Posts filed under 'Career Stuff'



The Interview

When I used to hear the word “interview,” the most daunting images  would come to mind. Whether it be getting drilled on finance questions by a recruiter that you don’t know the questions to, forgetting your resume, or even worse, forgetting your interview time, the interview process can be a scary, scary thought. I have a Nationwide interview for the Financial Leadership Rotation Program. It is an 18-month rotation program in which you will work with top executives in strategy, finance, investments, M&A, enterprise risk management and much more. The job is mainly open to 2nd year MBAs, so to get an interview without being one, it took some work, but it is possible. So, if you know you are interested in finance, do not think this program is inferior to the MBA and that you are somehow at a disadvantage.

Career Management offers tons of resources; from helping you perfect your cover letter to doing mock interviews beforehand. You’ll even find out that some of the professors have extensive knowledge with the company you are interviewing for, or have even worked there, especially companies based in Columbus. If you utilize your resources here, you will be ready.

Normally, I am one to be extremely nervous for a position that I am highly interested, especially with a well-respected company. However, today that case isn’t true. Between my research and the help of Career Management, I am well-prepared to fight anything that comes my way. I prepared for days and know I put in the work to do well.

And  cue the Peyton Manning hum to..."Nationwide is on your side."

And cue the Peyton Manning hum to…”Nationwide is on your side.”

Update: I feel like the interview went extremely well. The mock interview with the professor helped tremendously. He helped me understand certain questions that I would have never thought of. So … definitely utilize the help of your professors. I will say it again, they are among your greatest assets in the SMF program.


The Internship

The Internship-Vaughn and Wilson
Second year MBA students-they’re older, wiser, and more mature, right?  The first one in that list is guaranteed to happen.  The others, not necessarily, but the internship between the first and second year of the MBA program is aimed to help towards that.  This summer I interned as a Global Supply Chain Project Manager at Greif, which is a $4.5 billion industrial packaging company headquartered here in the Columbus area.

Greif Global Supply Chain
It was a great internship.  The Greif supply chain folks welcomed me as a full member of the team and never looked at me as an “intern”.  The projects I got to work on were ones that the other full time team members would have been working on if I weren’t there.  Not only that, but I also worked on a project that had an international focus and was able to travel to Amsterdam for a week during the summer to pitch the solution we had come up with to the leader of the business unit there.

I’ve found as a 2nd year MBA this year there are a lot of things I’ve been able to hit on from my internship at Greif while at career fairs and in interviews.  The things I learned while doing the internship have been beneficial in growing my experience and understanding of supply chain management, and it was largely due to the role I had there.  So, when looking for an internship it’s worthwhile to focus on what kind of internship it will be and if you’ll get a great experience out of it.  I sure had that at Greif, and was more than happy to intern there this summer.


Career Fair Preparation

This past week we had the Fisher Fall Career Fair, an event for undergrads, grad students, and anyone else who is part of the Fisher College of Business network. Of course, any student at Ohio State is also welcome to attend the fair because it is a great way to network with the employers and companies from across the region and the U.S. This experience is great for all students, whether they are looking to get some extra interview practice in, or maybe they are on the hunt for that full-time, post-grad position.

I attended the fair to start networking with companies that I’d like to do my HR summer internship with. I spoke to about eight different companies and was able to get a better sense of all the options for HR grad students. I then spent the remainder of my afternoon working at the fair with the Office of Career Management (this is the office that coordinates the entire event), checking students in and helping with last minuted questions and directions. The fair is held on three different floors of the Ohio Union, so as you can imagine, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. My advice is to make sure you review the list of companies attending and pick out a few that you’d really like to talk to, and then target those companies.

It’s also important to have an idea of what you are going to say about yourself during your introduction when you get in front of a recruiter. Make sure you leave a good first impression by being enthusiastic and knowledgeable, and be prepared to talk about your experiences listed on your resume.

I came away from this experience with some really great conversations with the recruiters. It was a chance for me to explain my background, what I’m looking for in an internship, and learn more about the interview process. If anything, it was a good warm up for the on-campus interviews that are starting this week. You will feel so much more comfortable walking into your first interview if you feel prepared and confident.


Hit the Ground Running with Fisher’s MHRM Program

For a stay-at-home mom, the prospect of going to grad school and immediately beginning to network with established business professionals was overwhelming, to say the least. 

Jill Westerfeld of the Office of Career Management made the transition from stay-at-home mom to graduate student incredibly smooth. She is available to help you perfect your resume, elevator pitch, and will even hold mock interviews with you.
While the balance of home and school life on top of attending networking events seemed ominous at first, the best approach is to take it one day at a time. I personally invested in a planner so I could write things down. Logging events into my phone has proven to be an unsuccessful approach for me but works great for others. Look through your planner or phone calendar every night and plan out what you need to do. Set aside time to study and network while still balancing your home and/or social life. For me, being able to see what I needed to do on paper was significantly less overwhelming than letting things just float around in my brain. This allowed me to adequately plan to get a babysitter for networking events while still having plenty of time to play with my son during the day and get some studying done at night.
The Fisher College of Business and the Office of Career Management do a great job making you feel relaxed about the tasks at hand while still maintaining a sense of urgency about getting an internship. As a very new student, I have found everything to be incredibly doable and your classmates and the second year students are available to help as well.
I have found my connection with recent graduates from the program and second year students to be invaluable. Not only can they offer pep-talks when you feel overwhelmed, their advice about the program paired with Jill Westerfeld’s efforts have made it so I’ve hit the ground running in this program. I can’t wait to see what more this program has to offer.

Shredded Wheat

Shredded Wheat

An eleven year-old beta model of my current form once walked into a Barnes & Noble on a mission.  The chameleon currently known as Diddy (I think) had just released his “No Way Out” CD and I was absolutely going to have it.  For the week since its release I had developed this quixotic vision of myself walking into my suburban swim club with swagger on a trillion.  I would pull up right next to the 6th grade girls with their newly minted braces and high pitched screams.  With confidence and poise, I’d pop that bad boy into my no-skip Sony Discman and elevate my game from “guy whose only other CD is Meredith Brooks” to “can I have your AIM handle?” Away Message: BOSS.

A few case facts:
I’m 11.
The FCC frowns on selling foul language and Biggie Smalls dirge tracks to minors.
My parents might as well have worked for the FCC.

So here you go, fellow classmates.  I give to you a microcosm of what we’re all coming up against, wrapped nicely in a format that we are quickly becoming versed in.  What does Elliott do to rise to the occasion? It’s a comedy that reflects a scenario that we will find ourselves in quite a bit over the next two years at Fisher.  As we begin to consider summer internship opportunities, we’re stomaching the self-help books, empowerment seminars, and hole-punching resume one-on-ones in order to compose the most compelling pictures of ourselves.  It’s a rough process and, much like a baby-faced Elliott in pursuit of a CD eulogizing hard knocks, we too face some serious challenges. So let’s get to work.

Step one – Identify the target.

At the time there appeared to be two types of B&N employees, the ex-librarians and the college kids.  You’d think I’d have scoped the college kid, but not that time.  That trip called for knitted-cat-sweater lady.

Step two – Stack the deck.

For those of you who remember, that particular Diddy CD was famous for the “I’ll Be Missing You” track featuring Sting. (I could devote an entire blog on how this man refuses to age)  It just so happens that Sting collections were widely available and devoid of any inappropriate labeling.  I grabbed two random Sting CDs in addition to my Diddy purchase.

Step three – Sell it like it’s on fire.

I approached the counter with the two Sting CDs sandwiching Diddy.  I then starting talking my pre-pubescent head off about how much my mom loved Sting and how she could not wait for me to bring home these collections.  When the associate saw the Diddy CD, she paused and I that’s when I laid on the charm.  “Track 16 is the latest collaboration with Sting.  You’ve probably heard it on the radio? My mom loves it. I’m not sure why it’s labeled this way as it’s an acappella group.  Not like anybody singing with Sting would be terrible, right?”

Step four – Reflect.

Of course this lady does not sell me a CD called “Puff Daddy and the Family – No Way Out”.   You’d be taking a Zamboni machine to all nine circles of Dante’s Hell before Denim Dress McGee sells songs titled “Young G’s” and “All About the Benjamins” to an 11 year-old.

The point is this, my friends: Fisher will not be easy.  Even the best laid plans will fail at times.  We are all going to get chewed up because we are wheat: full of potential, well matured, and raw.  Hopefully we’ll look back and consider our previous ignorance with a higher perspective.  I would also submit that if we don’t get our collective egos rocked a few times by this program, then we might as well get our money back and spend it on late fees at the public library.  Fisher is a top-tier program because they do what others can’t.  They make successful people more successful.  I look forward to the process, and the late nights, and the morass of classes, interviews, failures, and victories.  I expect Fisher to give me the tools to evolve into something greater than the sum of my parts.  I also expect to pick up a few bad habits along the way.  Most of all I look forward to working with each of you.

I’ll end my first post in the fashion which I will end every post; with a request.

Be kind to somebody today.  It makes a difference.

E


First month at Fisher SMF!

I have realized two most important things in my first month at Fisher SMF program. One, the breadth of resources and two, to succeed here you need to prioritize!

Once you are admitted to Fisher SMF, even before the program begins, the Fisher Career Management Office (CMO) starts communicating with you to offer you personalized career search services. From how to network in US (especially for international students) to how to dress formally (important for all the female students) and how it is different from business casual to how to brand yourself, everything is personalized. In my previous academic life (trust me, it’s a long one) I have never come across such a depth and breadth of services/ resources offered.

And CMO is just one office there are many such offices and organizations here which offer ample professional and social development opportunities. When there are so many opportunities around its very important for us, as students as to how to allocate our time. For example as an international student I had to take English as a Second Language (ESL) test and it had some conflicts with my finance classes. After discussing this issue with SMF program director Professor Pinteris and advisor Jennifer Bennett, they helped me reschedule it for the next semester, which was such a relief for me. I would have missed a very interesting class. So in a nutshell, if you know what you want, Fisher SMF gives you ample opportunities to explore your path!


Jessica Reynolds, MBA

I GRADUATED!

This past weekend was such a mix of emotions, family, friends, graduation celebrations — and lots of food and good times. Maybe a little bit too much food and good times, but hey, it was graduation!

Reynolds  family at graduation!

Reynolds family at graduation!

On Saturday, May 3rd, the Fisher College of Business held its “hooding ceremony” for all graduates. It was a great ceremony, and perfect for family, friends and loved ones to attend. The hooding ceremony (or pre-commencement) occurred at Mershon Auditorium, and is the first step of graduation weekend. All Fisher master students are encouraged to attend the intimate ceremony, and it’s a great opportunity for pictures. What can I say? I am a sucker for capturing all of the great memories. :)

As an undergraduate of OSU, I attended the big graduation in The ‘Shoe. Because the school was still on quarters, I graduated in the month of June. Personally, I thought it was HOT and LONG. However, it is a cool experience for those that have never attended – and now graduation is in May, so it is significantly cooler. If you chose not to attend the OSU graduation on Sunday, you can pick up your diploma the following week.

jr and kn - hugging - complressed

One of my best MBA buddies – Kelly!

For the Fisher pre-commencement/hooding ceremony, a few speeches were given, and then graduates for each program were called by name. You walk across the stage and a professor puts the Masters’ hood around you neck. Lucky for business students, it’s the beautiful color of drab (we all know it wasn’t a marketer that came up with THAT name!). At the end they play a slideshow (only part where I got slightly choked-up), and a brief reception is held after. It was a great time, and I was very happy that my parents and best friend were able to attend.

Me and the beautiful Melissa!

Me and the beautiful Melissa!

So, I am closing the MBA chapter of my life, and starting my journey as a young professional. I will begin my career at Alliance Data in a few months, and can’t wait to see what happens next. Entering this program was one of the best decisions I have ever made – and the laughs, tears, struggles and TONS of learning were absolutely worth it. I know that I am going to miss my business school friends that are moving across the country like crazy, but am so proud of my entire class and all our accomplishments. And, this means I have lots of people to visit!

I have made best friend, found mentors and created relationships that will last forever. None of this would have been possible without the support of my family, friends, everyone in the GPO and the Office of Career Management — and for that, I am extremely grateful.


Still feels a little weird to consider myself a Master of Business – but hey, that’s what my degree says. :)


Learning From A Patagonia Executive

Two days ago I sat in one of the most impressive patagoniapresentations I have witnessed during my time here at Fisher. I was able to learn the story of success and failures of a popular American outdoor brand, Patagonia.

Vincent Stanley, the “chief story teller” for Patagonia discussed his 41 year career with the company and how he helped in growing the brand to what it is today.

I was impressed most of all with his humility and passion for profitable sustainability. He spoke of lessons he learned during failures and successes within his tenure at the company. He noted that he nearly bankrupted the company of number of times, but was fortunate that the company’s culture pulled them through tough times.

Stanley highlighted the fact that the hiring process is crucial to the company’s success. The company makes sure that new employees understand the importance of being profitable, yet sustainable. The products that Patagonia manufacture and sell to the public are high quality and priced at a premium, because the company believes in minimal waste. The hope is that customers will use the clothing for 5-10 years and then return the product to be recycled into a new article to be sold as a different product. Stanley noted that the company believes firmly in cradle to cradle sustainability.

I enjoyed not only the stories of the success, but the on-boarding steps taken to increase morale and productivity. Patagonia makes sure its employees are passionate about the outdoors. Many employees participate in a 2 month internship with a NGO. During this experience the company provides the employee with full compensation as if they were working at corporate.

It is no surprise that a company focused on selling outdoor products invests so much time, resources, and money into keeping the outdoors sustainable and beautiful. My hat’s off to this company and its impressive leadership team full of people like Vincent Stanley.

 

 

 

 


CEO of LifeCare Alliance Visits Fisher

Chuck Gehring is passionate about his job and his company’s mission. His passion is evident in the way he talks about his company and the role he plays in leading such an organization.Chuck-Gehring-1807381 220 Having him come and speak was a special treat for students in the Leadership Legacy course.

Chuck’s organization, LifeCare Alliance, is a nonprofit that focuses on helping communities by identifying and delivering health and nutrition services to those in need. A few of the well known programs include Meals-On-Wheels, Columbus Cancer Clinic, IMPACT Safety, and many others.

Having Chuck in the classroom allowed students to ask questions and learn more about his career path and leadership style. Chuck was enthusiastic about the opportunities that recently minted MBAs have in the nonprofit sector. He stated that many nonprofits could benefit from having younger business leaders included in the board room in order to assist in  connecting with younger generations.

Chuck’s career path has been anything but traditional. He started his career with Anheusser Busch before moving on to Sanese Services. From there, Chuck moved into nonprofit and has enjoyed being in this sector.

His take on leadership was inspiring. He noted the importance of doing the right thing, not only for yourself and your company, but for the community in which one resides. It is obvious that Chuck has a great focus on making his organization successful and doing so in an ethical and professional manner. I was struck by one comment he made about his struggle sleeping at night if he feels like the company fell short in one area or another. He truly believes in creating sustainable change for the community by providing wonderful health and nutrition services to those in need.


The Internship Search

The New Year started the busy time for finding a marketing internship. I was fortunate enough to make it through several phone screens and had final interviews with some great companies during January: L’Oreal, Nestle, Kellogg’s, and Amazon to name a few. Part of the fun of finding the right internship match is getting to travel to visit the headquarters of amazing companies. L’Oreal hosted an entire weekend, Taste of L’Oreal, in New York City at the Westin in Times Square.

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We met the CMO of the company, heard a presentation from the North American President, and participated in a day-long case competition for a L’Oreal product in either the Luxury, Consumer, or Professional Product Division.

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It was a phenomenal experience and really let candidates get a feel for the company, and its culture, and meet other MBA students from around the country (I still keep in touch with three of my case competition team members!). And we got a lot of goodies just for visiting!

Nestle hosted 60 candidates at their Solon, OH, office and treated us to a wine tasting led by their head chef, and a networking event with top executives. We also got dinner at the best restaurants in town, since everyone who works at Nestle (and planned our visit) is a foodie!

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Kellogg’s hosted a group of Fisher and Ross students for a Day at K at their Battle Creek, MI headquarters. After a harrowing drive through a snowstorm, we had a great day kicked off by a presentation from Kellogg’s CMO, a tour of Kellogg’s vault, and meeting with the company’s ad agency Leo Burnett.

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I also got to experience Seattle for the first time during my Amazon interview. Amazon hosted candidates in the best part of town, just a quarter mile from Pike’s Market, and I spent the morning checking out the market and visiting the original Starbucks!

photo (6)photo (8)

 

 

 

 

Amazon’s headquarters are very low-key, and you could drive right through the company’s campus and not realize you were at Amazon! They arranged a lunch with current Product Managers and then held interviews for 3 hours. It was intense. One constant across all the companies was the friendliness of the people and focus on employee development and culture fit. We have some amazing people and organizations recruiting at Fisher and I know wherever I end up, I am going to have a great experience this summer!


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