More than an HR Degree

Being a part of the Masters of Human Resource Management program in the Fisher College of Business isn’t only going to prepare you to succeed in the field of human capital but to develop you as a strategic leader in today’s ever-changing business environment. Each student in the MHRM program
is required to take a certain number of electives in order to complete their degree. These electives may be graduate level BUSMHR courses, independent study, or electives outside the Fisher College of Business that are related to human resources. With such variety in electives, a student truly gets to tailor their degree to what interests them most. It also provides the opportunity to interact with other students in the masters of finance, accounting, and business administration programs.

Additionally, students who have completed undergraduate coursework in human resources or business from a U.S. institution, or have worked full-time in an HR role, may petition for a waiver from certain MHRM core courses. I especially love this aspect of the program because it prevents overlap of courses and allows you to replace them with different learning opportunities.

Since my undergraduate degree was in human resources, I’ve been able to take advantage of the course waiver option and take several electives this year. Last semester, I took Crucial Conversations, which focuses on learning skills for talking when the stakes are high and creating a professional presence. At the end of the course, the entire class was certified in Crucial Conversations, a popular employee training used by many corporations. This semester, I am taking Negotiations, which focuses on learning effective negotiation strategies and how to analyze behavior within a negotiation. I am also in Mergers, Acquisitions, and Corporate Development, which teaches students how to analyze the mechanisms underlying the creation and destruction of value in mergers and acquisitions from a strategic perspective.

Overall, when you get a Master’s degree in Human Resources at The Ohio State University you get so much more than HR functional knowledge. This setup creates a unique and diverse learning environment, allows you to expand your network and to see business issues from different perspectives.

First Semester Takeaways

Happy New Year, everyone! The spring semester is in full swing and it is great to be back on campus at Ohio State University. Over the winter break, I traveled to cities such as Denver and Chicago, hung out with friends and family, and relaxed with a good book in my spare time. With a whole semester to reflect back on, I thought it may be helpful to share some of my first-semester takeaways.

Create Goals

Before each semester, I recommend writing down goals you want to accomplish over the course of the semester. These goals can be academic, personal, professional, or developmental. No matter how big or small, highlight specific actions you can take in order to make them happen and surround yourself with others who have similar goals. Then you can hold each other accountable for them and work toward them together. If you enjoy being creative, make a vision board for a physical representation of what you want to achieve.

“People with goals succeed because they know where they’re going.” —Dennis DeYoung

Get Involved

Getting involved outside of the classroom is a great example of what an achievable goal could be. It may be joining a student organization, volunteering in the community, playing an intramural sport, or attending campus events. Doing any of these activities is a great way to de-stress, make friends, and gain experience in an area you may be interested in. Some of these activities may also bonus as a resume builder.

Be Organized

I cannot stress this enough. Trying to balance work, school, and other activities along with multiple deadlines occurring throughout the year can be difficult. Be prepared and keep a physical planner or online calendar. There are plenty of free apps and websites that can be used if you want to take your calendar on the go. Another tactic I like to use is setting reminders for myself on my phone or online calendar. Whether it is to pay a bill, check my email, or to turn in an assignment, these reminders keep me from forgetting or procrastinating if something is important. Start creating good habits now and find a routine that works well for you.

Have a Good Time

Last but not least, you need to have fun! Having a support system and outlets to de-stress are both extremely important. Graduate school can be mentally as well as physically exhausting at times so be sure to always take care of yourself first.

Farewell to Autumn 2018

I cannot believe that my first semester in the MHRM program has come to a close. As I reflect on the past 14 weeks, countless hours have been spent in the classroom, at work, studying, and participating in school-related activities. Though most of my posts focus on the professional aspects of graduate school, I wouldn’t have created a realistic picture of my experience thus far if I didn’t mention the amount of fun I’ve had attending social events, hanging out with my classmates, and getting to know Columbus. Many great memories have been made but here are just a few of my highlights of the semester.

The Friendships

Coming directly from undergrad into the program, I was used to being in a place where I felt comfortable, had a close group of friends and network of supportive professors. Moving to Columbus meant exchanging that lifestyle for a city and university where I didn’t know anyone. I was nervous about how I would make connections and create a similar community for myself.

As the academic year began, I was able to get to know my peers through orientation activities such as a high ropes course, scavenger hunt, and happy hour mixer. Continuing through the semester there were social events organized by the MHRM council that allowed me to develop friendships with my classmates. It was much easier to survive the semester with them by my side.

The Football Games

Another one of my favorite activities of the year was attending the football games. The saying that Ohio State has “The best fans in the land” is no understatement. Buckeye nation is high energy and school spirit all the time and you truly get to experience that by attending a game. Being at the OSU vs. Michigan game was one of my memorable experiences of the semester. 

 

The Opportunities

The Fisher College of Business has afforded me so many great opportunities to develop myself personally and professionally throughout the semester. Each month there are numerous events that graduate students can take advantage of such as networking lunches, internship search workshops, leadership conferences, and skills training series.

One unique example of this was being invited to have lunch with the dean of the business college.  The top three teams from the MHRM Internal Case Competition were recognized for their hard work and able to give feedback on how future competitions could be improved.

The City of Columbus

Perhaps one of the most unexpected things about moving here has been how much I enjoy being in Columbus. There is no shortage of things to do or places to see. In my free time, I love to explore Columbus’s different neighborhoods, new restaurants, coffee shops, and attend special events going on out throughout the city. I’m happy to call Columbus my home for the next year and a half.

Surviving the Winter Season: Tips from a Michigan Native

It is the end of November and we all know what that means…

It wouldn’t be the holiday season in the Midwest without the expectation of a snowy, winter wonderland. Having lived in Michigan my entire life, I’ve had my fair share of cold, unpredictable weather. Since the Fisher College of Business has a diverse body of students from all regions of domestic and international areas, I thought I would share my tips for conquering the winter season.

Outerwear: My go-to outdoor ensemble consists of a parka (long winter down coat with hood), snow boots paired with fuzzy socks, and gloves. Additional options include a scarf and hat for added warmth or upgrading to a pair of texting gloves which offer the convenience of texting on your phone screen without having to take the gloves off in the cold.

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Layers, layers, layers: Nothing is more uncomfortable than walking into a building with a bundle of clothing on and immediately feeling overheated as you walk up the stairs. I encourage wearing layers to easily be able to adjust to any temperature inside or out.

Hydrate & Moisturize: The cold weather can have adverse effects on the body and skin so it is important to stay hydrated and drink plenty of fluids to avoid getting sick. Keep your favorite drink hot or cold throughout the day with an insulated travel mug. Other items to keep handy that will help you stay moisturized include chapstick and hand lotion.

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Plan Ahead: To avoid being late to class or work, check the weather the night before so you’ll know what to expect the following morning. Don’t get stuck brushing snow or scraping ice off our vehicle with your sleeve and make sure have an ice scraper/snow brush handy.

Enjoy it!: Last but not least, embrace the outdoor activities that come with the snowfall. Go sledding, build a snowman, have a snowball fight, or ice skate with your family and friends!

Whether you love or hate the winter weather I hope these tips prepare you for the upcoming season!

Fisher Follies Fall Auction

Graduate students at the Fisher College of Business can join a variety of student organizations based on business areas, community service, and other common interests. One of the organizations I wanted to highlight this week is called Fisher Follies, a group that supports Fisher graduate students in need by raising funds through a variety of events during the academic year. More specifically, these funds are used to assist students if they run into financial hardships. Examples of this could include a plane ticket home for a family emergency or to assist with unexpected bills.

MHRM students supporting the cause

Last weekend I attended the Fisher Follies Fall Auction. A cocktail-style event held at the Blackwell Hotel that brought together students, faculty, and staff for a live and silent auction. Some of the items up for bid included a trip to Germany, sideline seats to the Michigan vs. Ohio State game, cooking and golf lessons as well as tickets to various events around Columbus. In my opinion, the best part of the evening was knowing that all the proceeds were going directly to the Fisher Follies Fund.

With the fast-paced environment we live in, it is easy for us to get caught up in our work, a job search, homework assignments, or other commitments we may have. Being apart of activities like this allows all of us in the graduate school to come together for a greater cause and support the Fisher community, which I believe is a valuable part of the Fisher College of Business experience.

“Remember that the happiest people are not those getting more, but those giving more.” ―H. Jackson Brown Jr.

I look forward to taking part in the next Fisher Follies event, which will be a variety show that features a number of humorous skits, video, and musical numbers. Thank you for reading!

Turning Theory into Practice

Picture twelve teams, eight judges, two rounds of competition, all in search of one solution—what do you have? The Fisher College of Business MHRM Internal Case Competition! Every October, students form teams to compete against one another to solve an HR-related business problem. While this is a requirement for graduation of the MHRM program, this event allows first- and second-year students to take what they have learned in the classroom and apply it in a real-world context.

Presentation of the Case

This event was sponsored by PepsiCo, who presented us with an introduction to their organization, supply chain operations, and the competitions business case at 8 am on Friday. The business case was related to a current proposal the company is working on for their plant operations. It was each team’s responsibility to decide whether or not PepsiCo should add a new role to their organization structure. This decision had to take in consideration the following: change management strategy, organizational design, training and development opportunities, and financial implications.

 Once the case was revealed, the teams had about 30 minutes for Q&A. From then on, the competition had begun they had 24 hours to create their own unique solution for the case. During this 24-hour period, the teams worked hard and long into the night in breakout rooms brainstorming and discussing potential solutions. We were fortunate enough to have the second-year students who coordinated the event feed us and deliver us snacks throughout this period.

Team 2 hard at work
Grab-bag of snacks!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Early the next morning, each team returned to present their solutions in front of a panel of PepsiCo and industry professionals. To keep things fair, no one knew what time they were going to present until the morning of so each team had to arrive equally prepared. There were two rounds of presentations, the first round divided all the teams into three separate groups, essentially to compete against one another to make it to the final round. Those who were declared the best in each group then moved on to present their solution in front of the entire class, a handful of professors, and a panel of judges. After the final presentations were delivered, the winners were declared and there was a networking opportunity following the event with all the judges.

Having competed in this year’s case myself, I can definitely say it was one of the most challenging yet exciting events of the semester thus far! I’m happy to announce that my team won the case competition and now has the opportunity to participate in the External Case Competition that is held in the spring. The top three final teams are also invited to have lunch with the Dean of the College of Business.

My Awesome Team!

Not only was my team able to take what we learned in the classroom and apply it to this case but allowed us to practice our creativity, critical thinking, and presentation skills. Truly simulating what the atmosphere would be like if a manager came to you in the workplace and needed a problem solved in a short timeframe. Participating in case competition also gave us the opportunity to implement and experiment with new ideas that we may have been otherwise afraid to apply in a classroom setting. We were able to treat it as a learning experience rather than a grade.

Additionally, being questioned, critiqued by and given feedback from actual leaders in industry only made it a more valuable experience. I would highly recommend students of all ages to go outside of the classroom and get involved in professional development opportunities such as case competitions. No matter the outcome, it will be a new experience, a chance to network with others, further develop your professional skills and is a great way to build your resume. As always, thank you for reading!

PeopleTalks: Human Capital Strategy

I recently attended the first installment of PeopleTalks, a Ted talk-style event coordinated by the MHRM student council open to all students in the Fisher College of Business. This event featured local HR professionals discussing current Human Capital trends and strategies. This session also included the opportunity to ask questions and network with the speakers. Companies in attendance ranged from startups to global organizations.  Here are my top takeaways from the speakers.

Second-year MHRM students who organized the PeopleTalks event

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Caren – Director of Talent Management, Honda Manufacturing

The labor market has changed dramatically over the years—the current demand for labor is high while the supply is low. Because of this, one of the most difficult issues employers experience is with sourcing and retaining quality talent. For Honda specifically, the technological change in the external environment has increased the need for more IT workers. Over the past few years, they have seen a lack of interest in manufacturing positions within their industry. To combat this, Honda has increased their investment in STEM programs and encourage students to co-op with their company in order to develop the talent they know they will need in the future.

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Rachael – Director of Talent, HR, and Culture

Established in 2008, Updox is a startup that provides customer relationship management systems to reduce the amount of administrative work for healthcare providers. The speaker from this organization, Rachael, was brought in as the first HR Representative and has implemented many initiatives since she began with the company. Since much smaller, new companies can struggle to match the monetary compensation of larger organizations, part of her strategy to attract talent was to offer company stock and generous paid time off (PTO) benefits to their employees. Thus increasing the value of an employee’s Total Rewards.

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Craig -Senior Compensation & Benefits Analyst, MHRM Program Alumnus

Acquired by Berkshire Hathaway, NetJets is an aviation company that offers fractional ownership of small, private jets. Since they are a global operation with a mobile workforce, they continue to be challenged on how they can better connect with these employees. One of the projects they have been working on is transparency of pay, a hot topic in the HR industry right now. NetJets plans to implement a career framework for compensation that includes grouping each department by pay level called “bands.” This allows for vertical and horizontal movement throughout the company and lets employees know exactly what to expect with each transition.

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Samantha – HR Manager, MHRM Program Alumnus

One of the HR team’s most recent projects was within their talent management function. More specifically, on measuring employee engagement at work in order to better understand what drives and motivates their workforce. By implementing a third-party survey vendor, they were able to collect and receive employee data, use it to influence their HR decisions, and better support their employee’s needs. Measuring engagement has become an important aspect of crafting an organization’s employee experience and is being adopted as a practice for many organizations.

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Sami- Campus Recruiting Lead

CoverMyMeds is a healthcare software company that provides solutions to consumers regarding their health insurance coverage. Sami, the campus recruiting lead, has responsibility for the company’s talent pipeline. This can consist of forecasting for the employees they will need in the future and creating learning and development opportunities so they have the right people in right place at the right time. They are currently focusing their efforts their high-potential employees and shaping them to become leaders in the company.

Overall, HR is a fast-paced, ever-changing field and attending events like this make me excited to be a part of it. I look forward to the next session of PeopleTalks and learning more about what both small and large organizations are doing to become more effective and efficient in the workplace. Thanks for reading, that is all for now!

Are You Ready To Master Your Future?

While the authors of the Fisher Grad Life belong to different programs and speak to their own experiences, one similarity we share is having gone through the process of selecting a masters program. Pursuing this type of degree is a big investment and the key to finding the right program lies in conducting thorough research.Image result for masters program

This week I decided to share what factors I found helpful when I began to consider business graduate programs.

Disclaimer: This is not a comprehensive list, but rather a short list of items that will push you in the right direction for your search.

Location

Are you willing to relocate?  I would determine this as soon as possible, doing so will either narrow or expand your search for prospective programs. Depending on where you are currently located, expanding your Image result for locationsearch may allow you to consider more competitive programs. However, do not consume your time searching for or applying to universities in locations you would not actually relocate to if accepted.

Program Length

The average length of a masters program is typically two years. However, you will find that some programs can be shorter or longer based on the specialty you are interested in. If you wish to remain working full-time during this period, it can take anywhere from 3-6 years to complete a program as a part-time student. The duration of a program can easily be found on a program’s website.

Program Type

Not all programs are created equal. Even if they sound similar, be aware of the “College” or “School” that each program is associated with. Using Human Resources as an example, the Master of Human Resource Managment Program at Ohio State is in the Fisher College of Business but many other universities have their HR programs within a School of Industrial and Labor Relations. Navigate to the university’s website and reference the curriculum to get a better sense of what type of coursework each program focuses on.

Related imageRequirements

Each university will differ in this category. Majority of programs will have you submit a resume, letters of recommendation, transcripts, essay, and test scores. Some programs may waive or not require you to take the GMAT or GRE while other programs could require prior work experience in order to be admitted.

Cost

To estimate the cost of attendance, I suggest searching for the tuition and fees and the cost of living on the universities website. In addition to this, you may want to consider if the university is a private or public institution, if you would be paying in or out of state tuition as well as what type of financial assistance is available.

Financial Assistance

Compared to undergraduate studies, FASFA or federal student aid is much more limited for graduate students. Therefore, a majority of students will fund their education Image result for costwith student loans. I suggest speaking with a representative of the program about opportunities for scholarships, graduate assistantship, and fellowships that you may be eligible for.

Other

To conclude, I suggest looking into each university’s accreditation, reputation, ranking, faculty, campus life, student resources/involvement opportunities and career outcomes of past graduates. Most importantly, search for programs that align with your short and long-term career goals.

No matter where you are in this process, I encourage you to utilize the information highlighted in this post and begin your graduate program search today. If you are interested in any of the Fisher College of Business graduate programs, please reach out to us at any time!

Career Fair 101

It’s the beginning of the autumn semester here at the Fisher College of Business and that means recruiting season for both undergraduate and graduate students is underway. For many, this is an opportunity to land an internship or full-time position and there is no better way to get your foot in the door with employers than to utilize the networking events and career fairs happening on campus. As a student currently going through the recruiting process, I understand that preparing for a career fair can seem like a daunting task and it may be difficult to know where to start.
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Whether you are a potential or current student at Ohio State or a student attending another university here are my pro tips to help you successfully tackle any Career Fair.

Research, Research, Research

Find a list of employers that will be attending the career fair through your university’s handshake (or similar platform) so that you can identify the companies you are interested in. Next research each company’s website, job positions, recent news, and company culture. This will come in handy when you speak with employers about their organization as well as help identify if the company may be a good fit for you. Trust me, companies will recognize pretty quickly if you decide to skip this step.

Extra Pro Tip: If you really want to impress employers, be proactive and apply to these companies prior to attending. It will show them you are prepared and they will take you more seriously as a prospective candidate.

Prep Your Resume

Although I would recommend to always have your resume updated, I especially encourage you to prep it weeks prior to the career fair. This will allow you to have your resume critiqued by your Career Management Office and implement the feedback given to you in a timely manner. Schedule this appointment in advance because this timeframe is typically when the offices are busiest and timeslots will fill up fast.Image result for resume preparation It may seem like everything is electronic these days, but be prepared and bring a handful of paper copies with you to the career fair just in case. If you want to add a special touch, go to the nearest print shop and make these copies on resume paper for about 20 cents a sheet.

Dress for Success

A career fairs dress code is almost always business professional so plan your outfit accordingly and pick out what you are going to wear the day before to avoid unwanted stress the day of. There may be individuals assigned to monitor the dress code so take this seriously. If you are unsure what business professional is, check out this article for reference. 

Practice Your Impression

Did you know that a first impression is made within the first seven seconds of meeting someone? No pressure right? The best way to take the nerves away from this is to simply practice. This can be done with friends, family, or peers until you feel confident enough to approach employers. Practice introducing yourself and what you are going to say. This is introduction is often considered your “pitch“, which should be between 30-60 seconds. When doing this don’t forget to practice approaching employers with a smile and a firm handshake.

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Be Yourself

The last and most important thing that you can do to be successful is to be yourself. This is not only true when talking with employers but anything you pursue in life. This journey is too short to not be who you are and ultimately you want to end up at a company where you feel comfortable with the individuals and the environment around you.

While these tips may seem small in nature if you put in the effort to complete them it can have a big impact on whether or not you have a successful career fair experience. Although the Fisher Fall Career Fair has already occurred, there are still a number of networking events and career fairs happening on campus throughout the 2018-2019 school year. Thank you for reading and I hope you find these tips useful in your future endeavors.

My Grad Life: The Intro

Welcome to the Fisher Grad Life Blog!

My name is Elise Zawacki, and over the next two years, I will be sharing my experience in the Masters of Human Resource Management program here at the Fisher College of Business. To better understand the content I will be writing about, here are a few things to know about me. I lived in the state of Michigan for the past 22 years of my life and recently graduated from Central Michigan University where I studied Human Resource Management with a minor in Information Systems. During this time, I also was a part of various student organizations and found a passion for volunteerism and professional development. Although it may be to my family and friends dismay, I couldn’t be happier that I get to call myself a Buckeye.

May 2018 Graduate

Outside of my academics, I enjoy a number of hobbies during my free time. A few of these include:

Traveling Everywhere & Anywhere

Paris, France

Most recently, I took a post-graduation trip throughout Europe where I visited Amsterdam, London, Paris, Florence, and Rome. A future goal of mine is to visit every continent in the world (Yes, even Antarctica).

Reading

I don’t have a particular topic or subject that I specifically focus on, but lately, I have been picking up any New York Times Best Seller I stumble upon at Barnes & Noble. My long-time favorite author is John Green, and I fully blame him for the reason I am obsessed with life and love quotes.

Food & Drink Exploration

Fox in the Snow Cafe
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream

I am a foodie, so this particular hobby is the one I practice most often. Being in a new city makes it fun and easy to do. My pro tip for exploring new places is to use Yelp—it has yet to let me down! Pictured above are two places I most recently checked out, Fox in the Snow Cafe and Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream, they are absolutely worth a trip. This topic will more than likely consume another one of my blog posts so stay tuned!

Concert Enthusiast  

Lollapoolza – Chicago, IL

Although I don’t have the time or money to do this as frequently as I would like, I have managed to attend over 25 concerts in my lifetime. Whether it is country, hip hop, alternative, or electronic music I enjoy it all. Something I have already come to love about Columbus is that there is no shortage of concerts, music venues, and live bands to go to around the city.

Thank you for reading my introductory blog post, and I hope that you stick with me as I continue to write about my graduate school journey.