MHRM Friendsgiving, 2019 edition

A few weeks ago, the MHRM program held its very own Friendsgiving! It was graciously hosted by one of our working professional MHRM students, Scott Bassett, and the evening was filled with tons of food, drinks, and laughter. These events are especially important as we head into finals in the upcoming weeks. It really is a time to sit back, relax, and enjoy each others company.

In our class, there are a number of students representing different backgrounds and cultures so our meal consisted of traditional American food to dishes represented from China and Brazil.

Traditional Brazilian Brigadeiros

As the semester begins to come to a close I want to take this opportunity to say how grateful I am to be apart of the MHRM program as well as for the professional and personal relationships it has enabled me to develop with my fellow classmates! Although this was my last Friendsgiving as an MHRM student I know that that the friendships will extend far beyond my time in the program.

Networking for Students

Network, Network, Network…as students we hear this all the time from our bosses, our professors, and our parents. What is Networking anyways? Merriam Webster defines networking as “the exchange of information or services among individuals, groups or institutions” specifically for “the cultivation of productive relationships for employment or business”. Expanding on this definition, I consider networking not only for employment purposes but as a channel for learning and development. Many individuals network to establish a mentor or to expand their skill set. Here is a list of ways to start networking as a student.

  1. Get to know your classmates. The classmates you sit next to every day are going to be in the workforce one day are going to achieve a multitude of different things. The individuals you associate yourself with now maybe your colleagues in the future.
  2. Connect with alumni. Similar to connecting with current classmates, former students of your university are able to relate to your experience and are likely to be interested in giving back and offer support to their alma mater.
  3. Meet with the Career Office. Each university has resources dedicated to assisting students with their career development. This office typically assists with resume reviews, mock interviews, and career guidance such as job opportunities, career exploration, and may be able to connect you with employers or alumni.
  4. Attend networking events. There is no better place to network than at professional development event such as a seminar, conference, or career fair. By joining a student organization or society can meet others who have similar interests to you.
  5. Lastly, consider each day a networking opportunity with the people around you. You never know who you may connect with or establish a relationship in your everyday life!

Additional Tip: Use social media such as LinkedIn as a way to display your professional brand and stay in touch with the people in your network.

Of course, this list is not exhaustive of all the ways that you can network but as the wise Mark Twain once said, “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”

 

 

Class of 2014 Gives Back

Over the summer a MHRM alumnus contacted the program about planning a five year reunion for the MHRM Class of 2014 and incorporating that into a networking opportunity for our current students. The MHRM council jumped at the chance to welcome back fellow MHRMs and coordinate the event. With support from the Career Management Office, Alumni Association, and Class of 2014 we were able to host a very special two-part event.

Before our Thursday evening class, there was an MHRM/MHLR panel that

represented alumni 2-3-5-15-25 years out of the program. From organizations such as Wendy’s, Qualtrics, and DHL there was no shortage of diversity. The panelist spoke about how their careers have evolved since they left Fisher and offered valuable insights on career paths. Our most senior alumni on the panel, former CHRO, had just started her own consulting firm called Connect the Dots Consulting.

After class, we also had a Networking Social at Buffalo Wild Wings. This was an awesome opportunity to chat more casually with local alumni, as well as the larger group of the class of 2014 who was in town for the reunion. We had a great alumni crowd at this event and some beloved faculty/staff members too!

Finals Survival Tips

 

Following our mid-semester exams last week, I thought I would share my graduate study tips. It is important to note that preparing for each exam can be different depending on the class but here is how I typically approach studying.

Fox and the Snow Cafe

Not every professor will provide a study guide for the exam so do your best to be organized throughout the entire course. This includes being prepared with the readings, cases, and discussion questions assigned for each class. I like to take notes or annotate what I am reading so that way I can highlight or expand on important information. Professors typically use PowerPoints and I like to take notes on the slides as we go over them in class. This is in addition to taking notes that are handwritten or on your laptop will make sure you will be prepared when the time comes to study for the midterm and final exam. Based on the amount of information you have to study, plan in advance how many hours a day you will have to study to be prepared.

Red Velvet Cafe

Once I have all my notes and materials organized I will use that information to fill out the study guide or create my own if one was not provided. Filling this out helps me get a comprehensive view of what I need to sharpen my knowledge on. After that, I will create a Quizlet so I can test myself on the material. I also find it beneficial to set up study sessions with other classmates. Don’t hesitate to attend office hours or reach out to the professor if you need assistance or clarification on a topic. Fisher professors are there to help you!

Another thing I want to point out is that your studying environment is important. In my own experience, I am much more productive when I am not distracted or sit in a certain type of environment with some white noise. I enjoy going to a local coffee shop and studying for a few hours each day. I don’t recommend cramming for an exam last minute or pulling an all-nighter.

At the end of the day, don’t stress out! Plan your studying accordingly, get some rest, exercise, and opt-in for a study buddy if you need some social time. I hope you find these study tips helpful. Best of luck on your next exam!

The Business of College Sports

I wanted to zoom in on one of my previous blog posts, More than an HR Degree, where I discussed the variety of elective opportunities through the MHRM program. For the fall semester, I am enrolled in a three-credit elective “The Business of College Sports”. As we all know athletics is huge at Ohio State and we are lucky enough to have the course taught by non other than the athletic director of Ohio State, Gene Smith, and his wife Shelia Smith. The objective of this class is to provide a business analysis of the conduct of intercollegiate athletics, in all facets, including an in-depth look at The Ohio State University athletic program, the nation’s largest in terms of number of sports, coaches, student-athletes, and overall budget.

On the field at Ohio Stadium!

Each class features a guest speaker from a department that directly works with or supports the operation of athletics. Throughout our class sessions thus far we have been given a tour of Ohio Stadium had an insight look at Finance, Ticketing, and Affinity and Trademark Management. At the end of the course, students get to apply what they’ve learned and present a recommendation of how Ohio State can improve intercollegiate athletics.

Being in a course like this allows me to take a step out of HR, connect with students outside of my program, and gain exposure to a topic I otherwise wouldn’t have had the opportunity to.

My Summer Internship: Niagara Bottling

Hello readers! I am back on campus for my second year of the MHRM program at Ohio State. I’m excited to share my experiences over the next 8 months as I close out my graduate school journey.

After going through the recruiting process last year, I accepted an offer with Niagara Bottling and recently completed a 10-week internship with them in Ontario, California. At Niagara, I worked on their Compensation & People Analytics team. One of my main projects was to support the development of a new compensation structure and the implementation of a cloud-based compensation data management tool.  Easy right? Considering I knew next to nothing about compensation, I was pretty nervous how I would add value in my role.

However, I’m not one to shy away from a challenge so I spent my first weeks of the internship studying the fundamentals of compensation, Niagara’s compensation philosophy, and current trends in the industry. After sitting in on many stakeholder meetings and asking plenty of questions I felt confident working with the team. I utilized the newly implemented tool to create templates that defined standard formats and content for job descriptions to ensure accurately priced roles for the compensation structure. I also lead a talent development initiative to increase retention and engagement through evaluation of 12 potential exit
survey vendors.

 

Additionally, I was fortunate enough to go outside of my department and gain exposure to how the business operates. I saw the manufacturing process first hand with a”Pellets to Pallet’s” tour of one their facilities as well as took a yellow belt training on Lean Six Sigma practices. Over the course of the internship, I had a Regional Sales Manager as a mentor who introduced me to how Niagara attracts new clients and manages their current contracts.

Not only did I gain valuable work experience, but I’ve always wondered what it would be like to move to the West coast and having the opportunity to spend three months in California working full-time was a perfect way to determine if it was somewhere I would actually want to move post-graduation.

Next Stop: California

The school year has ended! I am now officially halfway through the Masters of Human Resource Management program here at Ohio State and one step closer to receiving my degree. Whether you have been following my blog posts throughout the year or are just tuning in, one aspect of the MHRM experience I’ve tried to highlight is how the program prepares students for success by offering multiple opportunities to turn theory into practice.

The Ohio State University Oval in full bloom

One of the MHRM program requirements is to complete either a thesis or a practicum. So what does this mean exactly? Students choosing the practicum plan pursue an internship to gain practical experience in an HR role. The internship is a full-time 40/hr. a week working commitment, typically completed during the summer between years 1 and 2 of the MHRM program. The focus of this plan is to allow students to practically apply knowledge and skills acquired through MHRM coursework in a real business setting. In addition to this, an internship or practicum experience is an opportunity for further career exploration, leadership and skill development, networking, and can lead to a full-time job offer.

I along with a majority of my peers have decided to pursue the practicum option. Although our final exams and projects have concluded, the first year MHRM students, myself included, are now gearing for our summer internships where we will be taking on various human resources roles all across the country. In two weeks, I will be heading out to Ontario, California to intern with Niagara Bottling Company. I will be working in the human resources department on their workforce analytics and compensation team for 10 weeks. I’m excited to take a break from classes and to see what the west coast has in store for me, however, I will admit I’ll be taking some of my textbooks with me in case I need to reference them on a project. I’ll be sure to write a blog post about my internship experience when I return for the fall. Have a great summer everyone!

Internship Relocation Guide

If you went through the recruitment process this school year and secured a summer internship then you may be feeling a sense of accomplishment and relief that it has come to an end. For those who are required to relocate for the summer, finding housing is more thing on the to-do list that can be a  timely challenge if you are moving to an unfamiliar location. Questions such as: Where do I live? Who can I live with? How do I find something short term? How much is this going to cost? I found myself asking these questions and more as I prepared to head to the west coast for the summer.  I hope that my experience of finding summer housing can help those reading with their own moving process!

Image result for location icon

Full disclosure, the cost of living and availability of housing will differ between locations and it is worth asking the organization if they offer relocation stipends or having corporate housing options.

Connect with Other Interns 

Most organizations will utilize Linkedin Image result for connect iconor Facebook groups to introduce incoming students to their internship cohort. This is a great opportunity to expand your network and find others who are looking for roommates and housing options as well. In addition, there may be students who already live locally that can offer suggestions on where to live or provide housing resources in the area. If the employer you’re going to be working for doesn’t do this currently, ask if you can have a contact list of the incoming interns.

 Short Term Options

Some apartment complexes Related imagewill offer short term leases but with a premium on top of the regular rental prices. This definitely isn’t the cheapest route to take and I would research other options prior to resorting to this one. Other options include searching for colleges in the area rent out vacant dorm rooms for the summer, hotels that offer short term stay discounts, or utilizing Airbnb.

Subletting

Subletting is more than likely going to be the best value, many students will be looking to sublease their apartments for a lower price than they actually pay. Some of these offers may also include utilities or come Image result for sharing iconfurnished. Search for colleges within the area and see if they have an off-campus housing page. If you don’t find it at first don’t be afraid to call the university and ask for it. A quick google search can also provide many links to sublet apartments in the area.

I hope these options will help you to find the perfect place for the summer! When in doubt, don’t hesitate to reach out to family or friends who may have contacts in the area your looking for. Congratulations on the opportunity to expand your resume and gain real-world experience. Best of luck this summer my fellow interns!

2019 Women’s Leadership Conference

Last week, I attended the 2019 Women’s Leadership Conference at The Ohio State University! The event was coordinated by Fisher Graduate Women in Business (FGWIB)  with the topic of cultivating an entrepreneurial mindset. FGWIB is a student organization that acts as a forum to discuss and address issues relevant to women in business and build awareness of women in leadership positions. The event was hosted in the Blackwell Hotel on campus and kicked off with a lunch and panel of women leaders.

Power Panel Speakers: 

  • Kara Trott, Founder and CEO, Quantum Health
  • Paula Bennett, Former CEO J.Jill, Inc.
  • Camille Gibson, Former VP Marketing, General Mills
  • Angel Harris, Executive Director, Dress for Success Columbus
  • Moderated by: Rhonda Talford Knight, President & Founder,
    Knight Consulting Group

Each of the speakers shared their entrepreneurial journey, what entrepreneurship means to them, how they led others, create buy-in for their visions, and gave advice for aspiring leaders. The panel was followed by networking and breakout sessions that included three learning opportunities:

Option 1: Building Your Personal Brand
Natasha Pongonis Co-Founder & CEO, OYE! Business Intelligence

Option 2: Seeking and Securing Advocates
Fran Skinner, CFA, CPAChief Administrative Officer – Investments
Diamond Hill Capital Management

Option 3: Getting Started as an Entrepreneur
Malika Jacobs, Fisher MBA,Founder, Kingmakers Board Game Parlour

Because of my interest in entrepreneurship, I listened to Fisher alumni Malika Jacobs, who shared the realistic challenges and successes of starting her own business right here in Columbus. Some of her highlights were that there is never a perfect time to start a business,  a good support system is essential, and that being an entrepreneur requires tenacity.

Finally, we heard from the keynote speaker, Natalie Keller Pariano, Chief Sprinkler of Positivity Confetti of NatterDoodle in Columbus, who talked about facing adversity on the entrepreneur’s journey. There was also an appearance by the Dean of the College of Business, Anil Makhija!

Overall, it was a wonderful event and I’m glad I had the opportunity to listen to many accomplished, talented women speak about their experiences.

Here are my top takeaways from the day: be curious, empower others, don’t underestimate your value, nothing is going to be handed to you, love what you do.

 

External Case Competition

Disclaimer: If you haven’t checked out my previous blog post about the Fisher College of Business MHRM Internal Case Competition, it provides further detail about the format of the case competitions which I refer to in this post.

As a quick overview, the MHRM program hosts an internal and external case competition each year. For each of the competitions, students form teams to compete against one another to solve an HR-related business problem presented by a sponsoring organization.

The internal competition involves teams of first- and second-year MHRM students and the winners from this event are selected to participate in the external competition. The external competition is hosted by The Ohio State University and invites universities who also have well-recognized HR graduate programs to participate in this event on a larger scale.

The weekend began at the Blackwell Hotel where all the teams were introduced to one another and enjoyed a dinner sponsored by Marathon. The universities in attendance included the University of South Carolina, Texas A&M, University of Illinois, Cornell, Minnesota, Rutgers, and West Virginia University. After dinner, we continued to mingle with the other teams at the Varsity Club, a well-known bar near the university.

The following morning was the start of the competition and when we were given the case. This year’s business problem was presented by Eaton Corporation, a multinational power management company. Essentially, they were in search of a solution that would improve coaching within their organization of 98,000 employees.

This solution also needed to touch on functions such as recruitment, engagement, and retention. The case was definitely challenging due to the large scope of the issue and it needed to be applicable to all generations, skill sets, and demographics of employees.

In order to be prepared for the next day’s presentations, we created a timeline and checklist of items to be completed. We started with a silent 15-minute brainstorming session that allowed us to each come with ideas on our own before we discussed them as a team. From there, we wrote down our concerns and potential solutions on the whiteboard.

As we began to discuss solutions, we realized we could implement strategies from various classes we have taken such as talent management, leadership, and staffing.

Once our solution was narrowed down, we assigned specific parts of the solution to each team member and organized our presentation from there. It’s a long day and it can be easy to get caught up in the overload of work, so it’s important to schedule breaks to eat, stretch, and clear your mind along the way.

Early the next morning, the teams returned to present their solutions in front of a panel of Eaton and industry professionals. Each team had 20 minutes to explain their solution and answer questions. Many unique ideas were brought to the table but ultimately the University of South Carolina was recognized as having the best solution. After the competition, we celebrated our hard work over lunch and were able to have feedback sessions with the judges.

I was able to take what I learned from the first experience and apply new strategies this competition.

Having been part of the internal and external case competitions, I was able to take what I learned from the first experience and apply new strategies this competition, which reinforces the practical experience component that I believe is crucial within this program. Additionally, not only did I get to become further acquainted with my own classmates but  I also mad connections with students from other programs and HR professionals across many different industries. This has continued to be an important opportunity to me because the individuals I am networking with today are going to be the future HR business leaders of tomorrow.