Back to School

It’s the night before my first day of business school and I don’t know how to describe my feelings.  Does “reluctant anticipation” make sense to anyone?

Don’t get me wrong…  I am definitely excited about the start of classes.  This is something I have wanted to do for a long time.  Earning my MBA from Fisher College will provide me the business skills necessary to think both critically and strategically about leadership and management.  What more could I ask, right?

Well, I am reluctant to begin this journey because for the first time in my life I am behind on schoolwork before classes have officially begun.  You might be wondering, “How is it possible to be behind in something that hasn’t actually started?”   Don’t worry, this is not some theoretical question.  (Remember, my personality is ESTP… theories and conceptual problems bore me.)  The answer is really quite simple: three out of my five classes have work due on the first day of class.

The good news is that I am almost finished with my homework and I will be ready to dive into my MBA experience head first.  Wish me luck.

Joe

So it begins…Really

Welcome, to my blog!

Well, it has been hell of a time! Almost 3 weeks now in the US, things have been great. First of all the MBA 2011 finished their ‘orientation’ last week, which I hope was summed up by the background song played through a video showing stills from the Summit Vision, ‘I don’t scare easy’. I guess Prof. Wruck had a message in there.

Summit vision camp:

  • Weeeeaaah! Thats what most people sang the whole day zipping and jumping and falling from great heights.
  • Brought the teams closer, nothing better to build trust than to just put your life in someone’s (or the 5-6 odd people trying to lift you and pass you through the smallest of webs) hands and exploring life beyond the ‘zone of comfort’.
  • All in all great fun, never thought would have zip-lined or jumped off the ledge on the giant swing.

Consulting Boot Camp:

  • Really covered all there is to consulting in depth and had industry perspective.
  • Good networking opportunity.
  • Had 2 amazing sessions with great professors. Prof. Barney and his hot-dog business, you have to have to try a hot-dog at Barney’s. And what can I say about our mission impossible man Prof. Ogelvee. Talk about being creative, one of the best presentations I have ever seen.

New year’s party:

  • Full of fun.
  • Lots of alcohol.
  • Met one of the most intriguing personalities that you can meet on any given day. A frenchman who taught ‘english’ in China, talk about being cosmopolitan.

Well, that was all last week. This week started with pages and pages of reading to be done before classes begin tomorrow. I had to actually spend over 3 hours to make sure my schedule was in place and I didn’t miss anything important. The iPhone comes in handy again. (FYI: I am unofficial salesman for Apple, you’ll hear more soon enough).

The quarter starts tomorrow and I am very excited. Over the course of the quarter I’ll be sharing my perspective on life at Fisher, so stay tuned.

Moving to Columbus

First, let me introduce myself. My name is Kyle Ward-Dahl. I decided back in January that I would be attending the Fisher College of Business to earn my Masters of Accounting. Since then, the time has seemingly flown by. I graduated from Christopher Newport University (a small liberal arts school in the Virginia Beach area) and then lived and worked (mostly worked it seemed) in Northern Virginia/DC all summer.

My fiancee Sarah and I moved to the Columbus area Friday the 11th. Sarah will be joining me on this adventure. She found a great job in HR with Dish Network. For those of you with significant others, even though the Ohio job market is tough, it CAN be done. Hopefully her working can help pay for pizzas on those late nights studying 🙂

Sarah and I decided we wanted to go to the USC game, so we bought tickets from a scalper (not the cheapest way to do it) and headed to the game. There is just something special about big-time college football. OSU fans set a new Ohio Stadium attendance record that night, and boy was it loud. That game was awesome, even though the ending wasn’t what we were hoping for.

We moved into our duplex just north of campus, and spent literally the entire weekend finding furniture for our place.  Kitchen table/chairs, mattress, dressers etc. Most of the stuff we found either on Craigslist, or got really good deals on, which we were both excited about. I am currently searching for a bike, as campus is a little far to walk. Orientation started early Tuesday the 14th, and a wrap up of that will follow in my next post.

Cheers

Orientation wrap-up

Hey everyone.  My name is Joe Fahrendorf and I’m a 1st year MBA student at the Fisher College of Business (FCOB).  As the second week of orientation officially comes to a close, I finally have a moment to reflect on the previous 12 days and write my first blog entry.

The FCOB faculty have kept us incredibly busy throughout orientation.  A few of my activities included:

  • A case study with Professor Jay Dial.
  • Team building activities at Summit Vision.  (I was blown away at how well my core team operated as one.  Hopefully this is a sign of more good things to come.)
  • A Myers-Briggs typology test.  (According to the results I am an Extraversion, Sensing, Thinking, Perceiving “ESTP” personality.)
  • A practice job interview with the career development office.
  • Networking events with companies such as AEP, Eli Lilly & Company, Kimberly-Clark, Limited Brands, Nationwide, NetJets, P&G, Target, The Scotts Company, Whirlpool and several others.
  • A boot camp focused on careers in consulting.  (For a day and a half, we listened to several industry experts discuss the pros and cons of the industry and we were given the opportunity to network with representatives from Accenture, Deloitte, McKinsey and other top consulting firms.)
  • Organizing my apartment at Fisher Commons.
  • Golfing.  (This has been a great way to meet classmates.  The talent level ranges from scratch golfers to pure novices.  Yesterday I shot an 85 on the Grey course, but still lost to a classmate by several strokes.  Hopefully I’ll find the time to play the Scarlet course before the cold weather arrives.)

Overall, I would say that orientation has been a huge success.  I’m excited that classes are about to begin and I look forward to meeting more classmates.  Twelve days ago I literally knew 3 people in the area and now I know roughly a hundred.

Keep checking my blog for new posts. My goal is to submit 2 or 3 entries per week.  If you have any questions or comments, let me know.

JF

Kid’s story: Intro

An introduction

Timeline: Sunday, noon-ish

I see: gloomy clouds, Stephen Colbert, and… is that a spider on my wall?

I hear: “Huh!” to the beat

I smell: pine

I feel: sleepy

OK, so first let’s get the less favorable (i.e. whining) part out of the way. My first weeks at Fisher have been marked by somewhat of a post-9/11 feeling, in which everyone’s glad about their lives but those lives are marked by fear. I suppose it’s a successful teaching style, but I truly look forward to getting the facts and figures in class rather than a constant paraphrasing of “today’s world is impossibly tough, ye be warned”.

On the upside, so many good things have happened that I’m going to have to buy a new notebook soon. Highlights: the apartment’s looking nice, my health hasn’t been an issue, and people actually remember my name.

My personal opinions on some of these weeks’ events are as follows:

  • Summit vision was OK (body count = 0.0) and it really achieved its purpose of bringing our team closer.
  • The presentation by the second-years definitely has room for improvement. Notes taken: none.
  • I got lost in the Thompson library, and ended up in the top floor. If anyone ever needs a really cool study place, look no further: that’s the place to be.
  • Consulting boot camp was good, but there must have been something wrong with the room on Friday, as everyone (including myself) was dozing off all the time. It was quite a shame, as the information was very useful. As a footnote, Oglevee is one of the few people I’ve met in life with just the right amount of insanity in him.
  • Kudos to the organizers of Friday’s party at Fisher Commons (which was dubbed “the FC” last night), a perfect closing act to the week; food was great, sodas were plentiful, and the music was just right. Due to the blog’s policies, I can’t compliment the alcoholic beverages.

This is just a first experiment. Expect further chapters in the story in the upcoming days. Comments are most welcome and encouraged.

“… looking for the beauty that never fades” – Sasha & Junkie XL

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!!!!)

MBA Program Orientation Week 2

Reposted from aaron360.com.

The Fisher College of Business full-time MBA class of 2011 has officially been orientated.  The second week included several important activities like an intake appointment and mock interview with the Career Management office, and an introduction to case discussions with Jay Dial.  Perhaps the highlight of the week was the Summit Vision team building experience which my team participated in on Wednesday.

Summit Vision is a team building and corporate development company based out of Westerville, Ohio.  They use “…adventure and experiential learning tools [so that] people have the opportunity to reach their full potential–both individually and as part of a larger team.”

Specifically, my core group teamed with another group to create one ten-person team.  Throughout the morning we were challenged with physical and mental exercises that tested our problem solving, inventiveness and perseverance.  Each station, while fun, was designed to make us work as a team towards a common goal.  Some of my favorites include:

  • Zip Line – Wheeeeeeeee!
  • Pamper Pole – Climb up a telephone pole.  Get yourself standing on top (easier said than done—it is the size of a dinner plate).  Leap out 8-feet in the air and try to grab a trapeze bar.
  • Building Blocks – Each member armed with a signed 4×4 block, our team crossed a stretch of grass without touching the ground.
  • Spider Web – Each team member crossed trough a different hole in a bungee cord spider web—without touching the web at any time.

It does sound like a lot of fun and games, but we were forced to focus as a team, find a solution and amend it as we worked towards our goals.

A

MBA Program Orientation Week 1

Reposted from aaron360.com.

Week one of MBA orientation is complete. It was mostly as you might expect: an introduction to the college and each other and setting of expectations. In addition to the administrative topics covered, we had a valuable opportunity to hear Craig Morrison, CEO of Hexion Specialty Chemicals, speak on the topic of integrity in business.

Perhaps the most exciting part of the week was meeting our core groups. The first year of the full-time MBA program is a set curriculum. Across all these (core) courses, we work in one team. Needless to say, the prospect of meeting a randomly-selected group of peers that you will be working with for the next nine months can create anxiety. However, I’m very pleased with my team. We are a diverse group of focused and energetic professionals representing experience all over the country, and on three continents. Over the next week, we will get to know each other better before plunging in to the first quarter.

Looking ahead to orientation week two:

A

Making Connections

Orientation these past few weeks can be best represented by my first night of work at a local restaurant. Being a grad student comes with a lot of great aspects- unfortunately money is not one of them. To help out with expenses, I took a job as a hostess. I was excited for the job, and had a little restaurant experience. Steve, my boss, told me to come at 5 to train on what he thought would be a slow night. I was supposed to just shadow him for a few hours to learn the system.

I showed up to work early, all decked out in my black uniform, ready to master the art of the hostess. I figured that if I could get into Fisher, then this should not be a problem….was I wrong! But with the good weather, coupled with a live band, Steve could only help me for about ten minutes, leaving me to fly solo the rest of the night. I did not anyone’s name or really any of the procedures. However, over the next four hours, people were given tables, they enjoyed a good time, and left happy, and I slowly began to feel less like a chicken with its head cut off.

I went in thinking I was going to have someone to hold my hand, but looking back I realize how naïve I was. This was also my view coming into orientation. I have learned that grad school is not undergrad and also that I am responsible for my abilities. Throughout countless hours of speakers and jumping off a 55 foot pole, orientation has also showed me that feeling like a headless chicken is not necessarily a bad thing, and if you work hard, you can get the successfully get the job done.

Even though I have now realized how much work I am getting myself into, I cannot wait for classes to start soon and to start a new chapter in my life!

officially oriented….

It’s been an eventful two weeks.  And nothing like I expected.  When I first learned that classes started on the 23rd and that I was expected to be here on the 8th, my reaction was “what in the world are we going to be doing for 2 weeks?!?”.  Well, to answer the question, we’ve done everything.  We began with the normal introductions by our professors, the dean, and career management.  Each day was packed with activities.  We’ve completed two case analyses, had a mock interview with career management, been advised by a panel of 2nd yr students, gotten reprimanded about our spreadsheets for a homework assignment in Excel, and we even got to go “play outside” on a ropes course.

I think the most exciting day for me was meeting my team.  Through all my research for b-school, I was continuously informed that it’s all about the team experience.  The process of meeting my team was quite entertaining and I felt like I was on a reality tv show.  Just before getting our lunch on Thursday, we were each handed sheets of paper that listed our names with a corresponding number next to them.  Everyone scanned the sheets to learn their team number and decipher who else was on their team.  Suprisingly, I didn’t recognize any of the names listed for my team and so I walked alone to the room assigned for my team to meet.  As we each filed into the room, we gave quick intros, talked about our interests and discussed not-so-important topics like what restaurants we’ve eaten at since we’ve been in Columbus and what parts of town we live in.

At Fisher, we are divided into teams of five and this is your group for the entire year.  Teams are a mixture of different backgrounds- careers, gender, nationality.  My team consists of 3 males and 2 females: an OSU grad with a background in industrial engineering, another Ohioan with a background in finance, an engineer from Bogota, Columbia, and an employee of the Korean Stock Exchange from Seoul, Korea.  We haven’t had any real assignments yet, but so far, so good with my team!  I’m really looking forward to work with them 🙂

My Team at the Summit Vision Ropes Course
My Team at the Summit Vision Ropes Course

Although orientation serves the purpose of helping to create a level playing field for each student so that everyone knows what is expected once classes start, equally important is its role to help everyone to get acclimated socially.  Getting an MBA is a 2yr process and so its important that we all feel at ease with each other.  Meeting people and forming friendships is a lot easier to accomplish in a relaxed orientation setting before everyone gets stressed out and burdened with work. We’ve already had 2  formally organized social get-togethers and countless others organized by students.  Its been extremely helpful to just get out and relax and meet people who I haven’t encountered in orientation.  Yesterday I had the chance to play the Gray Course at the OSU Golf Course with 3 classmates. I was going to take a pic of the score card and put it up here but I don’t want to embarrass myself like that….

Alright….believe it or not, there’s homework due the first day for a couple of my classes.  I’ve yet to even glimpse at what’s expected…so, until next time….