Posts filed under 'Campus Life'



Fall Fun for Dayzz

One of my favorite parts of the MAcc program is getting to know my fellow classmates! As the VP of Social Events for MAcc Council I want to try and plan events that as many students as possible want to participate in. The first event was a trip to a pumpkin patch! The pumpkin patch was about a half hour away and we all car-pooled over. There were quite a few things to do while at the pumpkin patch — mazes, a hayride, a hay barn (or as they call it, a “fun barn”), and as a bonus there were donuts. Oh! Of course, we were also able to pick out a pumpkin and take it home with us!

 

Posing with pumpkins!

Posing with pumpkins!

While there were a lot of things to do while there, the best part was getting to speak with some of my fellow MAccers! It is always more fun to talk outside of class and get to know each other besides chit chat between group work. I really appreciate all the students who came out to enjoy the wonderful fall day!

 

The full group at the patch!

The full group at the patch!

 

While there are a limited number of official events planned each semester through MAcc Council, that doesn’t mean that those events are only times we see each other outside of class! Every weekend we try and get people to get together and watch the game or just hang out. I have been pleasantly surprised by how close I have already become with my classmates. This is definitely a huge benefit of the program, since so many people are not from Columbus or Ohio State, people are always open to try new things and explore campus. Breaking out from your comfort zone and meeting new students is sometimes hard but the benefits are so huge! I think this is something that students from OSU undergrad should try and keep in mind as well as they continue their experience at OSU into graduate school. I know that the people I meet here will be people I stay in contact with as we all begin our professional careers and beyond!

 


The First Year vs. Second Year Softball Game

There’s naturally going to be a rivalry between MBA classes. Second years will think they have the best class ever and the first years will naturally think they have the coolest, most awesome and interesting class ever (I only say that because it’s true in this case). And, as far as I know, there’s only one way to settle which team is cooler: pickup softball games in the rain.

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I’m the cool guy manager in the middle

Just as a preface to what I’m about to write, the first years are still way cooler and more handsome/beautiful and way more interesting. Just so you know.

The second years here are multiple time OSU intramural softball champions. They all have coordinating shirts and their own equipment and play baseball together pretty much every week.

The first years have never played softball together. We had no idea who was good, who wasn’t or if anyone would even care enough to show up.

The second years have at least one former professional baseball player on their team.

The first years unanimously decided to play intramural soccer rather than baseball.

What I’m saying is that this was a mismatch.

The first years valiantly hung with the second years for a few innings, but unearned runs and errors were our undoing. Despite a valiant and inspiring speech before the last inning and solo cups in center field, we just couldn’t overcome their actual talent and caring.

But, it was much closer than it had any right to be and if anything, brought our class together just a little more. We showed that we could be better if we worked at it like they had and had more people show up from our class than theirs, including our own cheering section.

The fact that we were even close was surprising and the fact that we easily could have won with a little work in the field showed us that we were the true champions.

After a night of networking that I was forced to leave early, we knew the second years were pretty good at baseball, but the first years were the most awesome and smart and just flat out inspiring.

Both classes are united in their own ways and every class after ours will be, even if I’ll prefer ours. Small class sizes let you meet every person in your class and know them fairly well. When there are only 120 students in a grade, you really get to know everyone intimately in a fashion you just can’t at a bigger school, and it allows for opportunities like this where everyone interested can get involved.

And the class of 2016 is pretty cool, all in all.


Campus Hacks – Getting Around OSU

In the fall of my senior year of undergrad, my college offered a “career planning” class to help itinerant, liberal-art students like myself launch their career search. While I was excited to take some focused steps towards my vocational search, I was immediately skeptical when the first exercise of the class was to take the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Test. The Myers-Briggs is essentially a multiple-choice test that asks test-takers questions like “Would you rather eat spaghetti with a friend or go see a horror movie alone?” I was already skeptical of personality tests, and while I was giving the Myers-Briggs an honest effort, the bizarre mix of wandering yet oddly specific questions seemed to confirm my doubts.

We received the results two weeks later. I got chills as I opened the results analysis and discovered that Myers-Briggs knew more about me than I did. The first sentence of my analysis was, “Despite the fact that you travel to the same locations on a daily basis, you take different routes and time each route to determine which is most efficient.” I was stunned – I do this constantly everywhere I go. Shocked and humbled, I changed my attitude about personality tests that day.

With the help of Myers-Briggs, I have learned to embrace my subconscious need for punctuality. A logistics/efficiency junkie and advocate of alternative transportation (i.e. walking, biking, and public transit), I have spent the last few weeks testing each bike and bus route to campus from my home in German Village. To make most efficient use of time, energy, and resources, I have developed a number of “Campus Hacks” that are helpful for those who (a) hate traffic, (b) don’t want to show up to class sweaty and disheveled, and (c) prefer to do their networking on COTA (Columbus’s public bus system). For my first grad life blog, I wanted to share some of these tips to help reach and navigate campus as efficiently (and comfortably) as possible.

BIKING
• Pack strategically!

  • Pack your dress shirt separately: I roll my dress shirts (to prevent wrinkling – it’s only semi-successful) and wear a different t-shirt (polyester – performance wicking) while I ride. Once I arrive at school and stand in front of an A/C vent for long enough to cool down, I change shirts and leave the sweaty shirt on my bike outside to dry off.
  •  Invest in good Tupperware: Nothing is more disappointing than a leaky lunch. Pay the premium for good containment supplies to keep your books dry and lunch intact

• Keep a small but ample arsenal of supplies in your locker

  • Coat and tie or Business Wear
  • Fleece: I am always cold in class, and carting a sweatshirt or fleece back and forth everyday takes up unnecessary space and weight in my pack.
  • Granola bars/snacks: Something that can supplement breakfast when time is against you
  • Comb/hair stuff: I get terrible helmet-hair when I ride my bike.
  • Gym Clothes: I keep a pair of tennis shoes, shorts, t-shirt, socks, and even dress shoes in my locker. This way, if I decide to work out during lunch or after class, I don’t have to carry these. On days I ride the bus, I bring the sweaty stuff home and replenish my locker supplies.

BUSSING
• Make productive use of time on the bus: sometimes the weather throws curveballs, and the real benefit from the bus (besides the socializing, of course) is the ability to get other things done in-transit.

  • Print readings and homework out a few days in advance. This way, if you have to take the bus on short notice, you can be sure to make best use of the time.
  • News Aggregators: It’s hard, but important, to make time to read about current events, the economy, etc. I use an app called Feedly, but there are several others out there. Basically, these allow you to build your own newspaper: you choose the media sources and even the categories. The app simply filters new articles from those sources into the categories you setup.
  • Download Podcasts: Podcasts are another great platform for keeping up with current events or other topics of interest – they are free, and sometimes after a series of busy days, projects, and other work it is much more enjoyable to sit back and listen. My favorites are NPR Planet Money, On Being, Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History, and The Art of Manliness series. Downloading them in advance via WiFi will save you on your data plan!
  • Audio books: The Columbus Metropolitan Library is amazing. My next blog post will probably be entirely about why it is the best library chain in the world and why it is so valuable to citizens of Columbus. In the meantime, I will just mention that if you have a subscription to the library (free) you can download audiobooks to your smartphone or computer (free) through an app service called OverDrive (free). Okay, so it’s not “free” – you pay for it with your taxes – but it is an amazing, underutilized resource.

Travel well!

-Pete


Aca-mazing

Is it possible to be bored on campus? I really don’t think so, there is constantly fun to be had! Proof of this was the Pentatonix concert held at the Ohio Union! Pentatonix is an a-cappella group that won The Sing Off (Season 3) on NBC. OUAB (Ohio Union Activities Board) brought them in to perform and the concert did not disappoint.

My view of the stage!

My view of the stage!

The Serenade

The Serenade

 

The screen projecting the concert for a better visual!

The screen projecting the concert for a better visual!

During the concert they performed a wide variety of songs ranging from Macklemore to Ariana Grande and a ton more! They also took a volunteer from the crowd and serenaded her, unfortunately I was too far back in the crowd to be selected. Even though my seat was pretty far back, it didn’t hinder the show. OUAB had it displayed on multiple screens around the ballroom ensuring that you could always see and hear what was going on.

If you have some time, I would definitely watch their Evolution of Beyoncé, trust me it is just as good in person as it is in that video! Plus, they have a killer Christmas album if you are one of those people that gets into the holiday mood really early. I know that for me personally, Christmas music is fair game after Thanksgiving and I will have their holiday album on repeat!

This concert was a great to way to relax and have a good time after a long day of classes, it is always nice to have a distraction from day to day activities and this was the perfect one!

 

 

 


The End of Fall Semester, Session 1

It is amazing how quickly this first term has flown by; it is already our last week of the first session for Fall semester.  Here are some of my quick observations from the first session:

  • The Courses: Most courses for the program are only 7 weeks long.  Because of this, material is covered fairly quickly and a topic is usually not discussed for longer than one class period.  Since the courses are fast paced, it is important to stay organized and stay ahead of the material, otherwise it will be easy to fall behind and stay behind.  Overall, the courses have all been interesting and it was wonderful to see how approachable and helpful the professors have been.  It is crazy to think that we have finals this week and are starting all new courses next week.
  • The Class: Coming to Ohio State not knowing anyone was a little frightening, but from the first day of orientation it was easy to see that the MAcc Class of 2015 would get along well.  Whether it is eating lunch every day together in the student lounge, studying after classes together, going to trivia every Wednesday night, or hitting the bars on the weekends the MAcc kids are always together.
  • The Culture: The environment surrounding the MAcc program is unique.  Everyone has different backgrounds and different experiences that have brought them to Fisher.  Because of this, it is nice that the program involves so many group projects.  For example, one of my groups had three international students from China, a student that worked professionally for a couple years and is coming back to school for his Masters, and another student from Texas.  Combined we all brought different knowledge and skills to the table and worked well as a team.  The culture of the program may be hard to describe in words but it is something I am happy to be a part of.

Fisher Family Network

One of the first things the Class of 2016 learned about during our two weeks of orientation was the Fisher Family. Community was one of the top buzzwords of the faculty and staff who presented to us, and they emphasized that everyone at Fisher – faculty, staff, and students – is here to help us grow and learn both academically and professionally.

And over the past few weeks, our class has bonded and become a family – a real one. Half the time I don’t even have to ask for help – people offer before I can.  Last week, one of my classmates, Michael, gave me the contact information for one of his friends who had interned with a company I was interested in.  “E-mail him!” Michael said.  “He’ll definitely be able to tell you about the culture and what their internships are like.”  So I did.  His friend wrote me a detailed mini-essay about the company.  It was awesome, and it really helped me.

Then, during the weekend, another classmate, Vlad, spent over two hours helping a group of people (including myself) figure out an accounting case. Two.  Hours.  It was a struggle-fest, let me tell you, as we slowly pieced together how to complete the case with Vlad acting as safety net in case we wandered too far off-track.  That was two hours he could have been napping.  Naps are scarce and highly valued commodities in grad school.  But he helped us anyways.

And it isn’t just our class that has become a family – the Fisher Family extends outwards to past students, too.  On Sunday, I was talking to my friend, Jessi, who recently graduated from Fisher.  I mentioned that I was interviewing with a certain company.  “Oh!  You’ve got to talk to Brian!”  She gave me the contact information of one of her classmates who had interned with and was currently working for the company.

And when I e-mailed Brian?  He immediately suggested we set up a time to talk.  When he found out I was a career-switcher, and a little overwhelmed by the tough marketing questions asked in interviews, he offered to give me interviewing help and said to e-mail him anytime I have questions.

I’ve never had so many people helping me succeed.  It’s pretty amazing.  If you have a weakness, your career counselors, classmates, and professors will help you strengthen that skill set.  The people at Fisher – both past and present – support one another and want to see each other succeed.  The Fisher Family is one of the things that most defines Fisher, and what makes it so special.


Observations from Ohio State Football Games

Having done my undergrad at North Carolina State I was anxious to come to Ohio State and see the differences in the atmosphere and environment surrounding the football games.  Here are some of my observations from the first couple games of the season.

  • Tickets:  The ticket process was very different than at NC State.  If you want to buy tickets for Ohio State games you have to be on the lookout for an email in the middle of the summer with instructions on how to do so.  There are only two options for packages, either the full season home games or just Big Ten home games, no single game tickets.
    This was very different from NC State where the week before the game I would just have to go online and request a ticket for the upcoming game, for free! This whole process shows that the demand for students tickets is way higher than the supply.  I would definitely recommend at least trying to attend one game, if not buying tickets for all of the home games.
  • Tailgating:  The big thing about Ohio State tailgating is that it isn’t confined to just parking lots, the entire city is a tailgate.  From the bars on High Street, to the houses surrounding campus, to the parking lots around the stadium, everyone is out for the game having a good time.  Whether you attend Skull Session (still on my OSU bucket list), or are just throwing the pigskin with some friends before the game the atmosphere is second to none.  Pedestrian traffic is insane making driving on gamedays nearly impossible.  Even for the 8pm game people were out before noon making the game a whole day event.
  • Traditions: Even people that know nothing about Ohio State football are aware of some of the traditions.  Ohio State has more traditions than I can even list.  It’s almost impossible to be walking around on a gameday without hearing “O-H!” “I-O!” every five minutes.  The traditions that occur inside the stadium are absolutely amazing to be a part of.  Don’t worry if you don’t know the words to “Carmen Ohio” yet, you will learn them quick as it is sung at the beginning and end of every game.  The stadium O-H-I-O chant is also a very cool tradition, as the entire stadium shows their Buckeye pride.  And obviously I can’t talk about Ohio State traditions without mentioning The Best Damn Band In The Land.  Everyone is on their feet as the band performs Script Ohio and dots the I.   The band also performed a ten minute long amazing halftime show dedicated to famous and popular TV shows.  I highly would recommend everyone check it out if you haven’t seen it yet (here’s a link)!Script Ohio
  • Attire: I guess it’s just my North Carolina roots, but it came to a surprise to me that what people wear to games is definitely different than what I am used to.  It was almost expected that girls would wear sundresses and cowboy boots to NC State football games, while guys would dress up a little nicer with a tucked in polo or button down shirt.  The majority of people wear their OSU jerseys or shirts, and shorts or jeans.  I guess this just means I’m not in the South anymore.

Midterms, Accounting and Networking: Not that Bad!

Things have kind of ramped up here in the Fisher Full Time MBA program over the last couple of weeks. Even though we were already busy, our first set of midterms were upon us, our first accounting case was due and graduate careers fairs were beginning.

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My Husky Energy dog from the Career Fair says “Arpha!”

This is going to sound as bizarre as having a football team with nobody over 5’10, but midterms were probably the easiest and least stressful part of the middle of September. There was only so much to study three weeks into school. Our Marketing Math quiz was literally based off of three pages, our Marketing exam was more application than memorization, Econ was more art (literally) than science and Finance could have been about 1000000% harder than it was. Like they say in business school, learning more than grades are what matters and once you realize the professors aren’t going to absolutely kill you on exams, the focus on learning becomes a lot easier to handle. It’s all about application and not rote memorization like many undergraduate exams tend to be.

The real big bad in all of this was an accounting case worth about 2% of our grade, if even that. Accounting has supremely thick barriers to entry, at least in the way we have been taught, and with CPAs being exempt from the class, it seemed like absolutely nobody knew what was going on. Thankfully, because our CPA Fisher Family brothers and sisters love us so much, they were happy to help us with our homework and at least give us a push in the right direction. We had study groups the two days before the case was due and even if nobody could completely figure it out, we’re learning and I think that’s all that matters. I hope, anyway. I’ll let you know how the next case goes.

And then there was the Fisher Graduate Career Fairs. The big one was in the Blackwell on the Fisher Campus and brought companies such as Johnson & Johnson, Nationwide, Wendy’s and PolyOne. It was a chance to try out our pitches of ourselves if nothing else and get used to talking to people at these booths about their companies and learning about places we could potentially intern next summer.

To say my first attempt at this was a trainwreck would be a lie as it was far, far worse than that. I’ll keep the details of this talk classified but let’s just say I won’t be getting a job with this employer. I slowly got better, however, and once I got to the companies I was actually interested in such as Wendy’s, as I am a longtime consumer of their wares, I felt like I was doing a decent job. Anyway, these fairs aren’t the end all be all of the job hunt but are good practice if nothing else.

Anyway, once these trials and tribulations of business school were over, there was still time to play soccer, do homework and do some intense Friday night networking in the Short North.

The best parts of all of these things though is that nearly every one of your classmates is going through the exact same thing and it helps you all bond and really become a Fisher Family (copyright someone, I’m sure). A lot of us have gotten closer or just met more people through studying at Gerlach Hall or going to talk to the same employers at info sessions and then having some hardcore networking seshes on Fridays.

This part’s really been my favorite as I haven’t always had the easiest time making friends in the past. In law school everyone was dispersed and it was hard to see anyone outside of class. Undergrad was more of a bizarre experience for me, personally. But here, I’ve done the best I’ve done since about 2nd grade socially and am apparently the class mascot somehow. My face is on the top of this Grad Life blog. I couldn’t have made a better decision to have come and even things like midterms and horrible accounting cases and scary career fairs haven’t dampened that in the least.


Living in Columbus: A New Yorker’s Perspective

After living in NYC for 4 years, I kind of feared moving to Columbus. New York City had it all – culture, world class entertainment and sports, a vibrant nightlife, every walk of life, great public transportation, a diverse music and food scene, iconic parks, etc. In my mind, Columbus would be the typically college town, with a few rundown bars overrun by undergrads, some chain and fast food restaurants, a sleepy downtown area, and lots and lots and lots and lots of open space.

I have now been living in Columbus for a few months, and I must say this couldn’t be further from the truth. While I do miss the NYC subway, Columbus offers everything that NYC does, except on a smaller scale. You will find great diversity (e.g., ethnicities, nationalities, LGBT community) in and around the city, especially since Ohio State and the Fisher College of Business draws students from all over the U.S. and world. Major companies located in Columbus, including Nationwide, L Brands, and Cardinal Health, also bring in a diverse crowd of young and seasoned professionals. There is a great nightlife, especially in the Short North area, which caters mostly to young professionals and graduate students both during the week and weekend. Columbus residents, not surprisingly, are extremely passionate about sports, especially since Ohio State harbors some of the best U.S. college sports teams (Go Buckeyes!). There are also plenty of opportunities to get yourself into shape with the numerous bike paths, top-notch sports facilities, and parks in Columbus and on campus. And there is definitely an active Columbus foodie scene – every type of restaurant you can imagine from vegan to Indian to Asian to Ethiopian to American to Mexican to you name it! There is even the Columbus Food Truck Festival right before fall semester begins.

I’m still pretty new to Columbus, but it is feeling more like home every day. I still have more to explore, but thankfully there will always be something to do.

Full disclosure: I do live across from a cornfield, but it is a part of the Ohio State campus ;)


The Internship

The Internship-Vaughn and Wilson
Second year MBA students-they’re older, wiser, and more mature, right?  The first one in that list is guaranteed to happen.  The others, not necessarily, but the internship between the first and second year of the MBA program is aimed to help towards that.  This summer I interned as a Global Supply Chain Project Manager at Greif, which is a $4.5 billion industrial packaging company headquartered here in the Columbus area.

Greif Global Supply Chain
It was a great internship.  The Greif supply chain folks welcomed me as a full member of the team and never looked at me as an “intern”.  The projects I got to work on were ones that the other full time team members would have been working on if I weren’t there.  Not only that, but I also worked on a project that had an international focus and was able to travel to Amsterdam for a week during the summer to pitch the solution we had come up with to the leader of the business unit there.

I’ve found as a 2nd year MBA this year there are a lot of things I’ve been able to hit on from my internship at Greif while at career fairs and in interviews.  The things I learned while doing the internship have been beneficial in growing my experience and understanding of supply chain management, and it was largely due to the role I had there.  So, when looking for an internship it’s worthwhile to focus on what kind of internship it will be and if you’ll get a great experience out of it.  I sure had that at Greif, and was more than happy to intern there this summer.


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