Posts filed under 'Career Stuff'



Operations, anyone?

Last week I had the opportunity to attend not one, but two Operations related Career Conference events and they were awesome! First, there was the Annual “Links Symposium” sponsored by the Operations and Logistics Management Association, and I volunteered to help organize this event, being a member of OLMA myself.

The half – day event was hosted at The Blackwell Inn, Fisher’s own hotel and Executive Conference Center. This year’s topic was Lean Management, and there were two discussion panels, one for Lean Management in Manufacturing and the other Lean Management in Services. For all the Ops and Supply Chain Majors out there, this was a fantastic opportunity to interact and network

At the OLMA Links Symposium

with the panelists, who were a mix of academic faculty and industry experts from companies such as Greif, Huntington, Cardinal Health etc. To top it all, we had a great moderator – Georgia Keresty, a lean expert with more than 30 + years of experience. 

The very next morning I attended an Operations Career Change Round table event hosted by the Working Professional MBA Program. Fisher’s apt selection of the panelists should not go unmentioned. The 4 WP panelists were each from different areas of Operations – the distribution side, Supply chain side, the IT side and the customer side. It led to a very interesting Q and A session where they shared valuable stories from their work experiences and advice on how we could better ourselves to become ideal hiring candidates for Operations Management roles in top companies.

The biggest perk in attending these kinds of events is that you get to meet such vibrant personalities who are willing to help you in your career any way they can . Drawing from their experiences is a big plus, and ultimately helps you in connecting with more people in the field of your interest. Kudos to Fisher faculty and the COE , for their amazing contributions year after year and a special thanks to Fisher alumni who are so eager to give back to the business community – you are invaluable resources to the current students and one of Fisher’s greatest assets.

And these networking events are right at your doorstep. My advice is to never let these chances slip, because these are golden opportunities that can lead to lifelong career connections. Boy, am I glad I came to Business school :)

With WP alums Megan and Jonathan at the Ops Career Change Roundtable


The Family Man (Not Nicholas Cage…)

 

It’s ok…It will be alright.

This is for all of the spouses and parents out there.  I thought coming to Fisher the thing I would get in 2 years would be an MBA, but I quickly learned that I was gaining a whole new discipline in the process.  As a husband and father who wanted to be around his family, I knew coming to business school was going to be challenging both inside and outside the classroom.  However, I feel that having a family has actually made me be better as a student and at home.  The three things I have learned through this process have been:

  1. Time Management: You just have to be good at managing your time.  I don’t have a lot of margins in my life right now, so it’s a sink or swim situation.  Often when you’re in this spot, not having a choice can actually push you to be better than you might have chosen on your own.
  2. Devote time to thinking about what’s important: The forethought you put into what you want to get out of business school is positively correlated (what’s up data analysis!?) with the opportunities you’ll be able to take advantage of while here.  There are a ton of events and if you don’t know what you want things may pass you by without you realizing it.  Better to be prepared and do the heavy lifting on the front end.
  3. Learn to say no: Like I referred to in point #2, there are a ton of events out there.  The temptation is to go to all of them.  It’s a temptation because there are a ton of awesome and interesting events.  Otherwise, it wouldn’t be a temptation, right?  Well, due to family parameters, I can’t go to everything, but I can go to the events I’m really interested in and passionate about.  That’s where the power of saying no comes in.  You have to pick your battles, and part of that is saying no to good things in order to say yes to great ones.

Fisher Wall Street Trip

One of the great opportunities that we have here at Fisher for those interested in a Career on Wall Street is the Fisher Wall Street Trip.  During this trip we had the opportunity to meet with alumni and friends of Fisher at most all the major Wall Street Banks.  We had the chance to meet with individuals from the following firms:

Morgan Stanley
J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.
KeyBanc Capital Markets
Bloomberg
UBS
Goldman Sachs
Barclays
Vertical Research Partners
Waverly Advisors

During these office visits we had the opportunity to talk with a wide variety of people from the analyst level, up to managing director.  This was a great opportunity to ask questions regarding the firms and investment banking in general and was very informative to those who did not know as much about the field.  In addition to the office visits, the office of career management also set up two dinners that gave us the opportunity to network and interact with alumni of Fisher in a more informal environment.  This was a great opportunity to speak with alumni in the industry about their experiences and journey from Ohio to New York City.   Overall, this was a great opportunity that I would highly recommend to any future SMF student interested in a career on Wall Street.

SMF Students in Times Square


Fisher Attracts Top Speakers

In my opinion, one of the biggest perks of enrolling in the SMF program has been the access it provides to Fisher’s impressive list of guest speakers. I am only a few months into the semester and already I have had the chance to hear from equity analysts, investment bankers, and even several CFO’s from big name corporations.

Just a few weeks ago, Robert Green, the CFO of GE Capital (a $46 billion company), came to Fisher. He was in town for the 2013 National Middle Market Summit, which was co-hosted by GE Capital, the National Center for the Middle Market, and The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business. Mr. Green spoke about his strategy and goals as a CFO, as well as offered some advice to the students in attendance. Namely, he recommended that students really connect to their studies, that they stay informed about world news, and that they see the interview process as a two-way street, i.e. try to find a company that reflects your values and meets your specifications rather than just taking any job that comes along.

The SMF program has also hosted several exclusive events. For example, earlier in the year, the SMF students were able to speak with Larry Hilsheimer, the CFO of The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company, which is headquartered in Marysville, Ohio, and coming up in the next few weeks, we will hear from Andy Rose, the Vice President and CFO of Worthington Industries, Inc., a leader in the diversified metal processing industry.

These speakers are such an invaluable resource. I can’t wait to see who will be here in the Spring!


The Job Offer

This is it.. After 19 (NINETEEN!) years of school, countless late nights spent making flash cards and studying, student organization meetings, volunteering, internships, meet and greets, pre-nights,  first and second round interviews, all while trying to balance some kind of college social life, the moment you (and of course your parents!) have been waiting for.. The Big Job offer!

I recently completed my career search by signing an offer with JPMorgan Chase as an Audit Analyst. While the interviewing process can be stressful at times, in the end, when you finally receive offers and can weigh different options, it is all worth it. It is such a great feeling of accomplishment when you know that all the hard work you put in during your academic career finally pays off!

For more information on how the Fisher Career Services office can help you in your job search click here


No global brands, just global marketers

Last week was the 2013 National Middle Market Summit - Leading From The Middle, which is a collaboration between Fisher and GE Capital. The event ensures that the middle market receives the attention it deserves – and helps drive conversation around these vital industries. Fisher students have been given the opportunity to have Q&As with C-level executives from GE, and if this event is anything like last year, it’s going to be a great experience for students.

I had the chance to sit-in on a round table discussion with Ian Forrest, the Vice President of Global Marketing for GE Capital on Monday afternoon. Here is a quick snapshot of Ian’s bio:

“Ian is responsible for the GE Capital value proposition, brand and global marketing communications activities. He is responsible for the GE Capital’s National Center for the Middle Market partnership with The Ohio State University.”

Bottom line, it was a really interesting discussion and a great opportunity to learn from a very talented marketer. Ian talk about how winners will redefine scale and that markets are becoming frictionless.He stressed the importance of not being constrained by traditional thinking and always, always, always investing in R&D. Ian discussed how R&D is the sure way to become better and point the company forward.

I thought the most interesting point was his opinion concerning global corporations and brands. Ian talked  about how there are “No longer global brands, only global marketers”. He told our small group of Full Time and Working Professional MBAs that some companies know how to win in every market – and that’s what will keep them in the forefront of their industries. To be successful, a company needs to be global and treat every market differently. Taking the exact business model that works in the US and trying to force its success in Brazil or China will only lead to failure.

There’s me – to the right, three people over!

Ian made several well articulated points – my notebook was full of snippets I want to remember! It was a great kick-off to the Middle Market summit, and I am excited to attend the main event on Wednesday!

 

 

 

Here are some ways to join in the Middle Market conversation:

#MidMarketSummit

@MidMarketCenter

@FisherOSU

@GECapital

 


#MidMarketSummit

Yesterday was the 2013 Mid Market Summit, and thanks to my GA, I was able to attend the afternoon sessions and help with social media. It was an incredible opportunity listening to business leaders discuss current trends, the future of the Middle Market and more.

One of my favorite moments was listening to ESPN’s Darren Rovell talk to Billy Beane (GM of the Oakland Athletics) about big data. Mr. Beane discussed the similarities between baseball and business – and how you need to trust your head, not your gut. It was a fascinating story — and I know that I will be renting Moneyball in the very near future.

Some of my classmates even got to meet Mr. Rovell after his segment and got a great photo!

Right: ESPN’s Darren Rovell
Left: Oakland Athletics’ GM, Billy Beane,

 

The Fisher Sports Business Association had the great opportunity to meet with Darren Rovell from ESPN/ABC today — he’s the authority on the business of sports.

These opportunities are what I absolutely love about my school. The National Center for The Middle Market, in collaboration with the Fisher College of Business and GE Capital, host this event and put critical attention on the Middle Market. Other speakers from yesterday included Under Armour’s CEO Kevin Plant, The Washington Post‘s CEO Don Graham, Jonah Berger (author of Contagious: Why Things Catch On and Marketing Professor at Wharton School, and more.

Story from Fisher about GE Executives visiting and sharing their expertise with students: http://fisher.osu.edu/newsroom/?folder=65&news=3744

It has been a very educational 72 hours for me, and everyone at OSU!


Accepting an Offer

A job offer is the holy grail of business school. After all, this is the main reason that so many eager professionals return to school and put their professional lives on hold for two years. When I see someone after they have accepted a job offer, they appear to be much more relaxed – almost as if they have received a second wind.

I recently accepted a job offer from 3m. My family and I will head up to the frozen tundra of Minnesota to work in 3M’s marketing leadership development program. We couldn’t be more excited. However, it was a decision that took a lot of thought and consideration. When considering offers and what we were looking for in a career, here is a little glimpse of our criteria and what we valued:

  • Total Compensation – Clearly, financial compensation was important to me, but it wasn’t everything. I had to look into health insurance, vacation days, paid time off, 401k, stock options, signing bonus, relocation,  etc. Too many people may focus solely on base salary or variable compensation. My advice to anyone would be to not make that mistake.
  • Community – Moving to a new city is never an easy thing to do. When you have a family, it makes it that much more difficult. I recognize that I will be at work most of the time, but my wife and child will not.
  • Professional Development – I wanted to make sure that the company I would work with after my time in b-school would provide exposure and opportunities for professional development. The more responsibility and exposure, the better.
  • People/Department – Who I work with is extremely important. Nobody wants to work with a jerk or a terrible department that doesn’t receive recognition. Working for a good boss and a company full of great people was extremely important to me in my evaluation.
  • Work-Life Balance – I believe in working hard and working smart, but I also value my family and the time I get to spend with them. If I have to miss tee-ball games and kindergarten graduations, that isn’t the job or company for me. No success outside the home can compensate for failure within.

Again, this is just a short list of a few things I had to consider when evaluating job offers and future opportunities. Everyone’s list will be different, but I suggest that everyone make a list before the offers start rolling in. It’s harder to setup an objective list once offers have been seen

 


GE Capital CMO Visits Fisher

Ian Forrest, the current CMO of GE Capital, was on campus a few days ago as part of the 2013 Middle Market Summit. A handful of marketing students were able to sit down with Ian to learn about marketing in a global economy. Luckily for me, I was able to learn from his well of knowledge.

Not only did Ian talk about how to be a great marketer, but he highlighted the importance of being a great leader. Here are a few highlights that I took away from my hour with this fantastic business leader.

  • There are no global brands, only global marketers. Brands can be known throughout the world, but they may differentiate depending on location. A marketing manager in the Unites States will not be able to market effectively in the German market without living there and experiencing the culture. Marketers need to understand the importance of how consumer behavior and insights differ throughout the world.
  • Brands have lost the power, consumers hold the upper hand. Consumers have many options within the marketplace. Gone are the days where brands can afford to make mistakes with their consumers. Products and brand comparisons can take place instantly using smartphones, tablets, computers, and other technologies utilized by consumers. Marketing managers must consider the power of consumers when constructing the marketing mix.
  • Pricing is becoming more and more transparent. Similar to the prior point, consumers can figure out more and more if a product is priced competitively in the market. Proceed with caution when setting a pricing strategy because customers will search for the value.
  • Most insights are found in the long tail, not the majority. The insights that really matter are not found within the majority of the market. Differentiation doesn’t come through core customers, but through the incremental gains in new clients and customers.

This list is not an exhaustive list of everything he shared, just a few tidbits that stood out to me. Fisher continues to provide me with opportunities to help me develop myself as not only a good marketer, but also a great leader. This event was one of those times. It really doesn’t get much better than this.


Interview Prep

I know that preparing for interviews can seem like a waste of time sometimes.  In the basic sense, it is just having a conversation, so why not just go in with the attitude of: “I’m just gonna go in there, be myself, answer their questions with great stories, and knock the interviewer’s socks off.”  And the answer is, because that probably isn’t how it will go at all if you don’t do any prep work, like having answers for common questions prepared.

When I was up in Chicago for the MBA Veteran’s conference, I participated in a conversation with some fellow combat arms vets that probably could have been titled:  The greatest hits of terrible interview question answers.   The questions that were asked in the interviews were generally along the lines of:

“Tell me about a time you were in a seemingly impossible situation, how did you find an innovative solution?”

“Tell me about a time when you were under a lot of stress and had to make a difficult decision?”

“Describe a time when you worked as part of a team to meet a seemingly impossible goal?”

“Describe a time when you used your leadership skills in order to resolve a conflict?”

As a former infantryman who went on multiple overseas deployments, I have a fair amount of experience working in adverse situations, making difficult decisions, working as a part of a team, and using leadership skills.  But, as the mental Rolodex clicks through my life’s story, the first experience that comes to mind for any of those questions is not one that I am going to use in a job interview.  The reason I say that isn’t because I lack pride in my time as a Marine, or am ashamed of what I did overseas or anything like that.  The reason is that the interviewer is not going to be able to understand how to translate those answers into potential value for the company.   During a job/internship interview, the potential employee has to show that it would add value to the company to bring them on board.   If your answer takes the interviewer to a situation and place that they will never understand, full of acronyms and jargon that sounds like a foreign language, they are not going to be able to grasp the value that you can add to their company through your past experiences.  Instead of stories appropriate for the VFW hall, focus on positive stories, that showcase skills like the ability to work as part of a team, be a leader, use time management efficiently, make timely decisions, ect…

So, in my humble opinion, if you are in a situation where you are going to be going to interviews, taking the time to think through some answers to typical behavioral interviewing questions.  That is what I have done, and now I have alternative experiences to draw on, and don’t need to rely on the first experience that comes to mind when someone asks me about a time when everything was going wrong, and success seemed impossible.

I know this post seems rather veteran-centric, but I think it applies to everyone.  It is a good idea to think before you speak in an interview, and make sure that your story conveys a sense of added value to the company that they will be able to understand.  That generally isn’t something that is going to happen without some prep work ahead of time.


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