Zoo Lights

Columbus has many unique features and things to do such as the Columbus Zoo. The Columbus Zoo is rated the third-best zoo in the United States, and definitely worth a visit while in Ohio! During the winter months close to the holiday season, the zoo gets transformed and decorated with millions of beautiful Christmas lights; it’s called “Wildlights.” The MAcc Council decided to plan a trip on the last day of classes. Pictured below is a group photo outside of the zoo of all the MAcc students who went.

MAcc students at the Zoo

The zoo is separated by areas and locations the animals would be found, such as the Artic Zone. It’s a large area and I would have gotten lost without a wonderful tour guide and fellow classmate who knew her way around the zoo. If you want to see the animals in addition to the lights, I would recommend going early afternoon. Once it gets dark outside, many animals are hard to see and are also sleeping. There are various food carts and stops throughout the zoo, so you can get a cup of hot chocolate or a snack while looking at the attractions. The center of the zoo is a pond that plays a light show choreographed to holiday music every half-hour.

If you love taking photos or just want to get into the holiday spirit, I would highly recommend checking out Wildlights! Everywhere you look and go is lit (as seen above on a bridge inside the zoo). With the semester coming to a close, I want to wish everyone Happy Holidays!

Experiential Learning in the Community

One of the main reasons I decided to pursue the full-time MBA at Fisher was because of the many experiential learning opportunities offered, especially the GAP international consulting experience. However, little did I know that other opportunities would present themselves even within our first semester here!

One afternoon, while exploring the events on our Event Hub webpage, I stumbled across an information session to get involved with “Fisher Serves” and engage in a consulting project for a local non-profit. Fisher Serves is a student-run organization committed to promoting awareness and connecting Fisher students to service-based opportunities in the community. The information session I signed up for was about working  on a consulting project for the Columbus Museum of Art.

After attending the session, I realized what an opportunity this would be to not only get more involved in my new community and engage in the art scene of the city, but also build relationships with students outside of my core team and apply some of the key concepts we’ve been learning in class.

http://www.columbusmuseum.org/host-your-event/plan-your-event/

After a group meeting and tour of the museum with museum staff, we’re working in two teams to help improve museum event revenues and the café experience. It’s been a great opportunity working with the Fisher Serves team and we’re excited to build out strategies for the museum moving forward. Hopefully, you will see some of our new ideas come to fruition at the museum next year!

Hopping around Columbus

I love to be involved. By the end of my undergraduate career at Cornell University, I was an active member of five different student organizations. So, when choosing an MBA program, I had to be sure that there were ample opportunities for involvement. When I arrived at Fisher, I quickly realized that there are more student organizations than I could ever hope to join… and that’s a good thing! I’m currently a first-year leader for Fisher Graduate Women in Business (FGWIB) and the Association for Marketing Professionals (AMP), as well as a member of the Fisher Sports Business Association. I also joined the Ohio State Hunt Seat Equestrian Team, a club sports team. Am I really busy? Definitely, but I love every minute of it!

My AMP membership has been particularly rewarding. It’s incredibly valuable to me as a marketing student, as the second-year leadership team has gone out of its way to help everyone looking for marketing internships (myself included), from recommending companies to resume reviews and internship workshops. The club also organizes annual visits to companies in Columbus and nearby Chicago called a “Marketing Hop.” I was fortunate to participate in the Columbus Marketing Hop over fall break, and it got me very excited for what’s to come in Chicago in December. We visited three companies – The Oneida Group, Homage and Alliance Data – with a lunch stop at Easton and a happy hour at Land-Grant. Here’s a rundown of our action-packed day:

The Oneida Group

As a young, single student who has yet to “settle down” and with a limited budget, my current sets of dishes consist of a random mix of boring white plates, some very basic silverware, and a collection of glasses from my parents’ attic in New York. My cooking skills are less than stellar, and my tiny kitchen barely has enough storage space for both me and my roommate. Needless to say, cutlery and cookware aren’t things I spend much time with. But as soon as I walked through the door of The Oneida Group’s new office in downtown Columbus, I felt inspired to become the next Martha Stewart. CMO Jeff Jarrett and Director of Retail Marketing & Innovation Sean Gibson gave us a sneak peek at Oneida’s upcoming marketing campaigns, and we all took home an Anchor Hocking LifeProof water bottle.

Homage

Next stop was Homage, a clothing company that specializes in retro t-shirts. It also makes a lot of clothing for sports fans and being a Columbus-based company, that includes apparel for the Columbus Blue Jackets, Columbus Crew, and of course, the Ohio State Buckeyes. We took a tour of the company’s warehouse and office space – complete with a wall of the employee’s favorite t-shirts – and talked to the marketing staff about their strategies. On our lunch break in Easton, we were able to check out one of Homage’s stores and get some swag.

Alliance Data

Our final, official stop of the day was Alliance Data, specifically the card services division. Alliance Data is responsible for numerous loyalty programs and collects data to help a wide variety of companies in their marketing campaigns. We were first brought into the Innovation Lab where we got a first hand look at some prototypes Alliance Data was testing for clients. While I am unable to disclose exactly what we saw, I can say it was almost like getting a glimpse into the future. We wrapped up our visit with a presentation from Tim Sweeney, Sr. Director of Marketing Analytics, on what Alliance is working on as well as a panel and Q&A with Fisher alumni. While our Data Analysis class is not exactly my strong suit this semester, I found myself fascinated by everything Alliance is able to accomplish through data and walked out feeling like we, as future marketers, truly have the power to affect change.

Land-Grant

Sad at the thought of the hop coming to a close, I made my way to Land-Grant along with some fellow AMP members for an optional happy hour and tour of the facilities. While I’m not normally a beer drinker, I’ve started to explore the craft brewery scene in Columbus thanks to the Columbus Ale Trail. Creative Director Walt Keys treated us to some of the most delicious beer I have ever had (still kicking myself for forgetting what it was called) and showed us the brewing facilities that are conveniently attached to its taproom in Franklinton. We also learned about Land-Grant’s start through a successful Kickstarter Campaign and subsequent partnerships with the Columbus Crew and the Columbus Bluejackets. It was amazing to hear how supportive the Columbus community was of this growing business and to see how a grassroots marketing campaign turned into a thriving craft brewery whose beers I recently spotted on the shelves at Kroger.

The Columbus Marketing Hop was a fantastic kickoff to what was, for me, an action-packed fall break. I’m so grateful to be part of an organization that can offer me hands-on opportunities to explore my chosen career path. I’ll be counting the days until the Chicago Marketing Hop in December!

MAcc Council Fall Fun Event

MAcc Council is a student-run organization which helps students to improve their skills such as time management, communication skills, and event plannings. The Council also works closely with the MAcc program advisor to invite company executives to give presentations to MAcc students as well as help MAcc students to build their professional network.

But there’s also a fun side to the Council! Last week, Council organized a fall event for all MAcc students to take a break from busy school work and go to the Lynd Fruit Farm.

The weather that day was super nice, it was a good way to release all the stress from school work or job searching. The farm has corn mazes, apple picking, a market, and other interesting diversions.

From left to right: Taylor Holden, Dzung Vu, and Courtney Privette. All are MAcc students Class of 2018. (photo credit: Yilin Hao)
Marqus Moye, current MAcc student, Class of 2018 (photo credit: Yilin Hao)
From left to right: Dianru Nie and Jasmine Wei, MAcc students, Class of 2018 (photo credit: Dzung Vu)

The corn mazes were the most fun. There was one designed for kids and one for adults. The latter was pretty big and in order to succeed, we had to collect the stamps that were hidden in the corn maze. The paper that Dzung and I are holding (see below) is the proof that we got all the stamps!

It was definitely a good way to do exercise if you are as lazy as I am.

From left to right: Dzung Vu, Caitlin Duke, Dianru Nie, Jasmine Wei, and Kalen Hess. All current MAcc students, Class of 2018 (photo credit: Yilin Hao)

Looking forward to the next MAcc Council event!

 Hey, My Friends: You Did Great!

This is my fifth year studying in the U.S., so I am more used to living on my own than most students who are here for their first time studying abroad. As I recall my first year in the States, I think about the hardest experience and it wasn’t studying for exams; it was celebrating the holidays and festivals by myself.

In China, people use both the solar calendar, the calendar that the U.S uses, and the lunar calendar, the one that most of the Chinese festivals are based on.

The most recent festival was the Mid-Autumn Festival which was on October 4th (the solar calendar date). The Mid-Autumn Festival is very similar to the Thanksgiving Festival here in the States that all the family members are expected to attend. For this festival, we eat mooncakes and of course, share life stories.

In order to celebrate the festival here and relax from the busy school work, I drove my friends to a local Asian grocery store to buy some mooncakes. The first thing that we noticed was a well-packaged mooncake gift box. The logo name on the box was very appealing. It was named “COME BACK HOME.”

A strange mix of emotion came to us when we saw the box. It was hard to describe the feeling at that moment. On one hand, we were heavy with stress from our different course assignments, projects, and notes to get us ready for the coming exams– and submitting tons of resumes and crossing fingers to get first-round interviews. On the other hand, we saw these bright, golden characters–COME BACK HOME– that reminded us of how far away we are from our families. Just like the needle that bursts a balloon, some of my friends could not hold back their tears.

But I celebrate their journey and all the hard work they’ve done to succeed in this new country. And I want them to know: hey, my dear friends, you did great!

 

In Search of Bison

Since coming to Columbus in July, I’ve made it my mission to not be a hermit. In fact, I have an internet favorites folder entitled, “Don’t Be A Hermit.” Inside are links about volunteer opportunities, restaurants, and many of the city parks. This week was super busy, full of assignments and job interviews. In the midst of all of this, I started to really miss the hiking back home in Tennessee. So, to my trusty favorites folder I went.

Columbus has an awesome network of Metro Parks. This weekend, some friends from the MAcc program and I drove 20 minutes west of campus to check out Battelle Darby Creek. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much since everything out here is so flat. But, as we pulled into the parking lot, I was pleasantly surprised. The park is beautiful. There are ACTUAL prairies there, which is insanely cool for someone who has only seen a prairie in classic western TV shows.

Who knew prairies existed outside of the “Western Channel”?
Turtle friend

One of the reasons we chose this park is because it has a herd of bison that can be seen from various overlooks. Supposedly. We could not see them from the nature center overlook. Or the trail. Or really from anywhere. Not to be defeated, we decided to walk along the trails, take some selfies, and try not to get too sunburned.

We found a bison pasture, but where are the bison?
This trail is really nice for running and biking.
We found this little guy in the woods.

Slightly disappointed at the lack of bison, we started to drive out of the park. At the last minute, we caught a glimpse of the herd. A successful trip after all. And as an added bonus, the game was in full swing when we got back, so traffic around campus was minimal. Score!

We finally found the bison herd!

Overall, I would give the park a 9 of out 10 stars. The nature center and trails were super accessible and the hike we took was beautiful. The park also has some more difficult trails that I can’t wait to try next time. To be honest, the only reason I can’t rate it a 10/10 is because there are no mountains. Turns out my rating system is completely rigged. Sorry.

What a great way to spend the day!

In our next episode of “Don’t Be A Hermit,” perhaps there will be an art museum, brunch, or a soccer game. Who knows?

Fresh Air Therapy

I want to start with saying “hello” to everyone. My name is Rachel and I’m originally from Hayesville, North Carolina. I received my B.S. in Accounting and B.S.B.A in Finance from UNC Charlotte. I moved to Columbus, Ohio three weeks ago and have been busy ever since. I’m currently a student and student ambassador for the MAcc program.

The face behind the posts

Between my busy schedule of class, work, and studying, it’s important to find time to maintain my physical health. The Columbus summer weather has been beautiful in the low 80s to mid 70 degrees Fahrenheit. I had to take advantage of walking and running outside with such nice weather.

One Thursday afternoon, I went exploring outside to discover only three blocks from my duplex the Olentangy River Trail. This is a beautiful trail that runs alongside Olentangy River and goes to Downtown Columbus. Sadly, I’m out of shape, so I only made it from Tuttle Park area to Fifth avenue which is approximately a three-mile round trip. I hope to continue to run and walk different parts of the trail to hopefully see a large portion of the scenery while in Columbus.

View of trail near campus

On the trail, you will find people biking, running and walking. I would highly recommend visiting a portion of the trail if you need a break from the stresses of daily life and need some fresh air.

Gonna Make This Place Your Home

Despite living in Ohio my entire life, with the exception of my undergraduate years in South Carolina, I was relatively unfamiliar with Columbus prior to moving here in August. As a result, I spent my first couple of weeks (okay, months) feeling like a lost, overwhelmed tourist in my new hometown. I still have a lot of exploring left to do, but I thought I would compile a list of my current Columbus favorites to help guide future MAcc students as they acclimate to this wonderful city.

If you are hungry for pizza … try Harvest Pizzeria. There are three locations – German Village, Clintonville, and Dublin. They use local, farm fresh ingredients and offer reasonable prices. Oh, and the pizza is delicious!

If you are looking for somewhere to celebrate “Taco Tuesday” … Condado Tacos is the place to go. This casual eatery lets you design your own taco creations. They also offer great Happy Hour deals if you want to treat yourself on a budget! Pro tip: Get your tortilla in the Sweet Lucy style (both soft flour and hard corn shells with queso and guac).

If you are a fan of BBQ … check out Sweet Carrot. Fresh ingredients, unique menu, and a cool atmosphere. Pro tip: get the Mac ‘n’ Cheese with Pulled Pork.

If you are in the mood for ice cream … you have two choices:

  • Jeni’s is a certified B-Corp that calls Columbus, Ohio home. The company is known for its quality ingredients and Fellowship business model. Jeni’s sets itself apart by offering unique flavors, such as Wildberry Lavender and Riesling Poached Pear Sorbet.
  • With its corporate headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio, Graeter’s is a family-owned business that offers French Pot ice cream made in small batches. The company has more traditional flavors than Jeni’s and is its signature flavor is Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip.

The Columbus Museum of Art is a great way to spend a rainy afternoon. Ohio State students can get free tickets through D-Tix. The CMA offers free admission on Sundays.

Be sure to get to the Wildlights at the Columbus Zoo during the holiday season!

For all your shopping needs, Polaris Fashion Place and Easton Town Center are the places to go!

If you want to get outside, you have lots of options! Here are my top picks:

  • Hocking Hills – Located in Logan, Ohio, about an hour and a half from Columbus, Hocking Hills is worth the drive. My favorite hike goes from Old Man’s Cave to Cedar Falls and back, via the Grandma Gatewood (Buckeye) Trail (6 miles roundtrip). You can also take the Grandma Gatewood Trail to Cedar Falls (3 miles) and return to Old Man’s Cave via the Gorge Overlook Trail (3 miles).
  • Clear Creek – If you are looking for something more challenging, Clear Creek is the place to go. I like to park in the Creekside Meadows Picnic Area and take the Cemetary Ridge Trail to the Fern Trail to the Hemlock Trail to the Creekside Meadows Trail.  
  • Battelle Darby Creek – This is a great option if you are looking to avoid the crowds but do not have the time to drive all the way to Hocking Hills or Clear Creek. I like to park in the Cedar Ridge Picnic Area and take the Cobshell Trail to the Indian Ridge Trail to the Terrace Trail Loop and back.

Other things worth mentioning:

Columbus Crew

Columbus Blue Jackets

Columbus Clippers

Columbus has so much to offer and while it is easy to get bogged down in schoolwork, be sure to take the time to get out and enjoy the city!

Student Perks: D-Tix

Of the many perks available to Ohio State students, I think one of the neatest and least advertised is D-Tix (abbreviation for “discount tickets”). Through OSU’s vast network of community partnerships, the school is able to offer general discounts and discounted tickets to special events through an online lottery system. Everything from Hocking Hills zipline tours, passes to the Columbus Zoo, and gift cards to local restaurants may be available at any given time on D-Tix.

The website is set up similar to Groupon, but with a lottery component. Undergraduate, graduate, and professional students can enter the lottery for any particular event they are interested in, and if selected they pay a discounted price for the tickets (anywhere from 25-50% less than face value).

Obviously, the popularity of the event determines the probability of being selected. The recent John Mayer concert at the Schottenstein Center was quite popular (by the way, Chance the Rapper will also be performing there next month), but for other lower-key entries (gift certificates to local restaurants, for one example) students have a relatively high chance of being selected. Also worth noting—for any unclaimed tickets, they are sold first-come, first-served at the Ohio Union.

One of the benefits of attending a large, public institution like Ohio State is that perks like D-Tix come at a very small cost to each student and are included in the student activity fee (hello, economies of scale!). Let us also not forget the general student discounts afforded to students at various establishments around the city by simply presenting your BuckID. I am grateful that we’re able to enjoy so much of the city, even on a student budget!

MAcc Madness

My March started out with a quick trip to Washington D.C. to see my best friend from undergrad. Though small, the Columbus airport still offers service to a number of destinations around the country. Even better, I was able to snag my round-trip tickets for an incredibly affordable price. It was a wonderful weekend getaway, full of lots of laughs, sightseeing, walking, and delicious food.

I also had the opportunity to jet out west to Salt Lake City and Park City to see family over spring break. I prefer mountains to the beach, so this was definitely my idea of a perfect vacation. In addition to simply hanging out with some of my favorite people, I got to enjoy some rock climbing and yoga while I was out there!

March also marked the start of the Intramural indoor soccer season! I was incredibly nervous about being a part of the team because although soccer was a huge part of my childhood, I had not played for years. While I am certainly not as a fast or in shape as I used to be, joining the “MAccletes” is definitely one of the highlights of my MAcc experience thus far. Continuing on the soccer trend, I also went to my first Columbus Crew game this past weekend where the Crew beat the Portland Timbers 3-2.

Because of how classes are scheduled, there are no Friday classes during the second term of the spring semester. To take advantage of this free day, the MAcc Council has several events planned over the next couple of weeks. This past Friday they hosted the MAcc Olympics which was an afternoon of fun and games. We played basketball, volleyball, dodgeball, and kickball. It should come as no surprise that there was definitely some friendly competition on the playing field!

I have also made it a point to take advantage of the warmer temps to get back out on the trails. I went to Clear Creek Metro Park this past Saturday and am looking forward to going back this upcoming weekend. I am also going to try to get to Hocking Hills this weekend as well, weather permitting.

Looking into April, there are plenty of other activities on the calendar. MAcc Gives Back, a day of community service, is scheduled for the morning of April 7th. That same day, we have Fisher Formal in the evening. I am really looking forward to spending some time giving back to the Columbus community and Formal is sure to be a blast – I love any excuse to get dressed up!

It is hard to believe that graduation is just a few short weeks away. While I am looking forward to the next chapter of my life, it is bittersweet to think that my time at the Fisher College of Business is quickly coming to an end. I did not know what to expect when I started my MAcc experience, but it is safe to say that the past year has been amazing and I have so many wonderful memories that I will forever cherish.