My career fair adventure

This week is all about career fairs. I took part in both the Fisher and TLA career fairs. The first one is for Fisher students and the second is for logistics majors. There is also a graduate career fair next week.

Before the career fair
There is a lot of preparation that students need to do before the career fair. According to the Fisher Office of Career Management (“OCM”), we should first investigate the companies we are targeting, then work on our personal commercial,” which is a small personal introduction in a quiet business setting. My preparation went smoothly with the help of the Career Fair Guide, accessible from the OCM website and on-site.

During the career fair
Never before did I feel such pressure. I was dressed up, wearing high heels that I am still not used to, trying to make a professional impression on others. The big ballroom was crowded with people but there were some booths not occupied with students. Whenever I made eye contact with a company employee who was available, I went directly toward them, because I think it is rude not to talk with them after making eye contact. I sometimes struggled on what I should say, what question(s) I should ask.

After the career fair
Following up is perhaps the most difficult step. First, you need to ensure you keep track of everyone you speak to – you need to ensure you get everyone’s business card and write a quick note on the back of each in order to help you remember anything about your conversation with that person. Right now, I am still writing emails to those people I met and am looking forward for replies.

OSU football vs Michigan State University

Yesterday it felt like winter in Columbus as the temperature fell 10 degrees to below 50F. Wind and cold rain swept across the street. However, in such a chilly first day of October, I was surprised by the full Ohio Stadium. Is football really so important that people would give up their warm houses and get soaked?

Actually, this is my second football game experience. Last time I was late by 40 minutes and exposed to the direct sunlight; this time I stayed in a building so I only watched half of the game. The rain cooled my enthusiasm toward football. On my way to the football game, I saw people wearing scarlet raincoats heading to the parking lot. These small groups of people further surprised me. If they watched the game when it was raining, why did they leave at the end of second quarter?

Upon my arrival in Ohio Stadium, I looked up at the scoreboard. The score was far from satisfying. The Michigan State University fans were more fervent than fans of the home team. Maybe we Buckeyes were just disappointed by the performance of our team. They missed too many catches. Accompanied with “Ouch” from all directions, I also felt at a loss. After only a month in Ohio, I developed a strong sense of belonging here. We have a united community.

As time went by, the sense of disappointment grew and turned into anger. OSU was making more mistakes. People started to shout “Take away his scholarship!” Suddenly, I understood, in some sense, people pay for the game in the way of tickets. The words were a little disrespectful, but really made sense – if you pay to get into the stadium, you want to see a good game.

The ballgame was about to end and we were behind with a shameful score of 0 – 10. The audience became silent and left at a faster pace. However, in the last minute, OSU scored. It happened so fast that I did not realize it until I saw the replay. The cheers lasted a few minutes, like grasping at straws. People started to expect a turnover at the very last minute, but the result remained: we lost. Unlike the previous game vs Colorado \, the game ended with silence – only MSU fans were singing all the way out of the stadium.

The differences between a Chinese university and an American university: My 1st few days at Ohio State

Today is the 30th day since I arrived in Columbus. After waiting for about a month, my first class began 3 days ago. In short, OSU is beyond my imagination even though I have properly prepared myself for a brand new environment. Here are some of the shocks:

1. You need to be in good shape if you want to walk around the entire OSU campus! In fact, according to my experience from the campus walk during orientation, merely circling the main campus, takes at least an hour. The campus here is very big. One thing that really intrigued me is that on the outskirt of campus there is a pasture that includes barns for raising horses, cattle, etc.. When I passed it, I was thinking, ah, it must be an authentic American farm 🙂 Luckily, we have CABS and COTA, so a trip around campus is possible much more easily and quickly than walking!

2. Classes are really interactive. I am still not used to asking questions so freely. In the past, taking notes are deemed the second most important part of class (other than focusing on the context). Every time I want to say something, I feel like struggling against my shyness. Here, the short but really important question – any question – will always be followed by a lot of other questions. Class participation makes up at least 10 percent of class scores, especially at Fisher.

3. People are close and accessible. Professors, staffs and students mix in all kinds of activities. I cannot believe that I met the President of OSU, E. Gordon Gee before class begins. I just walked up and said hello and asked him for permission to take a photo together. On the contrary, the only time I stand close to the President of my undergraduate school was during graduation. I was just one of eight percent lucky students to be presented diplomas by my undergrad university’s president.

4. Plagiarism is taken very seriously here. During orientation, we spent more than 2 hours on plagiarism. The school also created a well-designed document to accentuate the influences and consequences of plagiarism. Although I have taken it seriously in the past, I have never taken plagiarism so seriously in last 4 years. It will definitely be one of the things I pay attention to in the upcoming year!



CSCMP (Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals)

I am a graduate student in the Fisher MBLE, or Master of Business Logistics Engineering, program at Fisher. If you you are thinking of applying for this program or have already received your office of admission, congratulations!. Let me tell you about an advantage you can look forward to in this program.

When you start the Fisher MBLE curriculum, you might be get nervous or embarrassed because you do not know where to start even though you are flooded with lots of information. DO NOT WORRY ABOUT IT. You will not miss any information and take your time with advice, tips, and information the school offers. However, let me tell you something about a huge organization for all future or current supply chain professionals. It’s called the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals, or CSCMP. At the beginning, you may keep saying ‘CS..What? What is it?’ You will hear about it many many times. Simply, it’s a council that MBLE students can (and should) join. You only need to pay a $30 fee to become a member of the council. You will see a lot of opportunities and information which will help you understand practical issues, career search, and regional activities, related to the study and practice of logistics.

I’d like talk about Columbus regional activities. Once you become a member, you will receive emails regarding regional activities in the area. Activities include presentations, seminars, and field trips to logistics facilities.

Registering for an event costs you about $15, but it will be worth it. (Walk-in fee for non-members is about $40.) You will hear about current issues, meet current professionals in the field, and network with them about supply chain and logistics. When you take a field trip, you will see, hear, and experience how logistics and supply chain systems are working out there in the real world.

Well, I can spend more and more time talking about this organization, but I want to tell you this:

1. Do not be overwhelmed with all the information you will receive upon application and (hopefully!) admission. Everything will be explained by the MBLE program adviser, faculty director and/or related personnel.

2. Do not be passive if you’re in the program – search, join, and mingle! Opportunities to be involved are plenty at Fisher.

Grocery, study space, and restaurant recommendations

Let me give you some tips on how to get the most out of living in the dormitory on campus in terms of where to go to buy groceries and to study.

Grocery Stores : If you’re living on or very near campus, I highly recommend you to go to Kroger for your groceries unless you always eat out. Actually, as far as I know, there are 3 Krogers around the campus, one in South campus area (near High/King), another in the North (near High/N Broadway), and the other near University Village (near Ackerman/Olentangy River Rd). If you live in a campus dormitory or very near campus, they are located conveniently near campus.  As I am living in the Neil dormitory in south campus I go to the Kroger at North High St and 7th Ave. Just make sure to get a Kroger “frequent buyer” card, and then you can take advantage of various discounts, which change every week. I am pretty sure that they have quite low prices for fresh grocery products. Another place I want to tell you is the Target on the Olentangy River Road in Lenox Town Center. It may seem to be a little far to go, but if you you like to walk or if you have a bike, it’s a reasonable distance and not bad at all. Target focuses more on non-food products such as clothing, electronics, and a wide range of household products, but they have some non-perishable food such as juices, cereals, and bread. Near Target, there is an office supply retailer called Staples – additionally, there is a Famous Footwear (shoes), and Barnes and Noble (books, stationery) so that you can actually get in a fair amount of shopping in a single trip.

Study Room : I am a big fan of the school’s main library, Thompson Library, because it is large/spacious and has many places to read and study in it. Wireless internet accessible with power outlets everywhere! In addition to the main library, there are several other libraries on campus. If you research on the school web site, it is not hard to find information on the other libraries. There is one in the architecture college, one in the science engineering building, one in the Younkin Success Center, one in the medical school, one in the law school, and so on. They each have different operating hours/days, so please be aware of what library is available when you study. Do not believe that you only have the Thompson library to study in on campus.

Restaurant : Well, even though you can get food in the school dining facilities, unless you have a “short mouth” – in Korea, ‘having a short mouth’ is used when you do not have a balanced diet and eat only what you want to eat – take a trip to North High Street! There you can see Korean food, Chinese food, Mexican food, American food (for sure), and many kinds of food I have not even tasted or identified. Just a big gourmet! 🙂

Overall, if you stay on/near campus, do not hesitate to explore and find what is near you!

Let me introduce the Neil dorm

I was in Denver, Colorado in 2005 and 2006 as an exchange student. Fortunately, due to the previous experience of settling down in a “strange” city, starting my life in Columbus, Ohio in summer 2010 was not that hard. I knew where to go to buy stuff and how to get there, how to open a bank account, how to apply for a driver license, and how to manage my class schedule. However, maybe the most difficult and important thing to do when settling down in a foreign country is to get housing.

First of all, you have to consider the distance from campus. (By the way, I’m talking about my situation without a car. If you have a car, my advice would change.) As for me, I preferred a very close location so I can walk to the Fisher campus in any conditions such as heavy snows, lack of campus buses, and oversleeping. A good thing about OSU is that we have Campus Area Bus Service, or CABS, so commuting around the campus area costs nothing. Therefore, make sure you know where the nearest bus stops are.

I also wanted clean and safe place. I believe everyone wants this. In order to check the status of every place, you can’t be lazy. You have to see the place in person. Don’t want fully trust the pictures of nice and luxurious rooms you will see on fliers. See the place on your own. Another thing to consider is how close your place is to grocery stores. Unless you eat out 24/7, grocery stores play a very practical role in your life, especially  if you cook for yourself.

I know the monthly rent is another criterion in your decision. Well, actually you have to take distance, quality, and price into considerations. Now, I want to tell you why I chose the Neil dormitory. That’s because I don’t have to care about bills! If you live in a privately owned house or room, you, in most cases, have to set up internet account, gas account, electric account, etc., on your own. They all possibly have different payment due dates. And their contract terms might not be same. Additionally just think about when you move or graduate. You have to close all the accounts and sometimes you have to pay for some days after you leave. After long consideration, I finally made up my mind to live in Neil dorm.

Neil dorm has studio-type apartments for graduates only. Each has a kitchen, a bathroom, and basic furniture such as bed, desk, chair, and drawer. Monthly fee is $730, a little expensive but it includes all utilities. You pay for every service just in one bill. They are well constructed, warm in winter, and safe. There are laundry room, vending machines, front desk that manages your incoming packages, close bus stops, and a cafe called Market Place. It takes you only 5-10 minutes to the Fisher campus by walking.

If you are considering and hesitating where to settle on and wish to live on campus, you may want to consider the Neil Ave grad dorm.

1 Day trip to New York

On the next day after my interview with Samsung, I had 6 hours until the return flight back to Columbus. I decided to take a short, but intensive tour of Manhattan because I didn’t know when I would have another chance to come here.  I planned a very detailed schedule and route for the 6 hour tour. I was very tired because of the interview, but I found myself becoming excited with my upcoming short New York tour. The next morning, I rushed to not miss the bus since I didn’t want to take a taxi which would have cost me a lot! It was cold out there, but fortunately I did not wait that long until I got on the bus. Sky was beautiful and clear. It was such a great day in December to take a tour.

I went to famous Murray’s Bagels which I found referenced on the internet. Some blogger introduced the store saying that many New Yorkers go there for their breakfasts and it is known for delicious fresh-baked bagels with morning coffee. To be honest, I was not a big fan of bagels but it was awesome! I had an onion bagel with freshly-brewed coffee, and that was one of the best breakfasts ever! I say, ‘Folks, try it.’

After the bagel, I headed to Wall Street. I tried to smell money, but not really. 🙂 There were dense tall buildings all around. All of sudden, I wondered how Wall Street workers could work in this place? This place, I believe, is just full of uncountable number of tourists making noises and taking photos. If I were one of workers, I would not work here because this atmosphere could be nothing but distracting.  Looking at Brooklyn with Brooklyn Bridge in the foreground from the Wall Street pier was really nice – the view was quite beautiful. I sat on a bench and rested a few minutes while appreciating the clear sky over Brooklyn.

I turned myself to the Times Square, which was the final destination of my tour. On my way to the Times Square, I went through SOHO (a small district in NYC), and I felt like I was in Seoul (Korea) because there were many shopping stores and people on the street. Time Square, as I expected, was filled with tourists of various nationalities. Just like what I saw on TV, many commercial LED boards fascinated the tourists, several street shows were on the go. I was excited with other people’s excitement, LED splendor, and party-like atmosphere!  I really wanted to spend more time in Times Square, but time did not let me.  However, all the time back to Columbus, I was happy and satisfied with my very quick tour of New York City.

On the airplane, I saw the night skyline of New York and it was perfect as a wrap-up of my trip. Maybe I will have a chance to visit New York again; I want to come back in the summer and enjoy more brisk and energetic New York. I’d like to suggest something to someone planning a Manhattan tour:

1. You can utilize well-organized public transportation (e.g. buses and subways, etc.).

2. You can stay in inexpensive lodging in New Jersey. Spend some time on researching your options.

3. Many bloggers post useful information about New York. Make use of that information.

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Interview with Samsung Electonics

Many global companies visit the Fisher, providing a lot of recruiting information, and offering internship and/or full-time opportunities. During my first quarter, I believe at least one company per week held information sessions – companies such as Johnson and Johnson, Intel, Dow, and Samsung. I attended several sessions and handed in my resume – it was all very competitive.

As a Korean student, I was glad to hear that Samsung Electronics would visit and hold information sessions at Fisher. At the same time, I was proud of OSU because, as far as I know, Samsung recruits students only from a few high-ranked universities. In the session I attended, I met Korean employees from the HR team and asked a few questions. What amazed me was they were looking for some people for Supply Chain! I was reminded of ‘Select and Focus.’ Many may realize that it is not always easy to meet your favorite companies and desirable positions during job searches. I thought ‘this is it.’ I did my best in applying. I created my own template with my skills and techniques, studied Samsung Electronics, and finally submitted my resume. A few days later, I got a response indicating that I was forwarded to the next stage! I was happy even though it was but a first step. However, something happened to me and I want everybody who is applying to make sure that even though they say they are going to contact you within a few days and you do not receive any news from the companies within the specified time frame, do not worry about it and be patient. Every company receives a LOT of resumes from many schools and this always takes more days than they plan. I was supposed to be in contact with them within 2 days but, instead, I was contacted in 2 weeks! Just imagine how worried I’ve been during that time. The interview consisted of a 15 minute presentation about myself and 45 minute Q&A. The worse thing was I had only 1.5 days to prepare the presentation file and submit it to them. I spent the entire 1.5 days to make a 9 slide Powerpoint file. I did my best in preparation and interview.

Some people may say that you were selected because Samsung is Korean company and I am Korean. It might be true or not. The points I want to say are that

1. Be interested in every opportunity provided at Fisher.

2. Do your best in presenting yourself. Make something special about you stand out.

3. Do your best to prepare for every possible questions/answers and prepare by thinking of several examples to illustrate your point(s).

Screaming Halloween

Although I’m getting older day by day, I’m still like exciting stuff. And roller coasters apparently rank No.1 among things that are exciting, so when my friend asked me to go to Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio I had no hesitation!

We arrived Cedar Point around 2:00pm on Saturday after about a two hour drive, and there were a lot of people there already. After waiting for two hours in line (during which we heard much screaming), we sat in the first row of the Raptor! It’s difficult to describe my feelings, but I know all people who ever went on a roller coaster had the  same experience as me. And we all know waiting in line was worthwhile~~

We rode on several roller coasters and went in haunted houses, and it’s a pity that we couldn’t go through all of them – I need to wait until next May to come back since Cedar Point is going to close for the season after next weekend. Anyway, the most exciting one to me was Top Thrill Dragster!!! It ranks No.2 among the most thrilling roller coasters around the world only after Kingda Ka in New Jersey, and actually they are both the same type of roller coaster. I sooooo enjoy the process of accelerating and you never need to worry that you’ll hit something. I kept screaming all the way and my friend said I gave out dolphin vocal sounds … I guess I was just releasing stress that way. I don’t know how many times I’ll go to Cedar Point, but I just know no matter how many times, I’ll definitely find every time fun and exciting!

BBQ @ Alum Creek State Park

Last Sunday, several friends of mine went to grill outdoors at nearby Alum Creek State Park, before it gets too cold. It’s so beautiful there that anything bothering me seems trivial in comparison. This also happens when I think of the universe–our lives are just “flashes” compared with the duration of stars and planets. Everything is like a “floating cloud”–which recently became a very popular Chinese idiom.

I’m always thinking of the purpose of my life. I thought most Americans knew theirs because they have faith, but I learned this week it’s not always the case. Actually, a lot of them are also wondering. Maybe it is just like what my father told me, “you pursue one goal at a time”. So before I came to the US, I applied to study here; before I find a job, I keep on looking for one. After I get a job, I strive for a promotion and advancement … This might be the whole story of our lives. But what can be used to comfort myself is that at least, I can enjoy the process.