Silicon Valley Venture Capital Trek

The week after spring break, myself and a few of my MBA peers were fortunate enough to go on the Silicon Valley Venture Capital Trek in various cities – San Francisco, Santa Clara, Palo Alto, Menlo Park, and a couple others. As members of the student organization, Fisher Entrepreneurship Association (FEA), our goal is to learn about Entrepreneurship, Start-ups, Venture Capital (VC), and Investing through networking, events, and experiential opportunities. This was my first time on the trip, and it was by far one of my favorite MBA experiences so far. We met with Managing Directors, IPO Lawyers, Venture Capital Partners, and Founders & CEOs from various companies: Wilson, Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati (WSGR), Google X, EY (Ernst & Young), DFJ (now Threshold Ventures), Prevedere Inc., and Aeris, and a couple others.

Listening to professionals in this space was eye-opening. There were so many questions myself and my peers had as young minds interested in learning how to get into the start-up space and understanding what type of professional experience and knowledge you need to be successful in it. Hearing success stories, failure stories, stories about the “grind” of this world, and honest perspectives about the start-up and venture capital industry gave many of us the ability to narrow in on what we would love to do professionally in this space. For me, after a few years working in tech and sports/entertainment, I would like to start my own company which will tie my passions together.

Most interesting things I heard during the trip:

  • Most of successful companies created their own market (ex: Facebook, Google, Intel, Cisco).
  • This idea of collaboration in tech is called “coopetition”.
  • Value = product-market fit / risk (execution).
  • NETWORKING is crucial!!
  • Get a mentor.
  • 3 parts to venture: 1) sourcing, 2) due diligence, 3) portfolio.
  • People who start a company aren’t always the ones to scale it.

What venture capital firms look for in entrepreneurs:

  1. How self-aware is this person?
  2. Are they able to recognize the fires and won’t ignore the problems?
  3. Do they recognize their own strengths and weaknesses?
  4. Are they persistent and do they have the mental endurance it takes to build and grow a company?

If you’d like to learn more about VC, start-ups, and entrepreneurship, below is a list of books and videos that were suggested to my classmates and I during our trip:

  • “The Hard Thing About Hard Things” by Ben Horowitz
  • “The Art of the Start” by Guy Kawasaki
  • “The Startup Owner’s Manual: The Step-by-Step Guide for Building a Great Company” by Steve Blank & Bob Dorf
  • “Straight Talk for Startups” by Randy Komisar and Jantoon Reigersman
  • “Venture Capitalists at Work: How VCs Identify and Build Billion-Dollar Successes” by Tarnang Shah and Shital Shah
  • “Crossing the Chasm” by Geoffrey Moore
  • “Something Ventured” – Netflix movie
  • “Secrets of Silicon Valley” – YouTube

Below is a list of people you should be familiar with – learn their stories as they either successfully built up billion-dollar companies or founded VC firms with highly invested portfolio companies in the Silicon Valley area:

  • Larry Ellison – Oracle
  • Marc Andreesen – Netscape
  • Andy Grove – Intel
  • Alan Shugart – Seagate Technology
  • Gordon Moore – Intel
  • John Chambers – Cisco
  • Steve Jobs – Apple, Pixar
  • Scott McNealy – Sun Microsystems
  • John Doerr – Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
  • Larry Sonsini – WSGR
  • Lewis Platt – Hewlett-Packard
  • James Clark – Netscape

A big thanks to Fisher College of Business, Professor Oglevee, Mr. Terranova, Mr. Coleman, and the MBA student leadership of FEA for making this trip happen and providing a wonderful growth experience.

Taking on the CPA Exam

As you may know, there are four parts to the CPA exam, which you take independently of one another. The four parts in order of length from longest to shortest are Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR), Regulation (REG), Audit & Attestation (AUD), and Business Environment Concepts (BEC). First semester, I focused on adjusting to a new school, new city, and a new job as a graduate assistant. I knew that I plenty of time to prepare for the CPA before starting work full-time next fall, so I decided that it would be in my best interest to wait until the second semester to begin my CPA studying. 

Application Process

Due to the extensive application and Notice to Schedule (NTS) process, I applied about 6-8 weeks before I planned to begin preparation. Every state has a unique process for applying; the NASBA website is a great resource to learn about the guidelines and application process for the state you are sitting for. Since I will be working in Chicago, I am sitting for the Illinois CPA exam. The current rules require me to apply through the Illinois Board of Examiners.  Due to the high volume of applications in November, it took about 6 weeks for me to receive my NTS. Once I received my NTS, I chose the two exams that I wanted to take first.

I chose to take my exams in the following order: AUD, REG, FAR, BEC. I chose this order because AUD and REG are middle size exams which I knew would be easiest to study for while in school. Once summer begins, I plan to study for FAR (the largest exam) since I will have unlimited time. I chose to take BEC last because it is the smallest test, therefore if I do not pass all four before I start work, it will not be too large of a beast to tackle while working full-time. Everyone chooses the order of tests differently. I have seen classmates manage to study for FAR during school; the order in which you choose to take your exams really is a personal preference!

Study Plan & Tips

I am currently taking four classes and working 10 hours per week, so my study plan is a slower pace than it will be this summer. I am at a rate of approximately 15-20 hours per week of CPA studying, which equates to a little over 1 chapter per week.

Some days I choose to stay home and study in the comfort of my apartment, but I also love to study at libraries around campus. My favorite study spot is Thompson Library on the Oval. It is always full of other Ohio State students studying, so it is a prime environment to be productive. Almost every day, a group of students in the MAcc program reserves a room in Gerlach Hall to study after class together. I studied often with my friends in the MAcc program as we began our final review before taking our first exams. Regardless of your study plan, it is best to always make time for fun! Balance is the best way to get through something like studying for the CPA. For example, a group of us play trivia every Thursday night, and we are in an intramural volleyball league on Sundays. Like I mentioned in my GMAT advice post, never burn yourself out!!

GA Intramural Volleyball team!

Takeaways

The biggest piece of advice that I have taken from all of my mentors has been to FINISH THE CPA EXAM BEFORE YOU START WORK! Your year in the MAcc program is a great cushion to take the exams while in a learning environment. So many of your classmates will also be studying for the CPA which makes the processes much more enjoyable.

 

Coffee & Conversation

I recently attended “Coffee & Conversation” an event coordinated by the MHRM Council that hosted program alumni who currently work in the Columbus area. They each shared their experience with the program, how they began their HR careers, and their tips to becoming a leader in the HR industry today. This event also included a lunch and networking session after the presentations.

Tony C. – Vice President of Human Resources 

Undergraduate Degree: Psychology, Kenyon College

Year Graduated from the program: 2005

Current Role Description: Manages the entire employee life cycle with a specific interest in organizational structure and employee development.

Career Advice: Be approachable, explore new functions of the business, take feedback, and be the person that gets things done.

 

Diandra S. – Talent Acquisition Sr. Specialist 

Undergraduate Degree: Psychology, The Ohio State University

Year Graduated from the MHRM program: 2017

MHRM Activities and Societies: MHRM Student Council, Fisher Graduate Women in Business Executive Board, 2015 MHRM Internal Case Competition Winning Team, Graduate Assitant

Internship(s): Cardinal Health

Current Role Description: Consults, provides support and acts as a strategic partner to the recruiting team on pre-employment activities and employee mobility.

Career Advice: Listen to others, give credit when it is due, be positive and have a professional presence.

Shannon M.-Talent Management Specialist

Undergraduate Degree: Strategic Communications, The Ohio State University

Year Graduated from the MHRM program: 2016

Internship(s): Texas Instruments and Victoria Secret

MHRM Activities and Societies: MHRM Council, Fisher Graduate Women in Business

Current Role Description: Supports the home office and stores in talent management and sourcing.

Career Advice: Understand the business your in, utilize data to make decisions, and always find ways to make improvements in your work.

Going to these type of events are a continuous reminder of the limitless opportunities we have as students and alumni of the Masters of Human Resource Management program. I’m grateful for the alumni that continue to be a part of what we do here every day at Fisher!

 

What is CAMP?

The Columbus Advertising & Marketing Practicum (CAMP) is a dynamic event hosted by the Fisher Association of Marketing Professionals (AMP) that brings together nationally recognized keynote speakers and industry professionals to discuss the leading edge of marketing. 2019 marks our tenth year hosting this event, and our discussion will center on Customer Experience Design which is the practice of designing products/services with the focus on quality and thoughtfulness of the user experience. Every touch point within the customer’s interaction with a product/service is designed to deliver experiences based on the brand’s promise. It requires companies to weave in storylines through online and offline experiences that bring the brand to life.

We invite you to join us!

What can you expect from CAMP?

100-plus attendees from the Columbus community come to hear our engaging, charismatic and fascinating speakers from local and national companies.

Our keynote speaker and recipient of the Marketer of the Year Award is Russ Klein, CEO of the American Marketing Association. We will also have Adam Torres, Founder of Torres Capital, who will be speaking at our event! Both Russ and Adam have a wealth of knowledge and experience when it comes to Customer Experience Design.

Russ Klein, CEO of American Marketing Association
Adam Torres, Founder of Torres Capital

We will also be raffling off items! Thanks to our generous sponsors, we currently have items from Watershed Distillery, Columbus Blue Jackets, Bibibop, and Homage!

If you would like to be a part of this event, whether as an attendee or sponsor, please let us know! Tickets are available here, and you can always email us at fisher.amp@gmail.com with any questions!

2018 “Marketer of the Year” award went to Jenna Measelle, Senior Brand Manager at Abbott and Fisher MBA alum

Tackling the CPA Exam

Many students in the MAcc Program are currently preparing for the CPA exam. We have heard horror stories about studying for the exam, and I am here to tell you it is doable to take while in class. This was a main concern of mine coming into the program because I want to have the exam done before I start working.

For those who don’t know, the CPA exam consists of four tests (Audit, Regulation, Business Environment and Concepts, and Financial Accounting and Reporting). To become licensed, you are required to have 150 credit hours. The rules on when you can sit for the exam and what classes are needed vary by state so make sure you check the rules for your state. Once you have the requirements complete, you can sign up for your Notice to Schedule, which allows you to sit for the exam. You do not have to take the exam in the state in which you are getting licensed.

While balancing classes and studying for the exam is difficult, it can be done. Currently, I am studying for the Audit section of the exam and plan on taking it soon. My main strategy is planning ahead and giving myself more time than I thought was needed. At the beginning of the semester, I wrote down all the due dates of assignments and exams in my courses and then planned my CPA studying around that. I gave myself an extra week than was needed, and am very glad that I did, as a schedule never goes completely as planned.

While I am definitely more busy, don’t worry—the CPA does not control your life. Between working, classes, and studying for the exam I still have time to go out with friends, be on intramural teams, and have time to do things I enjoy.

Red Carpet Weekend 2019

In just a few weeks (March 1–3), we will be welcoming Full-Time MBA admitted students to Red Carpet Weekend 2019! This gives them the chance to visit Columbus and the Fisher College of Business, meet some of their future classmates, as well as learn about the opportunities available at Fisher.

To me, this was a very special and significant experience, as I knew that Fisher was the right place to earn my MBA. As a current student ambassador, I look forward to this event since I get to share the Fisher spirit and show others who we really are. If you are still considering whether to apply to Fisher, I encourage you to apply and be eligible to attend Red Carpet Weekend! Here are some upcoming events that one can experience at this VIP event:

Columbus Bus Tour

Last year, I hosted this tour where we got to visit several popular neighborhoods in Columbus! The Short North, Victorian village, German village…etc. Just to name a few. If you are able to make it to this tour, which happens before the welcome reception, you should definitely check it out!

Welcome Reception and Tour at Ohio Stadium

I was most excited for this portion of the weekend as I got to meet faculty, other admitted students, and their significant others. You also get a behind-the-scenes tour of the Ohio Stadium!

Welcome to Fisher Faculty Lunch at Faculty Club

These are two important sessions where you get to know more about our newly redesigned MBA curriculum, as well as learn more about our global programs.

Breakfast for Significant Others

My husband, who attended Red Carpet 2017 with me, met others who were going through the same feelings and experiences as he was. Going to business school affects not just you, but the people who dearly support and love you as you go through this important change in your life.

Social Event at Du Amici

What a great way to end a Saturday night! My husband and I continued the evening by ourselves where we managed to catch the last part of the Arnold Sports Festival.

Women’s Breakfast (Optional)

Since I am on the leadership team for the Fisher Graduate Women In Business, I highly encourage all women to attend this breakfast. I will see you there!  🙂

A Full MBLE Life

A Full MBLE Life

How time flies! I couldn’t imagine that we just finished our first semester. It’s a significant journey that happened so many things, including happiness and difficulty but made us quickly grow up.

The studying portion

Back to what we learn from this semester, we not only get benefit from the dense academic atmosphere in class, which can make us positively participate in class, such as having discussions, doing projects with classmates, and even studying from playing games in class. Indeed, an excellent academic atmosphere helps us deeper thinking. But also, through the way of guest speakers in class and tour visit activities, we have opportunities to know people who work in supply chain and logistics companies, such as Land Grant Brewing Company, DHL and UPS. Combining the knowledge with practice, MBLE program greatly instills to students.

 

The career portion

I have to say what the Fisher Career Department did for MBLE’s career can’t be better. In this semester, we have a lot of opportunities for networking. The first is the Career Fair. At the beginning of this semester, the start of September, we had two big Career Fairs, including the TLA Career Fair and the Fisher Career. It’s a channel provided for MBLE students to meet face to face with recruiters of related supply chain and logistics companies, such as Amazon, GE, and DHL. There is no worry about the performance in the career fair. Because, before the start, from June, the Fisher Career Center has been helping MBLE students to fully prepare, including helping students form their own START, revising resume, and teaching how to prepare to interview. Next, we have all kinds of experience sharing meetings. For example, Fisher Career Center invited the alumni of the MBLE, such as some employees in LBrands and DHL, to share their working experience in supply chain and logistics area, and also invited second-year MBLEs to share the experience of an internship in companies like Cummins, Niagara Bottling, and Greif. The third benefit is the mentorship program, which provides each MBLEs a chance to know a mentor who works in the field of supply chain, logistics, retail, and other industries, and communicate with our mentor up to six months. In this semester, we had a big dinner networking night which provided a chance for every student to know any mentor. In addition, Fisher Career Center did other events to help MBLEs build their basic career wherever in America and China.

 

The fun portion

In addition to our first activity for celebrating Mid-Autumn Festival, we held another interesting party for celebrating Halloween Festival. For better experiencing the pleasure of Halloween Festival, everyone made up with a strange appearance, together carved pumpkins, and ate traditional American snacks. Via playing games together, this happy time facilitated our friendship with each other.

The last activity we held a potluck party for celebrating the Thanksgiving Day. We did some traditional Chinese food, American food, and even Spanish food! We also invited our Director of MBLE program, Steve DeNunzio and Corp & Grad Relations Specialist of Fisher Career Center, Steve Singer, to participate in this food communication event. We chatted with each other, learning about the history of Thanksgiving Day and the ways of celebrating the special festival for American. How wonderful night when everyone was surrounded by many cuisines!

It’s really a fulfilling semester, but actually, it’s just a start! I believe there are many interesting and significant things waiting for us MBLEs to explore!

 

 

 

 

What is Association of Marketing Professionals (AMP)

The Association of Marketing Professionals (AMP) is one of the largest graduate student organizations at the Fisher College of Business. While we hold events and activities primarily geared toward those focused in marketing, we have had opportunities to network with non-marketing professionals. Below are some highlights of our annual traditions, as well as new events that we as a leadership committee have implemented. I would say that we have been pretty successful so far! I am proud to be the Director of Professional Development of such a wonderful organization.

Annual events

Columbus Hop – Takes place every fall break. This year’s companies included IBM iX, Root Insurance, Orange Barrel Media, and Watershed Distillery. It gives students an opportunity to network and go behind the scenes to see how each company works.

Fisher MBA students at the Watershed Distillery as part of Columbus Hop

Chicago Hop (upcoming) – We celebrate the end of the fall semester and final exams by hopping on a bus to Chicago! This year’s companies include PepsiCo, BlueCross BlueShield, Tyson Foods, and Ogilvy. If you are not yet an AMP member, you should become one just to be a part of this awesome event!

Attendees at Chicago Hop last year

Marketing For A Better World (upcoming) – Our theme this year is Marketing Ethical & Sustainable Consumer Goods. Agenda includes keynote presentations by Levi Strauss & Co., and Fairtrade America, and a marketing panel moderated by ethics professor David Freel. We are still accepting registrations, and we are raffling off some autographed Columbus Blue Jacket items! You can’t miss this event!

Columbus Advertising & Marketing Practicum, CAMP (upcoming) – This will be our 10th annual CAMP! More details to come, but we will bring students, business professionals, and faculty together to discuss pertinent marketing topics.

CAMP last year

New events this year

Nail the Interview series – a two-part session where different marketing frameworks were introduced that helped with interview questions. We listened to feedback from the first-year FTMBA students and provided them with resources that they needed.

Brand Management series (ongoing) – Over lunch, students get to learn more about brand management from different companies. We have had former Fisher alumni from T.Marzetti (Lucy Liu) and Wendy’s (Emily Jacobson), and we hope to bring in a few more in the spring.

Other events

Happy hours & Panels

2nd-year FTMBA students sharing their marketing internship experiences

The Fisher Coaching Experience

Some of my favorite aspects of the Fisher MBA program are the experiential learning opportunities we have available, like GAP and consulting projects with local companies. However, with new additional program advancements, we have recently had the chance to pilot a personalized coaching experience as well. This is a part of the program I was not expecting to be offered, but has been an amazing opportunity for both personal and professional growth.

Through the pilot, current second-year MBA students were able to sign up for a personalized coaching program based on our goals for professional development. For example, students are focusing on presence, career search, leadership skills, self-confidence, etc. Coaches consist of alumni who went through the Fisher Coaching courses, along with professional coaches who are connected to the Fisher community. We were able to choose our top three coach preferences based on their profiles and are now participating in five personalized coaching sessions.

I have had three sessions with my coach so far, and the experience has been both impactful and engaging! As a part of the process, we leveraged the BUILD assessment, a leadership model developed by the Fisher Leadership Initiative to determine our leadership competency level from both our perspective and the perspective of others across: Stewardship, Relational Skills and Self-Leadership. With this feedback and the ability to talk through with a coach, I have been able to focus on key areas where I hope to improve. My coach has built safety around our conversations and enabled me to feel comfortable in discussing difficult challenges.

In the future, this personalized coaching opportunity will be incorporated in the student experience from the start of the program.

For those interested, students are able to learn more about coaching from Professor John Schaffner through electives in the program as well. I took the Introduction to Organizational Business Coaching earlier this semester, and look forward to taking the Advanced Coaching class next semester. Through this course, we are able to put coaching skills into practice and learn how to improve our listening, presence, business acumen and powerful questioning.

Coaching practice with a classmate

Recruiting Season is Here

Something a lot of students stress about while in school is finding a job and I am here to tell you it can be done! The MAcc program here at OSU does a lot to help students have the best opportunity to find the job they want. I asked fellow MAcc student Cinara about her experience during recruiting season in the MAcc program and here are her responses:

Explain a little how the recruiting process work in the MAcc program.

The recruiting process in the MAcc program is very easy if you are pursuing a career in public accounting. There are also many opportunities to pursue a career in industry or government, but I did not pursue them. During the first seven weeks of the semester, you will have the opportunity to meet with national and regional firms. It’s important to attend all of the events and to meet as many people as you can. During the networking period, you will work on finalizing your resume and submitting applications. Most first round interviews are on campus and subsequent ones can be on campus, at the employer’s office, or virtual. From the first interview to receiving an offer, the entire process takes about 2–3 weeks. Most people receive offers around mid-October

How did you manage classes and interviews?

View of a recruiting event on campus

Though it is manageable, I would not underestimate the time that is consumed by the recruitment process. Remember that this will hopefully result in a job, so it takes a lot of time and effort. The first seven weeks will be the busiest between classes and recruitment/networking events, so try to keep your schedule light. I took four classes during the first seven weeks and five classes during the second seven-week session. Professors are also pretty flexible, but you should notify them immediately if there are scheduling conflicts.

What are your results from the recruiting season?

I will be at Deloitte as an Audit and Assurance Assistant in Cleveland!

What advice do you have for future MAcc students who will be going through recruiting?

  • Make sure the decision makers (recruiters, HR, managers, partners, etc.) know your name and that you stand out in some way among your peers. 
  • Ask a lot of questions about the firms so you understand their values and culture.
  • Have your resume reviewed by two to three people.
  • Schedule a mock interview at the Office of Career Management.
  • Find time to also enjoy your time in Columbus and on campus!