FGSA Elections

I have good news to report…  I recently discovered that I was one of five individuals elected to the Fisher Graduate Student Association (FGSA).  I was honored when I heard the news because the competition was steep and the results were close.  The other four individuals representing the class of 2011 with me will be Sam Adams, Emily Bae, Nick Fischer (fellow blogger), and Mike Thompson.   My involvement with this group will allow me to work closely with the administration and faculty to ensure that my classmates have the best experience possible at Fisher College.  If anyone has any ideas on how to make this program even better, please let me know.

Thanks to everyone who voted.

Joe

It’s kind of like…

Hello again everyone. As I sit here writing this at 8:23 PM on Friday evening, I have a sense of urgency; not because I am preparing for a night out on the town, but because I have a yellow legal pad to-do list for the evening. For this reason, I am going to use bullet points:

  • Finance Boot Camp – Kara Albert of Career Management ran a terrific program today that covered a lot of information concerning career options for Finance majors. Presentations included two representatives from Barclays (who gave a fantastic presentation on the nuances of interviews), Dean Wruck who, among other things, encouraged us to be more aggressive than perhaps our mid-western sensibilities would allow, several representatives from Nationwide who covered case interviews, and Senior Lecturer Daniel Oglevee. Despite his unapproachable, arrogant first impression (“You only get one chance to make a first impression”),  he is a wealth of knowledge who wants to see all of us succeed (Professor Oglevee – if you are reading this – please don’t hurt me). His presentation covered I-Banking; his stories are fantastic.
  • Innovation – I had a moment of brilliance today which I am going to share. People come in all shapes and sizes – desk chairs mostly do not. I constantly find myself sitting in desk chairs leaned all the way back (reclined) since it’s the most comfortable position for me. Some people tell me this isn’t always a good thing as it shows that I am not interested in what’s going on. This makes sense to me. However, I also realized another reason I likely end up reclined. All the chairs have that spring-reclining-apparatus-knob adjusted to “normal” sized people – a group in which I do not fit. Then it occurred to me (listen up Herman-Miller) – why not make the chairs weight-sensitive. When heavier people sit down, make it harder to recline. Sounds easy enough. Over-sized people like me will forever love you.
  • THIS JUST IN – The Fisher College of Business Class of 2011 has selected the following 5 members as their Fisher Graduate Student Association representatives: Sam Adams, Emily Bae, Joe Fahrendorf, Nick Fischer (not a typo – that’s me!),  and Michael Thompson. I am humbled by my selection and look forward to representing our class!
  • Riding your Bike – This is my best analogy so far for business school. In the beginning, you need training wheels (Fisher Advantage). After you take the wheels off, you are shaky at first but you’ve largely got things under control (first week or so). Then you try going off road and crash into a tree (approx. 10.15.2009). At this point, you slow down and take it easy (fall asleep on the couch at 7:30 PM on a Thursday because you haven’t slept more than 4 hours a night in several days). Finally, your parents trust you to ride down the street and explore the vast world around you (graduation – not sure what this feels like!).

Finis.

A case of the Mondays

Yesterday was one of the busiest days I have had so far in the program. Below is a description of how it became hectic along with how well it ended.

Sunday night

2:13 am: The Phillies have just won game 3 of the NLDS against the Rockies, a game that had me on the edge of my seat most of the time, and the rest standing with my Phillies fitted hat and Ryan Howard jersey on clapping and talking to the TV. So now that the game is over, and having no chance at falling asleep, I am able to finish the last three pages of the case study that we had to read to be prepared for our Organizational Behavior class (one of my favorite) at 8:30 am. At around 3 am I tuck myself under the sheets, leaving the blinds open so I don’t oversleep.

Monday

6:50 am: I proceed to wake up before my alarm and start to get ready for the day. I don’t plan on being back until later in the evening due to some events I am scheduled to attend so eat a hearty breakfast (raisin bran crunch), pack a snack for the time between classes, gather my books and head off to the bus at around 8.

8:14: The campuscabs_bus bus finally makes it. I walk out of my building about two blocks past the law school to a stop where the Campus Loop North bus picks students up about every 8 mins. Since I was the only one there, I must had gotten there right after the last bus came.

8:30: Organizational Behavior begins. I am wide awake but physically tired. I never drink coffee, and never had but I may need to if I keep this schedule up.

10:18: Class is over, we had a great discussion about financial incentives that had a lot of class participation. This is what makes it fun. I grab my snack and off to Accounting which starts at 10:30.

10:40: The lights are low. The power point is up. We are going over Cash flow statements. I feel my eyes getting heavy.

11:00: Nope I didn’t fall asleep, but I got a little energy boost from my yogurt and I am back to running on all fours. The topic isn’t the most interesting but I make sure to have the slides on my laptop along with a word doc open to take notes in. This makes the class a little more interactive to me.

12:18: Accounting class is over but I need to RUN to the Center of Real Estate for a meeting with my adviser (I work in the Center of Real Estate as a teaching assistant for an MBA level Real Estate class and also on projects that the Center is working on). I debate running to Subway first and bring a sandwich with me but I decide not to. Even though my adviser and I get along really well, I didn’t want to make him wait for me.

1:20: I leave my meeting and run to a small deli behind the architecture school across the street. I proceed to eat my chicken wrap as I walk back to Fisher. Very impressed I was able to eat it without getting anything on myself since it was a little messy.

1:30: I get to my Enhanced Professional Interchange Class. Although I am starting to get exhausted from all of the running around this class is not your typical MBA class. It is a class that teaches you presentation techniques. The teacher keeps the class very involved with people coming to the front often to work on techniques. Next thing you know the class is over

3:18: I head to the grad lounge to relax for a few mins. I had signed up for a discussion held by the MBA Finance Club that featured  William M. Issac, former chair of the FDIC which starts 4:oo.

5:00: For the last hour we had a discussion about the recent economic crisis and also a short history lesson about some of the factors that contributed to it. Mr. Issac was very interesting and I was surprised how informative the session was and how much I learned. But no stopping now. Off to my Fisher Professional Serves Conference call.

5:30: I meet with my group for ProjectOne, the initial project for a for profit student run consultancy program. We huddle around a phone for the next half hour and listen to a VP from a Fortune 500 organization explain the project and some of the uses of what we will be asked to help create a plan for. After the call my group decides to start thinking of some ideas over the next week and bounce them off each other via e-mail. Now I get to head home

6:07: Phillies Hat? Check! Phillies Jersey? Check! Sitting on the couch after a long day about to watch an amazing game 4 win over the Rockies to take us to the NLCS? Priceless!Phillies

Kid’s story: “Home”, sweet “home”

Timeline: Sunday, 10:53 p.m.

I see: the pile of readings due tomorrow

I hear: my neighbor, as usual, moving things around in her kitchen

I smell: freshly brewed, top-of-the-line gourmet coffee (drool…)

I feel: sleepy yet satisfied

First off, I am VERY happy to be back in my apartment.

No, wait, I think that should go last. Let me start over…

This weekend I was in Minneapolis, MN, for a job fair. Despite it being the main purpose of my trip, I will share very little of the job fair itself, other than the fact that I’m looking forward to 45 seconds of conversation to make worthwhile the circa 72 hours that I spent there.

The city of Minneapolis is a place where I hadn’t been before. I must say that the first enlightening thing that I brought back from the trip is a renewed appreciation of the Columbus weather. I mistakenly assumed that, as has been true of most of my previous, non-FCOB related trips, the location of the event would be my hotel, hence making it unnecessary to go outside. I never asked, but I was never told otherwise either. Given that the dress code for the event was business formal, packing could not be as light as I would have liked in the first place, so I didn’t consider taking a coat, gloves, hat or anything similar.

The city greeted us with a whopping 6°C which quickly faded away and we never saw again, as the high forthwith was 3°C and didn’t hesitate to go quite a few times into the negatives. Oh, the horror of having been brought up in tropical weather and wearing barely a scarf in those conditions…

A second enlightening thing I brought back was that ignorance is seldom bliss, and it certainly wasn’t in this case. Minneapolis has a many-miles-long skyway system that interconnects most of the buildings in its downtown area (including among many others the Marriott and the Convention Center, both of which comprised my useful area), thus eliminating the need to go outside. Needless to say, I didn’t know that, and apparently some of the people in my group did know that it existed but not how to use it. The upside is that I spent only my first day in ignorance and henceforth refrained from wondering “hm, are there no pedestrians in this city?” by simply being where they actually were.

Third: strong cold temperatures will erase parts of your memory, so the lesson is that next time I go partying where there are Jägermeistern served by either MH or JC, I will take a cab and not walk for 20 minutes back to the hotel. Yes, I do blame the cold for that; enough said.

Now I can get back to my original point: I am VERY happy to be back in my apartment (still my “home”, not yet totally my home). Sharing a hotel room with two strangers (men) is not so appealing; for some reason, they didn’t like the fact that I take an hour in the shower in the mornings. Also, although the job fair was useful and I had tons of fun (including seeing Alejandro Fernández in a private concert he gave for us attendees; oh, yes, it happened and oh, yes, I did go a bit crazy), I am staring now at a big pile of homework (i.e. reading) and housework (i.e. cleaning) that just didn’t manage to get done without me here.

Next time, I’ll double check the necessary clothing for trips, take some readings with me, and do something about the memory loss thing.

“Write it, get it, paste it, save it, load it, check it, quick rewrite it…” – Daft Punk

TechLife Columbus and the Business Builders Club

One unique part of the Ohio State University culture is the Business Builders Club (BBC).  The club, which sits apart from the business school, focuses on building a foundation for entrepreneurship for OSU students.  Since its founding in 2000, the club has developed a reputation for developing innovative and successful businesspeople and has become a differentiator for OSU. Although the BBC is primarily geared toward undergraduates, I “sneaked in” to the first meeting of the year this past Tuesday.

Sandy Blanquera, the keynote speaker, told a remarkably personal story of her own journey from corporate employee, to franchisee, to entrepreneur.  She now owns and operates the Columbus-based social marketing company, Social Boomerang.  Additionally, Sandy and her husband are very active in the Columbus entrepreneur community.  In fact, on her recommendation I joined TechLife Columbus: a group focused on technology, entrepreneurship, education and “accelerating the pace of getting to know really cool tech people in town.”

Although I have only been an active member TechLife Columbus for a few days now, I already got the opportunity to attend an event—a social event at the economic development and incubator facility, TechColumbus.  From these two events my excitement for the entrepreneur community in Columbus has grown immensely, and I am looking forward to getting more involved with both organizations.

Reposted from aaron360.com.

A

Time to pick student organizations

Have you ever wondered what it would feel like to eat Papa John’s pizza 4 days in a row? I have – and that’s why I attended every student organization’s information session in 375 Gerlach Hall this past week. By the fourth day, I had succumbed to pouring Papa J’s famous garlic dipping sauce all over my pizza to spice up the monotonous (but free) lunch. Am I alive? Yes. Does it feel like it? Not really.

Actually, the real reason I attended the meetings was not for the free pizza, but for the opportunity to learn more about the student run organizations at Fisher College. What I discovered is that Fisher has a plethora of organizations that span the diverse student body.  Since I have a limited amount of time, I am trying to whittle down the number of organizations that are attractive to me. I will probably join only 2 or possibly 3 clubs, so that I will have the time and energy to take an active leadership role within the organizations. I am currently interested in the following groups…

Hopefully by the end of next week I’ll have made my decisions. 

-Joe

If only I could be in two (or more) places at once!

While at the Fisher Student Organizations Fair this Monday, I concluded that there are enough student activities that I could literally spend 24/7/365 doing things related to Fisher!

I am definitely interested in several of the organizations, especially the Fisher Board Fellows, which places about 16 MBA candidates on boards of local non-profit organizations. What a wonderful way to give back to the community while growing your business skills! I’m also considering the Center for Operational Excellence, because of all the interesting work involving Six Sigma and Lean. While interviewing, I had the pleasure of meeting Peter Ward, the director of the Center, and was really intrigued by all the projects being pursued. I noticed the sign-up sheets for most of the organizations were getting pretty full, so it seems like the class of 2011 is definitely ready to get involved!

I’m looking forward to the Fisher experience over the next 21 months – not just the coursework, but the chance to really explore new ventures and meet motivated, engaged students and faculty.

Have a great first week of classes!

Stacey

Hello World!

There’s never a more exciting time on a college campus than the beginning of a new academic year. The energy around the campus is amazing. It’s hard to believe that I’m already a “second year.” Last year was definitely the best year of my life and I’m excited to begin the second half of this journey.

As this is my first post, I’ll give a brief introduction of myself. I’m a full-time MBA student double majoring in Strategy and Corporate Finance. I’m originally from Tucson, Arizona and went to school at the University of Arizona for my undergraduate degree. I have five years of full-time work experience total, three of those with Enterprise Rent-A-Car and two years in advertising sales. This summer I worked for Deutsche Post DHL as a talent management analyst, which included an amazing week in Germany for my internship orientation.

At Fisher, I am President of the Fisher Graduate Student Association, which is the group that encompasses all the other graduate student organizations at Fisher. Our major functions are allocating funding for student groups and driving change through student feedback. I’m also involved in the International Business Club as Vice President of Programming, and half a dozen or so other student organizations as a member. This year I’ll also be teaching a business undergraduate course called “Applied Business Skills and the Environment of Business.” On top of this I’ll be taking a full load of classes, participating in a case competition or two, attending all the social events, and most importantly, working on full-time employment.

That’s “Resume Mike.” Aside from the usual boring undergraduate institution/major/work experience/student organization stuff that MBA students talk about, I’m also:

  • The first of two only children. I was twelve when my younger brother was born. It was weird then, but now he’s one of my best friends and a great source of joy in my life.
  • A certified yoga instructor. I’ve been teaching for almost two years and I teach from time to time through the Ohio State Yoga Club.
  • An ENFJ. Which means that I “understand and care about people, and have a special talent for bringing out the best in others.” Or so the psychologists say.
  • 1/2 Japanese and 1/2 Polish/German/Irish, which are evidently “great drinking genes” as one of the guys I met in Germany informed me.
  • A voracious reader. I read a lot on leadership, organizational behavior, communication, economics, and yoga.
  • A former competitive powerlifter. Emphasis on “former.”
  • Managing four fantasy football teams this season. 4-0 so far through Week 1!
  • Addicted to tiramisu.

I hope to keep this blog fun, informational and a little random. If you’re thinking about applying to Fisher, then feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn or Facebook. If you have any other questions about the program or my experience here, ask away and I’ll either answer your questions or put you in touch with someone who can. I’m not an employee of Fisher College or a member of the admissions team, but just a normal MBA student who fell in love with this place. So I’m always willing to talk.

Mike ^_^