Next Stop: California

The school year has ended! I am now officially halfway through the Masters of Human Resource Management program here at Ohio State and one step closer to receiving my degree. Whether you have been following my blog posts throughout the year or are just tuning in, one aspect of the MHRM experience I’ve tried to highlight is how the program prepares students for success by offering multiple opportunities to turn theory into practice.

The Ohio State University Oval in full bloom

One of the MHRM program requirements is to complete either a thesis or a practicum. So what does this mean exactly? Students choosing the practicum plan pursue an internship to gain practical experience in an HR role. The internship is a full-time 40/hr. a week working commitment, typically completed during the summer between years 1 and 2 of the MHRM program. The focus of this plan is to allow students to practically apply knowledge and skills acquired through MHRM coursework in a real business setting. In addition to this, an internship or practicum experience is an opportunity for further career exploration, leadership and skill development, networking, and can lead to a full-time job offer.

I along with a majority of my peers have decided to pursue the practicum option. Although our final exams and projects have concluded, the first year MHRM students, myself included, are now gearing for our summer internships where we will be taking on various human resources roles all across the country. In two weeks, I will be heading out to Ontario, California to intern with Niagara Bottling Company. I will be working in the human resources department on their workforce analytics and compensation team for 10 weeks. I’m excited to take a break from classes and to see what the west coast has in store for me, however, I will admit I’ll be taking some of my textbooks with me in case I need to reference them on a project. I’ll be sure to write a blog post about my internship experience when I return for the fall. Have a great summer everyone!

Internship Relocation Guide

If you went through the recruitment process this school year and secured a summer internship then you may be feeling a sense of accomplishment and relief that it has come to an end. For those who are required to relocate for the summer, finding housing is more thing on the to-do list that can be a  timely challenge if you are moving to an unfamiliar location. Questions such as: Where do I live? Who can I live with? How do I find something short term? How much is this going to cost? I found myself asking these questions and more as I prepared to head to the west coast for the summer.  I hope that my experience of finding summer housing can help those reading with their own moving process!

Image result for location icon

Full disclosure, the cost of living and availability of housing will differ between locations and it is worth asking the organization if they offer relocation stipends or having corporate housing options.

Connect with Other Interns 

Most organizations will utilize Linkedin Image result for connect iconor Facebook groups to introduce incoming students to their internship cohort. This is a great opportunity to expand your network and find others who are looking for roommates and housing options as well. In addition, there may be students who already live locally that can offer suggestions on where to live or provide housing resources in the area. If the employer you’re going to be working for doesn’t do this currently, ask if you can have a contact list of the incoming interns.

 Short Term Options

Some apartment complexes Related imagewill offer short term leases but with a premium on top of the regular rental prices. This definitely isn’t the cheapest route to take and I would research other options prior to resorting to this one. Other options include searching for colleges in the area rent out vacant dorm rooms for the summer, hotels that offer short term stay discounts, or utilizing Airbnb.

Subletting

Subletting is more than likely going to be the best value, many students will be looking to sublease their apartments for a lower price than they actually pay. Some of these offers may also include utilities or come Image result for sharing iconfurnished. Search for colleges within the area and see if they have an off-campus housing page. If you don’t find it at first don’t be afraid to call the university and ask for it. A quick google search can also provide many links to sublet apartments in the area.

I hope these options will help you to find the perfect place for the summer! When in doubt, don’t hesitate to reach out to family or friends who may have contacts in the area your looking for. Congratulations on the opportunity to expand your resume and gain real-world experience. Best of luck this summer my fellow interns!

Silicon Valley Venture Capital Trek

The week after spring break, myself and a few of my MBA peers were fortunate enough to go on the Silicon Valley Venture Capital Trek in various cities – San Francisco, Santa Clara, Palo Alto, Menlo Park, and a couple others. As members of the student organization, Fisher Entrepreneurship Association (FEA), our goal is to learn about Entrepreneurship, Start-ups, Venture Capital (VC), and Investing through networking, events, and experiential opportunities. This was my first time on the trip, and it was by far one of my favorite MBA experiences so far. We met with Managing Directors, IPO Lawyers, Venture Capital Partners, and Founders & CEOs from various companies: Wilson, Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati (WSGR), Google X, EY (Ernst & Young), DFJ (now Threshold Ventures), Prevedere Inc., and Aeris, and a couple others.

Listening to professionals in this space was eye-opening. There were so many questions myself and my peers had as young minds interested in learning how to get into the start-up space and understanding what type of professional experience and knowledge you need to be successful in it. Hearing success stories, failure stories, stories about the “grind” of this world, and honest perspectives about the start-up and venture capital industry gave many of us the ability to narrow in on what we would love to do professionally in this space. For me, after a few years working in tech and sports/entertainment, I would like to start my own company which will tie my passions together.

Most interesting things I heard during the trip:

  • Most of successful companies created their own market (ex: Facebook, Google, Intel, Cisco).
  • This idea of collaboration in tech is called “coopetition”.
  • Value = product-market fit / risk (execution).
  • NETWORKING is crucial!!
  • Get a mentor.
  • 3 parts to venture: 1) sourcing, 2) due diligence, 3) portfolio.
  • People who start a company aren’t always the ones to scale it.

What venture capital firms look for in entrepreneurs:

  1. How self-aware is this person?
  2. Are they able to recognize the fires and won’t ignore the problems?
  3. Do they recognize their own strengths and weaknesses?
  4. Are they persistent and do they have the mental endurance it takes to build and grow a company?

If you’d like to learn more about VC, start-ups, and entrepreneurship, below is a list of books and videos that were suggested to my classmates and I during our trip:

  • “The Hard Thing About Hard Things” by Ben Horowitz
  • “The Art of the Start” by Guy Kawasaki
  • “The Startup Owner’s Manual: The Step-by-Step Guide for Building a Great Company” by Steve Blank & Bob Dorf
  • “Straight Talk for Startups” by Randy Komisar and Jantoon Reigersman
  • “Venture Capitalists at Work: How VCs Identify and Build Billion-Dollar Successes” by Tarnang Shah and Shital Shah
  • “Crossing the Chasm” by Geoffrey Moore
  • “Something Ventured” – Netflix movie
  • “Secrets of Silicon Valley” – YouTube

Below is a list of people you should be familiar with – learn their stories as they either successfully built up billion-dollar companies or founded VC firms with highly invested portfolio companies in the Silicon Valley area:

  • Larry Ellison – Oracle
  • Marc Andreesen – Netscape
  • Andy Grove – Intel
  • Alan Shugart – Seagate Technology
  • Gordon Moore – Intel
  • John Chambers – Cisco
  • Steve Jobs – Apple, Pixar
  • Scott McNealy – Sun Microsystems
  • John Doerr – Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
  • Larry Sonsini – WSGR
  • Lewis Platt – Hewlett-Packard
  • James Clark – Netscape

A big thanks to Fisher College of Business, Professor Oglevee, Mr. Terranova, Mr. Coleman, and the MBA student leadership of FEA for making this trip happen and providing a wonderful growth experience.

Spring Break in Washington D.C.

The group of MAcc Students in D.C.

A new opportunity here is the MAcc program is being able to spend your spring break with your classmates in Washington D.C. The MAcc program offers you an opportunity to earn class credit while getting to learn about different career paths, have great networking opportunities, and explore the city. I asked fellow MAcc student Cinara about her experience in D.C. and here is what she said:

Briefly describe what the Washington Campus opportunity is.

The Washington Campus is an opportunity for MAcc students to experience accounting topics through the lens of Washington DC. This includes learning about governmental accounting and hearing from speakers about the economic and political environment. We were also able to visit the White House, PCAOB, Capitol Hill, monuments, and museums.

What was your favorite event?

My favorite event was when we were able to visit Capitol Hill and sit on the house floor. Our tour guide was former US Representative Cliff Stearns. Many people do not have the opportunity to sit on the floor and listen to the arguments, but we were given access due to the class.

What was your favorite activity outside of the classroom?

My favorite event outside of the program was the night of the alumni event. The alumni event was a great way to network with professionals and peers in our industry over food and drinks. We were able to learn more about our future profession from people with years of experience. While there was a lot of time dedicated to learning and professional development, we were still able to enjoy the city. We also went to a karaoke bar, which allowed me to get to know my peers outside of the classroom. Overall, it was a great experience that I would recommend.

Talking to a lot of my fellow classmates, the Washington Campus trip was one of the highlights of their time here in the MAcc program. It was a great learning opportunity and a fun time to explore a different city. It was definitely something everyone in the MAcc program should take advantage of.

2019 Women’s Leadership Conference

Last week, I attended the 2019 Women’s Leadership Conference at The Ohio State University! The event was coordinated by Fisher Graduate Women in Business (FGWIB)  with the topic of cultivating an entrepreneurial mindset. FGWIB is a student organization that acts as a forum to discuss and address issues relevant to women in business and build awareness of women in leadership positions. The event was hosted in the Blackwell Hotel on campus and kicked off with a lunch and panel of women leaders.

Power Panel Speakers: 

  • Kara Trott, Founder and CEO, Quantum Health
  • Paula Bennett, Former CEO J.Jill, Inc.
  • Camille Gibson, Former VP Marketing, General Mills
  • Angel Harris, Executive Director, Dress for Success Columbus
  • Moderated by: Rhonda Talford Knight, President & Founder,
    Knight Consulting Group

Each of the speakers shared their entrepreneurial journey, what entrepreneurship means to them, how they led others, create buy-in for their visions, and gave advice for aspiring leaders. The panel was followed by networking and breakout sessions that included three learning opportunities:

Option 1: Building Your Personal Brand
Natasha Pongonis Co-Founder & CEO, OYE! Business Intelligence

Option 2: Seeking and Securing Advocates
Fran Skinner, CFA, CPAChief Administrative Officer – Investments
Diamond Hill Capital Management

Option 3: Getting Started as an Entrepreneur
Malika Jacobs, Fisher MBA,Founder, Kingmakers Board Game Parlour

Because of my interest in entrepreneurship, I listened to Fisher alumni Malika Jacobs, who shared the realistic challenges and successes of starting her own business right here in Columbus. Some of her highlights were that there is never a perfect time to start a business,  a good support system is essential, and that being an entrepreneur requires tenacity.

Finally, we heard from the keynote speaker, Natalie Keller Pariano, Chief Sprinkler of Positivity Confetti of NatterDoodle in Columbus, who talked about facing adversity on the entrepreneur’s journey. There was also an appearance by the Dean of the College of Business, Anil Makhija!

Overall, it was a wonderful event and I’m glad I had the opportunity to listen to many accomplished, talented women speak about their experiences.

Here are my top takeaways from the day: be curious, empower others, don’t underestimate your value, nothing is going to be handed to you, love what you do.

 

External Case Competition

Disclaimer: If you haven’t checked out my previous blog post about the Fisher College of Business MHRM Internal Case Competition, it provides further detail about the format of the case competitions which I refer to in this post.

As a quick overview, the MHRM program hosts an internal and external case competition each year. For each of the competitions, students form teams to compete against one another to solve an HR-related business problem presented by a sponsoring organization.

The internal competition involves teams of first- and second-year MHRM students and the winners from this event are selected to participate in the external competition. The external competition is hosted by The Ohio State University and invites universities who also have well-recognized HR graduate programs to participate in this event on a larger scale.

The weekend began at the Blackwell Hotel where all the teams were introduced to one another and enjoyed a dinner sponsored by Marathon. The universities in attendance included the University of South Carolina, Texas A&M, University of Illinois, Cornell, Minnesota, Rutgers, and West Virginia University. After dinner, we continued to mingle with the other teams at the Varsity Club, a well-known bar near the university.

The following morning was the start of the competition and when we were given the case. This year’s business problem was presented by Eaton Corporation, a multinational power management company. Essentially, they were in search of a solution that would improve coaching within their organization of 98,000 employees.

This solution also needed to touch on functions such as recruitment, engagement, and retention. The case was definitely challenging due to the large scope of the issue and it needed to be applicable to all generations, skill sets, and demographics of employees.

In order to be prepared for the next day’s presentations, we created a timeline and checklist of items to be completed. We started with a silent 15-minute brainstorming session that allowed us to each come with ideas on our own before we discussed them as a team. From there, we wrote down our concerns and potential solutions on the whiteboard.

As we began to discuss solutions, we realized we could implement strategies from various classes we have taken such as talent management, leadership, and staffing.

Once our solution was narrowed down, we assigned specific parts of the solution to each team member and organized our presentation from there. It’s a long day and it can be easy to get caught up in the overload of work, so it’s important to schedule breaks to eat, stretch, and clear your mind along the way.

Early the next morning, the teams returned to present their solutions in front of a panel of Eaton and industry professionals. Each team had 20 minutes to explain their solution and answer questions. Many unique ideas were brought to the table but ultimately the University of South Carolina was recognized as having the best solution. After the competition, we celebrated our hard work over lunch and were able to have feedback sessions with the judges.

I was able to take what I learned from the first experience and apply new strategies this competition.

Having been part of the internal and external case competitions, I was able to take what I learned from the first experience and apply new strategies this competition, which reinforces the practical experience component that I believe is crucial within this program. Additionally, not only did I get to become further acquainted with my own classmates but  I also mad connections with students from other programs and HR professionals across many different industries. This has continued to be an important opportunity to me because the individuals I am networking with today are going to be the future HR business leaders of tomorrow.

Taking on the CPA Exam

As you may know, there are four parts to the CPA exam, which you take independently of one another. The four parts in order of length from longest to shortest are Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR), Regulation (REG), Audit & Attestation (AUD), and Business Environment Concepts (BEC). First semester, I focused on adjusting to a new school, new city, and a new job as a graduate assistant. I knew that I plenty of time to prepare for the CPA before starting work full-time next fall, so I decided that it would be in my best interest to wait until the second semester to begin my CPA studying. 

Application Process

Due to the extensive application and Notice to Schedule (NTS) process, I applied about 6-8 weeks before I planned to begin preparation. Every state has a unique process for applying; the NASBA website is a great resource to learn about the guidelines and application process for the state you are sitting for. Since I will be working in Chicago, I am sitting for the Illinois CPA exam. The current rules require me to apply through the Illinois Board of Examiners.  Due to the high volume of applications in November, it took about 6 weeks for me to receive my NTS. Once I received my NTS, I chose the two exams that I wanted to take first.

I chose to take my exams in the following order: AUD, REG, FAR, BEC. I chose this order because AUD and REG are middle size exams which I knew would be easiest to study for while in school. Once summer begins, I plan to study for FAR (the largest exam) since I will have unlimited time. I chose to take BEC last because it is the smallest test, therefore if I do not pass all four before I start work, it will not be too large of a beast to tackle while working full-time. Everyone chooses the order of tests differently. I have seen classmates manage to study for FAR during school; the order in which you choose to take your exams really is a personal preference!

Study Plan & Tips

I am currently taking four classes and working 10 hours per week, so my study plan is a slower pace than it will be this summer. I am at a rate of approximately 15-20 hours per week of CPA studying, which equates to a little over 1 chapter per week.

Some days I choose to stay home and study in the comfort of my apartment, but I also love to study at libraries around campus. My favorite study spot is Thompson Library on the Oval. It is always full of other Ohio State students studying, so it is a prime environment to be productive. Almost every day, a group of students in the MAcc program reserves a room in Gerlach Hall to study after class together. I studied often with my friends in the MAcc program as we began our final review before taking our first exams. Regardless of your study plan, it is best to always make time for fun! Balance is the best way to get through something like studying for the CPA. For example, a group of us play trivia every Thursday night, and we are in an intramural volleyball league on Sundays. Like I mentioned in my GMAT advice post, never burn yourself out!!

GA Intramural Volleyball team!

Takeaways

The biggest piece of advice that I have taken from all of my mentors has been to FINISH THE CPA EXAM BEFORE YOU START WORK! Your year in the MAcc program is a great cushion to take the exams while in a learning environment. So many of your classmates will also be studying for the CPA which makes the processes much more enjoyable.

 

What is CAMP?

The Columbus Advertising & Marketing Practicum (CAMP) is a dynamic event hosted by the Fisher Association of Marketing Professionals (AMP) that brings together nationally recognized keynote speakers and industry professionals to discuss the leading edge of marketing. 2019 marks our tenth year hosting this event, and our discussion will center on Customer Experience Design which is the practice of designing products/services with the focus on quality and thoughtfulness of the user experience. Every touch point within the customer’s interaction with a product/service is designed to deliver experiences based on the brand’s promise. It requires companies to weave in storylines through online and offline experiences that bring the brand to life.

We invite you to join us!

What can you expect from CAMP?

100-plus attendees from the Columbus community come to hear our engaging, charismatic and fascinating speakers from local and national companies.

Our keynote speaker and recipient of the Marketer of the Year Award is Russ Klein, CEO of the American Marketing Association. We will also have Adam Torres, Founder of Torres Capital, who will be speaking at our event! Both Russ and Adam have a wealth of knowledge and experience when it comes to Customer Experience Design.

Russ Klein, CEO of American Marketing Association
Adam Torres, Founder of Torres Capital

We will also be raffling off items! Thanks to our generous sponsors, we currently have items from Watershed Distillery, Columbus Blue Jackets, Bibibop, and Homage!

If you would like to be a part of this event, whether as an attendee or sponsor, please let us know! Tickets are available here, and you can always email us at fisher.amp@gmail.com with any questions!

2018 “Marketer of the Year” award went to Jenna Measelle, Senior Brand Manager at Abbott and Fisher MBA alum

Growing Professionally and Giving Back with Fisher Board Fellows

“I now call this meeting to order…”

Sitting in on your first nonprofit board meeting can be an eye-opening experience, especially if you have never worked on a board in the past. Now, heading into my eighth month as a Board Fellow for Dress for Success-Columbus, I am able to actively participate in board meeting discussions and share updates on my resource development committee projects.

Reflecting back, being a part of Fisher Board Fellows has been a wonderful opportunity to give back to my community, better understand the governance of nonprofit organizations, apply lessons from business school to a real-world setting and grow my network. In addition, committing to the mission of Dress has grown my perspective regarding our local community needs and areas of opportunity in Columbus.

Fisher Board Fellows is a student-run organization that places students on local nonprofit boards during the second year of the program, attracting candidates from the full-time MBA, MHRM and MBA for working professionals programs. Candidates go through an application process to join the organization, complete training in the second semester and join their board in the second year of the program. As Co-Vice Chair of the organization, we work hard to maintain our relationships with our nonprofit partners and will have 34 partners this coming year!

Some of our partner boards include: United Way of Central Ohio, BalletMet, A Kid Again, LifeCare Alliance, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, Local Matters, and many more. Please check out our full list here. This year, we are also excited to add several new partners including: YWCA, Flying Horse Farms, Columbus Humane, MBA Research and Curriculum Center and SmallBiz Cares.

Fellows work on a wide range of strategic projects for their organizations, ranging from donor engagement research and improvement planning to marketing and communication plans and inventory management system recommendations. In addition, fellows are provided a board mentor during their time with the organization to help navigate the new experience and set them up for success in providing impact!

This organization has been, hands-down, one of the best experiential learning opportunities during my time at Fisher and I look forward to continuing my relationship with the board post-graduation this May!

“The meeting is now adjourned!”

Global Applied Projects

As a full-time MBA student at the Fisher College of Business, you will have the opportunity to take part in the Global Applied Projects (GAP) program.  On Friday, Feb 1, our class finally found out where we would be going, the projects we would be working on, and the organizations we would be working for. As potential MBA students yourselves, I want to give you some idea of what this process is and what it entails.

The GAP program is designed to allow MBA students to participate in a global consulting workshop where, rather than just classes and simulations where students are using theory and the outcomes are no more than a letter grade, this is an opportunity to work for a real company with a real problem and who are paying real money for a real solution. The fact that these problems exist in an international setting is definitely a perk. For example, projects this year are in areas as diverse as Ethiopia, France, Brazil, China, and Malaysia.

For a timeline on how the GAP program works:

  1. In the middle of the fall semester, students will be given the opportunity to apply to the GAP program. As this is a program that provides for free international travel and a stipend for living in country, it is extremely popular and thus it is very important students have their applications in on time.
  2. At the beginning of spring semester, students will be sent a list of international projects. Upon receiving the list of projects, students will then rank these in order of preference and ability. At this time, students will not know the companies or organizations they are working for or where the projects will be placed.
  3. At the beginning of February, Fisher holds an event to announce the makeup of the students groups for each project, the organizations they will be working for, and where they will be working.
  4. In the second half of spring semester, students will begin working on their projects at weekly meetings and alongside faculty advisers to come up with realistic and actionable solutions for their target companies.
  5. For most of May, students live onsite and in-country working on their projects, and preparing to present their solution to their clients. Each student is provided with a budget that covers airfare, and a stipend for room and board that they may spend however they see fit.

The GAP program provides a wonderful opportunity for Fisher MBA students to work in a true international setting and understand all of the challenges and opportunities that exist in a global business environment.  That said, free travel to new places to work on interesting projects and gain experiences outside of our comfort zones is definitely a perk.