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.


Ashish Kumar

TerrorFest with GHRA


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!


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!


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!


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.

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.


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!).


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.


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