Have you ever felt hesitant to speak your mind in a meeting, own up to your recent accomplishments at work or take the first chance to raise your hand in class? These are thoughts common to many women in the business world. Fisher Graduate Women in Business (FGWIB) just hosted a workshop to help bring women together and begin combatting these very issues.
The first of four workshops in the series, “Raise Your Hand: A Workshop for Fisher Women,” led by Dr. Claire Kamp Dush, was both encouraging and inspiring! We learned and compared with other women how much we are affected by imposter syndrome, or the tendency for successful individuals to not accept their own accomplishments and develop a fear of being seen as a fraud. We shared stories and created action steps to support one another in preventing some of our default imposter syndrome actions moving forward. Overall, the workshop provided a confidence boost through developing aspirations for being fearless in work, life and school. I am looking forward to the next workshop focused on the best ways for women to self-promote.
Throughout my time at Fisher, FGWIB events and workshops like these have helped bring women together in support and empowerment. I am also a Forté Fellow, and as a part of the Forté Foundation, I am able to expand my network beyond the Fisher community. All female MBA students are able to join Forté as soon as they start the program. Through Forté, I attended one of their annual conferences to network with organizations and other schools, I have listened in on inspiring webinars led by female business leaders across the US, and I have leveraged their job center through posting my resume and interviewing for several positions targeting Forté members.
Overall, despite some of the challenges we face as women in business, being surrounded by conversations bringing these challenges to light, workshops to rise above and resources to expand and grow professionally has made a significant impact on my experience here at Fisher. I look forward to seeing these experiences continue on into the year and for future Fisher women!
While it may tempting to spend the summer before business school taking a bit of a break from work, there are a ton of great opportunities and resources that you can take advantage of before school starts. Search for “Pre-MBA Boot Camps” and find something that fits your interests or career goals. There are numerous opportunities across a wide range of industries including The Forte Foundation’s Financial Services Fast Track, Google’s Student Veteran Summit, and P&G’s Brand Camp, to name a few.
Use your Resources
Take advantage of the awesome resources and staff at the Fisher College of Business Office of Career Management (OCM). Career consultants from a variety of backgrounds help students narrow down career goals, fine-tune resumes, and practice elevator pitches and behavioral interview questions. In addition to the one-on-one sessions that students can schedule with career advisors, the OCM routinely holds seminars and workshops to prepare students for the job hunt.
Know your Deadlines
There can’t be a worse feeling then checking a job posting for your dream company and realizing the deadline has passed. The best way to stay on top of deadlines and other important dates in the recruiting process is with an Excel file. Keep track of important deadlines, as well as the dates that you applied for and interviewed for positions. If you haven’t heard back in a few weeks it may be a good time to follow up with your company contact.
Dress the Part
When it comes to recruiting events and interviews, the rule of thumb is that it’s always better to overdress rather than underdress. If you are looking for some more affordable options to purchase a suit, check out the Tanger Outlets or Ohio State’s Career Closet. The Career Closet occurs every fall prior to recruiting season and has lightly used business attire, shoes, and accessories offered to students for free!
While the authors of the Fisher Grad Life belong to different programs and speak to their own experiences, one similarity we share is having gone through the process of selecting a masters program. Pursuing this type of degree is a big investment and the key to finding the right program lies in conducting thorough research.
This week I decided to share what factors I found helpful when I began to consider business graduate programs.
Disclaimer: This is not a comprehensive list, but rather a short list of items that will push you in the right direction for your search.
Are you willing to relocate? I would determine this as soon as possible, doing so will either narrow or expand your search for prospective programs. Depending on where you are currently located, expanding your search may allow you to consider more competitive programs. However, do not consume your time searching for or applying to universities in locations you would not actually relocate to if accepted.
The average length of a masters program is typically two years. However, you will find that some programs can be shorter or longer based on the specialty you are interested in. If you wish to remain working full-time during this period, it can take anywhere from 3-6 years to complete a program as a part-time student. The duration of a program can easily be found on a program’s website.
Not all programs are created equal. Even if they sound similar, be aware of the “College” or “School” that each program is associated with. Using Human Resources as an example, the Master of Human Resource Managment Program at Ohio State is in the Fisher College of Business but many other universities have their HR programs within a School of Industrial and Labor Relations. Navigate to the university’s website and reference the curriculum to get a better sense of what type of coursework each program focuses on.
Each university will differ in this category. Majority of programs will have you submit a resume, letters of recommendation, transcripts, essay, and test scores. Some programs may waive or not require you to take the GMAT or GRE while other programs could require prior work experience in order to be admitted.
To estimate the cost of attendance, I suggest searching for the tuition and fees and the cost of living on the universities website. In addition to this, you may want to consider if the university is a private or public institution, if you would be paying in or out of state tuition as well as what type of financial assistance is available.
Compared to undergraduate studies, FASFA or federal student aid is much more limited for graduate students. Therefore, a majority of students will fund their education with student loans. I suggest speaking with a representative of the program about opportunities for scholarships, graduate assistantship, and fellowships that you may be eligible for.
To conclude, I suggestlooking into each university’s accreditation, reputation, ranking, faculty, campus life, student resources/involvement opportunities and career outcomes of past graduates. Most importantly, search for programs that align with your short and long-term career goals.
No matter where you are in this process, I encourage you to utilize the information highlighted in this post and begin your graduate program search today. If you are interested in any of the Fisher College of Business graduate programs, please reach out to us at any time!
It is hard to imagine that six weeks has passed since our first semester began. But like the saying goes, “time flies when you’re having fun”, which actually started before our first class.
Upon completion of orientation, our class went to Summit Vision, an outdoor team-building experience. Because none of us knew each other before the program, this was a challenge as we struggled to complete objectives as essentially a group of strangers. However, when we finished a couple of hours later, Summit Vision’s impact was obvious; we surely developed some lasting friendships, ready to tackle the upcoming semester.
This carried over to our next gathering, which involved the second-year students of the MBLE program. We all went to COSI, where we had a catered, private room and a COSI team member who showed us exciting experiments. Because many of our class members are from outside of Columbus, this was their first experience of Downtown. We made sure to do some exploring and not let our short time together go to waste.
Our most recent get-together was for the Mid-Autumn Festival. Because a majority of our classmates are Chinese international students, we wanted to celebrate this important holiday as a reminder of home. We had some delicious mooncake, saw the moon, and played fun icebreaker games.
Of course, it isn’t all fun and games. The parties must be balanced with our rigorous coursework. So far, this semester has been busier than any of my time in undergrad. And from what the second-year MBLE students have said, it won’t be slowing down anytime soon (a popular saying among the second-years is “MBLEs never sleep”). On top of this, we have career fairs to worry about and some of us even have part-time jobs. However, I believe I can speak for the rest of my classmates: we wouldn’t trade it for anything. There’s a reason Fisher’s MBLE program is one of the most highly ranked in the country (https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-business-schools/logistics-rankings); we know that once we finish the program we will be among the most qualified graduates in the country. And it has already shown at career fairs. Many of us have gotten interviews, despite being in the program for just a few short weeks.
As we continue our program we must strive to find balance. While having too much fun is obviously detrimental, we cannot spend all of our time studying, either. And yes, there will be some late nights in Gerlach Hall, but there will also be some late nights in Ohio Stadium. My classmates and I look forward to the fun times, and the stressful times, as the semester continues.
With the Fisher Career and Internship Fair behind me, I’ve finally taken the time to reflect on the experience. While the dust still settles, I figured I’d take a few minutes to give out Alex’s Top 3 Tips for Succeeding at the Career Fair/Interviewing Process:
A lot of times, folks will tell you to “dress professionally” which means “wear a suit” or whatever your gender equivalent of a suit is. While obviously suits are a great way to go, I say dress CONFIDENTLY for two reasons:
Not everybody can afford a suit.
You will literally be in a sea of suits and standing out isn’t always a bad thing.
So wear something nice that works for your price range and comfort level. Personally, I was very lucky to be able to afford a new suit and pair of dress shoes for the career fair, but that may not be your story. If you end up not being able to rock a suit-like option, maybe even make a little light-hearted joke during the opening like I used to before I could afford a suit.
After you explain your genuine interest in the company (we’ll talk more about this later) finish with “and I’m REALLY excited to get this internship/job so I can afford my first suit!” Say it with a smile and they’ll probably love it.
Don’t be a robot
Now, joking during an interview isn’t for everybody, so you have to do what feels comfortable when talking with employers and recruiters (are you sensing a theme yet?). That being said, these folks are going to meet and interview dozens of people over the next few days, and that doesn’t even stack up to how many people they may interact with all together.
Obviously, be professional and respectful of their time, but if you sit there and just regurgitate answers that you’ve obsessed over the past week or two, they’re going to get bored or at the very least they’re not going to remember you.
When they ask about who you are, talk about something more than just your professional passions. Do you have a pet you love? Maybe a fun hobby? I always mention at the end of my “about me” section that my main three passions in life are education, diversity and inclusion, and my dog, Bernie. This usually shows that I’m not just some mindless worker drone, but I’m an actual person who they can connect with on a personal level.
Don’t be afraid to show a little bit of who you are and you’ll be great.
You have about five minutes at most, so be memorable
This is something nobody really told me about when I was prepping for the career fair, and is was probably the most shocking. You walk up to the booth, get noticed by a recruiter, they take your resume and maybe take a picture (you sometimes fill out a quick questionnaire on an tablet), and then you get to do an elevator pitch. Maybe they’ll ask you a follow up, maybe they just tell you about the next steps in their process…and then that’s it.
It’s quick, it feels slightly awkward, and I can only imagine the amount of hand shaking that goes down. It’s not the recruiter’s fault, I remember some lines being wrapped around the ball room, with undergraduates and graduates patiently waiting for their few precious minutes. I’m not knocking the system at all, but what I am saying is that you have a short amount of time to make a good impression, so you have to make it. To borrow the iconic words of a meme, you have to shoot your shot.
Introduce yourself confidentially, talk about a few key things about your experiences that you think stand out or that you’re most proud of, be upfront that you’re interested (if you are, don’t lie) and would like to know the next steps of their process. This will, hopefully, signal to them you’re the real deal and are worth their time to interview. Add in tip one and two and you’re on your way to getting a job/internship!
So there you have it, Alex’s Top 3 Tips for Succeeding at the Career Fair/Interviewing Process. I can’t guarantee your success, but I’ve found past success with these few tips. As long as you’re honest about who you are and what you what from/in an employer, you’ll be fine!
Good luck with the internship/job search and may the odds be ever in your favor!
My name is Matt Steffan, and I will be serving as the combined BSBA/MAcc Graduate Ambassador for the 2018–2019 school year. Now what does being in a combined program mean? Essentially, I take Master of Accounting classes while in the fourth year of my undergraduate program. I am able to satisfy the requirements for the handful of accounting classes that I would take my senior year of undergrad by taking equivalent classes in the Master of Accounting Program. I truly get the “best of both worlds,” as I am eligible to go to events for both undergraduate and graduate students.
My background is in accounting and I spent two summers as an intern with KPMG Buffalo. I worked in audit the summer after my sophomore year and took part in a rotational program where I was in both audit and advisory the summer after my junior year. After graduation from the combined BSBA/MAcc program, I will be working as an analyst for Microsoft.
Outside of school and work, I am a huge sports fan. I go to all of the Buckeye football games and most of the hockey games. While I love the Buckeyes, my heart has always been with the Buffalo Bills (#BillsMafia) and Buffalo Sabres. I am patiently waiting for the day my city gets a championship because I know Buffalo will never be the same after. I have played hockey competitively my entire life, and still play recreationally while at school.
In my free time, I exercise, routinely come up just short in fantasy football leagues, and play video games. I also manage a few investment portfolios and am very into the stock market, being a member of Buckeye Capital Investors on campus. If you are reading this, I encourage you to start investing today! The best time to invest was 20 years ago, but the second best time to invest is today. As the wise Warren Buffet once said, “The stock market is a tool for transferring money from the impatient to the patient”.
I am very excited to have the opportunity to blog for Fisher Grad Life regarding my MAcc experience. If you ever have questions related to my experiences with the MAcc program or as a combined student feel free to reach out!
Hello there! My name is Mai Erana Salmeron and I am a first-year MHRM student at Fisher College of Business. I want to start by telling you about my background, especially how and why I am here today. Then I would love to share, as my title expresses, the first impressions, challenges, and action steps I am embracing as I start my year as a graduate student at Fisher.
A little bit about me
I was born in Mexico City, but moved to Chile shortly after, then to Venezuela, back to Mexico City, and finally to Ohio! My family has been in Columbus for some time now; I actually went to high school around here. I left for undergrad in Boston and came back for graduate school. (Fun fact: I moved to Columbus for the very first time on July 6th, and on that date exactly seven years later, I moved back permanently for grad school. Meant to be? I think so!)
I have an undergrad degree in hospitality administration, which is a result of my love for taking care of others, and the tremendous impact gathering people around the table served to help me adapt to various cultures growing up. Most of my work experience has been in the Food and Beverage industry, but it’s through those opportunities that I recognized a tremendous need for employee development and talent management. I had some great “lightbulb moments” as I like to call them that made me realize how much I like human resources and how this had to be the next step in my career.
So why OSU? I think it took me to get out of Columbus to realize how much I love it! There is nothing more welcoming than this beautiful, vibrant city with a great balance of city and suburban life. There is so much to do, so many places to eat at, and so much community involvement to experience. Being part of this city means you are a Buckeye in some way or another, so I truly looked forward to moving back and being a part of it all again. Fisher is an even more exciting part of this decision. As I looked for HR programs, I couldn’t find anything that compared! The school has phenomenal rankings, opportunities, and most importantly, people who demonstrated they wanted to invest in me as much as I wanted to invest in them.
If I had to describe how Fisher makes me feel after the first few weeks of classes I would use the words capable and dynamic. Even before we got to campus, the staff and faculty were engaging with the students. We had prep modules, books, and other interactive plans that helped me become a part of the culture at Fisher; these also allowed me to see that I have what it takes to succeed in this career. I am unbelievably grateful for all the ways in which Fisher guides its students to take small, yet meaningful steps to prepare for class, career fairs, networking opportunities, and most importantly learn about yourself. There is never a dull moment at this school; there is always some organization providing involvement opportunities, or a chance to connect with the staff, alumni, and professors.
Being told all the steps involved in becoming a competitive business student is terrifying, and quite frankly, you can feel overwhelmed. So far, I have had to learn to pause and think of all the things that I have done, career wise, and ask myself why they mean something to me. I have learned that it is invaluable to be patient with myself to process all these expectations, so I can figure out what to work on that will truly help me grow. I have had to get out of my comfort zone and just jump in, as I learn to solve problems whenever they arise. It’s a bit uncomfortable, but it has also been truly rewarding.
First action steps
These are a few pieces of advice I have heard in my time at Fisher thus far. I would encourage you to keep them in mind because they can help you be very successful and enjoy the program to the fullest. I also think they are helping me stay accountable and motivated🙂
Something I haven’t written about yet, but that I know is important to students considering undertaking the SMF program, is my personal career search. My case is a little different than the typical student, but I still think it would be beneficial to share.
As many of you know by now, I am from Oklahoma and graduated from Oklahoma State University last May. Since I knew I would be pursuing the SMF degree, I wanted to undertake an internship for the summer before to get more work experience under my belt (and also make a little bit of money). Through my network from my old university, I was able to secure an internship with Phillips 66 for the summer.
Phillips 66 might be unfamiliar to students not from the region, so I will go ahead and provide a little bit of background on the company for anyone who is interested.
It is an independent oil & gas company that came into existence after ConocoPhillips spun off its midstream and downstream assets in 2012 (“midstream” and “downstream” are terms you’d learn about if you ever work in the energy industry). It has approximately 14,000 employees in about 65 countries worldwide and is ranked #34 in the Fortune 500. Based on my internship experience, I truly think it’s a great place to work and I highly recommend it to any future SMF students who are interested in either living in Houston or working in the energy industry!
At the time of securing the internship, I wasn’t necessarily planning on starting a career at Phillips, but after a summer immersed in the culture and meeting tons of awesome people, I decided I could really see myself coming back full-time. I was fortunate enough to receive a full-time offer at the end of the internship and after soliciting advice from different people in the program, I decided to go ahead and accept the offer and secure full-time employment.
The reason I tell you about my search is to give you a couple of pieces of advice. The first is: just because you will be coming to a new university with a new network, that doesn’t mean that your connections from undergrad can’t still be beneficial. There’s no shame in accepting a job that doesn’t directly come through the SMF program. Second, I highly encourage students coming directly from undergrad to do an internship during the summer before the SMG program. It could really pay dividends, and you might find that you really fit in well with the company.
All in all, I consider myself very lucky to have been able to secure a job so early, and I am very excited to begin working after graduation!
MBA student Rajat Gugnani reflects on creating a career trek to Washington state and the opportunity it provided to graduate students at Fisher to connect with industry leaders Amazon, Expedia, Microsoft and Starbucks.
With the academic year coming to an end and everyone finishing final presentations and papers for various courses, I look back and feel blessed to have spent a wonderful first year with some fantastic people at Ohio State’s Fisher College of Business. One of the things I feel passionate about is serving as an MBA Ambassador. It gives me a chance to speak with prospective candidates from across the world, show them our campus, and take them for coffee and lunch while sharing my perspective about our program and school.
I recently took the initiative to build a new “career trek” to Seattle. My motivation for creating a new career trek targeting tech companies came from innumerable phone calls I answered while working with the Admissions Office during my first semester at Fisher. Many students asked if we have established connections with organizations on the West Coast, and I always wanted to say “Yes!” This consequently led to the development of a formalized trek to Seattle.
As soon as I decided to undertake this initiative, I approached a current second-year student, Thais Batista Ronconi, who interned at Amazon and will be joining Amazon in a full time-role this year in Seattle. She was enthusiastic about the idea and was happy to mentor me throughout the development of the trek. We approached the process step by step and started reaching out to alumni and talent acquisition heads/recruiters at various organizations in Seattle. In the meantime, we gauged interest from current students and started working on the timing.
The response we received from students was massive — something that kept us going even after hearing “no” from some of the organizations. After working with companies for almost three months, we got our final “YES” list: Starbucks, Amazon, Microsoft and Expedia. Yes, the Big 4 in Seattle.
The timing worked out well with the organizations. We visited in mid-March during spring break with a group of 15 first- and second-year MBAs.
Day 1 started at Starbucks! As soon as we entered Starbucks’ board room, we received a bag full of coffee and goodies for each of us. We started with a session from one of the executives on Sourcing and Global Operations and then learned more about how Starbucks is differentiating itself by investing in technology. We toured Starbucks HQ, which was one of a kind. Every wall illustrated the company timeline by connecting Starbucks’ different product releases with prominent historical events. Also of note: employees can contribute to the less fortunate by buying coffee at a special store inside the building. People from across all departments also meet weekly to discuss how they are impacting people’s lives. From its coffee-tasting space to roasteries, everything at Starbucks is distinct.
We commenced Day 2 at Microsoft in Redmond, Washington. The first activity took us to the visitor center, a place that has a neat display of everything Microsoft (it features all of Microsoft’s current and upcoming products). From Xbox to Surface book, and from HoloLens to Microsoft’s Age Detection API, we experienced everything.
We were introduced to some cool initiatives at Microsoft and learned how it is utilizing technology to make the world a better place to live. One of the projects that stood out was how Microsoft is helping to find missing children in China. After spending some great time with the recruiter, we met a panel of Ohio State alumni who answered our questions about “all things Microsoft.” Concluding our visit with lunch, it was overall a great day spent in sunny Seattle with our alumni members. Big shout-out to Rafael Williams, university recruiter at Microsoft!
Expedia welcomed us with an overview of its organization and later gave a detailed description of its global network of brands. The best part of the visit was a Q&A with the recruiter, who answered more than 50 questions from us.
Amazon came at last — marking a perfect ending to our Seattle trek. This organization never fails to surprise me — it has now surpassed Google as the best place to work in the United States, according to one survey. We started at Amazon’s “Day 1” building (they consider every day at work to be the first day creating an entrepreneurial start-up environment) with a panel discussion featuring the head of Product Management and a mix of people covering different areas at Amazon! Conversation with each of the panelists gave us more clarity on what Amazon is seeking from its future employees and how its current employees live those 14 leadership principles in their day-to-day work.
After touring the building, we went to the newly opened Amazon Spheres. These spheres serve as a “haven of carefully tended nature geared to letting Amazonians break free from their cubicles and think disruptive thoughts.”Going through each of its floors while experiencing more than 400 different species of cloud forest plants from all over the world was an exhilarating experience. It is definitely a “must-visit” for everyone visiting Seattle. Amazon will soon open the spheres to public.
It was absolutely a delight to take part in this once-in-a-lifetime event and to learn new things about all these organizations. I hope this new trek becomes a legacy at Fisher College of Business.
Should I go directly from undergrad to grad school, or should I work first?
If you’re asking yourself this question, rest assured you are not alone. It feels like I’ve been having this conversation a lot lately with juniors and seniors who are grappling with the question of “what’s next?” Of course, the decision for everyone will be personal and will “depend” on many factors. But we hear “it depends” too much already in my opinion, so I thought I’d outline my thoughts around what, exactly, it depends on.
It depends on… the job you want.
When I was considering grad school and what program/course of study would best fit my goals, I found it really helpful to work backwards. I sifted through LinkedIn and Indeed and other job boards to put labels on the types of work in which I was especially interested. Then I looked at the “required and desired qualifications” to see what combination of education and experience I might need to get a foot in the door.
And it depends on… if you are competitive for the job you want.
HR is an attractive field for many reasons: the opportunity for frequent personal interactions, the excitement of varied work and the notion that “no two days will be the same,” the ability to design and improve processes that directly impact employees, for better or for worse. One of my favorite quotes from MHRM senior lecturer John Schaffner: “HR is the ethical heartbeat of the organization.” HR professionals hold power and are expected to wield it humbly and responsibly. All that said, you can imagine why HR is a difficult field to break into with little experience.
Several years ago, there was a trend toward the grad-school-right-away path. A master’s degree allows you to differentiate yourself against candidates with more work experience. These days, it is much more common to see language like “master’s degree or bachelor’s degree + 3 years work experience” in a job posting. In fact, The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that future demand for master’s level degrees is rising. By 2022, the number of jobs requiring a master’s degree is estimated to grow by 18.4%. So, in some companies, a master’s degree is sort of a barrier to entry. You need the degree plus work experience.
It also depends on… the industry and size of the organization you want to work for.
That being said, some organizations–middle market, start-ups, and not-for-profits, for example–may struggle to pay a competitive wage for a master’s-level HR professional, and they specifically target folks with less education and experience whom they may be able to attract with a lower base salary but robust benefits package – like more vacation, flexible/remote working, autonomy. In other words, the size of the organization, type of HR position, and specific industry in which the company competes will greatly influence what level of education and experience is required. Important to note is that these positions may be slightly more difficult to come by, given smaller organizations have much smaller HR departments with fewer openings.
Of course, these are just some strategies I used in my own process. I hope these are helpful thoughts to chew on as you consider what decision is right for you and your career goals–and remember, it’s okay if your path is different. 🙂