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.

Indian MBA Association

Well this has been an eventful week. There was Alumni Awards ceremony, pre-Game Tailgate with Deloitte associates and partners, mid-terms (more on that later) and Indian MBA association social mixer. A packed week after another. There were many notable moments in the week, but I would like to concentrate on the social mixer today, yeah you guessed it free food, that too Indian food….ah! To tell you more about the association Ashish Kumar, the president of the association, agreed to my request of writing a guest blog this week. So here on over to Ashish:

When Nikunj approached me to write a blog on the Indian MBA Association, I was glad to get this opportunity to share my experience.

The Indian MBA Association (IMBAA) has been an active organization in the Fisher College of Business for quite some time now. As the name suggests, this student body organization was instituted to bring all the MBA students of Indian origin under one umbrella. Over the course of time IMBAA has built credibility and reputation of being more than just an ethnic organization. Its mission is to provide opportunities to the Fisher community to experience Indian culture, heritage and business practices. The Diwali dinner, hosted to celebrate the festival of lights, is our first big event in the fall quarter. This year the Diwali Dinner is being held on 11/4/09. Since this event is open to all the students at Fisher, I highly recommend you to sign up on the hub and join us in the celebrations.

The signature event of IMBAA takes place in the spring. It’s called UTSAV, which means “Celebration”. I take the pride in saying that Utsav is THE BIGGEST event in Fisher organized by any student club. Last year it was held during the lunch hour on 21st May, with participation from over 30 students, staff and faculty members. There were dance performances, fashion shows and musical fusion. Dr. Karen Wruck walked the ramp with Prof. Dick Dietrich and Prof. Dave Williams. How cool is that? Entire Fisher came to live at the tunes of Bollywood numbers. Everyone was dressed up in beautiful traditional Indian outfits and was enjoying every moment of the event. Over 300 people enjoyed the delicious Indian food.

Video of UTSAV 2009

Cricket is more of a religion than a sport in India. It brings people from all walks of life together. So, to keep that spirit alive, IMBAA organized a half day event last year called “Cricket – learn n’ play”. After receiving an overwhelming response, IMBAA has decided to make it an annual event.

Is that what IMBAA is all about. Absolutely not! IMBAA is committed to all round development of its members. It is taken the onus to create possibilities for professional development and community outreach. IMBAA has partnered with Nationwide to organize a joint event this year. This is a great opportunity to network with Nationwide representatives and understand their business. Clearly “Nationwide is on our side”. This is just one of the several programs planned this year.

Namaste

Ashish Kumar

TerrorFest with GHRA

AHHH!!!
AHHH!!!

Okay, I’m a little late with this post, but it’s better late than never.  Last Friday, the member of GHRA (Graduate Human Resources Association) got together for the first time this school year to celebrate the coming of Halloween.  It was a great opportunity to not only get together with some of my classmates outside of the classroom, but also a way to get to know the 2nd year MLHR students a bit better.

We started the night of by meeting at the Gateway, in which we then headed to the Haunted House.  I didn’t know this, but someone pointed out that this haunted house was rated amongst the Top 25 in the country.  Once arriving, we decided to partner up as we made our way through the old abandoned warehouse that had been filled with goons and goblins.  It was the most extravagant haunted house I’d ever been to.  You could tell that a lot of money was spent on making it a great production.  After the haunted house we headed back to the Gateway for some mixing and mingling.  We enjoyed food and adult beverages, followed by a little bit of dancing.  I can say that this was probably the best part of the night for me.  It really allowed me the chance to get to know my classmates a great deal better.  In addition, I was able to speak to some whom I had never spoken to before.  All in all it was a great Friday night.  Can’t wait to do it again.

Say Cheese!

Chicken curry overload

Tonight I had a great experience at the Indian MBA Association’s first group meeting.  I’m really glad I went because it was an excellent opportunity to meet several of my classmates who I did not know… plus  it was all you can eat Indian food, which is about as good as it gets.   Hopefully I’ll be able to attend more of these cultural association events in the future so that I can continue to broaden my cultural exposure and become a better representative for the FGSA.

Now I am committed to one thing: passing my Accounting midterm on Wednesday.  Unfortunately, I have a lot of other things to do before this test.  For example, I also need to pass my Economics midterm which is on Tuesday.  (This should not be too difficult. I find the material fairly easy to comprehend and retain.)  I also need to prepare for a class presentation midterm in EPI and a group project presentation in Organization Behavior.  (Both projects are on Monday morning.)  Along with this class work, I need to prepare for an interview with Target Corporation on Wednesday morning.   (I am hopeful that my interview with Johnson & Johnson last week knocked off my interviewing cobwebs.)

Anyways, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Although this weekend is completely shot, next weekend I will be midterm free just in time for the greatest holiday of the year:  All Saints D… I mean, Halloween!

-Joe

My uniquely talented Project ONE team

The more people I get to know the more I believe that Fisher is a great place to be. Last week each member of my Project ONE team gave a brief personal introduction and I discovered quite a few interesting things about my teammates.  The introduction started with Robert C, who I personally think has a special positive aura around him (every time I talk to him, I find that in less than ten seconds I am having a blast and have a big smile). He has a successful financial software/product management background, currently focusing on strategy/Marketing.  Robert has some music talent as a classically trained pianist!! I have already asked for a demonstration. Hopefully I can enjoy it before graduation J. I know he is trying to learn some salsa dancing, so I am assuming he is already pretty good dancer in other types of rhythms, he used to play capoeira anyways. Bryan B was next, he is a very young professional but full or rich experiences. He claims to be one of the shortest in our MBA program (5’7”), which does not mean he is short on talent. Actually is the opposite. He is a google/qualtrics geek. Good for us because he is already applying the technology to the team’s benefit. Brian worked in HR during his entire undergrad, he also worked for Qualtrics, training people on how to use the software, he lived in Germany doing missionary work, and then taught German for 3 years! Nowadays he is one of those brave classmates who are going through the MBA, AND, together with his amazing wife, enjoying the incredible experience of being the Daddy of a beautiful little 6-week-old girl. Congrats! That is very admirable Bryan!

Xiu-Yu J., is one of those girls that inspire power, energy, and cheer.  She is fluent in Chinese, Japanese, Korean and English, she holds a Masters degree in HR, and she has over 9 years of work experience with NEC (an IT network solutions provider), in both China and Japan.  Xiu-Yu also has a music talent. She plays the Yangqin, which is a traditional Chinese instrument.

Another talented girl is Hyewon S., who by the way has a very creative method to make you remember her name. It is like saying “Hey” + “One” but with no intonation. Let me make this clear, no intonation for Korean names. Different to when we were trying to get Xiu-Yu’s name right and we needed to put some intonation. Anyways Hyewon also has a lot and variety of experiences in her resume. Knowledgeable in Technology, although she prefers to call it business development, she also speaks a little bit of several languages (French, Chinese, Japanese), she loves cooking (we might get some Korean food one of these daysJ). Hyewon also likes trying different sports, play drums, belly dancing and yoga!!!! Quite an interesting combination!

Project 1 Team

I am very grateful that we have the chance to meet people with such a diversity and talent. We have a huge amount of things to learn not only from the classes but from our own classmates…. Who knows, I might end up learning to play a little bit of piano and drum, be able to say a couple of words in German, Chinese and Korean, do some dancing and “maybe” cook a new Korean dish? If you are interested in learning any of the above mention activities, you know who to contact now. Do not miss the chance! The talent is here at Fisher!

Thank you Planeteers!!! I really enjoy hearing your stories, and I look forward working with you all!

Cecilia

Service Projects

During my undergrad, I was a member of a National Honorary Band Service Sorority, Tau Beta Sigma – shout out to all of my Chi sisters. Our main focus was the Ohio State Marching Band and the School of Music while also helping music programs around the greater Columbus Area. I’ve had an interest in service projects since middle school, so I found this to be a good opportunity to get involved in a more unique way. Since becoming an Alumni, I’ve needed a new outlet, so I joined the GHRA and signed up to be on the Service Committee. Last night was our first service committee meeting. Our three chairs started talking to us about a potential service project which involved a somewhat sponsorship by General Mills in order to make Thanksgiving Baskets for the single parent students living in Buckeye Village. Great Idea!! The problem is that we don’t know how to get people involved and actually want to help. There’s so little time between now and Thanksgiving – three weeks or so – that we don’t have time to set up a full blown fundraiser or really market the activity. We’re working with a few other groups, I won’t mention them until it’s all set in stone, but we need some ideas on how to pull this off. Would it be easier to ask for money? To sell something – bake sale style or something else simple? Or to ask for donations such as food, materials to make the baskets, etc?

Does anyone have any ideas? The details are still being worked out, but any ideas in the meantime would be greatly appreciated!

-Amanda

Opportunity Only Knocks Once – Proverb

Hello again. The principal purpose of the My Fisher Grad Life experiment is to give prospective students a perspective into what it’s like being a graduate student at The Fisher College of Business. I hope that you have been able to cut through my thinly veiled attempt at humor and that  I have provided some insight  into what MBA student life is really like.

First, BOILER UP! Even though I am now a Buckeye I will always be a Boilermaker at heart.  Hopefully this win for Purdue will make tickets to the upcoming Iowa game cheaper. Another reason to enjoy the win!

Second, I’ve noticed a peculiar state-of-mind develop among myself and my fellow MBA classmates. Obviously, we are all occupied with coursework. In fact, between classes, group meetings, and homework – coursework itself is a significant time commitment (if you’ve been following my posts, you already knew this). However, coursework isn’t what consumes our thoughts or conversations.

Rather, the tremendous amount of opportunities in extracurricular and personal/leadership development activities seem to consume us.  Conversations typically cover what lunchtime information sessions, speaker,  interviews for various organizations, or team meetings for non-course related projects we are going to attend.

As an example, here are the extras I am participating in (or plan to participate in):

My short list of activities just scratches the surface of what is available. A more complete list of Fisher’s student organizations can be found here.

Professors, if you are reading this, please don’t interpret this as a reason to make your courses more difficult. The last thing I need is the class hating me for something like that! They are challenging, I assure you.  Classes are table-stakes – everyone does it. I think each student differentiates himself/herself by his/her performance in the classroom and by which of Fisher’s unique opportunities he/she takes advantage of.

I apologize for the relative sincerity of this post. More humor will follow.

Caveat lector. Finis.