Posts filed under 'Sports'



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.

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!

 


MAcc Electives – Business of College Sports

One of the aspects of the MAcc program at OSU that really attracted me was the fact that the curriculum is made up of not only excellent accounting classes, but also a variety of electives in different areas of business. Having come into the program with my undergraduate major in accounting has allowed me to branch out and explore some additional areas of business that are of specific interest to me. I’ve always been a fan of Ohio State athletics, so one of my most interesting electives this semester is “The Business of College Sports” taught by Sheila and Gene Smith (Athletic Director for Ohio State!). Their experience and perspective into the business aspect of college sports, particularly here at Ohio State, is eye-opening and truly one of a kind.

Today our class had the opportunity to tour the Woody Hayes Athletic facility. This complex is where the football team’s main weight lifting room, team meeting rooms, and coaches offices are located. In addition, there is an indoor practice field for various sports teams to use during times when the weather isn’t cooperating.

Photo Courtesy of OhioStateBuckeyes.com

Taking this class has made me consider just how similar athletics and business really are. Just like a business, Ohio State must make investments in facilities and programs that will pay the best returns in helping their athletes achieve their goals. The administration must make decisions to innovate and stay at the “cutting-edge” of the college sports arms race, while at the same time staying true to the traditions , values, and core mission of Ohio State. There are countless other comparisons such as game day logistics, talent utilization and recruitment, and performance evaluation that we have talked about in class. When you stop to think about how much effort goes on behind the scenes of the athletic programs to help make the Buckeyes as successful as possible, it is simply astounding!

Classes like this are one of the reasons that I am so glad that I chose the MAcc program at Fisher. When I graduate I will not only have a greater working knowledge of my field, but also a more extensive knowledge and greater appreciation of the role business plays in many other areas!

To learn more about other MAcc electives and the program curriculum click here . If you have any other questions about this, or any of the other classes in the MAcc program, feel free to comment on this post and I would be happy to get back to you the best I can!


Keeping Pace

There was a saying that we used in the Marine Corps: “It is easier to keep up than catch up.”

This phrase mostly applied to things like running or forced marches in that context, but it seems to me that is is quite applicable to an MBA program as well.   Time management is a crucial skill that is needed in order to thrive in this sort of environment.  In the Marines they begin training in stress inoculation and time management almost immediately.  It is not uncommon in boot camp for something simple, like making a rack (bed), to be given an impossible, or nearly impossible time restriction, and it progresses from there to more complex issues with seemingly impossible time constraints.

Important life decisions.

Time management and the ability to work under duress are two of the many valuable skills (along with leadership), that the Marines helped instill in me.   So, back to the MBA program, during the program, there are a lot of priorities that need to be balanced.  Some of the main ones are:

  • School:  Not just going to all of my classes, but doing homework assignments, studying, and working on projects.
  • Future Careers:  Especially for people like myself looking to switch careers, I need to actively work on building my professional network, attend company info sessions and events, job fairs, apply for jobs, hopefully interview for jobs, work on my resume, and meet with my career counselor.

    First Career Fair as a graduate student today!

  • Student organizations:  There are a myriad of student organizations at Fisher, and they all offer valuable opportunities to students.  There is certainly not time to join all of them, but I have joined several, but each additional one requires an additional time commitment.
  • Personal:  This is possibly the easiest to neglect, but humans need sleep, and to eat, and every once and a while to relax.  Things like going to the gym take time, but it is something that should not be neglected.  Also, having a social life within the program is important.  A big part of business school seems to be networking, so doing things like going to happy hours, and football games are important to building strong relationships with classmates.

All of these areas need to be kept in balance, and maintained, sometimes one is going to be more in focus than the rest, but that doesn’t mean the rest can be neglected.  If I neglect an area, then I am going to fall behind in it, which means that in the future, I will need to expend the same amount of energy needed for it now, plus the energy needed for it in the future, in order to catch up.  That is in addition to meeting all of the other requirements from the other sections of my life.  So, a short term sacrifice now, causes long term harm if I decide to slack in one or more areas.  So, even though it might seem overwhelming sometimes, keeping up with it all is easier than trying to catch up with it all in the future.  I should thank my Drill Instructor for the life lesson.

 

Four simultaneous Script Ohio’s is an amazing thing.


Start early, start often

People, perhaps now more than ever, like instant gratification.  We want answers and results right now.  We don’t want to have to wait until 6 in the evening to catch the evening news, which is why we have multiple 24 hour cable news networks.  Most of us carry more computing power in our pockets than it took to get to the moon, so that we have everything, news, weather, banking info, contacts, and whatever else there is an app for, at our fingertips.

But, if you are looking at attending an MBA program, or utilizing the GI Bill, or even planning to use the GI Bill to attend an MBA program, then an important element to achieve success is to start both processes early.   And neither one is really going to give you that instant gratification that we all crave these days, but they are worth it in the long run.

If you are thinking that attending a top MBA program sounds like a good idea, then if you haven’t already, you should be studying for and scheduling a time to take the GMAT.  It was actually about this time last year that I took mine.  That way, you will have your score when you go to recruiting events, and if you don’t score as high as you would have liked, might even be able to re-take the test before it is time to apply.

After the GMAT is done, come all the other important things, like recruiting events, campus visits, and interviews, all of which you want to get done before application deadlines, so that you can make the best informed decision possible.   Sometimes there are also scholarships and fellowships that are available only to those who apply to the earlier deadlines a school may have.

And, if you are eligible to use the GI Bill, I assume you have dealt with the VA before, so start the process of verifying your eligibility early, because that process can involve a whole lot of hurry up and wait as well.   Time management and task prioritization will be of the utmost importance when pursuing an MBA, so it is best to build those skills early, if you don’t already possess them.

Finally, here is a more current picture of Ohio Stadium, taken last Saturday vs.  Buffalo.

I think my seats are not too shabby.

 


Spring Break Part II: B1G Tourney Time!

2013 Big Ten Tournament Champions!!!!!!!!!!

The scoreboard displaying the Buckeyes as tournament champs!

When I arrived to Chicago last Thursday, I did not expect to see the United Center full of confetti in celebration of the Ohio State Buckeyes winning the 2013 B1G Championship!  But after experiencing all 11 games in 4 short days, I am thrilled that we did it!  This is our third title in just four years.

Here are some of my favorite highlights from the entire weekend:

  • Aaron Craft winning the B1G Tourney Most Outstanding Player
  • The thousands of IU fans suddenly becoming much quieter during their loss to Wisconsin
  • Sam Thompson’s career-high 19 points against Nebraska on Friday
  • My free Penn State basketball t-shirt – thanks to their student section for bringing extras
  • CHEERING ON MY BUCKEYES ALL WEEKEND LONG!!!

The team and coaches celebrating the B1G championship win!

In case it wasn’t obvious, the last four days of spring break were pretty unbelievable.  Now for the NCAA Tourney…it’s time to dance!


Spring Break Part I: Mesa, Arizona!

The first several days of my last spring break as a MAcc student were spent in Mesa, Arizona, with my dad.  (One of the benefits of being in Columbus is you’re always one change of planes from any decently sized city in the U.S.) We flew out Friday evening and spent Saturday and Sunday afternoons at Hohokam Park, home of the Chicago Cubs spring training!  Unfortunately (although unsurprisingly), the Cubs lost on Saturday to the Cleveland Indians in an embarrassing performance involving five, six, maybe seven different pitchers?  I know, I know, it’s only spring training, but a 9-2 loss doesn’t get my hopes up for the games that apparently do matter in the regular season.  But, the Cubs were able to turn it around on Sunday and beat the San Diego Padres 9-3.  The sun was out, there were hot dogs and ice cream to spare, and it was a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon!

Outside Hohokam Park, home of the Chicago Cubs spring training!

After a couple of days of baseball, we drove out to the Phoenix Botanical Garden to get some sun and see the Sonoran Desert at its finest!  We saw tons of cacti as you might expect in a desert, but the botanical garden also had an herb garden and butterfly garden, as well as some hand-built shelters and tools used by tribes native to the desert.  I also saw a few prairie dogs running about.  If I remember correctly, the real name according to an official botanical garden sign was some type of squirrel, but they sure looked like prairie dogs to me!  There were also lots of beautiful flowers among the green cacti; the one below was one of my favorites!

One of the thousands of beautiful plants in the botanical garden

We spend the last couple of days soaking up the sun at the pool, as it reached the high 80′s by our last day.  After what seemed like a short trip, it was back to Columbus for a pit stop before heading to Chicago for the Big 10 Tourney to get my basketball fix before the last six weeks of classes in the Fisher MAcc!

 


Dodging balls for veterans

A couple of weeks ago, FisherServes held a charity dodge ball tournament benefiting Honor Flight Columbus, an organization that honors senior veterans throughout the United States. In a throwback to the playground days, Fisher graduate students from all programs formed teams of six and prepared to practice the five D’s of dodgeball: dodge, duck, dip, dive and dodge! Myself, Ashley, and Amanda from the MHRM program teamed up with Simon, Casey, and Scott from the SMF program for the Friday afternoon tournament.

Amanda, Ashley, Me, Casey, Scott and Simon

Twelve teams battled to win best two out of three matches through round robin style play before heading in to playoff brackets. This design guaranteed that everyone got to play a solid number of matches regardless of wins and losses- which our team certainly appreciated. Admittedly, our team was not the best on the court. But we may have been the best dressed!

Afterwards all the participants headed out to Zeno’s, who also donated a portion of the night’s sales to Honor Flight Columbus. It was a great opportunity for students from all programs to hang out, mingle, and get to know each other a little more after the friendly competition.

The event raised almost $600 for Honor Flight Columbus and added bonus? It was an absolute blast! It did not truly matter whether your team won or lost, it was just a ton of fun to get out there and play.


More than Academics

Through my semester and a half at Fisher, I am come to realize that this college offers so much more than academics! Our MBAs have a natural tendency to get involved in extracurricular activities- and I am happy to be a part of many student groups and orgs because of this. One area in particular that has surprised -and excited- me has definitely been our involvement athletics and intramurals.

I am a sports nut! While soccer was my first love, I find it hard to say no to anything related to sports – not only is it fun and healthy, but I feel it is one of the best ways to help balance out academics.

During the fall, nothing brings a new group of students together like OSU football. A few of my classmates took the lead on creating a seating section for games, and because of this, our first-year class was able to watch each football game as a group. It was a great way to become acclimated to the school and program, as well as meet some great friends.

Within time, an MBA Ambassador intramural flag football team was created. I proudly joined this team with co-ambassadors, and we had a blast. Most recently, I took part in our dodgeball tournament to support Honor Flight of Columbus. Sponsored by FisherServes, students in all of our MBA programs at Fisher formed teams of 6 to compete in a half-day tournament. I can proudly say that a donation goal of $500 was set, and we have hit 95% completion! Here is a picture of our killer team:


This week, a group of first-year MBA students is kicking off a co-ed indoor soccer season, and I am excited to be part of it. Hopefully I will have some good updates to come once our season gets started! 

If you are looking at Fisher as a potential school for your MBA- and you share our love for involvement- you are at the right place. With over 25 student organizations, there is no doubt that one will spark your interest.


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