don’t have a specific route in HR I want to take yet. I hope to learn more about what interests me this summer and during next year but I am very open to all the possibilities I can have in a career after graduating from Fisher.

My Interview with Yuqing Zhang

Over the last few months, I have shared info about me and my life.  I thought it would be interesting to learn about a couple of other students’ lives, their perspective on the program and their journey from undergraduate to graduate school. Fisher first year MHRM student, Yuqing Zhang, gave me some very unique answers to my interview questions. Read on to hear her perspective on the US, Ohio State and her journey from undergraduate to graduate school.

Chinese New Year

Name: Yuqing Zhang

Hometown: Guangxi, China

Undergraduate Institution: Renmin University of China

Major: Human Resource and Management

Undergraduate extracurricular activities: School’s badminton club leader, class monitor, vice president of sports unit in school’s student union

Work Experience: Several internships

What lead you to your decision to go to graduate school? I was curious what it would be like to study in the US.

Why did you ultimately choose the MHRM program at OSU? I expected a career in HR area, either in academic research or in industry. And Fisher is the best choice either way.

What is one thing that you like most about the MHRM program? That the program provides so many resources helping with both learning and career development.

What is one thing that you like least about the MHRM program? Well, I guess international students need more exposure to internship/employment opportunities.

About how many hours per week do you spend on schoolwork in and out of class? In class: 12h, out of class: 15h.

What is the most difficult aspect of being a graduate student? You really need to take more initiatives and consider more about career development.

Did anything regarding MHRM program/OSU/Columbus surprise you? That the people here are so nice and provide host and all kinds of events to engage us into the community.

Do MHRM students spend time together out of class? Yes, a lot.

Do you interact with students from different Master’s programs? Yes, my roommate is in the Fisher MBLE program, and there’s a lot of classes and events in which I can connect to MBA and MAcc students.

What are some of your hobbies and interests? Have you found a place to pursue those at OSU? Yes! I love badminton and volleyball. There’s an official badminton club and an unofficial volleyball club in which everyone could engage. I can also enjoy myself in the wonderful recreation center at OSU.

Do the students have enough time for a social life? Yes. I would say that schoolwork is important but not all for graduate students, social life may actually help more with the career development.

What do you typically do for fun? Work out and have parties.

Do you participate in any student organizations? MHRM Council. I really appreciate the so many various student organizations at Fisher and OSU, which would really provide many valuable opportunities for social and professional development.

What are your plans for the summer? Internship, though I’m still working on getting one 🙂

What do you hope to do after you complete your MHRM degree? To take advantage of the Optional Practical Training program and gain more hands-on experience here in the US.

Dodging balls for veterans

A couple of weeks ago, FisherServes held a charity dodge ball tournament benefiting Honor Flight Columbus, an organization that honors senior veterans throughout the United States. In a throwback to the playground days, Fisher graduate students from all programs formed teams of six and prepared to practice the five D’s of dodgeball: dodge, duck, dip, dive and dodge! Myself, Ashley, and Amanda from the MHRM program teamed up with Simon, Casey, and Scott from the SMF program for the Friday afternoon tournament.

Amanda, Ashley, Me, Casey, Scott and Simon

Twelve teams battled to win best two out of three matches through round robin style play before heading in to playoff brackets. This design guaranteed that everyone got to play a solid number of matches regardless of wins and losses- which our team certainly appreciated. Admittedly, our team was not the best on the court. But we may have been the best dressed!

Afterwards all the participants headed out to Zeno’s, who also donated a portion of the night’s sales to Honor Flight Columbus. It was a great opportunity for students from all programs to hang out, mingle, and get to know each other a little more after the friendly competition.

The event raised almost $600 for Honor Flight Columbus and added bonus? It was an absolute blast! It did not truly matter whether your team won or lost, it was just a ton of fun to get out there and play.

If you’re an Ohio State student, this is your source for discounted tickets

As an OSU/MHRM student, we have the ability to get tickets through d-tix, Ohio State’s discount ticket program. d-tix offers tickets to area shows, museums, concerts, sporting events, and more at an exclusive rate: Hocking Hills Zipline Tours, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Columbus Museum of Art, and COSI, just to name a few. Also, they have $25 restaurant giftcards available for only $10. I think it’s OSU’s best kept secret!

With finals coming up, we all needed a break from the daily grind of work and school. We decided to go to Sky Zone, an indoor trampoline park. We bought our tickets from d-tix (only $5 for an hour session). It is only about 20 minutes from campus in Lewis Center. Sky Zone has you sign a waiver and wear their special trampoline safe tennis shoes to keep you, and the equipment, safe.  Sky Zone Columbus offers open jump, a Foam Zone, SkyRobics fitness classes and 3-D Dodgeball. In the future, we will know that half an hour is probably long enough for us to do everything we want to do. We were exhausted when we left!

d-tix makes some really cool opportunities affordable for students.  Last semester, we waited for 2 hours for Brad Paisley discounted tickets. We were seated just to the left of the stage and had a perfect view of Brad Paisley, The Band Perry and Scotty McCreery. Make sure to check out d-tix webpageto find out about upcoming events!

Amanda, me and Ashley at the Brad Paisley concert


My weekend trip to Music City U.S.A.

As Fisher MHRM students, we spend most of our time studying, meeting for group projects and going to class, but weekends give us an opportunity to get away and explore new places. Lucky for us, Columbus is close to many big cities and tourist attractions so traveling is pretty easy.

Ashley and I decided to make use of our long weekend for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and take an impromptu trip to Nashville, TN. My family is originally from Tennessee, so I have visited too many times to count. Ashley, on the other hand, had never visited. Ashley loves country music, southern cooking, and cowboy boots, so I knew she’d fit right in! My cousin, Matthew, was the only brave soul willing to join us on our last minute getaway.

Long weekend trips are a great way to explore the world around you while in grad school

We left Columbus at 5am Saturday morning. Six hours later we arrived at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. I have been to the museum before, but the exhibits change on a regular basis. Although some of the articles and stories were familiar, I was able to see new pieces added to the collection in the last year. We also took a tour of RCA Studio B where legends, like Elvis Presley, and today’s artists, like Carrie Underwood, have recorded more than 1,000 American hits.

Ashley, me and Matthew sitting at Elvis’ piano in RCA Studio B

Saturday night we went downtown to experience all that Nashville has to offer. Broadway is the main street that features restaurants, shopping, bars and entertainment venues. We also went down Printers Alley, a famous alley that has been home to nightclubs since the 1940’s. The live music was incredible! Even the artists busking on the streets deserve to be recognized. We heard everything from country to blues to pop and even gospel.

Ashley and me on Printers Alley

Sunday we hoped to get a seat at The Bluebird Café where singers like Taylor Swift and Garth Brooks were discovered. We wanted to catch the unique performances for Writer’s Night. Unfortunately, we didn’t realize how many other people had the same idea. The Bluebird was at maximum capacity and there was still a line of about 60 people curving around the side of the shopping center. Next time, we will have to go on a night when they take reservations!

We decided on dinner at Merchant’s on Broadway. This restaurant had a very different atmosphere from the usual “country” scene. Everything was in black and white. The service was quick, the food was delicious, and the hipster ambiance was executed perfectly in every detail. Of course, since we were already on Broadway we couldn’t help but check out the local bands again.

Me and Ashley in front of the band

Sadly, we had to head back home on Monday. We stopped for one last meal at The Pancake Pantry. We waited an hour and a half for our table, and it was well worth the wait (and the calories!). I had their specialty, sweet potato pancakes with cinnamon cream syrup. Perfection.

I was very impressed by everything we did in Nashville, but there are still so many sights and sounds I want to share with Ashley and Matthew. We will just have to add it to our list of places to visit: Chicago, Pittsburgh, Memphis, Indianapolis …

2012 Fisher MHRM Internal Case Competition

On November 9th and 10th the Fisher MHRM program held its third annual Internal Case Competition. This year, the Case Competition was sponsored by Rolls-Royce. During the competition, the participants were required to research a real problem, formulate solutions to the problem, present and articulate appropriate solutions and defend the solutions to top executives. I was lucky enough to team up with the brilliant minds of Tricia, Emily and Ashley.

Tricia, Emily, Me and Ashley

Day one of the competition, we were introduced to the problem by the executives from Rolls-Royce and we were given an opportunity to ask questions. After gathering the information, we went to our assigned break out rooms to begin brainstorming. We all threw out initial ideas and then narrowed them down to the agreed upon three best solutions. We had so much fun throughout the first day. We took plenty of breaks to laugh, relax and eat!  (Thanks to Neesha Hathi for the awesome food!)  After 12 hours of working and re-working our ideas, my team was ready to go home and sleep!

Day two, we were back to Gerlach Hall bright and early to present our ideas to the judges. My team was the second to present in our designated presentation room. When the first team came out of the room wide-eyed and speechless, I have to admit, I was intimidated. What could the judges have possibly done or said to cause that response!? We walked in, greeted the judges and began our presentation. After Tricia introduced the first slide, the judges started to ask question after question. Then it hit me. We were not going to be able to give the presentation as we originally planned.

The judges turned our presentation literally upside down by asking us to start with our last slide. My team was resilient and adaptable to the situation and we did our best to present all of our ideas in our limited time frame. We were rattled but we answered all the judges’ questions. What truly kept our team on point was the support that we gave to one another. If there was ever a question one of us could not answer, another teammate stepped up to help.

I had a wonderful team and we had so much fun competing, despite the stressful, nerve-wrecking, intense situation. Fortunately, my team was chosen as the winner for our room! We received a Rolls-Royce leather portfolio, a $50 gift card to Amazon, and obviously, bragging rights. The Internal Competition was the weekend before my birthday, so along with the delicious chocolate cake that my teammate, Emily, made for me, winning was a great birthday present!

Check out my Flickr for pictures from the event!

This past Monday, the winners of the MHRM Internal Case Competition were invited to lunch with Senior Associate Dean, Stephen Mangum.  It was an opportunity for all the winners to give feedback on the internal competition and debrief about the event.  We were able to sit down and give our opinion, our takeaways and our suggestions for next year.

Also, all of the winners of the Internal Case Competition were invited to interview for a position on the External Case Competition Team.  The External Team was announced yesterday at lunch. Elaina Reinsvold was named the Captain of the External Team. Leanne Tromp, Gabe Schnall and Qin He will join her in representing OSU in the External Case Competition in February. Congratulations to all!

Apples to Apples

In Ohio, when the leaves change from green to red and yellow, you know Fall is finally here! It’s time for football, bonfires, festivals, Halloween, and perfect weather for sweatshirts and jeans. Fall is a sign that summer is over and school has begun. When I was little, my grandparents used to take all eight grandkids to Fulton Farms to pick apples and sweet corn and every year we went on a hayride together. A couple of weekends ago, I got to share our Ohio tradition with my friend and California native, Ashley.  We went with a few of my friends from undergrad to Lynd Fruit Farm. Lynd Fruit Farm is located in Pataskala, OH about 35 minutes from campus. (But definitely worth the drive!) We picked apples and pumpkins straight from the patch! Check out a sampling of the 10,000 pictures we took that day:
What a gorgeous day for picking apples…
With my beautiful friends: Ashley, Lauren, Kati and Sarah!
Real friends…walk with you…
Share with you…
And laugh with you!

1/8th Complete!

1/8th might not sound like much of an accomplishment, but it is an accomplishment, none the less. At Fisher, each semester is broken up into two seven week long terms. A couple weeks ago we wrapped up our first term, aka our first set of seven week classes. With the end of that term, I am officially 1/8th closer to my Master’s degree! Hooray for little victories.

If you are unaware, Ohio recently converted all public colleges and universities to the semester system, meaning Ohio State is now a semester campus. Personally, I have taken both quarter long and semester long classes throughout my undergrad career, so I have the right to say: Fifteen weeks is too long for most classes. While I understand that it’s easier to divide the academic year in half and it is very convenient for all Ohio colleges and universities to be on similar schedules, I still don’t like it. With the quarter system, classes were long enough for you to learn the main concepts of each course, but not so long that you became bored with the material. Lucky for us, Fisher knows this too!

Fisher took some (but not all) of our courses and separated them into two seven week terms. There are still some classes that you need the full fifteen weeks to conquer, like Staffing or Total Rewards/Compensation. Last term, I had one semester course and two term courses. This design meant having finals and midterms back to back. It was a little awkward, but on the bright side it was great not having to study for three finals at once, and try to complete three semester-long projects and papers. Seven weeks seemed to fly by, but that’s okay with me, especially when it comes to any course that has to do with math 🙂

It’s good to be missed

“I’ve been thinking about you.” Whether it’s a text from your high school friend, an email from a past co-worker or a call from an ex-boyfriend, everyone likes to hear those five little words. When most of us decided to go to grad school, we left some pretty important things behind us. Personally, I moved on from a full-time position in Human Resources at OSU. One of my best girlfriends left her friends and family in California. Another one of my best friends left a relationship of five years behind her in her hometown.
It was time to move on. It was time to be a little selfish and take a risk. We each had to leave our comfort zone. And I can tell you, I was hesitant. Did I really want to leave a full-time position in HR for a part-time job, lectures, homework, exams and internships? Thoughts flooded my brain: “In this economy, you’re lucky to have a job! Don’t be ungrateful. You can stay in this job for 30 years, retire and be completely content.” So why did I do it? Because it was uncomfortable, scary, overwhelming and more than anything, exciting.
Anytime you finish a chapter of your life, you are unsure of what’s to come. It’s not easy not knowing what’s next for you. Of course your friends, coworkers, or significant others will miss having you in their life; YOU’RE WONDERFUL! Now is the time to make a decision that is all for you. You are moving on with your life, and investing in your future. It’s time to step out of your comfort zone and take the plunge. Just know, you will be missed.