Posts filed under 'Full Time MBA'

Discover MBA fairs and Conferences

MBA job search is all about Networking! Networking! Networking! Dammit what is Netwoooooooooorking :) and how do I do this? Well, MBA fairs and conferences are a big part of it. My dear potential MBA students who are looking to join a program this year and current students who are not too sure what the MBA conferences are all about, I hope to give you guys a little bit of insight today (Especially the ones who are tight on the budget and seeking to maximize their bang for the buck)

So should you or should you not attend?? that is the question…

Before coming to Fisher, I had heard a lot about the MBA conferences and several MBA students whom I talked to, had attended a conference and suggested that it’s a great experience! It seemed like quite an investment in terms of time and money and I wasn’t so sure if I should attend.

There were mainly 2 conferences being held in the month of September: The National Black MBA Association (NBMBAA) and The National Society of Hispanic MBA’s (NSHMBA). There was the Fisher Graduate career fair coming up on the 9 th Sep,2014  and I decided to attend this fair first and see how it goes.

Suggestion no. 1: As a Fisher MBA, you would have the opportunity to attend the Fisher graduate fair, A nice opportunity to get started and test out your networking skills. You may also discover the real value of such conferences and fairs.

While at the Fisher fair, I discovered that the recruiters want to hear how well you know their company and what made you approach them. There has to be link, it could be your past experience in that particular companies industry, a set of skill set that matches the job profile well, or a passion that you share which the product or service provided by the company. You MUST have a story to tell!

The other thing were the interesting and insightful conversations that I had at the fair with company representatives. It is a learning opportunity and some of them told me about strategies that the company is following or problems faced by them and the industry as a whole.

I started to enjoy this process of getting to know different industries, firms and work profiles. That same day I decided to attend the Hispanic conference and landed in Philadelphia on Sep 26th with my suit on :)


Beautiful company at NSHMBA! Kirti Barry (R), Natalie Megrbyan(L) and myself(Middle).

Suggestion no 2: Its not just about looking for a job or internship at such fairs\conferences but also getting to know the companies, researching and analyzing your best fit. This helps you increase your knowledge  base, broaden your network and target your targets(companies) much more precisely. Come across as someone who is not just looking for a job or an internship, but as someone who can utilize his or her skills and experience effectively to solve the companies problem or provide them with a strategic asset.


City Hall Station at Philly

City Hall Station at Philly

Downtown View

Downtown View

The Hispanic conference was a blast and I ended up talking to several companies over those 2 days. After the conference got over, I decided to take a short walk around the downtown area and get a bite to eat. Do I think it was worth it? Absolutely and I am glad I went to the Hispanic conference. I made some strong connections and come across to recruiters as having a genuine interest in their companies. I was able to connect with some of the recruiters the following week over email and LinkedIn, especially the ones who do not visit Fisher on campus as one of their MBA recruiting schools.

Suggestion no. 3: While tons of companies visit fisher, The conferences are a great way for you to connect with companies which don’t recruit at Fisher. Remember – the more you network with companies, recruiters and their employees, the better chances you have…

Lets talk about the internship search strategy in the next blog –  What is it all about? How to go about starting your internship search and challenges you may face especially as an international student. Coming up soon!!!


Double Buckeye Status

When I returned to Columbus back in August, I assumed I already knew everything there was to know about Ohio State and the Columbus area.  I went to Ohio State for undergrad and graduated from Fisher with a major in Marketing.  Because of this, I expected to have a good feel of Fisher and all that it has to offer.  However, now that I am two whole days into our second session, I have to say that I have discovered many new things about Fisher and Ohio State.  There have been many differences between my time as an undergrad student and now, but there are a few key differences I have to highlight.

1) Class Size/Interaction: I am sure many of my fellow students considered Fisher’s intimate class size as one of the reasons they chose to get their MBA here.  However, for me this has been a drastic change that I really enjoy.  As an undergraduate student here at Fisher, I knew some of the other students, but classes were large and everyone was free to make their own schedule.  With just 120 classmates who are taking the same core classes as me, I love that I have the opportunity to get help if I need it, talk through class assignments and even just have classmates to eat lunch with in the lounge between classes.  This brings me to #2…

2) The Graduate Student Lounge: As an undergrad at a university as large at Ohio State, it was sometimes hard to even find a seat in the library (especially during finals week).  It was also hard to find areas for groups to meet and discuss projects.  The lounge has been the perfect place to meet with other students, grab a seat for lunch and even just to get some homework done when you have time to kill between classes.  It has also been so convenient to have a fridge and microwaves so that you can bring lunch instead of eating out every day (which was a bad habit of mine during undergrad).

3) Enhanced Student Organizations/Opportunities: Ohio State has numerous student organizations available as an undergrad.  However, I have been so impressed with the options available to Fisher students in the MBA program.  From Fisher Board Fellows, where you have the opportunity to sit on an actual non-profit board, to Fisher Follies, that hosts the annual Auction and Variety show, there is an organization for everyone.  What I find most exciting about our MBA organizations is the amount of involvement/leadership opportunities.  This all ties back to the benefits of a small program, but everyone has a chance to take a role in an organization if they would like.

4) New Columbus Areas to Explore: As an undergrad, you tend to act as though you are confined to the campus area.  Now that I am back in Columbus as an MBA student, I find that I am exploring new restaurants and areas more often.  As a graduate student, everyone seems more willing to explore outside of the campus area and as a result I feel like I am living in a brand new city.

As I said before, there are many differences between being a graduate student here and an undergraduate student.  I loved my time as an undergrad, but I am just as excited for these next two years as a graduate student.  I would say I will be a Columbus/OSU “pro” by the time I am done, but I thought that before so I am sure there will still be new things to explore!

Wendy’s, Networking, and Life at Fisher

In my pre MBA life I sold wine – which is a pretty nice job all things considered. There are way worse things to sell for sure, but (like so many others) I’m hoping to switch careers upon completion of my degree. I spent so much of my time devoted to executing someone else’s strategic vision – it got old, and I want the chance to help brand strategy moving forward.

When I started looking at schools, my #1 priority was finding a career – a really good one – after graduation. It was a big part of why I chose Fisher, and so far I couldn’t ask for anything more from career services. Recently about 20 of my classmates and I got to visit with the Wendy’s Marketing and Finance Teams at their campus in Dublin. It was a really cool chance to chat one on one with people at all levels of the Wendy’s team from Craig Bahner, Wendy’s CMO, to a recent Assistant Brand Manager hire. It was a pretty low pressure environment, and a great way for the students to get a better feel for the Wendy’s culture and potentially how we would fit. I left the event feeling pretty excited about the opportunity to interview with the company – they’re revitalizing the brand and doing some pretty cool stuff (If you haven’t seen the digital BBQ ad, you should check it out – BBQ4Merica).

Our first term (half of a semester) is coming to an end and as I reflect back on the last 7 weeks – I’m so happy with my decision to come to Fisher. The recruiting opportunities feel like they’re endless, and thats a big part of why I came here; however, the school has more to offer. The faculty and students make the experience stand out. Its actually fun (mostly – there are still tests) going to school. You never know what you might you see. I’ll leave you with one of my favorite moments of the term – the usually dapper – suit wearing Professor Campbell expounding on economic theory in cargo shorts and flip flops “on a dare” from another professor…


The First Year vs. Second Year Softball Game

There’s naturally going to be a rivalry between MBA classes. Second years will think they have the best class ever and the first years will naturally think they have the coolest, most awesome and interesting class ever (I only say that because it’s true in this case). And, as far as I know, there’s only one way to settle which team is cooler: pickup softball games in the rain.



I’m the cool guy manager in the middle

Just as a preface to what I’m about to write, the first years are still way cooler and more handsome/beautiful and way more interesting. Just so you know.

The second years here are multiple time OSU intramural softball champions. They all have coordinating shirts and their own equipment and play baseball together pretty much every week.

The first years have never played softball together. We had no idea who was good, who wasn’t or if anyone would even care enough to show up.

The second years have at least one former professional baseball player on their team.

The first years unanimously decided to play intramural soccer rather than baseball.

What I’m saying is that this was a mismatch.

The first years valiantly hung with the second years for a few innings, but unearned runs and errors were our undoing. Despite a valiant and inspiring speech before the last inning and solo cups in center field, we just couldn’t overcome their actual talent and caring.

But, it was much closer than it had any right to be and if anything, brought our class together just a little more. We showed that we could be better if we worked at it like they had and had more people show up from our class than theirs, including our own cheering section.

The fact that we were even close was surprising and the fact that we easily could have won with a little work in the field showed us that we were the true champions.

After a night of networking that I was forced to leave early, we knew the second years were pretty good at baseball, but the first years were the most awesome and smart and just flat out inspiring.

Both classes are united in their own ways and every class after ours will be, even if I’ll prefer ours. Small class sizes let you meet every person in your class and know them fairly well. When there are only 120 students in a grade, you really get to know everyone intimately in a fashion you just can’t at a bigger school, and it allows for opportunities like this where everyone interested can get involved.

And the class of 2016 is pretty cool, all in all.

Attending Diversity Career Fairs !

For an MBA student, September and October are probably the busiest months. We are surrounded by company info sessions, interviews, and of course, career fairs. Career fairs are the first step you get to know a company, and usually recruiters use career fairs as a filter to screen out unqualified candidates. Besides from the career fairs at Fisher, there are a couple of nation-wide influential diversity career fairs, such as National Black MBA Annual Conference, National Society of Hispanic MBA Annual Conference, and Asian MBA Annual Conference, just to name a few. Don’t give up these great opportunities if you have a misperception about who are qualified to attend these diversity career fairs. Every MBA student, no matter race, are welcome to attend. In terms of the job locations, most of the openings are based in U.S. However, there are companies which are actively seeking candidates to work abroad. One of my American classmates asked me several weeks ago how to find a job in Asia, Singapore to be specific, because he wanted to have more international exposure. Asian MBA Conference is a good source for him.

career fair

The pace of conferences are fast and interview opportunities are given in advance or on that day because recruiting companies really want to find best candidates as soon as possible to fill out the opening positions. Many of my classmates successfully got internship/fulltime interviews during conferences and got offers afterwards.  Here are some helpful tips that are given by Fisher Career Management Office:

  • Review the list of companies who will be attending
  • Apply for positions that interest you on conferences’ websites, as many companies have jobs posted with deadlines that fall before the Recruiting Event.
  • Research your target companies.
  • Practice your elevator pitch, prepare for career-related conversations and refine your interview stories

In a word, definitely attend those diversity career fairs if you have enough budget!



One of the things I was most nervous about when I first started business school was working on a team. I knew we would be put into teams of five at the beginning of pre-term, and that we would work together on all group projects for the entire year.  As an English major, I was used to writing papers and teaching classes by myself.  As the oldest of five children, I was good at organizing and ordering.  I had a lot of practice with being in charge, but I wasn’t sure how good I would be at NOT being in charge.  At the very least, I suspected I would have to be the group mom and make sure everyone was doing what they were supposed to be doing and our projects were handed in on time.  I braced myself for excessive goofing off during group meetings and mentally prepared to be the fun-sucker who brings everyone back to the project and keeps them on-task.

But none of my fears were realized. Literally.  None of them.  My team is as motivated and organized and determined as I am.  It’s a little weird – okay, it’s really weird – but it’s true.  It’s easy to give my teammates control of aspects of projects because I know they will do it right – they will do it better than I ever could.  A few days ago, I had a one-on-one meeting with a professor.  “Who is on your team?” he asked.  I told him.  “Oh.  That’s a very strong team.  A VERY strong team.”  I know.

I realize that sometimes teams struggle to work together.  I know teams can have conflicting personalities or difficult schedules.  I know some teams work well together, but never see each other outside of class.  I was warned about the variety of team differences, issues, and tensions before I started this program.  But none of that describes my team.  My teammates are wonderful people – they are smart and funny and driven.  We always laugh when we’re together, but we work our butts off, too.  We sit next to or within talking-distance of each other in almost every class, and we hang out on the weekends.  When I don’t understand something that’s going on in class, my teammates are more than willing to take the time out of their own busy schedules to help me.  I genuinely love my team, and I know that when this program ends, I will leave with at least four forever friends.  And that is a pretty epic MBA (and life) win.

Abhijit and Santiago are holding the map in front.  Joe is in the grey t-shirt behind them.  I'm the one in turquoise and hot pink, and Ben is next to me in navy.

Abhijit and Santiago are holding the map in front. Joe is in the grey t-shirt behind them. I’m the one in turquoise and hot pink, and Ben is next to me in navy.

Campus Hacks – Getting Around OSU

In the fall of my senior year of undergrad, my college offered a “career planning” class to help itinerant, liberal-art students like myself launch their career search. While I was excited to take some focused steps towards my vocational search, I was immediately skeptical when the first exercise of the class was to take the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Test. The Myers-Briggs is essentially a multiple-choice test that asks test-takers questions like “Would you rather eat spaghetti with a friend or go see a horror movie alone?” I was already skeptical of personality tests, and while I was giving the Myers-Briggs an honest effort, the bizarre mix of wandering yet oddly specific questions seemed to confirm my doubts.

We received the results two weeks later. I got chills as I opened the results analysis and discovered that Myers-Briggs knew more about me than I did. The first sentence of my analysis was, “Despite the fact that you travel to the same locations on a daily basis, you take different routes and time each route to determine which is most efficient.” I was stunned – I do this constantly everywhere I go. Shocked and humbled, I changed my attitude about personality tests that day.

With the help of Myers-Briggs, I have learned to embrace my subconscious need for punctuality. A logistics/efficiency junkie and advocate of alternative transportation (i.e. walking, biking, and public transit), I have spent the last few weeks testing each bike and bus route to campus from my home in German Village. To make most efficient use of time, energy, and resources, I have developed a number of “Campus Hacks” that are helpful for those who (a) hate traffic, (b) don’t want to show up to class sweaty and disheveled, and (c) prefer to do their networking on COTA (Columbus’s public bus system). For my first grad life blog, I wanted to share some of these tips to help reach and navigate campus as efficiently (and comfortably) as possible.

• Pack strategically!

  • Pack your dress shirt separately: I roll my dress shirts (to prevent wrinkling – it’s only semi-successful) and wear a different t-shirt (polyester – performance wicking) while I ride. Once I arrive at school and stand in front of an A/C vent for long enough to cool down, I change shirts and leave the sweaty shirt on my bike outside to dry off.
  •  Invest in good Tupperware: Nothing is more disappointing than a leaky lunch. Pay the premium for good containment supplies to keep your books dry and lunch intact

• Keep a small but ample arsenal of supplies in your locker

  • Coat and tie or Business Wear
  • Fleece: I am always cold in class, and carting a sweatshirt or fleece back and forth everyday takes up unnecessary space and weight in my pack.
  • Granola bars/snacks: Something that can supplement breakfast when time is against you
  • Comb/hair stuff: I get terrible helmet-hair when I ride my bike.
  • Gym Clothes: I keep a pair of tennis shoes, shorts, t-shirt, socks, and even dress shoes in my locker. This way, if I decide to work out during lunch or after class, I don’t have to carry these. On days I ride the bus, I bring the sweaty stuff home and replenish my locker supplies.

• Make productive use of time on the bus: sometimes the weather throws curveballs, and the real benefit from the bus (besides the socializing, of course) is the ability to get other things done in-transit.

  • Print readings and homework out a few days in advance. This way, if you have to take the bus on short notice, you can be sure to make best use of the time.
  • News Aggregators: It’s hard, but important, to make time to read about current events, the economy, etc. I use an app called Feedly, but there are several others out there. Basically, these allow you to build your own newspaper: you choose the media sources and even the categories. The app simply filters new articles from those sources into the categories you setup.
  • Download Podcasts: Podcasts are another great platform for keeping up with current events or other topics of interest – they are free, and sometimes after a series of busy days, projects, and other work it is much more enjoyable to sit back and listen. My favorites are NPR Planet Money, On Being, Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History, and The Art of Manliness series. Downloading them in advance via WiFi will save you on your data plan!
  • Audio books: The Columbus Metropolitan Library is amazing. My next blog post will probably be entirely about why it is the best library chain in the world and why it is so valuable to citizens of Columbus. In the meantime, I will just mention that if you have a subscription to the library (free) you can download audiobooks to your smartphone or computer (free) through an app service called OverDrive (free). Okay, so it’s not “free” – you pay for it with your taxes – but it is an amazing, underutilized resource.

Travel well!


Ge Case competition- importance of core classes

When you sign up for the core classes for the first semester, little do you realize the importance of the first semester. Economics, Finance, Marketing, Leadership and yeah, Accounting. They all look as stand alone concentration areas to me. However, if you try to dive into the analysis of a case, you will realize that you couldnt have been more wrong about them. I had my first official case presentation today for GE. The case was based on technology deployment in the energy sector. Very quickly, my team figured out that the best way to attack would be to analyze the scenario through all these different lens. I was amazed to find out that all these seemingly different concentration areas beautifully complement each other. Having decided on this framework, we woved our story by connecting all the dots. The learning from this case competition is that all areas are equally important no matter what you choose to specialize in at a later stage. My personal takeaway is to make sure that I develop my personal brand and have an open mind in analyzing the venues where I can leverage my strengths to maximize my utility and returns out of any decision( WOW! I did it!). Hope that fits into the happy ending note for a friday evening category. Wait a minute, is that a forceful fit?

Get Ready to Negotiate

Negotiations has been one of the most engaging classes I’ve taken all semester !  I opted for the once-a-week night class, and I’m glad for two reasons –

1. It’s better than the Tue/Thu day class combination since every class is designed in a way where you come prepared with the scenario, split into either team-on-team or one-on-one negotiations for roughly the first 90 minutes, and return to debrief in the second half to unpack what just happened. So it’s nice to be able to do that all at once without losing continuity.

2. The Working Professionals peer group makes for a very interesting class discussion. This is my first class with the WP students and it’s refreshing to hear their insights drawn from such a wide range of experiences, in addition to my own classmates whom I’ve come to know quite well over the past year.

Besides, if it’s a night class at the end of a long day, why not go for an interesting class like Negotiations where there’s a lot more ‘doing’ than ‘listening’. Some of the deals we are doing include job negotiations, multiparty deals, labor negotiations and dispute resolutions. There was even what I think was a ‘trick negotiation’, which was really a situation where walking away from the deal was the right thing to do. But we’d been making successful deals every week until that time and for some reason I felt the pressure to just make the deal.  Fell right into that trap, I should say.

Apart from learning useful tricks of the trade that will  help me enormously in my professional career, this class is a great confidence builder. And Professor Lount never fails to entertain !



I  highly recommend Negotiations to students of all majors – it’s one of those classes with plenty of great takeaways. And for me personally, it’s a safe place to fail and learn as I continue to refine my leadership style.

P&G Marketing Case Competition

Fisher takes great strides to provide students with opportunities to apply the skills learned in class. One of these opportunities is the annual P&G Marketing Case Competition. Hosted by the world’s largest consumer goods manufacturer, the P&G Marketing Case Competition sees current P&G brand managers, many of whom are Fisher alumni, bring a real business problem facing P&G to teams of 4 first year MBA candidates.


The business problem this year regarded the multi-year stagnation of sales in the facial tissues category and how P&G can increase profits of their Puff’s brand of facial tissues. P&G brand managers gave us a brief presentation outlining the challenge and general details, after which we had 4 hours to brainstorm ideas, identify a strategy, and create a PowerPoint Presentation.

It was quite a challenge coming up with a strategy and prepare a presentation in only four hours. Taking the recommendations of 2nd year students, my team mapped out a timeline, allocating an hour for brainstorming ideas, two hours for building and justifying our proposal, and one hour finalizing our PowerPoint deck. By outlining our timeline, we were able to focus on one aspect of the project at a time and not waste time over-sharing ideas. Our time management was excellent as we finished right at the four hour mark. Admittedly, we did lose some time during dinner, as P&G graciously, or deviously seeing as we were time-constrained, treated us with catering from Moe’s Southwest Grill. We submitted our presentation and then joined the brand managers for a happy hour to unwind and get to know them in a more personal setting.

The following day, each team was given 15 minutes to present their proposal, followed by a 5 minute Q and A, to a 3-person panel made up of a senior brand manager at P&G and two Fisher professors. Though we didn’t get to ask any questions, each team was also in attendance and got to see each other’s creative ideas. I was truly impressed with how well-prepared and well-analyzed each group’s presentation and recommendation was. Every team had an excellent idea, incorporating unique insights and marketing acumen into their proposals. It was very affirming to see how quickly and fluidly we were all able to apply the skills we are developing here at Fisher. I was very proud of all my classmates. But…

Great job, Team Orange!

It was still a competition and one team had to win, and wouldn’t you know it, my team was declared the winner. We gave a strong presentation, clearly identifying who our target consumer was, why we were choosing her, how we would reach her, and why that strategy will work. I know synergy is an overused business school buzzword, but I can’t think of a better word to describe why my team was successful. We all came together with a clear team goal, a positive attitude, a willingness to assume multiple roles, and a degree of personal restraint, prioritizing the best interests of the project over our self-interests. I feel these team characteristics, along with our individual talents and creativity, are what led us to a successful and triumphant performance.

As a reward, we each got a P&G care package and an invitation to have dinner with Dr. Gil Cloyd, former CTO of P&G. It was an incredible honor to meet such a successful and high ranking individual. Over a delicious meal at the Blackwell, he shared with us his wisdom and wealth of knowledge about the consumer packaged goods industry.

Dinner at the Blackwell

Dinner at the Blackwell

This was the first of many case competitions Fisher has in store for us, and though I hope for the best for all my classmates, I am excited to defend my title!



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