Collaborative Learning

This year I have a new approach to class work and managing time. Instead of signing up for group projects which are due the last 2 weeks of class, I signed up for one which is due on Wednesday and throughout the quarter. My theory in all of this is that if I spread out the work, I will be able to more fully dedicate my time and energy to each project and my exams as they come up instead of splitting all of my brain power amongst 10 different things at the end of the quarter. We’ll see how it turns out, but so far, I am up to date on all of my readings, I am prepared up through the end of this week, and it feels good.

The group project due on Wednesday is for my MHR 869 – Strategic Management of Human Assets course. Our project is a case study about Jet Blue Airlines and talking about what their core competencies and strategy are, and also what advice we would give to them in order for them to have a sustainable competitive advantage through the years. My group is comprised of 3 MLHR students and 1 MBA student whom I admire for being willing to deal with 3 people outside of his program. Kudos to you Ross Ferrise!

Last night, we met to discuss our project and through it, the four of us worked really well together. Not only did we work through our task, but I think the 4 of us each learned something from the program, and through the collaboration of 2 programs’ (MLHR and MBA) worth of information, I really feel as though we have prepared a thorough project that takes into account many perspectives. I learned all about Strategy Canvases. I know we learned about it briefly in Dr. Bendapudi’s Intro to Business course last year, but I don’t remember them too well.  I think it’s an effective and quick way of getting your point across without using a lot of words. The “psychology” side of my brain is kicking in and thinking about the different learning styles of people and using a strategy map is a good way to make your point to those visual learners of the world.

The MHR 869 course has thus far been very beneficial to me because the mix of the MBA and MLHR students in the class has made for some really interesting discussions. I always feel it’s good to learn from other people with different perspectives and backgrounds than you. So in that aspect, I appreciate the course for more than just the content offered.

On a side note, I have been getting to know a few of the new MLHR students. They seem pretty cool, from what I’ve seen. I think both the first years and the second years are very eager to form new relationships. It should be a great year!

I’m Not Ready For This

Well, at least that’s what my MHR 869 (Strategic Management of Human Assets) professor Dr. Steffanie Wilk said. I have to admit I’m not really ready for classes to start again either. As Professor Wilk said, and I agree, she would be more ready if it were raining or colder, but it’s not. It still feels like summer and part of me wishes it still were. Although, this is my last Autumn Quarter ever. I have been going to school consistently for 18 years, and I’m ready for a break.

A word of advice to the new class of MLHR students (and all students for that matter): plan your commute time out so that there’s extra. I know that it may have taken you only 10 minutes to drive to campus when you were on a tour, but now that everyone is back, things get a little bit crazy. Allow extra time to find a parking spot. For business students, I have found that often there are always spots in the parking lot north of St. John Arena. This lot is the closest large lot to the Fisher complex. Most of the time, there are spots in the east half of the parking lot (closest to Fisher) but there are always spots in the west half. For those of you, who like me, are taking night classes, keep in mind that after 4pm, if you have a “C” tag, you can park in any spot (non-handicapped of course) but any “A” or “B” spot is yours for the taking. There is a parking lot on nestled between Curl Drive and Lane Avenue that is for “A” and “B” passes only, but when I get to campus at 5:00 for my 6:00 class, most of the spots are open. Again, other people know this parking lot and park there, so get there early, but it’s always a fair bet it has at least one open spot.

Also, be sure to watch where you’re walking, especially when crossing the street. A lot of times cars don’t necessarily see you when they’re driving through campus. And when you’re driving, make sure to watch out for pedestrians, especially during the times in between classes – 18 minutes after and 30 minutes after (ex 9:18 and 9:30). This is when roads, especially Woodruff, are clogged with students walking to class, and often times you’re stuck waiting for a few minutes before you can keep driving.

Earlier today I had my first class (MHR 869) and it went pretty well. Tonight I have MHR 862 (Seminar in HR Management). It’ll be good to see everyone again and get things underway. I’ll keep you updated on it all though. Here’s to hoping the quarter shapes out to being great!

Home Sick (w/ bonus zucchini bread recipe)

I’m sure some of you, when you first read the title of this blog thing that I miss home. However, it means that I am literally sick at home. This is going to be a short blog due to the fact that I am still sick.

Monday, I left OSU work early because I suddenly didn’t feel well at all. After making zucchini bread (which is delicious by the way), I went straight to bed, and Tuesday morning woke up feeling like a semi had just ran over me. After calling in sick, Benjamin says “well you sure don’t sound like it’s going to be difficult for them to believe you’re sick”. That, of course, made me feel so much better. Tuesday night, I decided to try to see if I felt well enough to make some salsa with the veggies out of my in-laws’ gardens. The salsa, like the zucchini bread, is also amazing – and I forgot to mention the zucchini was home grown as well. Wednesday morning arrived and feeling just as horrible as Tuesday, I crawled onto the couch and camped out all day.

Good news is, I caught up on my reading. Bad news is I missed the interviews I scheduled last week. I know I wasn’t on the interview board, but it still would have been really great experience to see the entire process. Additionally, I missed a visit to the plant by a very special guest today…none other than Dr. E. Gordon Gee himself! Dr. Gee and I – we’re almost on first name basis. Seriously! When I was in the marching band, he knew my name, but it’s been a few years and we haven’t had as frequent contact as before. See the picture below. I’m just to the right of Dr. Gee in the picture. That’s at the Fiesta Bowl practice in January 2009.

Singing Carmen Ohio with Dr. Gee

And finally, so that you all can have something to do the next time you’re home sick, I leave you with one of the two recipes which got me through my hopefully ending sickness. Happy cooking!

Chocolate Zucchini Bread (Weight Watcher Friendly)
2 C sugar
3/4 C Egg Substitute
1/3 C Canola Oil
2 T Water
1 T Vanilla Extract
2 1/2 C Shredded Zucchini
2 1/2 C All Purpose Flour
1/2 C Unsweetened Cocoa
1 t Baking Soda
1 t Ground Cinnamon
1/4 t Baking Powder

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
Coat 2-4×8″ loaf pans with nonstick spray
In medium bowl, use an electric mixer and beat sugar, egg substitute, oil, water and vanilla at medium speed
Stir in zucchini
Add dry ingredients and stir until moistened; divide batter between pans
Bake until toothpick comes out clean
Cool in pans on wire rack for 10 minutes
Remove loaves from pan and allow to cool completely on wire rack
This recipe freezes well

Real Experience

Now that the State Fair is over, I’m starting to settle into somewhat of a “normal” routine. I have nothing coming up that I need to leave work early for, I am able to have normal working hours and I feel as though I can be productive at both of my jobs. It’s a nice feeling. I also don’t feel as though I need to take work home in order to stay caught up with my work. That’s also nice because I’m finally nearing the end of unpacking from the move and the wedding. Our apartment is starting to look like a real home, and it’s pretty cool!

Yesterday, while I was at GE, I was going about our daily routine, when my boss came into my cubicle and asked me to phone screen some candidates and schedule interviews. I was pretty excited. It was the first real HR experience I’ve had all summer. Granted, I’ve sat in on union meetings, ‘people moves’ meetings and a lot of stuff HR related, but I haven’t felt like I was in an HR role. It was pretty cool. One individual – he asked how to get to the plant, and I asked where he was coming from. To my complete surprise, he said “Orlando.” My response of “Florida?” I’m sure sounded quite surprised. He said “yes,” and for a second, I didn’t know how to respond. After that call, I finished my calls and lined up the interviews for next week. I’m rearranging my OSU schedule so that I can be there for the interviews when I normally wouldn’t be. I’m excited.

Another thing that’s really exciting is one of my classmates – Mandy Molter, a fellow Fisher Grad Life Blogger – works at the Circleville GE plant. She’s coordinating all of the Co-Ops for 3 or 4 plants and she and I are working together to develop an exit interview/feedback session for the Co-Ops. Again, excited – it’s real experience that I’ve been waiting all summer for. I am sad, however, because my GE BLP HR Co-Op, Rana, is no longer my cubicle buddy. Her last day was Friday, so now I’m all by myself in the space.

I’ve started the search for a full-time job. It may be premature, but I figure it’s probably good of me to start the process and get a few interviews under my belt so that I can have that experience again. I feel as though I’m a little rusty. I’m also signed up to help with the incoming MLHR student orientation. I’m really excited. We’re going to be facilitating some team building exercises. It should be a lot of fun.

For now, I’m off to a Women In Engineering event in a little bit. Should be fun. I really enjoy the demos that some of the grad students do. I’ll try to take pictures to post. Happy Wednesday!

Crossover of Two Worlds

Just an aside before I begin – when the bloggers log into the dashboard to write a new post, we can see the blogs that have been written lately, if there are any new comments, etc. Today, as I was perusing through the new comments, I realized that Fisher Grad Life Bloggers are getting spammed by sites. I find it highly entertaining that we have gone from a site only our families read because they’re our family to being spammed. Of course our blog site is really well set up and all posts and comments are screened before being published so these spam comments will never reach your eyes, but…it is still funny. Also, this is my first official blog with my name changed to Amanda Wenner – shout out to Jason Hart who helped me gain access again after the system had no idea who I was.

Now – onto what I came here to do.

Some of you know that I was a member of the OSU Marching Band for 3 years. I play clarinet, but because the OSUMB is only brass and percussion, I was on student staff. The marching band is essentially run by 14 student staff members: 2 record fund managers (they sell cds and other OSUMB paraphernalia – all of the cds you see in the stores are sold by them), 3 secretaries and 1 librarian (the names speak for themselves), 3 uniform managers and 1 seamstress (all uniforms and pieces are distributed through this office and the seamstress fixes anything that rips and hems all of the pants, etc), 2 instrument managers (distribute all of the instruments and fixes broken instruments) and 2 audio/visual managers (they film all practices and performances, record everything and at the end of the year compile it all for a dvd). Of course there are the 5 directors: 1 director, 1 assistant director, 2 graduate assistants, and 1 percussion instructor. All of this goes together to keep the band running smoothly, like a well oiled machine.

Three years of my life were dedicated to this organization and met some amazing people and had wonderful experiences. Needless to say, I still try to keep up with what’s going on in marching band world. As I was facebook stalking a day or two ago and was looking through the OSUMB’s photographer’s website and realized that the squad leaders had a day-long retreat at the Ohio Union. As a part of their retreat, they had a speaker come in to talk about effective team leadership. And the guest speaker was none other than Fisher’s Tony Rucci. I think it is so cool that my undergraduate and graduate worlds have intertwined themselves. Here’s the link to all of the pictures if you want to browse through them.

For those of you who don’t know who Tony Rucci is, he is a professor in the College of Business, but not before he was an executive with 3 Fortune 100 companies. He was also fairly instrumental in the turnaround of Sears Roebuck and Co. You can also read his FCOB profile here.I really hope I’ll be able to take a course with him before I graduate. I think I’ve planned it out pretty well so that I have room to take an extra class Spring Quarter, so we’ll see how that goes.

But that’s all for now. Here’s a wedding picture, for your enjoyment. Also, congratulations to Megan Heighton (now Mueller) who got married a few weeks ago). Weddings are in the air!

First Dance

OSU Football Update

It has officially been 2439 days since Michigan’s last victory over Ohio State in Football. O-H!!!! That being said, I am quite excited about football season starting in a few short weeks. Terrell Pryor should be much better this year, and coming off the win in the Rose Bowl should give us a fair amount of momentum through the first few games and into the OSU vs Miami (FL) game. I’m excited, and yes, I did get tickets to the Miami game – it’s going to be amazing.

Today, on my way into work, I heard on the radio that Maurice Clarett has re-enrolled at Ohio State. No, he will not be playing for the buckeyes – I’m fairly certain there are few rules about not being able to play once you’ve been recruited for a team to play in the pros. You can read the full story here. But anyway, I’m fully supportive of him getting a degree and attempting to make himself a normal life and support his child. I think it’s awesome.

So this week is the first of the teacher camps for the Department of Material Science and Engineering. So far everything is going very well. I have gone up and down 4 flights of stairs about 20 times already, and my legs are getting sore. I know I can take the elevator, but it is so much more gratifying to know how much I’ve gone up and down the stairs. It seems as though all of the teachers are very excited to be able to take the experiments home to their schools and find new ways to get their students excited about science in general and especially materials science. One of the teachers has already signed up to come to next week’s advanced camp, which is very cool that he’s had such a great time so far.

For now, I’m off to distribute t-shirts and then go to a Women In Engineering demo. Should be really cool. They’re inflating milk jugs to show the students that it’s the same material as a plastic grocery bag, and depending on how thick it is and how it’s shaped, the carrying capacities are different – they might also be putting flowers in liquid nitrogen and smashing them. It’s going to be awesome! Yay recruiting events!

Happy Tuesday! Go to the state fair!

Another Long Week

Well, it’s the week before the Ohio State Fair. For those of you who have never gone before, you should go. Not to see the carnival rides or the cheesy and expensive games, but to see all of the animals and projects at the fair. A lot of 4-H and FFA students exhibit their projects at the state fair and it is the culmination of their hard work. I used to be one of those 4-H’ers and it was always really awesome to me to be able to explain my projects (most of the time my breeding sheep) to people who had never had an experience with livestock, or anything outside of the city. Now-a-days, I facilitate part of the educational side of the livestock projects, though this year I will have a much smaller role than I have the last three years. I’m still excited to be involved, but I’m really glad I’m not doing what I did the last 3 years. It’s good to have a change of pace. But never-the-less, you all should go visit the fair. It’s a blast, and you’ll probably learn something you never knew before.

I’ve decided that I’m going to drop my managing college sports class. It’s going to make my schedule a lot easier and will allow me to work more during the day and have my evenings free for group projects. I’m not very excited about dropping the class, but I know it will be for the best. I am, however, excited for my Monday/Wednesday elective. It should be really interesting.

For now, though, I’m off to eat dinner and finish working on some stuff for MSE. Our first Teacher’s camp is next week, and I need to tell all of the campers what they need to bring and wear and where to park, and all of that happy, fun stuff.

I hope everyone has a great end to the week. Oh!!! I almost forgot! My wedding pictures have been posted. Here’s the link – enjoy!


Well, here I sit in the lobby of the Hyatt Regency, downtown Denver. This day should be full of working remotely, some fun thrown in there, and watching my husband present for a student presentation competition. Why am I in Denver? The national Animal Science meetings are going on right now, and since Benjamin and my mother are both in the Animal Science field and were planning on coming to the meetings anyway, my father and I decided to tag along. It’s nice, also, because my aunt and uncle live in Denver and they weren’t able to come to the wedding, so it’s been really nice to catch up with them.

I flew in Friday, and as hard as it may seem at 23 years of age, it was my first completely solo flight. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve flown before, but it has always been with the marching band, or a study abroad group, or with Benjamin. This time it was with just me. So there I was, waiting for my flight, when a torrential downpour happened. There was so much rain, we couldn’t see out the terminal window. Then the lady comes on the loudspeaker saying our incoming plane was more than likely being re-routed to Cleveland. This was awesome…not…I had a connecting flight in Houston that was only an hour after I landed, there wasn’t much wiggle room. As I sat worried about ever making it to Denver, my name comes on the loud speaker to go up to the desk. When I got to the desk, they handed me a new ticket which was a non-stop flight to Denver – there were only a few problems: it was boarding in half an hour, and I had to go out to the ticketing counter, get a new boarding pass, and go back through security and make it on the plane, and the other problem was that I was due into Denver about 1 1/2 hours before my parents and Benjamin were going to get there. But, I ran to get to my plane, made it on time, and by some luck, by the time I lazily walked to the passenger pick up in Denver, my parents pulled up. Perfect! And now I’m in Denver, relaxing and having a great time. There are days where I think it would be really nice to have the flexibility to travel around with Benjamin wherever he goes – and then I remember that I have to work with people, otherwise I would go completely stir crazy. But for now, these brief travels are a lot of fun.

This week should turn out really well, though. We’re getting a new HR Manager at GE, and I think that will give me more work. Last week I put together a really nice welcome binder for her. It included general information about the plant, the products made and all sorts of other fun facts. One of my supervisors really liked it and so did the other co-0p. This week, I should be able to continue working on our walking path around the plant to encourage employees to get a little bit of exercise in during their breaks – all to promote a healthier lifestyle.

For now, however, I need to get work done for MSE to make up for the fact that they let me skip two days of work to come out to Denver. Our two Teacher Camps are coming up at the end of July and beginning of August, and there’s still a lot to be done.

Happy Monday!

We were nice to each other...

Happy 4th!

Technically it’s the 6th, but I’m slightly delayed. Happy belated 4th of July to everyone. My weekend was fantastic, I hope yours was as well. Benjamin and I bought a washer and dryer and grill  last week, so we had people over to christen the grill and so that people could see our new place. We had a lot of fun. His family was able to come over and go swimming a lot which is good since his dad flew back to Iraq yesterday. We had a lot of fun at fireworks, too. Good times had by all.

Last week was my first full 40 hour work week of the summer, and boy was I tired at the end of it. At GE, I thought I had my summer project figured out, but a mass amount of miss-communication later and so far the only thing I’ll be doing is looking at different HR database systems and figuring out if there’s a way to fix them and if not, looking at other plants and seeing what they do. If something will work for Bucyrus, finding out what it is and if it can be done as cost effectively as possible. It’s not exactly, or at all what I was hoping to be able to do over the summer. It’s slightly disappointing, but I’m hoping that if I do a good job with it, it’ll transform into more difficult projects. Don’t get me wrong, I love Access databases and all, but it’s not what I want to be doing for the rest of my life. It’s no fun to be staring at a computer all day with limited human interaction. Oh well. The people are a lot of fun to talk to. My other HR Co-Op, Rana, is really great to work with. She only has 4-ish weeks left at the plant before she heads back to school.

Work at OSU has been a little slow. Information is flowing slowly and it’s difficult to get stuff done. But, when I walked into work this morning, on my desk was a pen. To the average person, this is just a meaningless pen, but to me, this is the completion of my first project! For our recruiting events, Megan, my boss, gives out pens which have the contact information for the department on them. The week before the wedding, she asked me to put together an order for these pens, and I did, and they came in a week early! I know it’s small, but it’s exciting to see something accomplished since what I’m working on won’t be completed until mid August. So, for now, little victories in life. In a few weeks we’ll have our t-shirts in, which will be good as well.

So in the attempt to find a picture of the Bucyrus plant to show everyone, I stumbled upon this article. It’s pretty cool that I can say “that’s my employer”.

This weekend I’m traveling to Denver to go to the National Animal Sciences meeting. Out of left field, I know, but Benjamin is presenting at the conference and I’ll be able to see my aunt and uncle who were unable to come to the wedding, which will be really nice. Wish me luck. This will be my first ever solo flight, with no one I know on it. I’m pretty nervous. I’m sure it will be fine, but I just don’t like flying alone. At least I can attempt to fall asleep to make the time go faster.

Have a great week, everyone!

Well it’s Back to Reality

Oh man. What a whirlwind the last 2 weeks have been. I am now reporting to you as an “old married lady” as my friends now call me. The week leading up to the wedding was, let’s just say eventful. The Tuesday before the wedding, my sister/maid of honor was hit, head on, as she was driving home from work. After totaling her car, fracturing her sternum and having a significant amount of bruising, she still looked absolutely beautiful. Tuesday night/Wednesday morning, my car was broken into. What did they steal? A GPS with a screwed up display and almost out of battery, and oops, they didn’t take the charger for it. And they also stole my Straight No Chaser CD. If you don’t know who they are, they’re an acapella group from Indiana University, and they’re fantastic. Watch this video of them singing the 12 Days of Christmas in a way you’ve never seen before. So after those two snafus, the wedding went off without a hitch. It rained, but about 30 minutes away from where my wedding was, and the rest of day was absolutely beautiful. I only have a few pictures from the day so far, but below is one of my favorites of what I do have. 🙂

The reception was a lot of fun, too. Oh boy, I did not know wedding dresses could get so heavy and hot as the day goes on. It’s alright though. I had so much fun. As soon as we get our wedding pictures back, I’ll be sure to post some online. It may take a while though. They took close to 1,500 pictures and they have to edit them all. Definitely not a job I would want.

The honeymoon was a blast as well. We went to Yellowstone National Park and the Tetons. After seeing a bison take out the front panel of a car, almost hitting two wolves as they ran out in front of us, watching black bears and grizzly bears snack on some berry bushes on the side of the road, and horse back riding, we can honestly say we had a blast. We had a lot of fun. Pictures are below.

We hiked a lot, too. I would definitely go back.

This week, however, is a 40-hour work week.  Benjamin gets the week of from work, so he has a “honey-do” list. The first is buying a washer and dryer!!! I however, will be working hard at finishing my training for GE, catching up on what I missed at both jobs, and preparing for the summer camps MSE offers. It should be a fun filled week.

And so I sign off, for the first time, ever, as Amanda Wenner. Have a great week everyone!