Posts filed under 'Social Events'



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.


Fisher 1st Years vs 2nd Years Softball Game

A little over a week ago, students from the full-time MBA program gathered together to participate in a fun-filled softball match at Beekman Park.

It wouldn’t have been hard for any old random Joe off the streets to realize which team was full of first year MBAs. It’s fairly similar to walking around Gerlach. Let me break down the major differences both on the field and in the class.

Fisher MBA

Softball

  • First years tape their wrists. Second years break their wrists.
  • First years wear sunglasses at night…and eye-black. Second years don’t.
  • First years all wear the same color shirt and have 28 players. Second years are lucky to field a team. Shirts? If all the second years are wearing one that’s a bonus.
  • First years wear themselves out like dogs during batting practice. Second years bring their dogs and let them loose during the game.
  • First years win and get soaked in the rain. Second years leave early and enjoy the first round of beers and burgers.

Classroom

  • First years are taking data analysis. Second years enjoy sleep.
  • First years study in the lounge. Second years study at Varsity Club.
  • First years sign-up for clubs. Second years are busy swinging clubs on the Scarlet Course.
  • First years have class on Friday. Second years travel on Friday.

All in all, we are pretty similar. This is just a fun list of semi-sarcastic differences between students all striving towards the same goal…a great education and career opportunities. Fisher delivers both of those in various shapes and sizes. Regardless of the year in school, Fisher students are dedicated to helping one another and enjoying fun activities together when not in class. The softball game was a perfect example of that – I just wish I would have been on the winning team!

 

 


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.


Batter Up!

Just so that no one gets the wrong impressions that it is all work and no play around here, we do get chances on a regular basis to engage in a wide variety of activities outside of class and the career search.

For example, last Friday night was the first year vs. second year slow pitch softball game, organized by the Fisher social chair.  It was a fun, semi-competitive game, and a good chance to get to know other people from the program outside of the classroom setting.  The game was held at Fred Beekman park, a large sports complex with a variety of sports fields on West campus.

Even though people who attend top ranked MBA programs generally don’t like to lose so both teams wanted to win, everyone was still encouraged to play.  I hadn’t played softball since undergrad intramural leagues, which was some time ago, and still had a lot of fun participating and helping my team out.  Even though the weather wasn’t the most co-operative, the game was followed up with a cookout at fisher commons, where both teams and the spectators could enjoy some grilled food and beverages.

 It was really more about having fun and working on team skills with each other more than anything else.  If you think about it, those are valuable business skills to have, that are needed in the real world.  No one wants to work on a team with someone who has a bad attitude and isn’t willing to work with others in order to achieve goals. Also important is being able to clearly communicate among team members, as well as being able to recognize the strengths and weaknesses of team members, and then  leverage that knowledge to make the team stronger to achieve goals. I guess that is a sign that business school and interview season have started to sink in, that I can relate everything to transferable business skills.

Art Museum Adventure

Hi All,

As the middle of the first term of Autumn Semester draws near, recruiting, midterm studying, and loads of group work have been taking most of our time. Today a few of us MAcc students decided to take a mini-break from work and head downtown to visit the Columbus Museum of Art and we thought you might like to join us on our trip!

Our adventure started by heading to the Student Union to pick up some free tickets. As a student at Ohio State you will have the opportunity to receive several discount tickets (abbreviated d-tix) for local attractions, theater shows, concerts, sporting events and much more (Tip-be sure to go pick-up tickets early in the week as unfortunately the union was all out of discount tickets on Saturday). But the silver lining was that we were still able to use our student ID’s to purchase discounted tickets at the museum for only $8. Another perk is that the museum offers free parking! And if you happen to visit on a Sunday, don’t even worry about picking up a d-tix because Sundays are free admission days.

After purchasing tickets, our real journey began as we entered the museum and walked through several rooms full of masterpieces. In fact, even the inside of the building looked like a piece of art. As we browsed the collections, we had the opportunity to tune into our creative sides by participating in a few hands on activities.

Puzzle piecing a painting

Trying our hand at drawing. What better subject than the Ohio State signature ‘O.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After about an hour we were unexpectedly surprised by an event that for us girls, became one of the highlights of the trip: A wedding right in the middle of the museum! The five of us couldn’t help but sneak a peek at the bride after her bridesmaids walked down the aisle to none other than, “Beauty and the Beast,” the theme song from the classic Disney movie.

As our exploration came to a close we decided to stop for a group picture at the entrance of the museum before heading back to hit the books.

Hope you enjoyed taking this little trip with us! Until next time…

Wish us luck on our Monday midterm!


OUAB in the Kitchen – Graduate/Professional Student Activities

OUAB in the kitchen – BBQ

Ohio State University has many entertaining offerings beyond the Fisher campus even for the serious, and seriously busy, graduate student. One can easily become absorbed in their own program and in the rigor of recruiting and academic work or research. It is acceptable and encouraged to engage in activities on and off campus. OUAB, The Ohio Union Activities Board, arranges events specifically for graduate and professional students. These events are timed appropriately for our programs and vary in area of interest and even location. OUAB has events ranging from Kickboxing to Happy Hour. Many events are exclusive to graduate/professional students. I chose my first OUAB event as the OUAB in the Kitchen – BBQ. OUAB has arranged a series of interactive cooking classes, in a variety of topics and cuisines, which allow the busy grad student to take a break, get to know people outside of their discipline, and to just participate in a fun campus activity.

Held in the lower level of the Ohio Union on campus the OUAB in the kitchen classes are taught by a well trained staff. Not the best at–home –chef? Not a big deal, the class is very fool proof. Ingredients are measured out for you and a combination of live demonstration along with personal help from the head and sous chefs and good old fashioned team work will keep you from ruining your meal. You get to eat what you cook and take home leftovers so this is a particularly delicious event to participate in, choose wisely though! In general, you are limited to 3 OUAB Kitchen classes per semester.  I chose to go to the BBQ class where we made BBQ chicken, jalapeno corn muffins, baked beans and banana cream pie.

My group consisted of graduate students from all disciplines and we had great time. My partner and I were in charge of making the banana cream pie and if I may say so, it was delicious!

 

Chef Marc was great. He helped us out, gave great tips, and made sure we did not ruin our dinner.  The room was full of lively conversation throughout the whole class and everyone was enjoying themselves. At the end of the class tables were pushed together and arranged with real china and silverware for a family style meal to enjoy the food that we had all cooked.

I would definitely encourage anyone to try and sign up for an OUAB in the kitchen event! You are even allowed to bring a non-student or non-graduate student guest as long as you register them along with yourself. In addition to guests there are some classes which are open to families and are kid-friendly. The popularity of these classes has led to an increase in topics, class times and overall number of events. Snatch up a spot while you can before the class fills up!

Click HERE to see a list of Graduate and Professional OUAB events for Fall 2013.


Bump, Set, Spike!

And the winner is …FLIPFLIP!

Friday night was the first volleyball tournament hosted by FisherServes (a student organization that focuses on volunteering and community service). I am the VP of Marketing for this organization and was so excited to be part of the team that put on this event.

Quick basics of the event:

FisherServes invited students from all programs to create a team for the tournament. There was a six player minim for teams and at least two girls needed to be present on the court at all times.

Players paid $5 to play and picked a charity to “play for”. FisherServes matched the funds raised and donated the total to the winning’s team charity.

So, obviously I am a little biased, but I thought it was a huge success. I was so touched by the generosity of the Fisher family.

The winning team on Friday was FLIP-FLIP. Due to their incredible volleyball skills, FisherServes will be giving $850 ($425 donated by the players and $425 matched by FisherServes) to the charity, Flip. This remarkable charity helps individuals live a lifestyle that prevents cancer through a shift of thinking and holistic approaches.

the winning team FLIP-FLIP and some members of the FisherServes Exec. Team

On FLIP-FLIP was Mary, Lindsey, Tara, Ryan, Todd and Joel. This combined team of MHRM’s & MBA’s played a hard fought game against, The Avengers, a team of talented MHRM students.

I know what you’re thinking – we have talented volleyball all-stars across ALL programs here at Fisher :)

*To learn more about FisherServes or other organizations that I am involved with, please see my recent post: Getting Involved – With Precision*

See everyone soon!

 


Columbus on a Budget

One of the coolest things offered by Ohio State to all students here (including MAcc) is its D-tix service. This service provides discounted tickets to different events. Some of these events include baseball (both MLB and Triple A), soccer, concerts, and even NFL tickets.  A great example of this is the USA vs. Mexico World Cup Qualifier. Tickets for the match, which I attempted to purchase, were a minimum of $50 but D-tix was selling the same ticket for $25. Unlike most tickets, these tickets were lottery based, not first come first serve. Sadly, for me, I was unsuccessful both in the originally lottery for US Soccer as well as the D-tix lottery.

One tip: be aware of the line for the bigger shows. They are long and you need to get there early!

USA vs Mexico D-tix Line. Photo Credit: Ritika Shah

In addition, to the tickets, D-tix also offered discounted tickets to many of the tourist sites around Columbus as well as $25 dollar gift cards for $10 to some of the best restaurants in Columbus. You are only able to purchase 2 per semester but these are just some of the small ways you can enjoy Columbus without killing your wallet!


Tests and Teams

A school without football is in danger of deteriorating into a medieval study hall.”      -Vince Lambardi
We have reached the time for our first exams of the semester.  For some this is a dreadful process and for others it is a walk in the park.  At the graduate level, you should expect tests to be composed of open ended questions and essays that cover material from readings, case studies, and classroom discussions.

The first test is somewhat worrisome because you don’t quite know what the professor wants or how they grade; and, it doesn’t help that there are usually only two tests and a project for each class.  As long as you actively read and apply it to class discussions you will be prepared.  Still, most of my classmates were a little nervous.

After completing the first test, two essay questions.  I feel good about my effort and knowledge.  Unlike undergrad exams, the questions were very broad and required a comprehensive understanding of the subject.  There was an organic meeting with some of my classmates after we finished the test and there were mixed feelings (although I feel we all did just fine!)

When I was in 8th grade, I had a teacher that said being able to work in teams is essential to getting ahead in life.  The MHRM program places a great emphasis on teamwork.  As a full time student, I am taking one semester long class and four half semester classes.  Each course has a component that requires teamwork to complete a paper and presentation.

The purpose of our current projects are to identify how organizations implement the elements of business that we have been studying.  For example we have been been reading and discussing about high performance organizations and how to determine if a business could be considered one.  As HR professionals, we will carry much of the burden of developing these aspects in the organizations we represent.  These projects have deepened my professional network and allowed me to understand what HR managers actually do… well at least gain a better understanding.

Aside from gaining valuable insight into actual businesses, our groups are composed of students with different backgrounds and some from different countries.  In my opinion, this is the best way to learn how to work with others.  With three projects going simultaneously,  I am sharpening my time management, organizational, and leadership skills.  As a former coach, I enjoy working with a tight knit group to accomplish a goal, and this is exactly what you can expect from the MHRM students in the Fisher College of Business.

On a side note, Ohio State football is awesome!  On home games, there is a sea of scarlet and gray all around campus.  The camaraderie and school spirit at Ohio State rivals any school in the country.  You can feel the excitement when you walk through the miles of tailgaters, join in the chants of “OH” “IO”, and smell the cooking from thousands of grills.  If you aren’t fortunate enough to have a ticket, I would suggest joining the crowds in one of the local bars or restaurants.  Just make sure your wearing the right colors and join in the spirit of Buckeye nation!

 


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