First Week Lessons and Observations

The first week of classes is officially over.  It has been an exciting week of getting to know my classmates better, figuring out what time I should leave for campus to avoid traffic, realizing that time management is going to be a major factor in my success, and dealing with the fact that I am going to have to get over my fear of public speaking immediately!

Everyone in my program is extremely nice and I love how diverse our group is.  I think the diversity of our group is going to be a huge advantage and that we all have a lot to learn from each other.  Diversity can, of course, cause some barriers, but I have already experienced how supportive everyone can be when one of these barriers becomes evident.  Being supportive of one another is going to be so important.  This is new to all of us and I think we are all a little anxious!

Something else that I find interesting with a group of graduate students is that it seems we are all subtly competitive.  This competitive nature can be used in a productive manner and push us to do our very best or it can cause conflict.  Due to the fact that I have already seen so much support from my classmates, I think it is going to work to our advantage.

So far, I still LOVE graduate school!  I will speak more on time management and public speaking in later posts.  For now, I must go do homework!

Week one…I survived!

It’s Friday afternoon and I’m finished with what I’m considering my first official week of graduate school….some of the highlights:

-Work wise I finished training and was able to jump in and apply all of the things I learned in training.  My job title is Undergraduate Career Consultant and I work in the Career Management at Fisher.  I give students mock interview, review resumes and present to various classes about career management things! So this week I gave about 8 resume critiques and my first mock interview.  For the first time in well over a year I can truthfully say: I. love. my. job.

-I had two classes this week, Wednesday and Thursday evenings.  The night classes are definitely going to take some getting used to.  I’m more of a morning person.  Wednesday night was Fundamentals of HR I which I think is going to be a little bit dry…especially with the first book we need to read.  But knowing the background and history of HR is obviously important to a career.  My Thursday night class is Business for the HR manager, basically business 101.  For the first hour of the class I thought I was in the wrong place–it was Fisher College comedy hour! Everyone went around and did introductions and I was impressed and happy with the amount of diversity and comedic genius.  There are a lot of students in my program from China, others who work full time and go to school part time and everyone in that class comes from a wide variety of academic backgrounds.  We were also assigned into groups for the first of what seems to be many many group projects.  What I like about group projects in grad school is that everyone is here because they want to be, making everyone very dedicated and hardworking.  It’s a nice atmosphere to be in.

-We get name plates to display in class so professors can easily see our names.  My goal was to make it a week without forgetting to take it with me after class.  I made it through two days.  I forgot to take it after class last night…the hunt is on….so if anyone sees it let me know!

This weekend my Dad is coming to visit…I got him an OSU t-shirt so he will blend in with the crowd tomorrow 🙂

Go Bucks!

Cheap Books and Tips.

I’ve noticed as I’ve read through several of the other blogs that people have commented on on the expense of buying books through campus bookstores or are curious as to where they can find a cheaper alternative. As my fiance puts it, I’m a connoisseur of online buying; most everything I buy is from online and multiple times cheaper than the vast majority of retail stores.

I discovered about 2 quarters into my sophomore year the art of buying books online. This quarter is probably my pride and joy as I saved $160 by buying my books online as opposed to buying used books from the campus bookstores. **NOTE** this does not apply to course packets. And for any professor reading this, sympathize for your students and don’t have course packets. Post readings on Carmen and make them buy a book. At least that way it’s re-sell-able.

How do I do it? Simple – Email your professor and ask which books are required for your class and be sure to ask for the edition. Once you have the title, author, edition and most of the time ISBN, google search the ISBN. Use the shopping function of google, which is AMAZING, and find the cheapest book. Amazon is good, but I much prefer abebooks.com. It tends to be a little cheaper and have less shipping. Amazon has the “super saving” deal where you can spend so much and get free shipping, but that’s only from Amazon, not their dealers, and most of the time are more expensive than the dealer prices or the prices from other online book distributors. Buy.com and half.com are other good sites, but always make sure you’re shopping through a secure site. Nine times out of ten, if the web URL starts with https, not just http it’s secure, but be careful where you put your credit card number.

Also, if you have the option of buying the binder-ready version vs the hard/soft back book, buy the hard/soft back book. Campus area stores won’t buy it back if it’s the binder-ready version. I learned that the hard way after “saving” $40 on a physics book and ended up losing $120 because I can’t sell it back.

More tips to come. For now, happy 2nd day of classes!

The first day of school…Again!

So I just wrapped up my first day as a graduate student about an hour ago!  Today’s class was like many other classes I have had in which the first day was spent going over the syllabus and introducing ourselves to our perspective classmates.  However, the class I had today is being taught by the Director of the MLHR program, Mr. Heneman, whom I am certain I will have again for a future class or classes.

My first impressions of graduate school at Fisher is that it is very fast-paced!  For instance, classes hadn’t even started and I found myself sending out resumes to potential employers in order to be preselected for a first round interview, which I might add will take place in 1.5 weeks if chosen.  Not to mention the coursework. LOTS OF READING!!!!  However, it can all be done. The most important element that I will need in order to be successful in this program, and after this program is to have a good tight grasp on the importance of time management.  I didn’t really implement the skill too much throughout undergrad, but I like to think of graduate school as my second-coming!  The time in which I can do and achieve all the things I didn’t do while in undergraduate.

Round II tomorrow…

Hunt for the Great White Internship

Part of the First Year MLHR experience is the internship hunt.  For those first years out there, let me pass down a little bit of advice.  From what I have heard, a lot of you are pretty stressed out.

So you know there is this perfect internship out there for you with the perfect company.  You don’t know exactly what it looks like or where it is going to be.

Excuse the deep sea fishing analogies, but it is kind of like traveling into unknown waters and going after something that is somewhat elusive and even a bit scary.

Here is the good news.  When you go deep sea fishing, the biggest part of the voyage is being prepared.  Having the right tools, a steady vessel, and a good crew makes the journey so much more fun. (Well that and a cooler full of beer).

The tools you need for your internship hunt are a polished resume, a practice run (mock interview), a nice suit, and well developed responses.  These are all things that you can do to prepare.

The vessel to get you there should be your individual characteristics, why companies want you over the 20 other people applying, the experiences in your life that make it a good fit.  These are things that you should be very familiar with, after all, you know yourself better than anyone.

A good crew on a deep sea hunt is vital.  Career services is that crew.  Make sure you keep them up to date, ask them questions, make networking connections, really take advantage of everything they offer.

If you really give it your all, the big fish will start coming to you.  Good luck to all of you first years out there!

Rather be Fishing,

Lauren

Universal Studios Orlando Florida Jaws*Jaws @ Universal Studios

Real World MHR 843

I signed up for an elective MHR 843 with Professor Rodek.  Going into it, I had heard good things about the professor and needed to take an elective and it happened to fit my schedule.  Did I have a genuine interest about Org. Change and Turnaround?  Probably not.

We had our first class today and TaDa.  Boom.  It hit me!

I am going to love this class.  First, we have a tremendous amount of knowledge and background diversity which is more reflective of the Real World than any class I have previously taken at Fisher in the MLHR program.

Second, Professor Rodek has Real World experience in the subject he is teaching.  Not discounting and of the other wonderful professors I have had.  It is just very refreshing to take a class where the professor can provide insights and stories and analogies to actual experiences and not just teach us directly from a text.

Finally,  in today’s economy of bankruptcy, mergers, restructures, and reorganizations, this class is going to prepare me for when it happens to me in … The Real World.

Needless to say, I am looking forward to this class.  I will keep you posted on how it is going, but at this point I recommend it to any MLHR student needing an elective because we are going to be facing these types of challenges in future careers!

Getting to Know You, Getting to Know All About You!

If there is one thing I learned in my first year of the MLHR program, is the importance of building relationships.  Throughout our careers, we are going to be subject to hundreds of networking events.  Some good, some not so good.  In my personal experience, however, the relationships you build here at Fisher are going to last a lifetime.

Grad school is an influential part of our lives and can in some way even define who we are.  That first day of classes, when we go around the room and do introductions, you may find people you have things in common with, and you may find people who have life experiences very foreign to your own.

My advice to incoming first years, don’t dismiss this.  Take a valid interest in getting to know each and every one of your classmates.  Everyone has something to offer.  Part of this will come with time through the countless group projects.  Others will be social contacts.

My point is, give it some heart.  Genuinely care about what people have to say and don’t dismiss new thoughts and ideas.  Yes in grad school we are learning course material, but more so, we are learning how to be high performance individuals.

Don’t forget:  second year students, professors, and other faculty and staff are invaluable resources.  For first years, when you are hunting for internships, and for alumni when you are looking for new positions, the people you get to know at Fisher will always be there.

Get to know them!

The Curvy Road I Took to Fisher College of Business

I got so excited about telling everyone about The Thurman Café that I forgot to introduce myself.  I would like to give you a little bit of background on how I ended up choosing to attend The Fisher College of Business.  I was definitely not one of those lucky undergraduate students who knew exactly what they wanted to major in.  In the four and a half years that I spent at Purdue, I changed my major five times.  Although, I have always known that I wanted to pursue a graduate degree in…something!

After changing my mind a million times as to, “what I wanted to be when I grew up,” I finally graduated from Purdue on a brisk negative degree day in December of 2004.  I remember standing in line with the other graduates and I leaned over to the student in front of me and said, “Wow, it is so cold!  I’m glad I’m moving to Austin next week!”  So, that was it.  I packed up my things and moved to Austin with no clue as to what I would be doing for work.  After six weeks of no leads in Austin, the panic was deeply set.  “Oh my gosh!  What did I do?  What was I thinking?”  Then, finally, “Whew,” I was offered a job as a Personal Assistant at a small Real Estate company, and I thought, “Okay, this will do for now.”  I actually ended up absolutely loving it.  After eleven months with the company I was promoted and became the company’s first Operations Manager.  I obviously had a lot to learn, but this is where I fell in love with Human Resources.

To make a long story short, after a couple of years as the Operations Manager of this company, I decided to move back to the Midwest to be closer to family.  Unfortunately, I moved back just as the economy was starting its downward spiral.  I sent out many resumes with no luck and decided that this was the perfect time for me to pursue that graduate degree in…something, and that something I had decided must be Human Resources. It is my passion. So, it seems that the sometimes scary, curvy road of life led me to my perfect destination after all.  I’m so excited to be a student at the Fisher College of Business!

Things I discovered this weekend

Happy Monday!

I spent this weekend attempting to explore a little bit of Columbus.  Having gone to undergrad only 25 minutes north of Columbus I feel fortunate in the fact that I am relatively familiar with the area (especially all of the highways) and have some friends and my boyfriend who live nearby.  I have never lived in Columbus however, which is a totally different and wonderful experience so far.

I was lucky enough to find a comfortable and reasonably priced apartment for me, myself and I on the edge of Upper Arlington, a nice friendly neighborhood with literally everything you would need.  They have a huge Kroger (a grocery store), a Borders, a Barnes and Noble, a Macys, and a fantastic library system (I’m a big reader and they have a huge selection of DVDs!).  The location is about 4 miles north of campus but it took me 20 minutes to get there this morning due to rush hour and the five trillion lights on Kenny Rd.

This weekend I explored 2 places.  The first was the Park of Roses at Whetstone Park.  The website said that the best times to go were mid June and mid September and while not all of the park was in bloom the roses that were there were amazing.  I had no idea there were so many types of roses.  It was pretty small but there were a lot of nice benches you could sit on with a good book.

The second place is….Rita’s.  It’s an amazing water ice/custard stand right down the road from me and I had passed it several times but didn’t go until some people I work with told me it was worth it.  So I went on Friday and immediately fell in love.  Not only are the ices amazing but they have the most amazing flavors.  I got key lime and loved it so much that I went back on Saturday.  More trips will be made in the near future….I have to keep getting stamps for my frequent customer card.  On Saturday I mixed raspberry and lemonade which was also delicious.  Next time I go I will take a picture so everyone can see how wonderful it is.

There are some more places on my list to visit and I’ll start bringing my camera when I go!

The rest of the week is composed of finishing up my job training and classes beginning…I’ll let you know how it goes!

Offcampus.osu.edu

Hi, everyone!

My name is Lily and I am a newcomer not only to OSU but to the United States as well. I am absolutely thrilled to share my exciting American experience with you! Please follow me as I embark on this blogging mission! Although everything is new to me, I find life in America to be fascinating and everyone is so friendly here. So I’d like to label my first month here in America as the “Honey Moon Stage.”

Before moving to the USA, I had to find an off-campus house online. I found the OSU website to be one of the most resourceful and helpful websites in my search. I strongly recommend this website http://www.offcampus.osu.edu/ to those of you who prefer off-campus life. You can find various kinds of houses as well as roommates through that website. In fact, I actually found my roommate Jessica through this website. Jessica is an American and she is also in the MLHR program at Fisher. She has been teaching me American cooking, culture, language, movies and games. She also introduced me to her family and friends who made me feel welcome. We went shopping at Polaris Mall, Barnes & Noble and Kroger. Now I am no longer a lonely international student, and I feel at home in this city and enjoy the life here. Moreover,  I feel at home in our warm and cozy apartment, which is full of lots of food and furniture. In addition, our apartment is very conducive to studying because it is quiet! I want to thank  OSU and Jessica for making my transition to the United States an easy one.

Jess and I also attended the MLHR orientation together this week. I will never forget the Geocaching Activity that we did at orientation.Although the Geocaching activity was exhausting and at times frustrating, I appreciated the activity because I got the chance to get to know a few of my fellow classmates, John and Brian.

Ultimately, this activity got me thinking about my own personal goals, teamwork, and motivation.I am now always thinking about how to set the team goal and my individual goal, how to assign jobs, how to cultivate intelligence and a spirit of commitment etc. By the way, this is not the only one activity that enlightened me in Fisher, there are many activities held by Fisher that motivate me to explore more about life, study and work.Furthermore, I will look forward to participating in many future Fisher activities.

I look forward to receiving your comments on my blog and to sharing more with you  about my life here. Next time, I will tell you about my close friend and classmate Eva. And I will also tell you about my experience with the GPO! Signing off now to take a relaxing bubble bath (Thanks to Jess who taught me what a bubble bath was and who bought me my very own bubble bath!!!!)