Posts filed under 'Campus Life'



Make Yourself Uncomfortable!

One of the coolest aspects of the Fisher MBA program has been the ability for me to get involved in things that allow me to get out of my comfort zone. This is a risk-free environment- why not?!

Classes:

I know that I will be entering into a marketing career upon graduation- because of this, I have viewed my 2nd year of school as a chance to take tough classes that will make me as well-rounded as possible. Both Intopia and Corporate Finance II have fit this bill for me:

Intopia: This is a business simulation class in which you and a team of two or three other people run a company in the PC and/or computer chip industry in one of three global markets. Decisions within all functional areas of business are required- finances, marketing, pricing, operations and R&D, just to name a few. As you can imagine- it is challenging and very complex!

Corp Fin II: This class takes a deep dive into mergers & acquisitions. The class is instructed by Senior Associate Dean Wruck, and has been the most worthwhile class I have taken during my time at Fisher. I have learned about analyzing mergers, acquisitions and corporate governance- which includes really cool subject matter like hostile takeovers, golden parachutes and poison pills. Take the class to learn what these crazy terms mean!

New Skills:

Last semester, I wanted to challenge myself to learn golf, and had an opportunity to sign up for lessons through the RPAC. I got together with a coach and three other trainees once a week to go over basic golf skills, including swing (yes, I can now effectively chip!), club selection, putting and even terminology. It provided great balance with class, and I now feel confident that I can practice this spring on a local course with classmates.

Teamwork:

Looking back on my experience so far, I am pleased that I have sought out unique teams for every elective class project in my second year. I feel that it is so valuable to hear different opinions and ways of thinking- if you continue to work with the same people for over and over, it will be hard to expand into new and different ways to solve problems.

My biggest piece of advice if you’re applying for or entering into the Fisher program- get involved in things that push you to your limits!


“The Game” Week

Being a Buckeye means a lot, especially during rivalry week. Every year, Ohio State and That Team Up North compete in one of the most storied football rivalries in the country. Everyone in the states of Ohio and That State Up North feel the excitement and energy that comes with rivalry week. This is definitely true for graduate students in the business school.

As I have walked around campus this week, there have been some noticeable differences in comparison to other weeks during football season. Buckeye students and faculty seem to be wearing more scarlet and gray than ever before. A few brave students with affiliation or allegiance to That Team Up North seem to be more annoying than ever before as they wear the hideous maize and blue. It has even been fun to see a lot of the international students get involved in the sport and the rivalry.

Last night was the annual Mirror Lake jump that takes place on Ohio State’s campus (although the university claims it isn’t sanctioned or sponsored by OSU). Thousands of students, faculty, friends, alumni, and other Buckeye fans turned out to celebrate rivalry week by jumping in a freezing cold Mirror Lake. This annual jump takes place on the Tuesday night before the game and results in lifelong memories for the participants that dare enter the freezing waters of Mirror Lake.

Viewing parties are also a huge part of the rivalry week. When Ohio State is not hosting the game, thousand of viewing parties take place throughout Ohio. Fans invite family, friends, and basically anyone wearing scarlet and gray to watch the game and cheer the Buckeyes on to victory.

This year the game has some additional drama and ramifications as the Buckeyes enter the weekend with a 23 game win streak to Ann Arbor. Not only do they bring an impressive win streak, but they also will enter The Big House as the number three team in the country. The Buckeyes will need a win this weekend and a future loss from either Alabama or Florida State in order to make it to the National Championship. Fans in Ohio feel that Ohio State is deserving of entering the title game, but they will need some help from Alabama’s and FSU’s opponents. Therefore, this weekend I (along with hundreds of thousand of Buckeyes) will be cheering for Ohio State, Auburn, and Florida.

Regardless of who wins, rivalry week is always a fun time to be a Buckeye. However, we all know that it is much more fun when you win. O-H!!

 

 


The Family Man (Not Nicholas Cage…)

 

It’s ok…It will be alright.

This is for all of the spouses and parents out there.  I thought coming to Fisher the thing I would get in 2 years would be an MBA, but I quickly learned that I was gaining a whole new discipline in the process.  As a husband and father who wanted to be around his family, I knew coming to business school was going to be challenging both inside and outside the classroom.  However, I feel that having a family has actually made me be better as a student and at home.  The three things I have learned through this process have been:

  1. Time Management: You just have to be good at managing your time.  I don’t have a lot of margins in my life right now, so it’s a sink or swim situation.  Often when you’re in this spot, not having a choice can actually push you to be better than you might have chosen on your own.
  2. Devote time to thinking about what’s important: The forethought you put into what you want to get out of business school is positively correlated (what’s up data analysis!?) with the opportunities you’ll be able to take advantage of while here.  There are a ton of events and if you don’t know what you want things may pass you by without you realizing it.  Better to be prepared and do the heavy lifting on the front end.
  3. Learn to say no: Like I referred to in point #2, there are a ton of events out there.  The temptation is to go to all of them.  It’s a temptation because there are a ton of awesome and interesting events.  Otherwise, it wouldn’t be a temptation, right?  Well, due to family parameters, I can’t go to everything, but I can go to the events I’m really interested in and passionate about.  That’s where the power of saying no comes in.  You have to pick your battles, and part of that is saying no to good things in order to say yes to great ones.

Winter at OSU or How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Snow

This is a special blog post. What follows is meant for those of you who will be coming from sunny places and know little to nothing of winter in Ohio.

Snow has finally reached Columbus, much to the joy or dismay of the students, faculty and staff.  The relative beauty of such an occurrence seems to be directly correlated to a few factors. The love one has of snow can, most often, be extrapolated based on the  amount of time one spends scraping ice off of their windshield. Another factor to consider in our little study is the number of winters such a student has spent in similar conditions. Experience can limit error and reduce stress but so can a few helpful hints from a seasoned veteran of the frozen onslaught of the fluffy white stuff.

From someone who grew up in Ohio and who has spent the past 4 years living in the snowiest county in Ohio (which is NOT near Columbus so don’t worry too much) here are a few tips to conquer winter in Ohio.

CAR

1) Own an ice scraper and PUT IT IN YOUR CAR. 

I would actually recommend that you have 2 scrapers. This way if you are not alone you can make your travel companion help you. Additional helpful gadgets are the keychain ice scraper and the extendable ice scraper (A must have for the SUV, Truck or Van driver). The only time you should use a credit card or drivers license to clean a window is under extreme duress.

2) De-Icer Liquid and PUT IT IN YOUR CAR

There is a spray you can buy which helps to de-ice your windshield and it is an AMAZING emergency tool. You can also purchase windshield wiper fluid which contains de-icer. Both are cheap and can become EXTREMELY helpful.

3) Start your car early AND TURN ON THE HEAT

Start your car before you need to leave and allow yourself some extra time to clean your car so you are not late for class. If you’re going to scrape off your car, start the engine, turn the defroster (the setting that looks like bacon in a little square) on full blast all the way to the warmest setting. This will help to a) warm up your car so when you get in it isn’t freezing and b) loosen the ice on your windshield.

GEAR

1) Boots and Socks - Invest in some rubber or winter boots and nice thick socks. Alpaca and wool are good options and there are many places which produce these locally!

2) Coat and Hoodie - For the coat I would suggest wool or something that makes you look like the Michelin Man. Whatever you choose make sure that the wind can’t get through. For the hoodie, go for an OSU hoodie, the OSU Bookstore has some GREAT cold weather selections.

3) Gloves, Scarf and the Fluffiest Hat You Can Find  - I’d stick to Scarlet or Grey! You’re going to want them when you sit through the OSU-Michigan game! 

HOUSE

1) Shovel - get a snow shovel, this may also be used to dig out your car or in a particularly frustrating moment, remove snow from your car.

2)Melting Salt - If you have a sidewalk, driveway or porch this is helpful and can get some of the ice off of your walkway.

The most important thing about this preparation is that each of these items or actions allows you to fully appreciate the beauty of winter in Ohio. The snow is beautiful, making a snowman in the oval is tons of fun and if you’re daring enough to jump into mirror lake before the OSU/Michigan game, you’re going to want a nice warm coat to put on once you’re done. Those who have never spent a winter in snowy weather say it’s like nothing they’ve ever seen. Seeing winter through they eyes of my classmates from warmer climates is like seeing snow for the first time all over again.  Winter is not impossible, it’s not even all that hard. Winter in Ohio just take a bit of forethought to make it successful. Snow can be beautiful and seeing it upon waking up can become a joy rather than a burden, as long as you let it!

 


Best Damn Band in the Land!!

On October 26th, the OSU football team put its winning streak and undefeated season on the line vs. the Nittany Lions of Penn State – who had just come off a dramatic win over the team up north!  While our football team jumped all over Penn State from the opening kickoff, in route to a 63-14 drubbing, the OSU band is the one stole the night with its halftime tribute to “Hollywood Blockbusters.”

This eight minute performance captured not only the music rendition of some of America’s beloved movies, but the band also marched its way into depicting some of the movies favorite and most memorable moments!  Click here to see the full performance.

Personally, my favorite renditions were Jurassic Park and Pirates of the Caribbean (the last two in the attached link).  In the Jurassic Park montage, the band transformed into a T-Rex and ran down the field to gobble up an unexpected person.  This attack was capped by T-Rex spitting out the humans hat – a marque moment in any Jurassic Park movie!

The band capped off this amazing half time show with a classic Pirates of the Caribbean battle between two ships –OSU vs. Michigan.  Of course, the OSU ship proved to be much stronger and a better shot, as it sunk the Michigan boat!

What even made this day even more special was spending it tailgating and enjoying the game with other 1st and 2nd year Fisher MBAs.  The two years here at Fisher fly by and it’s moments like the Penn State gameday that truly create an amazing MBA experience!

 

 

 

 

 


No global brands, just global marketers

Last week was the 2013 National Middle Market Summit - Leading From The Middle, which is a collaboration between Fisher and GE Capital. The event ensures that the middle market receives the attention it deserves – and helps drive conversation around these vital industries. Fisher students have been given the opportunity to have Q&As with C-level executives from GE, and if this event is anything like last year, it’s going to be a great experience for students.

I had the chance to sit-in on a round table discussion with Ian Forrest, the Vice President of Global Marketing for GE Capital on Monday afternoon. Here is a quick snapshot of Ian’s bio:

“Ian is responsible for the GE Capital value proposition, brand and global marketing communications activities. He is responsible for the GE Capital’s National Center for the Middle Market partnership with The Ohio State University.”

Bottom line, it was a really interesting discussion and a great opportunity to learn from a very talented marketer. Ian talk about how winners will redefine scale and that markets are becoming frictionless.He stressed the importance of not being constrained by traditional thinking and always, always, always investing in R&D. Ian discussed how R&D is the sure way to become better and point the company forward.

I thought the most interesting point was his opinion concerning global corporations and brands. Ian talked  about how there are “No longer global brands, only global marketers”. He told our small group of Full Time and Working Professional MBAs that some companies know how to win in every market – and that’s what will keep them in the forefront of their industries. To be successful, a company needs to be global and treat every market differently. Taking the exact business model that works in the US and trying to force its success in Brazil or China will only lead to failure.

There’s me – to the right, three people over!

Ian made several well articulated points – my notebook was full of snippets I want to remember! It was a great kick-off to the Middle Market summit, and I am excited to attend the main event on Wednesday!

 

 

 

Here are some ways to join in the Middle Market conversation:

#MidMarketSummit

@MidMarketCenter

@FisherOSU

@GECapital

 


Staying in Shape at Fisher

Here at Fisher there are plenty of opportunities to get out and do things other than schoolwork and studying.  I am a very active person and as such have taken advantage of the many physical activity programs that are available at Ohio State.

  • Intramural Football – Fisher put together a co-ed flag football team that was comprised of people from a variety of programs.  It allowed me and a few of the other SMFs to meet some of the individuals in the other Fisher programs.  Football was a good chance to get out on the weekends and get some physical activity while in a fun, competitive environment.
  • Club Swimming – I was an NCAA Swimmer in undergrad at the University of South Carolina so I am always looking for ways to continue to stay in shape and Club Swimming is one of the best opportunities that I have found.  We practice a few times a week and then swim a few meets a semester against other colleges in the area and it is a great chance to not only do a little training but also get up and race every few weeks.
  • Recreation Facilities – Ohio State offers some of the best on-campus recreation facilities in the country with the RPAC, Jesse Owens North, and Jesse Owens South all within a few minute walk of Fisher.  The RPAC is the flagship of the rec department and is one of the largest collegiate rec centers in the country.  They offer over a dozen basketball courts, a massive weight room, hundreds of pieces of cardio equipment, an indoor track, as well as one of the nicest aquatic facilities in the country.  It is very convenient to Fisher and is just a 5 minute walk into campus and is a great place to grab a quick workout in between classes or to break up a long study period.

RPAC exterior


The Heart of it All

Time has still been flying by around here, and there has been lots of excitement.  Notably the end of our first terms, and our first round of exams.   Each semester at Fisher is divided into two 7 week terms, which means a new set of courses every 7 weeks, just to keep us on the bounce.  In addition to new classes, the internship search seems to be coming along, with people attending conferences out of state, second round interviews, and some starting to receive offers.  I had the chance to go to the MBA veterans conference in Chicago last week, which was a great opportunity to talk with companies specifically looking to recruit talent from top schools who are also veterans.

So, needless to say, life as an MBA student is still very busy, and requires proper time management.  That being said, life balance is still important, and students need to take time to enjoy life whenever possible.  As someone who is interested in supply chain management and operations, it hasn’t escaped my notice that there are a significant number of companies who have headquarters or distribution centers in the Columbus area, as well as Ohio in general.  Part of the reason for this is that a significant portion of the American population lives within a day’s drive of Ohio.  So while the state is not the geographic center of the country, it is in a strategic location for getting goods to customers.  In fact, I think one of the iterations of license plates the state used to have said “Ohio – the heart of it all.”

In keeping with the need for a healthy work-life balance, especially for people who haven’t traveled much within the U.S., Columbus is in a good spot for those who want to take weekend trips.  I consider about 6 hours (approx 350-400 miles) to be the most I would drive for a 2-3 day weekend trip and within that radius of Columbus are the following cities:

Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dayton, OH

Pittsburgh, PA

Indianapolis, IN

Chicago, IL

St Louis, MO

Detroit, MI

Buffalo, NY

Washington, DC

Lexington, Louisville, KY

Knoxville, Nashville, TN

And those are just some of the bigger cities that I can think of off the top of my head, there are many more smaller cities, national/state parks, lakes and other attractions worth visiting within that radius as well.  As you can see, Columbus, Ohio really is rather well situated to serve as a base of operations for someone who wants to have access to a large portion of the U.S., which is another attractive attribute of the Fisher MBA program.

 


Fisher 1st Years vs 2nd Years Softball Game

A little over a week ago, students from the full-time MBA program gathered together to participate in a fun-filled softball match at Beekman Park.

It wouldn’t have been hard for any old random Joe off the streets to realize which team was full of first year MBAs. It’s fairly similar to walking around Gerlach. Let me break down the major differences both on the field and in the class.

Fisher MBA

Softball

  • First years tape their wrists. Second years break their wrists.
  • First years wear sunglasses at night…and eye-black. Second years don’t.
  • First years all wear the same color shirt and have 28 players. Second years are lucky to field a team. Shirts? If all the second years are wearing one that’s a bonus.
  • First years wear themselves out like dogs during batting practice. Second years bring their dogs and let them loose during the game.
  • First years win and get soaked in the rain. Second years leave early and enjoy the first round of beers and burgers.

Classroom

  • First years are taking data analysis. Second years enjoy sleep.
  • First years study in the lounge. Second years study at Varsity Club.
  • First years sign-up for clubs. Second years are busy swinging clubs on the Scarlet Course.
  • First years have class on Friday. Second years travel on Friday.

All in all, we are pretty similar. This is just a fun list of semi-sarcastic differences between students all striving towards the same goal…a great education and career opportunities. Fisher delivers both of those in various shapes and sizes. Regardless of the year in school, Fisher students are dedicated to helping one another and enjoying fun activities together when not in class. The softball game was a perfect example of that – I just wish I would have been on the winning team!

 

 


My First OSU Football Game

As things are heating up on the academic front with finals rapidly approaching, it was fantastic to momentarily escape the stress this Saturday night at the Ohio State Buckeyes football game.

Braxton Miller overpowering the Badgers Defense

 

Having earned my undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois, I am no stranger to Big 10 sporting events.  During my four years in Champaign-Urbana, I attended numerous Illini football and basketball games.  In January 2008, I traveled to Pasadena, California for the Rose Bowl game between The University of Illinois and The University of Southern California.  All of my experiences at Illini sporting events wrapped into one cannot compete with my first Buckeye football game.

 

The fans, the band, the stadium, everything surpassed my high expectations.  Not a single student in my row sat down from the opening kickoff until the fourth quarter.  It was truly fascinating to witness the passion in which Buckeye fans cheer on their squad.

 

Although the football team played great, the Ohio State Marching Band might have been one step better.  A flawless performance highlighted by the designed formation of a cowboy tipping his hat as members of the band scurried back and forth in perfect unison.

 

Coming into the Wisconsin game unbeaten in 16 straight, the highly touted Buckeyes rode the Horseshoe’s electric atmosphere to their 17th victory in a row.  Wisconsin was no slouch, but the Buckeyes looked the superior team throughout.

 

Before Saturday’s game, I strongly considered selling some of my tickets.  There is absolutely no chance of that happening now.  For now, I will have to patiently wait for my next chance to see the Buckeyes.  October 19th could not arrive soon enough!


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