Posts filed under 'Professional Development'



Have a global mind-set

Ken Bouyer, E&Y Americas Director of Inclusiveness Recruiting, gave our MAcc students a lecture about how to work in a diverse environment with a global mind-set. As a global candidate myself, I cannot agree more on this idea. During my two-years studying in America, I have learned how to be open-minded and embrace the differences.

Most people have certain mind-sets, which are  influenced by the cultures they have been brought up in. It is not easy to change that mind-set in a short time. It is even possible that one can never change his or her mind-set through their whole lives if they do not get exposed to different environments and cultures. Therefore, in my opinion, the most efficient way to open one’s mind is to explore foreign countries, like traveling outside of your home country instead of just sitting in front of TV. Watching TV, reading books and newspapers can help you get a general idea of foreign counties and cultures, but it also can lead to some misconceptions.  The learning you will get from TV and books is really different from the experiences from field trips. If you get the opportunity to going abroad, do not let it go.


Lean Six-Sigma, The Basics

Last month I attended a Six Sigma Workshop during lunch with Professor Peg Pennington. It was about an hour and students with non-operating majors were encouraged to attend. I had my Matching Supply and Demand class with Professor Hill yesterday — boy was I glad I had that ops review a few weeks before! Professor Hill’s class will focus on different things than what we discussed during lunch, but the workshop was the perfect jolt back to the “ops world”.

I saw the Six Sigma Workshop on the Hub, a RSVP system that allows students to review and sign-up for activities.  These range from lunches to events put on by student organizations or Fisher departments, information sessions and more.  It’s a great system that allows students to stay organized and involved with everything at Fisher.

Throughout the workshop we discussed how six sigma is a problem solving methodology that uses research and data to construct a plan. Topics also included the DMAIC method (see illustration below) and quickly talking through two examples of a banks and an emergency room in a hospital. For a one hour workshop, it was jammed-packed with information!

Visual explanation of the DMAIC method – image taken from Google.

This type of of workshop is one of the reasons I absolutely love Fisher’s MBA Program. One of my fellow students described it best: I am treating this opportunity like a dressing room – I want to try on everything and see what fits”.

Fisher has given me an opportunity to find out my passions, but has also exposed me to brand new worlds. I will never be a finance guru, but I feel much more comfortable with the topic after my CORE finance classes and my  Corp. Finance 1 Class. Operations and Logistics, sign me up! Negotiations and strategy, let’s try it out!

My heart will always lean towards marketing and advertising, but why would you ever stop yourself from learning everything you could? I am excited for my Matching Supply and Demand and my diverse course load next semester. Who knows what I’ll learn and what “will fit”!?


Getting Involved At Fisher

Business school is a time to change career paths, meet new friends, experience greater learning, attend football games, grow your professional network, live in a new place, learn about new cultures, and so on. Clearly, there are plenty of options of what to do with your time while you are attending b-school. One important lesson I’ve learned while attending school is that school is much more fun if you get involved.

Currently, aside from the recruiting and interviewing process, I am taking a full load of courses, serving on two organizations executive teams (marketing and strategy), raising a 16 month-old child (with the help of a wonderful wife), playing intramural football and softball, and playing with my dog each day. The craziest thing about all of this is that there is so much that I’m not doing.

Ohio State MBA Fisher has so many awesome student organizations that it makes it hard to pick and choose which ones to join. For me, I try to do the most I can with the time that I have. I have found that the busier I am at school, the more fun I have. Yes, it can be very stressful, but it is also very rewarding. Looking back on business school I want to make sure that I didn’t miss out on any opportunities. Two years goes by much quicker than I would have ever imagined.

Aside from student organizations, the school is great about bringing in fantastic leaders in the community that speak on professional development. These have been some of my favorite experiences. A few of my favorite speakers have been Jeffrey Immelt (GE), Warren Buffet (Berkshire Hathaway), Les Wexner (L Brands), and John Kennedy (IBM).

Social events are also a great avenue for students to become more involved with their classmates. For example, every week a social event is hosted for students to attend and to learn more about one another. Frequently in the first few months, these are focused around tailgating and Buckeye games. Other times the first years and second years will compete in softball or other sporting activities. These examples have helped forge strong friendships that will last far longer than the two years spent here in Columbus.

 


Three terms left…

 

  • Negotiation final – finished
  • Org. turnaround final paper – finished
  • Services Marketing final paper – finished
  • Corp. Finance 1 final brief – ….stay tuned

I cannot believe that as I am writing this, I am quickly wrapping up the first term of my final year of the MBA program. It’s unreal.

In the past two years I have studied and taken the GMAT, filled out applications for business school, interviewed, received admission letters, gone through pre-term, made it through my CORE classes (looking directly at you stats class!), interviewed for internships, accepted a wonderful internship and learned so much and am now making my way through year 2.

Also, add in a few happy hours, some tears, lots of laughs, some stress for good measure, and a bunch of people that I now consider my close friends.

These past couple years have been incredible and pretty challenging. When people ask me about my program my favorite phrase is, “it’s an adventure”. This has been a very humbling experience, and I still have so much more to learn. I am meeting great people in the Office of Career Management (direct shout-out to Jeff!), the GPO and in the classroom. My professors are becoming mentors and my classmates are becoming those that want me to become a better, smarter business woman.

Only three terms left?! Where has the time gone?


P&G Marketing Case Competition

This week I had the opportunity to participate in the first big case competition of the year on campus, which was sponsored by Proctor & Gamble (a consumer brand goods company based in Cincinnati, OH).  The case was marketing based, using a real P&G brand, and interacting with members of the brand management team that actually works on the product’s marketing strategy.  About 6 hours of time were devoted on Thursday for the teams of 4 to come up with a brand marketing strategy and develop a presentation, and then 5 hours on Friday were used to give each of the 10 teams involved a chance to present their ideas to marketing professors and professionals.  So, all in all, if you include the social events associated with the competition, it was about a 12 hour commitment.

Now, in case I haven’t mentioned this before, I do not intend to major in marketing for my MBA degree, so, some people might wonder why I wanted to dedicate that much time to a competition in a field that isn’t my primary interest.  The answer to that is really quite simple, and that is because there is much more to a competition than just the main functional area.  Case competitions give MBA candidates, like myself, the opportunity to work on things like time management, team skills, leadership skills, creating presentations, innovation, and presentation/communication skills.  All of those, to me, sound like skills that are crucial in order to be successful in the business world.  A case competition gives students the opportunity to work on all of those skills in a controlled environment, it really is a practical application training exercise.

In the military, we didn’t just go into a high risk activity without a degree of training in advance.  Before we went overseas, we would spend months or years training, refining our knowledge and skills, so that we would be more successful when we went downrange.  Training is never perfect, because all elements of real world scenarios can’t be included for a number of reasons, but training is still an important part of preparing for real world application.  Most of my colleagues and myself are getting MBA degrees in order to move into management, or leadership type roles after graduation.  And while the risks for an infantryman overseas and business executive clearly have some differences, both roles have inherent risks.  So it makes sense to work on the skills required to be successful at either in a training environment, which is something that case competitions provide.  Because people revert to their previous training and experiences in a high stress situation, I don’t want the first time I have to do something stressful, like need to sell an idea I have to a board of executives to be during my internship, or in my new career.

So, that is my rather long-winded answer, as to why I thought it made perfect sense for someone who wants to major in operations & logistics to be in a marketing case competition, and why I plan to be in several more competitions in various fields.

 

Here is my awesome team (from the left: Me, Lindsey, Jeff, and John) from the competition. In case anyone is wondering, we won.


Voluntary Disclosure with Phillip Stocken, Ph.D.

One of the great opportunities available to students in the Fisher MAcc program is the MAcc Academic Speaker Series. The speakers for this program typically consist of professors, both from within Fisher and from other universities, and they speak about a variety of topics that are of interest to graduate business students.

As part of the MAcc Academic Speaker Series, Phillip Stocken, Ph.D., Associate Dean for the MBA Program at Dartmouth College, came to Fisher to speak about voluntary disclosure. The talk touched upon issues that are very relevant to accounting students since many of us are planning on pursuing careers in either audit, advisory or tax within public accounting firms. Stocken emphasized the importance of the role that auditors play in terms of the financial disclosures made by a firm. He reiterated to us the importance of being skeptical when there is insufficient proof or material discrepancies before making a determination on the reliability and accuracy of a company’s financial statements. He reminded us of the dangers of misrepresenting information and explained that whenever we choose to disclose information, since there is usually the option to withhold information, we must disclose accurate information. As mentioned by Stocken, “In the absence of information, capital markets fail.” This quote really resonated with me because it stresses the importance of voluntary disclosure within the realm of business.

Associate Dean for the MBA Program at Dartmouth College


Let’s Do Lunch

Jesse Tyson (left), former Global Aviation Leader for ExxonMobil came to speak at a Cullman Luncheon in late September 2013

Recently, I had the opportunity to attend a Cullman luncheon with the former President and COO of Wilson’s Leather, Dave Rogers. Earlier this fall I participated in a Cullman Luncheon that featured Jesse Tyson, Global Aviation Leader for ExxonMobil. The Cullman Executive Luncheon Series is designed to bring 10-15 graduate students and senior executives, many of whom are also graduates of Fisher, together in an informal setting. Past executives have identified their current roles, discussed work history, and have provided insights into business in general. There is also a time for Q&A at the end.

Personally, it was hugely beneficial to interact with and glean “best practices” from these executives who had 35+ year careers to draw upon. Jesse and Dave both shared things that they did well and also shared about things to avoid as a manager and an executive. The questions asked by my fellow classmates were also very informative and brought out the richness of their experiences in business.

In an age where there seems to be a lack of either good or ethical leadership, the luncheon was a great way to get face to face with an executive who led well and could share those experiences and lessons learned along the way.

Jack Detzel, Director of Supply Chain Capability & Baseline Optimization/Productivity for PepsiCo, is coming to speak at a Cullman Luncheon in October

Craig Bahner, Fisher alumnus and Wendy’s chief marketing officer came to speak at a Cullman luncheon in April 2013

 


An afternoon with Alcoa

In all the excitement last week, with the case competition, and studying for exams this week, I almost left out writing about another awesome opportunity I had last week. Last Wednesday, the aluminum manufacturer Alcoa had a function on campus relating to some of the grants they have given to the school for various research projects.  If you are interested in reading more about those grants, I am going to include a link to the Lantern (Ohio State’s student newspaper) article about it: http://thelantern.com/2013/10/aluminum-company-grant-ohio-state-250k-2014/.

As the article notes, Alcoa’s chairman & CEO, Klaus Kleinfeld, was present at the function, as were several other executives from the company.  Alcoa, in case you didn’t know, is ranked 128th on the Fortune 500 list for 2013.   I thought that it was pretty awesome to get to attend a rather small (under 100 person) function at which a CEO of that caliber was speaking, and took the time to share his honest answers to student questions on a variety of issues. After the formal presentation was over, there was a more casual networking dinner with the executives present.  Opportunities like that don’t just come along every day, but they do seem to come by much more often now that I am a MBA candidate than they did in the corporate world.

That is one of the great things about Ohio State, and Fisher College of Business, is the breadth and depth of ties to industry that the organizations have.  Just based off the sheer numbers of graduates every year, Ohio State has one of the largest bases of alumni in the country, and that can be a powerful thing when you are trying to network professionally.  The different colleges on campus also have ties to industry in their own sectors as well, either through their faculty and staff, or through collaboration on projects.   This broad network can come in handy when trying to attain better information about a target organization or industry.

As an aside, one reason that I was very excited to attend this Alcoa event, is because the corporation is active with a group called American Corporate Partners (ACP).  ACP is a mentorship program which connects qualified military veterans with mentors who are all business executives.  I am an alumni of the program, and the gentleman who was kind enough to devote time to being my mentor is an executive with Alcoa, so I have a high regard for the company.  If you are a veteran looking into business school or entering the corporate world, I highly recommend applying for ACP.


MHRM Career Foundation Seminar

By now, recruiting season is in full swing. Last week was the Fisher Fall Career Fair open to all Fisher students and featuring over two hundred employers. This week is the more intimate graduate student recruiting event, where graduate students from all of our programs can have the opportunity to meet employers who are specifically seeking master’s level students. I am fortunate to have received a full time offer from the company with which I interned so I am skipping the recruiting mayhem this year. But, let me take you back a couple weeks to tell you a bit about what we’ve done for our first year MHRMs to get them prepared for the busy fall season.

As the MHRM class of 2014 rolled back in to Columbus after our various summer internships, we were beyond excited to get to know the incoming first year class. With a full year behind us, we didn’t want to waste any time sharing all we had learned in our first year with our new classmates. I had the opportunity to participate in the 2013 MHRM Career Foundation Seminar on the panel of peers.

The Career Foundation Seminar was hosted by the Office of Career Management with the purpose of exposing the incoming class to careers in human resources. The afternoon consisted of an opening from one of our Fisher professors, a keynote address by Brian Boukalik, Director of Human Resources, North American Truck Division at Eaton Corporation. Brian spoke about the path many HR professionals take in their careers today (hint: there is no one set path). The panel of peers followed Brian’s talk and a panel of professionals- including folks from Batelle, Eaton, Rolls Royce, and Marathon- followed us. Audra Fry wrapped up the day with some tips on competitive interview preparation.

Our panel was composed of four current second year MHRM students who spoke on behalf of our class to the incoming MHRM students. I was thrilled to sit on the panel with my fellow second years, as that portion of the day was easily one of the most fun and helpful parts of the day when I attended last year. We shared our experiences regarding preparation for the internship search, recruiting, and our unique experiences at our internships this past summer. Questions from the first years ranged from what to expect, what organizations are looking for in the interview process, how we applied our classroom knowledge to our internship work, and much more.

I loved having the opportunity to share my experiences with the first years, and I know they appreciated the chance to hear directly from us. We’ve continued to strengthen the connection between the 2014 and 2015 classes throughout our first full week through quick chats in halls, the initial MHRM council meeting, and of course our weekly outing at the bar across the street- The Thirsty Scholar. Everyone I’ve met so far has been wonderful, and I know we’ve got an exciting year ahead of us.


My Summer Internship

Hello again, Fisher! It’s great to be back on campus as a 2nd year Full-Time MBA Student and Admissions Ambassador. One of my favorite aspects of being back is hearing about my classmates’ summer internships; we all worked so hard last year to nail our positions down, and it’s great to learn more about each experience. I’ve loved sharing my own as well!

This summer I was at dunnhumbyUSA, a customer science company based out of Cincinnati, OH that has been a partner to Kroger since 2002. I was a Client Line Intern on the Kroger team, and had a wonderful experience getting to know the company- and owning my own project from start to finish that will be implemented by my team and our client. My team was genuinely interested in my personal and professional growth- I was able to utilize my critical thinking skills and develop my analytical skills, which was a goal I had set for myself upon entering the program. I was surrounded by a wonderful intern class, and we had a blast exploring the city together.

Me (right) and my summer roommates- also interns at dunnhumbyUSA.

The dunnhumby intern class out at a Cincinnati Reds game.

I also had the opportunity to meet up with other Fisher MBAs while in Cincinnati- we explored restaurants, concert venues and even caught a few Reds games! It was nice to have good friends nearby to share the experience with.

A Cincinnati Reds game with fellow Fisher Ambassador Graham Rouse (left) and Fisher Alum Dan Brown (center).

I look forward to sharing my internship experience with prospective Fisher MBA students as they begin to make their own B-school decision. The Fisher MBA program has opened so many doors for me and my classmates- I can’t wait to see what else will unfold for us as we progress into year two!


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