Community Service Day: Salvation Army

“Go-Givers will become the best go-getters.”

This quote from an unknown author, I think, sums up why we should give back to the community. The MBA student is a personification of a “go-getter” so he/she should also ALWAYS be a giver. Of course, this reason is not exactly about being selfless. So, I give you another quote:

“There is no unselfish good deed.” ~Joey Tribbiani (Friends)

Every good deed you do for others always provides you a benefit, even if it’s just feeling good about yourself.

Community service day

Every year, first year MBA and other Fisher graduate students have a chance to give back to the local community through the Community Service Day, led by FisherServes.

FisherServes is a graduate student led organization at the Max M. Fisher College of Business that is committed to promoting awareness of civic and social responsibilities and to connecting the Fisher College of Business with the surrounding community by leading service-based initiatives throughout the Columbus area.

Last year, I spent the day at the Columbus Zoo, helping with odd jobs at the grounds. This year, I decided to help out again. This time I worked with the Salvation Army. Our team worked in two of their locations in Columbus. My group helped out in the food pantry in West Mound Street.

Matt and Maria restocking the shelves at the Salvation Army food pantry.

The Salvation Army has a “Client choice” food pantry model. This allows eligible families to select the food items that their families need and enjoy. That day, we helped distribute the Senior Boxes, containing various goods for the beneficiaries who were senior citizens. We also helped stock and clean the pantry – threw away the empty boxes, received a delivery of food items, packed fresh tomatoes to give out, and helped bring the items to the beneficiaries’ cars. We enjoyed meeting and interacting with the staff, other volunteers, and the people who came to the food pantry.

This is a busy season for the Salvation Army so they would really appreciate everyone’s help. There is no prior experience or training needed and you can volunteer in any of their locations. If you are interested,  contact Dinah O’Dell at or 614.358.2627 or click here for more information.

Car alternatives

Ever since I got my drivers license last summer, I’ve been itching to get a car. At times, I thought I needed it. Other times, I thought I was fine without it. I did survive the entire first year of the program without one. Actually, I survived my entire life without one. But then, the value of a car here in the US is completely different from back in the Philippines.

Anyway, there became a point that I began asking for quotations for certain car models. But then, the more I thought about it, the clearer it became that I can put off getting myself a car.

First, I live on campus. Majority of the week will only be spent at school or at work, both places within a mile radius from my dorm. I’ll only be able to use it during weekends. With football games every Saturday this quarter, that is one day less. Sunday, I usually just go to church and maybe, at school if projects are almost due. I go to the Newman Center which is on campus.

Next, a lot of the places I frequent are accessible by bus – either the campus bus (CABS) or COTA. I think it’s pretty awesome that OSU students just need to show their BuckID to ride the COTA for free. We pay less than $10/quarter to ride anywhere. Compare that to the normal $1.75/one way ride and you’ll see what an amazing deal that is! You just have to know the bus schedules. Sometimes, they are unreliable, i.e. not there as scheduled. They are pretty ok though, especially during the work week.

CABS bus and a COTA bus behind it

Another option would be car sharing. Hertz offers a fleet of cars you can borrow by the day or by the hour. The rates already include fuel, insurance, maintenance, and campus parking. For someone like me who doesn’t need a car that often, this is a pretty sweet deal. Car options include the Toyota Camry and Prius Hybrid, Ford Escape, Ford Ranger, and Mini Cooper.

Of course, you can always carpool with your friends. Nothing like a day with your friends to keep you sane!

Halloween 2010

Why is the week after Halloween always the “scariest” for me? Last year, there was a midterm paper due. This year, I have two midterm exams (!).

However, that should not stop anyone from attending a great Halloween party, should it? Especially since this is just my second year celebrating. With the dorm throwing a party at the same night as the Fisher bash, I had a busy Friday night. The good thing about that was it saved me from having to come up with another costume.

I’ll have to get back to to studying so I’ll leave you with this. Happy Halloween!

Live long and prosper!

(PS. Yes, I know the red shirts are the characters who die in the episode. No, I’m not Spock. But he’s the only one people know. And he’s got the Vulcan salute and a catchy line!)

Bragging rights

Back in Spring quarter, I was in my first advertising class – Bus M&L 846. In our class project, we were challenged to try to change the perception of Carharrt jeans with the release of their Series 1889 jeans. We came up with the brand plan, creatives, and a media plan and each team presented to WPP’s Team Detroit, who was Carharrt’s agency.

Carharrt is known for their high quality work wear so releasing a fashion line was unknown territory for the company. The current customer base were fiercely loyal to their brand so our proposed ad campaign must not in any way alienate them. Our team, the Gadget Gorrilaz, came up with “show harrt” theme, alluding to the passion and intensity that the target market (18-35 year old males) had. As a sample, we created creatives that showed “show intensity, show harrt”. One of them was a radio plug. In the plug, two friends were camping when a bear becomes their uninvited guest. When the bear got hold of his Carharrt jeans, one of the campers attacked the bear. gadget gorillaz radio plug (NOTE: website and promo mentioned in the ad do not exist and was just part of the plan we created.)

Let’s fast forward to present time. Last week, an article about the current Carharrt campaign was posted in the brandweek website and their final commercial was strangely familiar. In the ad, there were three friends camping  and sitting around a fire when one of them was attacked by a wild animal (wolf). See ad and campaign microsite here.

There is certainly an overlap in the story lines and themes between the two ads. And while our team cannot take credit for it, we’d like to believe that we, at least, influenced the outcome of the campaign. To my teammates: Robert Cary, Matt Drengler, Brian Grindley, Katherine Zollinger, Nisarg Shah, congratulations for the awesome job! Now, if only we could get more than just bragging rights… 😉

Fisher AMP

There are a lot of student organizations in Fisher that one can be involved with. I would like to introduce one – the Fisher Association of Marketing Professionals or Fisher AMP.

The mission of the organization is ” to develop and prepare students for careers in marketing by providing members with the support, knowledge, and guidance necessary to become leaders in the field of marketing.”

Previously known as the MBA Marketing Association, the organization was rebranded to signal more exciting opportunities and activities for its members. As part of the rebranding, we have developed a new logo (above) and a new website. While still in the “beta phase”, you can now view the website by clicking here. There, you can currently find upcoming events and an “Ask Jenny” column where Jenny Heckscher of the Career Management Office will be providing advice and tips. More resources, including marketing news and interview guides, are coming soon.

Leadership opportunities are available for first year MBAs, including being part of the website team (No programming knowledge required). Contact me or anyone else on the Executive Committee for more details.

Driving through…

I just achieved a new milestone in life: first time driving in the freeway. And not just any freeway, it’s from somewhere around Ann Arbor, MI to Columbus, OH.

I’m usually just the passenger. I actually prefer to be one. I do not need to know all the twists and turns of every corner. nor do I need to be alert throughout the (sometimes) long trips. And the best part: I can sleep! Today, however, the “regular designated driver” was feeling under the weather. And I had to take over.

Being the first time I’ll ever be in the freeway, I was a little scared. I was in-charge of getting everyone safely home. Things did not go perfectly at first. Being unused to hearing instructions from the GPS, I ended up in the wrong lane and had to exit the freeway temporarily.

I also had to get used to making sure I am not too fast or too slow. With the speed limits changing up on me a lot of times, I needed to adjust several times. It is harder to remember to slow down when you go from a 65mph speed limit to 55mph and lower.

I also hate driving alongside trucks. The thought of a gigantic figure that can possibly lose control and hit our tiny car is horrible.

Good news though. I was able to pass my first freeway drive with flying colors.

What can we learn from this little anecdote?

1 – We can be harsh on ourselves sometimes that we do not trust in our capabilities. It is great to know that other people see something better in us and trust us. Instead of feeling pressured to perform, we should instead use it to boost our confidence.

2 – We make mistakes – and that’s fine. Instead of stopping after exiting the freeway for being in the wrong lane, we can just drive right back in. Certainly something important in life – never quit!

3 – Be aware of the surroundings. Make sure you are not breaking of the rules just to reach your goals.

4 – It may be intimidating to compete against “big trucks” – people who are smarter or in other ways better than you. But instead of pulling back, you can instead carve your own path. Try to learn from others to improve yourself.

Let’s drive on! 🙂

Hablo español Part II

Several months ago, I blogged about my studying Spanish through Rosetta Stone (previous post here). Well, now I am taking it to the next level.

This year, Fisher, through the OSU Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER), is offering Working Spanish for beginners. The class is for “graduate students who need to learn Spanish for career purposes and who want to work comfortably in a Spanish-speaking business environment.” We will be learning Spanish for the entire school year with a one-week immersion trip during spring break.

While I did progress with Rosetta Stone, I don’t think I was learning quickly enough – not necessarily the software’s fault (maybe a little :p). I did push it off whenever I felt overwhelmed  by schoolwork, which was a lot of times. With a grade on the line, there is a little bit more extra motivation to really keep up with learning the language. With classroom instruction, conversation hours, and online learning, it will be a lot of work but also a lot of fun!

CIBER has also mentioned that a more advanced course may be offered next time. They may even open it up for Fisher alumni. I’ll definitely consider taking it if I end up in Columbus after graduation.

Now back to doing my hojas de trabajo. 🙂

Year 2

After 9 months of classes, and 3 months of internship, I am officially a second year MBA student – a “senior” at Fisher. Meeting all the first years reminded me of how I was a year ago – excited but scared, very scared. First, I was new to Ohio and the US. I did not know how to estimate expenses in this currency. And more importantly, I was taking my very first business classes and was not really sure what to expect.

This time, with half an MBA degree under my belt, I think I’m better prepared for the challenges. Do I expect this year to be easier? Not even a tiny bit. Professors will be expecting more from us since we are taking more specialized classes. However, I do feel better about my chances. The best thing about working over the summer was not the new lessons and skills but realizing that I learned a lot from classes and that I was able to apply them.

Scheduling meetings with teams will be the second challenge for this year. With everyone having different classes and schedules, finding a common time to meet will be the first hurdle. Fall is also football season so Saturday meetings is definitely not an option. 🙂

The last scheduling challenge will be work. I have a 20-hour GA with the Arts and Sciences Career Services Office. I’ll be helping in event preparation, course design and developing materials for on-line exploration of business career options. I’m pretty excited to be having video production projects again. In  another post, I’ll have to talk about all the AV resources in Ohio State that students have free access to.

That’s the upcoming year in a nutshell. Challenging? Most definitely. Fun? I fully expect it to be.

What are your expectations for this school year (or the quarter)? Feel free to leave a comment below.

Ride warriors

Last weekend, I was FINALLY able to go to Cedar Point after almost a year in Ohio. Never mind that we had to stand in 2 lines that were 1 hour 45 minutes long each. The longer the line, the better the ride must be, right? And they were.

The Top Thrill Dragster certainly lived up to all the hype – all 17 seconds of it.

Top Thrill Dragster

The Millennium Force was also awesome! We feel sorry for those who were stuck in it for almost two hours because of some mechanical problem. But hey, at least they’ll have a great story to tell their friends.


Other rides we were able to squeeze in: Raptor (Good); Iron dragon (*yawn); Magnum XL-200 (Awesome!); Dodgem (bump cars are always fun); Power Tower (Awesome!).

Still have A LOT more rides to try. If you’re going to Cedar Point and feel you need one more person with your party, I’m available! 😀

Blood saves lives

According to the American Red Cross, someone needs a blood transfusion EVERY 2 SECONDS. This is why it is so important to donate blood.

Throughout the year, I have always felt guilty about not donating blood especially with all the blood drives happening all over campus. I always had an excuse – I may have been drowsy because of lack of sleep or have an upcoming exam/event/activity.

So, when our church helped organize a summer blood drive, I jumped at the chance – even asking one of my friends to join me. No excuses this time. Spent the Saturday night at home to sleep early and not have a single drop of alcohol in my system. Even went over the website to see what I can and can’t do.

Turns out I did not read the eligibility requirements well enough. I was surprised that the information materials provided at the site always mentions European countries as regions that blood donors should not have been to recently. That list was definitely not complete. You can’t be in an area where malaria is found. Since the Philippines is one of those areas, I am not eligible to donate until after three years of not going home. I do not know if I would ever stay away from home for three years so I do not know if I could ever donate (in the US at least).

So, I decided to encourage others (you reading this) to donate.

The Ohio State University and the local American Red Cross partner will have their yearly special blood drive at the Jerome Schottenstein Center to “Give Someone a Schott at Life” on August 9 from 7 am to 7 pm. Sign up at (sponsor code: Buckeyes) or call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE.

If saving lives weren’t enough, everyone who donates blood at the event will receive a free Cedar Point ticket and be entered to win up to $1,000 in free gas from Marathon®, as well as treats from Panera Bread and Raising Cane’s.

Sign up now!

For blood donor eligibility requirements, click here.