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Planning Inspiration

As you may have read, we just put the wraps on another quarter at Fisher.  Personally, I find it very hard to believe that I only have one more quarter left before graduation.  The cliche is true: time flies when you’re having fun.

Another thing that boggles the mind is how the second year of the program can feel busier than the first year.  I assure you, whatever program you choose, you will find that you learn a *ridiculous* amount of information during your first year.  Experiencing the nuances of the program the first time around prepares you for your second year… now YOU have to step up and plan activities and events for classmates.  Mind you: It’s harder than it looks.

What’s really hard is to not take things personally.  After spending weeks of time, a good deal of money, and much effort planning and preparing the event, the big day comes and many people who signed up to come don’t show up.  Or they’re late.  Or worse… they leave early.  Worse still… they help themselves to free food and proceed to open their laptops and do other work during your speaker’s presentation.  It’s enough to make your blood boil.  We learn not to take it personally (yet make mental notes of the offenders).

Integrity is important.  Don’t be “that guy”.  Do what you say you’ll do… and learn to say no.  Show up on time.  If you come for the free food, at least pay attention and participate.  Little things make up your character.  Your character is your destiny.

Sometimes it takes a good amount of effort to create something inspiring.  Other times inspiration just seems to find you in the everyday.  That’s one of the things I love most about Fisher.  We are a small community and it is easy to find inspiration – you just have to look up from time to time to see it.

It’s been a long while since my last post.  I’ll do my best to give you a quick glimpse of winter quarter.

The Fisher Graduate Women in Business were the first student group summit of the 2011-2012 school year.  It was a fantastic event thanks in great part to our outstanding speakers.  Inspiration was easy to come by when listening to: Dr. Sharon Alvarez, Liz Lessner, Christina Getachew, Melinda Swan, and Nancy Jane Smith.  You can read a bit more about it in Sarah Chait’s post in February.

FEA members visit Kleiner PerkinsLater in February, I got to see how the other half lives by visiting Silicon Valley with the Fisher Entrepreneurship Association (FEA).  A group of us were able to visit with several venture capital companies (Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers; 5am Ventures; Lightspeed Venture Partners; Labrador Venture Partners), a legal firm that supports many entrepreneurial ventures (Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich & Rossati), an incubator (Plug and Play Technology Center), as well as a startup (Push Pins) that was co-founded by an OSU alum.  The event capping off the second day was an entrepreneur panel discussion.  As you may have guessed, we had a most wonderful host – also a proud OSU alumnus!  I loved the trip and was completely inspired by the energy, passion, and the overall vibe within the cities of Palo Alto, Sunnyvale, and San Francisco.  You can like FEA on Facebook to see more pictures from the trip and learn more about the student organization.

“Yes, and” seems to be a common and recurring theme all quarter.  Opportunity knocks when you say yes.  “Yes and” is the key phrase used in any improvisational comedy/theater and to conduct a positive and productive brainstorming session.  “Yes but” shuts others down.  “Yes and” will get them to open up.  We discussed the team at IDEO in a Developing High Performance Teams class session.  Here’s another article by the NYTimes on the same topic.

Last but not least, we recently held our Association of Marketing Professionals annual summit event “Future CAMP”.  I had a big dose of inspiration the entire week… which also happened to be the final week of classes in the quarter.  Our speakers were again, AMAZING.  I’m so inspired by one that I think it will lead to a separate blog post.  It was a great day of programming.  Although I am slightly biased, I can produce evidence to support my opinion.  One of our speakers, Danny Brown, wrote a quick recap in his blog.  Needless to say, it was a great day.

Finals are through, grades are posted, and my roommate and I are heading south to spend a few days in New Orleans.  I’ll be sure to blog again as inspiration strikes.  Until then, think about what inspires you.  And for those of you considering b-school, seek to be inspired!  Before you know it, you’ll be three months away from graduation too.


Renters Be Warned

This post is a follow-up to “The Key to Graduate Housing” post I wrote last year.  As turns out, when you live in a college town, beware before renting.  I beg you: learn from my mistakes.

1. If your sixth sense tells you there is something wrong, LISTEN and go somewhere else.

I should have known better.  From the moment I met my last landlord, I knew he was shady.  There was just something a tad slippery about his general nature.  Unfortunately, I was wooed by the prospect of living in a rather large apartment in a good location for a decent price – with my washer & dryer.  I was located near the Giant Eagle in Grandview in a 1000 square foot apartment with rent of $695/month.  Living with a roommate took my rent cost to approx $350/month.  It was a good deal… or so it seemed.

2. If your landlord does not have a rental office, THINK TWICE before renting.

Without a rental office, you’re basically left at the mercy of the landlord.  You have to drop rent off or mail it and you have no way to prove that you paid it on time.  It’s your word against his.  There is also no guarantee how fast your concerns will be addressed, if at all.  If something is broken, that might not get fixed quickly either.  No office means no staff… and probably skimping on all expenses.

3. Read the fine print.

Check out the lease document in detail.  If there is an attachment containing a laundry-list of items with a cost of replacement, be prepared to have to pay for any or all of them.  Even if the apartment is dirty when you move in, you will be penalized for any dirt you leave behind.  Why do you think they require a full month’s rent as a deposit?  Don’t plan to ever see it again; the landlord may do all he can to keep it.  In my case, I was sent the lovely letter attached here for your reading pleasure.  (two words: spelling, grammar)  As you can see, there is an itemized list of things that I could not prove were fine/not broken/in good condition when I vacated the apartment.  I’m an idiot and did not walk through the apartment when turning in keys.

4. Make sure you walk through the apartment with the landlord when vacating and turning in your keys.

I should have listened more closely to the Moving Out directions given to students by the Office of Student Life.  They specifically mentioned doing a walk through when vacating.  I thought they were probably over-reacting.  They are not.  Do it… especially if item #1 (listed above) applies in your situation.

5. If it seems to good to be true, there is a good chance it is.

See if you can get references on the landlord before renting.  Also check online to see if there are any comments listed about them.  If you are renting from an individual without references, you might be taking your chances.  In my case, this individual plays the system.  He knows the amount he charges for move out expenses is small enough to fall into small claims court which is probably not worth your trouble.  He also knows that it is difficult to share reviews on an individual landlord without a rental office.  He takes advantage of college kids and probably has done so for years.  As I mentioned to him in a follow up “thank you” note, I believe in karma.

So, there you have it.  There are plenty of good landlords out there I’m sure.  If this helps anyone avoid a bad situation, I’m happy to help.  It’s certainly not the end of the world but $500 is a lot of money when living on student loans.  Hopefully you fare better than I did.


My Best Friend (aka My Laptop)

Hard for anyone to believe: my best friend, it turns out, is an inanimate object.  It’s true!  Sure, *technically* you don’t have to have a laptop to get through Fisher . . . but I highly recommend it.  Having a computer at your disposal makes a world of difference throughout the day.  OSU’s campus is wireless and Fisher has its own wireless network.  There’s even free wireless at the new Panera that opened last week across the street.  Countless knowledge is at your fingertips (as is constant distraction if you’re not disciplined).

Why get a laptop?  There are a few major reasons:

1. CARMEN: Most courses offer online course packs.  Long gone are the days when you had to order printed copies of articles or a myriad of books.  All course content at OSU is administered online via a system thoughtfully named Carmen.  The system tracks your current courses and within each is content that is posted by your professor (or their assistant).  Carmen is where you find a copy of your syllabus, lecture notes, articles, class presentations, test review materials, homework assignments, and links to custom course packs of articles available on XanEdu or Harvard Business Publishing.  Using these electronic resources allows you to access content as needed and without killing trees.  If you’re old school and need the hard copy, you can go to the printing lab on the second floor and print the information you need.  You’ll be using paper but at least you’ll be printing two-sided copies.  Each student receives a printing allowance for the quarter (i.e. for the semester beginning next year).  The allowance is plenty; it’s unlikely you’ll run out.

2. THOMPSON: Besides online course content, the other most valuable asset, in my opinion, is OSU’s Thompson Library.  Not only is it a beautiful newly-renovated building . . . it gets better: all students have the ability to access online content remotely on AND off campus.  If you are on campus, the library can tell you are on the OSU wireless network and you have instant access to countless information: articles, magazines, journals, databases . . . you name it.  Ever find yourself frustrated because you click on an article that only allows you to read the first few paragraphs unless you’re a subscriber?  Frustration ceases with the library!  You name it, they’ve got it.  All you have to do is log in if you’re off campus – and it’s yours!  Researching companies and industries becomes immensely easier to the point it’s almost a breeze.  You can choose to search by data source or you can hit them all up at once to see what is available by subject.  If you get stuck, there is a librarian that is dedicated to supporting the business materials.  She can help you navigate through the search and find exactly what you need.  Worse case: you have the material sent to OSU on inter-library loan.  It truly is amazing.

3. THE HUB: Fisher has an events hub that lists all the various happenings in the graduate programs at Fisher.  Student organizations as well as Career Management, External Relations, the Graduate Programs Office, the Alumni Office, the Leadership & Professional Development Office, and the various Centers at Fisher list events and allow students to register to attend.  Generally, events are free and sometimes include lunch or dinner.  Details are provided regarding the event (time, place, location), the required attire, and the recommended audience.  If you are ever unsure of where you’re headed, you can quickly sign into the HUB and reference the event you’re attending to find out where (building and room) it is scheduled to happen.

If you don’t have a laptop, you will survive.  Hopefully you’ve at least got an iPad or a smart phone . . . the technology is well worth the investment when you’re in b-school.  I’m so accustomed to being on a free wireless network wherever I go, I know I’ll have major withdrawals as soon as I graduate.  I will continue to relish the availability of information while I’ve got it.  I just wish I had more spare time for self-directed reading.


Warning: Schedules May Vary

One of the larger adjustments I had to make this year concerns my daily class schedule.  Last year, as a new MBA, my schedule contained mostly core classes which are held between 8:30am and 3:20pm.  Most days equaled four hours of in-class time with additional time spent outside of the classroom in meetings and events.  Those days seem long past.

My current schedule is enough to make anyone cringe (I actually did as I registered) but sometimes you’ve just gotta do what you’ve gotta do (i.e. suck it up and deal with it).  As second-years, many of our classes are in the evenings, shared with the Working Professional MBAs, so it is not uncommon to be in class at Fisher at 8:30am and then again later that day – sometimes from 8-10pm at night.  Sacrifice becomes a regular occurrence during a full-time MBA program.  The more comfortable you are with that reality, the faster you’ll adjust to life as a grad student.

I love my classes this quarter.  I’m taking 18 credit hours… so for the first five weeks of the quarter I am in five classes (one ends halfway through).  My thought was: just as I begin to snap, my load will get a bit lighter, helping me survive.  Mind you: 18 credit hours is the same amount the first-years are taking right now.  The difference is that I have four of the five classes on the same day.  Mondays and Wednesdays I run the gauntlet: my own personal warrior dash.  The classes I have are: Multi-Channel Consumer Experience Creation, Consumer Behavior, Corporate Finance, and Advanced Strategic Analysis.  My day goes from 8:30am through 8pm with one break from 10:30-1:30 and another from 5:20-6pm.  Tuesdays and Thursdays are lighter class days: one class, Advanced Competitive Analysis, in the afternoon.  Each class requires team assignments… which translates to five different teams to meet with outside of class.  During my first year, there were team assignments in each class but we had the same team for most of the year.  Scheduling was a lot easier for all involved.

So, if you’ve heard MBAs are a bit hard core, you’ve heard correctly.  B-school is not for the faint of heart.  If you decide it is for you, I guarantee that it is worth every cup of coffee and sleepless night.  You’re not in it alone.  At the end of it all, you’ll emerge from b-school stronger than ever with some of the best friends you’ll ever find.

FYI: This week’s post was inspired by these three lovely ladies that happen to be my classmates.  I took this picture of them while we were touring Machu Picchu last spring.  One adventure just wasn’t enough – while in Peru, they decided to compete in an actual Warrior Dash event.  Their trip to Nashville, TN was planned before we returned back to the States.  I’m happy to report, despite one injury, they competed well and returned to Columbus safely and in time for the first day of classes.  I respect and admire their tenacity – congratulations Kelly, Rema, and Jamie on a job well done.  Keep the inspiration coming!

 A woman is like a tea bag. You never know how strong she is until she gets into hot water.  – Eleanor Roosevelt


Shifting from First to Second

School started last week and it’s off to the races for all of us here at the Fisher College of Business (FCOB).  I’m officially a second-year MBA which means I only have a few more months (eight to be exact) to take advantage of all that the MBA program offers its full-time students.  The only solution for me?  Approach it with reckless abandon!

First, to quickly recap summer: it was very busy.  All work and no play makes Eve a dull girl so I opted to book a getaway for winter break.  Gives me something to really look forward to before ending 2011.

Shifting from being a first-year to a second-year happened quickly and almost unknowingly.  All of a sudden, summer is gone and the new class of full-time MBAs has arrived.  I find it interesting to see the variety of personalities that will be joining us in the program this year.  I can’t help reflecting on my experience last year – all the emotions that I felt as I started the journey.  I am amazed at how much I learned during the first year of the MBA program. It all seems so easy now that we’ve learned to speak the local FCOB language and know who to contact for information.  One thing seems paramount: balance is key to just about everything.  It is important to stay on top of your work and not fall behind… and on top of your calendar so you don’t miss important appointments and deadlines.  There is so much to learn, to see, and to do that it often feels overwhelming.  I watch the members of the class of 2013 and smile as they begin their initial lap.

With the core curriculum far behind, we second-years (class of 2012) get to choose all of our classes this year.  My fall class schedule is relatively full; I’m taking five classes, one of them is only scheduled the first half of the quarter.  Five classes means that I am on five different teams this quarter.  I can only imagine how “fun” it will be scheduling meetings.  I suspect that will be one of the biggest challenges – coordinating work streams and calendars.  I had my fair share of last minute presentations last year . . . needless to say, I am all about working ahead of schedule as much as humanly possible.  **fingers crossed**

To accomplish everything I hope to accomplish this year, I’m going to need a lot of help.  For that, I’m targeting the class of 2013.  I will be actively recruiting individuals to assist with a couple of large events happening in winter (the Women’s Summit) and spring quarter (Innovate Columbus 2012).  The Fisher Graduate Student Organizations will be holding their first meetings of the year this week and next.  My advice to all considering b-school: check out what organizations exist at the schools you are targeting.  Student life involves more than just hitting the books.  Taking on leadership roles and getting involved in the local community are just as important.  When you visit campus and meet current students, find out what they are involved in and what fuels them in addition to their studies.  The legacy you leave isn’t determined by your GPA.

You can’t leave a footprint that lasts if you’re always walking on tiptoe.  – Marion C Blakey


In Between Days

If I hadn’t mentioned it by now, I have a tendency to quote song titles.  Today is no exception: this one by The Cure sums up my life and the life of most b-school students.  As you may have figured out from the other blog posts, we (Fisher graduate students) just finished the school year.  Spring quarter ended differently for me than winter and fall: somehow, I managed to only have one final which was scheduled for Monday morning.  How Lucky Can You Get? (See? What did I tell you?  Streisand song from Funny Lady.)  Anyhow . . . I’ve been on summer break for a week and I can hardly wait to start my internship on Monday.  Having all this spare time seems strange (and rather boring).  Once again, I find myself in transition.  In my Fisher grad life, transitions are not easy but they certainly are plentiful . . . so I might as well dedicate a blog post to them!

Anxiety is normal for anyone facing transition.  We’d all like to expect the unexpected but that’s easier said than done.  Unsure of what the future will hold, we push forward with trepidation.  If you’re preparing to enter b-school, get used to the feeling.  Life becomes a series of transitions starting with the summer preceding school and lasting all the way through (and sometimes post) graduation.  As new “first years”, most of you will be switching gears from working all week to studying all week.  For those of us completing our first year, we’re adjusting to all sorts of things: assuming leadership roles in student activity groups, working with new team members, planning for fall quarter, figuring out where to live this summer, beginning new jobs, scheduling classes, ordering football tickets, and finding things to occupy the seemingly endless hours of time we suddenly have available.

This summer I’m fortunate enough to be staying in Columbus (making it much easier to move to a new apartment).  Internship-wise: I’ll be working three different assignments this summer; one is a Wheeler Internship sponsored by Fisher’s Center for Entrepreneurship.  I’m excited about the opportunity to work with a local business!  I’ll be spending 20 hours each week learning about online marketing and handling some of their web 2.0 communications.  As I learn more about web analytics, I’ll leverage my experience and Microsoft Office prowess to help tackle a few projects that have been on the company’s “to do” list.  During the other 20 hours each week, I’ll be working with a professor on a local consulting project, on campus, and at the Columbus Zoo.  If time allows near the end of the summer, I’ll begin my Fisher Board Fellows project with COSI.  Regardless, I’ll stay busy.  Since I’ll have my evenings free and my roommate will be in France, my inner bookworm can celebrate by reading a few books that aren’t mandatory.  Hooray!

I think I try to stay so busy because for me personally, change is hard and I don’t enjoy being in transition.  Although I’ve had my fair share for the past couple of years now, I don’t ever get totally used to it.  Staying busy = a coping mechanism (I keep my mind occupied).  By nature, I’m a planner and like to know what the future holds.  Since that’s impossible at this juncture, I intentionally choose to look at life as an adventure, knowing my journey will lead me somewhere new.  My advice to you: embrace change.  It’s one of the only certainties in life.

Change is the essence of life. Be willing to surrender what you are for what you could become. – Reinhold Niebuhr

One thing I assure you: time flies.  Assuming the cliche is valid, I must be having fun.  Today was graduation day at the Fisher College of Business.  Congratulations to Fisher’s graduating Class of 2011 MBAs!  Godspeed as you journey forth.  I expect great things to come . . . for each and every one of us.


The Key to Graduate Housing

We are almost finished with spring quarter and I am shocked by how rapidly my first year ended.  With its end, so arrives the end of my apartment lease.  My roommate and I have decided to move.  We get along well, enjoy living together (will for another year), and desire a nicer apartment.  After hunting for a few days, we found our new abode, signed our new lease, and will move at the beginning of July.

The Class of 2011 will soon receive their MBAs and many will depart from Columbus, starting new lives beyond b-school and vacating many apartments.  The new 2013 class of full-time MBAs is slowly but surely gathering on Facebook and has already entered into a variety of discussions.  As I watch passively, I am reminded how clueless they are . . . which is totally normal.  To help them out (as well as any of you considering a full-time program), here’s a quick checklist along with several resources to get you started “apartment hunting”.

1. PROXIMITY: “Location.  Location.  Location!”  To live a happy grad school life, do not underestimate this critical decision.  Be as close to campus as possible – but not so close that you’re surrounded by undergrads.  The closer you live to campus, the easier it is to stop home and grab a bite to eat, change clothes, or take a nap.

Specific to Columbus: This is not Cleveland although it also snows here from November through April.  A “normal” commute from one place to the next is 15-20 minutes; a 30 minute drive is a long commute.

Specific to Fisher: It is easy to find housing within three miles of campus so your door-to-door travel time is approx 15 minutes.  Arriving late to class is a BAD idea.  If you are not a morning person, find a place near Fisher.  If you do not have a car, find a place near High Street or one of the main campus bus routes.

2. COST: Keep things reasonable especially if you will assume student loan debt to pay for b-school.  If you live like you’re rich now, you’ll have to live like you’re poor later.  Want a nicer place?  Get a roommate.

Specific to Columbus: If you live alone, plan to spend around $600/month for a decent place to live.  Any lower than that means you are sacrificing something (i.e. location, amenities, safety, privacy, peace & quiet).  Make sure you know what you are sacrificing.  With a roommate or a shared living arrangement (like a boarding house), you can find reasonable living accommodations for $350/person/month.

Specific to Fisher: If you’re not receiving housing assistance . . . or if you’re not independently wealthy, you’re smart to find a roommate to split expenses.  Use Facebook, the Graduate Housing Google Group, or OSU’s Off-Campus Student Services Roommate Search.

3. COMMUNITY: Do your research and ensure the type of community you live in matches your lifestyle.  You may want a family-friendly community with a yard, an urban landscape, a quiet community, or a communal area crawling with students.  The better the match the happier you will be.

Specific to Columbus: There are areas that cater to each lifestyle choice.  Some research online will help you determine what’s best for you.  One good site to use is www.metro-rentals.com.  They explain the various communities here and provide a link to the suburbs in case that may interest you.

Specific to Fisher: You will be busy . . . so, unless you like to study at the Library (which incidentally is very nice), figure you will need an atmosphere at home that allows you to study.  Choose wisely and don’t get hung up on a bunch of amenities; there’s no need to pay for a bunch of extras you won’t use.  The RPAC and ARC blow away any apartments’ workout facilities.

HOUSING RESOURCES for Fisher MBAs:

Fisher Commons is an option available to Fisher MBAs and is great for camaraderie . . . which means you’ll sacrifice a bit on privacy.  Football tailgates are a norm in season and pre-event festivities are common in the courtyard.  Residents are primarily MBAs but not exclusively, other grad students (law, med, etc) call it home too.  Rent is relatively expensive without housing assistance but moving and commuting are made easy.

OSU Off-Campus Housing Services provides rental information, lease assistance, roommate contracts, roommate search support, and other helpful information to consider when moving to the OSU campus area.

www.metro-rentals.com is a website that lists various independent rentals available in various areas of town.  It includes a description of communities around the city as well as a link to suburban rentals.

www.padmapper.com is a handy website that scans Craig’s List and other apartment posting sites and displays the results visually on a map.  You can filter the results and easily stay informed of new rental opportunities as they become available.  It’s also offered as an app for your smart phone.

www.apartmentratings.com is another handy website to peruse before renting in a local apartment community.  Sometimes you don’t always get what you pay for – this site helps advise you.  It’s important to realize the audience is self-selected.  The massively disgruntled will find the time to post commentary.  Some fans post reviews as well . . . it’s up to you to filter through the info available and make an informed decision.

My final advice: the shaded areas on this map will be filled with undergrads because they are in walking distance of campus.  As a b-school student, I encourage you to explore the Outside University District areas.

Good luck and see you in the fall!

University Area Map


The Thirst for Knowledge?

A picture’s worth a thousand words.

When anyone asks me how this quarter is going, my answer is: I feel like I’m drinking from a fire hose.  Believe you me: MIT (where the above pic is taken) doesn’t have exclusive rights on this metaphor.  Welcome to spring quarter of your first year in the full-time MBA program at Fisher!  Just when I thought I was getting the hang of things, I was reminded of two things: “you don’t know what you don’t know” and, actually, ignorance *is* bliss.

Let me clarify a few things for those of you that read these blogs regularly: (1) MLHR is not the only graduate business program at Fisher, (2) there are actually more full-time MBA bloggers than MLHR bloggers, and (3) work load definitely varies by program.

FTMBA’s are B-U-S-Y.  That said, I think the Working Professional MBAs have it worse.  They have to go to work all day and then high-tail it over to Gerlach Hall to sit in classes from 6-10pm each evening.  How and when they do their homework, reading, group projects, and presentations, I don’t know.  Unless they’re “multitasking” in the office (you know who you are), they get to spend their weekends studying.  Blech.  Kudos to them . . . I couldn’t do it.

Back to being a FTMBA . . .

This quarter, I have an enormous amount of reading to do – constantly.  There is no ebb and flow.  Spring quarter brings the final two core classes: Strategy & Global Macro.  (As an aside: the elective classes I’m taking are Service Operations and Sustainability Marketing.)  The macro-econ course requires I subscribe to The Economist and get quizzed weekly on the content.  The entire magazine is fair game.  Sound hellish?  I thought so too!  I was wrong.  I *love* this magazine.  Here’s why . . .

To date, I proudly claimed to a member of the apathetic, ignorant American masses.  Thanks to Prof Kistruck’s mandate, I’m a person that has some clue about what’s happening in the world and how current global events affect business.  I live here after all  – so I might as well understand how my life is being affected.  The world gets smaller by the day and global awareness is really critical.  It’s about time I got a clue.  Yay me!

Outside of classes, much is happening around the Fisher College of Business (FCOB).  Officer elections are taking place in student groups, end of year summits and banquets are being held, and the weather is slowly improving (which should result in strong attendance at the Fisher 5K this weekend and the upcoming Fisher Spring Games).  I assumed leadership roles in various organizations next year: President of the Fisher Graduate Women in Business, VP of Innovate Columbus in Innovation Fisher, and Treasurer of Fisher’s Association of Marketing Professionals.  My Fisher Board Fellows assignment is supporting COSI next year and I’ve agreed to help with Fisher Follies.  YAY!

Regardless of your interests, there are plenty of ways for you to get involved and participate in the Fisher community.  This morning, I was inspired by the words of the founder of Fisher Board Fellows, Wake Norris.  “Remember to unpack.” He stressed the importance of unpacking and living where you are when you arrive someplace new.  This advice applies to you as well as me.  When you arrive at your program, how will you get involved?  Be a part of your community?  The choice is yours and the options are plentiful.

I am really excited about the coming year even if it means lack of sleep.  I figure: This only happens once.  I’m going to make the most of it.

“Stay thirsty my friends.”  – The Most Interesting Man in the World


Legacies Left Must Be Alright

Ever notice yourself having a train of thought due to a recurring theme manifesting itself in your life events?  No?  Well then maybe you should pay closer attention.

Last we spoke, I just arrived in Peru and promised to provide you an update with pictures.  I’m not one to disappoint . . . I just didn’t realize there would be such an enormous lapse between posts.  Well, as they say: “Time flies when you’re having fun.”  Personally, I prefer: “Life happens when you’re making other plans.”

Here’s what’s new with me:  My aunt died.  I visited Peru.  Spring sprung.  Spring quarter started.  Peruvian bacteria accompanied me home.  My internship search continues.  New officers are being elected in student organizations.  Red Carpet weekend just ended.

My array of feelings (in no accompanying order to the prior list): sick, tired, sick and tired, over-committed, under-utilized, over-whelmed, under-appreciated, appreciative, apprehensive, excited, hopeful, ambitious, grateful, irritated, exhausted, elated, deflated, determined, distracted, supportive, suspicious, apathetic, empathetic, blessed, lucky, and loved.

Bi-polar?  Nah, it’s just my Fisher Grad life.  Ups and downs are normal and they come quickly and sometimes unexpectedly.  There’s a lot going on and it is really important to navigate through everything without failing to make time for the people and things that *really* matter.  Which brings me back to contemplating “legacy”.

Just as a snail leaves a trail, we are each bound to leave a legacy.  I’m amazed at the legacies left by people and by institutions.  The Ohio State University has a lot of alumni.  I was told this during my Red Carpet weekend event last year.  David Smith of our Admissions Office travels throughout the world recruiting MBA students and he told us that no matter where we were, we could let out a cry of “O-H!” and undoubtedly it would be met with an response of “I-O!”  These are the stories of legend.  Stories of legend are worth testing when possible so while hiking around Machu Picchu, our group opted to conduct a test.  Standing at the Intiwatana overlooking the Central Plaza, we let out a loud cry of “O-H!” and to our great amusement we were promptly answered by “I-O!”  Yes, seriously.  We were so amused we continued our cry time and again until we were shushed by some nearby Peruvian park attendants.  In our exuberance, we forgot about the fact that we were at one of the modern wonders of the world and not all guests would enjoy listening to us yell while they navigated this sacred space.

Fact is: I’m proud to be a Buckeye.  Over the past couple of days I’ve met many potential members of the Ohio State MBA Class of 2013.  Some of them have accepted their admission letter and will be joining me this fall.  Others sit the fence and are still considering their options.  My advice to them is the same I’d give to any of you reading this that are unsure of your MBA future: Choose the program that your heart tells you to attend.  Each program has its merit and will provide great opportunities for your future.  You’ll do fine wherever you choose to go.  That said, make sure you’re following your own inner voice and not that of your parents, fiance(e), boyfriend/girlfriend, boss, co-workers, or friends.  You spend a *HUGE* amount of time on campus and with your classmates.  Be sure you’re spending that precious time at the place that suits you best.  Life is short and the days/weeks fly by quickly.  I can hardly believe I’m seven weeks away from the end of my first year.  Leave your own legacy… not one that someone else dreamt up for you.

Fisher has a very intimate and collaborative program but – believe you me – B-school pushes you to compete against each other.  Frankly, I’m getting really tired of competing.  As long as I’m doing the best I can do, I’m fine.  In the end, what matters is not the things that we accomplish or leave undone.  It is not the offices held or the grades, salaries, or frequent flier miles earned but the people we love and whose lives we touch that matter.

I’m trying to tell you something about my life
Maybe give me insight between black and white
The best thing you’ve ever done for me
Is to help me take my life less seriously, it’s only life after all”  – The Indigo Girls

This is what giddy looks like.

Found him!

Downtown Lima at dusk

O-H-I-O (photo courtesy of Jeff Sleasman, taken by Leanne Gluck)


Anticipation

There are two kinds of people in life . . . those who are spontaneous and those who are planners.  Sure, you can argue that you’re somewhere in between but, when you really think about it, I purport that you find yourself in one camp or the other.  Me?  I’m a planner.

I’m writing this from my hostel in Lima, Peru.  I arrived a couple of hours ago and within the past hour the remainder of my classmates (spare a couple) have all safely arrived.  We are here as part of our winter quarter course work.  We opted to take part in the EMFS program offered by the International Programs Office and CIBER at Fisher.  There is a group in Brazil, a working Spanish group in Puerto Rico, and we’re the micro-enterprise group visiting Peru.  Spring break is a great time to stretch your wings and gain some international exposure… especially if you don’t participate in a longer-term study abroad program.

My planner-self really struggled with this trip.  We didn’t receive an itinerary until the week prior to departure, boarding passes arrived yesterday afternoon, finals just ended yesterday, and I am staying an extra day in the city because I wanted to find airfare for under $1,000.  Oh yeah – my level of Spanish consists of what I learned 30 some years ago watching Sesame Street.

I’m well traveled in the states but am used to staying in hotels.  Hostel is the name of a horror flick.  Have I mentioned my over-active imagination?

Fact of the matter: I chose this particular trip option because I knew it would challenge me and take me out of my comfort zone.

It would also allow me to explore a subject area that has increasingly intrigued me for the past few years… Alleviating Poverty Through Entrepreneurship.  If you find yourself in the same boat, I strongly suggest you check out the upcoming summit.  I attended last year before I was a student and I’m really looking forward to attending again this year.

I hate shots and had to get five (tetanus, flu, HepA, typhoid, yellow fever)… half of our group is going into the Amazon jungle.  They needed to get malaria too.  I’m not particularly earthy and I’ve always refused to leave the house without makeup.  For this trip, I’m sans makeup, staying in hostels, sleeping in group arrangements, and doing my best to ward off mosquitoes (there’s one in my room now so I just doused myself with repellent).

That said, I’m learning a new culture, touring the Andes mountains, seeing Machu Picchu, earning class credit, testing my limits, and helping small dairy farmers grow their businesses.  What’s the full-time MBA all about?  Life experiences.  Can’t wait to post pictures for you later!


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