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.

Yeah, it’s Obama!

To be honest, I never thought I would see Barack Obama in person, since I haven’t even seen the President of China yet! Anyway, he was at OSU yesterday!

Two of my friends and I left our apartment around 4:30pm and drove to school. We parked on west campus and took the CABS bus to the Ohio Union. Then we followed the line, which was really long. I haven’t seen so many people in US since I’ve arrived here.

While we were waiting, we saw protesters of Obama. Such things would never happen in China — protesters would be arrested as soon as possible … so there is a bit more freedom of expression here.

After getting through security, we found there were more people around the Oval. There was no way we could get closer and we were about 50 meters from the platform. What we could see were just peoples’ heads if we were not on our tiptoes …

The event began at 6:15pm, and it was not until 8:00pm that the President showed up. You can imagine the crowd was losing its patience when the next speaker was still not the President. Yet I have to say the musical act played the piano and sang very well.

Eventually, the President came up and everybody brought their cameras to take pictures as if he was a superstar. Admittedly, the President and the First Lady are excellent advocates. I just hope he can fulfill his promise to the masses of people. Bless Obama’s midterm and mine!

Not ready yet…

Last week drove me crazy– because of the career fair!

Time seems to fly with all the work in each course, but the highlight of this week was the career fair last Wednesday. Although I may not put much expectation on this event to get interviews, it is really frustrating… just arriving here for so short a time, I don’t see any advantage over local undergraduates, though we’re pursuing master degrees. Citizenship and language skills are biggest obstacles, and I cannot tell which one is a more severe issue. Actually, they are mutually related so it makes it more frustrating.

Facing this situation, I decide to modify my job-hunting strategies. Competing with local students is obviously not a wise choice. On the contrary, I think international students should take advantages of our foreign language skills, which cannot be easily substituted by local students. Keep on networking and try to get an internship. I still need more experience to update my resume.

It is really stressful to consider both coursework and job-hunting–too many but necessary things to do. My friend and I have determined to help each other to fulfill these tasks. Time management is really important. This seems to bring me back to those days when I prepared for GRE–simple objectives, specific plans, following them on time, tired but I was really productive. We’re going to live a “scheduled life,” reading before classes, doing homework, researching companies and position openings, and still have time to work out and engage in other leisure activities. The first solution we’ve come up with is to split up our jobs – we’ll try it out next week to see if it works!

Getting Started

The 22nd day after I arrived in U.S., I go back to be a student. Having participated in so many orientations, I’m quite sure what to expect.

At the very beginning of this quarter, the MBLE Association held a session for job-hunting (e.g. advice, etc.). We invited a second-year student in MBLE program who found internship last year and she spoke about her experience. We also asked many questions related to coursework and living in Columbus. The only pity is I just took one piece of pizza, so I should definitely order more next time!

Besides, I want to mention the Dean’s Dinner and Alumni Awards last Friday evening. It was the first “official” dinner I had in U.S. There are some rules to obey, for example, to put forks and knives parallel in the middle of the plate means that you have finished your meal. Well about the alumni awardees – I didn’t expect they would be so humorous! Anyway, it was a good opportunity to network and gain experience. The seating capacity was limited, so if you’re here next year, be sure to sign up early!

Things are starting to get back to normal. I need to preview contents of courses before class, review and do homework after that. How long have I not done that? Whatever, I’m determined to enjoy this (maybe) last period of student life.

Geocaching and rock climbing– A really sweaty day

A short rain in the morning did not keep us MBLE students from participating this fascinating teamwork activity during orientation. On the contrary, the rain helped to leave us cool and comfortable, but I never expected I would make so much physical effort within one day!

The process of geocaching is to use GPS to find boxes distributed on campus, and get the location of the next box with instructions in the previous box. After learning how to use the equipment and taking a group photo, we just set off! Since the first group getting to the destination would be awarded a Fisher T-shirt, every team seemed ambitious. So did our group and we began a small competition with Group One right after starting. Fortunately we got different directions after the first location, otherwise I don’t know how much more we need to run that day.

To be honest, those boxes were well hidden: on or under trees, behind statues and one was even in a trash bin! Well, the first thing I learned from this activity is never to think “habitually.” After quickly finding first two boxes under trees, we took it for granted that the third one should be there as well. We spent several minutes on the hill around Mirror Lake searching carefully the ground,  beneath the brush and trees, only to find the box was between two branches! That’s what I mean.

As we had no idea about the others’ progress, we had to run occasionally either not to fall behind too much or to take the lead little by little. The guy in our group helped the other girl to carry her bag, and we split up work at each location: one to find a card to get directions and help the GPS-holder input those parameters, one to obtain the sticker, pass it to the other member and then put it in the record booklet. It’s really helped to save time – and we can never stress too much teamwork!

Guess the result? Yes, we were the first team! When we arrived to the destination, the instructor didn’t even show up since he never expected for us to get there so soon. He said the time we took was “record-breaking” and you never know how exhausted we looked. Anyway, it was worthwhile and we got T-shirts!

We ate lunch at Varsity Club and had nice chats with David, Kaylin, Samantha, and of course with other fellow MBLE students. Then I went to Adventure Recreation Center with several friends for rock climbing. At first, I just wanted to try new things, and it’s really fabulous to find considerable resources on campus. And when I really engaged in it, I had to say I had sympathy with Sheldon and I knew why he would faint on half way up. However, after trying the easiest one, I just  could not help to try a harder one, and I wanted to know how far I could go, then try to make it further next time.

Well I eventually finished two climbs and was about one meter from the top of the third one. It’s really hard for me and I had no extra strength; I had to go back down with a little disappointment, but I’ll definitely try it again next time I go there.

Besides these physical challenges, I start job hunting even before classes began, and it’s really a huge challenge. The good news is I’ll stay optimistic and enjoy the process. Anyway it’s a part of my life, I cannot change it, so I am just gonna love it~!

My Fisher Grad Life, Year Two

Autumn quarter is fast approaching! With that in mind, the new school year’s contributors for My Fisher Grad Life have been added to the Authors page. To learn a little about the new authors – as well as those generous enough to offer their time for a second year – visit the Authors page, which is sorted by Full-time MBA, Working Professional MBA, MAcc, MLHR, and MBLE students.

We’re happy to announce the addition of Master in Business Logistics Engineering as a category for the 2010-2011 academic year. If you’re interested in learning more about life as a Fisher MBLE student, look for the “MBLE” link in the top navigation!

Many thanks to last year’s contributors, our new contributors, and all our readers. We hope the 2010-2011 edition of My Fisher Grad Life is as successful as its inaugural year!