The Tail of Autumn… and a Husky

Me and Coke

To enjoy the good weather while it lasts, my friend Ben and I visited the village Yellow Springs last weekend. We first went to Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve, where pets were not allowed, and then turned to John Bryan State Park to make it up to Coke the Husky.

Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve was located in a quiet small town with little sign of human habitation. The pity was that almost all trees there had already shed their leaves (if only we had come earlier!). Nonetheless, I enjoyed the serenity there.

Naked for winter
Into the woods

John Bryan State Park warmly welcomed Coke with a red-and-yellow carpet of autumn leaves. I want to say that we took Coke for a nice stroll, but it was actually the other way around since he was super excited about nature and kept pulling on the leash, so we were basically dragged in whichever direction he decided to take. But it was OK because he’s cute!

Along the way, Ben picked Coke up in his arms so I could take a close-up. Coke, who is two years old, apparently thought he was already too old for this and gave us an awkward look (OK we get it, you’re a big boy now), which was still SO CUTE in my eyes LOL.

“Dad NO it’s embarrassing REALLY”

After our trip, we treated ourselves to some hot food at Jiu Thai Asian Cafe. Yummy! : )

Northwest Chinese food

At last, just a photo of banana, nuts and Greek yogurt I recently made slipped in (Ohh and it might snow next week. Literally can’t wait).

Pistachios & Greek yogurt

Easiest Lunch Spots

On the days where classes have been getting out at noon providing only a hour lunch break before the next one begins, and there are no job or club info sessions providing the ubiquitous pizza, the Fisher Grad student has been left with a simple question: What the heck am I doing for lunch?

Ignoring the overachievers who choose to pack, the rest of us are left to find our own way into the Fisher campus culinary experience.

Rohr Café

Starting off we have Mason Hall’s own Rohr Café, always good for a Starbucks coffee or espresso to get the caffeine boost one immediately begins to rely upon when Student becomes one’s job description. This quick café is open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., with the crowds generally forming before 8:30 a.m. classes and around lunch. Offering a selection of sandwiches and other baked goods, it is a reliable option for a quick bite.

Panera

Only a five-minute walk away from Gerlach Hall, the Lane St. Panera has quickly become one the most popular nearby restaurants for lunch.  Offering a wide range of sandwiches, salads, and flatbreads, this lunch spot provides a nice change of pace for those looking for something a bit healthier than the universal Domino’s pizza.  Along with their Rapid Pickup app, allowing people to preorder and skip the line, it is a speedy and healthy stop for the grad on the go.

Bistro 2110

Located in the nearby and gorgeous Blackwell Hotel, Bistro 2110 offers a high scale experience at an affordable price and easy access.  Their lunch buffet, coming in at $12.95/person, offers a changing rotation of options, ranging from sirloin steak with butternut squash to a seared salmon over rice pilaf.  For those looking for a more specialized option their lunch and dinner menus offers a mix of made order items, the Blackwell Burger and Sriracha Fried Shrimp Tacos are always a solid choice.

Finding Balance in the MBLE Program

It is hard to imagine that six weeks has passed since our first semester began. But like the saying goes, “time flies when you’re having fun”, which actually started before our first class.

Upon completion of orientation, our class went to Summit Vision, an outdoor team-building experience. Because none of us knew each other before the program, this was a challenge as we struggled to complete objectives as essentially a group of strangers. However, when we finished a couple of hours later, Summit Vision’s impact was obvious; we surely developed some lasting friendships, ready to tackle the upcoming semester.

Hiding from the rain and waiting for our bus to pick us up

This carried over to our next gathering, which involved the second-year students of the MBLE program. We all went to COSI, where we had a catered, private room and a COSI team member who showed us exciting experiments. Because many of our class members are from outside of Columbus, this was their first experience of Downtown. We made sure to do some exploring and not let our short time together go to waste.

Selfie!

Our most recent get-together was for the Mid-Autumn Festival. Because a majority of our classmates are Chinese international students, we wanted to celebrate this important holiday as a reminder of home. We had some delicious mooncake, saw the moon, and played fun icebreaker games.

Another selfie!

Of course, it isn’t all fun and games.  The parties must be balanced with our rigorous coursework. So far, this semester has been busier than any of my time in undergrad. And from what the second-year MBLE students have said, it won’t be slowing down anytime soon (a popular saying among the second-years is “MBLEs never sleep”). On top of this, we have career fairs to worry about and some of us even have part-time jobs. However, I believe I can speak for the rest of my classmates: we wouldn’t trade it for anything. There’s a reason Fisher’s MBLE program is one of the most highly ranked in the country (https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-business-schools/logistics-rankings); we know that once we finish the program we will be among the most qualified graduates in the country. And it has already shown at career fairs. Many of us have gotten interviews, despite being in the program for just a few short weeks.

As we continue our program we must strive to find balance. While having too much fun is obviously detrimental, we cannot spend all of our time studying, either. And yes, there will be some late nights in Gerlach Hall, but there will also be some late nights in Ohio Stadium. My classmates and I look forward to the fun times, and the stressful times, as the semester continues.

Go Bucks!

 

What Has Impressed Us? Let’s Hear From International Students!

On the morning of August 4, 2018, I jumped into a host’s car to start my journey in Columbus. With jazz music playing on the radio, I was attracted to what I call “new antique-style” buildings—those with a rusty, red-brick color. A short time later I asked my host, “When will we arrive at the Ohio State campus?” She responded, “Oh, we’re already here.” We had already been driving around campus for a number of minutes! I was impressed by the expansive campus, specifically because university campuses in my country are much, much smaller. I could not believe that I was joining a campus 238 times larger than my former one!

My name is Ting Fan Chang, and I am from Taiwan. I previously studied Public Health at Taipei Medical University, and I am currently pursuing an MBA degree at the Fisher College of Business. Fisher definitely delivers when it comes to resource availability. Specifically, I have only been here for six weeks and I have already attended several key events, such as the Fisher Fall Career Fair, the Fisher Graduate Student Career Fair, a variety of company information sessions, and many others. Fisher students have many opportunities to build connections with company recruiters and gain detailed information on full-time job and internship opportunities. More importantly, at Fisher, students are able to utilize the Office of Career Management for insightful, one-on-one sessions with the Office’s many career consultants. The OCM team gives customized advice corresponding to each student’s particular background and interests.

To gain some other perspectives, I interviewed other first-year international students at Fisher to learn about their stories, and what they’ve experienced in the last couple months at Fisher, OSU, and throughout Columbus. Here is what they had to say:

Sai Chandra Pujita Vazrala — Guntur, India

Q: What is your impression of the Fisher MBA classroom setting?

A: Fisher MBA classrooms are interactive and relaxed – different from the more formal setting back in my home country. Students are encouraged to contribute to discussions and meaningfully challenge each other’s viewpoints. Overall, an engaging and dynamic classroom environment!

Q: What is your favorite aspect of being a part of the Fisher MBA program?

A: I truly believe that the biggest advantage of being a part of the Fisher MBA program is its diversity! We are exposed to a great blend of not only cultural diversity, but also professional diversity, in an intimate setting. I hope to learn more about the intricacies of what makes us the professionals and individuals that we are, while building a lasting network for years to come!


Fahd Jehangir Lahore, Pakistan

Q: What do you think is the biggest advantage of the Fisher MBA program?

A: The faculty and Office of Career Management staff are extremely approachable, helpful and dedicated. You feel lucky to be part of the FTMBA batch by the sheer level of resources dedicated to your success.

Q: What do people do for fun in Columbus?

A: It all depends on what you want to do. If you’re a sports lover, it takes almost no time to plan a pickup game of soccer, basketball, volleyball, what have you, within the class. If you’re interested in nightlife, there are tons of domestic students who will not only guide you to the best spots in town, but also invite you to join in!

Q: What is your most impressive experience since arriving at OSU?

A: Within one month of arriving at OSU, I was hosted by more than five domestic students, and many more international students. I’ve made many new friends and gotten to know almost everyone in my MBA class. Yet everyday someone’s new experiences are shared in class. The level of diversity and intellect accumulated within the MBA group is fascinating!


Chih Chien (Jeff) Chiu Tainan, Taiwan

Q: What is your most impressive experience since arriving at OSU?

A: Comprehensive career services at Fisher amaze me because they personalize their support and allow us to leverage the power of such a large university. Compared to business schools in my home country, Fisher provides more customized career consultants, broad alumni networking, recruiting events, and career workshops. All of these resources along with solid technical training help us effectively stand out among others.


Rattaporn Puikaew Bangkok, Thailand

Q: What do you like to do for fun in Columbus?

A: Classes are wonderful, but we know, spending time outside with super cool, new friends is way more enjoyable! There are copious interesting places to explore near OSU’s campus: cool bars in Short North, the vintage-style book loft in German Village, and many more fun activities always going on. Most importantly, the Buckeye football games are huge! To be honest, the first game of the season was my ‘Football 101’ experience. I’m not a big sports fan, but time will be well spent cheering on the team and watching with friends! (Warning: remember to buy tickets for the whole season – it’s a must!) If you’re not a big sports fan like me, Friday nights with friends are another way to get together and let loose! To me, hanging out with friends is the fastest and easiest way to get to know each other. (Hint: the best moments are ones we all share!)

 

 

Organization Design Strategies: A Look at the Global One Health Initiative GAP Project in Ethiopia and Kenya

Rolling out of bed after finals week at the end of our second semester in the MBA program, it was both exciting and nerve-racking to be packing for a three-week trip for Ethiopia and Kenya. After making it through final group projects and coursework, I kept wondering if I was truly prepared for our in-country portion of the GAP global consulting project. On May 4, 2018, most of the members of my GAP team met at the Columbus airport for our journey to Addis Ababa. We were headed to our client’s regional office that was recently opened at the end of 2017. Our client, GOHi, is an NGO based at The Ohio State University focused on education, research, training and outreach programs to build capacity toward a global One Health approach.

My amazing GAP team!

Before leaving for Ethiopia, our team of seven MBA students met with GOHi several times to work through project objectives and develop a plan of action during the in-country experience. We were working toward developing recommendations for their organization structure and a list of potential partners for GOHi to establish a sustainable presence in the region. The months leading up to the trip, we identified organizations with similar missions to connect with in-country and learn more about their strategy and operations on the ground. We prepared interview guides, developed spreadsheets, laughed late into the evenings in Gerlach Hall, made nicknames for ourselves and bonded over Graeter’s Ice Cream.

After all this time, May 4th finally came around, and we embarked on our journey. Our team spent the first week in Addis Ababa getting to know the GOHi team and beginning our interviews with similar organizations working in the region. We were able to walk to the office every morning from the hotel where we stayed, passing by the ongoing building construction and liveliness of the capital city. The GOHi staff was extremely welcoming and supportive, inviting us to learn about their daily activities, taking us to a traditional Ethiopian lunch and dinner where we tasted our first authentic injera and later experienced the traditional dance of eskista, and allowing us to observe project sites and learn more about the on-the-ground project work taking place.

We met with organizations like Amref Health Africa, PSI Ethiopia and the Ethiopian branch of the CDC. We learned about the importance of maintaining relationships with government entities to gain support for organization success, we identified potential partnership opportunities and recommendations for increased visibility and flexibility in organization structure. 

Meeting with GOHi team and PSI Ethiopia

After our week in Addis Ababa, we traveled to Kenya to further our research with organizations based in Nairobi. There, we met with and learned from organizations like the International Livestock Research Institute, World Animal Protection and the University of Nairobi. Although most of our time was spent in meetings, we had time for a quick weekend safari to Maasai Mara as well!

After a week in Nairobi, we flew back to Addis to bring together our final report and presentation to the GOHi team. Throughout the entire project, we had established a strong group dynamic that enabled a strong final product for the client, one that they are still using today! Although a short trip, I found this to be an amazing experience, full of learning, the chance to build new relationships and the opportunity to consult for an organization working toward an important mission.

Beautiful sunrise on our last day in Addis!

A huge shout out here to my amazing Fisher MBA GAP team: Aziza Allen, Ariel Cooper, John Cox, Kaitlyn Kendall-Sperry and Obi Nnebedum

And to the GOHi staff and leadership team: Wondwossen Gebreyes, Emia Oppenheim, Ashley Bersani, Getnet Yimer, Kassahun Asmare, Tigist Endashaw, Tewodros Abebe and Joshua Amimo

My Grad Life: The Intro

Welcome to the Fisher Grad Life Blog!

My name is Elise Zawacki, and over the next two years, I will be sharing my experience in the Masters of Human Resource Management program here at the Fisher College of Business. To better understand the content I will be writing about, here are a few things to know about me. I lived in the state of Michigan for the past 22 years of my life and recently graduated from Central Michigan University where I studied Human Resource Management with a minor in Information Systems. During this time, I also was a part of various student organizations and found a passion for volunteerism and professional development. Although it may be to my family and friends dismay, I couldn’t be happier that I get to call myself a Buckeye.

May 2018 Graduate

Outside of my academics, I enjoy a number of hobbies during my free time. A few of these include:

Traveling Everywhere & Anywhere

Paris, France

Most recently, I took a post-graduation trip throughout Europe where I visited Amsterdam, London, Paris, Florence, and Rome. A future goal of mine is to visit every continent in the world (Yes, even Antarctica).

Reading

I don’t have a particular topic or subject that I specifically focus on, but lately, I have been picking up any New York Times Best Seller I stumble upon at Barnes & Noble. My long-time favorite author is John Green, and I fully blame him for the reason I am obsessed with life and love quotes.

Food & Drink Exploration

Fox in the Snow Cafe
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream

I am a foodie, so this particular hobby is the one I practice most often. Being in a new city makes it fun and easy to do. My pro tip for exploring new places is to use Yelp—it has yet to let me down! Pictured above are two places I most recently checked out, Fox in the Snow Cafe and Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream, they are absolutely worth a trip. This topic will more than likely consume another one of my blog posts so stay tuned!

Concert Enthusiast  

Lollapoolza – Chicago, IL

Although I don’t have the time or money to do this as frequently as I would like, I have managed to attend over 25 concerts in my lifetime. Whether it is country, hip hop, alternative, or electronic music I enjoy it all. Something I have already come to love about Columbus is that there is no shortage of concerts, music venues, and live bands to go to around the city.

Thank you for reading my introductory blog post, and I hope that you stick with me as I continue to write about my graduate school journey.

Buck-i-Frenzy

Nothing says “Back to School” like Buck-i-Frenzy! Buck-i-Frenzy is Ohio State’s annual welcome back festival hosted by corporate sponsors from the Columbus area.  Over 20,000 students and hundreds of business attend each year.  The festival carries the motto of “Four hours of friends, food, and free stuff!” and certainly lives up to that claim.

Buck-i-Frenzy is held around the Recreation and Physical Activity Center (RPAC) each year during Welcome Week on the day before classes officially start.  Being a combined BSBA/MAcc student, I was able to attend my fourth Buck-i-Frenzy and was not disappointed. I came home with a lot of snacks, preseason Blue Jackets tickets, free meal coupons for many popular High Street restaurants, water bottles, t-shirts, and a concert ticket.  This year we had Moe’s, Raising Cane’s, and Skyline Chili giving out free food to students.  While free stuff is always appreciated, the best part about Buck-i-Frenzy is the experience.  Where else can you listen to music and participate in activities such as a zip line or inflatables with over 20,000 of your closest friends?

Students and companies interact at Buck-i-Frenzy

At Buck-i-Frenzy, I met up with Tom Baldinger, an Ohio State MAcc student from Buffalo, New York.  Tom was thrilled to share some words with me about the atmosphere during his first Buck-i-Frenzy.

“Buck-i-Frenzy was an awesome event to kick off the year.  Seeing so many students dressed in scarlet and gray created a sense of camaraderie and excitement to start the year. It was a great way to learn and get free swag from local and national companies in Columbus.” – Tom Baldinger

Buck-i-Frenzy is just one of Ohio State’s signature events to get undergraduate and graduate students involved on campus.  The opportunities to get involved at Ohio State are seemingly endless!

Buck-i-Frenzy video

MAcc Gives Back… and I Get a Workout

One of my favorite experiences this past year has been volunteering in MAcc Gives Back. This event occurs every spring and is open for participation by all MAcc students and professors. The goal is to “give back” to the local community of Columbus.  This year, different groups went to different locations. My group volunteered at Clarfield Farm. This is a local farm that produces healthy produce for the Ohio community, and works closely with the Mid-Ohio Foodbank.

Once we arrived at the farm, we received a brief tour of the facility and greenhouses to see current growing plants. There were different duties to fulfill such as: filling the irrigation system over with dirt, shoveling gravel to cover a certain area of the ground, and helping move supplies to lay tarp on the ground and reorganizing the supplies.

I personally worked with two classmates, Courtney and Matt. Courtney and I shoveled the gravel into wheelbarrows, while Matt unloaded the wheelbarrows and spread the gravel evenly around the area needed. This activity was a great way to bond with fellow classmates while volunteering in addition to getting a major “arm workout.”

Matt carrying the gravel to be distributed on the ground
Courtney and I in “mid- shovel”

Overall, this was a great experience. One reason is that I learned more about my classmates outside of class and enjoy some fresh air with them. In addition, after the volunteering, a former professor who worked with us, Brian Mittendorf, took all of us out for lunch. There are enormous opportunities at the Fisher College of Business to connect with classmates and professors. I highly recommend all incoming students to get involved in as much as possible.

MAcc Gives Back

One of the difficult parts of being in such a short program is that by the time you start to get to know the city, you’re almost done. This can sometimes make it hard for students to participate in community service. On the one hand, you have a whole year to volunteer. But on the other hand, it can be intimidating to finding a good cause immediately after moving to a new place.

 

Future horticulturalists at Franklin Park Conservatory
Cleaning up a new Boys and Girls Club site

One of the MAcc Council’s solutions is “MAcc Gives Back.” Similar to Fisher Impact Day in the fall, MAcc Gives Back is an annual day of service to spend a morning giving back to the Columbus community in the spring. This year, we had the opportunity to volunteer at five different sites across the city. Focusing on issues that ranged from food insecurity to youth programs, MAcc students, faculty, and representatives from Crowe Horwath and Deloitte all had a great time serving.

Hanging out at the food bank with a recent alum
Farming in the city

As Vice President of Community Service for the MAcc Council, I also got to plan and coordinate this event. For any prospective students interested in nonprofit work or even just continuing their service projects from undergrad, this is a great opportunity. This position allows you to plan MAcc Gives Back, VITA, and any other service projects you can fit into the year. I would definitely recommend this position to anyone wanting to engage with the broader community around Fisher.

Our photo shoot at Dress for Success

Columbus Stay-cation

Over spring break, my parents made the drive from Oklahoma to Ohio to come see me for a few days!  We spent a few days seeing the different sights in Columbus, and it was really great to have some time off from school to enjoy everything Columbus has to offer!

A view from out seats in the arena

One of my favorite things that we did while my parents were in town was attend a Columbus Blue Jackets game. For anyone who doesn’t know, the Blue Jackets are a NHL team that plays in Nationwide Arena in downtown Columbus.  It was my first ever hockey game. I really enjoyed the atmosphere and the game (it doesn’t hurt that the Blue Jackets beat Montreal 5-2)!

On our next day, we had lunch at the North Market, and then walked over to the convention center.  We stopped and saw the statue of Arnold Schwarzenegger, and then made our way to a really unique piece of public art.

My dad posing with Arnold, he says the only difference is Arnold is a “little taller”

This is a really fun place to get your picture taken with your friends and then laugh about the goofy results that come out.  What’s really cool is that once you get your picture taken, it goes into a database and is randomly displayed on the statue from then on so you can always have a little piece of you still in Columbus.

Exhibit A of the goofy pictures that the statue will put on display of you

On our last day, we made the drive across town to Easton Town Center.  Easton is a really cool outdoor shopping complex and provides a nice outdoor atmosphere.

All in all, it was a great couple of days. It was nice to be a tourist in my own city and to remember all the fun stuff there is to do in Columbus!