Posts filed under 'Campus Life'

MBA Internal Case Competition

A week or so ago, the annual Fisher Internal Case Competition was held here on campus, pitting teams comprised of first year students against each other, in competition for spots on the team for the Fisher Invitational Competition which is coming up in April.  The invitational brings teams from other Big 10 business schools to campus, to compete in a live case for a company.  As I have said before, I like case competitions because I feel that they allow me (and my fellow students) to put theories learned in class into action in a safe environment, and get then get feedback on the ideas generated.  One awesome aspect of the Internal is that the judges for the competition were a combination of business executives and faculty who volunteered their time to come in on a Saturday to come in and take part in the competition.

You may have heard the quote before “feedback is a gift”, which is something that I believe is true.  It allows a glimpse of your actions through the eyes of another person, giving additional depth and perception to your personal beliefs on something.  Since case competitions are a safe environment, participants can apply some creative thinking to the theories that they have learned, and see what the results are (what I mean by this, is that if you take a risk, and make the wrong choice, you won’t be fired, and a company won’t lose millions of dollars).  While such a safe environment doesn’t perfectly replicate the post-business school working world, it allows skills and ideas to be developed and tried that can be useful in the future.  Relating this to my past as a Marine, this is similar to conducting training patrols against other U.S. units in the United States, before deploying overseas.  Both units, or teams, benefit from the exercise and the additional stress of competition, while at the same time building skills.   Having impartial judges who are experts in their fields observe all the teams during this process, and then provide feedback to every team and participant is a very valuable learning experience if the participants take the input to heart.

Win or lose, I think that all of the participants from this year’s competition learned some valuable lessons about themselves and their teamwork skills through the process.  I personally believe that that learning and growth opportunity is move valuable than the accolades of winning a case competition, although winning is nice too.

 


Happy Lunar New Year From Fisher

photo-CNY2Every year the Fisher College of Business hosts an evening to celebrate Chinese New Year. This event is one of the favorites for many students. Here’s why:

  • Great entertainment from many Chinese students- this includes, singing, dancing, playing musical instruments, and much more!
  • Fun games for all attendees, including children. The event isn’t only for graduate students, but for members of the faculty and community. This truly is one of the best attended events every year!
  • Incredible Chinese food is brought in from a local restaurant. Not to worry, the Americans aren’t selecting the restaurant, we leave it to the experts to choose which offering is the most authentic!
  • A glimpse into another culture. Because many students at Fisher aren’t Chinese, or have never been to China, the celebration allows others to have an educational experience as well. For me, this is one of the reasons why I find this event so enjoyable.

 


Buckeye’s Basketball Game For Class

That’s right ladies and gentleman, as part of an MBA class, I was able to attend the Ohio State vs Illinois basketball game a few nights ago. Yeah, I know, there are thousands of students that attend Buckeye games every week. However, there are not thousands of students that get to sit with the athletic director, Gene Smith, in his suite! Ohio State

This past term I was luck enough to take a class from Gene and Sheila Smith. The Business of College Athletics was taught by the Smiths as well as various managers and directors from within the Ohio State athletic department. This class truly was one of my favorites and full of excellent learning opportunities. We learned about the NIKE and IMG contracts, coaches compensation, game day security operations, pricing of tickets, fundraising, issuing of scholarships, student development, licensing and trademarks, and much, much more!

As a gift to the class, Gene and Sheila invited the students to attend one basketball game with them in their suite. The suite was a neat experience and it was a fun way to celebrate the ending of a great class. Lots of food, drinks, and fun conversation with one of the best athletic directors in the nation. I was very impressed with the humility, kindness, and professionalism of Gene and Sheila. It didn’t surprise me to hear on the radio this morning that Ohio State just barely extended Gene’s contract through 2020. He is a class act and a great professor. His class was great and the game was an excellent way to kick-back, relax, and enjoy some buckeye basketball with a lot of great people.


Snow Day(s) at Fisher

As the month of January is coming to a close, students, faculty, and administrators are still trying to wrap their heads around how scheduling will take place the next few weeks. This is what happens when temperatures drop to extreme lows that cause issues not only for students and faculty, but for buildings, heating systems, and snow removal systems.Ohio State Snow

Since returning to school at the beginning of January, we have already had 3 days of school cancelled due to frigid temperatures that aren’t all that common here in Ohio (windchill as low as -35°F). In fact, when I was driving to campus this morning I heard on the radio that a year ago from today, Columbus set a record high of 67°F. Talk about variance!

The most difficult part of this whole situation is that the university is trying to use Friday’s to make up for the missed/cancelled days. This poses an issue for MBA’s because many first years are out of town on the weekends interviewing for internships and therefore, aren’t able to be in class during the makeup sessions. For second years, many are accustomed to not having class on Fridays and have thus scheduled recruiting trips, house hunting tours, and site visits with prospective employers. So, what do we do?

As one would think, the show must go on. If you can make it to class you obviously put all of your effort into doing so, but if not, most professors and faculty are understanding of the situation.

As for me, I have enjoyed tracking facebook and seeing what all of my classmates are doing during the days of school that are canceled. Some are ice skating, others are setting up forts with their kids, while others stay in bed and watch Netflix. Does it really get any better than that? So, another reason to be a Buckeye – we still get snow days!


The Stages of Semester No. 2 – MAcc

 

The first semester of grad school in the MAcc program at OSU leads directly into the last. It’s a whirlwind where, just when you’ve settled into the rhythm, you remember you only have 3 or 4 months until graduation. Frightening moments from senior year flash back every once and a while and you feel the need to grab the closest paper bag and breath into it.

The collective class will realize some truths as the final semester begins. You’ve settled down faster than you did as freshmen, entering graduate school is not like starting the first year of a bachelors program. You have people who you genuinely like seeing casually and would be willing to vouch for professionally. You have a good idea of when professors are in their office, how to find them if they aren’t, and how late they’re willing to respond to e-mail.

Some less poignant things you may have learned include:  the best and worst times to find a parking space (including what time the ROTC students leave so you can snag that spot right up front), which restaurants within walking distance have the best specials on Tuesdays, you have gained an excellent understanding of the underground tunnels which protect you from the frigid weather that sometimes decides to overcome the city, why it is or is not a good idea to jump into Mirror Lake, and which chairs are bolted to the floor in the classrooms and by now you have probably stopped trying to push them in.

You know what is expected of you now. You know which events you have to go to and which events you really should go to (which is as many as possible because they’re all awesome). You know that you will be an excellent alumnus and you secretly hope that you’ll get invited back for alumni events. The MAcc program is something that you’re proud that you will complete and, if it wasn’t already, it has for you become an experience which has allowed you to develop a deeper understanding of your craft, lasting relationships with truly fantastic people and the idea of the program has ceased to be simply a program or degree and has become so much more.


Going Beyond the Cold

OSU-Cold weather

It’s been a cold start to the year for most of the country, Columbus included.  The first two days of “Spring” semester were cancelled due to cold weather (not snow) which seemed like a great thing initially.  Turns out, we had to make up those days.  After all, we are paying to go to class, not to have classes cancelled.  The make-up days have been on Fridays, a day usually for catching up and getting ready for the next week.  All that to say, it’s been a busy start to the year.

Go Beyond

The new brand for Fisher College of Business centered on “Go Beyond” was launched this week.  There was a launch party where Fisher unveiled the new brand and also had speakers like Craig Bahner-Chief Marketing Officer of Wendys, John Lowe-CEO of Jeni’s and Mark Anderson-Chief Experiential Officer of Omelet to Go share how they have been impacted by the Fisher experience and how going here has helped propel their careers.

Hearing from these Fisher alums and seeing the success they have obtained in their careers was refreshing and inspiring.  It was a chance to think beyond the moment (of cold days and feeling behind on reading) and to remember why I am here and to dream about what’s next.  It was encouragement for us in the MBA program to Go Beyond the circumstance and keep pushing towards greatness/success, however those terms may be defined.


The Season’s Pass The Years Will Roll…

I remember when I was interviewing for MBA programs and talking to people who had already gotten their degrees, a common sentiment was that the MBA program is “over in the blink of an eye.”  It is the sort of phrase that you hear fairly often, and is almost a bit cliche’.

From where I am sitting, a bit over a quarter of the way through my degree, I can now agree that the MBA program is quickly flying by.  It seems like just the other week that I was starting classes and meeting my new colleagues.  But, I have already completed one semester of courses.  I believe that part of what makes the program go so fast is that since the semester conversion from quarters, each semester is divided up into two terms.  While there are a few courses that last a whole semester, the majority of them last for just one seven week term.  So by the time you feel settled in a class, it is week 3-4 and time for the midterm, and then right around the corner is the final exam.  All in all, I believe that this course schedule helps contribute to the blazing speed with which the program is flying by.  The other influence on this is of course just the sheer amount of things that need to be done during the MBA experience.  From going to class and doing assigned readings, to trying to have a social life, find a job/internship, and every once in a while finding time for a meal and some sleep, there is always something to do.   As I have mentioned before, time management is an essential skill to excelling in the MBA program.

If time continues to pass at the rate it did for the first semester, the next thing I know I will be at my summer internship, and then graduating from the program in no time.  With that in mind, I am constantly looking for the opportunities that will foster the most personal and professional growth for me.  Managing those experiences are, in my mind, the key to success in the MBA program.


Back in the Saddle

It’s good to be back at Fisher. Winter break is always a fun time for graduate students, but it always has to come to an end.

Returning to campus is a time to meet up with friends and classmates to discuss what has taken place in the past few weeks since everyone has been in class. It is pretty exciting to hear about all the exciting places my classmates visited during the break. Some of them returned home to various parts of the United States, others flew home to India, China, and parts of Europe. A good handful of classmates celebrated their honeymoons and spent the majority of their time on tropical beaches enjoying 85 degree weather and sunshine.

For me, the return to school marks the last big holiday break that I will ever experience as a student. 75% of the MBA is completed and the finish line is now in sight. This doesn’t signify that things are over, or are slowing down by any means, but it does signify that the end of a good thing is quickly coming to an end.finish-line

These next two terms are pretty exciting for most MBA students – it can be felt in the air. First year students are wandering the halls, dressed in business professional, anxiously preparing for their next internship interview. I remember those times. Hectic and fun all in one! While the first years run around interviewing, most second years are enjoying the freedom of selecting electives and socializing with one another before they graduate and part ways. It’s almost a surreal feeling.

Either way you look at it, returning from the winter break is always a fun time at business school, regardless of if your a first year or second year student. As I said before, there’s a feeling of excitement in the air and it is a joy to take part in it.


We Came, We Saw, We Conquered…


john1

To say the past month has been a whirlwind would be a huge understatement. Everyone in Gerlach Hall has been incredibly busy with classes ending, exams approaching, interview prepping and of course all of the fun extracurricular activities that happen at Fisher this time of the year. The most famous of these events is the Fisher Auction.

For those of you who have not experienced the Fisher Auction, it is a night where all of the current students and alumni dress up and head over to the Blackwell Ballroom to partake in both a silent and live auction. Some of the popular items to bid on are things like a dream ride in one of Professor Rucci’s classic cars, the chance to have Dean Wruck come into your class and sing happy birthday to you, and attending a Clipper’s game with Professors Hill and Gray. There are of course some unpopular items as well, like, for example, a date with a current classmate… which did not go for as high of a price as originally hoped (sorry Andy, but I’m sure you and Joey will have a great time).

I feel like I walked away with the best prize of the night, which was a ticket on the 50-yard line to the OSU vs. Michigan game along with a fully catered (and stocked) tailgate beforehand accompanied by Professor Mitchell, our first-year core marketing professor.

The trip was downright awesome. JP Prescott, my fellow auction winner and friend, and I headed to Ann Arbor at 5am and met up with Professor Mitchell and her friend Chuck. Chuck is a big Michigan fan, but we were able to easily overlook this due to the fact he hooked us up with the tickets and a spot right next to the stadium to tailgate at. He also took the liberty of getting some of the best food I’ve ever had at a tailgate…major shout out to Professor Mitchell on getting him to agree to donate all of this to a couple of Ohio State fanatics on his own turf.

john2Also, due to the great location of our tailgate, there were plenty of opportunities to get pictures of both teams, both bands and both cheerleading squads entering the building.

Obviously this great time was capped off by the incredible win the Buckeyes had over the Wolverines…which was an awesome thing to witness in the heart of the Big House. The coolest part, however, was getting the opportunity to have this experience with both a fellow classmate and my professor. This is something that really doesn’t happen at other B-schools schools, but at Fisher it is encouraged. I am looking forward to Follies next year, and continuing to be involved at Fisher. Fisher Follies, along with AMP and Innovation Fisher, are all clubs that have caught my interest!


The Man with a bowtie

As a Buckeye undergrad, I am no stranger to Dr. Gee and his adorable bowtie. He was President of Ohio State for my entire undergraduate career and the first year of my MBA program. On November 18, some Fisher students has the pleasure of having lunch with Dr. Gee and learning more about his background, views on OSU and how to keep energy and passion in your life.

Dr. E. Gordon Gee has been president of West Virginia University,  Vanderbilt, Brown and Ohio State (twice – because we are that awesome). In 2010, Time Magazine rated Gee one of the top 10 college presidents in the United States.

During the lunch, Dr. Gee talked about his love for Ohio State. He explained that it was a challenge, and opportunity, to pull together all the departments at OSU. The diversity allowed for connections to be made  by the OSU Medical Center, the College of Law, the College of Engineering and the Business School. He outlined his view of Fisher being tied to the integrity of the University and that it is essential for the university as a whole to constantly reinvent itself.

I thought it was refreshing to hear a leader talk openly about making mistakes – but also about learning from the past and moving forward. Dr. Gee emphasized the need to stay true to yourself, “Even if I failed, I made sure  I was going to do it having fun and with personality.” Students asked about dealing with criticism – and in typical  Gee fashion – the man just laughed. He said that he has received enough criticism till fill hundreds of books and that it typically isn’t about you as a person, but your actions.

Gee’s 5 keys too success:

  • Have self-confidence
  • Play to your own strengths
  • Have thick skin
  • Have a sense of humor
  • Have nerves like sewer pipes
  • Keep your passion – “If you don’t believe in what you’re doing, you want last very long”

Gordon Gee Brutus!
Could this man be any more adorable!?

My favorite takeaway from the entire lunch was Dr. Gee’s take on family and balance. He told how he is a workaholic, but looking back, regrets missing some important family moments. As he said, there is no substitute for a loving family, a good home and caring friends. 

 

 


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