Global Business Expedition (GBE) – Spring Break 2018

Everyone loves Spring Break– the perfect week to enjoy right before craziness sets in with projects, exams, and papers due before the academic year ends. Each student’s experience is different. Some students in the MBA program embark on a Global Business Expedition (GBE). GBEs are short-term, high-intensity global programs where students travel on a private tour to visit globally successful, multi-national companies, as well as the must-see historical sites of the region. This year, Singapore and Israel were on the list. I decided to interview two of my classmates, Andrew Page, and Carl Shapiro, who visited Singapore, and Israel, respectively. Continue reading to learn more about their journey and enjoy the beautiful sights!

Andrew Page
First-year Full-Time MBA student with a focus on marketing

  • Why did you choose Singapore for your GBE?

AP: I chose to go to Singapore for several reasons. First, I have never been to Asia and I felt like I would be able to get a great experience with many different cultures in a short amount of time. Secondly, this GBE was focused on experiences with doing business throughout Asia and we had opportunities to meet with companies that had operations in Singapore and throughout Asia.

  • Who else was on this trip with you?

AP: There were 25 other students and two faculty members.

  • What were some memorable experiences that you would like to share?

AP: First: the food! We tried all the great food that Singapore has to offer and although it may seem weird that this is such a memorable experience, it is such a unique part of the culture throughout all of Singapore. Everyone has food recommendations for you whether you ask for them or not.

Another memorable experience was visiting the different culturally-specific areas, for example: Little India, Chinatown, and Arab Street. It felt like we were walking into a different country when we went into these areas, but at the same time the cultures were so integrated with each other. There were Chinese jewelers selling to Indian customers in Little India and an Indian clothing shop owner selling Islamic clothing on Arab Street. It was just so unique to see these cultures intertwine.

Finally, I was able to interact with a lot of people with whom I have not had time to spend before. Out of our group, the majority were in the Working Professionals MBA program, so I was able to speak with them about their experiences and make some great network connections. I was also able to spend a lot of time with our faculty member and get to know him outside of the classroom setting.

  • Was there anything that you did not expect or would have done differently?

AP: I did not expect the opportunities that were available to us as students in that part of the world. There were many instances where we were able to make connections for future opportunities with the companies we were meeting.

  • Would you recommend others to join the GBE next year? 

AP: I would recommend GBE to every student who can do it, and I might try to do it again next year!

Carl Shapiro

First-year Full-Time MBA student with a focus on marketing and brand management

  • Why did you choose Israel for your GBE?

CS: The focus for my career is marketing and brand management which has a strong relationship with the culture in which the brand is doing business. Israel is unique in that the domestic market is too small to support a major company on its own, so as a means for survival, Israeli firms have to export and market themselves in foreign markets. To be on the ground and start to understand the strategies that these firms develop is incredibly powerful.

I also have a personal relationship with Israel, having family there. I am personally invested in the success of the country. I think the unique aspects of Israel– bringing the Hebrew language back to life, establishing the first independent Jewish state in 2000 years, and transforming a desolate environment into fertile land– show what grit and hard work can accomplish.

  • How many students/faculty were on this trip?

CS:  I went to Israel with Oded Shenkar (faculty) and there were nine students on the trip.

  • Any memorable experiences that you would like to share?

CS: Some of my most memorable moments were interacting with Israelis outside of the corporate environment to develop a deeper understanding of their culture. By spending my free time out in Tel Aviv on the beach, or in the markets of Jerusalem, I could really get a feeling of where the entrepreneurship begins and what makes the Israeli condition so relevant to the success of disrupting technology. In the corporate environment, we had the opportunity to talk to the leaders of the businesses we visited, the decision-makers at the highest levels. Because Israel’s culture is so casual, we were encouraged to ask probing questions and get very honest and valuable answers that in the United States might not be possible.


  • Was there anything that you did not expect or would have done differently?

CS: I would have liked to have more time for one-on-one networking with some folks from the different companies. Many of the companies we visited introduced us to several high-level managers, but we didn’t have the opportunity to hear them all speak, and it would have been helpful to break out into smaller groups or have unstructured time when we could focus more on the things that interest us with someone from the company who also shares that interest.

  • Would you recommend others to join the GBE next year? 

CS: I absolutely recommend the trip. The reality of the closeness of the Israeli economy with the American economy means that if you work in tech, you will encounter an Israeli firm. It can be an incredible asset to understand the differences and similarities of the two cultures to get the most out of the relationship.


Red Carpet Reflections

Little did I expect that Red Carpet this year would be just as an amazing experience as it was last year! This time, from the perspective of a current student and point person to welcome in part of the admitted class, I realized how much fun it is to share about Columbus and the program experience so far. Also, through other current students sharing their stories, I was reminded of many opportunities to experience this amazing city!

During the welcome reception at the Ohio Stadium, we learned a lot about the behind-the-scenes to game day and were reinvigorated with excitement for next season! Student ticket info will be coming this summer, and we can’t wait to buy the Big 10 package again. One thing to look forward to for all home games are the great Fisher tailgates at Fisher Commons. Not only an apartment complex to look into, Fisher Commons is in a central location to bring many current students together.

I also helped coordinate the significant others/partners/spouses (SOPS) breakfast on Saturday morning at Red Carpet, and I learned some great tips for managing time between work/school/home! For example, many current SOPS put together shared calendars for each other to find times to spend together. My husband and I try to eat dinner together almost every evening and spend at least one day of the weekend away from work and study. On the next nice weekend day, we plan to check out the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium, while doing some background research for one of the consulting projects I am working on for the Professional Development core class.

Finally, Red Carpet weekend came to a close with our women’s breakfast on Sunday morning. We have a strong group of women coming into the program, and I cannot wait to see how Fisher Graduate Women in Business (FGWIB) and our Forte Foundation connections grow into next year. I had a great time connecting with classmates at the Forte conference last summer (see photo below) and hope to see many again this summer! Also, I hope to see a few admitted students at our first Fisher Women’s Conference on April 6th!

Overall, it was an amazing weekend, and I am looking forward to our incoming class next year!

Buckeye NutHouse

Football withdrawals were a real thing for me this spring. I missed having plans on Saturday to be with friends and enjoy a game in the stadium. If this is a concern for you, don’t fret: there’s basketball! I went to my first game in the “NutHouse” (Schottenstein Center) for the Ohio State vs. Iowa game. You can buy student tickets for $14 or less per game, and occasionally, there are free student tickets! In addition to really cheap tickets, the seats are amazing! Pictured below is the view from the student section which is courtside.

view from seats at the game

Plus, the Buckeye atmosphere is amazing! All students are on their feet the entire game in suspense– cheering on the team. The staff working at the game also hand out free items such as a baton that lights up. This year, Ohio State basketball has been selling out games for the first time in years. The team is currently ranked 13th in the nation and 2nd in the Big Ten Conference (exceeding expectations). Some attribute this performance to hiring a new coach, Chris Holtmann, who previously coached at Butler University. With March approaching, it means March Madness is ahead! For those who are unfamiliar, March Madness is a NCAA Division 1 Men’s basketball single elimination tournament. There are conference tournaments first, and the winning team automatically qualiies for the March madness tournament. There will be 36 remaining spots for teams to play after the automatic qualifying teams have been accounted for; then, the NCAA selection committee will select the 36 teams to be included in the March Madness tournament. As long as Ohio State keeps performing well, we should hopefully see them there!


Power to my core team!

At Fisher, incoming MBA students are assigned to a core team that will tackle projects together. As the year comes to a close, this is a huge shout-out to my amazing core team a.k.a. Team 9! Neethi, Adam, Sangyoun (Shin) and Andrew have made the core team adventure a valuable experience from the start!

Beginning with team announcements during pre-term and into our first team-building exercises, we took time to get to know each other and have fun. During pre-term, before classes began for the semester, we had the chance to compete in a mini-case competition and take on a ropes course! Not only did we win the case across the teams presenting in our room– we also won the photo contest from the ropes course (see one of the winners below)! We spent these challenges taking time to get to know each other’s backgrounds and not taking things too seriously, resulting in effective teamwork and great times!

Throughout the year, we have worked hard to keep each other in mind outside of class projects… from having birthday celebrations to venting about the internship search to sharing favorite snacks. Most importantly, we are all very lucky to have Neethi who brings delicious snacks for our group meetings and Shin who brings some of his favorite snacks from Korea (see below).

Overall, we stay motivated, but have fun while we’re working on assignments together! This semester, we’ve discovered the power of communication and working as a virtual team. With interviews ramping up, along with group projects, we have realized the power of working together remotely.

After things die down in a few weeks, we’re looking forward to a celebration together over Korean BBQ! From case analyses to marketing plans, we have found ourselves frustrated, giggling, sweating from spicy ramen snacks, and in deep concentration to meet deadlines among all of the other activities going on at school. It’s been a challenging and rewarding experience, and I wouldn’t trade my core team for another!

After Submitting the Deposit, What’s Next?

Happy late Valentine’s Day & Happy Lunar New Year!

This is the time of year when many incoming MAcc students have received their acceptance letters and paid the deposit to the MAcc program— and are now wondering what should be done next.

My suggestion is to focus first on finding housing: a good apartment and roommates, if applicable. The good news is that Columbus and surrounding cities have a lot of housing options– and many options are low cost.

After you’ve paid your deposit, you’ll soon receive emails regarding housing information. You may choose either on-campus housing or off-campus housing. OSU’s on-campus housing options are all fully furnished, but limited in availability. Therefore, apply as early as possible if you’re interested.

The price range of an off-campus one-bedroom apartment varies, but I think it’s about from $650-$850, depending on the location of the apartment, whether or not it is fully furnished, and the surrounding community. OSU has put together a very helpful webpage with a list of off-campus options.

Along with the housing email, you should expect to receive several other emails regarding how to purchase Buckeye football tickets (a must-do activity at least one time while you’re here), class registration, and orientation details. You’ll be kept in the loop all spring and summer so that you can start on a high note when you begin the program.

For now, relax and take pride in your admission. See you in the fall!


Snow Day!

A very fun aspect about moving to Ohio from Oklahoma is that it snows a lot more here than it does back home.  Some people might strongly disagree with the sentiment that this is fun, but coming from a place that doesn’t receive much snow annually makes it really exciting to live in Columbus where it snows regularly!  Growing up, I always loved snow days, and they happened so rarely that I still get excited for snow– even if it doesn’t mean that school is cancelled.

Fisher Hall in the snow

Columbus receives 22 inches of snow per year.  This really is not that much in the grand scheme of things, and is actually even less than the average U.S. city, but it is still more than twice as much as the amount that my hometown annually receives.  Extra snowfall obviously comes with some additional perils in terms of getting to campus, but if you drive with caution and give yourself extra time, you shouldn’t have too many problems (barring any issues with other reckless drivers). Last week, we received about 4 inches of snow overnight and that meant when I arrived on campus early the next day, there was a beautiful scene of untouched snow all over campus.

Feeling a little cold after doing a snow angel on the oval

A fellow ambassador for the MAcc program, Rachel Cox, wanted to go outside and explore the campus in the snow, so I tagged along with her.  As I mentioned, I really love snow, so I got a little caught up in the moment and decided to do a snow angel– business casual clothes and all.  If any future students are worried about the weather in Ohio, just remember: it still snows less than the average U.S. city, and when it does snow, it can actually be pretty fun!

Winter is Here

This past week, Columbus had about five inches of snow fall over one night! I remember looking at the weather app hoping the forecast for snow wouldn’t be true, but when I woke up the following morning, everything was white outside– with a few flurries still coming down. I thankfully live within a 15-minute walking distance to campus, so I didn’t worry about trying to move my car. Being from the South, I have seen snow before, but I’m used to everything closing and no one leaving home when even a hint of bad weather arises. When I realized OSU rarely cancels classes, I was a little shocked at first, but took advantage of the chance to get out of the house and explore.

Gerlach Hall
local street on my walk to campus

At first, the snow is annoying and cold, but then on my walk to campus, I realized how beautiful the city and campus is coated in snow. I decided to take a campus field trip and capture some photos of the beautiful buildings on campus.

Fisher Hall
Thompson Library – at the “Oval

Despite the weather (meaning the cold), I decided to make the most of the beautiful snow. With this much fresh snow, you can also make “snow cream.” You take fresh snow and add milk, sugar, and a little vanilla. As a child, making snow cream was one of my favorite parts of snow. But luckily, I am now able to celebrate that winters do not last for years like they do in Game of Thrones.

Ohio State Basketball

Throughout my entire life, I’ve been passionate about two things: watching basketball and anything Ohio State. Growing up, I loved watching basketball. I would stay up all night watching LeBron do his thing and then the next night, I would watch whatever Ohio State team was playing on TV. When I came to Ohio State, the first thing I wanted to do was sign up to go to an Ohio State basketball game. Over the past few years, I have had the opportunity to go to many Ohio State basketball games including this past week when I went with a number of my MAcc friends to the Ohio State vs Penn State game.

Going to an Ohio State basketball game is not too difficult. All you need to do is to purchase a ticket is go to the Ohio State athletic page, select a game, pay $14 for a ticket (this is the student rate), and show up at the Schottenstein Center with a BuckID. Once you arrive at the entrance of the “Schott,” an usher will swipe your BuckID and hand you a student section ticket.

Once we arrived at the Schott this past week, the arena was bumping. The Buckeyes were on a high streak having gone 8-0 in the BIG10, and were ranked 13th in the nation. The game was a close one; however, the Buckeyes were unable to prevail since the Nittany Lions scored a last-second bucket from half court. Even though the Buckeyes lost, I enjoyed the night and bonded with a few of my fellow MAcc classmates.

A few of my MAcc classmates at the Ohio State basketball game


Ohio State’s Intramural Soccer League

It’s game day today!

I’ve recently decided to get back into sports and more specifically with soccer by registering a team in Ohio State’s intramural soccer tournament. The league consists of 28 teams separated in pools of four. Each team has to play once against each other and the best two teams in the pools advance in the playoffs when all the pool game have been played. It only cost $80 to register a team and up to 11 players.

We had our first game last Thursday and I have to admit that we lost the game (I will not disclose the final score… yes, it was bad), but it was still a great experience and a lot of fun to simply get away from the books for some time. Back when I registered the team, I thought that competing in the “A” league (the best) would be good, but it was a mistake. Our first game was against a team composed of almost all OSU team players and it was a tough game! OSU also has a “B” league and I think that league would have been more appropriate for us knowing the average level of my team!

I was also greatly impressed with the indoor turf fields located at the Adventure Recreation Center (“the ARC”) on west campus. Both fields are actually of decent size (not as big as a real soccer field, but definitely bigger than an indoor soccer field).

It was still a great experience and I’m looking forward to our game tonight– hoping that we’ll be able to win our first game!

New Beginning With a New Hope

It’s been just past 100 days since I have left my home as I’m writing this blog. I guess I’ve gone through the cultural shock and have emerged out quite successfully I would say. I could finally go and visit a place which goes by the name of the Hocking Hills. Time has flown past pretty quickly since I have landed in this beautiful city. Though it’s hard to recollect exactly on how I have spent these 100 days, I have a lot of good memories to carry over from here.

It’s a given from the moment you see the curriculum that life here would be hectic. You need to be quick and I personally feel that’s a good thing as it will show a preview of the working style out in the real world. The subjects are interesting and professors are great. There is a significant difference between the education system here and my country. I assume that everyone outside the country will initially struggle but I can promise that everyone will cope up eventually. I have taken a sweet amount of time to get adjusted and I can now confidently say that I’m done with the incubation stage.

Diversity is one more aspect that I love over here. Professors here are a combination of people who have excelled academically and professionally. That is of significant importance if you are studying in a business school. I have worked in the same industry for a significant amount of time before enrolling in this course, yet there is a lot of concepts to learn. I have learned that there is no “one way” of doing things which did shake my beliefs about always having one solution to a problem. I can confidently say I would be a coming out of the MBLE program with better knowledge and thinking than what I had imagined when I joined the college.