Busiest Week of My Life.

Obviously I knew this week was going to be very busy with it being midterm exam week, but I had no idea it was going to be as crazy as it has been.

Last Friday morning I woke up and was prepared to study for midterms all weekend.  About 30 minutes after I woke up I received a phone call from Rolls-Royce congratulating me on making it to second round interviews and informing me that I would receive an e-mail with more details later in the day.  I was extremely excited, but quickly realized that the two days I was going to be in Indianapolis for the second round interviews were the same two days of my midterms.  Hmm…what to do now…?

I immediately e-mailed my professors to let them know the situation and they were both quick to respond, congratulate me and reschedule my midterms.  That was a huge relief.  Once I had rescheduled my midterms I settled in to study and patiently awaited my e-mail with more details from Rolls-Royce.  I continued to study and check my e-mail throughout the day, but still no e-mail from them.  I honestly started to wonder if I had dreamt the phone call from earlier that morning.  Finally, I decided to go to bed, but checked my e-mail one last time.  There it was!  The e-mail!

So, I opened the e-mailed and read over the travel information and agenda and then noticed an attachment.  I opened the attachment and it stated that I must prepare a 10 minute presentation for the interview process.  My heart started to race and my mind was going a million miles a minute.  First, I’m still a little scared of presentations and second, how in the world am I going to study for midterms and prepare a presentation, and go shopping for a new suit etc, etc…?

Well, somehow I fit all of that in and carpooled to Indianapolis on Tuesday with a couple of my classmates who were also invited for second round interviews.  I am from Indiana, so the drive was familiar and I enjoyed getting to know my classmates better.  Once we got to Indy we went our separate ways and relaxed for a little while prior to the networking dinner.

Around 6:20, we met up and headed downstairs to see what was in store for us!

To prevent this blog from being 10 pages I am going to stop here.  Check out my next blog to find out what happened at the interviews!

Interested in real estate?

As an architect, my primary reason for coming to Fisher was to gain the skills I’ll need to run my own architecture firm and to learn/venture out into the world of real estate development.  (I’ll explain my career path to Fisher in another post!).  Last Friday, the Real Estate Boot Camp provided the perfect opportunity for me to learn more about the industry and hear from professionals.  Here are some of the highlights from the day:

  • Informative real estate discussion by Tim Gallagher who is a Managing Director at Goldman Sachs.  Tim provided insight into the Commercial Real Estate Debt Market, something that I knew very little about before his presentation.
  • Discussion about careers in real estate led by the Fisher Real Estate Society Board
  • Panel Discussion including professionals from banking, development, corporate real estate, and environmental law
  • Information about class listings and learning opportunities through the Center for Real Estate

It was a great chance for me to ask questions and hear advice on entering the market in a down economy.  Thanks to Career Management for putting together such a great opportunity!

Honesty and Optimism

These are the two things that I have come to value most these past few weeks. Something just hasn’t been “clicking” for me as a Fisher grad student. I have no complaints about the school itself at all, but I have had to ask myself if I really want to be here. Do I have passion for what I’m learning? Is this really how I want to spend the next two years? Is there another way to accomplish my goals- a better fit for what I need to grow? And because there’s an Econ exam tomorrow, I’m going to answer, “Only if there’s something better for me to do, haha.”

But seriously, I have struggled with these questions for a while now, and it’s time to just admit that the Fisher Full Time MBA program may not be “the one” (in a graduate program sense)  for me. I actually had these thoughts before classes even started. I had applied to both the Master of Public Health (MPH) and the MBA program, was admitted and received equal financial aid offers to attend either school. Lucky me, I know.

At first I felt HORRIBLE about having these thoughts. I thought I was the only one in history who would ever even think about leaving a MBA program at such a good school. But it turns out that there are many grad students each year who change programs. Turns out that if the graduate program you selected isn’t quite the best fit for you, OSU offers you the option of transferring to another school as long as they will take you. And many times you can transfer your financial aid, too.

Graduate school is a big investment in terms of your time, effort, and sacrifices for family and friends. There are many fabulous options, Fisher included, but you need to choose what is the best fit for you, regardless. My intent with this is not to discourage anyone from attending Fisher, but to know exactly (or as close as possible) how the program will benefit your needs and career/life goals.

So this week I’ll be attending a MPH class just to really make sure that this is the decision I want to make… I’ll keep you posted on what I end up deciding either way.

FAIL? NO .

I failed in Rolls-Royce interview.

I did not get a full score in the second quiz of  Business Practice &  Human Resource Manager.

I didn’t do well in my project.

I was proud of myself before.

Now I have to consider myself again.

About the interview, I didn’t think I did bad. I am happy that I had my first interview experience and I know what questions HR prefer to ask in the interview. Also, I now understand what kind of knowledge is important to the company here. Moreover, I have to work with Steve Singer or other professors or classmates to make a practical strategy of my career.  I am confident that people in Fisher can give me great suggestions and information!  And late I will make a SOWT analysis for myself. I will tell you later!

Absolutely, I have learned some knowledge the same with now before. But I forgot some knowledge and I have learn something different in the same field. I should not be that confident in what I have learned before. I have to study more before and after the class. Today, Courtney told me that I can search SHRM for more professional information. That`s awesome!

And I am now working on two projects. I will appropriately budge my time to do them. And I should also share my teammates my idea clearly and logically.

I will be good later and I will be excellent in the future!

I am busy now, so talk to you later!

Chicken curry overload

Tonight I had a great experience at the Indian MBA Association’s first group meeting.  I’m really glad I went because it was an excellent opportunity to meet several of my classmates who I did not know… plus  it was all you can eat Indian food, which is about as good as it gets.   Hopefully I’ll be able to attend more of these cultural association events in the future so that I can continue to broaden my cultural exposure and become a better representative for the FGSA.

Now I am committed to one thing: passing my Accounting midterm on Wednesday.  Unfortunately, I have a lot of other things to do before this test.  For example, I also need to pass my Economics midterm which is on Tuesday.  (This should not be too difficult. I find the material fairly easy to comprehend and retain.)  I also need to prepare for a class presentation midterm in EPI and a group project presentation in Organization Behavior.  (Both projects are on Monday morning.)  Along with this class work, I need to prepare for an interview with Target Corporation on Wednesday morning.   (I am hopeful that my interview with Johnson & Johnson last week knocked off my interviewing cobwebs.)

Anyways, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Although this weekend is completely shot, next weekend I will be midterm free just in time for the greatest holiday of the year:  All Saints D… I mean, Halloween!

-Joe

A lesson in self confidence and perseverence

The thing about grad school…at least what I’ve seen in the 5-6 weeks that I’ve been here….is that you are taught to question.  Questioning the professor in class is acceptable and in some classes (like stats) encouraged.  The learning environment here is to ask questions, get many answers and you yourself choose which one is the right one for you.

As I mentioned in my first post, not only am I working towards my MLHR degree but I am also pursing a master in Higher Education Student Affairs (HESA).  While the HESA program was an afterthought I am becoming more and more excited about it and happy I am doing it.  Both programs compliment each other extremely well and I am confident I will graduate a much more intelligent and well rounded person with many career paths in front of me.  What I didn’t realize going into this was the challenge of internships, career crossroads, and constant second guessing.

It is interview time for summer internships.  The internships here at Fisher seem to be very very competitive with a lot of outstanding companies coming to campus.  I have been submitting my resume to many companies to be considered for an interview and was declined or put on the alternate list for about half of the companies and was granted three interviews (still waiting to hear back about one).  This to me was slightly discouraging because I mean…who doesn’t want to be picked?

Two of my interviews were two weeks ago and while they went alright I was not made an offer/was not accepted for a second round interview.  Again discouraging and more and more I was thinking it had something to do with my dual degree program.  The program puts me on a three year track versus a two year track like all of my peers are on.  Thus the way these internships are designed, you intern in the summer and typically in the fall you will be offered a full time position (if they like you and you did well) starting that next June…something that I cannot do.

This week I had another interview with a company that I was and still am incredibly interested in.  Their products are ones that I use on a daily basis and enjoy and it was a company I would be proud to work for.  There was an information session for interviewing students Monday night which I went to and it was the first information session that not only held my attention but it made me excited for the next day to interview.  The interview on Tuesday went well, but the big question on the company’s mind was my educational path and why I felt it was necessary for the HR field to be pursuing higher education as well.  While I was prepared for the question, what I wasn’t prepared for was the blunt honesty which I actually greatly greatly appreciated.

What it came down to was, they were interested in me but if I interned and was offered a full time job, it would be for the following June and I would have to fore-go my higher ed degree if I wanted to accept the job…something that is personally important to me and something that I do have an interest in for my long term goals.  I was given a time frame in which I could remove myself from consideration.

Hearing this was a shock to the system and caused me to ask a lot of questions of myself.  Am I doing the right thing by pursuing this dual degree program? Am I not going to be able to get an HR internship because of it? Will I automatically have to default into a higher ed career? Am I being forced to make a career decision now, 5 weeks into grad school? There were some tears, some phone calls home, and a lot of evaluating in a short time.

What it comes down to is I am here and doing both of these programs for a reason.  I have a passion for both, there are ways to combine them, they compliment each other.  I believe in myself and my abilities that I can successfully achieve both degrees and move into a career that is not only successful but fulfilling, one that I can be passionate about.

As a result I did end up emailing the company and telling them after consideration I am withdrawing myself from consideration for an internship…and I thought that was it.  Chance over…but it was what I had to do for myself.  This afternoon it was beautiful out so I went to Antrim Park to enjoy the weather.  When I got back home there was a voicemail from the company, which I promptly returned.  I was told by the recruiter that they were still very interested, my decision deeply respected and the lines of communication will be very opened and they hope to be looking at me again for an internship next year.

What did I learn today?  It pays to follow what you believe in.  Things may seem more challenging and you may question yourself, but ultimately you have trust and have faith that you are doing the right thing and it will work out. I have a smile on my face today and next time something like this happens…freak out mode will not be my default (my boyfriend and my mom will be so happy…).

Deloitte Tax Competition

This past weekend, I competed in my first ever ‘tax competition’ at the Deloitte office in downtown Columbus.  Along with graduate and undergraduate teams from Dayton and an undergraduate team for OSU, I competed at the office on the OSU graduate team.  As part of the national competition, we were presented with a case and then asked to answer a wide variety of tax questions related to the case and site our sources.

The terrific folks at Deloitte who put the event on hosted a meal at Latitude 41 (great restaurant in downtown Columbus) this past Friday.  It was a great opportunity for all of the competitors to network with current Deloitte employees and learn more about public accounting.

My team of four included Scott Krahn, Dan Packard, and Shalabh Gupta (all current MAcc students).  The four of us were recruited by tax professor Raabe based on the fact that we had all completed two undergraduate tax courses.  Needless to say, I think our main downfall is that all of our tax courses were several years ago and few of us had a great recollection of the material.  We spent some time in the weeks leading up to the event preparing for the competition, but it was very difficult for the four of us to cover everything that could possibly be thrown at us on the day of the competition.  We will receive our results in the coming weeks and I will provide an update on the result.

Opportunity Only Knocks Once – Proverb

Hello again. The principal purpose of the My Fisher Grad Life experiment is to give prospective students a perspective into what it’s like being a graduate student at The Fisher College of Business. I hope that you have been able to cut through my thinly veiled attempt at humor and that  I have provided some insight  into what MBA student life is really like.

First, BOILER UP! Even though I am now a Buckeye I will always be a Boilermaker at heart.  Hopefully this win for Purdue will make tickets to the upcoming Iowa game cheaper. Another reason to enjoy the win!

Second, I’ve noticed a peculiar state-of-mind develop among myself and my fellow MBA classmates. Obviously, we are all occupied with coursework. In fact, between classes, group meetings, and homework – coursework itself is a significant time commitment (if you’ve been following my posts, you already knew this). However, coursework isn’t what consumes our thoughts or conversations.

Rather, the tremendous amount of opportunities in extracurricular and personal/leadership development activities seem to consume us.  Conversations typically cover what lunchtime information sessions, speaker,  interviews for various organizations, or team meetings for non-course related projects we are going to attend.

As an example, here are the extras I am participating in (or plan to participate in):

My short list of activities just scratches the surface of what is available. A more complete list of Fisher’s student organizations can be found here.

Professors, if you are reading this, please don’t interpret this as a reason to make your courses more difficult. The last thing I need is the class hating me for something like that! They are challenging, I assure you.  Classes are table-stakes – everyone does it. I think each student differentiates himself/herself by his/her performance in the classroom and by which of Fisher’s unique opportunities he/she takes advantage of.

I apologize for the relative sincerity of this post. More humor will follow.

Caveat lector. Finis.

It’s beginning to feel a lot like… Internship and Midterm season!

I apologize to those of you who read the first seven words and began to have the tune for a Christmas song in your head… but it seemed an appropriate way to express my sentiment!

I feel like I just started here at Fisher, but I’ve already had two interviews for internships, with another next week, and a fourth one pending… It’s truly wonderful how many great companies are coming specifically to Fisher to recruit MBA interns. I met some amazing representatives from American Woodmark, Unilever, P&G, Bosch, DOW and many other companies at the Fisher Career Fair the end of last month. From that fair, I was able to get an interview with two very senior employees at American Woodmark. The internship sounds truly amazing, mostly because of how appealing the company culture is. I also got an interview with Johnson&Johnson. One of the interviewers had been a presenter at the Operations & Logistics Boot Camp at Fisher. (The Boot Camps are excellent opportunities to really get a feel for the different career paths, as well as to mingle with professionals). A big thanks to the Office of Career Management for sponsoring so many great opportunities!

The other big news at Fisher is that midterm season is almost upon us! The Class of 2011 has its first midterm next Tuesday, and then two midterms and one midterm presentation the following week. It’s hard to believe that so much time has gone by. As a “newbie” to the quarter system, I am truly amazed at how rapidly the classes progress. I’m sure I won’t be the only one doing some serious studying and reviewing the next two weeks! One really nice thing is that several professors are holding extra review sessions in the evenings and even on weekends, in addition to the normal review sessions during the week. The professors here are truly dedicated to our success – it’s a really nice feeling to know that people really care about our progress!

Good luck to everyone studying, and congratulations to the new FGSA members from the Class of 2011!

Stacey

A busy week

It is really a busy week. I had two interviews and one project presentation. I got a full score in my first quiz in United States and I applied SSNON Friday.Frankly, the interviews went well while the presentation is bad.

My first interview is Pearl Interactive Network (PIN) in Merry`s house on Monday. Merry is the owner of it and it is a company help the people with challenge. I like that company, not only because it helps the people with challenge get the job, but also Diane and her team modified sort of high-tech tools to assist those people who need assistance. For instance, people who is sight challenged are able to operate Microsoft office software by PIN`s high-tech voice system. We talked something about my family and my study in China. I was not nervous to share my information with them. Even I would like to talk more to them, since they are very very nice! However, I can`t  get an intern there, since I have only been in United for 1 month and  I am not able  to have an effective communication with people with challenged . What`s more, PIN is a virtual home-base company and it will take a long time for me to realize  my development. But Merry told me to keep in touch and Diane said I would be hired if they have an office. I look forward to helping them in the future.

My second interview is with Erin from Roll-Royce. I did well since my awesome roommate Jessica helped me prepared it; Tanvi, who had internship this summer there, shared some information with me; Professor Hills taught  me  strategy of interview. And thank myself who did a good research in the company. I was excited to share my excellent experience in the Student Union with Erin and she definitely was attracted by my colorful experience.  She also smiled when I analyzed the business of Rolls-Royce. By the way, she is really interested in my position as a student blogger.

I didn’t give the class a good presentation yesterday. I felt ashamed. Sorry, team members. I should re-schedule my time and try to quickly adapt to my new and exciting life!