Hello World!

There’s never a more exciting time on a college campus than the beginning of a new academic year. The energy around the campus is amazing. It’s hard to believe that I’m already a “second year.” Last year was definitely the best year of my life and I’m excited to begin the second half of this journey.

As this is my first post, I’ll give a brief introduction of myself. I’m a full-time MBA student double majoring in Strategy and Corporate Finance. I’m originally from Tucson, Arizona and went to school at the University of Arizona for my undergraduate degree. I have five years of full-time work experience total, three of those with Enterprise Rent-A-Car and two years in advertising sales. This summer I worked for Deutsche Post DHL as a talent management analyst, which included an amazing week in Germany for my internship orientation.

At Fisher, I am President of the Fisher Graduate Student Association, which is the group that encompasses all the other graduate student organizations at Fisher. Our major functions are allocating funding for student groups and driving change through student feedback. I’m also involved in the International Business Club as Vice President of Programming, and half a dozen or so other student organizations as a member. This year I’ll also be teaching a business undergraduate course called “Applied Business Skills and the Environment of Business.” On top of this I’ll be taking a full load of classes, participating in a case competition or two, attending all the social events, and most importantly, working on full-time employment.

That’s “Resume Mike.” Aside from the usual boring undergraduate institution/major/work experience/student organization stuff that MBA students talk about, I’m also:

  • The first of two only children. I was twelve when my younger brother was born. It was weird then, but now he’s one of my best friends and a great source of joy in my life.
  • A certified yoga instructor. I’ve been teaching for almost two years and I teach from time to time through the Ohio State Yoga Club.
  • An ENFJ. Which means that I “understand and care about people, and have a special talent for bringing out the best in others.” Or so the psychologists say.
  • 1/2 Japanese and 1/2 Polish/German/Irish, which are evidently “great drinking genes” as one of the guys I met in Germany informed me.
  • A voracious reader. I read a lot on leadership, organizational behavior, communication, economics, and yoga.
  • A former competitive powerlifter. Emphasis on “former.”
  • Managing four fantasy football teams this season. 4-0 so far through Week 1!
  • Addicted to tiramisu.

I hope to keep this blog fun, informational and a little random. If you’re thinking about applying to Fisher, then feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn or Facebook. If you have any other questions about the program or my experience here, ask away and I’ll either answer your questions or put you in touch with someone who can. I’m not an employee of Fisher College or a member of the admissions team, but just a normal MBA student who fell in love with this place. So I’m always willing to talk.

Mike ^_^

This Week’s Top Five

  1. Quote: “That wasn’t me… that was you!”. I’m going to keep that anonymous, but I must specify that it’s not my quote.
  2. Event: New Year’s party at Fisher Commons (a.k.a. the FC).
  3. Rarity: The Huskies beat the Trojans!
  4. Rarity: Act one, the teacher presents a problem; act two, the Harvard guy gives the best answer a human being can possibly give to the case; act three, some random stupid guy gives some random stupid answer; act four, the teacher endorses the second answer. Name of the play: Consulting Boot Camp.
  5. Paraphrased quote: “Out of a total of 15, nine are already registered, so there’s only four missing” by AF, and this was actually on the email so there’s proof.

Suggestions are welcome for the top five ranking.

“I’m a walk you through the pathless roads…” – Dave Matthews

Orientation wrap-up

Hey everyone.  My name is Joe Fahrendorf and I’m a 1st year MBA student at the Fisher College of Business (FCOB).  As the second week of orientation officially comes to a close, I finally have a moment to reflect on the previous 12 days and write my first blog entry.

The FCOB faculty have kept us incredibly busy throughout orientation.  A few of my activities included:

  • A case study with Professor Jay Dial.
  • Team building activities at Summit Vision.  (I was blown away at how well my core team operated as one.  Hopefully this is a sign of more good things to come.)
  • A Myers-Briggs typology test.  (According to the results I am an Extraversion, Sensing, Thinking, Perceiving “ESTP” personality.)
  • A practice job interview with the career development office.
  • Networking events with companies such as AEP, Eli Lilly & Company, Kimberly-Clark, Limited Brands, Nationwide, NetJets, P&G, Target, The Scotts Company, Whirlpool and several others.
  • A boot camp focused on careers in consulting.  (For a day and a half, we listened to several industry experts discuss the pros and cons of the industry and we were given the opportunity to network with representatives from Accenture, Deloitte, McKinsey and other top consulting firms.)
  • Organizing my apartment at Fisher Commons.
  • Golfing.  (This has been a great way to meet classmates.  The talent level ranges from scratch golfers to pure novices.  Yesterday I shot an 85 on the Grey course, but still lost to a classmate by several strokes.  Hopefully I’ll find the time to play the Scarlet course before the cold weather arrives.)

Overall, I would say that orientation has been a huge success.  I’m excited that classes are about to begin and I look forward to meeting more classmates.  Twelve days ago I literally knew 3 people in the area and now I know roughly a hundred.

Keep checking my blog for new posts. My goal is to submit 2 or 3 entries per week.  If you have any questions or comments, let me know.

JF

Kid’s story: Intro

An introduction

Timeline: Sunday, noon-ish

I see: gloomy clouds, Stephen Colbert, and… is that a spider on my wall?

I hear: “Huh!” to the beat

I smell: pine

I feel: sleepy

OK, so first let’s get the less favorable (i.e. whining) part out of the way. My first weeks at Fisher have been marked by somewhat of a post-9/11 feeling, in which everyone’s glad about their lives but those lives are marked by fear. I suppose it’s a successful teaching style, but I truly look forward to getting the facts and figures in class rather than a constant paraphrasing of “today’s world is impossibly tough, ye be warned”.

On the upside, so many good things have happened that I’m going to have to buy a new notebook soon. Highlights: the apartment’s looking nice, my health hasn’t been an issue, and people actually remember my name.

My personal opinions on some of these weeks’ events are as follows:

  • Summit vision was OK (body count = 0.0) and it really achieved its purpose of bringing our team closer.
  • The presentation by the second-years definitely has room for improvement. Notes taken: none.
  • I got lost in the Thompson library, and ended up in the top floor. If anyone ever needs a really cool study place, look no further: that’s the place to be.
  • Consulting boot camp was good, but there must have been something wrong with the room on Friday, as everyone (including myself) was dozing off all the time. It was quite a shame, as the information was very useful. As a footnote, Oglevee is one of the few people I’ve met in life with just the right amount of insanity in him.
  • Kudos to the organizers of Friday’s party at Fisher Commons (which was dubbed “the FC” last night), a perfect closing act to the week; food was great, sodas were plentiful, and the music was just right. Due to the blog’s policies, I can’t compliment the alcoholic beverages.

This is just a first experiment. Expect further chapters in the story in the upcoming days. Comments are most welcome and encouraged.

“… looking for the beauty that never fades” – Sasha & Junkie XL

MBA Program Orientation Week 2

Reposted from aaron360.com.

The Fisher College of Business full-time MBA class of 2011 has officially been orientated.  The second week included several important activities like an intake appointment and mock interview with the Career Management office, and an introduction to case discussions with Jay Dial.  Perhaps the highlight of the week was the Summit Vision team building experience which my team participated in on Wednesday.

Summit Vision is a team building and corporate development company based out of Westerville, Ohio.  They use “…adventure and experiential learning tools [so that] people have the opportunity to reach their full potential–both individually and as part of a larger team.”

Specifically, my core group teamed with another group to create one ten-person team.  Throughout the morning we were challenged with physical and mental exercises that tested our problem solving, inventiveness and perseverance.  Each station, while fun, was designed to make us work as a team towards a common goal.  Some of my favorites include:

  • Zip Line – Wheeeeeeeee!
  • Pamper Pole – Climb up a telephone pole.  Get yourself standing on top (easier said than done—it is the size of a dinner plate).  Leap out 8-feet in the air and try to grab a trapeze bar.
  • Building Blocks – Each member armed with a signed 4×4 block, our team crossed a stretch of grass without touching the ground.
  • Spider Web – Each team member crossed trough a different hole in a bungee cord spider web—without touching the web at any time.

It does sound like a lot of fun and games, but we were forced to focus as a team, find a solution and amend it as we worked towards our goals.

A

Hello World.

Welcome to my blog everyone. This is new to me, but I assure you, I have received the proper training.

My name is Nick Fischer. Yes, kind of like the business school. Except my name has a C in it. Please don’t forget it.

Some of you know me. Some of you don’t. Consider yourselves lucky.

I ramble. I also talk fast. Be thankful you can read this at your own pace.

I have more to do than time to do it. Welcome to The Max M. Fisher College of Business.

I like food. Expect a lot of restaurant feedback.

I am sarcastic. You may have already noticed that…

I tend to notice odd and peculiar things about my surroundings. Sometimes they are funny, sometimes they are weird, sometimes they make no sense at all.  I’m sure my future posts will include all of these.

Sooooooo much has happened since my arrival in Columbus at the beginning of this month. I am not even going to try to cover all or much of it in detail. But I am going to list and touch on several things:

  • I live at Fisher Commons. I have a beautiful view of the downtown skyline and Fred Beekman Park . I painted my bedroom “Nautical” Blue and my living room “Peaceful Leaf” Green.  Sometimes, I can smell the agricultural school. All in all, the place is great.
  • Orientation is over. We were told how amazing we were. We were told how busy we were going to be. We had a reality check. Professor Oglevee speaks the truth (talk to him outside of class – he’s great). Network, Network, Network. Time management. Network. Don’t be late. Summit Vision. Leadership. Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (I’m ENTJ for those who are interested). Business Cards (Ask nicely and you might get one). Network. Teams. Teamwork.
  • There is no shortage of social activities and things to do in Columbus. South Campus Gateway. Short North. Arena District. Buckeye Football. Golf – Raymond Memorial , OSU Courses (A lot of business students play. Several are really good. I am not). So much more I haven’t even checked out yet.
  • Taxi-Cab service is generally good except at 2 AM. You are better off walking.
  • Planes fly over campus ALL the time. Get used to the noise. It’s not that bad really.
  • Business school runs on coffee.
  • Business students like to be social. Mike created an email distribution list to use for planning. We played kickball (it’s still hard even as an adult – don’t underestimate it). We played volleyball. There was a New Year’s Eve party for the beginning of school. Football Tailgates. The list goes on.
  • The ARC has most things I need to work out. It also has a rock climbing wall. I am not very good at rock climbing.
  • The consulting boot camp was a great source of information. Professor Barney is hilarious and brilliant.
  • Textbooks and course packets are expensive. You can’t do anything about it.
  • Mad Mex at the South Campus Gateway is pretty good. I had the grilled fish tacos. I hate fish but even I thought they tasted great. The “Pennsyltucky fried tofu” is surprisingly delicious. They also have a kids menu with jokes that I didn’t even understand.
  • If you made it this far, congratulations.

That’s all for now. Stay tuned for future posts.

MBA Program Orientation Week 1

Reposted from aaron360.com.

Week one of MBA orientation is complete. It was mostly as you might expect: an introduction to the college and each other and setting of expectations. In addition to the administrative topics covered, we had a valuable opportunity to hear Craig Morrison, CEO of Hexion Specialty Chemicals, speak on the topic of integrity in business.

Perhaps the most exciting part of the week was meeting our core groups. The first year of the full-time MBA program is a set curriculum. Across all these (core) courses, we work in one team. Needless to say, the prospect of meeting a randomly-selected group of peers that you will be working with for the next nine months can create anxiety. However, I’m very pleased with my team. We are a diverse group of focused and energetic professionals representing experience all over the country, and on three continents. Over the next week, we will get to know each other better before plunging in to the first quarter.

Looking ahead to orientation week two:

A

Making Connections

Orientation these past few weeks can be best represented by my first night of work at a local restaurant. Being a grad student comes with a lot of great aspects- unfortunately money is not one of them. To help out with expenses, I took a job as a hostess. I was excited for the job, and had a little restaurant experience. Steve, my boss, told me to come at 5 to train on what he thought would be a slow night. I was supposed to just shadow him for a few hours to learn the system.

I showed up to work early, all decked out in my black uniform, ready to master the art of the hostess. I figured that if I could get into Fisher, then this should not be a problem….was I wrong! But with the good weather, coupled with a live band, Steve could only help me for about ten minutes, leaving me to fly solo the rest of the night. I did not anyone’s name or really any of the procedures. However, over the next four hours, people were given tables, they enjoyed a good time, and left happy, and I slowly began to feel less like a chicken with its head cut off.

I went in thinking I was going to have someone to hold my hand, but looking back I realize how naïve I was. This was also my view coming into orientation. I have learned that grad school is not undergrad and also that I am responsible for my abilities. Throughout countless hours of speakers and jumping off a 55 foot pole, orientation has also showed me that feeling like a headless chicken is not necessarily a bad thing, and if you work hard, you can get the successfully get the job done.

Even though I have now realized how much work I am getting myself into, I cannot wait for classes to start soon and to start a new chapter in my life!

Village, District, whatever the name, they’re all great!

A busy night in short north
A busy night in short north

Having grown up in Philadelphia, I was always surrounded by culture and different neighborhoods. I have been in C-bus (How the locals call it) for about three weeks now and i haven’t had a moment when i haven’t liked it. My first night after driving a uhaul for 8 hours from Philly, i needed a beer and found Short North to be an excellent fit. The area is just south of campus and offers a wide array of restaurants and shops with a great neighborhood feel. Over the past few weeks I have made it back to the area a few times and have also discovered other areas such as German Village and the Arena District (a place where i think i will spend a lot of time this coming year with fellow classmates as we have already had some great bonding time there). Best of all is that all these neighborhoods with their different offerings are all within a short distance of Campus.

South Campus Gateway
Eddie George's Grill below the apartments. A popular spot on gamedays.

When I was looking for a place to live I wanted to be surrounded by one of these “neighborhoods” but with not having time to make it out to tour buildings I had to search online and found South campus gateway, a new development on the south edge of campus to be a great fit. It offers housing for grad students (mostly law and med) and many restaurants, bars and shops. What makes it perfect for me is that it is a 10-12 min walk from Fisher, saving me the parking “enjoyment” many of my fellow classmates have told me about.

Have to run now, one of my new friends/classmates is coming by to watch Entourage but I’ll keep you updated on the more neighborhoods I visit as I continue to explore my new city.

officially oriented….

It’s been an eventful two weeks.  And nothing like I expected.  When I first learned that classes started on the 23rd and that I was expected to be here on the 8th, my reaction was “what in the world are we going to be doing for 2 weeks?!?”.  Well, to answer the question, we’ve done everything.  We began with the normal introductions by our professors, the dean, and career management.  Each day was packed with activities.  We’ve completed two case analyses, had a mock interview with career management, been advised by a panel of 2nd yr students, gotten reprimanded about our spreadsheets for a homework assignment in Excel, and we even got to go “play outside” on a ropes course.

I think the most exciting day for me was meeting my team.  Through all my research for b-school, I was continuously informed that it’s all about the team experience.  The process of meeting my team was quite entertaining and I felt like I was on a reality tv show.  Just before getting our lunch on Thursday, we were each handed sheets of paper that listed our names with a corresponding number next to them.  Everyone scanned the sheets to learn their team number and decipher who else was on their team.  Suprisingly, I didn’t recognize any of the names listed for my team and so I walked alone to the room assigned for my team to meet.  As we each filed into the room, we gave quick intros, talked about our interests and discussed not-so-important topics like what restaurants we’ve eaten at since we’ve been in Columbus and what parts of town we live in.

At Fisher, we are divided into teams of five and this is your group for the entire year.  Teams are a mixture of different backgrounds- careers, gender, nationality.  My team consists of 3 males and 2 females: an OSU grad with a background in industrial engineering, another Ohioan with a background in finance, an engineer from Bogota, Columbia, and an employee of the Korean Stock Exchange from Seoul, Korea.  We haven’t had any real assignments yet, but so far, so good with my team!  I’m really looking forward to work with them 🙂

My Team at the Summit Vision Ropes Course
My Team at the Summit Vision Ropes Course

Although orientation serves the purpose of helping to create a level playing field for each student so that everyone knows what is expected once classes start, equally important is its role to help everyone to get acclimated socially.  Getting an MBA is a 2yr process and so its important that we all feel at ease with each other.  Meeting people and forming friendships is a lot easier to accomplish in a relaxed orientation setting before everyone gets stressed out and burdened with work. We’ve already had 2  formally organized social get-togethers and countless others organized by students.  Its been extremely helpful to just get out and relax and meet people who I haven’t encountered in orientation.  Yesterday I had the chance to play the Gray Course at the OSU Golf Course with 3 classmates. I was going to take a pic of the score card and put it up here but I don’t want to embarrass myself like that….

Alright….believe it or not, there’s homework due the first day for a couple of my classes.  I’ve yet to even glimpse at what’s expected…so, until next time….