Thoughts on the past 2 weeks

So it’s the middle of the second full week of classes… Here are some musings:

  • Can you get carpal tunnel from turning 100+ pages in an Economics text book? (I certainly hope not!)
  • Will I ever get a full (I use this term loosely) night’s sleep again? (Does it count if I dream about getting one?)
  • Have I ever been in a classroom with so many intelligent, engaged people? (Nope, but it’s great!)

I have to say, it’s definitely been a huge breath of fresh air to get to know so many interesting, smart, funny people, who are all driven to succeed.

I’m hopeful that I’ll get into a good routine in terms of my schedule – I think it’s going to be critical  to do some school work every day, especially as we begin the team projects in several classes.

However, I know it’s going to be important to carve out some time to really get to know my team members and classmates better – we’re in this together for the next 21 months – might as well be friendly 🙂

Good luck to everyone!


This Week’s Top Five

  1. The effort: I posted up against MH in a basketball game, and he’s only like 8 feet taller than I.
  2. Event: Friday accounting review!
  3. Quote: “I felt just like Charlie Brown”. That was DW referring to the Friday accounting review.
  4. Place: “Great Clips” at the University Plaza on Olentangy. They really are great!
  5. Song: “Untouched”, by The Veronicas. I can’t get enough of it, for some reason.

“[unintelligible]” –Decapitated

Recording lectures

I started my MBA program hoping to record most lectures using a digital voice recorder.  My plan was to review lectures during my commute to work or class.  For my Organizational Behavior class (MBA860), the recordings were invaluable (Thanks to Prof. Ford for his permission) .  This is especially true when the professor does not use or make available his lecture notes.
This quarter, however, I am not using the voice recorder.  In MBA870 Data Analysis, the class is primarily based on in-class  laptop/Excel work in which recordings would not nearly be as useful.  My other class, MBA825 Enhancing Professional Exchange (Speech), does have several lecture days however the professor preferred that students not taped his lectures.  I fully understand his reasons for such, though it sure is nice to have the lecture recordings available in case I have to miss class for business travel or sickness.
  • Always ask permission first before recording the lectures.
  • When recording, try to sit close to the professor so the recordings are clear.
  • If you bother recording lectures, then listen to them!  Recordings demand some extra attention in order to classify, sort, save, and burn CD’s.

Weekend studying and other stuff

This weekend was rather uneventful. I spent my time sleeping, studying, catching up on TV shows and watching sports. And I also just got back from seeing “It Might Get Loud” at the Landmark Gateway Theater on campus, which was good, but not quite as good as I was hoping.

This morning I went to campus around 10:30 am to do some studying for MBA 812 and MBA 870. Unfortunately, the main library doesn’t open until 11 am on Sundays so I ended up going to the Science & Engineering library, which I know from my undergrad days is open 24 hours a day. There I was able to get a few hours of studying in and get caught up on some of my reading and homework.

On the way back to my car from the Science & Engineering libary, I decided to stop in the main library and look around since it was recently renovated. Wow. The library looked really great. It is much, much nicer than it was when I was an undergrad. However, one downside is that it was very crowded and I don’t think I’d be able to focus as well there.

Rewinding the weekend a little, the Buckeyes and Blue Jackets both won on Saturday night. I am a big Blue Jackets fan and Saturday night was their first game of the season so it was nice to see them get off to a good start. I had some friends over and we set up two TVs so we could watch both games at the same time.

The weekend is winding down now, but fortunately tonight I have some time to watch a few of my favorite shows: Curb Your Enthusiasm and Mad Men. If you haven’t seen either of these shows, I recommend checking them out.


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!!!!

‘fly like paper, get high like planes’

Hi Guys! Well today the first full week of school ends. Ah! a huge sigh of relief.

Highlight of the week: Working in a paper plane assembly-line.

I will not delve in to details of the humongous MBA812: Economics readings since a few of my peers have already spoken about it. The biggest take away for me was that it’s all possible. Prof. Cambell mentioned during class that we covered most of a traditional economics course of a full quarter in 3 sessions! I remember during the start of the week wondering how we will make it through, but it was real fun. The class was interesting and we had some great discussions. Having said that I am currently wondering about Financial Accounting for the coming week.

This week was very interesting also because a lot of activities happened simultaneously. Along with the heavy class load, we had career fairs, company information sessions and student organization presentations almost every single day. Feels good to be on the edge (fyi: this is 4 cups of coffee speaking), work as hard as possible full steam ahead.

Ok, now getting to the most entertaining part of the week. Today we had the Operations, Logistics and Supply Chain Boot Camp. As always there were faculty, alumni, industry representatives and 2nd year students who shared their expereinces and their thoughts on the Operations as a career option. I must say the passion in the alumni for what they are doing as part of an operations team was encouraging. Post lunch we made planes!

This was a prime example of ‘learning by experience’. We were organized in to 2 teams of 9 each. We were two competing paper plan manufacturers. There were set quality standards, a manufacturing process – divided between the shop floor workers, a CEO, a quality manager, a plant manager and even a paper plane test pilot.

The aim of the exercise was to explore various ways wastes can be eliminated in the simplest of processes. How to most efficiently use every single resource. How to work as a team. And how to even engage in competition sledging, although it an objective. We saw how implementation of lean processes eliminated wastes and lead times. We ran the production following a batch process, lean process and then finally the rules were dissolved to enable the teams to creatively achieve operational excellence. The quality manager’s job was to constantly track every workers performance and get the various metrics to the plant manager who over saw the production as he looked to remove bottlenecks. The CEO did pretty much nothing other than just getting the raw materials on to the shop floor!….hmmm may be he should have been fired. I must commend Anthony was excellent flying skills ;). Also Ross for his commitment to faster production, he was our bottle-neck all though (to be fair to him he did have the most difficult and time consuming tasks of all). The activity was great fun. You can see the picture of a our master-piece in paper plan manufacturing. Anthony flew them as if they were rockets. And the rival team was so intimidated that they had to try out new test pilots in each round!American Aeroplane Corp.

It was a tough and eventful week and wish all of the class of 2011 good luck in their effort to fly like paper, get high as planes!


AMIS 824 – Corporate Finance

I love all 4 of my classes this quarter, but I want to bring your attention to this particular one – AMIS 824 Corporate Finance. This class is unique in many ways. To start off, in the introduction email Professor Dave Williams sent to the class, he specifically mentioned that we won’t be doing any journal entries, T-accounts, or cite FASB statements. But wait a second, I thought this is an accounting class??? (AMIS stands for Accounting & Management Information System)

Now that school’s been in session for about 2 weeks, I started to get a feel of what he means. Dave (he likes to be informal and prefers to be called by his first name instead of Professor Williams) usually starts the class by reading an article or two on the Wall Street Journal and discuss with the class the magnitude of the news and the effect/consequence/special meaning it has both to the accounting profession and the financial industry. Then we spend the remaining class period analyzing financial statements of various companies in a very fun and intuitive way. You might say, how is analyzing hundreds of pages of the 10-K fun?

Well, first of all we don’t look at the entire 10-K because Dave is environment-friendly and would like to save trees. Second, some day we look at just the income statement, another day we’ll look at the balance sheet followed by the statement of cash flow, or sometimes the combination of them. Then he’ll make the students think hard and fast what lies beneath the numbers. He asks questions like: why do you expect to see a high balance in the inventory account for so and so? What does it mean when you see cash outflows from PP&E every year? Is that a good thing or a bad thing and why? So far we’ve looked at the financial statements of Tootsie Roll, Hershey, GE, Southwest Airline, Whirlpool, Campbell’s Soup, 5/3 Bank, Amazon, J-Crew, American Eagle Outfitter, and Pacific Sun. Next week we’ll talk about revenue recognition and look at Microsoft’s financial statements. Microsoft!!! I’m getting excited just as I’m typing this.

Dave is ingenious in drawing the class’ attention. He tells jokes, makes fun of himself and sometimes his kids, and you can be sure that he’ll call you out (not to embarrass you, but all for good fun) if you say something silly without giving it some thought. He comes at you fast and furious and you better devote 120% of your attention to him if you don’t want to miss anything important (and the jokes). Starting this week I’m bringing a digital recorder to record the lecture so that I don’t have to take notes frantically. Lastly, I tried to imitate his style a little bit and be funny in front of the 211 students (I’m a TA) but so far to no avail.


“The brain is a wonderful organ. It starts working the moment you were born and doesn’t stop until you get called for oral recitation.”

I got the line, which is a George Jessel quotation with a twist, from my friend Kristine Malabanan. And it perfectly sums up what happened yesterday during MBA 812: Managerial Economics class.

When I went through the required reading for the class (which was almost a HUNDRED PAGES), I had a different understanding about marginal benefits and its impact on whether or not a consumer decided to buy more or not. During the discussion, I realized my error. While I was still trying to reconfigure everything (the key word being trying), I was called to say my piece about marginal costs and suppliers. As the professor was shooting questions at me, I was trying to say something using the new information I received earlier. That was, of course, unsuccessful. Although, the way the discussion was moving, you would believe that I was actually on the right track – until you hear the gibberish I was saying anyway. I am trying to remember what I said but all I remember are random numbers.

I felt really stupid after that. But it triggered something in me. I was suddenly very eager to say something else in class. In previous sessions, my heart would be pounding every time I raise my hand. It was actually a relief when somebody else was called. But now, it’s “I already made a big mistake, it wouldn’t hurt to make another one”. This mindset works in classes (with obvious exceptions) where making mistakes is just another opportunity to learn. It’s a cliché but it’s true. I am sure I will never forget the concept of marginal benefits and costs for a loooooooong time. When exams come, I am almost 100% certain that I will get this item right.

Why Fisher?

Kumar, Fan & Robyn in the lounge
Kumar, Fan & Robyn in the lounge

So I am sitting in the Fisher student lounge with a few of my fellow classmates after an excellent discussion in our Economics class about supply & demand curves and how it relates to Organ donation. Sounds boring but trust me it got heated. So I have a few hours to kill between an MBA Intro Real estate class I am a Teaching Assistant in (a little bit more about that later) so I figured I would let you in on a little bit about myself and why I chose Fisher.

I was born and raised in Philadelphia, went to the University of Arizona originally to study business but found Regional Development, a major that focused on economic development and land planning, to be more interesting. While in college I had a few internships with different real estate companies and found that I really enjoyed real estate development. After college I worked in Phoenix for two different real estate firms but decided to move back to Philadelphia to work for a commercial real estate private equity firm that focused on industrial real estate. Have I lost you yet? So after working in Philadelphia for the last year and a half and after the real estate market/stock market crash, I knew I always wanted to go back to school for an MBA and figured that now was the perfect time to take two years out of the workforce.

In evaluating schools I looked at the top 30 list and took off the schools I either thought I couldn’t get into and places I didn’t want to live. I was also focused on programs that had some type of real estate focus. My list was narrowed down to five schools, USC, OSU, ASU, Wisconsin & University of Florida. After going through the application process and visiting my top choices (USC, OSU, ASU) I was able to really find why Fisher was perfect for me.

My interview day at Fisher was long, just as long as all the other interviews but what stood out was the time the people took to help answer questions after I had left. After meeting professors that had been recruited from HBS and Booth, I was thoroughly impressed with the teaching faculty and the level of participation in the classroom visit during a first year strategy class. As I was on the way to the airport I had multiple e-mails from people I met throughout the day asking what else they could do to answer questions as well as a voice mail from the Director of the Center of Real Estate (which i am now a TA & Graduate Assistant in), Ken Gold. Obviously not only did this impress me but it gave me the feeling that Fisher wanted me and valued me.

When it came down to it all of the schools I looked at had great programs in Real Estate but what stood out were the people at Fisher. The atmosphere here is unlike any other. People are supportive, not competitive, friendly, not awkward and most of all everyone is really smart! The caliber of student I have met here is higher then any other info session I attended at all the other schools I applied to.

So the group I was sitting with just left to head to a Deloitte info session and I have some time to kill but I see some of my other friends from class at another table. I think I’ll join them before tonight’s weekly social event.


And so it begins…

One down…how many more to go??  And so this two-year journey starts…

If you haven’t realized yet, I am a first year, first quarter WPMBA student who is now juggling school and a very loaded work schedule.  I meant to write something interesting during the weekend, but guess what?? EXACTLY!!! I spent most of the weekend trying to catch up (already!) with all of the reading material assigned for week 2!

By now you have probably heard all about the first week of classes and the mixed expectations between first year first quarter students (me!) and the rest of the crowd – so I won’t bore you with that.  The only comment I will make is that, regardless of how we feel, we are all in this together and hopefully we will all make it through the two years.

Check back and next time (maybe tomorrow) I will tell you all about my upcoming immigration test (10/8) and what it’s like to go through that experience. Stay tuned!!