Posts filed under 'Orientation'

Live Career Fair is Here


I would like to take more time to savor the past, but things are changing so fast here. I just want to quickly go over the wonderful first quarter of this semester. Before I arrived here, some people told me I was going to be in a village with a lot of Chinese people. When I walked into Columbus, I did see Chinese people frequently, but when school really got started, it completely changed my impression.

The international student orientation was taken up by Chinese students and I was expecting the same situation in the MHRM program. However,  that orientation really surprised me! There are 57 students in our program, and except for Americans, there are some students from India, Pakistan, Germany, and Dubai. The welcome video with the professor and director was more funny than serious, although we didn’t get the American jokes well. We switched tables every few minutes so that we could get to know more classmates. One of the professors mentioned that we were going to have a lot of info sessions which provides food, and we should go. Why not. But then another professor said to eat before you go there, because you are there to network. This word appears frequently here. People used to think that Chinese count on “guanxi” to do business, but it seems it’s even more common here. And in the following weeks, we really get involved with all kind of info sessions and food…Rolls Royce, Procter & Gamble, Shell, and KPMG. At first I was not quite familiar with some of the names, but when I knew the Chinese translation, I am really shocked. As customers, we see some of them as luxury and when thinking about working for them, it feels incredible.


Dressed in business professional, standing in the queue of the dream company, I felt like lingering between really being in HR and wandering into fantasy. A formal career fair which happens so soon really makes me anxious. But one thing I learned in the roundtable discussion for international students with our career consultant helped a lot. The recruiters in the ballroom could be as nervous as us. They really want to know us and we just need to help them know us. The practice of an elevator pitch with classmates is also helpful. The moment you start to do something, you may know its not that bad.

As an international student, all the recruiters seem nice. Some companies “Generally can’t offer sponsorship, but who knows what will happen.” Actually, we understand why the employer don’t want to bear the trouble and we study abroad to learn the American style, and then help them run better in our country and contribute to our own country in the future. Although I failed to get any interviews from these career fairs, I still benefited from it and see some hope. There are good resources for us to learn what to expect in the real work and form further relationships with them. One interesting thing is that most of the professors or recruiters will tell us to make ourselves uncomfortable, so that we can make some breakthrough, but Gallup actually told me that people were hard to change and they would give the best performance when they were doing the things they were good at. Actually, these 2 theories don’t always contradict to each other. Sometimes, only when we try out something can we know if we are really good or bad at it. I’m grateful for all these possibilities around this place. Like the professor said, “soak in as much as you can”.

My first month at Fisher

It’s been almost a month since our MBA classes began. I thought this would be a nice time to highlight some of the activities I was involved with in the last month to help you better understand student life in the Fisher MBA Program.

  • Pre-Term: In the 2 weeks before our MBA officially started, we had our pre-term where we got to learn more about the program structure, professors, resources, and fellow classmates among many other things. Over many creative team bonding exercises, we were able to understand our key strengths (and weaknesses) and make new friends along the way! We also had a few career foundation seminars that helped us get a better picture of the different career paths ahead of us. The pre-term ended with the ’Fisher Challenge’ where each team had to present a case analysis with their core team, which was extremely exciting primarily because it is your first group exercise with your team. As an International student, we also had an additional 3 days of orientation that helped us in our transition. My favorite part was a workshop on American Football 101, conducted by a couple of ex NFL players (and Fisher Alums)! In a nut shell, the pre-term helped the students understand what it means to be a part of the larger Fisher community.
My Core team: Team 22 (that should explain the hand signs) From Left: Lucy Liu, Sarang Nampoothiri, Andrew Wolff, Adriana Castro and Rob Harrison.

My Core team: Team 22 (that should explain the hand signs) From Left: Lucy Liu, Sarang Nampoothiri, Andrew Wolff, Adriana Castro, and Rob Harrison.

  • Career Management – The career management team at Fisher is one of our strongest assets. Within the last month, I have attended multiple career fairs and got to meet and network with many potential recruiters. We have Information Sessions conducted by companies on a daily basis. This is a great way to learn more about a company and meet their representatives in a bit more relaxed setting. Apart from these, we also have individual meetings with our career counselors. They help you streamline your job search and refine your approach.
Fisher College of Busines

Fisher College of Business

  • Student organizations – I think I might have gone a bit over the top here. I have signed up for 5 student organizations for the upcoming year even though I was advised to restrict it to 3 by many second year students! But in my defense, I found value in all 5 of these organizations! Career specific student organizations help conduct some of the company information sessions. They also help their members prepare for interviews and can be a great resource for networking.
  • The Ohio State University – I joined Fisher because it was a small program within a very large university. There is always something amazing happening around you. I have signed up with the Buckeye Leadership Fellows program for some of their Luncheon Sessions, where they invite outstanding community leaders to interact with a group of students in a small and intimate environment. As a fan of music, I also volunteered for a Music experiment conducted at the School of Music!
  • Mid Terms – Here at Fisher, we have our semesters divided into two terms. One month into the program and I have already finished most of my Mid-terms! In a way, this is good as it always keeps you on your toes. :)
  • Calendar App – I think this point sums up my first month at Fisher perfectly. A few days into the program and you will soon realize the true value of the mobile calendar app! This one app is going to be a life saver here as it helps you keep a track of all the events every day.

If my next two years are as exciting as my first month at Fisher, I am sure this is going to be my most rewarding and enriching journey!

Summit Vision

One thing I enjoyed the most during Orientation would definitely be Summit Vision. It was full of team building activities and adventures. Summit Vision was the place where we started to build our friendship and helped each other. It was a place where we learned from mistakes and started to grow.

Here are some highlights:

In this activity, we had to move toward the end of the wood. In order to do that, we had to put our weights on each other and lean on each other. We had to trust each other.


Everyone had to go through the spider web in a different holes. Therefore, we had to lifted up each other.

Everyone had to go through the spider web in different holes. Therefore, we had to lift up each other.


We also had some fun with the zip line! Very encouraging when you heard your teammates cheered for you.

We also had some fun with the zip line! Very encouraging when you heard your teammates cheering for you.


In this activity, we had to lay down our integrity blocks to make a road to our goal place. All of us could only walk on the blocks and could not step on the ground. It was a very challenging activity where communication skills and a positive attitude were very important.

In this activity, we had to lay down our integrity blocks to make a path to our goal place. All of us could only walk on the blocks and could not step on the ground. It was a very challenging activity where communication skills and a positive attitude were the key to success.


Another picture from the integrity blocks activity.

Another picture from the integrity blocks activity. is our group picture!

AND….here is our group picture! Welcome to the MAcc!

Jumping into the Full Time MBA World!

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A picture of my kitchen table on the first day of pre-term MBA program

I’m a 33-year-old (balding) dad of two young kids with 10 years of non-profit work experience.  How do I fit in at business school?

That was the gut-wrenching question in the back of my head as I entered into Fisher’s 1st year MBA pre-term program just one month ago. Little did I know that most of my peers were asking similar questions about their own identity and status.062515Greenawalt-18

It’s no secret that leaving your job as a budding young professional to pursue a degree will cause you to evaluate your identity.  We have left behind our previous jobs, social networks, and, in many cases, even family to live in Columbus and immerse ourselves in a world of academic, career, and personal growth.  While my first day jitters have subsided, it’s that very process of wrestling with issues of identity that I believe contributes to such a powerful experience here at Fisher.  When else in my adult life will I have another opportunity to jump a different direction in my career trajectory, and remove myself from my comfort zone for 20 months in order to learn, grow, and develop as a person and a professional.

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My CORE team of 5 along with some other 1st year MBAs

From my experience so far at Fisher and Ohio State, I’m so grateful for how our resources are pointed towards my personal (and our communal) growth, development, learning, and future career placement.  This university is vast and it’s set up to help many thrive.  From working with career management to tell my story and clarify my career direction, to networking among other MBAs and learning how they are wrestling with their identities, to reading case studies and engaging in class content that relates to my previous work experience and challenges my paradigms, it is nothing short of awesome to be a part of this program!  I’m one of many students here who is utilizing the MBA experience to shift career directions, know myself better, and have a great time doing it.

In the end, I’m thankful to be a 33-year-old balding dad with unique experience to bring to the table here.  Besides, balding gives you wisdom, right?

Fisher Grad Buckeyes

Since I’ve been in Columbus for almost five weeks I feel like I’m settling into Fisher and what it means to be a graduate student as well as an Ohio State Buckeye. First, grad school is NOT undergrad. They told us this during orientation but I don’t think it really hit home until the first two weeks of classes came and gone, very quickly. We are held accountable to reading because students need to be a value-added body in the classroom that’s prepared to contribute. Grad school means not sitting in a classroom for an hour and fifteen minutes listening to a lecture twice a week, then taking tests to earn your grade. However, both components I love and each lecture you hear another perspective that you may not have originally thought of. You get to know your classmates, professors, and most importantly, yourself, better. Professors and faculty alike also told us at orientation that in grad school we need to possess a certain level of “intellectual curiosity” because of the opportunities ahead and I feel like I am so fortunate to be welcomed into Fisher’s pool of resources. I finished undergrad in May at the University of Georgia and I can honestly say this a whole different ball of wax because of the standard and caliber. Second, being a student at THE Ohio State University means when someone says, “O-H,” you say, “I-O” (still working on my reflexes with this one). I love when I fly home to Atlanta I’m almost always able to find one Fisher alumnus on the plane ride back to Columbus, and we have an instant and special comradery about campus and football season. Being a Buckeye means Saturdays are now committed to cheering on the Bucks on and off the field. I LOVE football season, so this was a major component when I considered where I wanted to further my education. Could it get any better than winning a National Championship the season before? Not in my eyes. Needless to say, I love Fisher grad life and the Buckeyes!


New Beginnings

Life is full of transitions.

As a married military veteran with a family, I view transitions as endeavors to personally and professionally grow while taking advantage of new opportunities.  Leaving the private sector for full-time graduate school is a long-term investment.  The Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University has so much to offer.  I’m proud to be a Buckeye.

FullSizeRender[1]Dedication to lifelong learning seems to be a theme in our household.  I began a graduate degree program, my wife completed hers (while working), and my daughter started Kindergarten – all in the same week!  As a father and a husband, I am so proud of them both.

As the fall semester begins to pick up momentum, we must remember who we are in order to prioritize what is most important in our lives.  I, like most of my classmates, am attracted to pretty much everything that the Fisher College of Business has to offer.  There are so many clubs, organizations, employer info sessions, events, and activities competing over our most precious resource – time.  If we view time as a resource, how do we allocate it?

FullSizeRenderOne place to start is to identify who we are in relation to others (I am a father, husband, son, brother, student, uncle, employee, job-seeker, club member, mentor, mentee, veteran, coach, blogger, etc.).  The list is long for many of us.  Prioritizing this list can also be difficult with so many competing factors taking place simultaneously.  We realize that we cannot be everything to everyone all the time, but we can deliberately plan those aspects that are most important into our lives if we choose to do so.  This process becomes critically important during major transitions when we are faced with new situations, changing conditions, and increasing obligations. It can be difficult deciding what not to do, at least temporarily, during transitions.  Ultimately, our decisions are about trade-offs intended to maximize value.

What we choose to do with our time is ultimately what we value most.  Many of us have roles and responsibilities within our personal, professional, and even spiritual lives.  Intellectual curiosity, respect for diversity of thought, and continual growth and development are important to me in a professional context.  This is why I chose to invest my time at The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business.FullSizeRender[2]







Classes are soon starting and I feel like I did when I was a kid going to the first day of school.  There is a definite uncertainty of the future twisted with the excitement of the beginning of a new adventure.  Being an untraditional graduate student, I had anticipated a certain type of distancing that would occur because of my unique background.  My theory was completely demolished by the welcome provided at orientation.  Professors and advisors all made me feel welcome and that I both belonged and deserved to be there.  Even though orientation was only a day and a half, by the end of it, I already felt like I have known some of my classmates for a long time!

Pre-MAcc and Orientation

As someone with almost no background in accounting (or economics…or business…), I was a little apprehensive about jumping into a Masters of Accounting program. I graduated from law school back in 2012, so I had experience with graduate level work, but I hadn’t taken a math class since high school. No worries, I was told, Fisher has a program for those who are new to accounting – the Pre-MAcc, which packs Intermediate Accounting I & II into a 2.5 week accounting bootcamp.

There’s no way to sugarcoat it: the Pre-MAcc is intense. Packing that much accounting into that short of a timeframe is definitely a grind, but it’s also a great opportunity to get to know some of the other students before the full contingent arrives. Seeing familiar faces on the first day of MAcc Orientation was definitely a plus, and professors Stephanie Lewis and Marc Smith are both excellent teachers who somehow managed to keep six-days-a-week, nine-to-five accounting classes engaging and interesting throughout the program.

As soon as the Pre-MAcc ended, we jumped into orientation with the other MAcc students. Along with the typical introductions from faculty and mixers to meet the other students, we all participated in a group trip to Summit Vision for team-building exercises and zip-lining – a laid back way to get to know some of our fellow MAcc students, and a welcome break from the Pre-MAcc workload before classes got started!


My First Day at Fisher

fisher hall

I am a first year full time MHRM student. As an international student from China, I experienced a lot of “first times” at the Fisher College of Business. I still remembered the day when I first saw our college: I stood opposite the street and looked at Fisher Hall. It was hard to describe my feeling. Everything was just like a dream as it was 2 months ago. I was in China celebrating my graduation with classmates, but now I am standing in front of a world-top business school! I was also excited because I knew that I would pursue my dreams here.

During orientation, I had a chance to take a close look at the college. In Chinese, we have an expression called “Gao Da Shang,” which means “marvelous, gorgeous, splendid and posh.” I think nothing is more suitable than this word to describe my impression of Fisher. Led by second-year students, I visited our school. I found the atmosphere here is a prefect mixture of business and academy. I love this atmosphere.


The last thing I want to mention is the clothing code at Fisher. We are required to wear business causal on the first day of our orientation. Chinese students (including business school students) do not usually wear business suits in the university, so “business casual” is not a familiar word to us. Therefore, my Chinese classmates and I spent a lot of time the day before the orientation discussing what to wear the next day. I have to say, it was the first time I wore a business suit. The influence was amazing: suddenly I felt I am not a student but a professional business woman.

I know some Chinese students might meet difficulty in adapting to American life. They may become homesick or even upset. Here is my advice: be open to new experiences and challenges, and enjoy your new life.

Class of 2016-MAcc Reception/ Mix & Mingle

One thing that I found really fantastic during the career orientation of the MAcc program was the Mix & Mingle MAcc reception held in Ohio Stadium. As a traditional part of the orientation, Mix & Mingle provides students in the MAcc program to meet alumni as well as employees. And this year, alumni and employees that attended this event even outnumbered our MAcc students. That’s really awesome!

Mr. Singer, career adviser of MAcc program, gave a brief opening speech and welcomed everyone. Then, Mr. Chabot, Director of Admissions and Recruiting, directed the prize lottery to kick off the whole event. Many of my classmates got really wonderful gift prizes sponsored by companies, gifts including Buckeye T-shirts and gift cards. I was really lucky to win a gift card as well. Chatting with alumni about their career story and listening to their opinions about Tax and audit are really helpful for me to learn more about careers in accounting. It’s really a good warm-up for the incoming career fair! Well, networking, networking, and networking! I bet you will hear this word for so many times during career orientation. The importance of networking is so important that you just cannot ignore it. So, as an international student, I really have to step out of my comfort zone and to be brave!


The most exciting part of Mix & Mingle is our visit to the Ohio stadium. It’s my first time to get into the stadium. I guess this may be the only chance I have to actually feel the grass. It’s amazing to stand in the middle of the field on which our heroes won the championship last year. Just proud to be a Buckeye!


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