Fall Quarter Top Ten List – Guest Blogger

Guten tag. I am pleased to welcome another guest blogger – my core teammate and good friend, Gerrit Ockers. Take it away Gerry.

Hola, cómo estás? Me llamo Gerry. I’ve spent the past few months back in my hometown (after what seems like forever) rediscovering all the great things (and not so great) about college. Between classes, joining 6 (that’s SIX) different student organizations, learning Spanish, and securing an internship, it’s hard to believe there was any time for fun. Surprisingly, there was an abundance, in no small part because of the truly awesome people here at Fisher. I’m pleased to present my very own “Top 10 Moments” from the Fall Quarter 2009.

10. Fisher Games. Does it get any better than dodgeball with Fisher professors Ben “I must break you” Campbell and Larry “Some people can’t hack HR” Inks? Yes, according to this list.

9. 80’s Night party in the Fisher Commons’ “quad” results in Cops being called. Apparently some grad schoolers don’t realize this is really College, Part Deux.

8. Halloween Night party. BILLY MAYYYYYS HERRRRE!!!

7. Prisoner’s dilemma: The prisoner’s dilemma is a fundamental problem in game theory that demonstrates why two people might not cooperate even if it is in both their best interests to do so. Case in point – people at a party talk too loudly, so everyone talks louder – resulting in the cops being called to Claire’s apartment.

6. Yet another application of Economics principles: All-you-can-drink imports for $14 at Thirsty Scholar. The goal? To drink until the average total cost for each pint of Guinness was $1. I only made it to 11. Better luck next time.

5. Quote of the year in EPI class: “I could tell my wife, or my girlfriend… or both.”

4. Post-Fall Quarter celebration at the Varsity Club. So good to see classmates out having fun, especially those whose heads were buried in books for the previous 10 weeks.

3. Diwali night: the best sober time you’ll ever have. Think “So you think you can dance” meets India. The dance moves were INSANE.

2. Syrup race from Super Troopers: pain is temporary, pride is forever. [Not recommended for those with aversion to sweet items, diabetics, or anyone]. The best part was four guys standing in the syrup aisle at Kroger debating whether we wanted cancer (sugar-free syrup) or diabetes (traditional).

1. Identifying “the culprit” based on various hints. I’d say more, but I’d have to kill you.

And there you have it. Winter quarter has a lot to live up to, but if this week is any indication, things are only going to get better as the year goes on!

My Flip-camera Adventures

Last October I was given the fun mission of recording some videos at the NHSMBA conference. This was the first time that the College decided to use one of the several Flip cameras they have acquired for MKT – Educational purposes. Conferences and other student meetings are definitely a great opportunity to show others what Fisher students are getting involved in the different events that take place locally and nationally.flip camera

I have to say that the Flip camera is really handy. It is small, it last several hours, it has a big memory, it is easy to use, easy to download images and it has a simple software to do creative videos, postcards, editing, etc.  You can also add music to the footage, capture pictures, and share the material with others. However, there are a lot of little details that could make a video better, such as the angle, the way the camera is handle, narration, and focus, among others. I am still on the process of learning the techniques of making it more professional. It also allows for catching awkward moments easily!

Using the flipcamera is not hard at all, but trying to record myself was really hard. I repeated the same speech probably 20 times before Erik (the video director) approved it 🙂 … It might be hard to be an actor!

I highly encourage other students to use the flipcamera, it is a great tool to share your experiences and easy way to capture interesting moments of your Fisher life!

Here is a sample of a footage from NSHMBA event (Thanks to Shaun Holloway and Erik Palomar for putting the video together). Fisher at NSHMBA (VIDEO)

It is easy to see that these new generation of HD camera’s are a real innovative piece of technology and can be used in a range of situations – CBS better watch out, I have a new career in mind!

Enjoy!

And the winner is….. “Sustainability”

In one of my previous blogs, I wrote about my super talented Project 1 team. Well, I think there was some truth in the talented part since our team won the first place in the Sustainability Reporting trends and Tools group for the Project One competition. We believe that this recognition was achieved mainly due to our good team dynamic. Since the beginning we all had a really good connection and were able to work well together. Of course there was a lot of effort that everyone put on the project and we also had a really good manager guiding our process (Thanks Ed L.!).

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All the teams did an excellent job with their projects and the big winner in this process was the “Sustainability” topic. We all got more familiar and engaged with it and hopefully will continue to be involved with it. After this project, we are certainly slightly more familiar with sustainability. And I say slightly, because the sustainability topic is very broad and messy. The team was very lucky to have the opportunity to talk with several experts from the industry and guest speakers and become more knowledgeable with the issues.

Our team definitely learned a lot from the research and interviews, and we were pretty confident that we had a reasonable understanding of the topic. The main takeaways from our work were the need to improve our ability to make more solid recommendations as well as how to structure a presentation to have a better impact. And of course there is always room for improving our presentation skills. The emphasis on team work that Fisher has is a great learning tool for future professionals and I believe we have come a long way since September!

We all enjoyed being part of this group and this project (even though we were under a time constraint all the time) and we hope to have the chance to work again as a group in the future.

Thanks to FPS and to Oracle for the opportunity and thanks to Captain Planet team for the experience.

Love MBAMA

I really appreciate my choice to join MBAMA(MBA Marketing Association) since it offers very practical and valuable activities for its members.

This week, I followed my association to visit Lextant .

Lextant is a design research and user experience firm based in Columbus, OH that helps companies bring the best possible products and services to market.  They specialize in innovative techniques dig deep into customer emotions – the frustrations, expectations, needs, and aspirations that frame every brand experience.  These insights give their clients design clarity, a key to aligning efforts, reducing risk, and building customer loyalty.  Some of their clients include: Microsoft, P&G, Samsung, Cardinal Health, American Eagle, and GE.

The employees there were so nice and patient. They first asked us three questions “Why you chose Marketing” ,”What do you want to do after graduation”and “Why you come to Lextant”. I was the only one HR student there, but I had a Bachelor`s degree of Marketing. So I shared my different opinions towards the three questions and I definitely believe my answers gave them a very good impression. Marriage between HR and Marketing:) Then, the three designers share us their working procedures through video, which significantly attracted me to join their team.  Finally, they introduced us to visit the different working rooms.

During this trip, I realized that it is of great importance to understand the customers and let customers understand our products and services as well.

I will leaving for Cincinnati for Marketing Hop next Friday to visit P&G with MBAMA. I am too thrilled that I have such a good organization. Thanks all the organizers.

Triple Feature

Welcome back to the program. Thanks for staying with us.

Michigan Week – As anyone reading this should now, this week is the last football game of the year for the Buckeyes, which means we are playing that school up North (Michigan).  There is a famous quote about Woody Hayes that sums up this rivalry:

When asked why he went for two despite a 36-point lead against Michigan, Hayes quipped, “Because I couldn’t go for three.”

Fisher Follies – Fisher Follies is one of the better known student organizations here at Fisher and I think is almost part of our culture. Earlier this week in Organizational Behavior, we learned about Daniel Goleman’s emotional intelligence model for leaders. In this model, one of the emotional intelligence parameters is self-awareness, and one observable behavior of self-awareness is self-deprecating humor. In my humble opinion, Fisher Follies is a great example of self-deprecating humor. Some of the videos have elements of “inside jokes” in them; however the following should be hilarious for all:

Part-Time vs. Full-Time MBA (Mac vs. PC)

Part-Time vs. Full-Time MBA – Therapy (Mac vs. PC)

Unprofessional Minds

If you took the time to watch Unprofessional Minds in its entirety, you’ll notice that the main character, Dr. Inks, spends time training for dodge ball. This is a perfect segue into my next point.

Fisher Winter Games – This Friday, Fisher students, faculty, and staff will come together for one of the greatest spectacles in collegiate graduate student sporting events – the Fisher Winter Games. Student-Athletes will compete in volleyball, dodge ball, and basketball, but the headlining event is the faculty vs. student dodge ball game. Featured in this event are Dr. Inks from Unprofessional Minds and Dr. Campbell, who has a cameo appearance in that film (“I will crush you”). Let the battle begin!

Finis.

Cullman Lunch: Cary Jenkins

Cary Jenkins was behind one of the biggest tech exits in recent Columbus history.  His company of TopNoggin, the producer of the innovative pension management software platform: Bluefin, was recently acquired by The Hartford Financial Services Group.  Cary continues to believe that the IT departments of large companies are not designed to innovate; after TogNoggin he has continued to seek out technology needs with other ventures including Visible Equity and My Financial Guard.

As far as the Cullman lunch series goes, Cary was on the informal end of the spectrum.  He spent some time demonstrating the Bluefin product and tried to let our questions lead the discussion.

A few themes that I picked up on:

  • “Bullets in your gun” when brining in partners. Cary highlighted two selling points when trying to recruit partners away from lucrative corporate life: fun and a potential lump sum.  When our group discussed our reasons for wanting to start a company, we boiled it down to “we just want do something different” and “fun.”  Cary also pointed out that most millionaires become millionaires as the result of a lump sum (i.e. it is very hard to become a millionaire through a salary)—and by taking equity you create this potential.
  • Be honest with your talents. Some of the first people Cary brought on when he started TopNoggin were a domain expert (an actuary) and a president.  While Cary is very talented in crafting and selling a product, he is first to admit that general management is not his forte.
  • Flexibility and Adaptability of new ventures: Cary took us through the startup history of TopNoggin and Visible Equity.  Both companies began by doing something else and the economic situation (e.g. Housing Market Meltdown, Dot Com Bust) and customer needs led their products in new directions.

Reposted from aaron360.com.

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When dumb is good

I know. I know. I have spent an awful lot of my allocated blog space talking about how dumb I am/feel/act. Don’t worry – I won’t beleaguer the point (although I should come up with a post to prove that I am learning something).

This post is, in fact, something different.

One great thing about being in Fisher is that you are thrust into different situations where you don’t feel particularly smart. A reason – brilliant classmates.

For our behavioral organization class, we had to rate different groups in terms of Larson and LaFasto’s team effectiveness dimensions. And among the groups, the whole class rated their cohort team as the highest in the “competent team members” dimensions.

Our professor jokingly said that we have either high confidence or low humility but I think this isn’t the case at all. My personal belief is that saying that my team has competent team members speaks about my high regard and admiration for every member of the Fisher graduate programs.

For the moment, I worked with three different teams – my MBA cohort, my Fisher Professional Services ProjectOne team, and P&G Case competition team.

Every encounter with MBA cohort team is an opportunity for me to learn – whether with business and class-related issues and other interests they might have. Every project is a chance to pick on their brains and work with their ideas and mine. Every meeting to make our Accounting Financial Statement Analysis case assignment is hours of preparation for me only to arrive at an answer which is not necessarily correct (as shown by my teams calculations).

Secondly, my ProjectOne team. When I got my project assignment, I had honestly no idea what half of the words of the project brief meant. Project 1.3 is/was very ambiguous. We felt we were trying to maneuver in total darkness. But once we threw our ideas back and forth, we were able to make light of the situation. I felt that my team helped the rusty wheels in my head whir to extract whatever idea that was hiding in the crevices of my brain.

Lastly, my P&G case competition team. Forming a team for the case competition actually slipped my mind until (almost) the last moment. So, I asked a classmate, who was particularly in demand because she had 7 other people in her list, to consider me as part of one of the teams. I don’t know what her criteria were but I think she did a good job of grouping us. Not only was I intellectually challenged by my team during the 2-day event, I had fun, which was more important.

Again, this is no coincidence. I didn’t happen to just be placed with really smart people because everyone is. I had a great experience with my teams so far. But I hope to be able to work with many others. I may feel dumb each time. But I’ll take that as a chance to develop and learn.

New Insights

As some of the other bloggers has mentioned, we had the opportunity to celebrate the Indian Diwali Festival this past weekend.  This was something that I was so excited to take part in because I have never even had Indian food before, let alone celebrate an Indian festival.

I did not know what quite to expect, other than I had heard the food can be spicy.  As my friend and I arrived at the restaurant, we were not sure what to expect.  We did not know what to wear or if we should have brought anything, or if there were certain customs we needed to know.

But as we got there, the students running the event could not have been more welcoming.  They showed us our seat, explained all of the different dishes, and were all wearing the traditional Indian clothing.  Even though we did not have on the traditional clothes, we felt as welcomed and as part of the celebration as if we were all friends for a long time.

My favorite part was after dinner, when everyone got up and began dancing.  After a few dances, the students running the event had convinced everyone to get out of their comfort zones.  Everyone was on the floor dancing their hearts out.  It was a mode of “anything goes” on the dance floor.

As we left the restaurant, sweaty, full of good food, and exhausted, my friend and I could not stop talking about how much fun we had just had.  It was such a great experience to be able to relax and have fun with other students they way that they are used to relax.

A large part of what we learn here at Fisher happens outside of the classroom.  This was a great learning experience, and lets just say it won’t be long before I go out for some Indian food again!  Thank you to everyone who put on the event for us!

Midterms over… still busy

As you probably assumed from my intermittent blog posts the past two weeks, I have been really busy.  In the future, I’ll try not to miss as many entries while preparing for exams, but that will definitely depend on how I am doing in my classes.   I am enjoying my Fisher College experience too much to fail out in the first quarter. (Mom & Dad – don’t worry.  My grades are fine.)

With that said, I am happy to report that I am back on “regular time.”  I consider regular time to be the period of the school year where I don’t have any exams, papers or projects looming over my head.  Regular time involves a lot of reading, internship searching, and extracurricular involvement.  Regular time does not include last minute cramming, late night paper writing, or guzzling coffee from water bottles in order to stave off my body’s desire for sleep.   Needless to say, I am really happy that my schedule is back to normal.

A few quick bullets:

  • Fisher Graduate Student Association (FGSA):   I had my first meeting for FGSA last Thursday.   I have already received some great feedback from classmates regarding areas where Fisher College can improve.  Keep the ideas coming to us and make sure to attend our first town hall meeting in two weeks.
  • Halloween Bash:   Over 200 Fisher students showed up to Mosaic on Friday night.   We are currently voting on best costumes, so I don’t know who will officially win, but my votes are going to Nick Fischer and Joseph Cheng…  Nick went as the late Billy Mays(RIP).  Joseph went the scary route.  I think he was a hybrid gorilla/skeleton.
  • Procter & Gamble Case Competition:  On Thursday and Friday of this week I will be participating in P&G’s case competition for first year Fisher College students.  This will be my first case competition (ever) so I am not really sure what to expect.
  • Bengals – Ravens Game:   After the case competition wraps-up on Friday, I’m driving to the Cincinnati Airport to pick up a friend coming in town to watch the Bengals v. Ravens game at Paul Brown Stadium.  I am a huge Bengals fan (don’t judge me) and my friend is a huge Ravens fan.  These two teams will be battling for first place in the AFC North division.  I can’t wait for the game.

That’s all for now.

The Show Must Go On!

The past week has been one of the busier since arriving here in Columbus; this weekend is proving to be no different.

I am currently taking a short break from working on my “Individual Case Assignment” for Dr. Inks’ & Dr. Rucci’s Organizational Behavio(u)r class. I am hoping that a witty, creative attempt at blogging will get the writing juices flowing for this ~20 page paper…

Here’s a brief, mostly chronological summary of what’s happened this past week:

  • Econ MidtermL-X graphs
  • Accounting Midtermproblem solving
  • Warren Buffet Trip Callout – A lot of people want to go, not many get to. 27 spots.
  • FGSA Meetings – Wednesday night  at the Varsity Club. More meetings should be at the Varsity Club. Professors agree.  No work got done Wednesday evening. Thursday in Fisher Graduate Student Association Board Room (it’s actually a closet…)
  • FisherServes Community Service Day -Building tables at Map Furniture Bank. Barbecue Conundrum – North Carolina vs. the world. I am on North Carolina’s side.
  • FCOB Halloween Celebration – BILLY MAYS HERE!

Billy Mays here!
Billy Mays here! R.I.P.

Back to working on the Cirque du Soleil case for Dr. Inks. The Show Must Go On.

Finis.