Blessed are the flexible…

“Blessed are the flexible, for they shall never be bent out of shape.”

I find myself blogging again on Sunday night/Monday morning, probably because this is the only quiet time I seem to find in my week. The time is currently 2:05am and I just finished up a paper for my Strategic Management of Human Assets class taught by Steffanie Wilk (who won Fisher College’s graduate teaching award last year). I have some pretty good classes this quarter, but I’d have to say that this one is my favorite (love the HR/OB stuff). It approaches personnel and human resource management issues and challenges from the general manager’s perspective. It’s really helped to build on my experiences working in talent management this summer with Deutsche Post DHL.

Another favorite this quarter is The Business of College Sports, taught by our Athletic Director and his wife, Gene and Sheila Smith. Out of the several dozen speakers I saw last year through the MBA program, Gene Smith was BY FAR the best speaker that I had the pleasure of listening too. He’s one of the most powerful men on the Ohio State campus, yet he’s incredibly down-to-earth and his leadership qualities are exemplary. After hearing him speak at a Black MBA speaker series last year, I knew I had to take his class.

Come to think of it, all my classes are great this quarter. I just wish I had more time to devote to them. Last year I was usually a week ahead with assignments and readings, and always made sure I had the time to turn in perfect project deliverables. This quarter I’m usually preparing the day before class (which is still better than nothing right?). Teaching my undergraduate class, being in charge of Fisher College’s graduate student government and trying to find a job has really taken a large chunk out of my schedule. It’s times like this that I’m glad I have my yoga practice to keep me sane.

Making the transition from competitive powerlifter to yoga student around five years ago, I found tools to better my body, breath and mind. I feel very fortunate for picking it up at an early age, as opposed to later in life after an injury as many others do. What I like the most about yoga in terms of my personal practice is that it helps me navigate the busy corporate world. Yoga is much more than doing stretches on a mat. It is a comprehensive tool kit of values, postures, breath work and meditation that allows one to strip away impurities, insecurities, limiting beliefs and other obstacles to happiness. Some of these yogic values include: kindness, truth, moderation, cleanliness, contentment and self-study. No matter who you are or what you believe in, these are all principles that are beneficial for finding sustained joy.

Even working my 60-80 hours a week, I find myself blissfully at ease throughout the week. And if something goes terribly wrong, I know that life is inherently good and it’s really not a big deal in the long run.  I couldn’t imagine my life without yoga. I use breathing exercises to calm down before interviews and presentations, mantras and readings to help keep me present, and mat exercises to keep my posture from totally breaking down from the endless hours in front of my laptop.

This quarter I’m not going to be able to teach as much as I’d like to, but I’ll be teaching for sure on October 25th and November 22nd at the RPAC in Multipurpose Room #5 at 10:30am-12:00pm (both are Sundays). It’s free through the Ohio State Yoga Club, so come give it a try if you’re interested.

In closing, the following is one of my favorite Chinese proverbs about the importance of health:
Represent Fame, Fortune, Family, and Friends by the numeral zero. Represent Health by the number “1”. If you have the “1” and put it first, every added zero will increase your wealth. Without the “1” first, you have nothing!


Mike ^_^

Notre Dame – USC and studying for my first midterm

On Saturday I went to the Notre Dame – USC game in South Bend since my girlfriend is a graduate of Notre Dame and a lot of her college friends were going to the game. We left at about 5:15am on Saturday morning and didn’t get home until about 12:15am on Sunday morning, but it was well worth it. The game was close during the first half but USC jumped out to a 20 point lead early in the 4th quarter and it looked like the game was over. Before I knew it, Notre Dame had pulled to within one touchdown of USC and was about to tie the game with seconds left. Unfortunately, they were not able to get the ball in the end zone and the Irish lost 34-27. One benefit of going to the game was that I didn’t have to watch the Buckeyes lose to Purdue.

Today I have been holed up in the library studying for my first midterm exam as a graduate student. I am slowly getting more and more comfortable with the material and I think I will be ready when the time comes to take the exam on Tuesday. Anyway, time for me to get back to the studying.

Below are some pictures from the football game. We were directly behind the USC marching band which got to be a little annoying at times.

The USC Marching Band

Wilco and studying for my first midterm

Last night I went to the Wilco concert at the Wexner Center. I was fortunate enough to get seats in the second row and it proved to be one of the best concerts I’ve seen in a while. They played a good mix of old and new stuff and it all sounded great. Unfortunately, the show didn’t end until about 11:45 PM so I was very glad that I planned ahead and did my reading for class before I went to the show. You can read reviews of the show here and here and look at pictures here.

Now that we are in the 4th week of the quarter, things are starting to get a little stressful. I have my first midterm on the 20th and another midterm and a project due each of the weeks after that. Saturday I am heading to South Bend, Indiana for the Notre Dame – USC football game so I am planning on studying for the test most of the day on Sunday. I have kept up with most of the assignments so I am hoping that I won’t have to do too much cramming.

In other sports, the Blue Jackets are 4-1, their best start in franchise history! Unfortunately, I don’t get to watch a lot of their games this quarter because of class but I am very excited about their prospects this season after the fast start. If you are a sports fan, you need to try and get down to a game.

Below are a few pictures from the Wilco concert. They were taken with “T-bone”‘s iPhone since I forgot to charge the camera’s battery.

Cheer for the Bucks in Block-O

This was my third time in the Shoe—the Ohio State University’s football stadium. The first time I was there, summer, no one was in the stadium. I had a nice bird view from the deck and got wonderful pictures. The second time I was there, MAcc orientation, I was invited to attend a social in the prestige Huntington Club. I enjoyed the private tour to the VIP suites and ESPN boxes, and “starred” on the 40 yard line. Saturday came the third visit to the Shoe. I stood in the front section of Block-O almost the whole game, cheering for our great Buckeye athletes beating the “unbeaten-back-then” Wisconsin.

Me at the game with the Ohio State Marching Band in the back!

Block-O refers to the two seating sections right behind the two field goals in the Shoe. Audience in these two sections, most of whom students, are to lead the cheering and to create excitement for the whole stadium. We generated waves, and did the “O-H-I-O” “merry-go-around” (I gave it this name), a lot of jumping, dancing, cheering, and “booing” (Wisconsin, of course). The 96 yard return by Ray Small to a touchdown started right in front of me. I also touched Brutus Buckeye, our mascot, who was lifted by the Block-O audience and sent to the upper Block-O section!! A bonus was, free Ohio State T-shirts were thrown to us once a while through the game!

Great thanks to Scott, my MAcc classmate, for the tickets!

Before you go, here are some tips for watching live game in the stadium. Eat beforehand as you will consume tons of energy. Drink enough water so that you don’t dry out, but drink just enough because there is way too much you can’t miss in the game.

Week 4 Stress

And so begins week 4. It’s hard to believe first of all that it’s already week for and second of all that the quarter is almost half over. For those of you semester fans out there, I’m still a fan of quarters and I’m glad I’ll be done with my degree before the big switch.

I still have yet to complete my stats homework  or my reading for class this week. Should be entertaining to watch me attempt to complete everything. So far the hardest thing about stats isn’t actually the stats work, but installing the program onto my computer, helping the rest of my class install it, and creating (so far) 7 graphs and I’m only on problem 4 of 12. But hey, that means I’m 33% done and that 33% more than I was two days ago. Another two hours on homework and I’ll be golden.

I’m looking into getting a massage and/or more yoga classes. They seem to de-stressify my seemingly more and more stressed out self.

On a fun note, Ohio State won this weekend. I really should say the defense won this weekend. It’s good to know that my cousins, who went to Wisconsin, still cheered for Ohio State. They know where their loyalties lie.

Tip of the week:
Bring dinner to class. Or at least something which is microwavable and that you can keep in your locker so that during the breaks in class, you can whip up something pretty easily so tide yourself through the next two hours of class. I don’t know about you, but eating at 5 o’clock or 10:30 is not appealing to me.

-For now…

First real exercise since July…

Yesterday I went for a jog at the Fred Beekman Park for a little over 4 miles (well, I ran 2 and walked 2). That was my first real exercise in almost 3 months! The day was perfect although the temperature was a little chilly. Nevertheless, my body was tired after the run because how out-of-shape I’ve been since moving to Columbus, but my mind was refreshed and I was ready to study for 824 and put together my 804 report!

As Manru said in her previous post, life has been extremely busy (and crazy) since week 2 of school. I am willing to bet that this is the case for everyone in the Fisher graduate programs, because we’re just that good. LOL! So on top of Manru’s time management tips, I’d like to add one personal touch and that is, give yourself a minimum of an hour or two a week and get away from the books and reports. Because as you approach that threshold where you start losing focus and motivation, if you’re like me then you’ll find yourself surfing on facebook or slickdeals or simply idling when you could be recharging yourself outside!

Here are some of my suggestions for a temporary escape from school work:

  1. Exercise – Fred Beekman Park, RPAC, ARC, or the gym downstairs at your apartment complex
  2. Columbus Zoo – you can get cheap tickets at the student union
  3. Visit German Village, Amish Country, etc
  4. Sleep – this one is particularly precious these days… when all else fail to interest you, take a huge nap!
  5. Last but not least, come read our blogs and see what suggestions or stories we have for you. heheh okay just kidding…

Relax! Chances are you’ll be in a group with 3-5 people so I’m sure you can lean on your team for a couple hours. However, I will not be held liable if your group decides to take a field trip to the zoo and somehow miss your project/report deadline… XD



The Coldest Football Game I’ve Ever Been To In My Life!!!

Okay, I know I’m probably gonna get laugh at for saying this, but I don’t care: The OSU vs. Wisconsin game was the coldest football game I’ve ever been to! I have to be fair though, the weather was terrific. Blue sky, tiny bit of cloud, mild wind, last but not least… 50-55 degrees… orz (that’s almost winter for Texans)

I’ve been to plenty of games back in Texas, both college football and NFL, and I’m accustomed to be in a 90-100 degrees environment (100+ if you’re in the sun) plus the heat from the 100,000 fans surrounding you. I’ve also been to the Rose Bowl twice in January and even then it didn’t feel nearly as cold as today. I ended up going home early in the 3rd quarter after we opened the quarter with a kick-off return and expanded the lead to 24 points. Here’s my excuses for having such pitiful endurance and lessons learned:

  1. Defense > Offense – our defense and special teams scored 3 TDs but that only came once every 30 minutes or so. I’m sort of the offense kind of guy. I like seeing big plays. GO LONG!!!
  2. Not much of a challenge – their QB looked pretty good, but still, I get bored easily, especially when the margin goes beyond two possessions
  3. Bring a bigger jacket!!! I felt really smart wearing a t-shirt and a light BR jacket (just for looks) and found out that our section has our backs to the sun. Never have I missed the sunshine so badly. LOL

I said the same thing on fb when I got home last night and almost immediately I got a couple responses saying “just you wait til the Iowa game in November”. Time to bring out my Columbia heavy-duty skiing coat. I’ll be ready!!!


Much Ado About Nothing

Welcome back everyone. We’ve got a considerable amount of material to cover and, as always, I am pressed for time. Therefore, I am going to utilize bullet points:

  • Hitting the deck seems to have been a theme for me this past week. On Saturday, myself, JF, MF, and MH met at the ARC to play some basketball. For those of you who have met me, you know I don’t exactly have a basketball build. For those of you have haven’t, be creative. This was also the second time I touched a basketball since sometime in high school  (Lebron, watch out, I’m coming for ya). After playing some knockout and a couple of 2 on 2 games, we all were a little tired and sweaty. However, as business students always looking for a challenge, we tried to find some people to play us 4 on 4. Apparently, undergraduates are afraid of us at the ARC – wouldn’t play us.  Little did they know we are all old, out-of-shape graduate students. After this, we simply returned to play another 2 on 2 game – and the plot thickens. During this game, as I was changing direction, I heard that unmistakable pop, made an unforgettable face, and fell to the ground. There was no laughing this time. I sprained my right ankle pretty good. So I apologized to my friends for bailing early, limped home, applied pressure, iced it, and popped some painkillers. Thankfully, I was feeling good enough to make it out for Saturday night celebrations as the chauffeur, the always popular fedora and all.
  • I signed up for the Vietnam Emerging Market Field Study class and put down the deposit. This a 4 credit hour course for the winter quarter and ends with a ~10 day trip to Vietnam to solve some business problems and briefly immerse one’s self in the country. I can’t wait!
  • Football – Purdue blew their lead over Northwestern and now has a 1-4 record. It’s practically like being a Brown’s fan at this point…
  • Football –  OSU rolled over Indiana. Well done.
  • Football –  St. Xavier High School defeated their arch-rival Cincinnati Elder on Friday night. Yes, I know I am a graduate student but I definitely still follow my high school’s football team. Don’t judge me.
  • Football – While watching the Bengals – Browns game I heard Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” being played in the stadium before the beginning of overtime. Do I even need to explain this one?
  • Fisher Professional Services – Project One kick-off was today, free lunch and all – NOT pizza. FPS is a student organization that sets FCOB apart from almost all other business schools. If you are a prospective student reading this, you really should check out their website.
  • MBA860 – Professor Inks asked if we had “hit our stride” yet. I knew precisely what he meant. I know for myself, I have not been asked to perform at this level since my undergraduate days. Early mornings and late nights are common. Tons of reading. Student organizations to get involved in. Information Sessions. Career management meetings. It’s a lot of work, but as the FPS 2nd years told us later in the day, it’s manageable. “We are all survivors of what you are going through. You’ll look back and realize how much fun you had.”

“In time the savage bull doth bear the yoke.” – William Shakespeare


I am a fan of ….

Not sure how many people know but we have a real V-ball star in the MBA 2011 class. Last Friday, I had the chance to watch the game OSU vs Wisconsin at the St. John Arena. Even though it was not a winning game for the buckeyes, it was a really fun game to watch.  Our classmate Anna Szerszen, an extremely talented V-ball player, had a great performance and some very impressive kills (scary spikes) during the game.

Talking about different types of leadership, I will say she is a true leader in the court. She showed her power and talent, enthusiasm and positive attitude at all times. Anna was constantly cheering her teammates even when the game was going badly for the buckeyes. As a good leader she kept the team together and they kept fighting together until the end. I was very impressed by Anna, looking at her play and hearing her name several times over the commentary. She was a real star!

Thinking about the amount of time she puts into the training and games on top of all the MBA classes makes me sincerely admire her. It is a tough life style and she shows great fortitude in managing both time and pressure!! I congratulate her for being such a hard worker and an achiever, and also for successfully representing Fisher and OSU.

This Wednesday (10/07), the buckeyes are playing the #1 team in the country Penn State; it should be an exciting game. There will be more games coming played in Columbus, so if there is a chance I definitely recommend everybody to go and cheer Anna and the buckeye team. The schedule and results can be checked at Women’s Volleyball – 2009 Schedule & Results. Plus the entrance is free for all OSU students with Buck-ID!

So yes, I am now officially a fan Anna Szerszen!


Kid’s story: Girlie football

Timeline: Sunday, 12:45 a.m. (that means the beginning of Sunday)

I see: the F1 grid ready to start at Susuka

I hear: the commentators giving all sorts of information about the race, the country, etc.

I smell: the terrible coffee available in the common room

I feel: anxious… Go, Vettel!!!

I grew up under one premise: love everything about your life except for traffic.

I must say that, where I come from, average income is around one-fifth of what it is in the US and cars cost twice or three times as much, yet the very few people who can actually afford to drive around in cars still make things chaotic. The public transportation system is decent, and definitely better than in Columbus, but there are so many people who use it that it’s not something you want either.

However, I have never seen such a BAD case of traffic woes as in Columbus, OH. The case is so bad that I’ve actually come to think that it’s not the only place around here where this happens.

Now, if you know about Columbus, you’re probably scratching your head thinking how this can be so in a city with something around a million or so inhabitants spread out over such a wide area, and famous for everything being at most 20 minutes away. If you’ve actually lived in Columbus, there’s still a chance that you don’t yet get my point. However, if you’re a foreigner living here, you know what I’m talking about: home-game Saturdays.

Whenever there’s a home game in our beloved Horseshoe (that’s the girlie-football stadium, for those who haven’t been here), I look out my window and see a corner that’s about four or five blocks to the west of it and see four to six people in glow-in-the-dark attire with cones, lighted sticks, whistles and a very serious attitude. The scene repeats itself in just about every single corner around campus, and yes, I mean just around campus, because on campus there are people from every three-letter government agency and their respective uniforms armed to their teeth patrolling of standing guard in groups of no less than three people covering all known campus area. I’m pretty sure there’s even some we cannot see.

The first time I saw the scene I was vaguely reminded of the times the President of our country visited my college’s campus back home. I remember thinking “well, this is kind of exaggerated, but it must happen only for the inaugural game of the season”. But no, it happens every single time the Buckeye team plays whomever, and I’ve learned several things the hard way: first, do NOT make any plans whatsoever that involve mobility around the city, and second, traffic in my hometown is beautiful compared to this. I truly admire the passion that people feel around these games, but I think they’re overspending taxpayer money mobilizing the small army they deploy just to watch over a bunch of college students cheer for some guys hitting their heads against others’ (even if it is a big bunch: over 100,000 people fit into the Horseshoe, with easily 4 times as many around it).

Here’s a thing: I’m writing this before seeing what it’s like when the Buckeyes play the school up north.

“I’m someone else, I’m someone new, I’m someone stupid just like you” –Marilyn Manson