A Dude In a Diaper

Do I have a special viewing experience for you! But first, the set-up…

 

As I strive to make a name for myself in the entertainment industry, there seems to be one word I keep coming back to: memorable. There are lots of people who want to make it big in Hollywood, but how do they set themselves apart from everyone else? One of the best opportunities I’ve had to practice memorability at Fisher so far has been the Procter & Gamble case competition.

If you’re unfamiliar with what a case competition is, think of it as a campaign pitch. Company representatives give you fictional or recent scenarios their company has been involved in– and you and your team are tasked with coming up with a solution and pitching that solution. In the case of P&G, we had to figure out how to recapture Luvs’ market share from competitor Pampers.

For someone with marketing experience, I’m sure their mind was racing with a million ideas from the moment they heard what the problem was. My mind couldn’t stop thinking of the image of a dude in a diaper. I thought it would be funny – especially since Luvs has already used campaigns that rely more on humor than heart – but I was worried that my idea would just be too out there. However, when the Luvs representative said, “Feel free to be provocative,” it was like someone had handed me a blank check. The moment my team and I got together, I posited, “Wouldn’t it be funny if we found a way to put a full-grown man in a diaper?” And, well, the rest was history.

Everyone loved the idea and we came up with a slogan “#Luvsforlife” that wanted to sell the idea that despite being the value brand, Luvs were the most durable and long-lasting diapers on the market. To represent this idea, the “Dude In a Diaper” ad was born. The commercial would start with Mom putting baby in a diaper and 30 years later, baby is still wearing that diaper while putting its durability to the test (now baby is rock-climbing or fighting fires).

Being the showman that I am, I convinced my team to shoot a sample commercial to show as part of our pitch. Check it out:

https://youtu.be/_WSYTflb9ws

When it came time to present, I checked my dignity and remembered that I had none left, so I donned a diaper over my pants and the “Dude In a Diaper” was ready to pitch.

Over the course of the two-day competition, I got to hone my skills in a lot of areas: how to create a well-rounded product in a short amount of time, balancing team contributions and workloads, creating memorable ideas. We didn’t win the competition, but there wasn’t a single P&G employee who didn’t come up to us and complement us on our idea and our audacity. I didn’t take home and award, but I’m sure the image of me in a diaper went home with each and every one of them.

And in the end, isn’t that what being memorable is all about?

“Put The Videotape In”

Exactly two months ago, I left my country, my job, my beloved family—and the Olympics, which were being held in my home country for the first time—and prepared to be back at school for the first time in 6 years. After putting in the effort to develop my career in human resources, I had mixed feelings about the journey that was about to start.  I was excited that I was finally carrying out my plan of getting my MBA abroad, but was nervous about being in a new place and not knowing anyone. It was also a special moment because, after being in a long-distance relationship for more than 2 years, I was celebrating the fact that I would be living in the same country as my husband!

After getting to Ohio, the difference in lifestyle was evident immediately. Everything that was discussedin Pre-Term is confirmed everyday: it is intense. It is about learning every day, time management and prioritizing, learning tons of material, sharing wonderful experiences with peers and professors. We also are bonding as teams. There’s been amazing teamwork in zip- lining and a scavenger hunt across campus– as well as in graded group projects. And then there is learning more material, coping with stress, experiencing diversity inside and outside the classroom, learning to adapt our own methodologies, learning even more material and of course: having fun with new friends! It’s a lot of experiences– coming at you quickly!

Reaching the zipline
Reaching the zipline
Team work at Summit Vision
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Team 14 – Scavenger Hunt (That’s me on the right!)

I am originally from Espirito Santo, Brazil, and I lived and worked in Sao Paulo for 6 years. Columbus has delighted me since my interview on campus. The entire city environment, the people, my apartment in Buckeye Village, and all the opportunities here have helped me create a new home (learn more about the city here). I can attest that being an international MBA student at Fisher College of Business has been the best experience of my life so far.

Our professors stressed the idea of envisioning the best outcomes every day when we began this program.  They cited “Put the videotape in”– a mantra originally used by Michael Phelps as his motivational motto for performing his best in every race.  His “videotape” is the perfect race, in which every movement is precise and flawless. The concept is with me every day.

The whole experience is much more holistic than I was expecting and I can’t wait for the coming semesters so I can take more classes, learn new subjects, meet new people and challenge myself in different areas.  I want to “record” and celebrate each of these achievements so that they can become part of my video tape.

Summit Vision

As an extension to our MAcc Orientation, all MAcc students got the opportunity to attend Summit Vision. Summit Vision is an outdoor experience where you work on team building exercises, solve complex problems and bond with your classmates. Last Saturday, we went to summit vision and came away with many memories, and having learned how to be a part of a high performing team.

I was on team six. Our team started out with an activity where you have to balance a seesaw with all 10 of us, which required a lot of strategy and communication. Our team learned the importance of listening to what others were saying, as listening is a crucial part of communication. Trey, our guide for the day, kept giving us more complex problems to solve and our team kept succeeding at them.

After that, we got to go zip lining! Many of the students on my team had never gone zip lining before so this was an awesome experience! We even had a GoPro to catch all of the action. Since the process of getting people up to the 50 foot zip line was lengthy, I got to learn more about my fellow students, including several international students that I previously had not talked to very much.

After the zip lining, we did a couple more team building exercises and our team was very successful at these. Before we wrapped up the trip, each team had to say what they were good at, and what they might not have been good at but with some improvement can become a strength. Our team recognized the success we had in communicating a strategy and successfully implementing it, but also realized that we weren’t perfect at getting feedback from everyone and brainstorming before we came up with plans.

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Team 6 at Summit Vision

This trip will help us in the classroom as well. Not only did we learn how to work together as a team, we learned how to solve complex issues and how to consider who is good for what role within the team. Summit Vision was a great learning experience and I am glad I got to spend my Saturday morning with my awesome classmates.

Buckeyes, Inc.: MBA Meets NCAA

Hi, everyone! My name is Catherine Banton and I am a second year, full-time MBA candidate here at Fisher working as one of our admission ambassadors in our Graduate Programs Office for the academic year. I’m originally from a small suburb of Seattle, WA and moved to Ohio after living and working in Los Angeles, CA for seven years.

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This is me with my pal Brutus when I visited Columbus for the first time in May 2015!

When I meet new first year MBA students in the full-time program, or when I’m introducing myself to our campus visitors, I often get the question, “If you lived in Southern California, how (and why) are you living in Ohio? Don’t you miss it?!” My answer is simple: the people in Ohio make this a great place to live and work, and the opportunities here are endless. I’ve had experiences here at Fisher and in Columbus that I wouldn’t be able to have anywhere else, and I am excited to share one of those with you in this blog post!

I’m convinced that no other MBA program offers a course like the one I am taking this semester: The Business of College Sports. This class is one of the elective options in my Leadership and Organizational Behavior major. It’s taught by none other than The Ohio State University’s own Athletic Direction Gene Smith (more about him here) and his amazing wife Sheila, who runs a successful fundraising and development consulting firm here in Columbus (and is a former star athlete and coach herself). Gene Smith is arguably one of the most well-known and respected athletic directors in the nation, and has been at the helm of tOSU’s athletics for more than 10 years as programs like men’s football have made historic championship runs (Go, Bucks!). The course’s student make-up in and of itself is unique: a mix of full-time and part-time MBAs along with MAcc, SMF, MHRM, and Master of Sports Management students make the discussions and dialogue in class engaging and enlightening, and we get to work on projects in teams that mix programs to further learn from each other.

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Our fearless classroom leaders, Sheila and Gene Smith

While you might initially think, “What could college sports and business possibly have to do with one another?” this course turns that misconception on its head – and quickly. Gene and Sheila bring in high-ranking members of the athletic department to speak candidly with us about everything from trademark licensing and partnership negotiations, to coaches’ contracts and revenue drivers for the university’s athletic events. While each guest speaker comes into class with PowerPoint decks and a planned presentation, they are all very open to student questions and truly give us special insight into how the athletic department functions and what goes into keeping a multi-million dollar organization within the university functioning smoothly and successfully.

The in-class experience is fascinating, but the out-of-class activities are what make our Buckeye fans’ hearts stop and keep our camera phone snapping. Throughout the semester, our class has the privilege of visiting Ohio State’s most prized and beloved athletic facilities, including Ohio Stadium, the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, and the Jerome Schottenstein Center.

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We were surrounded by Heisman and National Championship trophies in the entry way of the Woody Hayes Athletic Center!

Long-time staff members of the athletic department take us on guided, personal tours of each venue, explaining to us the history, significance and use of each room, hallway and collection. The best part is, we also meet special, unexpected guests during our visits! We had our first tour this week – of the Woody Hayes Athletic Center – and to our shock and delight, head football coach Urban Meyer appeared on the practice turf while we were taking pictures to share with us some thoughts from last weekend’s exhilarating game against Oklahoma (remember that wrap-around catch by Noah Brown?!) and the importance of the facility in player recruiting, team wellness, and program fundraising.

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This picture was taken moments before Ohio State football head coach Urban Meyer surprised us with an appearance on the practice turf!
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Our tour guide Mark took great care of us as we walked through the facility!

Since starting this course, I’m much more aware of the use of the Ohio State brand all around me, and I find myself thinking about different things when I watch my beloved Bucks compete for their next win. How much revenue was generated from food and beverage sales at the game today? What would-be sponsors may have used the OSU or Buckeye logos incorrectly in their game day flyers or signs? How will our championship run this year affect top and bottom line growth for the athletic department’s finances? As much as I enjoy cheering on our teams from the stands or in front of my TV as a fan, my perspective is now broader and deeper when it comes to understanding Ohio State’s sports teams and the administration behind them – all because of my time spent in the Fisher MBA program and the opportunity to take such a unique class with unheard-of access to one of the most important athletic directors in the nation today.

My advice to potential applicants to Fisher is: don’t forget to consider seemingly “less important” (but equally formative and fulfilling) things like elective courses and special life experiences when looking at an MBA program. Some schools offer incredible opportunities to take part in courses or events that just can’t be replicated on another campus – like this Business of College Sports class – and if you don’t take the time to look into these things, you might regret it later on in the process!

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The coach, the man, the legend: Woody Hayes.
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THE National Champions of the past, present and future!

5 Reasons to be Grateful for Fisher College of Business

The first 3 weeks of 2nd year FTMBA have been a joyful run and have inspired me to practice gratefulness:

5 Reasons to be grateful for Fisher College of Business

  1. 2nd year Classes: What a joy to pick classes that I have a deep interest in and to begin my specialization in Data Analytics & Operations (Supply Chain). A Global Sourcing & Field Problems in Logistics class that provides live projects connected to companies in Columbus; A Business of College Sports class taught directly by Gene and Sheila Smith (Director of Athletics at The Ohio State University); and a geeky Data Analytics course!  What a fun mix!
  2. Fisher Leadership Initiative – One new initiative at Fisher is gathering leaders within our class who want to grow.
  3. Career Services: In this season of career discernment and an impending job search, I’m super-grateful for Fisher’s Office of Career Management Career Services. Last week was the fall career fair and I was able to speak with 15 different companies of interest!  This week is a Data Analytics networking session.  Endless opportunities to network with OSU alumni here!shoe
  4. Football: To be brutally honest, 15 years ago I would have never considered attending such a large school for undergrad: too big. 5 years ago, I thought Ohio State was an evil sports powerhouse: too dominant.  Now I’m a convert, and I’m grateful for both the size of OSU and its fantastic sports programs.  O-H….. (for those of you uninitiated, anytime someone on campus or anywhere around the world says “O-H…,” you respond with “I-O!”)
  5. Internship Opportunities: Fisher helped me open a door that I couldn’t have opened beforehand – Just about 1 year ago today, I met some representatives from Greif here at the Ohio State Fisher career fair. After applying through our in-house career portal (FisherConnect), one thing led to another and I ended up accepting an internship offer in Supply Chain for thiinternships past summer!  The internship was fantastic– including strong project diversity, international travel, and powerful networking opportunities.

#grateful

“Swallow the Fire Hose”

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When your professor walks in on the first day of class…

Brace yourself.

The floodgates will open. The levees will break. You will be hit full force with the unstoppable torrent of knowledge that is the first week of class at Fisher.

Look, I love it here at OSU. It’s a beautiful cocoon that enwraps you and spits you out two years later as a beautiful Buckeye. But it is not for the faint of heart. This ain’t undergrad anymore, baby! You’re going to be thrown headfirst into the water and you’re going to have to learn to swim whether you’re ready or not.

I’ll be honest with you; by the end of my first week, I started to feel like it might all be too much for me. By the time I walked into my first class on my first day of school, I was ALREADY behind on school work. By the end of my first day, I had five chapters and four articles I had to read. By the end of the first week, I was starting to panic.

And this was just the first week. I hadn’t been introduced to the student organizations. I hadn’t even started working my assistantship. How could this much work possibly be done by a single person?

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When I was asked why I turned in a copy of my fourth-grade diary instead of my paper.

You know what, though? Another week has gone by and I’m still here. And you will be, too.

It’s not easy here. It’s not even close to easy. But you’re a businessperson. You don’t like easy. You’re not giving up a job, time with your family, two whole years of your life for easy. You’re doing it because you will learn. You will learn how to lead. You will learn how to succeed. You’ll even learn how to learn.

You’ll turn that deluge into your refuge.

The Start of Something New

My name is Kate Sabin and I’m from Perrysburg, Ohio. I attended Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina, where I earned my B.A. in Accounting. Though I enjoyed my undergraduate experience, I knew that I wanted to return to the Midwest for graduate school.

So, why the Fisher College of Business?

  • The curriculum. While ultimately my goal is to became a CPA, I love that the MAcc program is not geared specifically toward exam preparation. Instead, the curriculum is elective-based, with a wide array of classes to choose from. There are four core courses that all students are required to take, but the rest of my hours can be geared toward my own personal career goals and interests.
  • The people. Everyone I have come into contact with at Fisher has been incredibly kind and supportive. All my professors are passionate about their work and are willing to go above and beyond to help their students be successful. I can tell that I am more than a number—the people here genuinely care about my well-being.
  • The size. The MAcc program itself is small. Fisher works to keep the total class size between 75 and 85 students, meaning it is hard to get lost in the shuffle. Not only is this size conducive to a more interactive classroom experience– it means that the students in the program are able to get to know one another relatively quickly, which is important considering it is only a 9-month program! On the flip side, the Fisher College of Business is part of The Ohio State University, MAcc students have access to many of the resources that can only be made available at such a large university. I truly have the best of both worlds.

It feels like just yesterday that I submitted my application, yet here I am already settling into life at The Ohio State University. These first couple of weeks have been busy, but in the best way possible. Stay tuned for future blog posts about recruiting, classes, and life in Columbus.

I look forward to sharing my MAcc experience with you!

A Juggling Act

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“Work-Life balance” is a phrase I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. My first two weeks of grad school consisted of 12 hours of class, 40 hours of work, 2 career workshops, 3 informational meetings, 1 career fair and several long hours of reading (exact number unknown). I ate a lot of fast food, slept far less than the recommended daily average, and managed to wash exactly zero dishes. Let me tell you, grad school at the Fisher College of Business is no joke.

I’ve always considered juggling one of my strengths (no, not literal juggling). But by the end of the first week, I already felt myself floundering– barely treading water to stay afloat in the sea of opportunity. I found myself looking around in my classes, wondering how the heck is everyone else doing it?! How do I juggle work, school, and a social life, which are all arguably—and certainly in my opinion— components of a healthy life? Is it okay for one to win out over the others, or even more dramatically, to drop one entirely so the other two can survive? Well, I decided to ask around and collect some data.

The bad news: no one really knows how to do it. The good news: everyone is in it together.

More on the bad news:

Well, it could be more accurate (and less sourpuss) to say that the jury is out on how to best juggle the trifecta of work, school, and a social presence– and everyone has their own strategy. My advice in three simple steps:

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  1. Schedule: Have one. Plan out what needs to be done and do the things you tell yourself you’re going to do. It feels good to deliver in tangible ways and to follow-through—for yourself. In the words of a wise Morgan Hite, “there is no substitute for sanity.”
  2. Make time for the things that reinvigorate you: This is important. Spend time with people you love, have a beer with a friend, watch stand-up comedy, blast the music in your car and sing at the top of your lungs. These are a few things that help me put chaos back into perspective.
  3. Take Pleasure in the Simple Things: Even when you feel like you don’t have time. Get some fresh air, people watch on campus, enjoy the walk home from class, appreciate the full moon and the sound of summer nights while they last. Try not to rush—appreciate the transition times as much as the activities themselves.

More on the good news:

We’re in this together. I’ve known my cohort for less than three weeks, and I already feel we understand one another better than most. There’s something about being stressed together that connects people on a deeper level. I realize now that I’ve missed this feeling from undergrad.

Maybe it’s because we’re like-minded people who genuinely care about helping people become the best version of themselves (call it HR). Maybe I just lucked out in the gamble of grad school cohorts. But when I think about the last few weeks, one word dominates—grateful. I am grateful to be treading water in this sea of opportunity and wisdom that is the Fisher College of Business. It is one of the best “problems” to have.

Paraphrased from the wise Dr. Larry Inks (Clinical Associate Professor at FCOB), there’s only one thing to do with the towel of experiences that make up life—wring it out and soak ’em up.

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Two Weeks Down, 54 To Go

Although I am in the initial phase of my MBA experience, I can report with confidence that Fisher has already exceeded my expectations in many respects. From the multi-faceted academic modules that all incoming students complete before arriving on campus to the intensive two-week Pre-Term program, the experiential learning at Fisher begins even before a candidate sets foot inside of a classroom.

As a resident of central Ohio, I was fortunate enough to not only visit the campus during my admission interview but to also take part in many invitation-only activities for admitted students after I successfully completed the interview process. At these initial gatherings that occurred in the Fall of ’15 and Spring of ’16, I met quite a few other admitted students as well as faculty, admissions, and other members of the Fisher family: an impressive group of people. However, it was at the beginning of the Pre-Term program (which all incoming students are required to attend) that I truly appreciated the caliber and the diversity in all of its glorious forms that is embodied by the Fisher MBA class of 2018. There are 14 countries represented in our class, but that is only one aspect of the innumerable dimensions of diversity that can be found in my class. Random interactions with my classmates in between lectures or at lunch have given me opportunities to learn from their experiences, and it’s only been two weeks since classes started!

MBA Class of 2018

My experience has so far been full of challenges and ‘aha’ moments. The course load is heavy and the material is challenging. Add this to all of the other wonderful opportunities outside of the classroom that a student would be remiss not to take advantage of, and it becomes easy to see why time management and maintaining an agile schedule are crucial. The first year in general and the first semester in particular is specifically designed to stretch students’ abilities both in and out of the classroom and for that reason, organization is paramount. I should, however, make it clear that a great deal of effort and thought goes into the design of the curriculum at Fisher and admitted students have already proven through the rigorous admission process that they have what it takes to thrive at this school and to represent the Fisher College of Business well in the future. Having said that, the school also does a fantastic job in the selection of core team members. No matter the subject matter or topic, there will be at least one member of your core team who is particularly strong in that area. This, I believe, forms the basis of the great student-led learning that occurs outside of the classroom and augments the structured in-class learning.

I am sure there will be many challenges ahead of me but I really look forward to taking them on, one and all. After all, challenges are nothing but opportunities in disguise!

Core Team

The Benefits of Groups

One of the biggest concerns I had about the MAcc program was the emphasis on group work. Like most people, I’ve dealt with more than my fair share of poor academic groups. I’m in five classes this seven-week period, and each class has a group. Even though it’s early in the year, my groups are already meeting often. It’s not avoidable; you’ll work in groups.

The difference from undergrad is that I enjoy these groups. Yes, really!

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The graduate student lounge on the second floor of Gerlach Hall is a place where you can meet with your group.

In graduate school, throw away your preconceived notions about teams. Working with others is a great experience.

Here are a few things that make group work great in the MAcc:

  • Motivated students: There are no slackers here. Everyone made the choice to attend graduate school (no one is here “just to be here”) and is intelligent. People want to excel. In my groups, everyone pulls his or her weight, and we produce better results because of that.
  • Real world prep: Unlike many of my classmates, I had a year of work experience before entering the MAcc. I can attest: the professional world involves group work everyday. Working with teams in graduate school is a great way to prepare for the rest of your career.
  • Different perspectives: My groups are a mixture of students from different universities, countries and undergraduate degrees. This means for every case or project we discuss, a variety of viewpoints are presented. How I look at a case won’t be the same as how someone with an economics degree analyzes it. A variety of backgrounds also allows us to maximize each member’s strengths. As a journalism undergrad, I take the lead when it comes to producing written work, while some of my teammates who are stronger with raw calculations help me with the numbers. Working with students from different backgrounds also exposes me to different personalities and cultures; it’s important to learn how to get along and respect as many people as possible to prepare for career success, where more than a grade depends on successful team projects.
  • Get to know classmates: If you can believe it, not every second spent in a team room is spent working on the case at hand. There’s idle chatter and off-topic conversation–and I get to know my classmates as people. I look forward to working with my groups because they aren’t a forced administrative burden; they’re groups filled with people I know and respect.

I’ve enjoyed my experiences working in groups thus far in the MAcc and look forward to more successful meetings, case studies and projects over the next eight months.