Start Small…

Over the last week of work and class, I have come to understand the importance of the little things.  For instance, while walking from my car to Gerlach this week, I looked like a big geek with my arms loaded with books and my laptop case along with my book bag.  I saw a friend who smiled to me and helped me carry my books.

Later that day, I was sitting in the lounge, when someone came up and with a smile, I offered them the seat at my over-crammed with said books.

At the last football game (my first ever OSU game!), I came to realize how loud the Buckeye crowd can be.  Between the cheers of O-H….I-O and the jaunts towards the only Illinois person around, along with the pouring rain, it was hard to communicate with anyone in our group.  But whenever something good happened, we all cheered towards each other and then “high- fived” everyone around us, as if we were the ones who just scored the field goal. ( I will admit, half the time I didn’t really know what was going on, so I just cheered along with the people around me…)

At last week’s EOTW, the bar we were at was so crowded and the music was blaring.  Despite the environment, we still met some of the other first years and the second years.  I am sure people could not understand what I was saying because I tend to be soft-spoken, but I don’t really know because I was always received with a smile and a nod of the head.

While this post seems cliche, and maybe someone who reads this will see me and ask for the five minutes of their life back they spent reading it, I think that this week has shown me a valuable lesson.  It is the small things, the signs of unity and the consideration towards each other that makes Fisher stand out.  While we are all busy with work and such, a small gesture such as carrying some one’s books, holding a door, or an understanding smile can go a long way.

Thank you to those of you that have shown these acts towards me!

How Far Are We From Med School?

Obviously, the title doesn’t mean the physical distance between Ohio State’s med school and Fisher.

Last Tuesday I attended a Fisher Hub event–MIT Global Broadcast. Audience watched a lecture give by a MIT professor on his biotechnology research and, more importantly, how his ideas and products were commercialized. The topic involved networking among various fields, lots of which are between science and business. Besides the business terms and concepts I am familiar with, waves of scientific terminology stroke me. I was glad that my grades in science were not bad and I still remember most of the knowledge, otherwise it would be very hard for me to understand a significant portion of the lecture.

All these things lighted a bulb in my head.

I believe very few graduate students at Fisher think about getting to med school afterwards. Many of us may not touch anything in science because we think that’s “not our business”. But, are we really saying “Goodbye” to all other subjects after we confirm our career path in business?

Same Tuesday, at the MAcc Boot Camp, a partner from one of the large public accounting firms gave a presentation. When asked his opinion on how the economy would affect job markets in these coming years, he said, “I am not sure, but if you know the European history well, you might expect similar situation like what the European countries experienced.”

“If you know the European history well”, we can forecast future economic environment! Right, this was what my history teacher told me in high school, but when and how did I begin to forget all of these?

Everything is related to business. Medical technology is, history is, computer science is, art is, everything is! So my Fisher fellows, once we are in Fisher, we are not saying “Goodbye” to any other fields. Say “Hello”!

Upcoming events for WPMBA

I considered several other part-time MBA programs in the area.  One area that surprised me is the level of involvement and number of additional activities available for students like me .  Here is a list of upcoming events available to working Professional MBA’s for just this quarter!

October 1st MBA Networking Event: 15 Companies Represented 7:00pm – 9:00pm
October 4th Fisher Potluck Picnic 11:30am – 2:00pm
October 5th Fisher Professional  Serves Kick- Off Lu nc/i 12:30pm — 1:30pm
October 5th Chinese Business Assoc. Mid-Autumn Day Celebration 12:30pm – 1:30pm
October 7th How to Networking Using Linked-In 12:30pm — 1:30pm
October 7th MBA Marketing Assoc: Brand Management Speaker 12:30pm — 1:30pm
October 8th Cuilman Exec Lunch: Jason B. Jones, VP, Lockton Companies 12:30pm – 1:30pm
October 13th Evening Professionals Town Hall Meeting 5:15pm – 6:00pm
October 14th Innovation Fisher Kick- Off Meeting 12:30pm – 1:30pm
October 20th Google VP of Finance: Business Performance Management 12:30pm – 1:30pm
October 2Ot Evening at Limited Brands 5:30pm – 9:00pm
October 22d Thermo Fisher Scientific Sr. VP Info Session 12:30pm – 1:30pm
October 28th1 Warren Buffett Trip Info Session 5:15pm – 5:45pm
November 12th International Speaker: William Fetter 12:30pm — 1:30pm
November 13th Job Hunt and career Design: Daniel Porot 8:30am – 1:00pm
November 13th Deloitte Case Interviewing Workshop 1:30pm – 4:00pm
November 1 6 Alumni Relations Brown Bag Lunch 12:30pm – 1:30pm
November 1 6th International Speaker: Tom Heilman 12:30pm – 1:30pm
November 20th Fisher Winter Games 12:00pm – 5:00pm

Hopefully the program director for these programs will gain enough resources to podcast or stream some of these events so working professionals can actually benefit from them!!!!

Kid’s story: Why the heck am I here?

Timeline: Sunday, right after dinner

I see: the smoke remaining from my cooking

I hear: the washing machine in the spin cycle

I smell: smoke, go figure…

I feel: confused

My little cousin asked me recently how a person gets admitted into an MBA program at a top-ranked business school.

My short answer was: “I don’t know”.

I mean, I never meant to study at Fisher. As a matter of fact, the first time I heard of Fisher was this year and an image of a pond, a kayak, and a smelly guy wearing a hat came to mind. I did mean to get an MBA degree against my wishes, but I applied elsewhere (and got admission offers, in case you’re wondering).

Whoa, slow down… against my wishes? Yes, as a matter of fact. I was fed up and done with being a student, given that I already earned a salary (one that we call “decent” in my country, but that’s actually pocket change when turned into dollars) and that can be addictive. Also, I like partying in a measure that does not allow for it to be anywhere near “cheap”, so I was like a kitten in a yarn basket.

My cousin then changed her question into why would a person want to study an MBA.

I began thinking about my experience and how during the first few weeks the faculty members made it clear that they’re convinced that everyone is there for the money (which may be true) and nothing else (which I’m sure is wrong). I started evaluating every single aspect of my short life as an MBA student: the resources, the possibility of learning from distinguished professors, the pride of having a degree from The Ohio State University, the dream of a six-figure salary in the end, the vision of a career, the possibility of making a difference in the world…

None of them make sense. There is just one aspect of my new life that keeps me from regretting my decision, and it just makes everything else go away.

It’s the people. It’s my classmates. It’s my friends. This is the invaluable asset of an MBA experience. This is what keeps me going. And I am grateful for it.

By the way, my little cousin is applying for the MBA next year.

“How does it feel to come out of nothing…” – Dark Tranquillity (yes, with two l’s)

This week’s top five

  1. Quote:  “You look like a vampire”, which I said to NLM. The funny thing was that I actually thought he’d bite me.
  2. Event: 80’s Night, at the FC. Thanks to MT for putting that one together and to NF for getting me to go.
  3. Fact: JB was denied entrance to Gaswerks because he was wearing parachute pants.
  4. Best class: Economics. Prof. Campbell is the only teacher we’ve had so far who wrote a class agenda on the board.
  5. Lesson: my academic life has a lot of catching up to do, because right now my social life is overwhelmingly more interesting.

“So you like to dance!” – John Digweed

First day of class and OSU – Illinois weekend

I had my first night of class this past Thursday and I was pleasantly surprised that the (almost) 4 hours of class went by as quickly as they did. In 812 (Managerial Economics), we discussed a case for the majority of class and in 870 (Data Analysis for Managers), we went over the syllabus and then jumped into the course material. I think it will be a good quarter as long as I stay up to date with my work.

Since Thursday’s class I really haven’t had time to think about the reading and homework I have to do for class on Tuesday. My girlfriend’s family flew in from Chicago on Friday and we’ve been busy until now. Friday night we went to dinner at Marcella’s in the Short North. The food was good but the service was slow and the restaurant was ridiculously loud.

Saturday we went to the OSU – Illinois game. As most of you know, the weather was awful and despite our waterproof jackets and ponchos, we still managed to get pretty wet. Five minutes into the 2nd quarter we decided to go underneath and watch the rest of the quarter. We quickly decided that it would be a good idea to leave at halftime and watch the game from home. The defense looked great and it was nice to see the Buckeyes get another shutout.

Once the rain had cleared Sunday morning, we went golfing at OSU’s Scarlet course. It was a little soggy out there and I didn’t play very well but we had a great time. Scarlet is one of my favorite courses and for $30 you won’t find a better deal in Columbus. For those of you that aren’t golf fans, OSU’s golf courses were designed by Alister MacKenzie who designed Augusta National (where the Masters is played) and is considered by many to be the greatest golf course architect ever.

Now that the weekend is winding down, it is time to to get started on my homework and readings for class. Thanks for reading…below are a few pictures from the game.

Maybe a History degree wasn’t a great idea…

On Wednesday of last week, I had my first class as an Ohio State graduate student.  I never thought I’d say this about school, but I am really excited about my core curriculum and the skill sets that I’m about to gain.  After graduating from Yale University in 2006, I entered corporate America thinking I was prepared for anything that would come my way.  As you can probably imagine, it didn’t take long before I realized that I still had much to learn.  (Despite this discovery, I have no regrets about earning a BA in History… it just needs to be complemented with an MBA.)

Now that I have a couple classes under my belt, I need to stay on top of my assignments so I don’t fall behind in class.  Since I am one of a handful of students who have never taken a business class, I’ll need to work twice as hard as my peers.  Fortunately, I have come to this realization before receiving my first round of grades, and I am currently in the process of finding a place where I can study in the most efficient manner.

My first weekend as a student on Ohio State’s campus has been fairly dull from a blogger’s perspective.  On Friday, I woke up and started reading the 4 chapters that were assigned in Economics.  Around noon, I helped a friend move a futon to his place. (He provided Chipotle for lunch.)  Afterwards I started reading again until I could no longer focus due to my excitement for that night’s social activity:  1980’s theme party.  As expected, it rocked.

On Saturday, I woke-up to the sound of pouring rain and decided against going to The Horseshoe to root on the Buckeyes.  Instead of watching the game on TV, I decided to make it a “reading day” and drove to the Upper Arlington Public Library to get some work done.  I stayed in the library for 8 hours and left at the 5pm closing time.  After spending the entire day in the library I was completely brain dead when I left and decided to make it an early night rather than going out with my MBA friends.

Sunday was very similar to my Saturday.  I woke up early and went to Gerlach Hall to study.  I started reading my Accounting chapters, but continuously took mini breaks to watch the Bengals game on TV in Gerlach’s hallway.  All I can say is “Who Dey, baby!?”

The Ohio State University Campus

I decided to take a walk across campus on Wednesday night and take a seat on a bench in The Oval.  Seeing the Main Library, I started thinking about how much the campus has changed in the 7 years that I have been in Columbus. The restoration that has taken place has been nothing short of amazing.

The “Oval Restoration Project” was the first major renovation that I can remember happening while I have been on campus. It started during the Summer quarter of 2004. The oval was completely closed for renovation, and with no walkways available, I had to leave my dorm 15 minutes earlier each day just to make it to class on time. The pathways were opened for Autumn quarter, but fences stayed erect until Spring quarter of 2005. After all was said and done, the grass was greener, the pathways were much nicer, and it will stay beautiful for years to come.

I chose to talk about restoration of campus because there has been a lot of construction around The Ohio State University lately- The Union, The Main Library, 315, the parking garage by Fisher- just to name a few. Although it might cause some delays, or some headaches at the time, the future of The Ohio State University campus becomes much more exciting and beautiful because of the work that has been done.

aerial view

Picture taken from The Ohio State University website

The Oval is one of the most recognizable and favorite spots on campus, and throughout the rest of the year I will be posting some of my other favorites. So stay tuned!

Cheap Books and Tips.

I’ve noticed as I’ve read through several of the other blogs that people have commented on on the expense of buying books through campus bookstores or are curious as to where they can find a cheaper alternative. As my fiance puts it, I’m a connoisseur of online buying; most everything I buy is from online and multiple times cheaper than the vast majority of retail stores.

I discovered about 2 quarters into my sophomore year the art of buying books online. This quarter is probably my pride and joy as I saved $160 by buying my books online as opposed to buying used books from the campus bookstores. **NOTE** this does not apply to course packets. And for any professor reading this, sympathize for your students and don’t have course packets. Post readings on Carmen and make them buy a book. At least that way it’s re-sell-able.

How do I do it? Simple – Email your professor and ask which books are required for your class and be sure to ask for the edition. Once you have the title, author, edition and most of the time ISBN, google search the ISBN. Use the shopping function of google, which is AMAZING, and find the cheapest book. Amazon is good, but I much prefer abebooks.com. It tends to be a little cheaper and have less shipping. Amazon has the “super saving” deal where you can spend so much and get free shipping, but that’s only from Amazon, not their dealers, and most of the time are more expensive than the dealer prices or the prices from other online book distributors. Buy.com and half.com are other good sites, but always make sure you’re shopping through a secure site. Nine times out of ten, if the web URL starts with https, not just http it’s secure, but be careful where you put your credit card number.

Also, if you have the option of buying the binder-ready version vs the hard/soft back book, buy the hard/soft back book. Campus area stores won’t buy it back if it’s the binder-ready version. I learned that the hard way after “saving” $40 on a physics book and ended up losing $120 because I can’t sell it back.

More tips to come. For now, happy 2nd day of classes!

at the Ohio State University…RPAC

One of the biggest advantages of the Fisher MBA program is that it is a small sized program within a large university. Literally the Ohio State University is the largest university in the US.

The university campus is simply huge. To give you a glimpse of the campus, over the quarter, I will cover significant parts of the campus in a series of posts under the title ‘at the Ohio State University’, consider it a virtual tour ;). The RPAC or the Recreation and Physical Activity Center  is our first stop. It is located just south of ‘the shoe’ (I will cover that in a subsequent post).  RPAC is a wonderful facility which includes the following:

  • Fitness floor, approximately 27,500 square feet in size.
  • Basketball, badminton, racquetball, squash and volleyball courts
  • Jogging/walking track
  • Swimming pools, diving well and dive spa
  • Massage therapy center
  • Wellness center
  • Table tennis and pool tables
  • Sports shop
  • Golf stations
  • even a crèche.

It is an experience to just go around it once, it will take a really long time I bet. Amazingly whenever I go there I find so many people there. It starts like at 5:45 a.m. and closes at mid-night, but it is always packed with people. One tip I can give you is about lockers, they are limited and hence if you are planning to be regular, it would be good to apply for the lockers early in the quarter. There is a lottery system so even if you apply you are not guaranteed. But I was told if you don’t get it in a particular quarter and if you are still interested then you are given preference in the next quarter. You’ll have to use the day locker till then. I still don’t know if I managed to get one this quarter ;-).

It is a place full of energy and it gets you pumping. So those of you who never been to the RPAC before, I suggest you go and check it out.