3 Months as an MBLEr

We are now standing in the halfway of a semester. Looking back at the memories we made, I found countless sparkling moments. MBLEr is a noun created by me, which includes every student in this program. Once an MBLEr, forever an MBLEr! There are several highlights I would like to share with you here.

This is how we get started

Our new semester started with a lot of outdoor activities, I still remember the scenario at Ohio Union when we rushed to the papers listing out the activities we could participate in. Columbus Zoo left me with a strong impression. That was also the place where I met many of my classmates, and everything was like yesterday. There were a lot of kids in the zoo that day, compared to the animals. I paid most of my attention to the children around me. We were amazed by the third largest zoo in the USA, while laughing and discussing, we had a preliminary understanding of each classmate’s background and personality. This is super cool!

The most important thing as a student!—Study

Our first class started on August 20th. The overall class experience is: fast and inspiring. The most exciting part of the class is that we not only learn about fundamental knowledge but also do projects that are related to real-world logistics operations! Although the project has not started yet, I am looking forward to it now!

When asking about the question: “which course impresses you the most” to our classmates, I bet 100% of them will answer with: “Linear Programming”. Despite the difficulty, all of us worked hard. LP is very applicable for solving problems, for example, logistics, and transportation network. And since this is a data-driven world, learning LP helps us in the future if we learn programming languages. I love LP!

The most challenging thing right now—work

Fisher College of Business provides us with adequate resources to attend a lot of career fairs and supply chain symposiums. Thanks to these events, I got a chance to do an internship and strengthened my understanding of Supply Chain and Logistics. Career guidance is also very helpful. I did not even know how to polish my resume, but after meeting with Steve Singer and GAs, I am very satisfied with it and more confident about how it helps with my future interviews. Career service is one of the reasons that I chose MBLE, and I found that it never disappoints me.

Columbus Weather

As a southerner of China, I only experienced summer and winter. Late Autumn in Columbus is all I have expected for this beautiful season. Autumn colors are orange, yellow and pink. Season transition from summer to autumn takes a blink of an eye, and green turns to caramel. Because of Columbus, autumn becomes my favorite season in my whole life.

The first semester has not ended, but I already miss it! The next inspiring part is that winter is coming!

A Full MBLE Life

A Full MBLE Life

How time flies! I couldn’t imagine that we just finished our first semester. It’s a significant journey that happened so many things, including happiness and difficulty but made us quickly grow up.

The studying portion

Back to what we learn from this semester, we not only get benefit from the dense academic atmosphere in class, which can make us positively participate in class, such as having discussions, doing projects with classmates, and even studying from playing games in class. Indeed, an excellent academic atmosphere helps us deeper thinking. But also, through the way of guest speakers in class and tour visit activities, we have opportunities to know people who work in supply chain and logistics companies, such as Land Grant Brewing Company, DHL and UPS. Combining the knowledge with practice, MBLE program greatly instills to students.

 

The career portion

I have to say what the Fisher Career Department did for MBLE’s career can’t be better. In this semester, we have a lot of opportunities for networking. The first is the Career Fair. At the beginning of this semester, the start of September, we had two big Career Fairs, including the TLA Career Fair and the Fisher Career. It’s a channel provided for MBLE students to meet face to face with recruiters of related supply chain and logistics companies, such as Amazon, GE, and DHL. There is no worry about the performance in the career fair. Because, before the start, from June, the Fisher Career Center has been helping MBLE students to fully prepare, including helping students form their own START, revising resume, and teaching how to prepare to interview. Next, we have all kinds of experience sharing meetings. For example, Fisher Career Center invited the alumni of the MBLE, such as some employees in LBrands and DHL, to share their working experience in supply chain and logistics area, and also invited second-year MBLEs to share the experience of an internship in companies like Cummins, Niagara Bottling, and Greif. The third benefit is the mentorship program, which provides each MBLEs a chance to know a mentor who works in the field of supply chain, logistics, retail, and other industries, and communicate with our mentor up to six months. In this semester, we had a big dinner networking night which provided a chance for every student to know any mentor. In addition, Fisher Career Center did other events to help MBLEs build their basic career wherever in America and China.

 

The fun portion

In addition to our first activity for celebrating Mid-Autumn Festival, we held another interesting party for celebrating Halloween Festival. For better experiencing the pleasure of Halloween Festival, everyone made up with a strange appearance, together carved pumpkins, and ate traditional American snacks. Via playing games together, this happy time facilitated our friendship with each other.

The last activity we held a potluck party for celebrating the Thanksgiving Day. We did some traditional Chinese food, American food, and even Spanish food! We also invited our Director of MBLE program, Steve DeNunzio and Corp & Grad Relations Specialist of Fisher Career Center, Steve Singer, to participate in this food communication event. We chatted with each other, learning about the history of Thanksgiving Day and the ways of celebrating the special festival for American. How wonderful night when everyone was surrounded by many cuisines!

It’s really a fulfilling semester, but actually, it’s just a start! I believe there are many interesting and significant things waiting for us MBLEs to explore!

 

 

 

 

What is Association of Marketing Professionals (AMP)

The Association of Marketing Professionals (AMP) is one of the largest graduate student organizations at the Fisher College of Business. While we hold events and activities primarily geared toward those focused in marketing, we have had opportunities to network with non-marketing professionals. Below are some highlights of our annual traditions, as well as new events that we as a leadership committee have implemented. I would say that we have been pretty successful so far! I am proud to be the Director of Professional Development of such a wonderful organization.

Annual events

Columbus Hop – Takes place every fall break. This year’s companies included IBM iX, Root Insurance, Orange Barrel Media, and Watershed Distillery. It gives students an opportunity to network and go behind the scenes to see how each company works.

Fisher MBA students at the Watershed Distillery as part of Columbus Hop

Chicago Hop (upcoming) – We celebrate the end of the fall semester and final exams by hopping on a bus to Chicago! This year’s companies include PepsiCo, BlueCross BlueShield, Tyson Foods, and Ogilvy. If you are not yet an AMP member, you should become one just to be a part of this awesome event!

Attendees at Chicago Hop last year

Marketing For A Better World (upcoming) – Our theme this year is Marketing Ethical & Sustainable Consumer Goods. Agenda includes keynote presentations by Levi Strauss & Co., and Fairtrade America, and a marketing panel moderated by ethics professor David Freel. We are still accepting registrations, and we are raffling off some autographed Columbus Blue Jacket items! You can’t miss this event!

Columbus Advertising & Marketing Practicum, CAMP (upcoming) – This will be our 10th annual CAMP! More details to come, but we will bring students, business professionals, and faculty together to discuss pertinent marketing topics.

CAMP last year

New events this year

Nail the Interview series – a two-part session where different marketing frameworks were introduced that helped with interview questions. We listened to feedback from the first-year FTMBA students and provided them with resources that they needed.

Brand Management series (ongoing) – Over lunch, students get to learn more about brand management from different companies. We have had former Fisher alumni from T.Marzetti (Lucy Liu) and Wendy’s (Emily Jacobson), and we hope to bring in a few more in the spring.

Other events

Happy hours & Panels

2nd-year FTMBA students sharing their marketing internship experiences

Tips On the Video Interview

As an applicant to the Fisher College of Business, the final piece you will submit is the video interview. To complete the interview, the platform will require you to submit three or four video responses and one written response. Also, the platform affords students the opportunity to respond to some practice questions before starting the recorded interview.

The best way to approach the video interview is to view it as an excellent opportunity for you to add character to your application. By this, I mean try your best not to be nervous or feel overwhelmed by this process because this is an area were you can really shine and create a lasting impression. Two tips for you to remember as you tackle this task are to practice and to express yourself with confidence.

Practicing allows you to familiarize yourself with the types of questions you will encounter in the actual interview. As you practice, assess your rate of speech. You want to make sure you can get your main point across within the allotted time, while avoiding the pitfall of speaking too fast so that you only use, for example, 10 seconds out of the 45 seconds available for you. Also, check were you look as the video is being recorded. This is important because you don’t want to appear as someone who is reading a response. Rather, you want to appear engaged and interested in the task at hand.

Another element that will help you excel in this interview is confidence. When it comes to confidence, I encourage you to imagine yourself as the reviewer of your interview. Would you trust or believe a candidate who is shy and seems unsure about the responses the candidate is giving? The answer is probably “No.” So it’s important to be confident and passionate about your responses. The response you are giving is yours so express yourself in a way that causes the reviewer to experience the emotions you feel about the subject in question.

Good luck as you complete your applications! And remember, practice before your interviews and deliver your responses with confidence. You’ll do great!

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

What is the GRE?

The GRE is one of the two possible qualifying exams prospective MBA students will be looking to take as they prepare to apply to the Fisher College of Business, the with the GMAT as the other possible exam.  The main difference between the GRE and GMAT is that while the GRE is used as part of admissions for a wide variety of graduate programs, such as business school, law school, or other specialized master’s programs, the GMAT is primarily only accepted by business schools. For the purpose of Fisher, either exam is acceptable.

How the GRE Works

The GRE is broken into three sections: Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing, with each section receiving its own score. While the Analytical Writing section does help schools understand a prospective candidates writing abilities and logical thinking, it is the Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning sections that will generally receive the most attention. The Quantitative and Verbal reasoning sections are scored out of a total of 180 points each, with many schools making their composite average score available for prospective candidates to view. For example, the Fisher incoming Full-Time MBA class of 2018, the average composite score was a 312.

How to Study for the GRE

The best advice I can give when preparing to take the GRE is to use books or online resources to practice the types of questions they give in the GRE, and understand what it is the questions are asking. One of the most important skills the GRE tests is the ability to read through entire questions and passages and understand what answer is being sought. There are a number of online resources you can use to find free practice tests and the general questions you can expect to see come test day.

One Last Thing

As you start studying for the GRE, remember that while a high score can definitely help a candidate, business schools will be looking at many aspects of a candidate including work experience and cultural fit. This means a lower-than-expected score does not necessarily place someone out of the running. And if you do receive a score not as high as you wanted, one of the best parts of the GRE is that it can be taken multiple times.

Celebrating National Diversity Day

National Diversity Day is a day to celebrate and embrace who we are, despite our differences, no matter what race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, nationality, or disability. A day to reflect on and learn about different cultures and ideologies. A day to vow acceptance and tolerance. A day to consciously address these areas at educational and religious institutions, as well as in the workplace and at home. National Diversity day is an annual event on the first Friday in October (Diversity Awareness Month). This year, National Diversity Day was October 5, 2018.

Stephanie Hightower, President and CEO of Columbus Urban League

The Fisher Graduate Women in Business and Black MBA Association collaborated together to invite Stephanie Hightower, President and CEO of Columbus Urban League, to speak and discuss with Fisher students about her journey and experience as a minority woman in the business world. This took place in the Mason Rotunda. Over dinner, students had the opportunity to ask questions and engage in a discussion with Stephanie over issues that took place in the workplace, home, social events…etc. Overall, it was such a successful event, and we hope to continue having such events. A big thank you to the Office of Diversity and Inclusion for sponsoring this event!

Enjoying dinner from Sweet Carrot
Fisher students engage in a discussion with Stephanie Hightower

FGWIB and BMBAA Leadership Committee with Stephanie Hightower

 

Finding Balance in the MBLE Program

It is hard to imagine that six weeks has passed since our first semester began. But like the saying goes, “time flies when you’re having fun”, which actually started before our first class.

Upon completion of orientation, our class went to Summit Vision, an outdoor team-building experience. Because none of us knew each other before the program, this was a challenge as we struggled to complete objectives as essentially a group of strangers. However, when we finished a couple of hours later, Summit Vision’s impact was obvious; we surely developed some lasting friendships, ready to tackle the upcoming semester.

Hiding from the rain and waiting for our bus to pick us up

This carried over to our next gathering, which involved the second-year students of the MBLE program. We all went to COSI, where we had a catered, private room and a COSI team member who showed us exciting experiments. Because many of our class members are from outside of Columbus, this was their first experience of Downtown. We made sure to do some exploring and not let our short time together go to waste.

Selfie!

Our most recent get-together was for the Mid-Autumn Festival. Because a majority of our classmates are Chinese international students, we wanted to celebrate this important holiday as a reminder of home. We had some delicious mooncake, saw the moon, and played fun icebreaker games.

Another selfie!

Of course, it isn’t all fun and games.  The parties must be balanced with our rigorous coursework. So far, this semester has been busier than any of my time in undergrad. And from what the second-year MBLE students have said, it won’t be slowing down anytime soon (a popular saying among the second-years is “MBLEs never sleep”). On top of this, we have career fairs to worry about and some of us even have part-time jobs. However, I believe I can speak for the rest of my classmates: we wouldn’t trade it for anything. There’s a reason Fisher’s MBLE program is one of the most highly ranked in the country (https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-business-schools/logistics-rankings); we know that once we finish the program we will be among the most qualified graduates in the country. And it has already shown at career fairs. Many of us have gotten interviews, despite being in the program for just a few short weeks.

As we continue our program we must strive to find balance. While having too much fun is obviously detrimental, we cannot spend all of our time studying, either. And yes, there will be some late nights in Gerlach Hall, but there will also be some late nights in Ohio Stadium. My classmates and I look forward to the fun times, and the stressful times, as the semester continues.

Go Bucks!

 

A Wrap to My First Year of Grad School

As grades are out and summer is here, I finally get to sip on a good cup of iced coffee enjoying the sunshine by the window in a coffee shop – this time I’m not studying (hooray!), instead I’m writing a blog post to reflect on the crazily wonderful and crazily stressful year I just had here at Ohio State.

Where do I even begin? I remember unloading the U-Haul truck, and buying Ohio State jerseys at the bookstore last August. It seems just like yesterday. When I first enrolled at the MBLE program, I knew it was going to be a good year, but I had no idea it was going to be this good. I strengthened my professional skills, found mentorships, challenged myself to new things, and made lifelong friendships. Fisher provided me with way more than what I expected, and I can’t wait to start my summer internship and show my future employer what I can do as a future supply chain professional.

Our class only has 28 students, which is very small, but that also meant closer relationships and stronger bonds. In the first semester, as some classes were introductory, we were learning new things, but most of us also had time to enjoy ourselves at football games, at happy hours, at hiking trips, and also constantly finding ourselves going on food adventures in large groups. I know some people would argue that it is grad school and the world knows grad students have no life. Like that old saying “pictures or it didn’t happen”, well, I’m attaching a few photos here to show I did at least have some fun despite the heavy workload from school:

Hanging out at Short North (along with a few MAcc students)

Game Day at the Little Bar
Picnic at Doctor Zinn’s house

Game Day at the Stadium (featuring two of my Purdue friends)

Me picking pumpkins during an MBLE Council Outing Trip
Dinner party at Forno’s Kitchen and Bar Restaurant

As the weather got colder, the Spring Semester hit us by storm. All of a sudden, I found myself struggling with meeting all the deadlines. To make it worse, the second quarter of the semester had two additional classes that required project work. All I remember from the month of March and April were the smell of espresso shots, and the horrible sound alarms make in the morning. Towards the end of Spring Semester, most of us had at least 4 projects, 1 paper, and 4 presentations to deliver within a 2-week window. It was absolute chaos. I remember pulling an all-nighter in the computer lab working on the simulation project along with my teammates. We used chairs and floors as beds, we used printing papers as pillows, and we took a short break by getting breakfast from McDonald’s when the sun was just about to rise. Nobody in the team gave up, and nobody in the team complained. It was a weird feeling, knowing that you’re probably in serious trouble because time is running out, but also knowing that you’ve got a good team and you WILL make it when the time does run out.

I’m a bit of a procrastinator, so I tend to work my schedule according to the deadlines. Here is my piece of advice for the future MBLErs: Do not procrastinate! Maybe you’ve had success in undergrad or in a workplace where you can relax for the first half of a project and pull off deliverables last minute, but it simply does not happen here at Fisher, and it certainly won’t work for anyone who enrolls in the MBLE program. It doesn’t matter if you’re smarter than the average person, because everybody in the program is smarter than the average person. Being smart does not mean you spend less time on assignments and projects, because coursework here requires both critical thinking and detailed execution, and without a significant time commitment you won’t be able to deliver good results. I learned that lesson the hard way, and in the coming semester I certainly will start working on things early instead of trying to be “Just In Time’. JIT is a wonderful methodology, but it doesn’t work when you’re hitting a learning curve and need additional time to fix mistakes from an earlier stage of the project.

Spring Semester was painful, but at least we can all now be relieved that it’s over. I think everyone in the class should be proud of what they’ve accomplished so far. I myself have grown so much professionally and personally, and I’ve seen so much growth in my peers too. To wrap it up, I’d like to attach pictures from some of my favorite professional events I attended this past year via Fisher.

APICS conference in San Antonio, TX
OLMA’s 2018 Supply Chain Symposium
Volunteering at the COE Summit 2018

Cheers to a good year and the finally warm weather!

Traditional Festival, New Family

Some of the “MBLErs” (Master of Business Logistics Engineering) are from China, including me. We celebrate the Traditional Chinese New Year which is also called “Spring Festival.” This is the first time for most of us to celebrate Chinese New Year away from China (and the first time to celebrate without our families), so we decided to celebrate this special occasion with all MBLE members and professors.

photo by Xiaoyue (Diana) Huang

On February 11th, 2018, the MBLE Council held the Chinese New Year Celebration in the Mason Hall rotunda. Several members from the MBLE program participated. We were glad to have faculty from both the Fisher College of Business and the Department of Integrated Systems Engineering enjoying this wonderful night with us.

Of course, we honored various traditions– including the enjoyment of making authentic Chinese food together (in this case, some people learned how to make dumplings for the first time). Also, we wrote spring festival scrolls and “Fu” characters. By giving the scrolls away to everyone who participated in this event, we wished everyone a happy and lucky new year.

Some modern activities also made things fun. The president of the MBLE Council gave a performance of the Chinese pop song Qinghuaci, and we played Mahjong and card games just as we would at home.

The holiday is an “ending day” for us since this is a time for 2017 to end, but a “starting day” for us since this is the beginning of spring. We will continue working on professional growth and finding our ideal jobs. During our time together, we felt like family members to each other and built what will hopefully be long-lasting relationships.

Maybe this is the true meaning of celebrating the new year, no matter where it is celebrated and when it is celebrated. We say goodbye to the old year by acquiring something valuable. We give a warm welcome to the new year by looking forward to new challenges and treasuring friends and family. Although this is a traditional festival, we have a new family at The Ohio State University.

New Beginning With a New Hope

It’s been just past 100 days since I have left my home as I’m writing this blog. I guess I’ve gone through the cultural shock and have emerged out quite successfully I would say. I could finally go and visit a place which goes by the name of the Hocking Hills. Time has flown past pretty quickly since I have landed in this beautiful city. Though it’s hard to recollect exactly on how I have spent these 100 days, I have a lot of good memories to carry over from here.

It’s a given from the moment you see the curriculum that life here would be hectic. You need to be quick and I personally feel that’s a good thing as it will show a preview of the working style out in the real world. The subjects are interesting and professors are great. There is a significant difference between the education system here and my country. I assume that everyone outside the country will initially struggle but I can promise that everyone will cope up eventually. I have taken a sweet amount of time to get adjusted and I can now confidently say that I’m done with the incubation stage.

Diversity is one more aspect that I love over here. Professors here are a combination of people who have excelled academically and professionally. That is of significant importance if you are studying in a business school. I have worked in the same industry for a significant amount of time before enrolling in this course, yet there is a lot of concepts to learn. I have learned that there is no “one way” of doing things which did shake my beliefs about always having one solution to a problem. I can confidently say I would be a coming out of the MBLE program with better knowledge and thinking than what I had imagined when I joined the college.