Over the weekend I attended one of my fellow classmates, Karina Ribeiro Teixeira, birthday celebration. Karina is a first-year international student from Brazil in the MHRM program and we also work together in the Graduate Program Office together. She and her husband were gracious enough to host us at their home and share some traditional Brazilian food, drinks, and music with us.
Karina set up a beautiful spread for us to share our meal, take home key-chains included! To start off the evening we were introduced to one of Brazil’s national cocktails called Caipirinha, which is made out of cachacha, sugar, and lime. You can also incorporate fruits like pineapple (Karina’s favorite) to add additional flavor.
Next up was dinner! There was Feijoada, a stew of beans and pork, served with rice. We also had Farofa, toasted cornflour mixture, topped with collard greens. If I wasn’t full enough at that point, for dessert there was a Spanish Flan and my favorite Brigadeiro. Of course, it wouldn’t be complete without learning to sing Happy Birthday in Portuguese.
At the end of the day, there is nothing better than sharing a meal with friends. Thank you for your hospitality and Feliz Aniversario Karina!
A few weeks ago, I kicked off my final semester of the Fisher MHRM program! In the new year I have decided to take on any practical application opportunities that come my way throughout the next 14 weeks. Which is why I would like to share a recent experience I volunteered to take part in.
A new and exciting event for me was working with a group of full time MBA students facilitating a coaching & feedback session for their new semester core teams. Essentially I assisted a newly formed team to reflect upon the past semester with their previous teams and helped them create a team charter for the upcoming semester.
Before this session could take place one of our certified coaches who teaches in the MHRM program, John Schaffner, taught us two different techniques for leading the team retrospective. These approaches included the “Learning Matrix” and the “New Leader Assimilation”. As a facilitator I learned multiple things. The importance of striving for safety in the environment of the session, keeping the conversation in bounds of time and context as well as fostering accountability for the group.
Although this event was only a day long, I added some new techniques to my skill set, gained practical experience as well as confidence in this area. More specifically, I learned the power of listening and cultivating curiosity in conversation.
I look forward to sharing more experiences as I continue throughout the semester!
Having just finished the fall semester, that means I have only one semester left in the MHRM program! AKA my full-time job search is in full swing. If you aren’t graduating and this topic doesn’t specifically pertain to you (yet) check out one of my previous posts that talks about Networking for Students. Having established relationships within your network before you start the recruiting process will make it much easier if you have individuals who can support your search as well as chat about potential roles and companies.
The recommendations I list below is not an inclusive list nor the only way to prepare for a job search. Each person’s job search is unique to him/her and the role s/he is looking for. Here are a few of my tips that I’ve used in preparing for my job search.
Do Your Research
First and foremost you should be able to identify the type of function, industry, company, and job elements within the role you looking for. For example, going beyond “I’m searching for a job in Human Resources” to “I am searching for a role within Training & Development within Human Resources at a firm that is socially responsible, values work/life balance and career development.” That way you can eliminate companies & positions that don’t fit within your values or interests. If you don’t know where to start, ask yourself what courses, activities, previous work experiences you were naturally drawn too and enjoyed being apart of.
The most important item to have updated is your resume! Keep this clear, concise, and relevant to the type of jobs you are applying for. If you have access to a career management office they often do resume reviews but if you don’t then have a friend, co-worker, or professor review it for you. Many companies use applicant tracking systems to sift through resumes so be sure to use keywords or terminology that they may be looking for compared to their own internal job descriptions. Ensure your resume has no typos and is no longer than one page.
Utilize Social Media
Be sure all of your social media content is appropriate and an accurate representation of who you are because employers do check! If you aren’t already, use LinkedIn to create a brand for yourself and search for open positions based on your profile. You can update your job preferences to let employers and your network know that you are open to new opportunities. There are also many other websites like Indeed or Glassdoor where you can set job alerts to be sent to you to help find positions you are interested in.
Practice, Practice, Practice
A part of being prepared is not only knowing how to search for the right job but also being confident going into the next phase of the process. Interviewing in person or over the phone can be a nerve-wracking process for many people. Practice speaking about your experiences using the STAR method as well as common behavioral questions that are asked during an interview. Practice in front of a mirror or go through a mock interview if you have the chance. All of this will help get the nerves out and make sure you are prepared when you have the real interview. Be conscious of the type of body language you are projecting while doing this and most importantly of all don’t forget to be yourself!
I have only been at The Ohio State University for about four months, but it does seem like it has been so much more. My experience here has been really intense, so many positive experiences in so many different aspects – it is already easy to call Columbus home!
One of the first things I read about grad school is that it’s not a sprint, it is a marathon and I really agree with that. My process was long, it took almost a year, but it was worth it. In the beginning the challenges were many: finding the right program, TOEFL, GRE, scholarships, leaving my job, applying for visas, doing all of this in double since my husband was going through the exact same process!
I think there were three major steps for us as a couple: Brainstorming – what did we want? What were immediate and long term goals? Researching: what programs fit our interests? Was it possible to find programs in the same university, or at least close to each other? Preparing: Getting our scores as early as possible so we had time to be competitive and have time to prepare resumes and essays.
After having our goals clear, we spent some months researching and then decided to visit some universities during our vacations. We were leaving full time jobs behind to find something that fit our goals, so we really wanted to make the right choice. My visit to Fisher made me certain this was the right choice for me.
The reason I was looking for a Master’s degree at this point in my career was that I wanted a program that would really give me deep foundations of HR. I already had an MBA, but since it wasn’t completely focused in HR, I wanted a program that would be highly specialized and help me to grow as an HR professional. Visiting Campus, talking to the recruiter, to current students, spending time clarifying all my doubts about the curriculum and the logistics, were really helpful in my decision. At the same time, my husband was visiting campus and other universities, and we decided we would focus on being in Ohio and we went back home with that decision in mind.
We studied for the exams together, and we decided to focus on one at a time. We studied for the TOEFL for a few weeks and once we were done we focused on the GRE. This was what worked best for me, it made it less confusing than focusing on two at once. I gave myself a few weeks as well to prepare my essays and my resume.
Since we applied early, our results came early as well! We were both accepted with scholarships! Knowing that with 6 months in advance helped us to have enough time to apply for our visas, raise money for extra costs, prepare our cats (leaving the country with 2 cats was also a challenge!) and still take some weeks off before we came here.
I am really enjoying the program, the professors and classes, and have been able to be very engaged with it. I have been involved with the Fisher Graduate Latino Associations, and have now been accepted as a Member of the Fisher Board Fellows. I have also been awarded with a Minority Award offered by ExxonMobil, have won second place in our internal case competition and have just been offered last week an internship at Microsoft! I am also a Graduate Assistant at the Graduate Programs Office in which I support the recruiting and admissions of MBA candidates. There are so many resources on campus that are helping me have a successful experience: my colleagues at the GPO, my classmates, professors, advisors and the Office of Career Management. It was a long process until I got here but I really think it was worth the effort.
Here are some pictures of the many experiences I have lived here:
A few weeks ago, the MHRM program held its very own Friendsgiving! It was graciously hosted by one of our working professional MHRM students, Scott Bassett, and the evening was filled with tons of food, drinks, and laughter. These events are especially important as we head into finals in the upcoming weeks. It really is a time to sit back, relax, and enjoy each others company.
In our class, there are a number of students representing different backgrounds and cultures so our meal consisted of traditional American food to dishes represented from China and Brazil.
As the semester begins to come to a close I want to take this opportunity to say how grateful I am to be apart of the MHRM program as well as for the professional and personal relationships it has enabled me to develop with my fellow classmates! Although this was my last Friendsgiving as an MHRM student I know that that the friendships will extend far beyond my time in the program.
Network, Network, Network…as students we hear this all the time from our bosses, our professors, and our parents. What is Networking anyways? Merriam Webster defines networking as “the exchange of information or services among individuals, groups or institutions” specifically for “the cultivation of productive relationships for employment or business”. Expanding on this definition, I consider networking not only for employment purposes but as a channel for learning and development. Many individuals network to establish a mentor or to expand their skill set. Here is a list of ways to start networking as a student.
Get to know your classmates. The classmates you sit next to every day are going to be in the workforce one day are going to achieve a multitude of different things. The individuals you associate yourself with now maybe your colleagues in the future.
Connect with alumni. Similar to connecting with current classmates, former students of your university are able to relate to your experience and are likely to be interested in giving back and offer support to their alma mater.
Meet with the Career Office. Each university has resources dedicated to assisting students with their career development. This office typically assists with resume reviews, mock interviews, and career guidance such as job opportunities, career exploration, and may be able to connect you with employers or alumni.
Attend networking events. There is no better place to network than at professional development event such as a seminar, conference, or career fair. By joining a student organization or society can meet others who have similar interests to you.
Lastly, consider each day a networking opportunity with the people around you. You never know who you may connect with or establish a relationship in your everyday life!
Additional Tip: Use social media such as LinkedIn as a way to display your professional brand and stay in touch with the people in your network.
Of course, this list is not exhaustive of all the ways that you can network but as the wise Mark Twain once said, “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”
Over the summer a MHRM alumnus contacted the program about planning a five year reunion for the MHRM Class of 2014 and incorporating that into a networking opportunity for our current students. The MHRM council jumped at the chance to welcome back fellow MHRMs and coordinate the event. With support from the Career Management Office, Alumni Association, and Class of 2014 we were able to host a very special two-part event.
Before our Thursday evening class, there was an MHRM/MHLR panel that
represented alumni 2-3-5-15-25 years out of the program. From organizations such as Wendy’s, Qualtrics, and DHL there was no shortage of diversity. The panelist spoke about how their careers have evolved since they left Fisher and offered valuable insights on career paths. Our most senior alumni on the panel, former CHRO, had just started her own consulting firm called Connect the Dots Consulting.
After class, we also had a Networking Social at Buffalo Wild Wings. This was an awesome opportunity to chat more casually with local alumni, as well as the larger group of the class of 2014 who was in town for the reunion. We had a great alumni crowd at this event and some beloved faculty/staff members too!
Following our mid-semester exams last week, I thought I would share my graduate study tips. It is important to note that preparing for each exam can be different depending on the class but here is how I typically approach studying.
Not every professor will provide a study guide for the exam so do your best to be organized throughout the entire course. This includes being prepared with the readings, cases, and discussion questions assigned for each class. I like to take notes or annotate what I am reading so that way I can highlight or expand on important information. Professors typically use PowerPoints and I like to take notes on the slides as we go over them in class. This is in addition to taking notes that are handwritten or on your laptop will make sure you will be prepared when the time comes to study for the midterm and final exam. Based on the amount of information you have to study, plan in advance how many hours a day you will have to study to be prepared.
Once I have all my notes and materials organized I will use that information to fill out the study guide or create my own if one was not provided. Filling this out helps me get a comprehensive view of what I need to sharpen my knowledge on. After that, I will create a Quizlet so I can test myself on the material. I also find it beneficial to set up study sessions with other classmates. Don’t hesitate to attend office hours or reach out to the professor if you need assistance or clarification on a topic. Fisher professors are there to help you!
Another thing I want to point out is that your studying environment is important. In my own experience, I am much more productive when I am not distracted or sit in a certain type of environment with some white noise. I enjoy going to a local coffee shop and studying for a few hours each day. I don’t recommend cramming for an exam last minute or pulling an all-nighter.
At the end of the day, don’t stress out! Plan your studying accordingly, get some rest, exercise, and opt-in for a study buddy if you need some social time. I hope you find these study tips helpful. Best of luck on your next exam!
I wanted to zoom in on one of my previous blog posts, More than an HR Degree, where I discussed the variety of elective opportunities through the MHRM program. For the fall semester, I am enrolled in a three-credit elective “The Business of College Sports”. As we all know athletics is huge at Ohio State and we are lucky enough to have the course taught by non other than the athletic director of Ohio State, Gene Smith, and his wife Shelia Smith. The objective of this class is to provide a business analysis of the conduct of intercollegiate athletics, in all facets, including an in-depth look at The Ohio State University athletic program, the nation’s largest in terms of number of sports, coaches, student-athletes, and overall budget.
Each class features a guest speaker from a department that directly works with or supports the operation of athletics. Throughout our class sessions thus far we have been given a tour of Ohio Stadium had an insight look at Finance, Ticketing, and Affinity and Trademark Management. At the end of the course, students get to apply what they’ve learned and present a recommendation of how Ohio State can improve intercollegiate athletics.
Being in a course like this allows me to take a step out of HR, connect with students outside of my program, and gain exposure to a topic I otherwise wouldn’t have had the opportunity to.
The school year has ended! I am now officially halfway through the Masters of Human Resource Management program here at Ohio State and one step closer to receiving my degree. Whether you have been following my blog posts throughout the year or are just tuning in, one aspect of the MHRM experience I’ve tried to highlight is how the program prepares students for success by offering multiple opportunities to turn theory into practice.
One of the MHRM program requirements is to complete either a thesis or a practicum. So what does this mean exactly? Students choosing the practicum plan pursue an internship to gain practical experience in an HR role. The internship is a full-time 40/hr. a week working commitment, typically completed during the summer between years 1 and 2 of the MHRM program. The focus of this plan is to allow students to practically apply knowledge and skills acquired through MHRM coursework in a real business setting. In addition to this, an internship or practicum experience is an opportunity for further career exploration, leadership and skill development, networking, and can lead to a full-time job offer.
I along with a majority of my peers have decided to pursue the practicum option. Although our final exams and projects have concluded, the first year MHRM students, myself included, are now gearing for our summer internships where we will be taking on various human resources roles all across the country. In two weeks, I will be heading out to Ontario, California to intern with Niagara Bottling Company. I will be working in the human resources department on their workforce analytics and compensation team for 10 weeks. I’m excited to take a break from classes and to see what the west coast has in store for me, however, I will admit I’ll be taking some of my textbooks with me in case I need to reference them on a project. I’ll be sure to write a blog post about my internship experience when I return for the fall. Have a great summer everyone!