The great Columbus community

I have noticed in the last couple of weeks as we prepare for the What If summit ( and as I have been in contact with prospective speakers, that Columbus – Ohio is really a place full of people who have a wide range of world class talent.  Also, it seems like Columbus is a business community that works together and promotes each other so well it’s a wonder to behold. It has been patently obvious to me that there are many successful professionals willing to share their experiences and help others success, as well as contribute to grow the Columbus community. Fisher is lucky to be part of such a community and to be surrounded by so many individuals willing to share with us.

Some great examples  that have started in the locality and are showing a great potential for sustainable success are:

  • Jeni Britton – Jeni’s ice-cream:    built on hard work, innovation and talent, Jeni has grown her business by doing fair business with farmers and suppliers. Jeni is an artist with huge passion for her business and tremendous humbleness despite her success. Great person to meet and inspiration for entrepreneurship!!!
  • Kelly Mooney– Resource Interactive: Kelly Mooney is a super successful and humble woman with an innovative and creative mind. She is considered a widely influential thought leader and spokesperson in the digital and multichannel arenas, and she is one of the feature speakers for the What If summit. Meeting her last week was a great pleasure and it was really fun to see how she and Professor Bills can talk about innovation for hours!! But the most important part is that regardless her extremely busy agenda she is always willing to share her thoughts with students and help MBA students understand better the Innovative world.
  • Maren Roth – Rowe: Maren shared her love for clothes and her journey into the boutique business.  She said that since she was 5 years old, she knew that one day she would have her own fashion style. “Having your own business is very hard, but you have to try it” Maren said. She also suggested to try to get as much help as possible from friends and family especially at the beginning; it is a great way to get things done!!
  • Steve Weaver– Candle Lab: I got to know this place through a social activity hosted by Fisher Board Fellows. It was a really fun experience and a great place to create your own candle. Steve and his wife started the Candle Lab business due to their passion for candles and in a very short time they have expanded into several locations around Columbus. Steve mentioned that working with his wife is fun and challenging at the same time but at the end of the day they both are very happy with their business and their dream is to create a better community around every Candle Lab shop they open.

Jeni, Kelly, Maren and Steve are only a small sample of the great talent and things that are being created in Columbus. We are lucky to be in a city where its people really care about making a better community everyday. What can we Fisher MBAs do to make our community better?

Fisher Student associations drive the program

Change is the in air at Fisher! The fact that the weather has improved has everyone with an even greater bounce in their step as the summer begins to come upon us. The other change has been the fact that student associations who make up such a large part of the college have been in the annual process of changing the guard so to speak. The associations ranging from the Marketing MBA Association to the Real Estate Association have changed their officers with new presidents coming in ahead of the end of the school year as they aim to prepare for September and the new students coming in.

The associations are supported strongly by Fisher as the college sees them as a way for students to develop their leadership skills. It also fosters new friendships and creates an endless opportunity for networking and developing a professional and social net which will prove useful to students throughout their careers. The Latino association for instance attends NSHMBA in October of every year which the college helps to support as well as planning a range of events including bringing speakers and people who can offer advice on successful career paths.

A new association has peaked my interest, Innovation Fisher, within the last six months a solid core of students has come together to develop a conference ‘What IF’ which aims to bring in speakers who have produced innovative concepts which have worked in the real world and offer excellent insight into what a new idea needs to be taken to market. The process of setting up this conference has allowed me to make new contacts with prospective speakers while also helps to propel fishers cutting edge attitude to the forefront of regional and national companies which can only help future graduates!

Congratulations to all new presidents, treasurers, vice presidents and other positions to which students have been elected. The positions are a learning experience as you get a chance to show your leadership abilities within a safe environment, and also lead your chosen group to a successful year. The work may be at times awkward and time consuming but in the end your club will support you and help you get the job finished to give everyone an exciting and rewarding experience as part of Fisher college of Business.

The following are testimonials of some of the talented outgoing Fisher leadership:

  • David Shaw (President of Innovation Fisher and Fisher Entrepreneurship Association)

Being part of the team that has led the Fisher Entrepreneurship Association and both founded and led Innovation Fisher has been my most meaningful experience as a Fisher student. Innovation Fisher in particular entailed building an organization from scratch, mapping out a growth strategy, recruiting talent, involving the community and executing on a vision, all vital components of really any area of business. The process has made me a better leader and I would encourage next year’s student organization leaders to not only develop themselves as leaders but also develop those around them. Fisher, more than most business schools, is about collaboration and mutual development. Student organization presidents can help that happen, strengthening members of next year’s graduate programs as well as Fisher itself.

  • Malika de Silva (President of Fisher Board Fellows)

I got to work very closely with a great team of my peers outside of my core so the experience allowed me to become close with and learn from classmates that I may otherwise have only known in a social setting.  Managing peers and an organization like Fisher Board Fellows that has to take into account the interests of different stakeholders taught me a lot about mundane things like time management, and more significant things like what it means for folks when they can be a part of a mission they feel is worthwhile.

Fisher is on the up-and-up!  This is in huge part due to the students we attract and their dedication to making Fisher a better place through their hard work. I’m always impressed by everything the student organizations accomplish considering all the constraints and my only advice would be to keep dreaming big!

  • Mike Hrostoski (President of Fisher Graduate Student Association)

Being a president of a student organization is a great way to test your leadership ability in a safe environment. It is better to make some mistakes running a student organization, as opposed to making those same mistakes in the real world. Being involved in many of our student organizations has allowed me to really connect on a personal level to many of our classmates. It certainly adds some time to your already hectic schedule, but the benefits far outweigh the costs.

My recommendations for next year’s leaders are to:
– Try to introduce yourself to all of the incoming first years. Make them a priority.
– Try and make one big change or put on one large event a quarter. The quarters are short, so set realistic goals for your organizations.
– Reach out to the international students. Make sure they have everything that they need to succeed.
– Work together with other student organizations to put on bigger and better events.
– Use SOURCE funding!!! The more we get from the OUAB, the more events we can put on for our students.

Thank you to our wonderful leaders for your legacy, we will work hard to continue improving the Fisher brand through service and leadership !

A look inside Keybank

This weekend past was the culmination in a very busy period this quarter. Midterms are just over and finals are just ahead but in the mean time the KeyBank Minority Case Competition held our focus for the last couple of weeks. Over the weekend the team visited Cleveland, OH where the minority case competition was held and while acquitting ourselves well and representing Fisher with professionalism the team did not take home the winners medal.

The team had worked with great diligence on the project over the last four weeks with the presentation of ideas, and meetings to discuss the case being weekly and getting into more frequent meetings as the competition got closer. The event was excellently organized and gave everyone a chance to interact with other MBA students from all over the United States. The background of the case was increasing the community involvement in banking and also improving KeyBank’s online services to streamline their service and create a straightforward mobile banking service.

The team worked really well together and I am proud to have been involved with everyone who brought a range of exciting and well thought out ideas to the table. I had great time working with the Founding Partner and Director of operations Anthony C, the Director of Finance, Marini A, and Director of International operations, Emily  B., all of them very professional and talented business consultants!.  It was another excellent learning experience that Fisher, through the Minority Office,  is directly involved in. Fisher and KeyBank actually team up to organize the event and I was glad to be able to meet KeyBank CEO Henry Mayer , a very nice and approachable gentlemen, and other top executives in the bank. They produced an excellent event and everybody who attended was delighted with the warm welcoming experience in Cleveland. The host of networking opportunities was marvelous and also KeyBank showered the teams with gifts to remember their time in Cleveland.

To the winners Tulane University, LA congratulations and to the vanquished BKC consulting group (Fisher) hard but next year offers another opportunity.

Visitors Season!

As you may have noticed there has been an increase in visitors to the Fisher campus of late. The reason is its recruitment season! A whole variety of people have made the trip from far and near to experience the Fisher welcome as the college gets to show off its friendliness, professionalism and an MBA program that has so many opportunities for everyone. Prospective students have visited classes and seen the campus with trips to Fisher Commons and the RPAC to name but a few. Professors have met with prospects to discuss their interests and see how the program can fit their needs and after all that they have time to enjoy wonderful lunches at our very own Blackwell hotel.

The culture of the program and its people is on show and it has greatly impressed many of the visiting students who have enjoyed their experience immensely. They are getting a good sense of how active the college is in a range of ways, from career development to its international commitment. The work ethic of the college has been impressed upon the visitors also and to that extent it has been a very busy week for current students!

As an ambassador I was also able to proudly talk about the talented second year team that won the Wake Forest 2010 marketing summit; since the prestige in winning this competition cannot be underestimated. International teams from London College of Business, IESE Barcelona and Dartmouth’s Tuck were left in their wake on the way to winning the $50,000 first place prize. The win is an excellent result for Fisher as it increases the programs profile dramatically on a range of fronts nationally and globally.

The hunt for internships continues unabated with more and more students getting accepted into the interview processes and receiving offers to open up new career opportunities for themselves even as we pass the halfway mark in our first year at fisher.  Keep up the good work everyone.

Unique opportunity through the Corporate Mentor Program – LDP

For those who decided to join the Corporate Mentor Program, Congratulations! This is really a unique opportunity that we as students receive thanks to the efforts of the Leadership Development Program.

Last Wednesday we had the opening event, and although not all the mentors were able to attend the meeting, it was a successful start (really nice setting, food and beverages 🙂 ). The initial opportunity to interact on a one to one basis with people who have had a lot of success in their careers was enlightening and certainly motivating.

My mentor who has been part of the program since its beginning commented about how this program has been improving over the years, and it has helped many people to learn and grow as professionals. In addition, he was surprised by the amount of students registered for it in comparison to previous years when the program was only available for a smaller group. Finally, he was very happy to see how many more professionals volunteered for the program and in general he mentioned that the experience was very rewarding for him.

This type of programs shows the commitment of successful professionals in the community to continue the development of Fisher students in a range of ways. The program also shows how Fisher retains strong relationships with many successful companies from around the United States and really offers an excellent learning experience to students from a professional standpoint. This does not take place in a class room setting and really shows how flexible Fisher’s education strategies are.

I am amazed for the opportunity we get to interact with high level executives and very experienced executives. We get to learn so much and share our progress throughout this year, and take pointers on what we need to do as we look into the future.

My mentor was very energetic and extremely open to support to my professional development. We talked over 2 hours and I sincerely did not notice how the time went through because there was so much to talk about his professional experience and my career objectives. His insight in this short amount of time was extremely interesting and opened my mind to a range of possibilities.

It is an incredible opportunity especially for international students to interact with local professionals, viewing the US industry from their perspective and getting an understanding of the real world as we currently sit. It also improves our knowledge of corporate America, culture and the political aspect that without doubt we will all encounter as we move through our careers.

Thanks to all the mentors and special thanks to the Leadership Development Program for the great effort. We certainly appreciate it!

Are you ready to Ace your case?

This is a very exciting week for most of the first year MBA students. We have been hearing about the challenging Internal Case Competition since the Orientation week back in September and the competition is already here. Time keeps flying!!!

Many students have some experience with case competitions such as the P&G case, Green Case competition, and Project one. These case competitions offer a range of benefits: the experience of putting a team together, working on a topic which can be unfamiliar, and a chance to interact with the case sponsors which helps to develop Fisher’s relationship with companies who may look to hire MBA graduates in the future.

The winners of this internal case competition will represent Fisher in the Big 10 competition across the colleges in the Midwest offering even more exposure to the graduate students, the CIBER international competition, and many other opportunities available for us This year a very successful team of second years are representing Fisher in the very prestigious and competitive Wake Forest MBA Marketing Summit Case Competition. Maybe you can be one of the Fisher representatives next year!!!

This is a good time to show all what we have learned so far and show all the development got from the EPI class last quarter. The class helped us to develop confidence and also simple errors were fixed with constructive help as we progressed through the quarter.

Finally, the competition offers a really good opportunity to get exposed to high level executives and professionals to present a case / strategy and be able to defend it. As we progress through our careers it will be a common facet and something we will deal with on a regular basis.

Everyone get ready to show your best. The judges will be tough on us!!

Good luck to everyone!

An Unnatural week

As the events that unfolded this weeks in many parts of the world made us take stock and realize how lucky we are it also struck home to me in reality the opportunity we have is understated and under-appreciated. The people of Haiti while having had more than their fair shares of problems have been decimated and the country is really struggling to cope with the relief effort as a nation. With possibly 3 million homeless and the government indicating that maybe as many as 140,000 people have perished in the disaster. It really shows how short life can be and how fortunate we are to be in a place which offers so much hope. There are many initiatives (red cross, UNICEF, OSU, Fisher, etc) to support the people of Haiti just pick the one that you identify with more!!! Get involved and help our friends in Haiti. Remember the more the merrier, together we can make a slight difference and give hope.

Credit: ©AP Photo/Jorge Cruz
UNICEF Credit: ©AP Photo/Jorge Cruz

It was a record breaking unnatural event here in Ohio for the last 3 weeks also, central Ohio had 16 straight days with snow fall which seemingly was a record. Winter has taken hold and despite the cold campus has continued to run smoothly and is impressively equipped for heavy snow falls. One of the other nice features of this time of year is that the Olentangy River, which splits campus in two, freezes over and is a pretty sight during the day, though it’s not safe to skate on, it is spectacular in bright sunlight.

Project management and internships have been the other concern for many of the students and there is a range of opportunities that we have been able to apply for with Fisher. Projects in Ireland, Hong Kong are some that are available through Fisher Professional Services while opportunities from all over the world present themselves on a regular basis for the students here. The standard internships are ten weeks and can offer the possibility of a very successful future with the companies post graduation.

The university has relaxed after the big win in the college football game versus Oregon and is currently in the middle of the basketball, ice hockey and volleyball seasons. The teams compete all over the United States in a range of other sports also and provide scholarship opportunities for many student athletes who might never get the chance to go to college at such prestigious universities. It adds to the atmosphere on campus and as a fan it offers just one more example as to how OSU’s spirit and camaraderie is on a global basis.

It has been a good start in many ways to 2010 and while this week has seen more bad news than good, the response from a human perspective however has been uplifting and makes me feel that the world is ready to work its way back to a successful economy and restore confidence and hope to many people.

And a new decade is here…

It’s a welcome back to a new quarter for all the students and staff at Fisher but more importantly welcome into a new decade! I think the optimism that comes with such a change couldn’t come at a more important time as people look for hope in what was a rough end to the last decade. The weather here in Ohio has taken a turn for the cooler and the 7-9cm of snow today has made the area a winter wonderland albeit a slightly chilly one (compare to the beautiful summer time at home right now anyways)!

I had the chance to experience a range of emotions over the holiday season with the joy of spending time with friends and family overseas being exciting and a good way to get a break while the relentless buildup to the new quarter continued unabated. New very exciting classes this quarter Marketing, Finance, Cost accounting, operations, and innovation. There are also many other activities including internal case competition, a range of intramural sports and a lot activities with the various associations.

The New Year in Columbus was celebrated in a range of places from bars, to homes and on campus at the international students New Year celebration hosted by the office of international affairs ( I had the chance to be downtown for the festivities with friends from all over the world which I have met since beginning the MBA here at Fisher. It made for a great evening and everyone was excited to have the opportunity to spend the celebration together on such a great occasion.

This quarter also signifies the season of interviewing for internships. Everyone has been applying over the last three months and cleaning up resumes and now in attempting to attain internships in some of the best companies all over the world we will be interviewing for these career opportunities over the next few months. It’s a tough process but one that will stand us good stead once we pass into the real world and private industry.

Finally I would like to wish everyone and safe and prosperous New Year and hope that we all have a better year than in 2009.

My Flip-camera Adventures

Last October I was given the fun mission of recording some videos at the NHSMBA conference. This was the first time that the College decided to use one of the several Flip cameras they have acquired for MKT – Educational purposes. Conferences and other student meetings are definitely a great opportunity to show others what Fisher students are getting involved in the different events that take place locally and nationally.flip camera

I have to say that the Flip camera is really handy. It is small, it last several hours, it has a big memory, it is easy to use, easy to download images and it has a simple software to do creative videos, postcards, editing, etc.  You can also add music to the footage, capture pictures, and share the material with others. However, there are a lot of little details that could make a video better, such as the angle, the way the camera is handle, narration, and focus, among others. I am still on the process of learning the techniques of making it more professional. It also allows for catching awkward moments easily!

Using the flipcamera is not hard at all, but trying to record myself was really hard. I repeated the same speech probably 20 times before Erik (the video director) approved it 🙂 … It might be hard to be an actor!

I highly encourage other students to use the flipcamera, it is a great tool to share your experiences and easy way to capture interesting moments of your Fisher life!

Here is a sample of a footage from NSHMBA event (Thanks to Shaun Holloway and Erik Palomar for putting the video together). Fisher at NSHMBA (VIDEO)

It is easy to see that these new generation of HD camera’s are a real innovative piece of technology and can be used in a range of situations – CBS better watch out, I have a new career in mind!


And the winner is….. “Sustainability”

In one of my previous blogs, I wrote about my super talented Project 1 team. Well, I think there was some truth in the talented part since our team won the first place in the Sustainability Reporting trends and Tools group for the Project One competition. We believe that this recognition was achieved mainly due to our good team dynamic. Since the beginning we all had a really good connection and were able to work well together. Of course there was a lot of effort that everyone put on the project and we also had a really good manager guiding our process (Thanks Ed L.!).


All the teams did an excellent job with their projects and the big winner in this process was the “Sustainability” topic. We all got more familiar and engaged with it and hopefully will continue to be involved with it. After this project, we are certainly slightly more familiar with sustainability. And I say slightly, because the sustainability topic is very broad and messy. The team was very lucky to have the opportunity to talk with several experts from the industry and guest speakers and become more knowledgeable with the issues.

Our team definitely learned a lot from the research and interviews, and we were pretty confident that we had a reasonable understanding of the topic. The main takeaways from our work were the need to improve our ability to make more solid recommendations as well as how to structure a presentation to have a better impact. And of course there is always room for improving our presentation skills. The emphasis on team work that Fisher has is a great learning tool for future professionals and I believe we have come a long way since September!

We all enjoyed being part of this group and this project (even though we were under a time constraint all the time) and we hope to have the chance to work again as a group in the future.

Thanks to FPS and to Oracle for the opportunity and thanks to Captain Planet team for the experience.