Getting Productive

The quarter is definitely in full swing, and it is taking a full effort from me to keep up with everything. Just this past week (Wednesday really) I got fully into school mode, and I am now seemingly going from 9am to 9pm. I find I am most productive when I wake up early, get over to campus, and start taking care of things.

Whether that is reading, working on a group project, or filling out yet another candidate profile on a company website, there are plenty of things to do!

I am still waiting to hear back from the three companies I interviewed with this morning, hopefully it will be soon!

Some of the projects I am currently working on are pretty awesome though. My finance project includes taking Ford and analyzing the results of what would have happened had they implemented different dividend plans back in 2000 when Ford was sitting on ~10billion in cash. Pretty interesting stuff!

Nothing else matters, except……

Last week we had the Marketing Boot Camp. It was an inspiring experience. There were many wonderful speakers and alumni.

I will like to share with you one of the fascinating experiences from the camp.

Mr Brad Davis,Vice-President, Nationwide Financial Individuals was giving us an inspiring talk as to how we can make a headstart in a good marketing career.He asked us “What are the companies looking for in a prospective employee”

We said “Leadership, Teamwork, Creativity, Analytical abilities, Passion,etc…..

The answer was “Leadership”

Then he asked us “What is the second thing that matters?”

We tried – Teamwork, Creativity, Analytics, Passion,etc…..

The answer was “Leadership” again.

Then he asked us “What is the third thing that matters?”

We tried – Teamwork, Creativity, Analytics, Passion,etc…..

The answer was “Leadership” again.

Then he asked us “What is the next thing that matters?”

This time we all said “Leadership” but the answer was “Teamwork”  [:(]

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Jajaja!

This weekend I attended the NSHMBA Conference in Minneapolis, MN. I went with a group of nine great Fisher students also in the Fisher Latino Graduate Association. We had an extremely productive, fun-filled weekend. I don’t know how many total attendees there were, but I’d guesstimate around 1000-1500. The company list was impressive as well. Most of the top MBA employers were represented, along with most of the top 25 MBA programs. The highlights of the weekend were:

  • Interviewing with three of the top companies on my short list.
  • Making solid contacts at several other companies.
  • Networking with MBA students from other top schools.
  • Going to the corporate-sponsored parties. The Target party was amazing!
  • Watching Ohio State receive the Brillante Award for Educational Excellence.
  • Seeing some of my friends in the MBA program from last year on the other side of the table, recruiting for their companies.
  • Spending some quality time with the incoming first-year MBA students.
  • Hearing from several different recruiters how highly regarded the Fisher College brand is.

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Growing up in Tucson, Arizona, I’ll always have a special place in my heart for Hispanic culture and people. It was great to be back in that warm, loving environment after a year in Columbus (not that I don’t love the Midwest, it’s just a different kind of nice here). My cheeks hurt a little bit from laughing so much the entire weekend. As my buddy Jorge would say, there was much jajaja’ing the entire trip ( how some of my Hispanic friends say “hahaha” in a text message or Facebook post). I know one thing for sure, no matter where I’m at next year, I’m going to the 2010 NSHMBA Conference in Chicago.

On a similar note, I just decided that I’m spending my Spring Break in Brazil. Fisher College has a program called Emerging Market Field Studies where students take a class in the Winter to learn about and become experts in one particular emerging market. Upon finishing the course, they spend their Spring Break in that country. Upon return from the country, students are required to write field study case reports. I had friends go to Bolivia, Vietnam and Ethiopia last year and they all had a great time. I can’t wait!

In not so good news, I’m getting to the point now where sleep is a thing of the past (currently it is 2:31am Sunday night/Monday morning). I usually work from 8am-10pm most days and catch up on emails and manage my career search from 10pm-2am. I feel bad for my friends with iPhones and Blackberrys, but it’s the only time I have right now to go through my 100 emails a day. So sorry if your email notification goes off in the middle of the night.

Well, I’m off. I have a dozen or so emails to finish and a couple cases to read before I call it a night. Make it a great week!

Mike ^_^

Finding Your Passion

When I was younger, I came to school one day excited to do my first ever writing sample.  Our teacher told us the day before to get some rest because the next day we were going to do a writing assignment that was to be sent in and graded by other teachers who would assess our writing against our peers.  Her advice was to stick to the topic, be original, and to write naturally.

I don’t remember exactly what the topic was, but I remembered how excited I was when I decided to write about my mom- one of the people I love most.  I went through the outline/web development, a rough draft, and was proud to put my first sample in the manila envelope to be sent out to the graders.  The top score was a 4, and the worst was a 1.  The teacher then explained that if we did not follow the topic, or if it did not follow the directions, they could not grade your paper and you received an x.  The dreaded X.

Needless to say, a few weeks later, we were told our papers were sent back.  I was so excited, because I was so proud of my work.  When the teacher called me to her desk, she pulled me outside of the class to give me my paper which had received a double X.  I was devastated.  I came home in tears, shocked that I did not even receive a grade, let alone two 4’s.  Then, I was afraid to tell my mom, because I was even more embarrassed that my piece that could not be graded was about her.

While I was only in the third grade when this happened, it obviously had big effects on my writing career.  (I have never pursued a career in writing)  But it did teach me one thing.  That sometimes your passions have to align with your opportunities.

This is a mature view for a third grader, but I have had a few years to reflect on this.  This lesson is something that I am currently being reminded of now at Fisher.  Between recruiters and career counselors, I am constantly told to follow my passion.  But finding this connection between our passion and what are opportunities are is the hardest part of the internship right now.  My goal over the next few months, is to find an internship that will foster my passions through the opportunities that I have.

PS If you are reading my blog, please don’t grade it with an X!

Careers in Marketing Boot Camp

I spent the day yesterday in the “Careers in Marketing Boot Camp” at The Fisher College of Business.  The Career Management Office organizes several boot camps throughout the fall covering the various careers that MBAs typically seek including: consulting, operations and logistics, marketing, finance, sustainability and real estate.  The Marketing Boot Camp, which was generously sponsored by Nationwide Insurance, was a day-long seminar focused on career paths in marketing, networking strategies and interviewing techniques.  Several alumni and marketers from local firms came to Fisher to share their experiences and take questions on their careers and firms.

The keynote speaker, Mr. Brad Davis, Vice President Nationwide Financial Individual Investments, gave an engaging (and sometimes humorous) but certainly informative presentation covering his experience in branding in the CPG (consumer packaged goods) industry and how that brought him to his position at Nationwide.  The topics he covered were too numerous to summarize completely, but some of the highlights included:

  • The balance between the science and art of marketing
  • The concepts of “misattribution” and “consideration sets”
  • The marketing cycle
  • Marketing is Business and Business is Marketing: everyone owns a piece of establishing and nurturing a relationship with the customer

Once again thanks to Brad Davis, Nationwide, Jenny Heckscher, the Fisher Office of Career Management and everyone else that took the time to attend and answer questions: The Scotts Miracle-Grow Company, dunnhumbyUSA, Nestlé, Cardinal Health, Resource Interactive, Greif, Sterling Commerce, The Columbus Chapter of the American Marketing Association, The Fisher College of Business Marketing Faculty and second-year MBA students.

Reposted from aaron360.com.

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Interviewing 101

Wow, with school starting just 2 1/2 weeks ago, balancing your course workload along with preparing from summer internships interviews can be hectic!  Deciding which one to place more emphasis on can be a tough decision, considering that they both will have a great impact on your future in HR.  One word of advice that I can offer future Buckeyes, is to make sure you secure a mock interview prior to your orientation.  With so much going on throughout the school year, it is easy for your career adviser to book up with other responsibilities, while leaving you without an opportunity to get one mock interview in before your interview.  One mock interview that can make or break you.

When speaking to my classmates about how their interview experience has been thus far, the general feeling is that they did “Okay!” Not too reassuring!  However, I am a firm believer that practice is the key to making a great impression in your job interviews. With each interview you get better and better at answering those tough questions.  As well as figuring ways around those questions you just don’t seem to have an answer for.  So in conclusion, “Good luck to everyone as they proceed through the recruitment season at Fisher. May the forces be with you!”

Interview Season

After today, the MAcc program is definitely in interview season. I had my first interview today, and I think it went pretty well. I have a couple more interviews scheduled this week, so I will definitely be busy! The Fisher program has been fantastic assisting me in setting up interviews as well as all the assistance program participants were given preparing for interviews. Fisher is really a recruiting hotbed, it has been extremely easy to make contact with recruiters.

The Fisher career fair was this past week, and was well attended by some of the biggest firms in the world, as well as the Big 4, and a good amount of regional accounting firms. This is a marked difference from my undergrad university, where our career fair included one government firm looking to possibly speak with accounting majors. I have really had a fantastic experience so far, and look forward to going to class every day.

The work has definitely picked up relatively quickly, but the group work is a lot more enjoyable, knowing everyone I work with is hardworking, as well as extremely capable and knowledgeable.

I promised I would include some of my significant others perspective, so here goes.

Sarah’s Say
Hi all! My name is Sarah Shepherd, and I am Kyle’s fiance 🙂 (It’s still fun to say it!) It’s hard to believe that we’ve been here for almost a month, and that I’ve been working in my first big kid job for just as long. I started looking for work here  in April once Kyle and I had decided for sure about Ohio State, and it was not the most pleasant time of my life.

We moved from the DC area, where I was finding HR job after HR job that I was qualified for, to the Columbus market where I didn’t find an HR job I was qualified for for nearly 4 months. Luckily though, I found a position at DISH Network in Hilliard as an HR Associate. So far I’m loving it, and will include some Columbus job search tips in my next bit. Great to meet y’all!

Dont stop till you get enough @Fisher

It was yet another hectic and happening week at Fisher.

This week we had the Fisher Fall Career Fair 2009. We had the information session of some of the companies. We had the operations boot camp(apart from all the regular classes).

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The Fisher Fall Career Fair 2009 was spread across 3 days – Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday with each day focusing on a different specialization. It was huge. There were so many companies. Every company was eager to share information and help us with our resumes and questions.

On Thursday, it was the Deloitte information session. There was a networking session too after the event. It was awesome to learn about the company from the big drivers of the company- directors, recruiting heads and senior consultants.

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On Friday , it was the Operations Boot camp. There were people from the industry telling us why it is one of the best industry to work for and how we can break into it.There were leaders of the field explaining their work. There were operation games.

With this event came the end of the week for me.Now, I can relax over the weekend.

Ack!

After a busy end of last week and an even busier weekend (undergrad homecoming!) I’m back to the grind of what looks like a very busy Sunday evening.  By the end of my time here at Fisher and OSU I will be a professional multi-tasker…as I write this article I am catching up on Project Runway and once I am done writing this I will still be watching Project Runway and writing an email to my group for my “Business 101” class. Then I will be running through some talking points for my interview tomorrow (insert music from Jaws here) and then finally reading for class on Wednesday…in bed…which means I’ll make it through 5 pages before falling asleep.  But I planned for that don’t worry.

“Business 101” is actually Business for the HR Professional and it is like getting your MBA in one quarter.  Only not as intense.  No where near as intense.  I’m really glad it is required though because I definitely will feel more confident after this class about the business world and how organizations really work.  I’ll also be veryyyy well versed on the Banking Bailout, which is the project topic my group picked.  We are presenting a lovely power point presentation in class this Thursday.  My group is made up of three other girls and myself and I couldn’t be happier with us all.  We are very productive and efficient and get along really well together.  We’ve had two group meetings and assigned different parts of the project and then we will meet this week two times before class to run through the presentation.  We also did a short presentation this past Thursday which went pretty well.  By the time I’m done at Fisher my fear of public speaking will be completely eliminated.

And yes I have an interview tomorrow.  I also have one on Tuesday.  I feel much more confident about tomorrow because it’s actually for the company my Dad has worked for since the early 90’s so at least I have something going for me.  Tuesday is another story….I felt compelled to sign up to be preselected for every interview I possibly could and now I’m thinking that was a bad idea because the industry of Tuesday’s company is not my cup of tea.  But at least it will be good practice and who knows…maybe I will change my mind.

So I’m off to be busy and productive with my time and to keep on talking to myself about myself in preparation for tomorrow.  Wish me luck!!!!

Strengths Finder 2.0

Part of the second year MBA experience is attending numerous information sessions in an attempt to figure out what you want to do with the rest of your life. Representatives from various consulting firms, banks, and other Fortune 500 companies come to tell you why Company XYZ is the best place in the universe to work. It’s a little overwhelming at times, because the job that you take after your MBA really dictates the rest of your career for the most part. I think the hardest thing for most of us is the fact that we could succeed in all of these roles, so it’s finding the right company, position and people to work with that will ultimately determine how successful/happy we are.

A company that wasn’t on my radar until this week is Gallup Consulting. Most people are familiar with The Gallup Poll, but aren’t too familiar with their consulting arm (including myself until recently). They’re a little different from most consulting firms, in that they help companies drive true organic growth from continuing operations. They specialize in: talent acquisition/selection & hiring practices, succession management, strengths-based development, leadership development & manager training, performance management design & measurement, employee engagement measurement & impact training, customer engagement measurement & impact training, and brand/market research. For those of you who know me pretty well, it’s as if they created a consulting practice that revolves around all my professional interests. Needless to say, Gallup Consulting is now very high on my daily-expanding target list.

Another piece of Gallup’s business is Gallup Press. I had no idea that they were behind many business best-sellers such as: First, Break all the Rules, Now, Discover Your Strengths, StrengthsFinder 2.0, How Full is Your Bucket? and Human Sigma. Always being one who’s interested in increasing my self-awareness, I bought StrengthsFinder 2.0 at Barnes and Noble today and took the online StrengthsFinder assessment. My top five strengths were:

Includer: People who are especially talented in the Includer theme are accepting of others. They show awareness of those who feel left out, and make an effort to include them.

Woo: People who are especially talented in the Woo theme love the challenge of meeting new people and winning them over. They derive satisfaction from breaking the ice and making a connection with another person.

Communication: People who are especially talented in the Communication theme generally find it easy to put their thoughts into words. They are good conversationalists and presenters.

Positivity: People who are especially talented in the Positivity theme have an enthusiasm that is contagious. They are upbeat and can get others excited about what they are going to do.

Empathy: People who are especially talented in the Empathy theme can sense the feelings of other people by imagining themselves in others’ lives or others’ situations.

Evidently, “Insatiable Appetite” and “Wii Mario Kart Skills” weren’t on the list of 34 strengths, otherwise those would probably be my top two. On a more serious note, I encourage anyone to get this book as it gives you a custom-made report of your strengths and an action planning guide based off of those strengths.

Well, I’m off to go fill out some more applications, watch some football and spend some quality time with Molly (who’s been very tolerant of my 80 hour workweek since school’s started).

Mike ^_^