Posts filed under 'Campus Life'



Columbus Christmas

It’s essentially like a whole season of Christmas when fall rolls around and football begins here in Columbus. The Buckeyes are our hometown version of both a college and NFL team rolled into one due to the fact that you have to go either north or south two hours to get to the closest NFL stadium. Our Ohio State Buckeyes don’t need to worry though, as the fans support the team to the fullest. On game day, you can find tailgates virtually everywhere and if you yell O-H, you’ll definitely hear an I-O coming from multiple directions.

I was extremely excited to hear that Fisher wouldn’t be lacking in the tailgate area during my two years in the MBA program. Every Saturday, our program hosts a tailgate at Fisher Commons, which is the apartment complex many of our students live in. Everyone pitches in or brings a dish to share and no matter the time of day, we feast and celebrate. For noon games, we will typically host a breakfast tailgate with pancakes, bacon and more, while afternoon and night games bring your standard tailgate grill foods. Fisher Commons has a central grassy area which makes for the perfect space to eat, drink and hang out before making the short walk over to the Shoe. Once we get to the Shoe, our class sits together in a seating block we form prior to the season. As a former graduate of Ohio State, I am so glad to be in a program where I can continue my fandom with a group of friends.

However, while football is king, I have also begun to appreciate the other sports options we have in the fall here in Columbus. Within Ohio State alone, you can visit any of our fall sport matchups depending on what interests you most. It’s also not too late to catch a Clippers game in August and early September and you may even time it up to catch one of the famous “Dime-A-Dog” nights. If baseball isn’t your sport, you also have the option to catch a Crew game and this year the soccer team has made it through to the playoffs, extending the season for us fans. Overall, no matter what your sport is, you can find a game to go cheer at during the fall months here in Columbus. With that, as always, GO BUCKS!


A different mood

Please forgive the unique composition of this blog!  I have been concerned that I was posting too much and wanted to approach it using a different method to see how it goes!  I am going to post a summary of my week, so it will be a bit disjointed until I get a better feel of how to summarize the experiences of the week.

My wife and I thought it would be nice to Skype on the days that I went straight from work to school, since I most likely would be unable to see my kids that day. My kids were thrilled.   My daughter showed off a pretty ‘Minnie’ dress that she was wearing while my little boy kept kissing towards the screen.   My daughter kept saying that she wanted to “see the people” and so I turned the screen towards two of my classmates that I was with.  They said, “hello” and my daughter turned away silently.  My boy just sort of stared at them, not saying anything.  Turning back to the screen, I talked to them for a bit and then had to say “goodbye” as I went to prepare for a new class.

Sitting in the classroom and getting ready for the Talent Management course.  The most noticeable thing is that we are in a different and smaller room than we were accustomed to.  Despite the decrease in the availability of seats, everyone is actively talking with each other as if they have all been friends for a long time.  This is only month three of our program and the dynamic is much different then the first class that we shared where everybody was more hesitant and cautious.  It truly seems to be shaping up to be a cohort.  Everyone is getting more comfortable with each other.

There are so many “unscheduled” opportunities to take advantage of while you are pursuing your degree.  Taking the opportunities to get to know your classmates (future working colleagues) by spending a few minutes after class discussing how classes are going or debating various topics.  One of my classmates and I sometimes will spend an hour or so after class, just talking to each other about the program and classes we are in.  It’s really nice to talk to another person who can empathize with the experiences at Fisher.  In another sense, it reminds me of the potential that all of us have and how listening inspires so many new ideas.

The more that I am in this program, it seems like ideas perpetually creep in to my head.  I am in the midst of proposing a staffing coordinators conference and keep getting more and more information to make it better.  There is a certain allure to running something on this level.  It is the kind of thing that would be a great way of encapsulating concepts that I am currently learning and at the same time, strengthening the organization that I work for!  Almost every class provides ideas to implement in the work setting:  Getting to know the clients of our company better and learning more about how to effectively develop solutions while experimenting with innovative ideas.

To end this week, I want to express my gratitude to everyone who has been reading my blog.  Please let me know if this has been interesting, helpful, or if there is something else that you want to know!  I look forward to hearing from you!


Pumpkin Carving

Last Friday (October 30), I went to an activity held by IFI. In this activity, I learned how to carve a pumpkin and I made my first pumpkin carving. Just like make-up party and “trick or treat,” pumpkin carving is a tradition for Americans to celebrate Halloween.

Thinking “Do in Rome as Rome does” and believing it would be fun to learn more about American culture, I joined the activity. When I came to the activity, I found most people who came here are Chinese. After the host introduced how to carve a pumpkin. I picked a pumpkin and several tools.

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At first, I was not sure how to carve a pumpkin. After the introduction, I first made a draft of the pattern that I wanted to carve. As it was my first time to carve a pumpkin, I decided to choose the simplest design. Then I stopped because I hesitated on where I should make my first carve. I was afraid I would ruin the pumpkin. A man noticed my hesitation and came to help me. With his help, I succeed to cut the top of the pumpkin and scooped out the flesh.

After that, I felt more confident about my carving. So I affixed my design to the pumpkin. But when I trace the design by poking holes with a sharp awl, I found the pumpkin was a little bit hard so that I had to carve hard. I first make holes in the pumpkin for eyes, then for a nose, finally the mouth. When I finally finished it,  I took many pictures and you can see from above, I was very happy!

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Soon, people around me all finished their pumpkins. When we turned out the light and light the candles inside the pumpkins, it was like going into a fairy tale world. I was surprised that there were so many wonderful pumpkin designs: Statue of Liberty, Harry Potter, Winnie the Pooh… I thought these people must be pumpkin carving masters and their rich imaginations really surprised me.

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In China, we also eat pumpkins. Actually, we have different ways to make pumpkins: pumpkin soups, pumpkin congee, fried pumpkin and so on. But we do not eat pumpkins for a special season: they are just like other common vegetables we eat for our daily life. We do not carve pumpkins, either. I knew when fall season comes, Americans have all kinds of food with pumpkin favor. Pumpkin kind of means fall and harvest for Americans.  It is interesting to know this culture difference and experience a different tradition.


Buckeye Traditions

The Ohio State University has a rich history, which has inspired passion, pride and traditions. Some of the traditions that exist on campus today are the following:

“Carmen Ohio” – This song was written by The Ohio State University’s four letter athlete and Glee Club singer, Fred Cornell. This song is sung multiple times throughout football game days, as well as different commencement events (i.e. Candlelight Ceremony and graduation). The title means “Ohio Song,” and continues to be one of the university’s oldest school songs and traditions.

“Buckeye Battle Cry” – This song is recognized as Ohio State’s fight song, which is performed by the acclaimed Ohio State University Marching Band (also known as TBDBITL – The Best Damn Band in the Land).

Script Ohio – This has become a trademark associated with OSU football. TBDBITL forms a looped “Ohio” script on the field. Another tradition tied to Script Ohio is Dotting the I. Each game a different fourth- year or fifth-year sousaphone player is selected to stand as the dot in the “I” of “Ohio.”

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Homecoming – There are several homecoming events that celebrate OSU students past, present and future. The Homecoming Parade and Homecoming Pep Rally help kick-off the festivities, and throughout the weekend there are tailgates, football, and more!

Mirror Lake – The Ohio State University and University of Michigan athletic rivalry is one that has caught the attention of sports fans around the world. As a result, the week leading up to the OSU vs. Michigan game is referred to as “Beat Michigan Week.” One of the events that students participate in is known as the Mirror Lake jump. Mirror Lake is a man-made pond near the Oval (also known as the heart of campus), and students gather to jump into the lake the Tuesday night of Michigan Week. It may not be sanctioned by the University, but it’s a tradition that continues to build camaraderie amongst Buckeyes.

Commencement Week – This week is filled with celebratory events for graduating students, and one of the traditions within Commencement Week is the Commencement Eve Candlelight Ceremony. This is an event where undergraduate, graduate and professional students and their families and friends gather on the Oval on Commencement Eve. Guest speakers share remarks, and then attendees light a candle and sing “Carmen Ohio.”

The Long Walk – Being a romantic, one of my favorite traditions is known as The Long Walk, which takes place on the Oval. It is said that if couples are able to walk the brick path from College Road to Thompson Library holding hands without interference or another crossing their path, then they are destined to be together forever.

These are just a few of the traditions that exist here at OSU, but there are many more. The traditions exist to bring people together, build community, and make memories.

Note: Since there are several references to TBDBITL, you can check them out at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAzzbrFgcUw


Autumn Break is Great, but Getting Hired during Autumn Break is Even Better!

Here comes the autumn break after all the exams for the first portion of the semester are done. I am really cheerful about this break, although without a car and money, it might be a little difficult to come up with an exciting plan for the vacation. However, 4 days ago, I wrote an email to apply for a part-time job on campus and got a reply the day before my final exam. My mind was so occupied by the exam, but I still went to the interview in the next building, guessing they probably will say “thank you and goodbye” after hearing my English. I am applying for front desk work which expects me to answer the phone. Figured I would just take it as an experience of an interview. But surprisingly, the only interview question is “are you available this Wednesday and Thursday?” An interesting thing is when the lady in the office asked me if the salary is ok for me, I said “much better than nothing.” I actually mean having a job and earning some money is better than not working. I probably shouldn’t have missed that lecture for compensation negotiation on the HUB. I’m really grateful that I can get a job as an international student. I hope my English skills will prove to be worth the payment. Maybe Fisher is really my perfect predestined choice. Anyway, life is getting better and better. I’m really grateful for what Fisher has given me.


MAcc Talk with Professor James Hill

Another great aspect of being part of The Ohio State Masters of Accounting (MAcc) Program is being able to take part in the EY MAcc Speaker Series. Over the course of the program, the speaker series invites roughly ten influential individuals in both academic and professional communities to come and speak to MAcc students during lunch time (another great aspect is that lunch is provided for you!)

Professor James Hill

This past week we had Professor James Hill from the Management Sciences department at the Fisher College of Business come and speak to our class about product complexity. Professor Hill specifically spoke about product complexity in the yogurt market with companies like Chobani Yogurt. He discussed the operational strains an organization like Chobani experiences when they must produce 350 variations of one product! Another main discussion was on how the increase in the number of flavors of yogurts availible on the shelfs of grocery stores is changing the risk of food related illnesses. His presentation was rounded out as he showed the students a specific production model that he was able to create through research at a local production plant that would increase efficiency of the plant.

All in all, the MAcc speaker series is designed to be a way to expose students to other areas of academia or professional enviornments that might not be directly adressed through coursework in a fun and interactive enviornment!


Finishing the Term and Fall Break

What an extraordinary couple of weeks it has been… I was cruising through this year, able to balance work, school and my extracurricular activities perfectly fine until about two weeks ago. It’s crazy how things (*cough* school work *cough*) can sneak up you when you least expect it! I woke up one Sunday morning after having enjoyed a great Buckeye football game the day before to realize that I had an entire day of work ahead of me just to get caught up. There were projects to finish for my Leadership, Corporate Finance, Data Analysis and Industry, Risk & Pricing courses. Not only did I have to finish those projects and get ready to present them, but I had two exams to study for and a group case analysis to finish up. All of this within a week and a half. After what was probably the longest and most productive Sunday of my life, I was about 1/3 of the way to being done. Needless to say, the following week was a little hectic and stressful. If I might offer a piece of advice: Don’t Wait until you have a week left in the term to try and finish everything. Thank goodness all of my groups were organized and we powered through without any major hiccups!

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But don’t worry, the program isn’t always as crazy as I just made it seem. The entire time I was grinding away I knew that Fall Break was around the corner. Ever since OSU switched to semesters my sophomore year of undergrad, I had been waiting for the University to add a fall break to our schedule. I had friends at other semester schools who had a Fall Break but we never had one! Until this year! You’d better believe I took advantage of it. Right after my last two exams on Wednesday, I hit the golf course for a nice round with some of the guys. Afterwards I took off for my home town of Centerville where I was able to spend time with my family for the first time in what seemed like ages. Fast-forward to Saturday morning and I’m back in Columbus getting ready to tailgate and cheer on the Buckeyes to victory against Penn State! All-in-all, the past few weeks have been quite a whirlwind but I wouldn’t have it any other way!golf


The People at Fisher

When starting the MBA program, I never expected the people here to be so nice. You hear the business school stereotypes about the intense competition, too many Type-A personalities vying for the same jobs, everyone stuffy and perpetually be-suited, etc. but I’ve felt something completely different here at Fisher.

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I was attracted to the small class size at Fisher and liked the thought of getting to know my fellow classmates, but I had no idea how quickly and how deeply those connections would be forged.

Walking down the hallway after about a month here, I knew most of the first years by name and a surprising number of the second years too, and I’ve met even more people since then. The faculty and staff ask about how a test went and I’m halfway through my answer before I realize how extraordinary it is that they know and care about us to even keep track of something as mundane as our testing schedule.

When the administration introduced the concept of the “Fisher family,” I thought it was mostly rhetoric and didn’t take it too seriously. But then I got here and realized that the faculty, staff and my fellow students live up to that promise every day. People are beyond supportive; they cheer for you, care about you, and want the best for you.

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Before our last Data Analysis test (yikes!), a lot of students met at Fisher on a Sunday night to study. There was a very collaborative atmosphere with some people who understood the material teaching the rest of us who struggled with the material a little more. I was blown away when I realized that there were a couple of students going from study room to study room offering to answer any questions and checking to make sure we were feeling alright about the test. They weren’t TAs, they didn’t need to be there, and it was 10:00 on a Sunday night! I was really touched by their genuine concern, especially after the test when they asked me how I felt about it and assured me that I did fine.

I’m only 9 weeks in, but I can tell you that there’s definitely a feeling of “we’re all in this together,” and I think that’s what sets Fisher apart during the program and as alumni.

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Experiencing culinary delights in Columbus


A Hard Day’s Grind!

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As a grad student, I have had to relearn how to get into the grind. It seems most of my time is spent reading textbooks, keeping up with my to-do list (life saver), exploring job opportunities, and more than anything…drinking coffee from the best grinds (personally prefer Hazelnut & Columbian). Though the picture above seems to sum it all up, it is not so. As it happens sitting in Professor Pinteris’s class and learning about how analysts value corporations is of great interest to me. From using Multiples to discounting Cash Flows, we are exposed to how most firms are valued. The To-do list in the picture is the full picture in terms: Though it looks cluttered, there is a method to its madness. On there I have important class dates, meeting dates, corrections to previous notes, homework assignments due, and notes to remember to watch a financial segment on TV. The pamphlet from Fifth Third is one of the driving goals of my education. I want to use the material learned in class to make a difference one day with a big firm …But the grind does not necessarily just reflect nights reading as we see below…

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As I walk from class in Gerlach Hall to the south side of campus towards Thompson I am reflecting about the grind that I went through the night before completing assignments, applying to Fifth and Third, running to Krogers to pick up a fresh bag of ground Columbian coffee beans to make my vietnamese coffee. I am thinking about how I am starting to get used to and like this grind. This grind although it takes up a large amount of my time is well worth it. And so as the gears in my head are turning …..grinding rather.. I am thinking about my next move. Do I walk faster so that I can get that magical fourth floor spot at Thompson? No its Wednesday and the seats are probably full. Should I reach out to an other alumni through linkedin or finish my leadership paper that is due next week? I pull out my To Do notebook and notice that I have annotated both “To Dos” in my notebook. I then stop and realize why it is that I strolled across campus in the first-place knowing that I would not get a spot at Thompson this early ……….

Every chance that I get while the weather is still nice, any couple of  minutes that I am able to steal from my studies and assignments or career search on beautiful days such as this Wednesday, I try to sneak in a pass by Mirror Lake. It has this calming presence about it. It is almost a poster like entity that makes The Campus so much more meaningful and motivating. I stand there and snap a couple of pictures and passerbyers whether students, faculty, staff or regular visitors smile and walk by. Some are engrossed in their phones, some in the conversations they’re having with their peers and some others I notice are just like me; they’re enjoying that moment of quiet and peace that Mirror Lake offers before getting back to the grind. I put my phone back in my pocket and remember that by now the fourth floor has started to clear up and that there is much more to do, a lot more to read, a lot more to learn, a lot more coffee beans to be ground. Back to this grind that I’ve come to respect.

 


What did you do on Friday night?

I pulled up and parked on the street across from my house (as I usually do), got out of my car and looked up at the window. My daughter was saying “Daddy!” and my boy was making excited sounds with a smile stretching across his face. After two really busy weeks of exams for first term classes, presentations, and work being persistently busy, this was an incredible moment for me. They both tackled me coming into the door and I was almost in tears to spend some time with them so my wife would have a little time to herself.

Later on that evening, my daughter (three years old) was watching Pokemon, while my son (1 year old) and I were playing together. He wanted to lay down on the floor and he started staring at the ceiling.  He kept saying “Bah”, “Bah”, “Bah”  I looked up and he was pointing to the balloons that were left over from his first birthday party a couple of weeks ago. Him and I just talked for a few minutes about balloons.

I cannot imagine a more enjoyable way to spend my Friday night.


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