Posts filed under 'Professional Development'

Marketing is more than just sexy TV ads…

When the AMP (Association of Marketing Professionals) executive team got together at the beginning of the school year, we outlined some of the important topics that we wanted to be a part of our AMP Engagement Series.  As we all discussed our internship experiences, one common challenge we all faced was leveraging large amounts of consumer data (whether it’s IRI/Nielsen or other secondary research) to help shape our projects and recommendations.  As a result, the AMP executive team organized a “Working with Data” engagement series lunch for AMP members.  We were very fortunate to have the privilege of welcoming Sarah Bader and John Lewis from the Scotts Miracle-Gro Team to speak about key market research/data terminology and to talk about ways to leverage data in order to find consumer insights and/or help direct business decisions.

John Lewis and Sarah Bader present to a group of 1st and 2nd year Marketing MBAs.

My favorite part of the lunch discussion was the mini case study we did at the end.  The objective of the case study was to look at secondary data and make recommendations on what markets Scotts Outdoor Cleaner should advertise in.  The data outlined important geographical areas and multiple metrics that we needed to analyze in order to provide our recommendations.  Everybody had a great discussion on what markets they thought Scotts should advertise in and supported those recommendations through the data provided!

As an executive leader in AMP, I wanted to thank Sarah and John for all the work they put into this presentation and case study!  We are extremely lucky to have such great relationships with companies like Scotts who are always willing to come in and talk with current Fisher MBA students!


Pace Setter Winner Lunches With MBA’s

Last week, I had the incredible opportunity to have lunch with Mr. Jesse Tyson.  Jesse is currently the President and CEO of the National Black MBA Association.  Previously, Jesse led the Global Aviation business for ExxonMobil based in Brussels, Belgium. Jesse was in town to receive the Fisher College of Business “Pace Setter Executive Award”, which is the highest award our college could bestow on an executive.

Jesse’s story is one that is common and unique at the same time. Growing up in the segregated south, the lessons of his grandmother shaped his moral compass and drive for success. This drive took him to Lane College for a BS in economics and to Ohio State for his MBA. After Ohio State, Mr. Tyson began what would be a 35 year long career with ExxonMobil that would take him to dozens of companies and allow him to rise through the ranks.

Jesse’s career has truly been global and he encouraged students to take risks and develop international careers. This is his top suggestion for being successful in a large company. Jesse shared his thoughts on the evolution of diversity over his career and how he managed his career throughout. When asked about his 35-year career at ExxonMobil, he engaged and facilitated the group in a discussion about the positives and negatives of either staying at a company long term or short term. What was most impressive about Mr. Tyson was that he has demonstrated a career of service. He understood his obligation to Fisher and the university and he truly wants to pay his experience forward. I feel fortunate that such a strong individual is closely aligned with Fisher.

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Jesse Tyson speaks to current Fisher students during the 2014 Pace Setter Award ceremonies


Sparking INNOVATION around the CAMPfire

On March 21, 2014, Innovation Fisher and the Association of Marketing Professionals present INNOVATION CAMP 2014 to a group of approximately 200 students and business professionals.

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The speaker line-up was phenomenal:

Sucharita Mulpuru, VP and Principal Analyst of Forrester Research
Cathy Lewis, VP and CMO of 3D Systems Corp.
A panel discussion – “Marketing Columbus as an Innovative City”
Daryl Butler, Director of Brand Marketing for Beats By Dr. Dre

Each speaker and discussion brought a different outlook and great takeaways of marketing and innovation in today’s world. Sucharita outlined disruptive innovation in the customer service industry, food and shopping/delivery models. Buying groceries online and having them delivered or picking them up at specific location? Count me in!

The discussion about 3D blew me away. From retail, electronic, automotive…even food! I am excited to see what happens next with this cool tool – the possibilities are endless. Cathy talked about the possibility of personalized organs and bones.

Cathy Lewis - 3D Systems

Cathy Lewis – 3D Systems

Then, there was a panel that told the audience how they are putting Columbus on the map. We compete directly with other cities such as Cincinnati, Chicago and etc. for talent and resources – how do we bring, and sustain, life in the good ol’ Columbus? Our brand of ColumbUS has always caught my eye, but it was interesting to see where that stems from. THE state of Ohio losing to Michigan because of the “Pure Michigan” campaign?! Say it isn’t so!

Fisher voted Beats by Dr. Dre as the Marketer of the Year. The event ended with a talk about Beats advertising that was incredible – Daryl talked about the “Hear What you Want” campaign and how storytelling plays a critical role in all commercials. The attribute of noise cancellation became the campaign of “Hear What You Want”. Daryl also talked about how products, culture and music support the company of Beats by Dr. Dre – but at the core is passion.

Daryl Butler - from Beats by Dr. Dre - to accept the Fisher AMP MOTY award

Daryl Butler – from Beats by Dr. Dre – to accept the Fisher AMP MOTY award

Here is the Beats commercial with Colin Kaepernick & the commercial about the Pill Dudes – whenever I watch these I feel so inspired!

Can’t wait to come back next year as a business professional :)

 


Benefits of the Fisher Corporate Mentor Program

Last year I had the opportunity to participate in Fisher’s Corporate Mentor program. The program pairs first year MBAs with local executives from Columbus that are interested in helping mentor and develop students in their chosen career field. I couldn’t have asked for a better mentor last year and truly enjoyed the relationship we developed during the program. This year, I reached out to a first year student to gain their perspective and see if their experience was similar to mine.

Below is a question and answer session I had with Megan Tuetken, first year MBA with a focus on marketing.

 1 – Who is your corporate mentor and what is their background?
My mentor is Mary Beth Cowardin from T. Marzetti’s.  She is the Director of Marketing for the Marzetti brand.  She did her undergrad at OSU and earned her MBA from Fisher.

2 – What were you hoping to gain from participating in the corporate mentor program?
I wanted a non-student/non-professor sounding board to talk to about my internship search and seek advice. I was also looking for a professional perspective on life in the corporate world of marketing.  I was hoping for a mentor in brand management to get an additional perspective to compare to what I’d experienced working with brand managers at Kimberly-Clark over the years.

3 – What have the events been like? Have you been able to meet other students’ mentors?
I did not attend the kick-off event as my mentor was not able to attend.  Instead, I met Mary Beth for breakfast one morning for our first official introduction.  We’ve done breakfast a few times to catch up and chat, and we’ve found that this casual approach has worked well for us.  I went to the event at the Thompson Library, which was pretty informal.  There were quite a few mentor/student pairs.  Some were simply chatting as pairs while others were mingling as larger groups.  I mostly talked with Mary Beth directly as I was in the middle of some critical decisions regarding my internship opportunities.  However, the chance to meet other mentors was definitely available.  I did meet a former colleague of Mary Beth’s briefly.

The last event, which was targeted towards Marketing students/mentors, provided much more of an opportunity to meet other mentors as we were forced to switch our table arrangements throughout the event.  It was great to hear other professionals talk about their experiences regarding a host of business topics.

4 – What is the best piece of advice you have received from your mentor?
My mentor was very helpful in giving feedback regarding my resume.  She helped me expand it quite a bit and pushed me to really capture additional items that I wasn’t really considering.  She also helped me realize which direction I wanted to go with my internship.

5 – Would you recommend the corporate mentor program to other students? If so, why?
I would definitely recommend it.  I’ve had a very positive experience so far, and I plan to stay connected to Mary Beth in the future.  Even though the formally planned events through Fisher are complete, she’s going to give me a plant tour and we’re planning on doing a store walk-through so I can learn more about the categories Marzetti plays in.

To me, it’s a no-brainer to sign up for a mentor.  Fisher has so many amazing alumni and local businesspeople to tap for mentorship.  There’s absolutely no reason not to do it!  I know some students have had better connections than others, but it’s also what each person makes of it.  I found that having a goal for the relationship (for me, it was mostly about the internship search) really helped.  I’m glad to have participated and made a new connection in my network for the future.


Innovation Israel Pre-Trek Meeting

Visiting Israel has been a lifelong dream of mine for quite some time. Because of this, you can imagine how excited I was to learn that Fisher was planning on offering a course this year that included a visit to Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Of course, I signed up for the class.blog_telaviv

The class is centered around the economy and entrepreneurial spirit of Israel, specifically in Tel Aviv. Our instructor for the course was born and raised in Israel and has an incredible background in business and international consulting. As a student, I have really enjoyed learning about the Israeli economy and culture.

One way in which I was able to learn more about the culture was to attend a social gathering at the home of David and Bonnie Milenthal. The CEO and founder of Israel and Company attended the event, along with representatives of the Columbus Jewish Federation. We learned of their experiences and connections in Israel and had the chance to speak with them in a nice setting that allowed for a lot of learning to take place.

While in Israel, my class will visit various companies and organizations, ranging from global Fortune 500 firms to technology startups. Along with visiting businesses, the trip will include a visit to Jerusalem to see and learn more about the historic Israeli culture. I couldn’t be more excited for this amazing opportunity.


Lessons From Harley Davidson’s Chairman and CEO

Keith Wandell is the current chairman and CEO of Harley-Davidson Motor Company. Last weekOB-YU416_0905ha_DV_20130905150728 he stopped by The Fisher College of Business to enjoy lunch with students and speak about leadership. His story is quite unique and he ended up being one of my favorite speakers that has visited Fisher.

Keith was very blunt and honest about his life and the business he oversees. He didn’t sugarcoat anything. He was very transparent and honest in assessing his own performance as CEO and chairman. He admitted his faults and highlighted many of his successes during his tenure at Harley-Davidson. What he has done for the company over the last 5 years has been pretty amazing.

I was really impressed with how focused he was on the customer. When I think of an auto company, whether cars, trucks, or motorcycles, I think of operational excellence. Keith mentioned that his first order of duty when becoming the CEO was to focus efforts on their customer. He felt that the customer needed more attention, and not just the typical Harley customer, but the future Harley customer.

Keith looked into minority groups and helped the company develop and market products to groups that had previously not been targeted. This has been an important factor in the success of Harley over the last few years. Women and African Americans have made a huge shift into the biking industry and Harley was well positioned to receive them.

During his time as CEO, Keith had to make a lot of difficult decisions to help keep the company moving forward. He said that it is never easy, but it is necessary in the position of a turnaround CEO. In addition to being extremely focused on success, he stated that a great leader needs to know how to take a stand against mediocrity. He related a story about meeting with an extremely poor performing Harley plant that illustrated his focus very well. He didn’t negotiate with the employees and was honest in telling them how poorly they performed. His tactics worked. That same plant is now one of the top performing manufacturing facilities in the world and has won various rewards for its success.


MBA Internal Case Competition

A week or so ago, the annual Fisher Internal Case Competition was held here on campus, pitting teams comprised of first year students against each other, in competition for spots on the team for the Fisher Invitational Competition which is coming up in April.  The invitational brings teams from other Big 10 business schools to campus, to compete in a live case for a company.  As I have said before, I like case competitions because I feel that they allow me (and my fellow students) to put theories learned in class into action in a safe environment, and get then get feedback on the ideas generated.  One awesome aspect of the Internal is that the judges for the competition were a combination of business executives and faculty who volunteered their time to come in on a Saturday to come in and take part in the competition.

You may have heard the quote before “feedback is a gift”, which is something that I believe is true.  It allows a glimpse of your actions through the eyes of another person, giving additional depth and perception to your personal beliefs on something.  Since case competitions are a safe environment, participants can apply some creative thinking to the theories that they have learned, and see what the results are (what I mean by this, is that if you take a risk, and make the wrong choice, you won’t be fired, and a company won’t lose millions of dollars).  While such a safe environment doesn’t perfectly replicate the post-business school working world, it allows skills and ideas to be developed and tried that can be useful in the future.  Relating this to my past as a Marine, this is similar to conducting training patrols against other U.S. units in the United States, before deploying overseas.  Both units, or teams, benefit from the exercise and the additional stress of competition, while at the same time building skills.   Having impartial judges who are experts in their fields observe all the teams during this process, and then provide feedback to every team and participant is a very valuable learning experience if the participants take the input to heart.

Win or lose, I think that all of the participants from this year’s competition learned some valuable lessons about themselves and their teamwork skills through the process.  I personally believe that that learning and growth opportunity is move valuable than the accolades of winning a case competition, although winning is nice too.

 


Angela Joyner, PhD – plug the leaky buckets

Last week was a whirlwind at school – with a ton of fantastic opportunities to have small-group chats with inspirational leaders.

Don’t believe me?

  • Monday – lunch with Melisa Miller, President of Alliance Data (and my future boss!) with a small group from my Advanced Leadership Class
  • Tuesday – Super Bowl Ad Review with AMP and a few marketing professors
  • Wednesday – lunch with Jeff Eldersveld from the Columbus Blue Jackets – data analytics meets marketing
  • Thursday – lunch with Dr. Angela Joyner, Vice President/General Manager at ConAgra Foods, Inc., courtesy of the Black MBA Association

Told you. Whirlwind.

On Thursday, a few females were asked to join Dr. Joyner for a lunch before her afternoon session to talk about women in the business world and leadership positions. I was so honored to be part of this event and have the chance to ask some questions to Dr. Joyner in a more personal setting. It was a very open dialogue and we discussed female leadership, tricks for approaching conflict and then general work-life balance concerns.

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Then Dr. Joyner spoke to a larger group later that afternoon. I filled several pages of notes during her session, but I summarized some of my favorite take-aways below.

These are great tips for business school, the workplace and life in general :)

  • Prioritize
  • Plug the leaky buckets – allow yourself more time to be effective — set guidelines and rules
  • Get the facts at work – Dr. Joyner said this beautifully; find out what good, better and a rock-star looks like at your company
  • Identify your gifts & be an expert in something
  • Create a powerful brand
  • Surround yourself with the right people
  • Find your entourage and create raving fans
  • Authentically promote yourself
  • Reflect, revise and renew – celebrate all of your accomplishments and look at your life with open eyes

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Fisher is constantly bringing in inspiring and note-worthy guests that speak to so many topics.

As you can see from the list at the beginning of the post – one week was full of diverse speakers from a wide range of organizations. The meeting with Dr. Joyner inspired me — but so did the lunch on Monday with Melisa Miller. She got me so excited about returning to Alliance Data and working every day to make an impact. However, my Wednesday lunch with Jeff Eldersveld from the Columbus Blue Jackets was extremely informative.

Just another great week here at Fisher!

 

 

If you’re interested, check out Angela on Twitter and her blog from The Wonder Loft‘s page.

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2014 Internal Case Competition – controlled chaos

A couple weekends back I volunteered for the 2014 Internal Case Competition. It was a great experience to set back and time – much less stressful that last year where my group and I were frantically trying to create a strategic plan, marketing campaign and solid finances for a fake perfume company.
I am a a big fan of case competitions – I even traveled to Calgary, Canada last year to complete in the Haskayne 24 Hour Case Completion with the Haskayne School of Business. Side note, want to see four outspoken and intelligent Fisher MBAs become experts about the Canadian Oil Sands Industry in less than a day? Send them to Canada and throw them into a case competition!

One thing I enjoyed seeing during my volunteering was truly how much you learn in business school. As a timer, I was able to watch several presentations – and hold up cards that said 5/2/1 minute left and STOP – yeah, I  know, I am a huge deal :)

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But in all seriousness, the presentations were fantastic. I am constantly in awe of the talent of my fellow classmates. The Class of 2015 is full of great presenters and very creative individuals. The Internal Case is a weekend of long nights, early mornings and learning how to communicate with your teammates. Judges aren’t afraid to ask intense questions and make you defend your ideas — or think on your feet!

Congrats on another successful Fisher Internal Case Competition weekend!

 

 


An Evening with T. Boone Pickens and Les Wexner: Inspire. Enrich. Impact.

I was both honored and excited to attend An Evening with T. Boone Pickens and Les Wexner on Wednesday, February 5th. What a night!

The evening kicked off with a welcome reception where a blend of Fisher graduate and undergraduate students, community executives, military veterans, New Albany high school students, and leaders of The Ohio State University were able to mix and mingle. We had an opportunity to speak with leaders from some of the largest and most successful companies in Columbus, including Limited Brands, Scott’s Miracle-Gro, DSW Inc., Pearl Therapeutics, and the Columbus Dispatch.

Fisher Graduate and Undergraduate Students at An Evening wtih T. Boone Pickens

Fisher Graduate and Undergraduate Students at An Evening with T. Boone Pickens

We were pleasantly surprised and privileged to be joined by three of the nation’s most successful businessmen: T. Boone Pickens, Chairman of BP Capital Management, Les Wexner, Chairman and CEO of Limited Brands, and Mike Morris, Chairman of AEP’s Board of Directors. After our group was able to snap a few photos with these guests of honor, we were ushered to an auditorium where we listened to the three of them speak and share thoughts on different areas such as their upbringing and how it influenced their character today, leadership, philanthropy, world events and the future of clean energy.

T. Boone Pickens, Les Wexner and Mike Morris share thoughts on leadership and life

T. Boone Pickens, Les Wexner and Mike Morris share thoughts on leadership and life

The event was part of a series of forums titled The Jefferson Series. These events are held by The New Albany Community Foundation, and are based on the mantra, Inspire. Enrich. Impact. I truly experienced these words on Wednesday while in the presence of these three leaders. But for Ohio State and the Fisher College of Business, I would not have such an amazing opportunity to hear from these leaders in person!

Andrew Gardner, Tom Weirich and Ryan Stiers, fellow Fisher MBAs in attendance

Andrew Gardner, Tom Weirich and Ryan Stiers, fellow Fisher MBAs in attendance


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