Posts filed under 'MHRM'



Back To Life, Back To Reality.

Firstly – and hopefully not to your chagrin – as a stay at home mom, I’m not going to post about the events happening around campus as much as other students because there is a shortage of babysitters (especially during the day) who will take pity on this broke mom drowning in student debt and babysit a wild 2 1/2 year old for free. The intention of the majority of my posts is to provide helpful information for potential students about the MHRM program (WHICH IS AWESOME. Not biased at all). BUT, I will include an adorable picture of my husband and son at Zoo Lights (a must see around the holidays) in this post. Bonus: my kid recently got glasses and looks like Ralphie in the picture.

Zoo Lights

Zoo Lights

After a nice long, break, I’m ready to get back into the swing of things. I’m intimidated by the workload of this semester but am also incredibly excited by my courses.

The first semester of your first year is generally filled with pretty basic, introductory-type stuff. Don’t get me wrong, you still have to work hard, but it may not be as mentally taxing as you’d expect grad school to be. Don’t let that fool you.

This second semester will be filled with data analytics, hours long excel assignments, an apparently huge project (some students have told me their final group paper was 60+ pages), an impossible change project (the word “impossible” came straight from my professor. According to him, the harder the task will be to complete, the better), and Employment Law.

While that all sounds intimidating – ahem, and I’m speaking for myself here – I’m thrilled to be learning useful information I’m not already familiar with or that is less intuitive then, say, “Business Basics.” (*Disclaimer, the professor of the aforementioned course is entertaining and makes the material fun and interesting even for students familiar with the content.)

Data Analytics is an interesting business function that hasn’t always been utilized the way it can/should be and still isn’t utilized in many companies to its full potential. At the risk of sounding like a brownnoser (I doubt my stats professor will see this anyway because, “Ain’t nobody got time for dat!”), I’m genuinely excited to learn how to use data in my field. Despite the challenging and time-consuming assignments in this course, I’m enjoying myself. While I do like to solve difficult puzzles (including some math problems), I never actually enjoyed my math classes in undergrad because I didn’t see any realistic application in my field of study – and, I like to efficiently use my time. Give me information I can use. In this stats course, I will learn exactly how to apply what I’m learning in my field. I don’t even know how to adequately explain how excited this makes me. Plus, the hugeness of Big Data and how data analysis can be used in business intrigues me.

Which brings me to my staffing class. Did you know the most common staffing methods are almost no better than hiring people at random? With the use of data, businesses can more effectively hire the right people for the right job. My group and I get to turn in a hefty book paper that explains this in detail. Saweeet!

Employment Law is also a highly interesting class and has brought up issues I never knew existed. The group project for this class will be time consuming but fun.

With that said, I gotta go study/write/work on a project/play with my kid. You might not hear from me for 3 months.


The Internship Search Has Finally Come to a Close

As many of my classmates and friends are aware, I started my internship search back in August. It’s been a long journey, but I am very excited and could not be more pleased with my decision to accept an offer with Anheuser-Busch. Fisher’s Office of Career Management has helped me along every step of the way and I have the wonderful staff to thank for that.

AB is America's leading brewer

AB is America’s leading brewer

My experience interviewing with Anheuser-Busch was great. I first saw the company at the Fisher Fall Career Fair back in September, and was able to develop a good relationship with the recruiters through networking. I then did a first-round interview and was fortunate enough to be selected for the final panel interview in St. Louis. Because AB is headquartered in St. Louis, this was a great opportunity for me to really evaluate the organization’s culture and assess if I’d be a good fit for the company. I traveled to St. Louis in October with another one of my MHRM classmates, Natalie, who would also be interviewing on the final panel. Neither of us had been to St. Louis before, so it was a treat to explore the city and see all the different sights the day before our interview.

The morning of our interview, we arrived bright and early and met the other interview candidates from other schools across the country. I had never done a group interview before so I was not entirely sure what to expect. There were definitely some tough questions and it was interesting interviewing in a group setting with the other interview candidates right beside me, but I ultimately enjoyed the experience and found it extremely rewarding. After the interview, they took us on a tour of the headquarters and then on a brewery tour. We even got to see the Clydesdales! Overall, it was a great interview experience. Natalie and I both ended up getting offers to join AB’s People Department this summer, and we’re very excited to join the team!

Natalie and I before our brewery tour

Natalie and I before our brewery tour

Learning about the mashing process

Learning about the mashing process

Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 10.00.06 PM

Learning about the seven-step brewing process


Aaaaand, We’re Done! And we’re starting up again soon …

I’m having a hard time comprehending how quickly last semester flew by – especially the second portion of it. Here we are, roughly 7 weeks from our other 7 week courses and I genuinely feel like it’s only been two to three weeks.

I can’t say it enough, but I’m fully enjoying this program. The information learned so far has been invaluable. In addition to information passed to me from instructors, the different perspectives of my peers have added significant value to this program. The Fisher College of Business is very deliberate in their selection process and the unique perspectives, backgrounds, and cultures of my fellow classmates have made that clear. The friendships I’m developing will most assuredly follow me through life.

Winter Break has been be a nice, *almost* month long break. I spent my time indoctrinating my 2.5 year old with Santa Claus and Rudolph, stayed in my pajamas all day, everyday, playing with my dogs, and not cleaning my house. It was a successful break.

Happy Holidays, everyone! And welcome back to campus (shortly)!


MHRM Internal Case Competition

I recently participated in the MHRM Internal Case Competition here at Fisher. Before going into this experience I had no idea what to expect. The competition started early Friday morning and the entire class was presented with a “real world” HR problem from the judges (The judges are current HR professionals from companies around the region). We were then assigned break-out rooms with our group, and given 24 hours to come up with a solution and form a presentation for the judges for the following day.

I was on a team of all first-years and none of us had any previous HR work experience. My team worked really well together, though, because we were able to communicate effectively and collaborate as a group. Once we got to our break-out rooms, we spent a lot of time brainstorming ideas, organizing our thoughts, and figuring out which ideas we wanted to focus on. If I could give one piece of advice, it would be to focus in great detail on a few of your ideas or solutions, but don’t try to tackle everything. There’s simply not enough time to address everything. My group ended up staying at school pretty late into the evening (or should I say, morning) because we had so much content to fit into our short, 15-minute presentation.

We arrived back at school early Saturday morning to finish up printing our materials and slides, but actually ended up cutting it so close that we didn’t have any time to practice our presentation before we went in to present to the judges. Our presentation went really well, though, for having not ever rehearsed, and in fact, one of our group members, Erin, won an award for best speaker overall. Looking back on this experience, I am really proud of my group for jumping in with no expectations and working really hard to produce an overall great presentation. It was definitely a memorable two days and I look forward next year’s competition.

My awesome case competition team

My awesome case competition team                                (Brennan, Chip, Erin, Me)

 


I’m THANKFUL for…

Being back home this past weekend for Thanksgiving Break got me thinking about what I am thankful for. I am incredibly fortunate to be able to say that there is so much I am thankful for, and that I have been very blessed throughout my life. So much has changed in just the past year alone though. I got my rescue dog (Riggs), bought my first home, and began the Fisher MHRM program and my position as the MHRM Ambassador.

Deciding to attend the Fisher MHRM program was one of the best decisions and investments I have made for myself. The path I took to get to where I am today was not always clear, but I am so happy with where it led me. The MHRM program has a rather diverse student population with different cultures, educational backgrounds, work experiences, and more. Prior to beginning the MHRM program I had received an undergraduate degree in Secondary Education and a graduate degree in Higher Education Administration. It was not until my first Masters program and two years of full-time work after that I learned more about the different HR functions and fell in love with it!

When the time felt right, I started researching different programs, and it did not take long for me to realize how Fisher’s program is set apart from several of the other programs. I firmly believe that people need to find programs and schools that are a good fit for them, and that are aligned with their goals and aspirations. Nonetheless, Fisher’s MHRM faculty and staff have a passion for what they do and take a sincere interest in their students.

I didn’t have a HR background or business background prior to beginning the MHRM program, so I love that the program provides a business acumen and HR Generalist’s perspective. Plus, I think the curriculum is positioned nicely and helps create a foundation to build upon throughout one’s time in the program. The faculty also do a great job at breaking content down so that it is digestible, but if students have questions or concerns along the way, faculty and peers are more than willing to provide assistance!

In addition to the distinguished curriculum and faculty, the Fisher staff is extremely supportive. The Graduate Programs Office staff and the Career Management staff go above and beyond to ensure that students have the necessary resources to succeed. They are readily available, approachable, and care about you and how they can help.

I’m also super thankful for how inviting the program is. I was a little nervous before starting the program, not only about the curriculum, but also about the culture that would exist within the business school. I was happy to find that people are overwhelmingly supportive, and that peers are willing and able to help one another and encourage one another. I love that the class size is typically 45-50 students because that allows us to get to know each other, both inside and outside of the class.

So, as I think about the past year and where I am at in life, I think choosing to pursue the MHRM program at Fisher has definitely impacted me for the better. I can honestly say that it was a great decision and that I am thankful for the knowledge, skills, experiences, and friendships the program has provided thus far.

Did I mention how thankful I am for all the free food at Fisher too?!?

Did I mention how thankful I am for all the free food at Fisher too?!?

 


If You’ve Ever Wanted to Sleepover at School…

You’ll have the chance at the Fisher College of Business. Not just once – but TWICE!

Kidding. Sort of.

The Annual Fisher MHRM Internal Case Competition was held the previous weekend (November 7 and 8) and I’m 100% certain I’ve never spent that much time at school in my undergrad – or ever. While this might not sound like the party you’d expect to have during your weekend, it was an absolute blast.

The case competition goes like this: you wake up at an ungodly hour, attempt to make yourself look like a normal person, and arrive at school by 7:30am (how on earth did I do this on the regular when I was in high school?) Don’t worry; coffee and breakfast are supplied. Shortly after, you’ll be given case rules and then be presented with a live case*. Once the case has been introduced, you break into your (previously determined) teams and begin to come up with a viable solution for the company which presented the case. Some teams may finish quickly…others may not finish until well after midnight. My experience was the latter.

Despite being in the same room on campus for more than 15 hours, the time flew by because our team was coming up with great ideas as well as having a great time (pretty sure we played Taylor Swift’s new album at least three times).

The next day we had to be on campus again at 7:30am. More coffee – more breakfast. We were then given our presentation times and set out into our team rooms to practice our pitch. We definitely played T. Swift a few more times to harness some positive juju.

Nerves were high until we were in front of the judges ready to present. Rather than a lecture-like presentation which we’ve all experienced when presenting a project for class, the presentation is very conversational. The judges ask questions, you answer. Generally, your classmates don’t have a ton of questions for you regarding your presentation. But many of the judges are from the company which presented the case or a company facing a similar problem. They want to know why you came up with the solutions you came up with. Everyone in the room is very engaged. You’re allotted 25 minutes to present your solution and most people still have plenty they want to say when the time is up.

My suggestions for anyone interested in participating in the case competition: bring a pillow and blanket (kidding – sort of); get up and walk around when you’ve been sitting for too long; make sure you’re well-fed and hydrated (food and beverages are provided the whole day. Take advantage of that); you’re not given enough time to present all of your ideas – pick two to three of your best ideas and prepare to go into detail about them; have proof about why your ideas will work – while businesses generally value creativity, they also value results. Prove that your solutions will give them what they want.

Most importantly – HAVE FUN.

*Case details are omitted for confidentiality.


Class Projects in the Fisher MHRM Program

The majority of MHRM courses have a group project as one of the graded assignments. I know what you’re thinking, and I’m fairly certain that everyone could admit that working in teams isn’t “always” easy. Multiple people often means multiple and/or differing communication styles. On the flip side though, multiple people also means multiple strengths, abilities, and ideas that can contribute to the final product. Overall, I think this is good practice for the real world. We all need to be able to work effectively in teams and groups because we are going to have to do so after we graduate, so why not start practicing now?

Quite a few instructors will assign groups, which has been another great way for me to get to know people in the program. The program utilizes several ways to connect with peers, such as orientation, classes, extracurricular activities, socials, and yes, group projects.

Another benefit to the group projects is learning more about Human Resource practices currently being used in different organizations today. Through your own research and listening to peer findings, you learn more about HR best practices and what a high performing organization looks like.

 

Homage founder and creator, Ryan Vesler.

Business Excellence I assigned a group project that required each team to analyze an organization using the VRIO and Five Forces models. My group and I interviewed Homage, which is a vintage inspired clothing company that highlights moments and history around pop culture, sports, colleges, and cities. They are also known for their quality materials and products, as well as their comfort. We had the opportunity to meet the founder and creator of Homage, Ryan Vesler. His passion, innovation and motivation were truly inspiring, which made this a really fun experience. Plus, I got to take home a super comfy hoodie (an added bonus). It feels like I’m walking around in a snuggie. Needless to say, but it’s a new favorite of mine!


THE INTERNSHIP Search Process

The Internship

 

 

Fisher MHRM students have the opportunity to choose between completing a thesis or an internship experience to fulfill their graduation requirement for the program. The class makeup is pretty diverse with people from a wide range of academic backgrounds and working experience, so it’s convenient that people have two different options. Nonetheless, the majority of students choose to complete an internship. Luckily, Fisher does a phenomenal job at connecting students to different opportunities for the internship and provides resources and support throughout the entire process.

Those who choose the internship option have the opportunity to begin their search from the moment they step foot on campus. Fisher and the Office of Career Management are intentional in their efforts to provide students multiple networking opportunities, informational sessions with different companies, Career Fairs, and more. Plus, they make it super easy to arrange meetings, mock interviews, and resume reviews with the Office of Career Management. MHRM students have a primary contact in the Office of Career Management, Jill Westerfeld, who meets with each student within the first couple weeks of class to discuss and explore the individual’s goals and objectives, potential industries and companies of interest, and general requirements and/or restrictions for their internship. Once this assessment is completed, she continually provides resources and support to help students find a good fit and the experience they’re looking for.

In addition to utilizing the Office of Career Management, it’s important to frequently utilize Fisher Connect to review and apply to open internships, and to utilize Fisher’s HUB to register for information sessions and Career Fairs. Not everyone knows what type of industry they’re wanting to work in for their internship during week 1, and that’s okay. The important thing is to respond with curiosity, and to learn more about different industries and companies so that you get a better feel for what would be a good fit!

Once you’ve submitted your resume through Fisher Connect and you’ve been granted an interview…prepare! Before the interview, do research on the company and practice interviewing. During the interview, dress business professional, make frequent eye contact, try to remain upbeat/positive (it’s understandable that there may be a certain degree of nervousness, but you got the interview for a reason so ‘TRY’ to remain calm and confident), listen carefully and ensure you respond to the questions being asked, utilize the STAR approach (Situation-Task-Activity-Result) when answering questions, and ask the interviewers questions about topics you genuinely want to know more about.

The internship search process is what you make of it, but there are many possibilities. You have the option to secure an internship through Fisher’s networks or to conduct an independent search, and you can decide whether you want to relocate or stay within the Columbus area. At the end of they day, it’s an opportunity for you to learn more about yourself, as well as an opportunity to learn more about what you’re looking for and what you’re not looking for.

Be proactive in learning more about what you need and want with regard to the internship experience then seek out different opportunities that are aligned. Prepare. Keep and open mind and remain positive. Lastly, don’t compare yourself to others because what may be a good fit for them, may not be a good fit for you. Both the search process AND the actual internship experience are learning opportunities though, so don’t forget that!


Fisher Serves Community Service Day

This morning I had the opportunity to volunteer with Fisher Serves, the graduate business school community service organization. We traveled to Clarfield Urban Farm, a non-profit organization called Urban Farms of Central Ohio, which is  dedicated to utilizing unused land and turning it into community farms. They are actually expanding to three acres of land this coming year. Pretty neat organization! We helped to pull out the leftover squash and picked and shelled pinto beans. Everyone had a great time!

photo 4

 

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Group work

We just recently finished up our first set of 7-week classes. At Fisher, most of our courses are on a 7-week schedule, which is nice because it allows us to take a variety of different classes. This is especially nice being in HR because there are so many different components of HR that we need to learn about, and this schedule gives us the opportunity to explore all of those different topics.

The classes here in the business school are much different from my classes in undergrad. I didn’t come from a business background and so I didn’t have as much group work in my experiences.  Here at Fisher, though, there is definitely a greater emphasis on group work, projects, case studies, and presentations.

Although it can be tough working in a group, the more frequently you work in groups, the better you become. In the majority of our classes our groups were assigned to us, so it was fun learning the best techniques and practices for working most effectively. I think that most of my classmates had pretty good group experiences, but we’re definitely glad to be done with all the exams, papers, and presentations. Looking forward to starting my next set of classes next week.


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