Posts filed under 'Full Time MBA'

Concerts In Columbus!

This past Labor Day, I assumed there would be some type of music event around the city. When I started to do my research, I was surprised by how MANY music options there were in one weekend. From the Fashion Meets Music Festival to Country Jam 2015 to the concert I ended up choosing at the LC, I could have filled my whole weekend and then some. I ended up going to see Citizen Cope and Counting Crows at the LC, which was amazing. The concert took place in their outdoor venue (they also have an indoor space) and while it was hot, the atmosphere was great. Both Citizen Cope and Counting Crows put on great shows.  What was even more exciting was the LC actually started the concert in the afternoon so they could show the Ohio State game at the venue. Everyone at the concert was able to stay on the lawn and watch the game projected on a big screen, which we all know is important here in Columbus!


(Citizen Cope performance)

Overall, all of the concert options last weekend reminded me how lucky we are with the music scene in Columbus. From well-known artists like Paul McCartney, Taylor Swift and Tim McGraw to local bars hosting open mic nights or karaoke, the options are endless. What makes this even better is the plethora of venue options. If you like the big feel of an arena, Nationwide Arena or the Schottenstein Center will have concerts throughout the year. On the other hand, if you are like me and prefer smaller venues where you can get super close to the stage, there are places like the Newport, the LC Pavilion or even bars like A&R bar that host small scale concerts.

As a student, I have seen a ton of concerts that offer a student discount option, either through the venue itself or through the Ohio Union. Ohio State also puts on an annual “Free Concert” which is amazing to experience as a student. No matter what genre, artist or atmosphere you are interested in, I can almost guarantee that Columbus will have a concert for you this year!

Beyond the Classroom – Real Estate Development Site Tours

One great aspect of the MBA program here at Fisher (and of OSU in general) is the extent to which the university is connected with the city’s local businesses. Student groups and faculty have hosted local business leaders from small startups to CEOs and CMOs from the city’s array of Fortune 500 companies.

Last semester I took a Real Estate Principles class which basically focuses on the real estate development process from cradle to grave. Taking advantage of the great connections between the university and local business leaders, the class featured 5 site visits to local development projects.  At each visit, we had the chance to meet with the real estate developers, project managers, and other key players involved with projects to learn the nuances of their developments and get a bit of first-hand knowledge to accompany our classroom discussions.

The central project for the class was a team-based development project where we were assigned several blocks in a downtown environment and were challenged to put together an investment proposal for the development site. Our class site visits were scheduled such that we had the opportunity to meet with industry professionals, get questions answered, and see live projects to keep our own projects moving.

With an increasing number of online programs and online education in general, a unique and valuable benefit of an on-campus program is the ability to have experiences such as these. Having site visits with local professionals to compliment in-class lectures and readings provides a learning environment that neither format accomplishes on its own. This is just one more way OSU’s strong network provides rare, valuable opportunities for its students.

Looking Back and Looking Forward

fisher college


I am a second year full time MBA student and am set to graduate in about a month.  There is a mix of reflection and excitement (even more so from my wife who has endured having her spouse in a full time graduate program).

The Past

When reflecting on the past two years and what I’ve gained from them, I’ve thought of the relationships I’ve made and how walking out of this experience confirmed the things that brought me here in the first place.  When talking about Fisher, we talk a lot about the small class size being a key component of the overall experience.  The small class size lends itself to more intimate settings which, in turn, lend itself to more opportunities to connect with classmates, faculty and career management.  This all made logical sense, but I’ve been able to now have the experience of living it out and I can say it’s all true.  Friendships-I have been able to get to know several classmates in a deep way over this relatively short period of time, and I fully expect to continue those relationships even after the program is finished. Professors-even having gone to Ohio State for undergrad, I’ve seen a world of difference in the depth of relationships I have with my professors at Fisher.  Most of them are in the Ops/Logistics field (my focus in the program) and I have been able to cultivate these relationships and to lean on them for better understanding a concept and also for career advice.

Another area that sticks out to me is the Corporate Mentor Program.  As a student, you fill out an “application.”  It’s more of an info sheet on what you’re looking for in a mentor, and they pair you with an executive in the Columbus area.  The program is only supposed to last for a year, but often the relationships extend for more, and that was the case for me.  My mentor has been a great source of advice and has graciously connected me to others in the supply chain profession.

The FutureFuture path

Looking now to the future.  Currently, I am searching for a supply chain position in the Columbus area, but am hopeful that something will come through soon.  Coming to an MBA program is somewhat of a gamble, albeit a calculated and relatively low risk gamble (92% of graduates last year had jobs within 3 months of graduation).  You’re essentially putting all of your chips in and hoping the investment pays off.  Thankfully it almost always does, but at certain times tries your resolve.  I’ve found in those times it’s been helpful to focus on the good things in your life and to know that life is more than just what job you have.  For example, my wife and I just welcomed our daughter to the world a couple weeks ago (see picture below).  What a blessing!


The MBA program has been a great re-calibration experience for my career and I’m looking forward to a brighter future than when I entered.

A Day with Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett Trip_ Group Picture

It was exciting to learn that a group of Fisher MBA students would travel to Omaha, NE for a Q&A session with Warren Buffett… just another opportunity Fisher provides. We were each asked to draft a question to ask Mr. Buffett if given the opportunity. Throughout the 2.5 hours visit, Mr. Buffett graciously answered questions from each of the participant schools. Topics of discussion were wide-ranging and very candid. My question was chosen to be Fisher’s first, specifically:

As an Orthopedic Surgeon in training, I’m very concerned about the sustainability of health care in America. The need to provide better medicine at less cost is more evident than ever. Of the many business principles you have mastered, which one is the most vital to the future of healthcare in America?

As a physician I was interested in asking Mr. Buffett about healthcare in America.

As with all of his answers, Mr. Buffett’s optimism was contagious. He was certain that we would solve the healthcare challenges given our country’s history of overcoming challenges. He mentioned that we have been focused on solving problems at any cost, but that our generation’s great minds would innovate world-class care that could be provided at a sustainable cost.

Mr. Buffett emphasized the ingenuity that has been employed in the U.S. over an impressive track record of productivity and problem solving. He was particularly encouraged by trends in the increasing involvement of women in leadership, seeing this as a largely untapped potential for even more productivity moving forward. He also elaborated on the important difference between equal opportunity (which he is a big fan of) and equal outcomes, pointing out that those who do a better job should be rewarded accordingly. He also pointed out that a society should be structured so that no single segment is “left behind” and that opportunity is distributed as widely as possible.

Mr. Buffett provided much food for thought. With his impressive philanthropic spirit he encouraged each of us to prosper our own communities and to be a force for good. I came away from the Q&A session bullish on America and personally enlightened. Thank you Fisher!

Warren Buffett Trip_ Furniture Mart_Group Picture


Special Thanks to trip sponsor:

Sander A. Flaum
Founder and Managing Partner, Flaum Idea Group (FIG)

Sander Flaum has been a long-time champion of the big idea, both in business and in his role as Adjunct Professor of Management at the Fordham Graduate School of Business, where he founded and chairs the Fordham University Leadership Forum. He was also the school’s commencement speaker in 2011. Prior to launching FIG, Sander was Chairman of Euro RSCG Life, a worldwide network of 43 healthcare agencies. In addition, Sander presided over the growth of Robert A. Becker Inc. as it became the number two healthcare agency in the US. Med Ad News named Becker “Agency of the Year” and Sander “Man of the Year” in 2002. Perhaps most importantly, Sander worked for 18 years at Lederle Laboratories where he became Marketing Director and honed his vision of the company he dreamed of finding as a client — the result of which is the Flaum Idea Group. Sander has his BA from The Ohio State University and his MBA (cum laude) from Fairleigh Dickinson University.


Board Announcements!

Last week, the first year Fisher Board Fellows had their board training session. We learned about the fundamentals of non-profit work and serving on a board from Janie Levine Daniel, a former board fellow herself, and we also learned about non-profit accounting from Brian Mittendorf. The session, combined with the Bridges To The Boardroom luncheons over the last few terms, have helped the first year fellows become more comfortable with the board process and get a better idea of what to expect when we begin serving on our boards.

After the training was over, our board assignments for next year were finally announced. I will be serving on the board of Catholic Social Services, which I am thrilled about! They were my first choice board, and I’m already doing some pro bono marketing work with them, which will be a good way to learn more about the organization and its needs before I begin my board project.

Each of the boards is different in terms of how often they meet, and when they want their fellows to start. Some fellows begin attending board sessions over the summer, and some don’t start until the fall. Some boards meet once a month, and others only quarterly. Because of these differences, the second year FBF leadership team has organized a banquet for the first year fellows and representatives from their boards to meet before the end of the school year. This way, everyone has at least touched base with their board before leaving for summer internships.

My first meeting with the Catholic Social Services board will be next week, and I’m really excited to meet everyone on my board. This meeting will be a little different than most, as the Bishop will be inducting new members onto the board. It’s kind of a new beginning, in a way, and they felt it would be a good time for me to start, along with the new full-time members. I will also be attending a strategic planning retreat next Saturday, which will be run by Professor Rucci, who has been working with the organization and helping it come up with a new strategy over the past year. I’ve never been on any kind of professional retreat, so I’m interested to see what one is like. I can’t wait to start working with my board, and I’m very excited to see what kind of projects they need help with!





Over the past year and a half, I have had the opportunity to learn from some of the great faculty members that we have here at The Fisher College of Business.  For example, I had the opportunity to take two classes with Rao Unnava, who is one of the co-founders of Angie’s List.  And in another class, I was able to learn from marketing professionals at Resource/Ammirati, a local, but large independent creative agency located here in Columbus.

In this last semester of my MBA education, I have been fortunate enough to take a class on business development, taught by David Clifton—or Clifton as he likes us to call him—Chief Marketing Officer for Huntington Bank.

Clifton started out his career as an engineer, but the creative side of him took hold as he moved into agency life early on in his career after earning his MBA.  He’s worked on major campaigns and projects for companies like Rolls Royce, Steak ‘n Shake, BankOne and Chase.  The list goes on and on.

What is special about having Clifton as a professor is that he understands all of the workings outside of the classroom, so he brings that with him when he lectures.  Last night, in class, he asked us what Huntington should have done after introducing their Fair Play campaign a few years back.  The answer: file for a patent.  But this is just one lesson of what to do in the real world, and he comes with many more practical applications.

I think that Clifton’s going to work during the day and teaching our class at night gives us a more realistic picture of how the marketing world works.  Sure, our marketing faculty has already done a great job of educating us to be future marketing leaders.  And certainly, our internships have given us glimpses of what is on the horizon.  But when you have someone standing at the front of your class—someone who resides in the C-Suite at a major banking institution—the learning is taken to another level.  We don’t just theorize about what to do, we learn about what to actually do.

Coming into business school, I knew that I would be meeting leaders, but never thought I would have the opportunity to learn from a CMO on an every class period basis.  With graduation right around the corner, I am grateful for being able to learn from someone like David Clifton, who brings the world we dream about as future business leaders into the classroom.

One Time At CAMP

Yesterday was Fisher AMP’s (Association of Marketing Professionals) annual CAMP (Columbus Advertising and Marketing Powwow) event!  I was on the CAMP committee this year and in charge of the social media surrounding the promotion of the event.  We did some really cool things this year with social media.  We had trivia and scavenger hunt contests on Twitter (prizes, extra raffle entries, and a grand prize were given to winners), individual website blogs for our keynote speakers, and we used #FisherCAMP2015 to let the audience tweet in their questions throughout the day.

CAMP LogoMy favorite part of CAMP was our keynote speaker, John Gerzema’s speech.  He gave a great presentation and discussed some of his company’s research.  What BAV Consulting discovered is that the key traits people feel are vital to an effective leader are also typically thought of as feminine traits.  He discussed the importance of characteristics such as patience, empathy, and candor, in a leader.  It was an excellent speech, and one that really resonated with me.

John Gerzema CAMP

Throughout the day, CAMP attendees also learned about the importance of big data in marketing from Kevin Richardson, who was also a keynote speaker.  Despite Kevin’s belief in and support of big data, he also discussed the importance of qualitative marketers, and suggested that the field of marketing must never lose them, or it will lose something crucial to marketing.

Kevin Richardson CAMP

There was also a panel of professionals from the Columbus area, all of whom were involved in social and digital media at companies such as Jeni’s, Homage, Piada, and SME Digital.  The panelists discussed the importance of social media in the field of marketing, and the challenges facing marketers as they navigate through the digital world.

Panel CAMP

We also presented the Marketer Of The Year Award to GoPro!


As a CAMP committee member, I’m very proud of how well all of our hard work paid off.  CAMP was an event that everyone enjoyed, and I’m excited to see how CAMP changes and grows for next year!

CAMP 2015


Every year, Fisher’s Association of Marketing Professionals (AMP) puts on their annual Columbus Advertising & Marketing Powwow (CAMP) event.  At this event, students and professionals come together to learn about new trends and recent developments in marketing and advertising.  This year’s CAMP will include keynote speeches from John Gerzema, the CEO of BAV Consulting, and Kevin Richardson, the Senior Vice-President of Consulting Services at Nielsen Marketing Analytics.  The day will also include a panel of marketing professionals from the Columbus area, as well as the presentation of the second annual Marketer Of The Year Award, which will be presented to GoPro.

The 2015 CAMP will take place this Friday, March 27th, at The Fawcett Event Center from noon to 4:30 p.m.  If you are a current or prospective student, or if you are simply in the Columbus area and interested in learning more about marketing, come join us!  Tickets are currently on sale on the Fisher AMP website  Lunch will be provided and parking is free!  More information about this year’s speakers, panel, and Marketer Of The Year can also be found on the website.

Fisher AMP is very excited about this year’s event, and we have a few fun surprises planned for the day of.  Come check it out!


Second Semester First Years: A changing (still busy) life

As a second semester 1st year, it’s very interesting to look back and see how things have changed since the end of August.  We all went from being strangers to creating great friendships in the span of just a few months.  The program allowed us to participate in so many things first semester that it was a complete whirlwind.  From info sessions and case competitions, to exams and interview prep, we were busy from August through mid-December.  Second semester hasn’t been any less busy and in fact, I sometimes feel like we are even busier.  However, there have been some changes since the beginning of January and it has definitely kept our entire first year interesting.  There are few main changes I think the whole class has seen:

1) Less Exams, More Group Projects

Our first semester included classes like Finance, Accounting, Data Analytics & Econ.  As you can probably guess, these were very heavily data and fact-based, which led to lots of midterms and final exams.  This semester we have classes much more based on discussion and theory.  The shift has led us to many less tests and many more group projects.  While there are pros and cons to this shift, I know we can all say that we have a new appreciation for time management.  I have never seen Gerlach as busy on Sunday as it has been these past few weeks.  Multiple projects mean multiple group meetings, multiple deadlines and multiple deliverables in the form of papers, PowerPoints and presentations.

2) Less Information Sessions, More ‘Development’ Sessions

As soon as we arrived on campus in August, companies began to flock with info sessions.  It was great because it made us realize that Fisher has a very well respected MBA program.  It also meant we spent a lot of lunch hours and evenings in information sessions.  Now, we spend more of our lunch hours and evenings in what I will call ‘development’ sessions.  From learning how to personally brand yourself and marketing to millennials, to learning about the real estate process and hearing from influential leaders in the corporate world, we are learning a lot that can be applied to our careers and lives.  While there is definite value in every ‘extra’ event on campus, I think we are now learning how to stretch ourselves even more as leaders and businessmen/women.

3) Less Interviewing, More Celebrating

The interviewing process is definitely ongoing throughout our whole first year.  In fact, most of us don’t secure our summer jobs until the second semester.  However, it is great to feel the stress level drop as people get and accept offers.  Interviewing and interview prep has been a main part of our year and the celebration feels that much sweeter when all the hard work pays off.  I am also extremely happy to see how many of my peers are getting the internships they dreamed of.

By the end of this semester, we will all feel like pros at the MBA lifestyle.  It’s crazy to think the end of year one is already rapidly approaching and I am excited to see new and exciting changes continue to come our way.

Day at K

Every week, Fisher hosts companies interested in recruiting MBA candidates for internships and full-time positions. Though attendance is never mandatory, it is not uncommon for student’s schedules to become completely filled with all the company visits and information sessions going on. And not just because of the promise of pizza or Panera (which admittedly does go a long way to attracting more attendees). It is always interesting to hear from different companies, often competitors, and learn about their unique approaches to the problems we discuss on a daily basis in our classes. But even better than attending these info sessions on campus is when we get invited to visit the companies on their own turfs.

On January 16th, Kellogg’s invited several first year MBA students interested in brand management to their headquarters in Battle Creek, MI, for their annual Day at K event. We were greeted by several current brand managers (including a recent Fisher graduate) and were led through Kellogg’s welcoming and history-filled entrance: dioramas worthy of placement in a museum; a miniature simulated grocery store displaying a current marketing campaign; artwork depicting a century’s worth of product and advertising innovation. It was truly an impressive introduction.

5:30 AM departure for a 4 hour drive. Worth it!

5:30 AM departure for a 4 hour drive. Worth it!

We were brought to a small conference room where we joined and socialized with more members of Kellogg’s marketing department, as well as several MBA students from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan (sidebar – this was 5 days after Ohio State won the national championship, so being with a bunch of Michigan students was particularly gratifying – end sidebar).  Several Kellogg’s presenters then spoke to us about marketing subjects ranging from Kellogg’s unique approach to marketing to challenges facing the company to relationships with their customers, retailers, suppliers, and agencies. A small panel of assistant brand managers allowed us to ask about working at Kellogg’s, projects they had personally completed, career trajectories, and overall satisfaction of their time with Kellogg’s. Hearing from such key personnel from a global powerhouse of a brand and getting a chance to ask them anything and everything marketing related was an incredible opportunity.

Tony the Tiger made an appearance.

Tony the Tiger made an appearance.

The Day at K was an absolutely wonderful event. It was a real treat (Rice-Krispy Treat, to be specific) to get to meet such talented brand and marketing experts and visit the headquarters of such a hallowed brand. We even got to take a tour of Kellogg’s archives and see marketing materials and advertisements across the decades.  I am very thankful for Kellogg’s invitation, and for the Fisher College of Business for providing me with such exciting opportunities like this.

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