Posts filed under 'Travels'

Looking Back and Looking Forward

fisher college

graduation

I am a second year full time MBA student and am set to graduate in about a month.  There is a mix of reflection and excitement (even more so from my wife who has endured having her spouse in a full time graduate program).

The Past

When reflecting on the past two years and what I’ve gained from them, I’ve thought of the relationships I’ve made and how walking out of this experience confirmed the things that brought me here in the first place.  When talking about Fisher, we talk a lot about the small class size being a key component of the overall experience.  The small class size lends itself to more intimate settings which, in turn, lend itself to more opportunities to connect with classmates, faculty and career management.  This all made logical sense, but I’ve been able to now have the experience of living it out and I can say it’s all true.  Friendships-I have been able to get to know several classmates in a deep way over this relatively short period of time, and I fully expect to continue those relationships even after the program is finished. Professors-even having gone to Ohio State for undergrad, I’ve seen a world of difference in the depth of relationships I have with my professors at Fisher.  Most of them are in the Ops/Logistics field (my focus in the program) and I have been able to cultivate these relationships and to lean on them for better understanding a concept and also for career advice.

Another area that sticks out to me is the Corporate Mentor Program.  As a student, you fill out an “application.”  It’s more of an info sheet on what you’re looking for in a mentor, and they pair you with an executive in the Columbus area.  The program is only supposed to last for a year, but often the relationships extend for more, and that was the case for me.  My mentor has been a great source of advice and has graciously connected me to others in the supply chain profession.

The FutureFuture path

Looking now to the future.  Currently, I am searching for a supply chain position in the Columbus area, but am hopeful that something will come through soon.  Coming to an MBA program is somewhat of a gamble, albeit a calculated and relatively low risk gamble (92% of graduates last year had jobs within 3 months of graduation).  You’re essentially putting all of your chips in and hoping the investment pays off.  Thankfully it almost always does, but at certain times tries your resolve.  I’ve found in those times it’s been helpful to focus on the good things in your life and to know that life is more than just what job you have.  For example, my wife and I just welcomed our daughter to the world a couple weeks ago (see picture below).  What a blessing!

Evie

The MBA program has been a great re-calibration experience for my career and I’m looking forward to a brighter future than when I entered.


Last Spring Break!

This week is my last (predetermined) Spring Break, and I must say it’s bittersweet. I’ve spent the last four days in Las Vegas, Nevada, enjoying St. Patrick’s Day; taking in “O,” a Cirque du Soleil show; and taking a helicopter through the Grand Canyon. It’s my first time in Vegas, and I’ve been stunned by the activity, the scenery, and the just plain fun that can be had here.

View of the Hoover Dam from my Helicopter!

View of the Hoover Dam from my Helicopter!

Before my Vegas trip, I spent the weekend in Washington, D.C. staying and visiting with some dear friends and enjoying the best D.C. has to offer. Since I took a job elsewhere and will not be returning to D.C., it was a little unfortunate to inform friends that I will not be returning in the near future. Having exited undergraduate a semester early, I never got Spring Break last year, so I’m living it up now.


Day at K

Every week, Fisher hosts companies interested in recruiting MBA candidates for internships and full-time positions. Though attendance is never mandatory, it is not uncommon for student’s schedules to become completely filled with all the company visits and information sessions going on. And not just because of the promise of pizza or Panera (which admittedly does go a long way to attracting more attendees). It is always interesting to hear from different companies, often competitors, and learn about their unique approaches to the problems we discuss on a daily basis in our classes. But even better than attending these info sessions on campus is when we get invited to visit the companies on their own turfs.

On January 16th, Kellogg’s invited several first year MBA students interested in brand management to their headquarters in Battle Creek, MI, for their annual Day at K event. We were greeted by several current brand managers (including a recent Fisher graduate) and were led through Kellogg’s welcoming and history-filled entrance: dioramas worthy of placement in a museum; a miniature simulated grocery store displaying a current marketing campaign; artwork depicting a century’s worth of product and advertising innovation. It was truly an impressive introduction.

5:30 AM departure for a 4 hour drive. Worth it!

5:30 AM departure for a 4 hour drive. Worth it!

We were brought to a small conference room where we joined and socialized with more members of Kellogg’s marketing department, as well as several MBA students from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan (sidebar – this was 5 days after Ohio State won the national championship, so being with a bunch of Michigan students was particularly gratifying – end sidebar).  Several Kellogg’s presenters then spoke to us about marketing subjects ranging from Kellogg’s unique approach to marketing to challenges facing the company to relationships with their customers, retailers, suppliers, and agencies. A small panel of assistant brand managers allowed us to ask about working at Kellogg’s, projects they had personally completed, career trajectories, and overall satisfaction of their time with Kellogg’s. Hearing from such key personnel from a global powerhouse of a brand and getting a chance to ask them anything and everything marketing related was an incredible opportunity.

Tony the Tiger made an appearance.

Tony the Tiger made an appearance.

The Day at K was an absolutely wonderful event. It was a real treat (Rice-Krispy Treat, to be specific) to get to meet such talented brand and marketing experts and visit the headquarters of such a hallowed brand. We even got to take a tour of Kellogg’s archives and see marketing materials and advertisements across the decades.  I am very thankful for Kellogg’s invitation, and for the Fisher College of Business for providing me with such exciting opportunities like this.


The Internship Search Has Finally Come to a Close

As many of my classmates and friends are aware, I started my internship search back in August. It’s been a long journey, but I am very excited and could not be more pleased with my decision to accept an offer with Anheuser-Busch. Fisher’s Office of Career Management has helped me along every step of the way and I have the wonderful staff to thank for that.

AB is America's leading brewer

AB is America’s leading brewer

My experience interviewing with Anheuser-Busch was great. I first saw the company at the Fisher Fall Career Fair back in September, and was able to develop a good relationship with the recruiters through networking. I then did a first-round interview and was fortunate enough to be selected for the final panel interview in St. Louis. Because AB is headquartered in St. Louis, this was a great opportunity for me to really evaluate the organization’s culture and assess if I’d be a good fit for the company. I traveled to St. Louis in October with another one of my MHRM classmates, Natalie, who would also be interviewing on the final panel. Neither of us had been to St. Louis before, so it was a treat to explore the city and see all the different sights the day before our interview.

The morning of our interview, we arrived bright and early and met the other interview candidates from other schools across the country. I had never done a group interview before so I was not entirely sure what to expect. There were definitely some tough questions and it was interesting interviewing in a group setting with the other interview candidates right beside me, but I ultimately enjoyed the experience and found it extremely rewarding. After the interview, they took us on a tour of the headquarters and then on a brewery tour. We even got to see the Clydesdales! Overall, it was a great interview experience. Natalie and I both ended up getting offers to join AB’s People Department this summer, and we’re very excited to join the team!

Natalie and I before our brewery tour

Natalie and I before our brewery tour

Learning about the mashing process

Learning about the mashing process

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Learning about the seven-step brewing process


Discover MBA fairs and Conferences

MBA job search is all about Networking! Networking! Networking! Dammit what is Netwoooooooooorking :) and how do I do this? Well, MBA fairs and conferences are a big part of it. My dear potential MBA students who are looking to join a program this year and current students who are not too sure what the MBA conferences are all about, I hope to give you guys a little bit of insight today (Especially the ones who are tight on the budget and seeking to maximize their bang for the buck)

So should you or should you not attend?? that is the question…

Before coming to Fisher, I had heard a lot about the MBA conferences and several MBA students whom I talked to, had attended a conference and suggested that it’s a great experience! It seemed like quite an investment in terms of time and money and I wasn’t so sure if I should attend.

There were mainly 2 conferences being held in the month of September: The National Black MBA Association (NBMBAA) and The National Society of Hispanic MBA’s (NSHMBA). There was the Fisher Graduate career fair coming up on the 9 th Sep,2014  and I decided to attend this fair first and see how it goes.

Suggestion no. 1: As a Fisher MBA, you would have the opportunity to attend the Fisher graduate fair, A nice opportunity to get started and test out your networking skills. You may also discover the real value of such conferences and fairs.

While at the Fisher fair, I discovered that the recruiters want to hear how well you know their company and what made you approach them. There has to be link, it could be your past experience in that particular companies industry, a set of skill set that matches the job profile well, or a passion that you share which the product or service provided by the company. You MUST have a story to tell!

The other thing were the interesting and insightful conversations that I had at the fair with company representatives. It is a learning opportunity and some of them told me about strategies that the company is following or problems faced by them and the industry as a whole.

I started to enjoy this process of getting to know different industries, firms and work profiles. That same day I decided to attend the Hispanic conference and landed in Philadelphia on Sep 26th with my suit on :)

 

Beautiful company at NSHMBA! Kirti Barry (R), Natalie Megrbyan(L) and myself(Middle).

Suggestion no 2: Its not just about looking for a job or internship at such fairs\conferences but also getting to know the companies, researching and analyzing your best fit. This helps you increase your knowledge  base, broaden your network and target your targets(companies) much more precisely. Come across as someone who is not just looking for a job or an internship, but as someone who can utilize his or her skills and experience effectively to solve the companies problem or provide them with a strategic asset.

 

City Hall Station at Philly

City Hall Station at Philly

Downtown View

Downtown View

The Hispanic conference was a blast and I ended up talking to several companies over those 2 days. After the conference got over, I decided to take a short walk around the downtown area and get a bite to eat. Do I think it was worth it? Absolutely and I am glad I went to the Hispanic conference. I made some strong connections and come across to recruiters as having a genuine interest in their companies. I was able to connect with some of the recruiters the following week over email and LinkedIn, especially the ones who do not visit Fisher on campus as one of their MBA recruiting schools.

Suggestion no. 3: While tons of companies visit fisher, The conferences are a great way for you to connect with companies which don’t recruit at Fisher. Remember – the more you network with companies, recruiters and their employees, the better chances you have…

Lets talk about the internship search strategy in the next blog –  What is it all about? How to go about starting your internship search and challenges you may face especially as an international student. Coming up soon!!!

 


Going Global with GAP

The Global Applied Projects (GAP) program was one of the biggest factors in my decision to attend Fisher. The program pairs groups of 6 students with a business facing a real international business problem and tasks the students with finding a solution. Our group of first-year full-time and working professional MBAs was matched with DHL Supply Chain to analyze consumer buying behavior for third-party and lead logistics services within the automotive manufacturing industry in Europe.

DHL Headquarters

After our final presentation at DHL Headquarters in Bonn

Before we even arrived in Germany, we had 7-weeks to work on the project with our client, form our hypotheses, and develop the project plan for the trip. This included the opportunity to visit a global automotive supplier in Akron, Ohio as well as a DHL/Exel distribution center in Detroit, Michigan. When we landed in Germany, we met with our project sponsor, a Senior Vice President for DHL Supply Chain, and discussed our work to date. He joined us throughout our trip as we toured DHL facilities and operations and interviewed senior executives at DHL’s clients throughout northwest Germany. We even had the opportunity to meet with the CEO of DHL Supply Chain at their world headquarters in Bonn!

Travel Map

We traveled all over northwest Germany

The trip wasn’t all work, our team took advantage of our weekends off to travel and take in the culture. We visited Hamburg’s 825th anniversary port festival, where we enjoyed brats and beer on a German battle cruiser, checked out the amazing nightlife, and made an early morning trip to their famous fish market. The team also traveled to Amsterdam the following weekend where we visited the Anne Frank House, the Van Gogh museum, and took a nice cruise into the city on its canal system. On our final weekend, we explored the old fort overlooking our home-base of Koblenz and visited a 900 year old castle!

Castle

O-H-I-O at Burg Eltz

The GAP program is another great example of how Fisher allows students to Go Beyond the classroom to get great international business and real-world project experience while making memories that will last a lifetime.

Team Amsterdam

Enjoying the canals of Amsterdam


The Internship

The Internship-Vaughn and Wilson
Second year MBA students-they’re older, wiser, and more mature, right?  The first one in that list is guaranteed to happen.  The others, not necessarily, but the internship between the first and second year of the MBA program is aimed to help towards that.  This summer I interned as a Global Supply Chain Project Manager at Greif, which is a $4.5 billion industrial packaging company headquartered here in the Columbus area.

Greif Global Supply Chain
It was a great internship.  The Greif supply chain folks welcomed me as a full member of the team and never looked at me as an “intern”.  The projects I got to work on were ones that the other full time team members would have been working on if I weren’t there.  Not only that, but I also worked on a project that had an international focus and was able to travel to Amsterdam for a week during the summer to pitch the solution we had come up with to the leader of the business unit there.

I’ve found as a 2nd year MBA this year there are a lot of things I’ve been able to hit on from my internship at Greif while at career fairs and in interviews.  The things I learned while doing the internship have been beneficial in growing my experience and understanding of supply chain management, and it was largely due to the role I had there.  So, when looking for an internship it’s worthwhile to focus on what kind of internship it will be and if you’ll get a great experience out of it.  I sure had that at Greif, and was more than happy to intern there this summer.


The Start-up Nation and Spring Break

Israel has recently received the nickname “The Start-up Nation” thanks to Dan Senor and Saul Singer, authors of a book with that phrase as its title.

israel 3As part of an international innovation and entrepreneurship course here at Fisher, I had the chance to travel to Israel over the break to learn more about its unique business environment. The trip was an incredible experience full of learning and networking opportunities.

As a group, we spent the first few days in Tel Aviv. I was surprised at how modern and diverse the city was. People from all walks of life lived in Tel Aviv and worked in various industries. As part of our visit, we met with many businesses in the high-tech industry. Some of my favorite business visits in Tel Aviv were to Venture Capital firms or the small business in which so many VC’s invest.

In addition to visiting traditional businesses in Tel Aviv, we had the opportunity to visit an Israeli Air Force base. It was enlightening to learn about the strategy and tactics that the Air Force uses in defending its land and country. On a daily basis, Israel faces threats from various enemies and needs to be ready to perform efficiently at any given moment. I was most impressed by the rigorous amounts of training that take place on a daily basis so that pilots and ground crew are always on top of their game in case they are quickly called into action.

Jerusalem was a totally different experience than Tel Aviv. The City is surrounded israel 1with conflict, history, and media. Because of this, it is harder for flourishing businesses to remain in the Jerusalem. Many successful companies head towards Tel Aviv once they have reached a point where they can afford to do so. However, on small business that we visited is focused on creating and keeping entrepreneurs in Jerusalem. The business helps budding entrepreneurs flush out ideas, provides them resources, and at times, invests in them during their early stages. This is all done in hopes to improve the local economy in Jerusalem, but to also show entrepreneurs that they don’t need to pack up and head to Tel Aviv to be successful.

Many of the cultural, religious, and historical site visits were also very fascinating. Even though the weather didn’t completely cooperate with us, we still had an incredible time in one of the most historic regions on earth. I’d definitely recommend the Innovation Israel class to future students at Fisher.

 

 

 

 


The Internship Search

The New Year started the busy time for finding a marketing internship. I was fortunate enough to make it through several phone screens and had final interviews with some great companies during January: L’Oreal, Nestle, Kellogg’s, and Amazon to name a few. Part of the fun of finding the right internship match is getting to travel to visit the headquarters of amazing companies. L’Oreal hosted an entire weekend, Taste of L’Oreal, in New York City at the Westin in Times Square.

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We met the CMO of the company, heard a presentation from the North American President, and participated in a day-long case competition for a L’Oreal product in either the Luxury, Consumer, or Professional Product Division.

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It was a phenomenal experience and really let candidates get a feel for the company, and its culture, and meet other MBA students from around the country (I still keep in touch with three of my case competition team members!). And we got a lot of goodies just for visiting!

Nestle hosted 60 candidates at their Solon, OH, office and treated us to a wine tasting led by their head chef, and a networking event with top executives. We also got dinner at the best restaurants in town, since everyone who works at Nestle (and planned our visit) is a foodie!

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Kellogg’s hosted a group of Fisher and Ross students for a Day at K at their Battle Creek, MI headquarters. After a harrowing drive through a snowstorm, we had a great day kicked off by a presentation from Kellogg’s CMO, a tour of Kellogg’s vault, and meeting with the company’s ad agency Leo Burnett.

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I also got to experience Seattle for the first time during my Amazon interview. Amazon hosted candidates in the best part of town, just a quarter mile from Pike’s Market, and I spent the morning checking out the market and visiting the original Starbucks!

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Amazon’s headquarters are very low-key, and you could drive right through the company’s campus and not realize you were at Amazon! They arranged a lunch with current Product Managers and then held interviews for 3 hours. It was intense. One constant across all the companies was the friendliness of the people and focus on employee development and culture fit. We have some amazing people and organizations recruiting at Fisher and I know wherever I end up, I am going to have a great experience this summer!


Innovation Israel Pre-Trek Meeting

Visiting Israel has been a lifelong dream of mine for quite some time. Because of this, you can imagine how excited I was to learn that Fisher was planning on offering a course this year that included a visit to Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Of course, I signed up for the class.blog_telaviv

The class is centered around the economy and entrepreneurial spirit of Israel, specifically in Tel Aviv. Our instructor for the course was born and raised in Israel and has an incredible background in business and international consulting. As a student, I have really enjoyed learning about the Israeli economy and culture.

One way in which I was able to learn more about the culture was to attend a social gathering at the home of David and Bonnie Milenthal. The CEO and founder of Israel and Company attended the event, along with representatives of the Columbus Jewish Federation. We learned of their experiences and connections in Israel and had the chance to speak with them in a nice setting that allowed for a lot of learning to take place.

While in Israel, my class will visit various companies and organizations, ranging from global Fortune 500 firms to technology startups. Along with visiting businesses, the trip will include a visit to Jerusalem to see and learn more about the historic Israeli culture. I couldn’t be more excited for this amazing opportunity.


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