COTA and CABS Have You Covered

When I was applying for grad school to Ohio State, I often wondered what the transportation system in Columbus would be like. This was a big concern for me because I had become accustomed to living on campus at Fairmont State University in West Virginia were I was studying. Also, I did not, and still do not yet own a car, so I had questions about how I would travel from my place of residence to campus once I started school at OSU.

Likewise, you might be wondering whether you’ll need a car once you start living in Columbus or, if you live in another state, whether you’ll need to drive your car here so you can use it. If that is the case, worry not, dear reader, COTA (Central Ohio Transit Authority) and CABS (Campus Area Bus Service) have you covered.

To be frank, our campus is huge. Walking from one end of campus to the other can be time consuming and tiring. This is were CABS comes in. This service is available to OSU students for trips within the Columbus campus area. There are bus stops at almost every corner of the Columbus campus area and there is an app that provides students with real time bus tracking to figure out bus routes and arrival or departure times. This makes getting around campus super convenient and hassle free.

Riding the CABS bus.
CABS real-time bus tracking app

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

COTA, the central Ohio public transit, is the transportation system I use the most. I live in University Village (UV), an apartment complex that’s about two miles away from Fisher, and although UV has a shuttle that runs to and from campus, I often use COTA because the COTA bus gets to campus quicker and there are COTA buses that run as late as 12:10 a.m. Like CABS, COTA also has a real time bus tracking app which makes it super easy to plan a trip. Just remember to carry your BuckID as this will be the means of payment, otherwise most trips cost roughly $2.

For those of you who may be looking to live further away from campus, COTA is a reliable means of commuting because bus routes are extensive and cover a pretty wide area of central Columbus. With that said, I can safely say you shouldn’t feel tied to accommodation options that are close to campus because there is a good public transport system for you to use if you decide to live, let’s say 6 miles away from campus. In your evaluation of apartments and neighborhoods, I encourage you to visit the COTA website to see if the COTA bus services the area in question. Even if you have a car, using the bus could save you some money on gas and paying for campus parking space.

Source: https://u.osu.edu/uofye/2015/11/08/bus-confusion-5-tips-and-5-routes/

Welcome to the MAcc Program

We started out the MAcc program with a week-long orientation to introduce us to the program and meet all of our classmates. We got to hear from professors and MAcc alum about what to expect from our upcoming year. We also got to hear about all the career services offered and even had a networking reception. I think everyone would agree that the highlight of our week was when we went to Summit Vision. Summit Vision is a high ropes course that specializes in teamwork. There we did various team building exercises both on and off the ground. It was a great way to get to know some of our classmates!

MAcc students on the high ropes course at Summit Vision

The following week, we hit the ground running in our classes. The class structure here in the MAcc program is a little different than most. Instead of two long semesters (one in the fall and one in the spring) we have four smaller seven-week semesters (two in the fall and two in the spring). So we started classes in August and come October we take our finals and start all new classes. During the first two seven-week semesters we have two required courses, then the rest of the classes we take for the whole program are elective-based classes. The MAcc curriculum gives us a lot of freedom to take the classes that are interesting to us. Also with the shorter semesters it allows us to take a lot more classes than traditional semesters do.

The first week of classes was also Welcome Week here at Ohio State. There were various events put on by Ohio State and Fisher College of Business to welcome you and help you get involved during your time here. They even put on a free Miguel concert for all students! The first weeks here I have also been able to explore Columbus and see how amazing it is. There is always something going on, including a Beyoncé and Jay-Z concert that a fellow MAcc student and I were able to get cheap tickets to!

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

Hi, I’m Matt

Hello!

My name is Matt Steffan, and I will be serving as the combined BSBA/MAcc Graduate Ambassador for the 2018–2019 school year.  Now what does being in a combined program mean? Essentially, I take Master of Accounting classes while in the fourth year of my undergraduate program.  I am able to satisfy the requirements for the handful of accounting classes that I would take my senior year of undergrad by taking equivalent classes in the Master of Accounting Program.  I truly get the “best of both worlds,” as I am eligible to go to events for both undergraduate and graduate students.

My background is in accounting and I spent two summers as an intern with KPMG Buffalo. I worked in audit the summer after my sophomore year and took part in a rotational program where I was in both audit and advisory the summer after my junior year. After graduation from the combined BSBA/MAcc program, I will be working as an analyst for Microsoft.

Outside of school and work, I am a huge sports fan.  I go to all of the Buckeye football games and most of the hockey games.  While I love the Buckeyes, my heart has always been with the Buffalo Bills (#BillsMafia) and Buffalo Sabres.  I am patiently waiting for the day my city gets a championship because I know Buffalo will never be the same after.  I have played hockey competitively my entire life, and still play recreationally while at school.

My close friend Brutus

In my free time, I exercise, routinely come up just short in fantasy football leagues, and play video games.  I also manage a few investment portfolios and am very into the stock market, being a member of Buckeye Capital Investors on campus.  If you are reading this, I encourage you to start investing today! The best time to invest was 20 years ago, but the second best time to invest is today.  As the wise Warren Buffet once said, “The stock market is a tool for transferring money from the impatient to the patient”.

A snowy Bills game in Buffalo, New York

I am very excited to have the opportunity to blog for Fisher Grad Life regarding my MAcc experience.  If you ever have questions related to my experiences with the MAcc program or as a combined student feel free to reach out!

 

A little about me

Hello everyone!

My name is Jayaprabha and I’m a SMF student at the Fisher College of Business. I’m from Pune, India. It’s a beautiful city in western India. And it is also known as “Oxford of the East!”

With this post, I’ll begin my adventure as Fisher Grad Life Blogger!

My educational background

I did my undergraduate study in Ayurvedic Medicine. If you have ever heard of yoga, it’s a part of Ayurveda! You might be wondering if I did my undergrad in some kind of medicine then what am I doing in finance? It’s an interesting story to share.

While working as a clinical assistant to a rheumatologist in India, the clinic organized an international rheumatology conference where we managed everything from guest reception to research paper presentation. I enjoyed it a lot and after some time decided to pursue a program in management. I always had passion for equities and used to invest in stocks. This was one of the major factors behind my decision to choose finance as a specialization.

After my MBA, I worked for three years as an Equity Research Analyst covering pharmaceuticals and biotechnology industry. While working I passed passed level I and level II exams of Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA). Two years ago, I moved to the US to accompany my husband.

How did I select the Fisher College of Business?

So many of you might wonder, if I’m already MBA and pursuing CFA, what am I doing in the SMF program? After moving to the US, I decided to experience the American education system. I spent some time researching universities. And I found The Ohio State University during my research! I noticed that it is a highly ranked university with a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) recognized SMF course. The 10-month course sounded rigorous and exactly something I was looking for. I liked the course curriculum, flexibility and the four different tracks offered by the program and here I’m!

My first football game

I attended my first football game on Saturday, September 8. Although it was raining, it was fun to watch the Ohio State Buckeyes Football vs. Rutgers Scarlet Knights game. I really enjoyed it!

I like traveling, cooking and hiking. I hope to explore Columbus more and share my experiences with you!

 

My Journey to MHRM-hood

As a MHRM student, a question I get asked a lot is “What made you want to get into HR?” So, here we go.

I came to Ohio State as an undergraduate in Engineering. I had a rough couple semesters when I realized thatengineering was not for me. So I started looking into the business school, and once I finished my general courses I had to choose my specializations. My choices? Operations Management or HR.

I picked Operations Management.

And I don’t regret that one bit. It led me to the teachers who helped me realize that I wanted more. It gave me a very solid background in the inner working of an organization. I learned about efficiency, lean principles, maximizing flow through a production line, and continuous improvement. I learned so much about operations, and I really enjoyed it. But somewhere during the program, I also realized that an organization can churn out production and services at its highest efficiency, but without people, they wouldn’t be able to do any of that. People are the heart of your organization.

Me upon graduation in 2017 in front of Gerlach Hall, my home for the next two years (one left, now!)

Studying Human Resources has opened my eyes to a whole new side of organizations. HR isn’t just firing people, and we’re more than the “people employees go to if there’s a problem.” Yes, those fall under our descriptions, but as the workplace is changing, our role is becoming more strategic.

Expectations for HR professionals are leading towards knowing how to analyze and interpret data, how to lead change in the workplace, and how to combine standard business practices with HR metrics to help lead the organization to their goals. To do that well, we must know about our departments, our business, our customers, our C-Suite leaders, our culture, and our vision.

My professor, John Shaffner, once told us that “as an HR partner, you will be expected to know everyone else’s business while such a consideration will not be extended to you.” And maybe that’s the case. But I didn’t go into HR to be cared about: I went into HR to care about people—more specifically, our employees and future employees.

I love the path my education has taken me on. However, I was able to combine both facets of my education into the best profession I could ever want. But no path is the same and no story is the same. Maybe you even have your own story to share. But if you’re thinking about HR, or wondering even what a “MHRM” is, ask me, ask anyone in the program. Because maybe it could help you with your own journey.

Career Fair 101

It’s the beginning of the autumn semester here at the Fisher College of Business and that means recruiting season for both undergraduate and graduate students is underway. For many, this is an opportunity to land an internship or full-time position and there is no better way to get your foot in the door with employers than to utilize the networking events and career fairs happening on campus. As a student currently going through the recruiting process, I understand that preparing for a career fair can seem like a daunting task and it may be difficult to know where to start.
Image result for michael scott and i knew exactly what to do

Whether you are a potential or current student at Ohio State or a student attending another university here are my pro tips to help you successfully tackle any Career Fair.

Research, Research, Research

Find a list of employers that will be attending the career fair through your university’s handshake (or similar platform) so that you can identify the companies you are interested in. Next research each company’s website, job positions, recent news, and company culture. This will come in handy when you speak with employers about their organization as well as help identify if the company may be a good fit for you. Trust me, companies will recognize pretty quickly if you decide to skip this step.

Extra Pro Tip: If you really want to impress employers, be proactive and apply to these companies prior to attending. It will show them you are prepared and they will take you more seriously as a prospective candidate.

Prep Your Resume

Although I would recommend to always have your resume updated, I especially encourage you to prep it weeks prior to the career fair. This will allow you to have your resume critiqued by your Career Management Office and implement the feedback given to you in a timely manner. Schedule this appointment in advance because this timeframe is typically when the offices are busiest and timeslots will fill up fast.Image result for resume preparation It may seem like everything is electronic these days, but be prepared and bring a handful of paper copies with you to the career fair just in case. If you want to add a special touch, go to the nearest print shop and make these copies on resume paper for about 20 cents a sheet.

Dress for Success

A career fairs dress code is almost always business professional so plan your outfit accordingly and pick out what you are going to wear the day before to avoid unwanted stress the day of. There may be individuals assigned to monitor the dress code so take this seriously. If you are unsure what business professional is, check out this article for reference. 

Practice Your Impression

Did you know that a first impression is made within the first seven seconds of meeting someone? No pressure right? The best way to take the nerves away from this is to simply practice. This can be done with friends, family, or peers until you feel confident enough to approach employers. Practice introducing yourself and what you are going to say. This is introduction is often considered your “pitch“, which should be between 30-60 seconds. When doing this don’t forget to practice approaching employers with a smile and a firm handshake.

Image result for bee yourself

Be Yourself

The last and most important thing that you can do to be successful is to be yourself. This is not only true when talking with employers but anything you pursue in life. This journey is too short to not be who you are and ultimately you want to end up at a company where you feel comfortable with the individuals and the environment around you.

While these tips may seem small in nature if you put in the effort to complete them it can have a big impact on whether or not you have a successful career fair experience. Although the Fisher Fall Career Fair has already occurred, there are still a number of networking events and career fairs happening on campus throughout the 2018-2019 school year. Thank you for reading and I hope you find these tips useful in your future endeavors.

First Impressions, First Challenges, First Action Steps

Hello there! My name is Mai Erana Salmeron and I am a first-year MHRM student at Fisher College of Business. I want to start by telling you about my background, especially how and why I am here today. Then I would love to share, as my title expresses, the first impressions, challenges, and action steps I am embracing as I start my year as a graduate student at Fisher.

A little bit about me

I was born in Mexico City, but moved to Chile shortly after, then to Venezuela, back to Mexico City, and finally to Ohio! My family has been in Columbus for some time now; I actually went to high school around here. I left for undergrad in Boston and came back for graduate school. (Fun fact: I moved to Columbus for the very first time on July 6th, and on that date exactly seven years later, I moved back permanently for grad school. Meant to be? I think so!)

I have an undergrad degree in hospitality administration, which is a result of my love for taking care of others, and the tremendous impact gathering people around the table served to help me adapt to various cultures growing up. Most of my work experience has been in the Food and Beverage industry, but it’s through those opportunities that I recognized a tremendous need for employee development and talent management. I had some great “lightbulb moments” as I like to call them that made me realize how much I like human resources and how this had to be the next step in my career.

Graduation from Boston University
Some of my work at a local golf club in Columbus

So why OSU? I think it took me to get out of Columbus to realize how much I love it! There is nothing more welcoming than this beautiful, vibrant city with a great balance of city and suburban life. There is so much to do, so many places to eat at, and so much community involvement to experience. Being part of this city means you are a Buckeye in some way or another, so I truly looked forward to moving back and being a part of it all again. Fisher is an even more exciting part of this decision. As I looked for HR programs, I couldn’t find anything that compared! The school has phenomenal rankings, opportunities, and most importantly, people who demonstrated they wanted to invest in me as much as I wanted to invest in them.

Columbus heads into the fall:)
Ohio High School D1 Golf State Championship at OSU Gray
Columbus Zoo lights!

First impressions

If I had to describe how Fisher makes me feel after the first few weeks of classes I would use the words capable and dynamic. Even before we got to campus, the staff and faculty were engaging with the students. We had prep modules, books, and other interactive plans that helped me become a part of the culture at Fisher; these also allowed me to see that I have what it takes to succeed in this career. I am unbelievably grateful for all the ways in which Fisher guides its students to take small, yet meaningful steps to prepare for class, career fairs, networking opportunities, and most importantly learn about yourself. There is never a dull moment at this school; there is always some organization providing involvement opportunities, or a chance to connect with the staff, alumni, and professors.

First challenges

Being told all the steps involved in becoming a competitive business student is terrifying, and quite frankly, you can feel overwhelmed. So far, I have had to learn to pause and think of all the things that I have done, career wise, and ask myself why they mean something to me. I have learned that it is invaluable to be patient with myself to process all these expectations, so I can figure out what to work on that will truly help me grow. I have had to get out of my comfort zone and just jump in, as I learn to solve problems whenever they arise. It’s a bit uncomfortable, but it has also been truly rewarding.

First action steps

These are a few pieces of advice I have heard in my time at Fisher thus far. I would encourage you to keep them in mind because they can help you be very successful and enjoy the program to the fullest. I also think they are helping me stay accountable and motivated🙂

  • Be present
  • Prepare
  • Be a life-time learner
  • Take on leadership fearlessly
  • Be kind to yourself

It is like an Amusement Park…

Since this is my first blog post, it’s probably best that I do a quick little introduction. I do these all the time with the students I work with, and I assure you that they love it (they actually hate it), because everybody loves icebreakers (everybody hates icebreakers).

Alex BroshiousMy names Alex Broshious and I’m a part-time student in the Master of Human Resource Management program in The Ohio State University‘s Fisher College of Business (did you get all that? there’s going to be a quiz at the end). I currently work full-time at Ohio State as a Hall Director and have a undergraduate degree in Education from Capital University and a Master’s in Education from Miami University. This is my second year in the MHRM program and I’m currently in the internship search for Summer 2019 with an expected graduation date in 2020 (nothing expected about it, it’s happening).

My cute dog, Bernie!

I also have a mini dachshund puppy named Bernie and he’s perfect, his Instagram is @livinglikebernie if you want to follow his adorable life.

Now, icebreaker out of the way, I wanted to dedicate my first official post to talking a little bit about the roller coaster of an experience graduate school is and compare it to, well, a roller coaster.

Over Labor Day weekend, I won two free tickets to Cedar Point, one of the largest amusement parks in the world conveniently located in Sandusky, Ohio. I grew up in the Sandusky area, but I hadn’t been to Cedar Point for about 10 years, so I pretty hyped to experience all the new rides and relive my childhood memories of The Iron Dragon and overpriced amusement park food. At the early hour of 7 a.m., my friend, Michael, and I got into a car and made the two-hour drive to Cedar Point.

Cedar Point was mostly how I remembered it. The layout was burned into my memory after multiple childhood summers spent running through the park (fun fact: I was so hyped about Cedar Point as a toddler that my mom had to put me in one of those kid leashes to keep me from running through Camp Snoopy with reckless abandon), but there were multiple new rides and buildings that threw me off my game. The park was reasonably packed, so we only got through about five roller coasters before we called it a day due to one roller coaster breaking down twice while we were in line (looking at you, Maverick), but I’d say we got our money’s worth.

The most jarring experience came when, about halfway through the second roller coaster, I had a wave of motion sickness hit me. It was a feeling I’d never had before at Cedar Point, or at least something so far back in my memory that I’d forgotten all about it. After that first hit of motion sickness, the rest of the day was a onslaught of metaphorical (and quite literal) highs and lows. While I was living for the experience of feeling like a kid again as we climbed the first hill of roller coasters I’d never experienced before, I was also dying a little bit inside due to the new feelings of motion sickness. Cedar Point was familiar, but also completely new and a tad scary.

So, why admit that I’m no longer the ride warrior (that’s what they call people who are all about the roller coaster life) I was when I was 16? What does that have to do with my MHRM experience?

Well, I think the feelings of familiarity and concern that I felt during my time at Cedar Point are similar to my experience in MHRM. Graduate programs, no matter where you go or what you decide to study, are always going to be somewhat familiar and somewhat scary. You understand the structure, you go to class, do papers, sometimes you do exams, but it has this different feel that really hits you in the pit of your stomach. For some, this feeling causes extra stress they didn’t know was possible, and for others it spurs you to do the best work of your life. Sometimes you’re cheering as you come to a stop after a big final that you just crushed, and sometimes you’re holding on for dear life as you fly around a corner.

Much like Cedar Point, I’ve loved my experience with MHRM so far, even if I still get that feeling in the pit of my stomach at least once a month. You’ll hit your highest highs and maybe even some of your lowest lows, but when you look back on what you accomplished, just like how you look up at a roller coaster and can’t believe you really went that high, you’ll feel this sense of pride and amazement at what you’re able to do.

Oh, and the food’s much better here at OSU.

Getting Oriented

Meeting new people can be intimidating. Even for folks who have committed their careers to working directly with people every day as Human Resource professionals.

So how do you help 40+ strangers get acquainted with each other and become comfortable working together?

You bus them out to the woods and facilitate as they solve a series of challenges and push themselves out of their comfort zones. That’s right…

My group rocking our safety gear!

We did a ROPES COURSE!!

Disclaimer: I am a huge fan of a good ropes courses. I was part of a scholarship program in undergrad and we did one every year to welcome in the new scholarship recipients while reestablishing communication and teamwork amongst the older members. It was something I looked forward to every year!

Shannon Hynes and I REALLY                 leaning into the challenge!

 

Likewise, this time around with Fisher did not disappoint. Not only did the ropes course help us get to know a few things about each other (from our names to a sneak peek at our leadership styles), it also gave us the chance to begin creating bonds based on a shared experience that was both mentality and physically challenging. 

We also had the opportunity to debrief with the course facilitators to gain their “behind the scenes” perspective on the course and how it can be utilized to mitigate some of the difficult issues that arise in a workplace environment. From an HR perspective, it was exciting to see how something as unconventional as a ropes course could be the key to solving problems such as a lack of effective communication and conflict within a team.

I won’t spoil the all of the lessons for you should you end up completing a course yourself, but I will say that I left this experience with an even greater respect for—and trust in—my MHRM cohort.

It also reminded me how important it is to accept assistance from each other, be vulnerable, and lean into feeling uncomfortable at times. We are in this together and I can not wait to see what the future holds!