Posts filed under 'Community Service'

Summer Activities – Pelotonia

It is hard to believe, this this school year is already coming to a close.  Last August seems like such a short time ago, and the months have gone by in the blink of an eye.  I am currently in the middle of mid-term exams for the second term of the spring semester, and will be halfway through my MBA journey in under a month.

This summer is showing no signs of being any less busy, between working during my internship, to participating in the GAP program, and taking advantage of other opportunities around Columbus.  One of the activities that has occurred in Columbus every summer for the better part of the last decade is the Pelotonia charity bike ride, which raises funds for the James Cancer Center here on campus.  A short description from the ride’s website:

The model of Pelotonia remains simple: Pelotonia’s operating expenses are covered by funding partners so that 100% of every dollar raised by Pelotonia riders, virtual riders and volunteers goes directly to fund cancer research at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center—Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute. Pelotonia was initially funded with a five-year, $12.5 million commitment, with a goal to raise $39 million during this time period.

The ride has raised over $61 million dollars to help fund cancer research over the years, and is a great way to give back to the community.  This year, I will be riding as part of the Fisher College of Business team, along with several of my other classmates who are also going to be in the Columbus area over the summer.  So, along with my internship this summer, I will be balancing my training regime in order to prepare for the ride.  If you have any interest in learning more about myself and the other Fisher students who will be riding, you can follow this link:  Dan Reeder


Sustainability at Ohio State

That's right. Nada.

That’s right. Nada.

Last semester I was lucky enough to be a part of the Sustainability team of The Ohio State  University. Its major initiative - The Zero Waste Program, focuses on diverting 90% or higher of its waste materials away from landfills to be recycled and composted.

The Ohio Stadium, or the Horseshoe as it is popularly called, is now the largest stadium in the entire country to achieve zero waste. Last year, Ohio State won the 2012 Game Day Challenge, a competition in which we beat 78 other schools to divert the most football game day waste. More than 102,000 fans pack the stadium at any given game, and this is where the impact of the initiative is most visible. So, when thousands of fans are busy screaming and enjoying the game, members of our team are  walking around the stadium (and trudging along in the snow come winter) , faithfully inspecting the bins, recycling and composting.

Also, after the Indiana game, our entire team went out on the football field and had our photo shoot for the season. This was also the first time I got to actually be ON the football field, so I wasn’t complaining. And did I also mention that it was snowing heavily? We spent a good forty five minutes taking pictures on the field and it was totally awesome.

 

 

Just look at all that stadium !

Just look at all that stadium !

O - H !! Go Beyond.

O – H !! Go Beyond

 

All said and done, it is extremely humbling to work with people who volunteer their services time and again to give back to the society in this way. I feel quite fortunate just to be part of a movement that accomplishes the incredible feat of 120,000 pounds of diverted waste materials every season. It also gives me a great opportunity to widen my circle beyond the Fisher group of friends whom I usually interact with and meet some really interesting and wonderful people.

 


Bonding Time

Here is a photo of some of my classmates and I at the FisherServes volleyball tournament. We all contributed $5 to play in the tournament and it went to the charity of the winning team’s choice. It was a very fun and carefree event. There was music, pizza, and lots of laughter. I highly recommend getting involved with FisherServes. It is a community service based organization here at Fisher College of Business that connects all of the Fisher students and helps to strengthen our surrounding community. In the Spring there is the Fisher 5K and multiple events throughout the year, be sure to check out the website if you are interested.

Getting involved in organizations such as FisherServes is a great way to connect with classmates and to help strengthened friendships. It gives you a chance to bond outside of the classroom. Also, it never hurts to get involved because it is a great way to help build your resume as well. Being involved in many activities and working in teams is an awesome way to gain experience. As an MHRM student you will be working a lot in team environments so by actively participating in organizations such as this you are strengthening your skill set and having fun doesn’t sound too shabby! My advice get involved and have fun doing it :)

 


Bump, Set, Spike!

And the winner is …FLIPFLIP!

Friday night was the first volleyball tournament hosted by FisherServes (a student organization that focuses on volunteering and community service). I am the VP of Marketing for this organization and was so excited to be part of the team that put on this event.

Quick basics of the event:

FisherServes invited students from all programs to create a team for the tournament. There was a six player minim for teams and at least two girls needed to be present on the court at all times.

Players paid $5 to play and picked a charity to “play for”. FisherServes matched the funds raised and donated the total to the winning’s team charity.

So, obviously I am a little biased, but I thought it was a huge success. I was so touched by the generosity of the Fisher family.

The winning team on Friday was FLIP-FLIP. Due to their incredible volleyball skills, FisherServes will be giving $850 ($425 donated by the players and $425 matched by FisherServes) to the charity, Flip. This remarkable charity helps individuals live a lifestyle that prevents cancer through a shift of thinking and holistic approaches.

the winning team FLIP-FLIP and some members of the FisherServes Exec. Team

On FLIP-FLIP was Mary, Lindsey, Tara, Ryan, Todd and Joel. This combined team of MHRM’s & MBA’s played a hard fought game against, The Avengers, a team of talented MHRM students.

I know what you’re thinking – we have talented volleyball all-stars across ALL programs here at Fisher :)

*To learn more about FisherServes or other organizations that I am involved with, please see my recent post: Getting Involved – With Precision*

See everyone soon!

 


Getting Involved – With Precision

It’s no secret, I love to join clubs and organizations. You can ask people in my program! If possible, I would join every single club at Fisher. However, that isn’t always the best idea…it’s better to join organizations that align with your passions, interests and future career goals (I know, sounds kind of corny – but it’s true!)

Personally, I am the VP of Marketing for FisherServes, Treasurer for Innovation Fisher and on the Steering Committee for Fisher Follies. I am also a member of AMP (Association of Marketing Professionals).

 

Just for your reference:

  • FisherServes – An organization that focuses on philanthropy and community service. We connect FCOB students to volunteer activities in Columbus and we host events that raise money for the surrounding community. Tomorrow is our volleyball tournament – stay tuned for that post!!
  • Innovation Fisher- Is a group that focuses on innovation throughout all aspects of the business world. We offer workshops, engagement activities, tours/events and ways to truly see innovation in practice.

    IF homepage – click the icon to learn more!

  • Fisher Follies- A student group that fosters community at Fisher through creativity (and humor). The two major events are an auction and variety show

    The FisherFollies Exec Team getting ready for the 2013 Variety Show

  • AMP – The marketing group of FCOB. This group helps prepare students for marketing careers with support, knowledge and networking.

 

 

 

See? Told you that I like to be involved. But, hey, it adds excitement and things to do to my already busy school schedule.

Each of these clubs has a special place in my heart. I have met incredible people through these organizations and had an absolute blast. With AMP I traveled to Chicago last year for the marketing hop and am constantly getting to network with fantastic marketing professors and professionals. IF uncovered my passion for innovation and led to my internship at Alliance Data as their Innovation Intern. FisherServes allows me to really stretch my marketing and event planning skills, with lots of fundraising experience as well. FisherFollies introduced me to a great group and really shown me how a small, but mighty, group can impact the Fisher community.

HOWEVER – these are just the groups that I decided to join. Everyone’s story is a little bit different. My friend is a part of the Fisher Graduate Women in Business and putting on workshops that address issues women face in the business world. Another good friend of mine is part of the Fisher Networking Club and plans all of the events/happy hours/socials that make Fisher a family.

We also have a Consulting Club, a Veterans Association, a  Chinese Business Professional Association, a Sports Business Association and so, so many more.

Students are able to attend workshops and events of other organizations, so it’s a great way to learn more about topics outside your focus. For example, I have a one-hour Six Sigma workshop next week and lunch with a C-level Executive next month, and about ten other events in-between. Not too shabby :)

Bottom line – join the clubs that are going to be fun. Doesn’t matter if it’s not your major or your focus, join clubs that you think will interest you.

You won’t be bored here at Fisher!


The final stretch!

Hello readers,

I know it has been quite awhile since my last post-it has been a busy last few weeks of school as we prepare for the final stretch before Spring Commencement. As the MAcc students wind down what may be our last stint of higher education, we have participated in some fun community service events, serving the city of Columbus and the local Boys and Girls Clubs of Columbus. Earlier this month, our program held an entire day of service through what is known as MAcc gives back. On this day, MAcc students had the pleasure of volunteering their time and energy to various charities and local organizations around the city. Each student volunteer ranked the top three volunteer sites s/he was most interested in participating in. Such sites ranged from The Franklin Park Conservatory, United Way, and local food pantries. I had the luxury of assisting the Franklin Park Conservatory in preparing the campus community garden for the spring bloom. The conservatory is a beautiful 80+ acre site containing huge garden areas, indoor nature exhibits, and featured art work. I had no idea that such a beautiful park was nestled right in the middle of the city!

A snap shot of the Orchid Exhibit at the Conservatory

 

Me raking some leaves near the community garden

 

In addition to MAcc gives back, several MAcc students participated in the 10th annual Fisher 5K event. This run/walk benefits the local chapter of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Columbus, with 100% of the proceeds donated to the cause. The race consists of a course in and around Ohio State’s campus, ending with yummy snacks compliments of Panera Bread. While it was a bit colder than I would have preferred, the race was an excellent start to a Sunday morning, knowing that I was able to give back to this great city. It is hard to believe my time here at Fisher is coming to a close. It has been an excellent year and I know I will be back somehow, whether it be through a visit to the professors, speaking to the entering class, or simply getting together with other MAcc students. Until next time when I give a graduation recap!

 

 


VITA 2013: Another Year of Success!

It’s hard to believe, but another year of VITA – Volunteer Income Tax Assistance – is complete!  After over 1,000 volunteer hours put in by Fisher students at both the Godman Guild and OSU Law Extension Center, 275 income tax returns were filed for residents around Columbus, Ohio.  These returns generated around $425,000 in refunds for these individuals and families, which is an average of about $1,500 per return.  VITA was a fantastic learning experience from both a tax technical skills standpoint, as well as a client relationship-building standpoint.

MAcc student Ly Pham answers a taxpayer’s questions at Godman Guild.

For many student volunteers, VITA is particularly challenging in unexpected ways.  Sure, each student completes training and learns how to navigate the tax software and recognize common tax credits and deductions for our clients.  However, it can often be difficult to explain tax concepts to our clients.  Establishing trust with a client can be difficult in any situation, but it is particularly challenging for some of our clients to put their trust in a 22 or 23-year-old student.  I was happy to see all of our student volunteers express patience and kindness with all taxpayers, making sure their questions were answered and asking site managers for help whenever needed.

MAcc and undergraduate students volunteered over a period of six weeks to assist Columbus residents in preparing their income tax returns.

For those of you who are prospective students or will be starting the MAcc program in August, I highly recommend participating in VITA.  You don’t have to be going into tax after graduation; we had plenty of future auditors and corporate accountants help us out this year.  VITA is simply a great way to get to know your classmates better and spend some time serving the greater Columbus community.


MAcc Gives Back 2013!

Fisher MAcc students, faculty and staff came together on Friday, April 5, to serve the greater Columbus community.  Groups visited the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store, Lutheran Social Services Westside Pantry, Franklin Park Conservatory, and Whetstone Park to participate in various service activities.  My group helped clean, organize and stock shelves at the westside pantry for the morning.  It’s always very humbling to see the need of Columbus residents so close to campus, but it’s also encouraging to see how many organizations are operating with the well-being of community in mind.

MAcc students and staff volunteer at the LSS Westside Pantry

The famous OSU football coach Woody Hayes once said, “You can never pay back, but you can always pay forward.”  I hope that all of us are able to continue paying it forward by serving whatever communities we’ll be a part of after graduation.  I’m lucky to be joining an accounting firm that places community service among its top priorities, and I’m thankful to be part of a college that does the same!


Entrepreneurship at Fisher

 

One of the greatest benefits of attending Fisher College of Business is the chance to join a culture rooted in the entrepreneurial spirit. As an entrepreneur and start-up junkie this was a critical factor in my decision to continue my education at Ohio State. Columbus and OSU offer unprecedented resources and opportunities for budding “starters” such as the business builders club, start-up weekend, TechColumbus, and the Deloitte Entrepreneurship Competition. Moreover, Fisher’s Technology Entrepreneurship and Commercialization course was named one of the 10 best entrepreneurship courses in the nation by Inc. magazine. The course builds business around emerging technologies developed at The Ohio State University and other research institutions that have not found commercial uses.” And so, for this blog post, I thought I would share one of my current start-up projects and how Fisher College of Business and Ohio State have helped me along the way.

Columbus Start-Up Weekend

It all started during my internship with PricewaterhouseCoopers this past summer in Columbus. Believe it or not, I met the lead recruiter for our region on my first day at Ohio State – a bond that ultimately led to my internship and eventual job offer in Chicago. Anyways, one of my co-interns from Indiana University participated in Project Belize, a week long experience offered by PwC to teach underprivileged children in Belize basic financial literacy skills. When he told me about the program I was impassioned and began to seek out state-side opportunities that were similar. What I found was a financial literacy education landscape dominated by conflicting programming and mediocre performance. In fact, one study by the Jump$tart Coalition suggested that current efforts had made essentially no impact in student financial literacy over the past 10 years. That was when I realized I had to do something – to use my creative nature and knowledge from business school to make an impact. The result was the founding of Centsay, a start-up non-profit focused on providing universal access to financial literacy education.

Project Belize (PwC) – Our Initial Inspiration

Our journey – from that first brainstorming session to implementing our business model – has been an amazing adventure (and we’re still right in the thick of it), but I can with certainty say that we couldn’t have possibly accomplished everything that we have in the past 5 months without the support network and resources available via Ohio State and Columbus. To highlight a few:

  1. Being enrolled in a business school with integrating programming has allowed me to meet MAcc, MBA, MHR, SMF, and undergraduate students. These different student bodies offer unique perspectives and strengths and weaknesses. Being able to connect with all of them facilitated the construction of our core team and ability to quickly locate short-term specialists to help us overcome short-term obstacles.
  2. Professors in Fisher have been an invaluable resource for vetting ideas, strategies, and plans. They have been able to provide our team with advice about areas where we lack expertise and guidance when we encounter issues that we have no experience with.
  3. University leadership and staff have had an open door policy with regards to making our venture a success. Whether we are looking for space to work on projects or introductions to potential partners or donors Ohio State has always gone above and beyond what any of our team members expected.

Ohio State has the unique attribute of giving its students not only the skills, but also the confidence to succeed. While our venture is still in-process, we know we can count on our school for continued support!


More than Academics

Through my semester and a half at Fisher, I am come to realize that this college offers so much more than academics! Our MBAs have a natural tendency to get involved in extracurricular activities- and I am happy to be a part of many student groups and orgs because of this. One area in particular that has surprised -and excited- me has definitely been our involvement athletics and intramurals.

I am a sports nut! While soccer was my first love, I find it hard to say no to anything related to sports – not only is it fun and healthy, but I feel it is one of the best ways to help balance out academics.

During the fall, nothing brings a new group of students together like OSU football. A few of my classmates took the lead on creating a seating section for games, and because of this, our first-year class was able to watch each football game as a group. It was a great way to become acclimated to the school and program, as well as meet some great friends.

Within time, an MBA Ambassador intramural flag football team was created. I proudly joined this team with co-ambassadors, and we had a blast. Most recently, I took part in our dodgeball tournament to support Honor Flight of Columbus. Sponsored by FisherServes, students in all of our MBA programs at Fisher formed teams of 6 to compete in a half-day tournament. I can proudly say that a donation goal of $500 was set, and we have hit 95% completion! Here is a picture of our killer team:


This week, a group of first-year MBA students is kicking off a co-ed indoor soccer season, and I am excited to be part of it. Hopefully I will have some good updates to come once our season gets started! 

If you are looking at Fisher as a potential school for your MBA- and you share our love for involvement- you are at the right place. With over 25 student organizations, there is no doubt that one will spark your interest.


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