2nd Annual Asia MBA conference

On Auguest 28th, 12 members of CBPA (Chinese Business Professional Association) attend the 2nd Annual Asia MBA conference at the Jacob Convention Center in New York City.

I was truly excited for this event and looked forward to be connected with the employers who are interested in Asia students with top MBA degree. For international students, the advantages we have are definitely the language ability and multicultural background. This conference will certainly bring us to a comfortable environment where companies are interested in students with those skills and are H1b friendly : )

I would like to give our sincere thanks to the Office of Minority Student Services and the Office of Career Management Office. They put so much effort in the whole process, from budget planning and implementing funding to hotel and flight negotiation and reservation. Without their support it will be very difficult for us to go to the conference. We certainly had a wonderful experience in the career expo and got so much information of prospective employers as well as career development.

Before taking flight back to Columbus we had some free time on Sunday enjoying the New York City. I chose to go to The Metropolitan Museum of Art, which is one of the world’s largest and finest art museums. Its collections include more than two million works of art spanning five thousand years of world culture, from prehistory to the present and from every part of the globe. Unfortunately I didn’t have enough time to explore all features in the Museum, but the Art of Ancient Egypt the Art of Ancient Greece already gave me a wonderful art tour : )

The Economist!

Today I received the last issue of my Economist.


“The world isn’t coming to an end…Actually, yours is.”

Interesting…I am wondering whether I should renew it. There is no doubt that The Economist covers the most important news around the world. Before deciding whether I should make the renewal payment, let me tell you the most special class that so far I have had in my MBA experience. Do you know what the most unique experience at Fisher is?

We study a lot? Almost there!

The truth is, in spring quarter, we had a required core course called “Global Environment of Business”. One of the required readings materials of the course is Weekly subscription to “The Economist”. Additionally, we will have weekly quizzes of THE WHOLE MAGAZINE…

Professor Geoffrey Kistruck expected us to “skim” each new weekly issue of The Economist throughout the duration of the course, and be prepared to answer 6 multiple choice questions at the beginning of the Wednesday morning’s class. Although it’s “skim”, there are certainly a lot of works! Everyone felt very stressed, especially for international students—obviously, the wordings in The Economist are not plain English!

After the whole quarter of painstaking trial and error, I have a couple of suggestions of preparing The Economist quizzes for future 1st year MBAs:

1.  Read the “The world this week” five times before the quiz and highlight every place, name, and time.

2.  When skimming the articles, pay attention to when, where, who, why, and the issue.

3.  If you don’t have enough time (and this is usually the case), read the 1st paragraph of each article.

4.  Join a study group, and split the articles into several sections. Here is how my team split the magazine:

The world this week
Section 1
United States
The Americas
Section 2
Middle East and Africa
Section 3
Section 4
Finance and Economics
Science and Technology
Books and Arts

Honestly, I am not 100% sure about how it helps with the quizzes, but I am certain that the summary that my team prepared really helped me a lot with understanding the key points in the articles.

Finally, if you really really don’t have time to prepare for the quizzes and feel extremely stressed like me, I will suggest that you wake up early in the morning before the class and enhance your short term memory 😀 I found it very helpful to study The Economist intensively one hour before the quiz.

I hope those tips are helpful—by the way, even you solve the problem of taking the quiz, don’t forget the ultimate goal of reading The Economist. That is, broadening your horizon and staying current with the global news!

Go Lu!!!

June 28, 2010 must be the most glorious day for tennis in Taiwan–the 26 years old Taiwanese tennis player, Yen-Hsun Lu, currently ranked No. 82, beat Andy Roddick, ranked No. 7, in Wimbledon.

Yen-Hsun Lu, Taiwanese tennis player (source: Yahoo.com.tw)

CBS: Lu–who?–loss looks like Roddick’s last Wimbledon stand


As an international student studying abroad far away from Taiwan, I am even more emotional about Lu’s success. Historically, Asian men’s performance was limited in sports like tennis that particularly need strength and huge body frame. However, after this game, Lu became the first Asian man to reach the quarter-finals at a Grand Slam in 15 years when he stunned three-time runner-up Andy Roddick 4-6, 7-6(3), 7-6(4), 6-7(5), 9-7 Monday at The Championships. Not since Japan’s Shuzo Matsuoka at Wimbledon in 1995 had an Asian man reached the last eight at a major tournament until Lu produced an inspired performance, striking 83 winners, to oust World No. 7 Roddick on Court Two.


To be honest, I don’t even clearly understand tennis rules (shame on me…) , neither do I play tennis. However I understand how difficult it is to win a match because I play badminton. It will almost kill me if I have to run in the court for 4 hours! It was the strong perseverance that brought Lu to the victory.

So what in the world is it related to my MBA experience?

Well, totally unrelated….just kidding! Of course it’s highly related! Lu’s success reminds me all the experiences (difficulties…) that I was confronted with studying abroad. Because of language, visa, homesickness, or whatever problems, international students faced much more challenges when taking the courses or finding jobs. However, just as Lu’s said, “Although we, as Asian, do not have huge body frame, we have other advantages.”

Yes, we have a lot of advantages! We can speak more than one language, we are more global perspectives, and we are more flexible in different environments.

So never, never give up!  One of my strength is my perseverance; I guess that may be one of the reasons that I secure my internship and FPS projects this summer, and I truly hope that all international students never lose their confidence when facing obstacles.

Let me quote a line from Lu:

I don’t know how far I’ll go now, but I will fight until the end.

Go Lu !!!!!



Happy Graduation!

I can’t believe that I am done with this school year! It seems so fast time has passed. There were too many things to be commemorated in the spring quarter, but the one that is composed of happiness and reluctance to let go must be the Fisher commencement.

Fisher Graduation Ceremony Brochure
Fisher Graduation Ceremony Brochure

There are three Taiwanese students going to graduate in 2010—Miao-Chi, Kevin and Sherri. Oh, I will certainly miss them so much. I still remember the first time I met them—last year I had the on-campus interview, and they were so kind to have dinner with me. Because of their kind hospitality, I understood more about the MBA program, the housing and the campus life at Fisher. And you are right—that is part of the reasons why I choose Fisher 🙂 After I joined the program, they never stop helping us. I asked them so many questions. Although I also have lots of American friends, sometimes they are able understand more about the difficulties that an international student is confronted with: the job searching problems, culture differences, driving…etc. Most importantly, it was such a cordial greeting meeting someone from the same home country in USA.

I also want to send my best regarding to my mentor—Michael Hrostoski! As a 1/2 Japanese and 1/2 Polish/German/Irish, he kindly got involved in the international connection program and mentored me through the academic year. He even pick me up in the airport and held a welcome party for my roommate and me 🙂 It was a pity that because of our busy schedule, we only had one chance to have lunch together, but we’ll certainly keep in touch! I would like to congrats him for getting a full time offer from J & J, and wish him success in his future endeavor.

David, Mike, Tandy, Kangsub

I volunteered in the graduation ceremony and it was a wonderful experience. I haven’t realize how many Fisher 2nd year MBAs that I have not yet had chance to talk to until I was in the backstage helping graduates wearing hoods and tassels. Fortunately I met and chatted with them probably the last time. I also realized that I have to participate in more events at Fisher—or I will not have any honor codes in the ceremony! :p

I had dinner with Kevin and Mio-Chi in the evening. Kevin will be back to Taiwan tomorrow, and bon voyage for Kevin!

rear: Tandy, Kai / front: Kevin, Miao-Chi, Sharon
rear: Tandy, Kai / front: Kevin, Miao-Chi, Sharon

Heartfelt congratulations to all Fisher MBA 2010!




Here are some pictures that I took in Seattle that I guess most of you may be interested in:

Pike Place Fish Market

I saw a short clip discussing Pike Place Fish Market’s value and the company’s management structure in the Organization Behavior class , so I really looked forward to visiting the Pike Place Market in person. It was a nice and friendly place–although a little bit different from what I imagined :p I thought that it should be a very big fish market including a lot of fish stands, but actually it’s only one stand and it’s as large as a classroom.

The First Starbucks

I visited the first Starbucks and found that the logo is different. I was also wondering why people waiting in a long line buying coffee there—I mean, the coffee is exactly the same, right? 😀

I miss Seattle

Although it is only the end of week 2 of this quarter, I feel like a whole month already passed because of the heavy school work and painstaking internship search…At the same time, recalling the spring break I spent in Seattle gives me energy from the happy memories.

My uncles live in Seattle and they always welcome me to visit them. I decided in a hurry to go there because the participants were indeterminable. Finally, Sharon decided to go to Washington DC to enjoy the cherry blossoms; Kai and I went to Seattle. As my cousin told me, the weather was going to be very nice and sunny so I decided to go at a perfect time!

Taken on the top floor of Space Needle

My uncles, aunts and cousins held a feast for us the first day we arrived. Because I rarely had time to eat (and cook) good food during school, my uncles took us to nice restaurants everyday during our vacation, thus we gained some pounds : ) We visited a lot of places: perhaps most famous, Space Needle and Pike Place Market, Snoqualmie Fall, Experience Music and of course, University of Washington! I also took a picture at the front door of Foster School of Business.

Foster School of Business at UW

If you plan to visit Seattle in the future, I highly suggest you buy the city pass. It is a carefully selected collection of Seattle’s most popular attractions, and its price is 47% less than the cost of tickets purchased separately. Though we only visited five places and left Woodland Park Zoo, it was still worth 59 dollars.

I guess I not only miss Seattle but also the relaxed spring break……

It’s time to go back to the “reading hell”. I’ll show you more interesting spots I visited in Seattle in my future blog 😀

Keep in touch!



Internship…be confident!

Why are we in the MBA program? The most frequent answer may be “I am pursuing a better job and higher position.” For me, I am seeking a career change and redefining what I really like to do. I worked in the banking industry and was in charge of the development and promotion of electronic banking product. Now, I am especially interested in consumer products so it would be a great challenge for me to use a very innovative way to describe my transferable skills to the consumer product industry. Also, seeking an internship in the related area is very important for me because this is a great opportunity to prove that I am qualified for my interest.

Starting from the very first quarter, every student in MBA program knows that the most important “class” that we should take is “internship search.” However, this class is truly demanding and challenging, especially for international students. Because of the economic downturn and H1B issue, international students truly had a hard time finding a job. To be honest, I feel that if my American classmates have 10 opportunities, international students only have 1 out of 10 opportunities because very few companies accept F-1 visa.

Last quarter I applied for several internships even if some job postings stated that “US citizen only.” However I haven’t received any feedback. As a result, in this whole new spring quarter, I expect myself being much more proactive looking for internship. There are also some great internship opening in my home country, Taiwan, and I believe working in an international company’s branch in Taiwan will also be a nice choice.

Let’s stay confident and wish all international students (including me, of course!) will finally find their ideal job!



Net Impact–2010 Alleviating Poverty Through Entrepreneurship Summit

I am a member of Net Impact, a nonprofit membership organization for students and professionals interested in using business skills in support of various social and environmental causes. I joined this organization because I have a great interest in micro-finance and social enterprise. In addition, this quarter I am in the supply-chain focus group and clean tech focus group with two of my classmates, Fan and Lisha. We are working on an energy audit project coordinating with the Energy Services & Sustainability Center of OSU and will provide recommendations on economically justifiable ways to reduce energy consumption on campus.

On February 5th, Net Impact held the 2010 Alleviating Poverty Through Entrepreneurship Summit, and I happily served as a volunteer in the event. We invited many speakers from academic, social enterprise and non-profit sectors, and I was especially interested in Acumen Fund. I knew Acumen Fund when I was an undergraduate, when I found that charity alone could not radically solve the problem of poverty. I was confused how I could balance between my passions of helping the poor with managing a sustainable business. On day I read an article in Business Week Taiwan of an interview excerpt of Ms. Jacqueline Novogratz from Acumen Fund. She spoke about patient capital and social enterprise, and I was impressed and moved by the effect that business can have on global social change.

Unfortunately, because of the weather, the practitioner, Ms. Yasmina Zaidman from Acumen could not make it. I was a little disappointed—indeed, I just applied for the summer associate of Acumen Fund that the direct supervisor will be Ms. Zaidman. I couldn’t wait to know more about the patient capital. However, I still had a great interaction with Ms. Erin Krampetz from Ashoka. I asked Ms. Krampetz if I am planning to be involved in social enterprise, as a current MBA student what should I do to prepare myself well. Ms. Krampetz kindly suggested me that I could join as many voluntary activities as possible, and also acquire broad knowledge of non-profit business and financial analysis. Most excitedly, I learned that Ashoka has a program called Full Economic Citizenship that is specially designed for MBA students. This will certainly be a great opportunity for MBA students to step in the social enterprise career.



Don’t Search, Find it! [part 2]

Finally I have time to continue the story of case competition, which indeed happened two weeks ago!

After 5 hours reading and searching, we decided to recommend Microsoft to initiate a brand new search engine, find.com

First, we found that currently customers often associate “search” to “Google”. We say “Let’s Google it!” rather than “Let’s MSN it!” As a result, we are going to reposition Microsoft search engine’s brand to let customers “find it” but not “Google it”. find.com is a revolutionary search engine that will target at customers who seek for far better search experiences. find.com provides customers with simple and colorful design, comprehensive services and continuously improved algorithm. To encourage customers to use find.com, we offer Microsoft dollars which are the reward points for every time an MSN-registered user. The points can be used on Microsoft network sites, or donated to a favorite charity – such as Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

On Saturday, we presented our idea to four judges who are professionals from various industries. We demonstrated to the judges how we are going to grab the market share by increasing users’ awareness of find.com and develop the system globally. Although at last we didn’t win the competition, it was a great opportunity to hone our presentation skills and be much comfortable to speak up in a stressful environment. We were not sure whether the judges like our idea, but we truly had fun!

By the way, we didn’t have the room winner’s advantage to give the 2 minutes demo to all participants, but we truly want to show our one page executive summary. It’s designed by Erik and it’s nice : D

Don’t Search, Find it! [part 1]

Last Friday (January 29th) and Saturday we had the 1st year MBA case competition. We had a lot of fun and it was a great opportunity for us to apply the presentation and case analysis skills that we have been learning in class.

First, let me introduce my team. My team was created last quarter when we registered for the case competition. Strategically, it is best for the four team members to have a balanced background. I contacted a few of my classmates with different concentrations and formed a team with Sharon Hsu, Erik-Ray Palomar, and Bharat Deore.

We each had different experiences to share:

  • I worked in the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ as a project assistant where I gained experience with project management, corporate banking and maintaining relationships with clients.
  • Sharon worked at an insurance company in Taiwan and has a strong background in finance.
  • Bharat worked in the financial services industry as an IT consultant. Since he spent 4 years in Canada, he has some familiarity with North American companies; however, at the competition, our research will be critical.
  • Erik worked in the communications and promotions department of a government research agency in the Philippines. His experience includes project management, video production, informational campaigns, writing, and graphic design.
1001301st MBA case competition
From left to right: Bharat, Sharon, Tandy, Erik

At 8:00 on Friday morning, we received a case from January 2009 about Microsoft’s strategy for providing a better search engine in order to seize the market share from Google. In May 2009, Microsoft released its new search engine, Bing; however, we need to analyze the case and present recommendations as if it is the time of the case. Therefore, we were not able to take Bing’s release into account. It was truly a challenge because we need to keep ourselves from being affected by the concept of Bing and brainstormed for a totally new idea. (to be continued …)

Note: I try to tell the story of our case competition as comprehensive as possible because my team made lots of effort on it and it’s truly an exciting experience. However it looks like I will have a very long article… so I break it to part I and part II  : )