One perk of being part of Ohio State is being able to take advantage of all the events the Ohio Union Activities Board (OUAB) puts on. Last month they welcomed Daymond Johnto the Union. For those of you who don’t know, Daymond John is one of the judges on ABC’s Shark Tank, as well as founder, president, and CEO of FUBU. They set up his presentation into two separate sections. First, they allowed four individuals/groups to present a pitch for their product to the “sharks”. The “sharks” consisted of three professors and John. All of the product pitches were very interesting and John provided great constructive feedback to the students.
After the pitches were over they started a moderated Q&A. John shared with the audience his story of starting his own business to his experiences on Shark Tank. John was able to provide a lot of solid advice for future entrepreneurs and businessmen and women. One major piece of advice he gave was to learn how to be financially responsible. It doesn’t matter whether you learn this “on the job” or through formal education, just as long as you become financially educated. He stressed too many times startups fail due to poor financial decisions or poor financial structuring. He also talked a lot about his perseverance and how it is important to set goals and attain those goals. His strategy was to set long-term goals and short-term goals to gradually achieve the long-term goal. Through his perseverance and his dedication to completing his goals he became a successful entrepreneur and investor.
This past weekend myself and six other MAcc students participated in BuckeyeThon. BuckeyeThon is the largest student-run philanthropy at Ohio State with an ultimate goal of ending childhood cancer. BuckeyeThon raises money to support the kids treated at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus. More than 5,100 students registered for the 24 hour dance marathon with the ultimate goal of raising $1,000,000. Hearing about the event last semester we formed a MAcc team, “The Bad Assets”, and raised money all For The Kids (FTK). BuckeyeThon is set up in 2 shifts of 12 hours each. During your shift you are supposed to stand for all 12 hours, showing that together, as a university, we stand with the kids through their fight. Our shift was from 11:00am to 11:00pm. Every team was assigned a color team and The Bad Assets were part of the Pink Team, so that is why all the pictures we are wearing pink.
Before it started every color team met in an assigned room and they brought in one of the Miracle Kids and their family. This was a great chance to meet the people we were trying so hard to benefit. After that the official start was with the opening ceremonies which included multiple speakers ranging from the President of BuckeyeThon to the Vice President of Student Life. One of the speakers was a mother of one of the Miracle Kids. She told us about how her daughter was diagnosed and the struggle the family went through. Listening to her speak really put into perspective the impact we were making.
Throughout the day they had different things we could do to keep us on our feet. There obviously was plenty of dancing throughout the day. They also set up a lot of games. We played Gaga Ball for a couple hours which if you don’t know what it is look it up, its incredibly fun. They had a tug of war competition between the different color teams (we got 2nd), and also had rooms where you could play board games or video games. Overall there was plenty of activities going on to help keep us busy and not think about sitting down.
As it got close to 11:00pm we gathered back to watch the closing ceremony and the big reveal of how much money was raised and if we reached our goal of $1 million. The closing ceremony had more speakers including a 14-year old Miracle Kid and three current Ohio State students who have personally been affected by cancer. The final reveal showed that we raised a total of $1.23 million all FTK. Overall it was a great experience and I would highly recommend participating to any students that get the chance.
When searching for business schools, I was not only looking for top-notch academics, but also whether there was a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) presence on campus and in the surrounding community. It was important for me to feel safe, accepted, and share my MBA experience with other LGBT students. Fortunately, Ohio State and Columbus have one of the largest LGBT populations in the Midwest. In fact, Ohio State was ranked as one of the top 50 LGBT-friendly campuses by Campus Pride (www.campuspride.org) and Columbus earned a perfect score as a LGBT-friendly city by the Human Rights Campaign (www.hrc.org), which is America’s largest LGBT civil rights organization.
On-campus: Although most LGBT organizations are undergrad-based, they all welcome LGBT graduate students and allies. Most of these organizations meet regularly and offer informative and fun events, ranging from socials to LGBT speakers. Laverne Cox, the transgender actress who appears on “Orange is the New Black,” even spoke at our school this semester. For business students, Out in Business is Fisher’s main LGBT business club. I also recently attended the Reaching Out MBA conference (www.reachingoutmba.org) in San Francisco with several of my classmates. Definitely a fantastic conference that brought together LGBT business students from all over the country and included speakers, case competitions, recruiting fairs, and social events. Highly recommended!!!
Off-campus: Not surprisingly, the LGBT “scene” in Columbus pales in comparison to much larger cities, such as New York City and San Francisco. Even so, it is still very vibrant and active! There is something for everyone, ranging from nightlife in and around downtown Columbus to support and wellness organizations, such as Stonewall Columbus (www.stonewallcolumbus.org), and musical groups, such as the Columbus Gay Men’s Chorus (www.columbusgaymenschorus.com). If you are ever looking to experience LGBT outside of the area, Columbus is in close proximity to other major cities, including Chicago, Detroit, Cincinnati, and Cleveland.
So whomever you may be, Fisher and Columbus is definitely a welcoming LGBT environment! As a business student, now you just have to find the time to see all that it has to offer, but that’s for another post 😉
International exposure and work experience is becoming hugely important in the business world. This year I had the pleasure of attending the Columbus International Festival. I’m a member of the Fisher Global Business Association and we used the festival as an opportunity to come together and have a fun international experience.
A small group of us hit up the Ohio State Fairgrounds to see what the rave was all about. Thankfully it was indoors; if you don’t already know about Ohio it starts to get a little chilly in November. Obviously from the start of the festival we were pretty focused on FOOD, who doesn’t love food. I settled on some bubble tea and Chinese, but I couldn’t help but take a picture of this humungous pretzel.
Throughout the few hours we were there, there was a stage hosting various styles of dances from all over the world. The variety was great, and ever better, some acts featured some cute kids doing their best to impress the audience. I captured some good ole bag pipe action.
Outside of the food and performances, there were various booths ran by different international organizations from Columbus and a lot of shops with cool cultural knick knacks. Columbus is always hosting cool festivals that present you with new food and cultures that you may not have had the opportunity to confront otherwise. There’s a whole world out there, go experience it!
Last April I attended Fisher’s Red Carpet Event, which was a great way to meet some of my future classmates and professors and to learn more about the program. I learned about Fisher Board Fellows for the first time at that event, and knew instantly that it was something I wanted to be a part of. Fisher Board Fellows is a student-run organization that places MBA students on the boards of non-profit organizations in Columbus.
First year students go through an application and interview process, and those that are selected as fellows are invited to attend events throughout the year that help inform and prepare them to sit on a non-profit board the following year. During their second year, fellows attend board meetings (and sometimes committee meetings) and work on a project that adds value to their non-profit organization. The project varies based on the non-profit and its needs, as well as the fellow’s major and skill set.
This Monday, several first year fellows had a Bridges to the Boardroom luncheon with Mr. Tony Wells, President of the Tony R. Wells Foundation. The foundation focuses on developing stronger non-profit leaders and is very involved in social innovations and entrepreneurship for non-profits. Mr. Wells was passionate about the work his foundation does and told us about the many ways it helps other non-profits grow and develop. He had wonderful advice, and he spoke about how non-profit work and volunteerism had impacted and helped his career. He told us to really get to know our boards and the organizations we’re serving, and to learn as much as we can through mentors and committees.
Mr. Wells’ advice was extremely helpful for us. None of us have ever sat on a non-profit board before, and although there’s a lot of excitement, there’s also some nervousness. I definitely think we all walked away from that lunch feeling more prepared and with a better idea of what next year will be like. And I have to tell you, I cannot wait to see what the next year brings!
While the softball game we played versus the second years was mainly for networking and getting to know our fellow MBAs, the Fisher 1st Year Flag Football Championship was all about pride.
After playing soccer intramurals with two different teams due to roster size limitations, we again had to split the Fisher first years who wanted to play intramural flag football into two teams, the Fisher Scarlet and Fisher Gray teams. I captained one team and another first year who organized most of this captained the other. We drafted all the students who wanted to play onto one of our two teams in snake-draft fashion (we missed out on having an NFL Draft-style stage to do this in the lounge).
My team went for speed (and missed taking the fastest player) and the other went for size and players who looked like they could play actual tackle football.
There was a three game season and after rain outs and rescheduling, our two teams were scheduled to meet in an epic clash across from Fisher Commons, at Fred Beekman Park, in the 2nd of the three games. You just needed to win one of the three games to make the playoffs.
The Scarlet team was absolutely jobbed out of a win in their first week after the refs completely mishandled the most basic rules of the league. The Gray team got absolutely pounded by law students, one of whom was a former BYU quarterback (yeah well I passed the NY State bar so I’m better than those law students anyway. Jerks). So a playoff spot was on the line in the Fisher v. Fisher game.
I can’t speak for the Scarlet team, but our Gray team had an hour and half long practice before the game at the ARC at OSU and got all of our formations and routes down. We figured out who was going to play what position and how to best exploit the rules for the game. We figured out which one receiver to focus our defense on. Real business school thinkin’ right here.
There wasn’t much action in the first half aside from turnovers and me getting decked by a girl (this happens a lot when I play sports. Usually by the same girl). A couple of interceptions almost got returned for scores, but nobody was able to get through there and the defenses consistently stopped the offenses after the turnovers. Things finally heated up, however, on the last play of the first half when the opposing QB dropped back to pass and threw an incompletion. But of course ya boy committed roughing the passer and they got another play.
What happened then was bogus to say the least. The other team’s best receiver CLEARLY stepped out of bounds multiple times but the refs missed every one and they scored on the last play of the first half on a play that started with zero seconds on the clock. They missed the conversion but went up 6-0 at the half.
The Gray team scored on a QB scramble to tie the game and would score another touchdown to go up 13-6. The Scarlet team got a few chances but couldn’t even it up. They ended up with one more drive to attempt to tie the game.
On the last play, with only a few seconds left, their quarterback threw a desperation heave to the flag and somehow completed it and made the score 13-12 with no time on the clock. They had to complete the one point conversion to be able to get the game to be a tie and likely send both teams to the playoffs pending final standings.
But the Scarlet team got too cute. On an end around to the Copedaddy, Ben Prater, fellow author on this blog, dove and took off the Copedaddy’s flag and ended the game 13-12. The bench exploded onto the field and nearly tackled Mr. Prater.
We got a bunch of MBAs to come out and watch and played a hell of a close game. Everyone who played had fun and everyone on the sidelines was getting into it. Even the class Grandpa (<3 you B-Rad).
My Gray team made the playoffs and the Scarlet team missed by a point and a referee mess up. And it turns out, we may be playing the second year Fisher team if we can win our first playoff game. My god.
As you may be aware, we at Fisher, have loads of student organizations at Fisher( 22 to be precise). If you think you want to learn more about analytics, you have the FBAA(Fisher Business Analytics Association). If you want to explore Operations and Logistics, you have OLMA. You get the drift. One such organization which is close to my heart is Fisher Board Fellows. FBF gives you an opportunity to sit on the board( non voting member) for a local non profit here in Columbus, Ohio for one whole year.In addition to attending the board meetings, you are also given a stand alone project with clear set of deliverables. Non-profits expect the FBF to contribute their part in running the organization and helping the community. Hence, you are not just a fly on the wall. You are going to be rubbing shoulders with the Sr VP’s and the CEO’s of for-profit businesses who happen to be on the board of these organizations. I applied for becoming a FBF for the myriad opportunities which you can leverage with your background and strengths. You can network, provide business perspective to existing social problems, learn more about non-profit way of doing business, so on and so forth. This is truly a one of a kind experience which I truly recommend for everyone( even if you think you are the hard core for-profit kind of person). Of course, if these are not enough to convince you to give this opportunity a shot, did I also mention that it looks fabulous on your resume and that nowhere else can you hope to become a board member in your 20s( unless its your family business of course)?
There’s naturally going to be a rivalry between MBA classes. Second years will think they have the best class ever and the first years will naturally think they have the coolest, most awesome and interesting class ever (I only say that because it’s true in this case). And, as far as I know, there’s only one way to settle which team is cooler: pickup softball games in the rain.
I’m the cool guy manager in the middle
Just as a preface to what I’m about to write, the first years are still way cooler and more handsome/beautiful and way more interesting. Just so you know.
The second years here are multiple time OSU intramural softball champions. They all have coordinating shirts and their own equipment and play baseball together pretty much every week.
The first years have never played softball together. We had no idea who was good, who wasn’t or if anyone would even care enough to show up.
The second years have at least one former professional baseball player on their team.
The first years unanimously decided to play intramural soccer rather than baseball.
What I’m saying is that this was a mismatch.
The first years valiantly hung with the second years for a few innings, but unearned runs and errors were our undoing. Despite a valiant and inspiring speech before the last inning and solo cups in center field, we just couldn’t overcome their actual talent and caring.
But, it was much closer than it had any right to be and if anything, brought our class together just a little more. We showed that we could be better if we worked at it like they had and had more people show up from our class than theirs, including our own cheering section.
The fact that we were even close was surprising and the fact that we easily could have won with a little work in the field showed us that we were the true champions.
After a night of networking that I was forced to leave early, we knew the second years were pretty good at baseball, but the first years were the most awesome and smart and just flat out inspiring.
Both classes are united in their own ways and every class after ours will be, even if I’ll prefer ours. Small class sizes let you meet every person in your class and know them fairly well. When there are only 120 students in a grade, you really get to know everyone intimately in a fashion you just can’t at a bigger school, and it allows for opportunities like this where everyone interested can get involved.
5 weeks into the 2nd year of my MBA experience, I’ve noticed one key thing: I am BUSY –much busier than I had anticipated…. But in a good way. I’ve had the opportunity to take leadership roles as the President of two wonderful student organizations at Fisher, and I’ve loved every minute of it.
First – Fisher Association of Marketing Professionals (AMP), for which I am co-president with another 2nd Year MBA student – Melissa Roer. As the flagship organization for the marketing program here at Fisher, we’re not only working to involve students in marketing experiences and give them tools to learn and network, but also make the overall program the best it can possibly be. One of the goals of our executive team this year is to better prepare 1st Year MBA students for career fairs, interviews, case competitions, etc., so we’ve held workshop sessions and 1on1 mock interviews. We’re also creating a coaching program to give 1st year students direct contact with one 2nd year student. We’ve even created 1st year leadership committees to give students the opportunity to take a leadership role earlier in their first year. But that’s only in the first 5 weeks! As a team, we have so many great ideas for this upcoming year…. And it will only get better.
Second – Fisher Follies, for which I act as president but work with an incredible group of classmates on a steering committee. Fisher Follies is an organization that celebrates the camaraderie of Fisher students, faculty and staff by not only poking fun at each other during our annual spring Variety Show, but also raising money for the Fisher Follies Fund. This fund makes gifts to Fisher students who are facing unexpected and extreme hardship. Every year, we raise money for this fund through our annual Fall Auction, in which all gifts and donations come directly from students, faculty and staff at Fisher. We are currently planning the auction now, so more details to come.
So, it goes without saying that I’m extremely passionate about both of these groups & their success. So even though I’m busy (and sometimes falling asleep in class), it’s completely worth it.
The people I’ve met at Fisher thus far have been nothing but kind, helpful, and dedicated to making my time here a positive one. As long as you put in the effort to meeting new people, you will develop strong relationships with your class cohort and with people outside of your program.
Make sure to involve yourself with lots of graduate activities, join clubs, and talk to people. Get to know the people you see in the hallway and in your classes. Everyone is in the same boat on the first few weeks of class, so be the one to break the ice and strike up conversation. Your classmates will be happy you did. Here are a few examples of some of the graduate clubs you can get involved in here at Fisher.
Additionally, this time of year students oftentimes start feeling a little overwhelmed. With your involvement in student clubs, group projects, papers, and midterm exams, there will be a lot you need to focus on as a graduate student; successful time management is key. Just remember to relax and know that it’s ok to rely on your classmates for additional help. It’s been extremely beneficially for me to have group study sessions to go over class notes and class readings. Little things like this do make a big difference. I am glad that I’ve gotten to know so many of my peers and have been able to collaborate and work with them both inside and outside the classroom.