This week’s top five

  1. Quote:  “You look like a vampire”, which I said to NLM. The funny thing was that I actually thought he’d bite me.
  2. Event: 80’s Night, at the FC. Thanks to MT for putting that one together and to NF for getting me to go.
  3. Fact: JB was denied entrance to Gaswerks because he was wearing parachute pants.
  4. Best class: Economics. Prof. Campbell is the only teacher we’ve had so far who wrote a class agenda on the board.
  5. Lesson: my academic life has a lot of catching up to do, because right now my social life is overwhelmingly more interesting.

“So you like to dance!” – John Digweed

Maybe a History degree wasn’t a great idea…

On Wednesday of last week, I had my first class as an Ohio State graduate student.  I never thought I’d say this about school, but I am really excited about my core curriculum and the skill sets that I’m about to gain.  After graduating from Yale University in 2006, I entered corporate America thinking I was prepared for anything that would come my way.  As you can probably imagine, it didn’t take long before I realized that I still had much to learn.  (Despite this discovery, I have no regrets about earning a BA in History… it just needs to be complemented with an MBA.)

Now that I have a couple classes under my belt, I need to stay on top of my assignments so I don’t fall behind in class.  Since I am one of a handful of students who have never taken a business class, I’ll need to work twice as hard as my peers.  Fortunately, I have come to this realization before receiving my first round of grades, and I am currently in the process of finding a place where I can study in the most efficient manner.

My first weekend as a student on Ohio State’s campus has been fairly dull from a blogger’s perspective.  On Friday, I woke up and started reading the 4 chapters that were assigned in Economics.  Around noon, I helped a friend move a futon to his place. (He provided Chipotle for lunch.)  Afterwards I started reading again until I could no longer focus due to my excitement for that night’s social activity:  1980’s theme party.  As expected, it rocked.

On Saturday, I woke-up to the sound of pouring rain and decided against going to The Horseshoe to root on the Buckeyes.  Instead of watching the game on TV, I decided to make it a “reading day” and drove to the Upper Arlington Public Library to get some work done.  I stayed in the library for 8 hours and left at the 5pm closing time.  After spending the entire day in the library I was completely brain dead when I left and decided to make it an early night rather than going out with my MBA friends.

Sunday was very similar to my Saturday.  I woke up early and went to Gerlach Hall to study.  I started reading my Accounting chapters, but continuously took mini breaks to watch the Bengals game on TV in Gerlach’s hallway.  All I can say is “Who Dey, baby!?”

Introduction

Hello everyone!

My name is I-Jou (Tandy) Wu. You can just call me Tandy because the English pronunciation of my Chinese name is TERRIBLE. I came from Taiwan, the beautiful island which is full of friendly people, extremely delicious food (Oh, I miss them so much!) and motorcycles! In Taiwan, the weather is like spring all year round. Therefore, winter in Ohio must be a big challenge for me!

I am fated to be a buckeye. My application process is a long story, but I would be more than happy to share my adventure with all of you who are interested in Fisher. In 2008, I decided to apply for MBA program and I joined QS world MBA tour held in Taipei (the capital of Taiwan).  I still remember it was Nov. 17th, and I asked for one day off the office, struggling to meet the deadline submitting the essays. Fisher also had a booth in the fair; the Executive Director of Graduate Programs Office (GPO), Mr. David Smith was standing there and sharing his invaluable suggestions with all prospective students. As for my application package, I realized that there were some barriers for me to be admitted by Fisher compared with other applicants. Therefore, I decided to talk to David directly and resolutely demonstrated that I will certainly be a great asset of Fisher. Later, I had a brief interview with David—it was an excellent opportunity to prove my talent and passion to be success in MBA program and future career. In the end of the interview, David asked me, “If I invited you to visit Fisher and have an interview with the Admissions Committee, would you have confidence to present yourself very well just the same as the person sit in front of me?”

“Of course! ” I promised.

In one of the following emails between David and me, he said, “I felt like I got to know you better, and understand your interest and motivation for your degree and our program. Please do keep in touch, and let’s see what we can to do make Fisher a part of what is sure to be your bright future, filled with much success.” You can see that I already applied the job search skills learned from MBA when I applied for business school!

Few months later after submitting my application package and did nothing but waiting, I decided to have a three days vacation to Hong Kong during Chinese New Year. At the time when I was crazy shopping (to release some stress… ha ha ), I surprisingly got an email from Ms. Emily Davis from GPO invited me to attend Fisher Debut Weekend scheduled for February 20th and 21st. In addition, I will have an on-campus interview right before the event started!

Without any hesitation, I RSVP for the debut and rushed to apply for the B1 visa, buy airline tickets and most importantly, prepare for the upcoming interview. I cannot demonstrate how hard it was for me to ask for few days off  the office to travel to USA since my project was so busy. I made a lot of effort negotiating with my supervisor and fortunately, I got his kind permission. I fly for 23 hours to Columbus, had my interview and joined the Fisher Debut.

It was a day to remember— the most enjoyable memory was not only the face to face interview but all the people I met in the event, the OSU culture and the case discussion experience with Professor Jay Dial. We had a tour of Fisher, RPAC (Recreation & Physical Activity Center) and Fisher Commons. We even had a bountiful feast at Lindey’s in German Village! I met many new friends in the Debut—and most of them are currently my lovely classmates. I strongly recommend prospective students to have an on-campus interview. You will not know what you really want unless you see the business school in person! After digging into all things in OSU for only two days, I backed Taiwan totally refreshed. How eager was I wished get the admission!!

On March 6th, 2009, I got the admission from Fisher. I almost cried with happiness when I saw the exciting message

http://connect2.askadmissions.net/fisher_osu/UserMedia/flash/FlashMBA.html

I could not believe I really did it!

I understand that for some applicants, their experience of applying for B-schools may not be as difficult as mine. I cannot forget how struggling and confused I was throughout the application season, and I totally appreciated for all the kind support I gained from GPO, the alumni (especially Wen-Yen Jiang, who is now a Chief Planner of his own consulting company in Taiwan) my current classmates, my colleagues and most importantly, my family.

I truly hope to post some pictures that I took when I had my on-campus interview; however, I left all the pictures in Taiwan (I will try to ask my brother to email them to me!). As a result, let me share one picture of the O-H-I-O sign when I joined the ASIA MBA Conference held in New York. I am so proud of myself being a buckeye!

DSC02734

Go bucks!!!

Cheers,

Tandy

Muddled…

Main Entry: 1mud·dle Pronunciation: \ˈmə-dəl\  Function: verb Inflected Form(s): mud·dled; mud·dling \ˈməd-liŋ, ˈmə-dəl-iŋ\  Etymology: probably from obsolete Dutch moddelen, from Middle Dutch, from modde mud; akin to Middle Low German mudde Date: 1676 transitive verb 1 : to make turbid or muddy 2 : to befog or stupefy especially with liquor 3 : to mix confusedly 4 : to make a mess of : bungle intransitive verb : to think or act in a confused aimless way  — mud·dler\ˈməd-lər, ˈmə-dəl-ər\ noun (from: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/muddled)

Sitting in my apartment with the windows open, raindrops alter the typical sounds for a football Saturday.  I am sipping my coffee with a spoonful of Graeter’s Pralines & Cream Ice Cream, pondering the long list of assorted to-dos facing me before Monday. (I’m out of milk and not motivated to go to the store – let’s be honest, those of you who know me know I spent the first year buying heavy whipping cream and pouring that in my morning coffee. Ha! Talk about self-indulgence.)

The first week back has been wonderful, meeting new students, catching up with friends on their summer adventures, running errands on campus and, of course, the first day of class.  Mixed in with all of these activities I have met with Kara Albert in Career Management, updated my resume roughly seven times, and started out on my full-time, post-MBA job search.

As the rain continues outside my window, I glance around the living room to see the strategy cases and finance problem sets I am going to tackle before setting out to tailgate with classmates and cheer on the Buckeyes this afternoon.  I know it’s going to turn into a muddy mess, but it will be fun.  Oh, I almost forgot I’m also headed with Vandana to the Columbus Crew game tonight to see David Beckham play with the Los Angeles Galaxy… ok, I must get back to work.

In case the “confusing mix” of activities brought about by the first week of classes isn’t enough – check out some of these fascinating cocktails at Kaiser Penguin’s cocktail blog on muddled drinks:  http://www.kaiserpenguin.com/original-muddled-cocktails/

Syllabus Reviews and Laptop troubles: The First Week of Class

The first week is actually more exciting then my title claims but when you get down to it that’s what usually ends up happening, reviewing the syllabus for an hour and then trying to figure out why your laptop won’t work. Needless to say everything worked out but that’s the first week for you.

My first day consisted of two classes, Organizational Behavior and Financial Accounting. All first quarter classes are part of the core requirements for first year MBA students so your classes are filled with familiar faces along with professors I had met during orientation (I wont write about orientation because plenty of other bloggers have and I agree with everything they have mentioned). The one thing that made these classes more interesting then their topics of discussion are the professors. The first class, Organizational Behavior is co-taught by two professors that are not only academics but have also worked in the industry that they teach. They bring anecdotes from their experiences as well as their knowledge making the class seem like a discussion rather then a lecture. Also our accounting class is taught by a professor that had recently came from Booth (University of Chicago) so to all those MBA students at University of Chicago, well I won’t say it but you can catch my get my jist.

Our second day consisted of two other classes, Managerial Economics and Data Analysis. Our economics professor was great at setting the mood for the class and we were able to move through the syllabus quickly and on to a discussion about a case we had to read for class. It was really fun to be able to throw ideas across a room of 75 of your peers and brainstorm out loud while learning about the economics of management structure. The Data Analysis class (a yawn from some) looks like it is going to start out slow but I am actually interested in the class and learning how to play around with excel a little more.

Outside of class there have been a billion things going on. Having worked for a few years (I’ll get into my background in a future post and why I chose fisher) it is a nice change of pace to be back in school but also different in that each day needs to be structured more on your own that by a typical boss at work. Finding time to study hasn’t been hard but as events continue to come up such as EOTWs (Event Of The Week, offered by the B-school on Thursdays after class at a local bar), company meet and greets and club meetings, I am sure finding time to get all my reading in will be much harder but for now it has been OK.

As for social activities there is no lack whatsoever. As I mentioned to a classmate/friend (no longer are we classmates, I think most of us are now friends) of mine the other night, “I think my Drinking Program has an MBA problem.” I kid but there have been more then plenty of times when us first year students have ventured to a local bar to not only explore the area but also get to know each other, over many CHEAP beers. This continues tonight as we have an 80’s themed night where we are all going to head out to the bars dressed as, well 80’s people.

So for now I gotta run and get my elastic banded whitewash jeans with zip pockets and some Reebok pumps. For the next blog post, a review of what’s on High Street.

First Week of Classes

…so far so good.

As you might expect, the first week of classes involved a fair amount of syllabus distribution and “course housekeeping.”  But make no mistake we hit the ground running.

Through the miracle of modern technology (specifically Carmen, the online course management tool) we were able to begin our case discussions immediately.  In two courses, MBA 812 Managerial Economics and MBA 800 Financial Accounting we read a prepared business case analysis for the first day of class.

This got me thinking that as recently as five years ago (when I was an undergrad) assigning pre-work and distributing syllabi before a course started was much trickier business.  It was so tricky in fact, that most instructors avoided it.  However, now that there is a central course management tool, material and assignments can be distributed and the instructor can reasonably assume that everyone in the class has all the information.

In addition to my pre-work assignment I spent a fair amount of time this week collecting supplies and books for my five courses.  Books and course packets are fairly expensive (read more about that here).  However during my trip to Ireland, I was able to built relationships with a few second year students that I was able to leverage to get many of these items used for a considerable discount.

Reposted from aaron360.com.

A

First week MBA + First month USA

Time flies by.  Here comes the first week of my MBA study, and the first month of staying in USA for the first time.  My life seems never ever to be so exciting, fulfilling, and interesting:

1)  New York New York! – I went to Big Apple to attend 1st Asia MBA conference, and explore many sites of interest like MET, UN headquarter, 5th Avenue and Central Park. More over, during the football time of OSU vs USC on Sept 12, we joined a gathering with hundreds of OSU alumni in a bar near Time Square to watch the game. We drank, cheered, sang, applauded  and shouted “Go Bucks” all the time.  This is a really great experience.

2) Case study and group meetings – Given my engineering background and education experience in China and Singapore, I have never been exposed to the case method and group study. In first sessions, case study is really a challenge for me — professor talked about Opera show, which I have never seen although heard of; my group buddies used slams or idioms like “beat  a dead horse” that I am not quite sure the exact meaning; and topics in the class changed so quickly that you must be focused 110 percent to catch up…  But, I like challenges because challenges mean the opportunities for self improvment.

3) Food: Food is always an attractive topic.  I spent several years in Singapore, where I can find all kinds of oriental foods like Japanese Sashimi, Korean grill, roti prata from India, and Southeast Asia-style spicy seafood. Here in Columbus I had chances to try western style foods — like genuine American food (other than Macdonald and KFC of course), and my favorite is “sweet corn” (they put butter and pepper on the corn which is truly delicious). Last night I went to “Buca di Beppo”– an Italian restaurant in Columbus where got wonderful pasta, and I am planning to go “Schmidts” for German food now!

My happy ending: my first week/month is over, but the long journey just started.  Overcome the obstacles, acquire what I really want are the goals of my two year B-school study~  and don’t forget — have fun!

So Why Fisher?

A lot of people ask me why I moved all the way to Ohio from Arizona to go to grad school. Quite honestly, out of all eight programs that I applied to (USC, UCLA, Arizona, Rochester, Indiana, WashU, Carnegie Mellon, and Ohio State), the people at the Fisher College blew me away. This includes the staff, faculty, and other students that I met during the Red Carpet Weekend event that they hosted.

I think there’s something to be said about people from the Midwest. They are just as talented as the people that I met from other schools, but humble, down-to-earth, and a pleasure to be around. Our class is close-knit, collaborative, and a LOT of fun.

We have awesome events every week that are arranged by our social committee. We do bar crawls, parties at our MBA housing complex, cultural events, sporting events, etc. We also have larger events like the annual ski trip, a weekend trip to Put-In-Bay and Fisher Formal, a.k.a. MBA Prom. We even had a beard and mustache competition after winter break with over a dozen entries, and this year we expect that number to at least double. For the Fisher first years reading this blog, here’s the schedule. Get excited.

Monday: beards
Tuesday: creative expressions
Wednesday: goatees/fu manchus
Thursday: mustaches
Thursday night will then be the 2nd Annual Fisher Mustache Bash.

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And who could mention Ohio State without talking about football. I’ve been to all the home games when I was in town, saw Ohio State beat Michigan 42-7 and even jumped into a freezing cold Mirror Lake before the Michigan game (search for “Mirror Lake” on Youtube, total madness). But that’s all I’ll say about football. I think we oversell it a little when we could be highlighting the other accomplishments of the school (like being in the top 15 nationally for Guggenheim Fellows, 11th overall for research expenditures, or number one or two amongst all American universities in number of faculty elected as fellows to the American Association for the Advancement in Science since 2002). But hey, that’s just my opinion.

Through my experiences over the past year with case competitions, personal networking, and my summer internship, I have met other MBA students from dozens of other colleges. From talking to them about their programs, I think we have some of the highest numbers of participants at our events compared to other programs. There’s some events where we’ve had 80% of our class at. Even the people who don’t drink come out and enjoy each other’s company. And studies have shown that people who eat and drink together feel more comfortable around each other and are more likely to complete their tasks.

With around 145 students in each incoming class, I know everyone on a first and last name basis. At some of the other schools I was looking at, I would be just a number. So I’m not going to graduate from what the rankings deem a “top five” MBA program. But I know there’s dozens of people in my class that I will be friends with for the rest of my life. And in the grand scheme of things, I’m ok with that because life is all about relationships anyway.

Mike ^_^

A really beautiful mind: Professor Robert Langer

Thanks must go to the Center for entrepreneurship, their Kick-off Event was held last Tuesday (09/22) and I got to see one of the brightest minds I have ever listened to. The featured keynote was Breakthrough Medical Technologies by MIT Professor Robert Langer as speaker.

Robert Langer

With more than 1000 papers published and over 750 issued or pending patent worldwide, Professor Langer is the most cited engineer in history!! He is focused in Biomedical research, development of specific polymers, non invasive techniques for delivery of drugs, effective delivery system of specific compounds, to mention few of them.

Impressive right? But it does not stop here. He has not only been extremely successful as a scientist but also as an entrepreneur.  He has more than 20 amazingly successful stories of bringing technologies from the lab to the market. How does he do that? He never stops thinking on how to solve problems or how to help patients. He has an incredible passion for innovation and sincere desire to make an impact and contribution in this world.

But how does he know a technology can be commercially successful or ready go to the market? He has established some requirements that include:

  • Have a platform technology
  • Have a blocking patent
  • Have in vivo proof of principle

Want to learn more about the genius Professor Langer?  http://web.mit.edu/langerlab/

Or watch a video report from MIT Tech TV:

Robert Langer - MIT video

The Center for Entrepreneurship will be sharing the broadcast pretty soon so watch out for that and other unique opportunities to learn about how to bring technologies to the market! http://entrepreneurship.osu.edu/event-calendar/

It’s time…

Remember when it’s the night before the first day of class and you sleep early so you’ll be up bright and early the next day. Not anymore.

I didn’t turn in until after 1:30 am last Tuesday night. Wednesday night was a lot worse. I already had a “fell asleep in my study desk” moment. This totally disproves my “as long as I’m not in my bed, I won’t fall asleep and finish studying” theory. I had to read chapters, analyze case studies, and familiarize with the syllabus before even setting foot in class. But hey, that’s expected, right? Any good school would expect this, especially with Graduate Programs.

Actually, the assignments weren’t the “real” reason why I had to stay awake burning the midnight oil. Well, technically they were, but there was a way that the unpleasantness would have been minimized, if not avoided. (No, not enrolling is not an option.)

It’s this tiny but important thing called time management.

We even had a session on this during Fisher Advantage Orientation. But the thing is, this is not that easy to do when you have a million things going on. When there is a lull in the schedule, you just want to chill. Sometimes, you just want the moment to just cyber-stalk your friends in Facebook or watch the latest episode of “The Big Bang Theory”. (If you haven’t seen this show, I highly recommend that you do.)

Nobody is saying any of these so-called “time-wasters” are bad. They may be even good to get all the craziness out of your head. But we need to set a limit. Two hours in Facebook is just bad decision-making when you have 35 pages of financial accounting to study.

I’m speaking in general terms here but I am really just making a note to myself. But (I hope) I am improving. I stopped playing Crazy Planets and rejected all the other addictive applications my online friends were inviting me to try. Not incredible growth but hey, baby steps. We’ll get there soon. 🙂

In the meantime, if you have tips or similar stories, please share them. They would be highly appreciated. Thanks.