My “Neo-Com”

The past week marked a significant change in my “daily duty”—I now have a neo-com to take care of. Confused? Let me restate it this way, I am now managing a new company!!

If you are taking Business Management and Logistics 880, you should know what I am talking about. The whole class was divided into six groups, each of which would operate a new company producing “set-top boxes”. Although the companies are just competing in a simulated system, the intra-industrial competition is keen and resembles the real world.

I had participated in simulation operation before but this system is more complicated. My last simulation experience focused on cost management, financial management and budgeting, while this one, since it’s for Logistic management, weights more on supply chain management and forecasting.

My teammates from the MBLE program are more confident than I am in handling all the supply chain stuff. They usually come up with the definition of one concept in seconds, when I am still flipping through my manual. However, this provides me great opportunity to learn from my teammates, from key terms to management philosophy. On the other hand, I am proud being the only MAcc student in my group. I can help pulling my dizzy teammate out from the sea of numbers in spreadsheet. I am holding the compass that point to the numbers in financial statements my colleagues search for. I also amazed my teammates by doing calculations in my head before the results showed up in my teammate’s calculator. =). ….Yea, MAcc people are great!

Okay, so first decision was settled and monthly reports were out! Our company performed very well (I am trying to be generic about the results since those are our top secret!). I will keep my hard work on “neo-com sitting” and hopefully this still-a-little-shaky baby will make its parents proud after six months!

Cheer for the Bucks in Block-O

This was my third time in the Shoe—the Ohio State University’s football stadium. The first time I was there, summer, no one was in the stadium. I had a nice bird view from the deck and got wonderful pictures. The second time I was there, MAcc orientation, I was invited to attend a social in the prestige Huntington Club. I enjoyed the private tour to the VIP suites and ESPN boxes, and “starred” on the 40 yard line. Saturday came the third visit to the Shoe. I stood in the front section of Block-O almost the whole game, cheering for our great Buckeye athletes beating the “unbeaten-back-then” Wisconsin.

Me at the game with the Ohio State Marching Band in the back!

Block-O refers to the two seating sections right behind the two field goals in the Shoe. Audience in these two sections, most of whom students, are to lead the cheering and to create excitement for the whole stadium. We generated waves, and did the “O-H-I-O” “merry-go-around” (I gave it this name), a lot of jumping, dancing, cheering, and “booing” (Wisconsin, of course). The 96 yard return by Ray Small to a touchdown started right in front of me. I also touched Brutus Buckeye, our mascot, who was lifted by the Block-O audience and sent to the upper Block-O section!! A bonus was, free Ohio State T-shirts were thrown to us once a while through the game!

Great thanks to Scott, my MAcc classmate, for the tickets!

Before you go, here are some tips for watching live game in the stadium. Eat beforehand as you will consume tons of energy. Drink enough water so that you don’t dry out, but drink just enough because there is way too much you can’t miss in the game.

Defragment your time!

It was 11:00pm at my apartment, with me sitting in front of the computer, watching my poor little PC went through the “defragmentation” process. Staring at the screen, while the screen probably was also staring at me, its tired owner, I suddenly wish “I were a computer”. Oh wait, I was too tired, what I actually meant was, I came up with a very bright idea—I should defragment my time!

A little more than two weeks after the first classes, my schedule already looks messy. A pretty lay-back first week brought me a horrible feeling, in return, when I looked at the “due items” on my second week timetable. Three group projects are due and one quiz is coming up, therefore all my off days were filled with group meetings. With lots of readings and other assignments, plus housekeeping stuff like opening accounts, paying bills, doing grocery shopping, and housework, I was really overwhelmed. The biggest problem is, where had my time gone?!

I did the math a little in my head and figured a large portion of my time was actually wasted on traveling back and forth among different places and being inefficient. Now the problem is resolved, or at least the situation is improved, with my defragmentation idea. So please allow me to proudly announce some tips for you:

1.Make or get a calendar planner. It has to show at least one current month and better if shows the days of the whole quarter so that you can see the big picture and do your game plan. It also has to be differentiated into hours every day so you can schedule in details.
2. Mark down all the “fixed items” in your planner such as classes, events that you must attend. Most importantly, highlight all the due days and exam days!

Now you are ready for the game. Every night before going to bed, list all the things you need to do. Fit the flexible items in time slots according to locations, estimated length of time, and priority. For instance, if you have a class on a certain day, you also need to deposit a check, drop by the grocery store, cook, do laundry, and read an 11-page article. You will first go to class, as that’s a “fixed item”. Then you will deposit the check since the bank is close to school. Get on a bus back home and start reading the article. If the grocery store and laundry place happen to near your house, then drop down the laundry after you get home, grocery shopping will follow. Done shopping, put clothes into dryer, then cook. Enjoy your dinner, do a little work-out pulling your laundry back afterward. Continue reading the article. When you get a little tired or bored, go fold your clothes or organize your wardrobe until you feel refreshed. Finish your reading.

Sounds good? I hope the idea helps! Be a good time manager!

How Far Are We From Med School?

Obviously, the title doesn’t mean the physical distance between Ohio State’s med school and Fisher.

Last Tuesday I attended a Fisher Hub event–MIT Global Broadcast. Audience watched a lecture give by a MIT professor on his biotechnology research and, more importantly, how his ideas and products were commercialized. The topic involved networking among various fields, lots of which are between science and business. Besides the business terms and concepts I am familiar with, waves of scientific terminology stroke me. I was glad that my grades in science were not bad and I still remember most of the knowledge, otherwise it would be very hard for me to understand a significant portion of the lecture.

All these things lighted a bulb in my head.

I believe very few graduate students at Fisher think about getting to med school afterwards. Many of us may not touch anything in science because we think that’s “not our business”. But, are we really saying “Goodbye” to all other subjects after we confirm our career path in business?

Same Tuesday, at the MAcc Boot Camp, a partner from one of the large public accounting firms gave a presentation. When asked his opinion on how the economy would affect job markets in these coming years, he said, “I am not sure, but if you know the European history well, you might expect similar situation like what the European countries experienced.”

“If you know the European history well”, we can forecast future economic environment! Right, this was what my history teacher told me in high school, but when and how did I begin to forget all of these?

Everything is related to business. Medical technology is, history is, computer science is, art is, everything is! So my Fisher fellows, once we are in Fisher, we are not saying “Goodbye” to any other fields. Say “Hello”!

Stamp the Last Item of Your Checklist

Once class started, time just flew by. How many items on your checklist (the one that I suggested) are accomplished? Let me check mine!

Year of school established—-checked; Buckeye T-shirt—-checked; watch a football game at the stadium—-(I see the light!) half checked; learn to sing Carmen Ohio—-I did! Checked!

So here comes the last item I left open in my previous entry, “know why our colors are Scarlet and Gray”. If you haven’t found the answer in the library, take out your stamp now, and ready? Here’s the answer:

Library
Original pieces of the Scarlet and Gray ribbons.

The colors of Scarlet and Gray were selected in 1878, before the Ohio State University’s very first commencement. According to the library’s exhibition, “In 1878, the first graduating class wanted ribbons to decorate and to tie their diplomas. A student committee visited a local store, Lazarus, compared ribbons of different colors, and selected orange and black! When the students learned those were the colors of Princeton, they returned and selected scarlet and gray instead, simply because the colors were pleasing and represented no other institution.”

Buckeye Checklist

Yay it’s Saturday! I am a football fan and every football fan knows how lovely Saturdays are in autumn. Switching channels, watching highlights in half-time reports, sharing opinions with friends, and cheering for my favorite team (it’s now 31 to nothing Ohio State at Toledo), how can I ask for more?

Since the game is getting slower as Ohio State is having a big lead, I would like to take time to share something with all the buckeyes and potential buckeyes. You may not be a football fan and you don’t have to know the difference between “touchdown” and “safety”, but there is something you have to do as a proud buckeye—love the school and appreciate her history and traditions. Here’s a checklist:

  • Know the year the school was established—Ohio State University in 1870, Fisher College of Business in 1916.
  • Get an Ohio State T-shirt—you can wear it to a ball game and wear it to any extra-curricular events to show your school pride.
  • Watch at least one football game at the Shoe (the stadium)—I am working on this.
  • Know how to sing the Ohio State fight songs, especially Carmen Ohio.

Carmen Ohio is sung after every home game, “win or lose”. Attached below are the lyrics of Carmen Ohio. Usually only the first verse is sung. Please refer to Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carmen_Ohio for more information about Carmen Ohio.

Carmen Ohio
Oh! Come let’s sing Ohio’s praise,
And songs to Alma Mater raise;
While our hearts rebounding thrill,
With joy which death alone can still.
Summer’s heat or Winter’s cold,
The seasons pass, the years will roll;
Time and change will surely show
How firm thy friendship O-hi-o.

These jolly days of priceless worth,
By far the gladest days of earth,
Soon will pass and we not know,
How dearly we love O-hi-o.
We should strive to keep the name,
Of fair repute and spotless fame,
So, in college halls we’ll grow,
To love thee better, O-hi-o.

Tho’ age may dim our mem’ry’s store,
We’ll think of happy days of yore,
True to friend and frank to foe,
As sturdy sons of O-hi-o.
If on seas of care we roll,
‘Neath blackened sky, o’er barren shoal,
Tho’ts of thee bid darkness go,
Dear Alma Mater O-hi-o.

(And don’t forget the “O-H(I)-O” gesture at end of the song)
Note: The lyrics are quoted from the Ohio State University News Room website:
http://www.osu.edu/news/history.php You can find more fight songs on the website too.

Last but not least, know why our colors are Scarlet and Gray. If you have not had the answer, check out my next update. Hint: The answer can be found in the Thompson Library.

Scores update: Ohio State won the game against Toledo 38 to nothing, final score. Go Bucks!

Got a Taste of the Nation’s Largest Single-Campus University

Since most of other people would probably write about the orientation in their first blogs, I would like to talk about my experience AFTER the orientation first. I got a taste of the huge campus of Ohio State. Yesterday afternoon, I walked on and around the Oval and visited the William Oxley Thompson Memorial Library (the main library of the university). I did not use the word “explored” because there was no way one can touch all the details of the two places in an afternoon. I doubt a whole day is enough, either.

It was the geocaching game in orientation the day before that initiated my trip. The MAcc class was divided into teams of six and the teams competed with each other to collect stickers from various locations, using a handy GPS. I had driven through the campus several times before, but didn’t realize until the game how large the campus is and how many places I had missed. So there I walked. I was first stunned by the library, the most transparent I’ve ever seen—glass ceilings, crystal-clear windows in the reading room, the two-story see-through reception hall, and the most distinctive, the glass-shielded stack shelf area that looks like a giant glass cube “floating” in the middle of the library building.

Front view of the Thompson LibraryLibrary

Walked out from the library, the breeze at the Oval was soft and refreshing. Watching squirrels chasing one another, digging holes and chewing nuts; spotting dogs with tennis or frisbee in their mouth; enjoying being embraced by the greens…I found myself got lost in the Oval (too bad). Is it because I love the geocaching game so much that I was given a chance to do it again?!

After trying different directions and walking a long distance, I managed to locate a bus-stop and arrived home safe and sound.  The blissful feeling from my “exploration” was hurt a bit by the Google map, indicating the campus area I reached was barely one tenth of the whole campus.   I won’t post the pictures of the Oval, because that was how I underestimated the Oval’s size.  Come check it out and feel it yourself.  Don’t imagine the size of a football field, that’s not even close.  Think about multiple ones!

But I do want to share the joy of winning the geocaching game, oh yeah, we won! Here’s the prize—a scarlet Fisher mug! Go Team One, we are the best!

The prize for winning the Geocaching game!