Posts filed under 'Student Organizations'



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!


Cultural Education At Fisher

Coming to business school in Columbus, OH, one would think that the opportunities to learn about global business cultures would be limited. This is what I thought last August as I prepared to begin my time here at Fisher. I was wrong.

I have been given so many opportunities to learn about various cultures and emerging markets during my first year of business school. The faculty and administration here at Fisher frequently comment on the fact that the business world is becoming more and more flat. That is, the world of business is global, not just regional or national.

The last few weeks, I have been able to attend student-ran lectures and activities centered around international culture in business. Two weeks ago I was able to learn more about Nigeria from two native students. They spoke of their currency, legal system, regulations, work/life balance, as well as recreational and family activities. For someone who has never been to Nigeria, it was a great learning opportunity.

Fisher College of Business MBA

Similar to the Nigerian culture snapshot, I was able to learn about Peru. Peru seemed a little more fascinating to me because I speak Spanish fluently. The presentation peaked my interest and seemed like a great opportunity for businesses looking to expand into emerging markets. I’ll admit, the idea of a siesta seemed a little inefficient, however, it does seem to unite families and communities.

The International Business Club has also held a number of Indian celebrations that I have been able to attend. Last week, Fisher hosted the annual UTSAV celebration. Fisher students, faculty, and families gathered for an Indian fashion show and dance outside of Fisher Hall.

Ohio State MBA

For more picture of Fisher’s UTSAV celebration, visit our Flickr page.


VITA 2013: Another Year of Success!

It’s hard to believe, but another year of VITA – Volunteer Income Tax Assistance – is complete!  After over 1,000 volunteer hours put in by Fisher students at both the Godman Guild and OSU Law Extension Center, 275 income tax returns were filed for residents around Columbus, Ohio.  These returns generated around $425,000 in refunds for these individuals and families, which is an average of about $1,500 per return.  VITA was a fantastic learning experience from both a tax technical skills standpoint, as well as a client relationship-building standpoint.

MAcc student Ly Pham answers a taxpayer’s questions at Godman Guild.

For many student volunteers, VITA is particularly challenging in unexpected ways.  Sure, each student completes training and learns how to navigate the tax software and recognize common tax credits and deductions for our clients.  However, it can often be difficult to explain tax concepts to our clients.  Establishing trust with a client can be difficult in any situation, but it is particularly challenging for some of our clients to put their trust in a 22 or 23-year-old student.  I was happy to see all of our student volunteers express patience and kindness with all taxpayers, making sure their questions were answered and asking site managers for help whenever needed.

MAcc and undergraduate students volunteered over a period of six weeks to assist Columbus residents in preparing their income tax returns.

For those of you who are prospective students or will be starting the MAcc program in August, I highly recommend participating in VITA.  You don’t have to be going into tax after graduation; we had plenty of future auditors and corporate accountants help us out this year.  VITA is simply a great way to get to know your classmates better and spend some time serving the greater Columbus community.


My Interview with Amanda Rose

Over the last few months, I have shared many blogs about me and my life.  I thought it would be interesting to learn about a couple of other students’ lives, their perspectives on the program and their journeys from undergraduate to graduate school. I interviewed Amanda Rose, a first year MHRM student.

Name: Amanda Rose

Hometown: Green, OH

Undergraduate Institution: University of Mount Union

Major: Business Administration

Undergraduate extracurricular activities: Basketball, Alpha Delta Pi Sorority, Student Athletic Advisory Committee

Work Experience: HR Intern-Fannie May Confections, HR Intern-University of Mount Union, University Relations Intern-The Timken Company, Graduate Assistant – Office of Career Management Fisher College of Business

What lead you to your decision to go to graduate school? I didn’t want to attend graduate school directly after undergrad because I had a great internship that could lead to a full time job and was really excited to begin my career. I knew eventually I would want to go back to school so I started doing some research and planning to take the GMAT. While doing that, I learned about the MHRM program at Ohio State and couldn’t wait to find out more. Once I visited Fisher, learned about the types of courses offered in this program and the career opportunities I could pursue because of it, I knew this would be great for me both personally and professionally. I was also lucky enough to be offered a Graduate Assistantship that would allow me to work part-time while financing my tuition. After that, my choice was very easy and I know that I made the right decision.

Why did you ultimately choose the MHRM program at OSU? This was the only program I applied to, but I was drawn to it because the HR program was housed in the business school, which isn’t always typical for every HR master’s program – not to mention it is such a highly ranked HR program and business school.

What is one thing that you like most about the MHRM program? I like how much of an interest all of my classmates take in each other. All the students in my program were top students in their undergraduate institutions and everyone wants to be just as successful here. We also have many employers coming to recruit us so we are all interviewing for the same positions at the same time. This type of environment could foster a lot of competition among us, but instead everyone really wants to see each other succeed. We are all more than willing to help out if someone is having trouble in a class and we are each other’s biggest cheerleaders when it comes to interviewing and receiving job offers. (The biggest competition in our program has been filling out the NCAA bracket!)

What is one thing that you like least about the MHRM program? Taking night classes. I never had to take night classes in undergrad and it has really been an adjustment for me. By the end of the day, it is sometimes hard to get motivated for a 3 hour class 3 nights a week.

What is the most difficult aspect of being a graduate student? The most difficult aspect of being a graduate student was learning when to relax a little bit and allowing myself to take a break from school and work.  There is always going to be reading to get done and projects to be completed but it is important to remember you need to take time for yourself – and that’s OK! I had to learn that I would get all of my work done and still do well in class even when I allowed myself to take a break sometimes.

What is something that you wish you were told when they had visited/started grad school at OSU? It is great to get to know and become friends with your program but also take time to get to know other graduate students outside of it too. Many students in my cohort are very similar so it is nice to branch out and always fun to meet more people with different interests.

Do MHRM students spend time together out of class?  Yes, many of us spend a lot time together outside of class going to lunch/dinners, movies, concerts, and even to Skyzone (an indoor trampoline park)!  Two of my closest friends are girls I’ve met since starting this program and we are always together. We just went to California together for spring break! Its great spend time with each other to have fun and learn more about each other outside of a professional/classroom setting. It makes spending 3 hours together every night in class much more enjoyable.

What are some of your hobbies and interests? Have you found a place to pursue those at OSU? I really love sports and obviously at Ohio State there are many opportunities to pursue that interest. I went to many football games and pre-game tailgates with Fisher friends, have had many “watch parties” for basketball games, attended my first ever hockey game and even played intramural flag football and basketball with other Fisher grad students.

Do the students have enough time for a social life? Students definitely have enough time for a social life. It is an adjustment from undergrad and it is important to prioritize your schoolwork but if you use time-management skills you can always make time for friends and fun. My friends and I have a tradition of heading over to The Thirsty Scholar after Thursday night classes as a way to unwind from the busy week.

What do you typically do for fun? I really just enjoy spending time with my friends so anything we do together is fun for me! We like to do many different things and always try to plan at least one fun activity for the weekend that’s different and can get our minds away from school and work. During the fall, we spent a lot of time experiencing Ohio State by going to happy hours, different local restaurants, and of course as many football games as possible. We celebrate each other’s birthday’s together and even have theme parties together too. But I also just enjoy “girls’ nights in” attempting to bake cookies, watching movies, and talking about anything and everything!

Do graduate students have access to athletic and other university facilities and events? Graduate students  have access to athletic facilities, libraries, and on campus computer labs. Here at Fisher, graduate students have their own computer lab, study lounge, and break out rooms that are great for study groups and projects. I am able to use any athletic facility on campus and participate in any intramural sport too.

Do you participate in any student organizations? I am currently in the MHRM Council and will be the MHRM program delegate in the Council of Graduate Students (graduate student government) next year.

What are your plans for the summer? This summer I will be interning with Shell Oil Company in Houston Texas in the HR department.

What do you hope to do after you complete your MHRM degree? I am excited for all of the opportunities available to me by graduating with my MHRM degree from Ohio State and don’t have a specific route in HR I want to take yet. I hope to learn more about what interests me this summer and during next year but I am very open to all the possibilities I can have in a career after graduating from Fisher.


My Interview with Yuqing Zhang

Over the last few months, I have shared info about me and my life.  I thought it would be interesting to learn about a couple of other students’ lives, their perspective on the program and their journey from undergraduate to graduate school. Fisher first year MHRM student, Yuqing Zhang, gave me some very unique answers to my interview questions. Read on to hear her perspective on the US, Ohio State and her journey from undergraduate to graduate school.

Chinese New Year

Name: Yuqing Zhang

Hometown: Guangxi, China

Undergraduate Institution: Renmin University of China

Major: Human Resource and Management

Undergraduate extracurricular activities: School’s badminton club leader, class monitor, vice president of sports unit in school’s student union

Work Experience: Several internships

What lead you to your decision to go to graduate school? I was curious what it would be like to study in the US.

Why did you ultimately choose the MHRM program at OSU? I expected a career in HR area, either in academic research or in industry. And Fisher is the best choice either way.

What is one thing that you like most about the MHRM program? That the program provides so many resources helping with both learning and career development.

What is one thing that you like least about the MHRM program? Well, I guess international students need more exposure to internship/employment opportunities.

About how many hours per week do you spend on schoolwork in and out of class? In class: 12h, out of class: 15h.

What is the most difficult aspect of being a graduate student? You really need to take more initiatives and consider more about career development.

Did anything regarding MHRM program/OSU/Columbus surprise you? That the people here are so nice and provide host and all kinds of events to engage us into the community.

Do MHRM students spend time together out of class? Yes, a lot.

Do you interact with students from different Master’s programs? Yes, my roommate is in the Fisher MBLE program, and there’s a lot of classes and events in which I can connect to MBA and MAcc students.

What are some of your hobbies and interests? Have you found a place to pursue those at OSU? Yes! I love badminton and volleyball. There’s an official badminton club and an unofficial volleyball club in which everyone could engage. I can also enjoy myself in the wonderful recreation center at OSU.

Do the students have enough time for a social life? Yes. I would say that schoolwork is important but not all for graduate students, social life may actually help more with the career development.

What do you typically do for fun? Work out and have parties.

Do you participate in any student organizations? MHRM Council. I really appreciate the so many various student organizations at Fisher and OSU, which would really provide many valuable opportunities for social and professional development.

What are your plans for the summer? Internship, though I’m still working on getting one :)

What do you hope to do after you complete your MHRM degree? To take advantage of the Optional Practical Training program and gain more hands-on experience here in the US.


Entrepreneurship at Fisher

 

One of the greatest benefits of attending Fisher College of Business is the chance to join a culture rooted in the entrepreneurial spirit. As an entrepreneur and start-up junkie this was a critical factor in my decision to continue my education at Ohio State. Columbus and OSU offer unprecedented resources and opportunities for budding “starters” such as the business builders club, start-up weekend, TechColumbus, and the Deloitte Entrepreneurship Competition. Moreover, Fisher’s Technology Entrepreneurship and Commercialization course was named one of the 10 best entrepreneurship courses in the nation by Inc. magazine. The course builds business around emerging technologies developed at The Ohio State University and other research institutions that have not found commercial uses.” And so, for this blog post, I thought I would share one of my current start-up projects and how Fisher College of Business and Ohio State have helped me along the way.

Columbus Start-Up Weekend

It all started during my internship with PricewaterhouseCoopers this past summer in Columbus. Believe it or not, I met the lead recruiter for our region on my first day at Ohio State – a bond that ultimately led to my internship and eventual job offer in Chicago. Anyways, one of my co-interns from Indiana University participated in Project Belize, a week long experience offered by PwC to teach underprivileged children in Belize basic financial literacy skills. When he told me about the program I was impassioned and began to seek out state-side opportunities that were similar. What I found was a financial literacy education landscape dominated by conflicting programming and mediocre performance. In fact, one study by the Jump$tart Coalition suggested that current efforts had made essentially no impact in student financial literacy over the past 10 years. That was when I realized I had to do something – to use my creative nature and knowledge from business school to make an impact. The result was the founding of Centsay, a start-up non-profit focused on providing universal access to financial literacy education.

Project Belize (PwC) – Our Initial Inspiration

Our journey – from that first brainstorming session to implementing our business model – has been an amazing adventure (and we’re still right in the thick of it), but I can with certainty say that we couldn’t have possibly accomplished everything that we have in the past 5 months without the support network and resources available via Ohio State and Columbus. To highlight a few:

  1. Being enrolled in a business school with integrating programming has allowed me to meet MAcc, MBA, MHR, SMF, and undergraduate students. These different student bodies offer unique perspectives and strengths and weaknesses. Being able to connect with all of them facilitated the construction of our core team and ability to quickly locate short-term specialists to help us overcome short-term obstacles.
  2. Professors in Fisher have been an invaluable resource for vetting ideas, strategies, and plans. They have been able to provide our team with advice about areas where we lack expertise and guidance when we encounter issues that we have no experience with.
  3. University leadership and staff have had an open door policy with regards to making our venture a success. Whether we are looking for space to work on projects or introductions to potential partners or donors Ohio State has always gone above and beyond what any of our team members expected.

Ohio State has the unique attribute of giving its students not only the skills, but also the confidence to succeed. While our venture is still in-process, we know we can count on our school for continued support!


Dodging balls for veterans

A couple of weeks ago, FisherServes held a charity dodge ball tournament benefiting Honor Flight Columbus, an organization that honors senior veterans throughout the United States. In a throwback to the playground days, Fisher graduate students from all programs formed teams of six and prepared to practice the five D’s of dodgeball: dodge, duck, dip, dive and dodge! Myself, Ashley, and Amanda from the MHRM program teamed up with Simon, Casey, and Scott from the SMF program for the Friday afternoon tournament.

Amanda, Ashley, Me, Casey, Scott and Simon

Twelve teams battled to win best two out of three matches through round robin style play before heading in to playoff brackets. This design guaranteed that everyone got to play a solid number of matches regardless of wins and losses- which our team certainly appreciated. Admittedly, our team was not the best on the court. But we may have been the best dressed!

Afterwards all the participants headed out to Zeno’s, who also donated a portion of the night’s sales to Honor Flight Columbus. It was a great opportunity for students from all programs to hang out, mingle, and get to know each other a little more after the friendly competition.

The event raised almost $600 for Honor Flight Columbus and added bonus? It was an absolute blast! It did not truly matter whether your team won or lost, it was just a ton of fun to get out there and play.


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