Posts filed under 'Full Time MBA'

Fisher Board Fellows – Bridges to the Boardroom

Last April I attended Fisher’s Red Carpet Event, which was a great way to meet some of my future classmates and professors and to learn more about the program. I learned about Fisher Board Fellows for the first time at that event, and knew instantly that it was something I wanted to be a part of.  Fisher Board Fellows is a student-run organization that places MBA students on the boards of non-profit organizations in Columbus.

First year students go through an application and interview process, and those that are selected as fellows are invited to attend events throughout the year that help inform and prepare them to sit on a non-profit board the following year. During their second year, fellows attend board meetings (and sometimes committee meetings) and work on a project that adds value to their non-profit organization.  The project varies based on the non-profit and its needs, as well as the fellow’s major and skill set.

This Monday, several first year fellows had a Bridges to the Boardroom luncheon with Mr. Tony Wells, President of the Tony R. Wells Foundation.  The foundation focuses on developing stronger non-profit leaders and is very involved in social innovations and entrepreneurship for non-profits.  Mr. Wells was passionate about the work his foundation does and told us about the many ways it helps other non-profits grow and develop.  He had wonderful advice, and he spoke about how non-profit work and volunteerism had impacted and helped his career.  He told us to really get to know our boards and the organizations we’re serving, and to learn as much as we can through mentors and committees.

Mr. Wells’ advice was extremely helpful for us.  None of us have ever sat on a non-profit board before, and although there’s a lot of excitement, there’s also some nervousness.  I definitely think we all walked away from that lunch feeling more prepared and with a better idea of what next year will be like.  And I have to tell you, I cannot wait to see what the next year brings!

Welcome to…America?


      Some people say that if you come to the United States only to visit the big metropolis such as New York, Miami, or LA, you don’t really know what America is. You don’t really know the Americans. As a Brazilian who has lived in New York and also in a small town in Ohio, I have always been a firm believer of that saying. However, after coming to my MBA I realized one does not need to be in a huge capital to completely miss the American lifestyle, it could happen right here in Columbus- and that could be a good or a bad thing, depending on what kind of experience a person is looking for.

During my junior High school year I was an exchange student in a small town in Ohio. I lived with American families and there was only one other foreigner in my school. I got to live an all American lifestyle, making a pledge to the American flag in the mornings, having American food for all my meals, going to church on Sunday mornings, and really engaging in the life and responsibilities of any typical American teenager. So in many ways I can say I got to experience everything from the perspective of an insider. But of course my obsession with nailing peculiar “American details”, or my pleasure in listening to people who lived during WWII, JFK, Space Race, or just my History teacher telling me history from a completely different perspective than what I was used to, reminded me at all times that no matter how immersed I was, I was still the outsider in a trip to observe.

In New York my experience was completely different. I was older and more independent, and even though I lived with an American, I would spend the greatest part of my days with people from different nationalities. I would eat whatever I wanted and go wherever I wanted, and while that kind of gave me a more multicultural experience, it also allowed me to stick closely to my own culture.

When I came to Columbus, even though I was expecting to interact with many foreign people, I assumed my experience would compare more to my first time in the U.S. And for a little while, it did. During my first weeks in Columbus I temporarily rent a bedroom in the house of an American girl, in a residential neighborhood. Upon walking out of the house, my part Yankee, part redneck soul still felt surrounded by the atmosphere that rings the “You are in America” bell to me. The America of the Americans. However, a few days later I finally got my own place in an apartment village. I got a house by the pool though, not an apartment. House searching had been a very stressful time for me, and I remember going to my window on the first afternoon in my house and just being glad that for a moment I could finally relax and enjoy a drink overlooking the pool…I was not on vacations, and I was surely not in California, but that looked like a very clear picture of the American dream. Except one thing was odd in that cliché scenario: the pool was packed with Asians.

Soon I started noticing, after walking around, that most people in that complex are Asians. An 80% estimate, I would say. I have always been extremely involved with the Asian community back home and many of my closest friends are Asians, so for me that was interesting. I could not help noticing though that ever since I moved to that house things changed a lot. When I walk outside of my house I see Asians. I ride the bus with Asians. I get to school and I find a diversity of people from all around the world. And then I go back home, or sometimes get to hang out with my mixed group of school mates. One day I realized that even though I am still in Columbus, the world where I live now is completely different from the world I was inserted in during my first two weeks here- and that being just a few miles away! I was expecting to relive my High school experience, or a mix of my High school experience with my NY days, but it has been a whole new chapter and a whole new story. And for me, that is ok, and more than that, it has been an enriching ride- after all, in the context of my apartment complex, I am still an outsider observing cultural differences.

Evaluating my own experiences, however, I was led to think about some of the foreign students who are experiencing the US for the very first time. Just like people who only travel to touristic places in major capitals, these students might live here for several years and never really know the America through an American perspective. Many of them are usually surrounded by people from their home countries, speaking their own language and eating their native food, so I assume their perspective of things are very different from mine. I realize for many staying close to their own culture is a personal choice, it definitely eases the adjustment process. In the end I guess that is just something that I have been reflecting about and thought I’d share so that new students moving here get to maybe put some thought into what kind of experience they want for themselves. While school is certainly important, we surely take a lot from the experiences we have outside of class. And of course, every experience has its ups and downs, and there is no way to completely control our environment. For those like me who are just completely fascinated by surprises, that’s what makes it even more exciting.

Hook Me Up With a Job

Don’t think you’re going to show up to business school and they’re just going to hand you a job. Unfortunately that isn’t the way it works, but Fisher has done an amazing job of providing you with the tools you need to help you attain your dream career.


As a first year MBA student I’m constantly stressing about getting an internship and learning the necessary lessons inside and outside of the class room that will propel me to my ideal job. Fisher matches you with a career consultant you can reach out to for help. This past month I’ve been meeting with my career consultant weekly and love to brag about how awesome the office of career management is.



My career consultant Monica has worked with my resume, provided me with examples that I can use to restructure my work experience and cover letter. Prior to my first interview she scheduled a mock interview to help me answer behavioral questions and sculpt my story. I’ve expressed my interest in a few companies and she was able to put me in contact with an alumnus that could give me further insight about the company and internship opportunities.


This is definitely one of the most beneficial resources I utilize at Fisher!

Lunch With Jim Allen, CEO of Hilliard Lyons

This past Thursday a group of 10-15 students had the opportunity to enjoy an intimate lunch with Jim Allen, the CEO of Hilliard Lyons.  As the CEO of one of the oldest brokerage firms in America, Jim brought fantastic perspective on the financial industry. His perspective on the last 10 – 15 tumultuous years was especially compelling. During his tenure Hilliard Lyons was acquired by PNC and  eventually regained its independence several years later as employees purchased the company with the assistance of a private equity firm. During his talk we discussed the impact of economic downturns, as well the impact of the following regulatory changes.

My favorite part of the lunch was Jim’s personal advice for us as students. He offered two pieces of advice. First, be sure to follow your passion. As cliché as it sounds – it really is an important piece of advice to understand. Jim has spent his entire career with Hilliard Lyons and he emphasized that it was his passion for the industry and relationships with clients that has kept him motivated throughout his career. His second piece of advice for us was to take advantage of our time at Ohio State as students and specifically to hear as many different speakers from industry as possible. Mr. Allen emphasized that even if you don’t intend to work in the speaker’s industry, listening to their perspective will let you paint a clearer picture of where you want to steer your career. This was one of the coolest experiences I’ve had at Fisher. How many MBA programs out there offer the chance to have such an intimate lunch with the CEO of a major wealth management firm? Not many – this just another reason why I’m so happy I decided on Fisher.


Some people love Halloween for the cool costumes and others love it because they love being scared and scaring others. I fall somewhere in the middle, but I try to take advantage of it all, and there is no shortage at the Ohio State University or Columbus. This year, I had the opportunity to visit one of the state’s coolest haunted houses and attend some great Halloween parties.

The weekend before Halloween Columbus hosts one of the year’s big entertainment events, High Ball.  Spectators have the opportunity to show off their cool costumes and watch bands and even a couture Halloween costume fashion show. A lot of people are surprised to know that Columbus is the nation’s third largest fashion capital after Los Angeles. You probably won’t see my costume on the cover of Vogue, but I made a pretty solid Clark Kent.


No need to wait for an organized event to participate in the spook of the season. Just outside of Columbus, in Pataskala, Ohio stands the Haunted Hoochie. A very interesting name for a super scary place. No pictures are allowed so I don’t have any proof, but don’t just take my word for it, actually go. Though I waited in line for far too long, I spent a good 30 minutes shaking with fear as I walked around each corner of this maze like building, constantly being taken off guard by bloody men and women holding chain saws, bone grinders and circular saws. If you’re into haunted houses, it’s a must to go to the Haunted Hoochie.

I rounded off my Halloween tour with the Fisher College of Business Graduate Halloween Party. This event was put on by our social chairs, who rented out a campus bar for us to gather as a group and celebrate the holiday. It was definitely a Happy Halloween!


The Fisher Flag Football Championship

While the softball game we played versus the second years was mainly for networking and getting to know our fellow MBAs, the Fisher 1st Year Flag Football Championship was all about pride.

Scarlet vs. Gray (Except the Gray Team is in Red and vice versa)

Scarlet vs. Gray (Except the Gray Team is in red and vice versa)

After playing soccer intramurals with two different teams due to roster size limitations, we again had to split the Fisher first years who wanted to play intramural flag football into two teams, the Fisher Scarlet and Fisher Gray teams. I captained one team and another first year who organized most of this captained the other. We drafted all the students who wanted to play onto one of our two teams in snake-draft fashion (we missed out on having an NFL Draft-style stage to do this in the lounge).

My team went for speed (and missed taking the fastest player) and the other went for size and players who looked like they could play actual tackle football.

There was a three game season and after rain outs and rescheduling, our two teams were scheduled to meet in an epic clash across from Fisher Commons, at Fred Beekman Park, in the 2nd of the three games. You just needed to win one of the three games to make the playoffs.

The Scarlet team was absolutely jobbed out of a win in their first week after the refs completely mishandled the most basic rules of the league. The Gray team got absolutely pounded by law students, one of whom was a former BYU quarterback (yeah well I passed the NY State bar so I’m better than those law students anyway. Jerks). So a playoff spot was on the line in the Fisher v. Fisher game.

I can’t speak for the Scarlet team, but our Gray team had an hour and half long practice before the game at the ARC at OSU and got all of our formations and routes down. We figured out who was going to play what position and how to best exploit the rules for the game. We figured out which one receiver to focus our defense on. Real business school thinkin’ right here.

Thrilling high octane offense

Thrilling high octane offense

There wasn’t much action in the first half aside from turnovers and me getting decked by a girl (this happens a lot when I play sports. Usually by the same girl). A couple of interceptions almost got returned for scores, but nobody was able to get through there and the defenses consistently stopped the offenses after the turnovers. Things finally heated up, however, on the last play of the first half when the opposing QB dropped back to pass and threw an incompletion. But of course ya boy committed roughing the passer and they got another play.

Halftime Huddles

Halftime Huddles

What happened then was bogus to say the least. The other team’s best receiver CLEARLY stepped out of bounds multiple times but the refs missed every one and they scored on the last play of the first half on a play that started with zero seconds on the clock. They missed the conversion but went up 6-0 at the half.

The Gray team scored on a QB scramble to tie the game and would score another touchdown to go up 13-6. The Scarlet team got a few chances but couldn’t even it up. They ended up with one more drive to attempt to tie the game.

Us on defense

Us on defense

On the last play, with only a few seconds left, their quarterback threw a desperation heave to the flag and somehow completed it and made the score 13-12 with no time on the clock. They had to complete the one point conversion to be able to get the game to be a tie and likely send both teams to the playoffs pending final standings.

But the Scarlet team got too cute. On an end around to the Copedaddy, Ben Prater, fellow author on this blog, dove and took off the Copedaddy’s flag and ended the game 13-12. The bench exploded onto the field and nearly tackled Mr. Prater.

We got a bunch of MBAs to come out and watch and played a hell of a close game. Everyone who played had fun and everyone on the sidelines was getting into it. Even the class Grandpa (<3 you B-Rad).

My Gray team made the playoffs and the Scarlet team missed by a point and a referee mess up. And it turns out, we may be playing the second year Fisher team if we can win our first playoff game. My god.

(All photos copyright Teryn Wessel Photography, 2014)

Are you kidding me?

“Are you kidding me?” was the common response I got when people found out this my first OSU football game. I was born and raised in Medina, Ohio (not too far from Cleveland), have lived in Ohio for my entire life, and in Columbus specifically for the last two years. Better late than never is all I have to say.


I chose the right first game, not only was it in-conference, but also a night game. There’s something about a dark sky, and the bright lights overhead that keep the field lit. I rushed to make it just in time so I could see the Script Ohio (the famous formation our marching band makes). Not only do we have one of the best college football teams in the nation, but also what we consider to be the “best dang band in the land.” The bring the energy in the beginning of the game, and keep half time exciting as well.

IMG_1722 IMG_1724


The energy in the stadium was amazing. I stood in the student section, cheering and yelling for the entirety of the game. I wouldn’t consider myself a die-hard football fan, but the environment definitely brings it out of you. I couldn’t have asked for a better first experience, and it will definitely pave the way for many more games to come.



Me and our mascot Brutus

Me and our mascot Brutus

NSHMBA Conference in Philadelphia

Last month all MBA students were informed about the opportunity to attend diversity conferences in the fall; the university partially reimburses students for the trip costs incurred, isn’t that cool?!. The conferences we had for this year included National Black MBA Career, National Association of Women MBAs, Asian MBA Conference, Veterans MBA Conference and National Society of Hispanic MBA Conference. At first I thought that these events were intended only for those minorities, but my career advisor ensured me that it’s great opportunity to network with different employers regardless of the race and ethnicity, anybody can attend the conference. So, couple of non-Hispanic people, including me, we decided to attend National Society of Hispanic MBA Conference in Philadelphia. We went to Career Expo for two days. It was an amazing chance to talk to companies, which don’t come to the OSU campus for recruitment. Some companies conducted interviews on-site; others accepted the resumes and connected with me later. The Career Expo was a good time to practice my elevator pitch and get to know students from other business schools as well. After all, what else can you do while standing in line to speak to recruiter?! Network!

Of course, the trip to Philly wasn’t only for business, we went out in the evening and tried Philly’s famous steak, we also walked around downtown and it was amazing!!!!
Overall, this MBA conference was awesome, I networked with my target companies, I found out more information about other firms which I haven’t been considering before, I practiced my interview skills and I had fun with my friends! Definitely take the advantage of all opportunities that Fisher gives you, because the MBA experience is much more than just class assignments!
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As you may be aware, we at Fisher, have loads of student organizations at Fisher( 22 to be precise). If you think you want to learn more about analytics, you have the FBAA(Fisher Business Analytics Association). If you want to explore Operations and Logistics, you have OLMA. You get the drift. One such organization which is close to my heart is Fisher Board Fellows. FBF gives you an opportunity to sit on the board( non voting member) for a local non profit here in Columbus, Ohio for one whole year.In addition to attending the board meetings, you are also given a stand alone project with clear set of deliverables. Non-profits expect the FBF to contribute their part in running the organization and helping the community. Hence, you are not just a fly on the wall. You are going to be rubbing shoulders with the Sr VP’s and the CEO’s of for-profit businesses who happen to be on the board of these organizations. I applied for becoming a FBF for the myriad opportunities which you can leverage with your background and strengths. You can network, provide business perspective to existing social problems, learn more about non-profit way of doing business, so on and so forth. This is truly a one of a kind experience which I truly recommend for everyone( even if you think you are the hard core for-profit kind of person). Of course, if these are not enough to convince you to give this opportunity a shot, did I also mention that it looks fabulous on your resume and that nowhere else can you hope to become a board member in your 20s( unless its your family business of course)?

Classes outside of Fisher

One of the things that intrigued me most, before coming to Ohio State, was that the university has such great breadth in terms of classes in which Fisher graduate students can enroll.  All graduate students at Ohio State are given the opportunity to take  classes from other graduate-level programs from across the university. For example, this semester, I’m enrolled in Sports Marketing, which is offered through the Sport Management program. As a second year MBA, I have a lot more flexibility in my schedule, so I’m taking advantage of this opportunity even more.

For next semester, I am already enrolled in 2 classes outside of Fisher: Mass Communications & the Individual (School of Communication) and Sustainable Vegetable Production Practicum (College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences). I’m especially excited for the second of these two, as the class will plan for and harvest an organic crop. After the harvest, we will promote our product to the market, and as a marketing major, this is a great way to get outside-the-box, real world experience from inside the classroom.

As I begin interviewing with companies for post-graduation, I know I can fall back on those in-class experiences from these classes outside of Fisher. For example, I know that the aforementioned crop production class will be a great place to draw experience if I land an interview with the winery with whom I applied; I have my fingers crossed.

In my eyes, the Fisher MBA program is so much stronger because you can learn from true industry-specific experts, from any discipline, to complement the already strong Fisher business curriculum. With 115 different master’s programs from which to choose, learning possibilities are truly endless as a Fisher graduate student at Ohio State.

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