My Favorite Class: Strategy

As an MBA student there are number of classes we take in our first year designed to given us an understanding of a wide range of business aspects, from finance and accounting to data analytics and marketing.  As someone who came from the supply chain background I found these classes to be exceptionally in learning the about industries I had not previously had experience with.  There is one class in particular that students take in their second semester that I have found really show what the MBA is all about, that class is Strategy Formulation and Implementation.

 

In this class MBA students take all of the knowledge they gained in the previous semester and apply it to cases about real companies and the decisions they made to reach a level of success and what decisions they should make when at a strategic crossroads.  This class helps to put students in the CEO’s shoes and consider all the opportunities and risks they face when considering the decisions needed to maneuver a company through the marketplace.

 

Along with the in-depth case studies and discussion-based lectures there are computer simulations that let provide students with a company their own to run, and where they can see the outcomes of their decisions.  Something as straightforward as a manufacturers decision on its delivery schedule can have profound effects on its profitability and place in the marketplace.

 

What is CAMP?

The Columbus Advertising & Marketing Practicum (CAMP) is a dynamic event hosted by the Fisher Association of Marketing Professionals (AMP) that brings together nationally recognized keynote speakers and industry professionals to discuss the leading edge of marketing. 2019 marks our tenth year hosting this event, and our discussion will center on Customer Experience Design which is the practice of designing products/services with the focus on quality and thoughtfulness of the user experience. Every touch point within the customer’s interaction with a product/service is designed to deliver experiences based on the brand’s promise. It requires companies to weave in storylines through online and offline experiences that bring the brand to life.

We invite you to join us!

What can you expect from CAMP?

100-plus attendees from the Columbus community come to hear our engaging, charismatic and fascinating speakers from local and national companies.

Our keynote speaker and recipient of the Marketer of the Year Award is Russ Klein, CEO of the American Marketing Association. We will also have Adam Torres, Founder of Torres Capital, who will be speaking at our event! Both Russ and Adam have a wealth of knowledge and experience when it comes to Customer Experience Design.

Russ Klein, CEO of American Marketing Association
Adam Torres, Founder of Torres Capital

We will also be raffling off items! Thanks to our generous sponsors, we currently have items from Watershed Distillery, Columbus Blue Jackets, Bibibop, and Homage!

If you would like to be a part of this event, whether as an attendee or sponsor, please let us know! Tickets are available here, and you can always email us at fisher.amp@gmail.com with any questions!

2018 “Marketer of the Year” award went to Jenna Measelle, Senior Brand Manager at Abbott and Fisher MBA alum

Growing Professionally and Giving Back with Fisher Board Fellows

“I now call this meeting to order…”

Sitting in on your first nonprofit board meeting can be an eye-opening experience, especially if you have never worked on a board in the past. Now, heading into my eighth month as a Board Fellow for Dress for Success-Columbus, I am able to actively participate in board meeting discussions and share updates on my resource development committee projects.

Reflecting back, being a part of Fisher Board Fellows has been a wonderful opportunity to give back to my community, better understand the governance of nonprofit organizations, apply lessons from business school to a real-world setting and grow my network. In addition, committing to the mission of Dress has grown my perspective regarding our local community needs and areas of opportunity in Columbus.

Fisher Board Fellows is a student-run organization that places students on local nonprofit boards during the second year of the program, attracting candidates from the full-time MBA, MHRM and MBA for working professionals programs. Candidates go through an application process to join the organization, complete training in the second semester and join their board in the second year of the program. As Co-Vice Chair of the organization, we work hard to maintain our relationships with our nonprofit partners and will have 34 partners this coming year!

Some of our partner boards include: United Way of Central Ohio, BalletMet, A Kid Again, LifeCare Alliance, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, Local Matters, and many more. Please check out our full list here. This year, we are also excited to add several new partners including: YWCA, Flying Horse Farms, Columbus Humane, MBA Research and Curriculum Center and SmallBiz Cares.

Fellows work on a wide range of strategic projects for their organizations, ranging from donor engagement research and improvement planning to marketing and communication plans and inventory management system recommendations. In addition, fellows are provided a board mentor during their time with the organization to help navigate the new experience and set them up for success in providing impact!

This organization has been, hands-down, one of the best experiential learning opportunities during my time at Fisher and I look forward to continuing my relationship with the board post-graduation this May!

“The meeting is now adjourned!”

Global Applied Projects

As a full-time MBA student at the Fisher College of Business, you will have the opportunity to take part in the Global Applied Projects (GAP) program.  On Friday, Feb 1, our class finally found out where we would be going, the projects we would be working on, and the organizations we would be working for. As potential MBA students yourselves, I want to give you some idea of what this process is and what it entails.

The GAP program is designed to allow MBA students to participate in a global consulting workshop where, rather than just classes and simulations where students are using theory and the outcomes are no more than a letter grade, this is an opportunity to work for a real company with a real problem and who are paying real money for a real solution. The fact that these problems exist in an international setting is definitely a perk. For example, projects this year are in areas as diverse as Ethiopia, France, Brazil, China, and Malaysia.

For a timeline on how the GAP program works:

  1. In the middle of the fall semester, students will be given the opportunity to apply to the GAP program. As this is a program that provides for free international travel and a stipend for living in country, it is extremely popular and thus it is very important students have their applications in on time.
  2. At the beginning of spring semester, students will be sent a list of international projects. Upon receiving the list of projects, students will then rank these in order of preference and ability. At this time, students will not know the companies or organizations they are working for or where the projects will be placed.
  3. At the beginning of February, Fisher holds an event to announce the makeup of the students groups for each project, the organizations they will be working for, and where they will be working.
  4. In the second half of spring semester, students will begin working on their projects at weekly meetings and alongside faculty advisers to come up with realistic and actionable solutions for their target companies.
  5. For most of May, students live onsite and in-country working on their projects, and preparing to present their solution to their clients. Each student is provided with a budget that covers airfare, and a stipend for room and board that they may spend however they see fit.

The GAP program provides a wonderful opportunity for Fisher MBA students to work in a true international setting and understand all of the challenges and opportunities that exist in a global business environment.  That said, free travel to new places to work on interesting projects and gain experiences outside of our comfort zones is definitely a perk.

Red Carpet Weekend 2019

In just a few weeks (March 1–3), we will be welcoming Full-Time MBA admitted students to Red Carpet Weekend 2019! This gives them the chance to visit Columbus and the Fisher College of Business, meet some of their future classmates, as well as learn about the opportunities available at Fisher.

To me, this was a very special and significant experience, as I knew that Fisher was the right place to earn my MBA. As a current student ambassador, I look forward to this event since I get to share the Fisher spirit and show others who we really are. If you are still considering whether to apply to Fisher, I encourage you to apply and be eligible to attend Red Carpet Weekend! Here are some upcoming events that one can experience at this VIP event:

Columbus Bus Tour

Last year, I hosted this tour where we got to visit several popular neighborhoods in Columbus! The Short North, Victorian village, German village…etc. Just to name a few. If you are able to make it to this tour, which happens before the welcome reception, you should definitely check it out!

Welcome Reception and Tour at Ohio Stadium

I was most excited for this portion of the weekend as I got to meet faculty, other admitted students, and their significant others. You also get a behind-the-scenes tour of the Ohio Stadium!

Welcome to Fisher Faculty Lunch at Faculty Club

These are two important sessions where you get to know more about our newly redesigned MBA curriculum, as well as learn more about our global programs.

Breakfast for Significant Others

My husband, who attended Red Carpet 2017 with me, met others who were going through the same feelings and experiences as he was. Going to business school affects not just you, but the people who dearly support and love you as you go through this important change in your life.

Social Event at Du Amici

What a great way to end a Saturday night! My husband and I continued the evening by ourselves where we managed to catch the last part of the Arnold Sports Festival.

Women’s Breakfast (Optional)

Since I am on the leadership team for the Fisher Graduate Women In Business, I highly encourage all women to attend this breakfast. I will see you there!  🙂

Making an Impact

When deciding on an MBA program, an important aspect for me was the availability of opportunities in the social responsibility and sustainability space. Students interested in sustainability can get involved with the Net Impact Organization on both a national and local level. The Fisher College of Business has its own graduate student chapter which focuses on connecting students to local sustainability leaders and exposing them to career paths within the social responsibility and sustainability areas.

Last semester, I competed with teams in both the Penn State Net Impact Case Competition as well as the University of Colorado Net Impact Case Competition and my team is heading to the Colorado case competition finals in February! Case competitions are a great way to create innovative business ideas solving both a business need and sustainability challenge, as well as network with other students with similar interests.

Along with local events, speakers, and volunteer opportunities, students are also encouraged to travel to the annual Net Impact Conference, hosted in a different city each year.

Hear about the 2018 conference first-hand from first-year MBA student Courtney Clark:

Imagine three days of keynotes, panels, and discussions about many of our world’s most pressing social and environmental issues – energy consumption, fast fashion, food insecurity, climate change, and inequity and injustice. Add in opportunities to explore purposeful careers, social entrepreneurship, impact investing, and corporate impact, and you’ve likely found yourself at the annual Net Impact Conference!

Net Impact is a non-profit organization that helps students and professionals develop and use their business skills to further social and environmental causes. I was fortunate to attend the conference in Phoenix this past October.

I am passionate about developing a career that enables me to leave a positive impact on our society and environment, and the Net Impact Conference was an incredible opportunity for me to explore different career options, learn from current professionals, and network with a variety of non- and for-profit organizations. I walked away with a broader and deeper understanding of what it means to build a career focused on social impact, and I can’t wait to attend next year’s conference in Detroit!

-Courtney Clark, First-Year MBA Student

What is Association of Marketing Professionals (AMP)

The Association of Marketing Professionals (AMP) is one of the largest graduate student organizations at the Fisher College of Business. While we hold events and activities primarily geared toward those focused in marketing, we have had opportunities to network with non-marketing professionals. Below are some highlights of our annual traditions, as well as new events that we as a leadership committee have implemented. I would say that we have been pretty successful so far! I am proud to be the Director of Professional Development of such a wonderful organization.

Annual events

Columbus Hop – Takes place every fall break. This year’s companies included IBM iX, Root Insurance, Orange Barrel Media, and Watershed Distillery. It gives students an opportunity to network and go behind the scenes to see how each company works.

Fisher MBA students at the Watershed Distillery as part of Columbus Hop

Chicago Hop (upcoming) – We celebrate the end of the fall semester and final exams by hopping on a bus to Chicago! This year’s companies include PepsiCo, BlueCross BlueShield, Tyson Foods, and Ogilvy. If you are not yet an AMP member, you should become one just to be a part of this awesome event!

Attendees at Chicago Hop last year

Marketing For A Better World (upcoming) – Our theme this year is Marketing Ethical & Sustainable Consumer Goods. Agenda includes keynote presentations by Levi Strauss & Co., and Fairtrade America, and a marketing panel moderated by ethics professor David Freel. We are still accepting registrations, and we are raffling off some autographed Columbus Blue Jacket items! You can’t miss this event!

Columbus Advertising & Marketing Practicum, CAMP (upcoming) – This will be our 10th annual CAMP! More details to come, but we will bring students, business professionals, and faculty together to discuss pertinent marketing topics.

CAMP last year

New events this year

Nail the Interview series – a two-part session where different marketing frameworks were introduced that helped with interview questions. We listened to feedback from the first-year FTMBA students and provided them with resources that they needed.

Brand Management series (ongoing) – Over lunch, students get to learn more about brand management from different companies. We have had former Fisher alumni from T.Marzetti (Lucy Liu) and Wendy’s (Emily Jacobson), and we hope to bring in a few more in the spring.

Other events

Happy hours & Panels

2nd-year FTMBA students sharing their marketing internship experiences

Tips On the Video Interview

As an applicant to the Fisher College of Business, the final piece you will submit is the video interview. To complete the interview, the platform will require you to submit three or four video responses and one written response. Also, the platform affords students the opportunity to respond to some practice questions before starting the recorded interview.

The best way to approach the video interview is to view it as an excellent opportunity for you to add character to your application. By this, I mean try your best not to be nervous or feel overwhelmed by this process because this is an area were you can really shine and create a lasting impression. Two tips for you to remember as you tackle this task are to practice and to express yourself with confidence.

Practicing allows you to familiarize yourself with the types of questions you will encounter in the actual interview. As you practice, assess your rate of speech. You want to make sure you can get your main point across within the allotted time, while avoiding the pitfall of speaking too fast so that you only use, for example, 10 seconds out of the 45 seconds available for you. Also, check were you look as the video is being recorded. This is important because you don’t want to appear as someone who is reading a response. Rather, you want to appear engaged and interested in the task at hand.

Another element that will help you excel in this interview is confidence. When it comes to confidence, I encourage you to imagine yourself as the reviewer of your interview. Would you trust or believe a candidate who is shy and seems unsure about the responses the candidate is giving? The answer is probably “No.” So it’s important to be confident and passionate about your responses. The response you are giving is yours so express yourself in a way that causes the reviewer to experience the emotions you feel about the subject in question.

Good luck as you complete your applications! And remember, practice before your interviews and deliver your responses with confidence. You’ll do great!

The Fisher Coaching Experience

Some of my favorite aspects of the Fisher MBA program are the experiential learning opportunities we have available, like GAP and consulting projects with local companies. However, with new additional program advancements, we have recently had the chance to pilot a personalized coaching experience as well. This is a part of the program I was not expecting to be offered, but has been an amazing opportunity for both personal and professional growth.

Through the pilot, current second-year MBA students were able to sign up for a personalized coaching program based on our goals for professional development. For example, students are focusing on presence, career search, leadership skills, self-confidence, etc. Coaches consist of alumni who went through the Fisher Coaching courses, along with professional coaches who are connected to the Fisher community. We were able to choose our top three coach preferences based on their profiles and are now participating in five personalized coaching sessions.

I have had three sessions with my coach so far, and the experience has been both impactful and engaging! As a part of the process, we leveraged the BUILD assessment, a leadership model developed by the Fisher Leadership Initiative to determine our leadership competency level from both our perspective and the perspective of others across: Stewardship, Relational Skills and Self-Leadership. With this feedback and the ability to talk through with a coach, I have been able to focus on key areas where I hope to improve. My coach has built safety around our conversations and enabled me to feel comfortable in discussing difficult challenges.

In the future, this personalized coaching opportunity will be incorporated in the student experience from the start of the program.

For those interested, students are able to learn more about coaching from Professor John Schaffner through electives in the program as well. I took the Introduction to Organizational Business Coaching earlier this semester, and look forward to taking the Advanced Coaching class next semester. Through this course, we are able to put coaching skills into practice and learn how to improve our listening, presence, business acumen and powerful questioning.

Coaching practice with a classmate

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

What is the GRE?

The GRE is one of the two possible qualifying exams prospective MBA students will be looking to take as they prepare to apply to the Fisher College of Business, the with the GMAT as the other possible exam.  The main difference between the GRE and GMAT is that while the GRE is used as part of admissions for a wide variety of graduate programs, such as business school, law school, or other specialized master’s programs, the GMAT is primarily only accepted by business schools. For the purpose of Fisher, either exam is acceptable.

How the GRE Works

The GRE is broken into three sections: Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing, with each section receiving its own score. While the Analytical Writing section does help schools understand a prospective candidates writing abilities and logical thinking, it is the Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning sections that will generally receive the most attention. The Quantitative and Verbal reasoning sections are scored out of a total of 180 points each, with many schools making their composite average score available for prospective candidates to view. For example, the Fisher incoming Full-Time MBA class of 2018, the average composite score was a 312.

How to Study for the GRE

The best advice I can give when preparing to take the GRE is to use books or online resources to practice the types of questions they give in the GRE, and understand what it is the questions are asking. One of the most important skills the GRE tests is the ability to read through entire questions and passages and understand what answer is being sought. There are a number of online resources you can use to find free practice tests and the general questions you can expect to see come test day.

One Last Thing

As you start studying for the GRE, remember that while a high score can definitely help a candidate, business schools will be looking at many aspects of a candidate including work experience and cultural fit. This means a lower-than-expected score does not necessarily place someone out of the running. And if you do receive a score not as high as you wanted, one of the best parts of the GRE is that it can be taken multiple times.