Turning Theory into Practice

Picture twelve teams, eight judges, two rounds of competition, all in search of one solution—what do you have? The Fisher College of Business MHRM Internal Case Competition! Every October, students form teams to compete against one another to solve an HR-related business problem. While this is a requirement for graduation of the MHRM program, this event allows first- and second-year students to take what they have learned in the classroom and apply it in a real-world context.

Presentation of the Case

This event was sponsored by PepsiCo, who presented us with an introduction to their organization, supply chain operations, and the competitions business case at 8 am on Friday. The business case was related to a current proposal the company is working on for their plant operations. It was each team’s responsibility to decide whether or not PepsiCo should add a new role to their organization structure. This decision had to take in consideration the following: change management strategy, organizational design, training and development opportunities, and financial implications.

 Once the case was revealed, the teams had about 30 minutes for Q&A. From then on, the competition had begun they had 24 hours to create their own unique solution for the case. During this 24-hour period, the teams worked hard and long into the night in breakout rooms brainstorming and discussing potential solutions. We were fortunate enough to have the second-year students who coordinated the event feed us and deliver us snacks throughout this period.

Team 2 hard at work
Grab-bag of snacks!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Early the next morning, each team returned to present their solutions in front of a panel of PepsiCo and industry professionals. To keep things fair, no one knew what time they were going to present until the morning of so each team had to arrive equally prepared. There were two rounds of presentations, the first round divided all the teams into three separate groups, essentially to compete against one another to make it to the final round. Those who were declared the best in each group then moved on to present their solution in front of the entire class, a handful of professors, and a panel of judges. After the final presentations were delivered, the winners were declared and there was a networking opportunity following the event with all the judges.

Having competed in this year’s case myself, I can definitely say it was one of the most challenging yet exciting events of the semester thus far! I’m happy to announce that my team won the case competition and now has the opportunity to participate in the External Case Competition that is held in the spring. The top three final teams are also invited to have lunch with the Dean of the College of Business.

My Awesome Team!

Not only was my team able to take what we learned in the classroom and apply it to this case but allowed us to practice our creativity, critical thinking, and presentation skills. Truly simulating what the atmosphere would be like if a manager came to you in the workplace and needed a problem solved in a short timeframe. Participating in case competition also gave us the opportunity to implement and experiment with new ideas that we may have been otherwise afraid to apply in a classroom setting. We were able to treat it as a learning experience rather than a grade.

Additionally, being questioned, critiqued by and given feedback from actual leaders in industry only made it a more valuable experience. I would highly recommend students of all ages to go outside of the classroom and get involved in professional development opportunities such as case competitions. No matter the outcome, it will be a new experience, a chance to network with others, further develop your professional skills and is a great way to build your resume. As always, thank you for reading!

Celebrating National Diversity Day

National Diversity Day is a day to celebrate and embrace who we are, despite our differences, no matter what race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, nationality, or disability. A day to reflect on and learn about different cultures and ideologies. A day to vow acceptance and tolerance. A day to consciously address these areas at educational and religious institutions, as well as in the workplace and at home. National Diversity day is an annual event on the first Friday in October (Diversity Awareness Month). This year, National Diversity Day was October 5, 2018.

Stephanie Hightower, President and CEO of Columbus Urban League

The Fisher Graduate Women in Business and Black MBA Association collaborated together to invite Stephanie Hightower, President and CEO of Columbus Urban League, to speak and discuss with Fisher students about her journey and experience as a minority woman in the business world. This took place in the Mason Rotunda. Over dinner, students had the opportunity to ask questions and engage in a discussion with Stephanie over issues that took place in the workplace, home, social events…etc. Overall, it was such a successful event, and we hope to continue having such events. A big thank you to the Office of Diversity and Inclusion for sponsoring this event!

Enjoying dinner from Sweet Carrot
Fisher students engage in a discussion with Stephanie Hightower

FGWIB and BMBAA Leadership Committee with Stephanie Hightower

 

More than a degree: a real opportunity to be influential

Recently, the MHRM students participated in a case competition where we sought to resolve a current HR challenge that PepsiCo is facing. The reason I want to talk about this experience is not only because it’s a cool activity the program provides, but because of what it means for the entire program’s approach to our development as business professionals.

The case competition consisted of 13 teams who presented in front of a variety of influential HR executives. PepsiCo presented the case early on a Friday morning, then we had 24 hours to come up with recommendations and craft a formal presentation. During the first round, we were split into three big groups so that about four teams presented to four judges per room. Out of each presentation room, a team was selected to move on to the next round. During the final round (as if the stakes weren’t high already), each winning team presented to all other competing teams and to all the judges together. An overall winner was picked at the end!

MHRM team (Julie, Christine, Mallory, Tessa)
“Cha-Sha” Team (Sharmeen, Champaigne, Shannon, Charlotte)

The greatest part of this experience was the opportunity to present in front of judges who would interrupt and ask all kinds of tough questions. It teaches you to answer on the spot, how to read a room, how to clarify your ideas, how to maintain poise in the midst of nerves and challenging questions, among other great presentation skills. It truly was all about the delivery of your idea! Forget about school presentations where everyone knows exactly what they are going to say and how long it’s going to take. My team didn’t even get through four slides!

My team: “Crisp Solutions”

In my team’s case, pretty early into our presentation, one of the judges expressed that he didn’t like the idea. What do you do with that?! It’s not like we could go back to the drawing board and adjust. We had to keep going. I loved that this happened to us, though, because it taught me two key lessons.

The first was that I knew and believed in my presentation more than I thought I did. I surprised myself with how confidently I was able to walk the judges through our thought process and to build on what my teammates were explaining to get our point across. I think the minute we saw we were losing the judges’ buy-in, we looked at each other and knew exactly how we would stand our ground.

Yes, we had just worked 24 hours on developing a solution together, but it was the intentional trust-building efforts that taught us how to move forward as teammates not just as a group. By asking each other questions further outside the box every time, the more we deepened how to be highly in tune with each other. I felt very proud that we gave a powerful presentation despite not winning, and that I walked out of the room beaming with admiration for the way my teammates handled themselves and how they helped me handle my response too!

Crisp Solutions (Megan, Reid, Mai, Sarah)
Alex, Reid, Richard feeling accomplished!

 

 

 

The second key lesson was that you never know what new information you are going to have thrown at you. It may make you feel like all the work you did was for nothing, but in reality it has the potential to elevate your professionalism and expand your comfort-zone like never before.

Right when we left the presentation room, I felt cheated because the judges based their questions on information that we were not given. I complained about it for a while, which I realize was not my best move, but when we went back for a feedback session, I realized it was on purpose! The judges spoke about how well we defended our strategy and tried to connect their observations to our plan despite being caught off guard. Realizing my lack of awareness, I asked them how they have handled situations like this when new information came to light.

I learned a lot from their perspective, but most importantly how I could challenge myself to respond differently. It was a clear uncomfortable growth moment, yet the self-reflection that resulted from it is something I will treasure as I continue to develop my skills.

Me receiving “best presenter” award

To say that I recommend this competition is an understatement. I learned so much about myself and I feel really encouraged about the small and intentional ways the Fisher College of Business is helping me achieve my goals!

Making Strides – Women in Business at Fisher

Have you ever felt hesitant to speak your mind in a meeting, own up to your recent accomplishments at work or take the first chance to raise your hand in class? These are thoughts common to many women in the business world. Fisher Graduate Women in Business (FGWIB) just hosted a workshop to help bring women together and begin combatting these very issues.

The first of four workshops in the series, “Raise Your Hand: A Workshop for Fisher Women,” led by Dr. Claire Kamp Dush, was both encouraging and inspiring! We learned and compared with other women how much we are affected by imposter syndrome, or the tendency for successful individuals to not accept their own accomplishments and develop a fear of being seen as a fraud. We shared stories and created action steps to support one another in preventing some of our default imposter syndrome actions moving forward. Overall, the workshop provided a confidence boost through developing aspirations for being fearless in work, life and school. I am looking forward to the next workshop focused on the best ways for women to self-promote.

Throughout my time at Fisher, FGWIB events and workshops like these have helped bring women together in support and empowerment. I am also a Forté Fellow, and as a part of the Forté Foundation, I am able to expand my network beyond the Fisher community. All female MBA students are able to join Forté as soon as they start the program. Through Forté, I attended one of their annual conferences to network with organizations and other schools, I have listened in on inspiring webinars led by female business leaders across the US, and I have leveraged their job center through posting my resume and interviewing for several positions targeting Forté members.

Overall, despite some of the challenges we face as women in business, being surrounded by conversations bringing these challenges to light, workshops to rise above and resources to expand and grow professionally has made a significant impact on my experience here at Fisher. I look forward to seeing these experiences continue on into the year and for future Fisher women!

How to Rock the Recruiting Process

Start Early

While it may tempting to spend the summer before business school taking a bit of a break from work, there are a ton of great opportunities and resources that you can take advantage of before school starts. Search for “Pre-MBA Boot Camps” and find something that fits your interests or career goals. There are numerous opportunities across a wide range of industries including The Forte Foundation’s Financial Services Fast Track, Google’s Student Veteran Summit, and P&G’s Brand Camp, to name a few.

Use your Resources

Take advantage of the awesome resources and staff at the Fisher College of Business Office of Career Management (OCM). Career consultants from a variety of backgrounds help students narrow down career goals, fine-tune resumes, and practice elevator pitches and behavioral interview questions. In addition to the one-on-one sessions that students can schedule with career advisors, the OCM routinely holds seminars and workshops to prepare students for the job hunt.

Know your Deadlines

There can’t be a worse feeling then checking a job posting for your dream company and realizing the deadline has passed. The best way to stay on top of deadlines and other important dates in the recruiting process is with an Excel file. Keep track of important deadlines, as well as the dates that you applied for and interviewed for positions. If you haven’t heard back in a few weeks it may be a good time to follow up with your company contact.

Dress the Part

When it comes to recruiting events and interviews, the rule of thumb is that it’s always better to overdress rather than underdress. If you are looking for some more affordable options to purchase a suit, check out the Tanger Outlets or Ohio State’s Career Closet. The Career Closet occurs every fall prior to recruiting season and has lightly used business attire, shoes, and accessories offered to students for free!

 

A week before finals

Hi there!

This is Ferny again, sharing some new stories about the SMF program.

These past few weeks have been busy for everyone, as first-session finals are right around the corner. Personally, right after attending the Prospanica Conference, I came back to Columbus to take a midterm that Monday. Since then first session classes have gone by rather fast and now it is time for finals! In this post, I would like to highlight a couple of activities that happened at Fisher since the last time I posted.

During one of our investment classes, we were fortunate to receive a visit from SMF alum Nitish Gupta. Nitish is currently working at Diamond Hill Capital Management as an ETF Consultant. He shared his advice on career search, networking skills and how to break into investment management.

Nitish Gupta at Fisher

Professor Pinteris also held a professional development presentation in which he described thoroughly different career paths that we could follow within finance. This session helped students who are still undecided about which career track to follow, get a better idea of career options available for Master in Finance students. Professor Pinteris also gave great advice on what steps to follow for specific career paths.

More recently we heard from Phil Renaud, the Executive Director of Risk Institute as well as Mary Beth McMormick, Executive Director of the Real Estate Center as they presented their respective organizations and several activities organized by their institutes throughout the year.

As a side note, my classmates and I also spent a lot of time these past few weeks at the Bloomberg Computer Lab, completing assignments for our Financial Software Applications class.

Picture of SMF students in Bloomberg mode, completing the Bloomberg Markets Concept course on the Bloomberg Terminal.

Side note 2, I hope you had the time to watch the Buckeyes’ comeback versus Penn State recently. If you follow college football we have climbed up to the number 3 spot in the AP top 25 poll, beating all other Big Ten schools. As always, it is a great time to be a Buckeye!

I promise to make the next post a little longer and to share with you more stories outside academics. 😊

I hope you all have a great rest of your week.

– Ferny

My GAP Experience: Italy and Germany

Fisher MBA students often talk about GAP. What exactly is GAP and why is it such a focal point of our program?

Global Applied Projects (GAP) is an opportunity for MBA students to gain international consulting experience by working on a business challenge in a global location (non-US). It is a three-credit, graded, elective course that allows students to lead, plan, and execute global consulting engagements across multiple functional areas for a wide variety of corporations, not-for-profits, and governments in locations outside of the US. A typical GAP project timeline looks like this:

January: Project client and Office of Global Business work to define the business problem and formulate a high-level scope.

Late February: Student participation begins with the section of MBA team members chosen to meet the needs of the project.

Next 10 weeks: Team is directed by a second-year MBA team coach and a faculty functional expert. Students attend weekly classes that teach best practices in project management and global consulting, and develop cultural awareness. They also meet regularly with teams, advisors, coaches, and clients, and submit class assignments that support the development and execution of the projects.

May: Three-week, in-country, primary research phase with a presentation of findings, an in-depth analysis, and specific, actionable recommendations to the client.

As a second-year MBA student, I would love to share with you my most recent GAP experience, where I had the opportunity to work with Technical Rubber Company, based in Johnstown, OH, as well as Salvadori, based in Rovereto, Italy. 

 

 

Client: Technical Rubber Company

Team members: Luke Barousse, Abhishek Chakrabarti, Adam Kanter, Andris Koh, Vaibhav Meharwade, Carl Shapiro, Sangyoun Shin, Kristen Stubbs

Cities/Countries we visited: Rovereto, Italy, and Munich, Germany

Activities: Visited TRC’s corporate headquarters, Salvadori’s headquarters, as well as attended the World’s Leading Trade Fair for Water, Sewage, Waste and Raw Materials Management.

At the World’s Leading Trade Fair for Water, Sewage, Waste and Raw Materials Management
World’s Largest Tire at Salvadori’s Headquarters

 

Project Title: Rubber Molded Products Business Plan

Objective: To define a pathway for TRC to forward integrate from the equipment business to manufacturing and selling products made from recycled rubber.

Submitted Deliverables: A 100-page business plan that contained our industry analysis, strategic recommendations, as well as financial, operational, and marketing plans. We also delivered a final presentation to TRC’s and Salvadori’s executives.

What were some takeaways from this GAP experience?

1. Even though I had no experience in the manufacturing or recycled rubber industry, I was extremely fascinated by it. By keeping an open mind, as well as the willingness to learn, changed my perspective of recycled rubber and the manufacturing industry.

An espresso vending machine

2. Italians absolutely love good food, wine, and espresso.

Best pasta ever had

3. Working in a team of eight within close parameters is not easy. There were many memorable moments, but there were also moments of tension. It is important to talk through these issues, instead of letting emotions breed over time.

4. Take some down time for yourself. I decided to stroll along the river one evening in Rovereto, where I enjoyed the perfect sunset with a glass of wine.

Rovereto, Italy

5. Communication is key. One of our team members was unable to travel internationally, so we had to find a way to deal with different time zones, interact and engage with our teammate, as well as communicate in a way that made him feel as part of the team even though we were not physically together.

6. Take time on the weekends to explore nearby cities, take a break from work, and enjoy the beautiful scenery. I visited Rome, Venice, and spent the last weekend in Munich visiting the Neuschwanstein castle.

Rome
Venice
Munich

7. Rely on each other’s strengths to get things done efficiently. For example, when we were working on the business plan, we had Carl work on designing our logos, Sangyoun/myself on market research, Adam/Abhi on financials, Luke/Vaibhav on technical viability, and Kristen in putting things together. We each had our own strengths and we used them to maximize our output.

8. Having the opportunity to work as a consultant for a global client is something really unique and special. I know that having these relationships with clients and colleagues will carry into the future as I embark on more global projects in my career.

Original Hofbrauhaus
Our Team!
Pork knuckle, anyone?

 

 

Professional Networking Event and Career Fair

Hello everyone!

I started writing this post on my way to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, as I was heading out to a Professional Conference & Networking event organized by a professional organization called Prospanica. I was given the opportunity to attend the conference by the Fisher College of Business Office of Diversity and Inclusion, as well as the Office of Career Management at Fisher.

Fisher students at the 39th Prospanica Conference

This year, five master students—3 MBAs and 2 SMFs from the Fisher College of Business—participated in the 37th Prospanica Conference. The purpose of the organization is to connect Latino students and other diverse student populations with employers and recruiters from Fortune 500 companies.

All of us had the opportunity to practice our elevator pitch with many recruiters and had the chance to interview on-site. Some companies that were present during the conference were Google, Nike, Nintendo, Nationwide, Northwestern Mutual, Henkel, GE Healthcare, CenturyLink, John Deere, Federal Reserve, Eaton, among others.

The Prospanica Conference is only one of the many events that are supported by Fisher, OCM and ODI. This coming week, there is another Conference for the National Black MBA Association that I know many graduate students will be attending. I would like to thank both OCM and ODI for this opportunity, and wish all the best to students attending future conferences.

Now, I am ready to go back to campus and continue studying for my first data analysis midterm; hypothesis testing, confidence intervals and all that fun stuff.

Me for the next five days

Cheers and go Bucks!

Ferny

Career Fair 101

It’s the beginning of the autumn semester here at the Fisher College of Business and that means recruiting season for both undergraduate and graduate students is underway. For many, this is an opportunity to land an internship or full-time position and there is no better way to get your foot in the door with employers than to utilize the networking events and career fairs happening on campus. As a student currently going through the recruiting process, I understand that preparing for a career fair can seem like a daunting task and it may be difficult to know where to start.
Image result for michael scott and i knew exactly what to do

Whether you are a potential or current student at Ohio State or a student attending another university here are my pro tips to help you successfully tackle any Career Fair.

Research, Research, Research

Find a list of employers that will be attending the career fair through your university’s handshake (or similar platform) so that you can identify the companies you are interested in. Next research each company’s website, job positions, recent news, and company culture. This will come in handy when you speak with employers about their organization as well as help identify if the company may be a good fit for you. Trust me, companies will recognize pretty quickly if you decide to skip this step.

Extra Pro Tip: If you really want to impress employers, be proactive and apply to these companies prior to attending. It will show them you are prepared and they will take you more seriously as a prospective candidate.

Prep Your Resume

Although I would recommend to always have your resume updated, I especially encourage you to prep it weeks prior to the career fair. This will allow you to have your resume critiqued by your Career Management Office and implement the feedback given to you in a timely manner. Schedule this appointment in advance because this timeframe is typically when the offices are busiest and timeslots will fill up fast.Image result for resume preparation It may seem like everything is electronic these days, but be prepared and bring a handful of paper copies with you to the career fair just in case. If you want to add a special touch, go to the nearest print shop and make these copies on resume paper for about 20 cents a sheet.

Dress for Success

A career fairs dress code is almost always business professional so plan your outfit accordingly and pick out what you are going to wear the day before to avoid unwanted stress the day of. There may be individuals assigned to monitor the dress code so take this seriously. If you are unsure what business professional is, check out this article for reference. 

Practice Your Impression

Did you know that a first impression is made within the first seven seconds of meeting someone? No pressure right? The best way to take the nerves away from this is to simply practice. This can be done with friends, family, or peers until you feel confident enough to approach employers. Practice introducing yourself and what you are going to say. This is introduction is often considered your “pitch“, which should be between 30-60 seconds. When doing this don’t forget to practice approaching employers with a smile and a firm handshake.

Image result for bee yourself

Be Yourself

The last and most important thing that you can do to be successful is to be yourself. This is not only true when talking with employers but anything you pursue in life. This journey is too short to not be who you are and ultimately you want to end up at a company where you feel comfortable with the individuals and the environment around you.

While these tips may seem small in nature if you put in the effort to complete them it can have a big impact on whether or not you have a successful career fair experience. Although the Fisher Fall Career Fair has already occurred, there are still a number of networking events and career fairs happening on campus throughout the 2018-2019 school year. Thank you for reading and I hope you find these tips useful in your future endeavors.

Saying Farewell: My Top 3 Memories at OSU

Last Sunday, some members of the Fisher graduate admissions team reunited to celebrate the fast-approaching end of the SMF program and (automatically) the end of our duties as graduate assistants. Today, while I was sitting at my desk, I went through all the memories I’ve collected since I decided to embark on this adventure.

I decided to share with you the three best memories that I have created during my time at OSU.

  1. Navrati Festival
From left to right: Nitish, myself, Nick

On the 22nd of September, Nitish Gupta, fellow SMF student, asked a group of students to come to the Navrati Festival. I joined in! It was a great opportunity to learn a little more about the culture and the traditions of a significant amount of the SMF students (many of whom are from India). I was also able to see an incredible dance performance of my roommate, Nick, that will definitely remain one of the funniest moments of my time at OSU.

  1. The Wells Fargo Conference in New York

Last December, a handful group of students and I were given the opportunity to attend the “Wells Fargo Investment Thought Leadership Forum” in New York City. The conference (which took place in the prestigious Plaza Hotel) hosted top-notch discussions on market, credit, banking, and the broad economy. The speaker list included several of the world’s most known and successful investors and managers including Howard Marks (Co-Chairman of Oaktree), Larry Fink (Chairman and CEO of BlackRock), Michael Bloomberg (founder of Bloomberg and 108th Mayor of New York City), and Jamie Dimon (Chairman and CEO of JP Morgan Chase & Co).

Conference in NYC
  1. Ohio State Football team wins against Penn State

Last semester, I had the chance to experience one of the most impressive and exciting sporting events of my entire life. 39-38 was the final score of the OSU vs. Penn State game!. After being down the entire time, Ohio State finally controlled the ball with the chance to take the lead for the first time. A little more than a minute later, quarterback J.T. Barrett found tight end Marcus Baugh and… touchdown! The entire stadium went wild!

OSU vs. Penn State