Posts filed under 'Student Organizations'

Benefits of the Fisher Corporate Mentor Program

Last year I had the opportunity to participate in Fisher’s Corporate Mentor program. The program pairs first year MBAs with local executives from Columbus that are interested in helping mentor and develop students in their chosen career field. I couldn’t have asked for a better mentor last year and truly enjoyed the relationship we developed during the program. This year, I reached out to a first year student to gain their perspective and see if their experience was similar to mine.

Below is a question and answer session I had with Megan Tuetken, first year MBA with a focus on marketing.

 1 – Who is your corporate mentor and what is their background?
My mentor is Mary Beth Cowardin from T. Marzetti’s.  She is the Director of Marketing for the Marzetti brand.  She did her undergrad at OSU and earned her MBA from Fisher.

2 – What were you hoping to gain from participating in the corporate mentor program?
I wanted a non-student/non-professor sounding board to talk to about my internship search and seek advice. I was also looking for a professional perspective on life in the corporate world of marketing.  I was hoping for a mentor in brand management to get an additional perspective to compare to what I’d experienced working with brand managers at Kimberly-Clark over the years.

3 – What have the events been like? Have you been able to meet other students’ mentors?
I did not attend the kick-off event as my mentor was not able to attend.  Instead, I met Mary Beth for breakfast one morning for our first official introduction.  We’ve done breakfast a few times to catch up and chat, and we’ve found that this casual approach has worked well for us.  I went to the event at the Thompson Library, which was pretty informal.  There were quite a few mentor/student pairs.  Some were simply chatting as pairs while others were mingling as larger groups.  I mostly talked with Mary Beth directly as I was in the middle of some critical decisions regarding my internship opportunities.  However, the chance to meet other mentors was definitely available.  I did meet a former colleague of Mary Beth’s briefly.

The last event, which was targeted towards Marketing students/mentors, provided much more of an opportunity to meet other mentors as we were forced to switch our table arrangements throughout the event.  It was great to hear other professionals talk about their experiences regarding a host of business topics.

4 – What is the best piece of advice you have received from your mentor?
My mentor was very helpful in giving feedback regarding my resume.  She helped me expand it quite a bit and pushed me to really capture additional items that I wasn’t really considering.  She also helped me realize which direction I wanted to go with my internship.

5 – Would you recommend the corporate mentor program to other students? If so, why?
I would definitely recommend it.  I’ve had a very positive experience so far, and I plan to stay connected to Mary Beth in the future.  Even though the formally planned events through Fisher are complete, she’s going to give me a plant tour and we’re planning on doing a store walk-through so I can learn more about the categories Marzetti plays in.

To me, it’s a no-brainer to sign up for a mentor.  Fisher has so many amazing alumni and local businesspeople to tap for mentorship.  There’s absolutely no reason not to do it!  I know some students have had better connections than others, but it’s also what each person makes of it.  I found that having a goal for the relationship (for me, it was mostly about the internship search) really helped.  I’m glad to have participated and made a new connection in my network for the future.


Happy Lunar New Year From Fisher

photo-CNY2Every year the Fisher College of Business hosts an evening to celebrate Chinese New Year. This event is one of the favorites for many students. Here’s why:

  • Great entertainment from many Chinese students- this includes, singing, dancing, playing musical instruments, and much more!
  • Fun games for all attendees, including children. The event isn’t only for graduate students, but for members of the faculty and community. This truly is one of the best attended events every year!
  • Incredible Chinese food is brought in from a local restaurant. Not to worry, the Americans aren’t selecting the restaurant, we leave it to the experts to choose which offering is the most authentic!
  • A glimpse into another culture. Because many students at Fisher aren’t Chinese, or have never been to China, the celebration allows others to have an educational experience as well. For me, this is one of the reasons why I find this event so enjoyable.

 


AMP Super Bowl Ad Review

One of the many enjoyable aspects of being a full-time MBA student is that so many great student organizations exist in which anyone can be a part of. Student organizations range in size from large to small, depending on the interest in the organizations subject matter and activities. One of the organizations here at Fisher that I have been a  part of is AMP – the Association of Marketing Professionals.

The last few years AMP has held an activity in conjunction with the Super Bowl. For most marketers, watching the commercials on Super Bowl Sunday is just as entertaining as watching the big game. This is also true for MBA students.

In order to take advantage of some great learning opportunities that come from viewing the Super Bowl, AMP held its annual Super Bowl Ad Review a few days ago. The event always brings in a large crowd of students interested in learning more about creative advertising and why some commercials are received well and why others fall on their face – even when spending $4 million for 30 seconds.

This year was fun because we were able to hear from two marketing professors as well as a Fisher alumnus, Jason Mlicki, who owns his own advertising agency (Rattleback) here in Columbus. Jason has worked in the advertising world for quite sometime and brought a great perspective to many of the ads that we viewed.

A few of the favorites that the professors and Jason shared with the class included Audi, Hyundai, Radio Shack, and Heinz. I personally enjoyed the Audi and Hyundai commercials. They both had different strategies and tactics used throughout their creative, but I believe they both communicated effectively to their audience. Here is the Hyundai commercial for your viewing pleasure! Go Bucks!


Bid Often & Bid High

Back in November, Fisher Follies held their yearly auction – and it was an INCREDIBLE NIGHT. Now, I am on the Follies Steering Committee, so I might be a little biased :)

For those who don’t know, Fisher Follies is a student organization with a lot heart and even more personality. Follies strives to celebrate and leverage the camaraderie of all Fisher students, faculty and staff in order to raise money for the “Fisher Community Fund”. This is a special fund that assist Fisher students who find themselves facing unexpected hardships. Bottom line, it strengthens the Fisher family and allows us to help another. Which in one of my favorite things about this school.

Auction items are donated by faculty, staff and students and range in all sizes and prices. There is a Silent and Live Auction, so the event is great for everyone.

For the Silent Auction, I donated coffee for a week – you text me, I bring you coffee! Other examples of donations include beautifully decorated cookies, dinner for two at Hyde Park, rounds of golf, even manual labor!

The Live Auction is where the big items come to the spotlight. These include tickets for the OSU/Michigan game, a private tour of the Watershed Distillery, brewing beers with Professor Campbell and rides in one of Professor Rucci’s classic cars. The list goes on and on — I had to keep a tight grip on my purse, I wanted to bid on everything!!

The prizes are fantastic, and the entire evening is full of laughs…and quite a bit of competitive bidding. Students dress up in cocktail attire (hey, it beats business professional) and make it a night to remember.

The next Follies event is the Variety Show in February – see you there!

Lindsey and I ready for the night!

 

Auctioneers bidding off “Pie a Michigan Fan!”

 

Good lookin’ group of 1st Year MBAs

 

This little princess came to the auction as well!

 

Todd (1sr yr MBA) and Jenn (Fisher Advisor) having a blast at the Follies Auction

 


Operations, anyone?

Last week I had the opportunity to attend not one, but two Operations related Career Conference events and they were awesome! First, there was the Annual “Links Symposium” sponsored by the Operations and Logistics Management Association, and I volunteered to help organize this event, being a member of OLMA myself.

The half – day event was hosted at The Blackwell Inn, Fisher’s own hotel and Executive Conference Center. This year’s topic was Lean Management, and there were two discussion panels, one for Lean Management in Manufacturing and the other Lean Management in Services. For all the Ops and Supply Chain Majors out there, this was a fantastic opportunity to interact and network

At the OLMA Links Symposium

with the panelists, who were a mix of academic faculty and industry experts from companies such as Greif, Huntington, Cardinal Health etc. To top it all, we had a great moderator – Georgia Keresty, a lean expert with more than 30 + years of experience. 

The very next morning I attended an Operations Career Change Round table event hosted by the Working Professional MBA Program. Fisher’s apt selection of the panelists should not go unmentioned. The 4 WP panelists were each from different areas of Operations – the distribution side, Supply chain side, the IT side and the customer side. It led to a very interesting Q and A session where they shared valuable stories from their work experiences and advice on how we could better ourselves to become ideal hiring candidates for Operations Management roles in top companies.

The biggest perk in attending these kinds of events is that you get to meet such vibrant personalities who are willing to help you in your career any way they can . Drawing from their experiences is a big plus, and ultimately helps you in connecting with more people in the field of your interest. Kudos to Fisher faculty and the COE , for their amazing contributions year after year and a special thanks to Fisher alumni who are so eager to give back to the business community – you are invaluable resources to the current students and one of Fisher’s greatest assets.

And these networking events are right at your doorstep. My advice is to never let these chances slip, because these are golden opportunities that can lead to lifelong career connections. Boy, am I glad I came to Business school :)

With WP alums Megan and Jonathan at the Ops Career Change Roundtable


The Family Man (Not Nicholas Cage…)

 

It’s ok…It will be alright.

This is for all of the spouses and parents out there.  I thought coming to Fisher the thing I would get in 2 years would be an MBA, but I quickly learned that I was gaining a whole new discipline in the process.  As a husband and father who wanted to be around his family, I knew coming to business school was going to be challenging both inside and outside the classroom.  However, I feel that having a family has actually made me be better as a student and at home.  The three things I have learned through this process have been:

  1. Time Management: You just have to be good at managing your time.  I don’t have a lot of margins in my life right now, so it’s a sink or swim situation.  Often when you’re in this spot, not having a choice can actually push you to be better than you might have chosen on your own.
  2. Devote time to thinking about what’s important: The forethought you put into what you want to get out of business school is positively correlated (what’s up data analysis!?) with the opportunities you’ll be able to take advantage of while here.  There are a ton of events and if you don’t know what you want things may pass you by without you realizing it.  Better to be prepared and do the heavy lifting on the front end.
  3. Learn to say no: Like I referred to in point #2, there are a ton of events out there.  The temptation is to go to all of them.  It’s a temptation because there are a ton of awesome and interesting events.  Otherwise, it wouldn’t be a temptation, right?  Well, due to family parameters, I can’t go to everything, but I can go to the events I’m really interested in and passionate about.  That’s where the power of saying no comes in.  You have to pick your battles, and part of that is saying no to good things in order to say yes to great ones.

Interview Prep

I know that preparing for interviews can seem like a waste of time sometimes.  In the basic sense, it is just having a conversation, so why not just go in with the attitude of: “I’m just gonna go in there, be myself, answer their questions with great stories, and knock the interviewer’s socks off.”  And the answer is, because that probably isn’t how it will go at all if you don’t do any prep work, like having answers for common questions prepared.

When I was up in Chicago for the MBA Veteran’s conference, I participated in a conversation with some fellow combat arms vets that probably could have been titled:  The greatest hits of terrible interview question answers.   The questions that were asked in the interviews were generally along the lines of:

“Tell me about a time you were in a seemingly impossible situation, how did you find an innovative solution?”

“Tell me about a time when you were under a lot of stress and had to make a difficult decision?”

“Describe a time when you worked as part of a team to meet a seemingly impossible goal?”

“Describe a time when you used your leadership skills in order to resolve a conflict?”

As a former infantryman who went on multiple overseas deployments, I have a fair amount of experience working in adverse situations, making difficult decisions, working as a part of a team, and using leadership skills.  But, as the mental Rolodex clicks through my life’s story, the first experience that comes to mind for any of those questions is not one that I am going to use in a job interview.  The reason I say that isn’t because I lack pride in my time as a Marine, or am ashamed of what I did overseas or anything like that.  The reason is that the interviewer is not going to be able to understand how to translate those answers into potential value for the company.   During a job/internship interview, the potential employee has to show that it would add value to the company to bring them on board.   If your answer takes the interviewer to a situation and place that they will never understand, full of acronyms and jargon that sounds like a foreign language, they are not going to be able to grasp the value that you can add to their company through your past experiences.  Instead of stories appropriate for the VFW hall, focus on positive stories, that showcase skills like the ability to work as part of a team, be a leader, use time management efficiently, make timely decisions, ect…

So, in my humble opinion, if you are in a situation where you are going to be going to interviews, taking the time to think through some answers to typical behavioral interviewing questions.  That is what I have done, and now I have alternative experiences to draw on, and don’t need to rely on the first experience that comes to mind when someone asks me about a time when everything was going wrong, and success seemed impossible.

I know this post seems rather veteran-centric, but I think it applies to everyone.  It is a good idea to think before you speak in an interview, and make sure that your story conveys a sense of added value to the company that they will be able to understand.  That generally isn’t something that is going to happen without some prep work ahead of time.


Staying in Shape at Fisher

Here at Fisher there are plenty of opportunities to get out and do things other than schoolwork and studying.  I am a very active person and as such have taken advantage of the many physical activity programs that are available at Ohio State.

  • Intramural Football – Fisher put together a co-ed flag football team that was comprised of people from a variety of programs.  It allowed me and a few of the other SMFs to meet some of the individuals in the other Fisher programs.  Football was a good chance to get out on the weekends and get some physical activity while in a fun, competitive environment.
  • Club Swimming – I was an NCAA Swimmer in undergrad at the University of South Carolina so I am always looking for ways to continue to stay in shape and Club Swimming is one of the best opportunities that I have found.  We practice a few times a week and then swim a few meets a semester against other colleges in the area and it is a great chance to not only do a little training but also get up and race every few weeks.
  • Recreation Facilities – Ohio State offers some of the best on-campus recreation facilities in the country with the RPAC, Jesse Owens North, and Jesse Owens South all within a few minute walk of Fisher.  The RPAC is the flagship of the rec department and is one of the largest collegiate rec centers in the country.  They offer over a dozen basketball courts, a massive weight room, hundreds of pieces of cardio equipment, an indoor track, as well as one of the nicest aquatic facilities in the country.  It is very convenient to Fisher and is just a 5 minute walk into campus and is a great place to grab a quick workout in between classes or to break up a long study period.

RPAC exterior


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.

 


Getting Involved – With Precision

It’s no secret, I love to join clubs and organizations. You can ask people in my program! If possible, I would join every single club at Fisher. However, that isn’t always the best idea…it’s better to join organizations that align with your passions, interests and future career goals (I know, sounds kind of corny – but it’s true!)

Personally, I am the VP of Marketing for FisherServes, Treasurer for Innovation Fisher and on the Steering Committee for Fisher Follies. I am also a member of AMP (Association of Marketing Professionals).

 

Just for your reference:

  • FisherServes – An organization that focuses on philanthropy and community service. We connect FCOB students to volunteer activities in Columbus and we host events that raise money for the surrounding community. Tomorrow is our volleyball tournament – stay tuned for that post!!
  • Innovation Fisher- Is a group that focuses on innovation throughout all aspects of the business world. We offer workshops, engagement activities, tours/events and ways to truly see innovation in practice.

    IF homepage – click the icon to learn more!

  • Fisher Follies- A student group that fosters community at Fisher through creativity (and humor). The two major events are an auction and variety show

    The FisherFollies Exec Team getting ready for the 2013 Variety Show

  • AMP – The marketing group of FCOB. This group helps prepare students for marketing careers with support, knowledge and networking.

 

 

 

See? Told you that I like to be involved. But, hey, it adds excitement and things to do to my already busy school schedule.

Each of these clubs has a special place in my heart. I have met incredible people through these organizations and had an absolute blast. With AMP I traveled to Chicago last year for the marketing hop and am constantly getting to network with fantastic marketing professors and professionals. IF uncovered my passion for innovation and led to my internship at Alliance Data as their Innovation Intern. FisherServes allows me to really stretch my marketing and event planning skills, with lots of fundraising experience as well. FisherFollies introduced me to a great group and really shown me how a small, but mighty, group can impact the Fisher community.

HOWEVER – these are just the groups that I decided to join. Everyone’s story is a little bit different. My friend is a part of the Fisher Graduate Women in Business and putting on workshops that address issues women face in the business world. Another good friend of mine is part of the Fisher Networking Club and plans all of the events/happy hours/socials that make Fisher a family.

We also have a Consulting Club, a Veterans Association, a  Chinese Business Professional Association, a Sports Business Association and so, so many more.

Students are able to attend workshops and events of other organizations, so it’s a great way to learn more about topics outside your focus. For example, I have a one-hour Six Sigma workshop next week and lunch with a C-level Executive next month, and about ten other events in-between. Not too shabby :)

Bottom line – join the clubs that are going to be fun. Doesn’t matter if it’s not your major or your focus, join clubs that you think will interest you.

You won’t be bored here at Fisher!


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