Posts filed under 'Travels'

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.


Back in the Saddle

It’s good to be back at Fisher. Winter break is always a fun time for graduate students, but it always has to come to an end.

Returning to campus is a time to meet up with friends and classmates to discuss what has taken place in the past few weeks since everyone has been in class. It is pretty exciting to hear about all the exciting places my classmates visited during the break. Some of them returned home to various parts of the United States, others flew home to India, China, and parts of Europe. A good handful of classmates celebrated their honeymoons and spent the majority of their time on tropical beaches enjoying 85 degree weather and sunshine.

For me, the return to school marks the last big holiday break that I will ever experience as a student. 75% of the MBA is completed and the finish line is now in sight. This doesn’t signify that things are over, or are slowing down by any means, but it does signify that the end of a good thing is quickly coming to an end.finish-line

These next two terms are pretty exciting for most MBA students – it can be felt in the air. First year students are wandering the halls, dressed in business professional, anxiously preparing for their next internship interview. I remember those times. Hectic and fun all in one! While the first years run around interviewing, most second years are enjoying the freedom of selecting electives and socializing with one another before they graduate and part ways. It’s almost a surreal feeling.

Either way you look at it, returning from the winter break is always a fun time at business school, regardless of if your a first year or second year student. As I said before, there’s a feeling of excitement in the air and it is a joy to take part in it.


Marketing Hop 2013

 

This December I was a part of Marketing Hop, organized by Fisher’s student organization, Association for Marketing Professionals (AMP). Marketing Hop is an annual three day, multi-state trip during Winter Break that arranges for students to visit ad agencies, meet with marketing teams of major corporations and get a feel for a day in the life of a marketer.

photo (4)After a 5:45am departure time the morning after our last final, we

photo (7)said adieu to Columbus, and headed north on a chartered bus. Our first stop on the tour was Ford’s North American headquarters in Detroit , MI. We met with four members of Ford’s branding team, who walked us through several case studies including their successful use of content marketing with the Fiesta. After a photo-opp in the lobby, we headed across the street to one of Ford’s main ad agencies, Team Detroit, who presented the creative process and gave a tour of their jean-clad creative workspace. Potbelly sandwiches were awaiting us when we climbed back into the bus, and we happily settled in for the 5 hour drive to Chicago.

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We arrived in Chicago to a party in our honor – an alumni event at Edelman on the 60th floor of a downtown hi-rise. We enjoyed mixing with 30 alumni, including Edelman’s President. We returned the next morning for a panel discussion with Edelman managers on communications strategy before heading to Hillshire Farms and wrapping up the visit with a trip to Ogilvy’s Chicago office.

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The Hop wasn’t all business – we also had an amazing 5-course meal at the super-foodie Perennial Virant and show-cased our skills at a karaoke bar. 

The trip was a great way to see Marketing in action – and an even better chance to make some lasting friendships with classmates. I will definitely be going on Marketing Hop 2014!

 


Fisher Wall Street Trip

One of the great opportunities that we have here at Fisher for those interested in a Career on Wall Street is the Fisher Wall Street Trip.  During this trip we had the opportunity to meet with alumni and friends of Fisher at most all the major Wall Street Banks.  We had the chance to meet with individuals from the following firms:

Morgan Stanley
J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.
KeyBanc Capital Markets
Bloomberg
UBS
Goldman Sachs
Barclays
Vertical Research Partners
Waverly Advisors

During these office visits we had the opportunity to talk with a wide variety of people from the analyst level, up to managing director.  This was a great opportunity to ask questions regarding the firms and investment banking in general and was very informative to those who did not know as much about the field.  In addition to the office visits, the office of career management also set up two dinners that gave us the opportunity to network and interact with alumni of Fisher in a more informal environment.  This was a great opportunity to speak with alumni in the industry about their experiences and journey from Ohio to New York City.   Overall, this was a great opportunity that I would highly recommend to any future SMF student interested in a career on Wall Street.

SMF Students in Times Square


The Heart of it All

Time has still been flying by around here, and there has been lots of excitement.  Notably the end of our first terms, and our first round of exams.   Each semester at Fisher is divided into two 7 week terms, which means a new set of courses every 7 weeks, just to keep us on the bounce.  In addition to new classes, the internship search seems to be coming along, with people attending conferences out of state, second round interviews, and some starting to receive offers.  I had the chance to go to the MBA veterans conference in Chicago last week, which was a great opportunity to talk with companies specifically looking to recruit talent from top schools who are also veterans.

So, needless to say, life as an MBA student is still very busy, and requires proper time management.  That being said, life balance is still important, and students need to take time to enjoy life whenever possible.  As someone who is interested in supply chain management and operations, it hasn’t escaped my notice that there are a significant number of companies who have headquarters or distribution centers in the Columbus area, as well as Ohio in general.  Part of the reason for this is that a significant portion of the American population lives within a day’s drive of Ohio.  So while the state is not the geographic center of the country, it is in a strategic location for getting goods to customers.  In fact, I think one of the iterations of license plates the state used to have said “Ohio – the heart of it all.”

In keeping with the need for a healthy work-life balance, especially for people who haven’t traveled much within the U.S., Columbus is in a good spot for those who want to take weekend trips.  I consider about 6 hours (approx 350-400 miles) to be the most I would drive for a 2-3 day weekend trip and within that radius of Columbus are the following cities:

Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dayton, OH

Pittsburgh, PA

Indianapolis, IN

Chicago, IL

St Louis, MO

Detroit, MI

Buffalo, NY

Washington, DC

Lexington, Louisville, KY

Knoxville, Nashville, TN

And those are just some of the bigger cities that I can think of off the top of my head, there are many more smaller cities, national/state parks, lakes and other attractions worth visiting within that radius as well.  As you can see, Columbus, Ohio really is rather well situated to serve as a base of operations for someone who wants to have access to a large portion of the U.S., which is another attractive attribute of the Fisher MBA program.

 


WET Trip to Niagara Falls

Finally, I got time to write something. After a crazy and busy “quiz” week, setting in my chair, enjoying my breakfast, I start to record my life here backwards. So many things happened in August, first day in Columbus, met my host family in airport, lost my luggage, check-in, orientation, ESL test, Health-screening, orientation, another orientation, Career foundation seminar, paid tuition, rejected by bank, first class, first quiz, awesome RPAC. However, none of these I would like to talk about, because I find those topics are far back to one month ago and some people have already written about them. Today I want to tell everybody the coolest thing I did last week during the Labor Day break.

Since I didn’t get the football tickets, which I believe would have a lot of fun too; I went to the Niagara Falls with folks I met in IFI. It is necessary that I introduce IFI a little bit. IFI stands for International Friendships, helping international students have a smooth transfer to United States and make friends with other people. Rich, the leader of IFI invited us to that trip and he contacted his friends in Buffalo, NY asking whether they could accommodate us. Fortunately, they agreed. We set out on Saturday and arrived at Buffalo at night. I have to say our host family was so enthusiastic, she kept talking with us totally ignoring how tired we were after the long drive. But I mean it in the good way. She prepared towels for us because we would get on the jet boat the next day! She warned us never ever tried to sit in the front rows, you would get 100% wet! However, you know, it’s worth to try.

 

After having a Bible study in church on Sunday, it is a great church by the way; we went to Niagara Falls literally. Our first stop is jet boat! Everyone got a raincoat though, our guide said it is absolutely, definitely useless. The fact is he was right! I sat in the third row along the boat’s right side. It turned out to be the perfect direction at which huge water would target. So guess what, after the first time surfing in the Mickey wave, I got totally wet. The water poured everywhere. And several times going up and down, I embraced the wet and enjoyed it. I couldn’t find any single part of my body that is dry, even my underwear. We ride on the boat visiting the great electricity plants, dams, and the famous whirlpool. But we could not be able to make through it, it is so dangerous. Sometime, human cannot fight against great nature.

Then, we went to see the American falls, three sisters’ islands, and enjoying the beautiful scenery around the park. While we were waiting for the amazing lightening falls at night, I taught my American friends how to play the Chinese card game, fight the landlord. We had a great fun time playing that game. A part of Niagara Falls belongs to Canada, and Canada actually has a better view on the falls. They shot a colorful light on the falls from Canada, and we can enjoy it on a sky-bridge here in U.S. The light changed color every few minutes. That was awesome. Pictures are better proof than words. Please enjoy them!

The third, that was Labor Day, we went on the cruise heading to the Canadian falls, it is called Maid of the Mist, which allowed us to have a close experience on Niagara Falls. And again, totally wet when we got closer, the powerful falls arouse the water when they hit the rocks. The sound was so loud and it really sound like storm. After that, we went to the cave of winds and hiked around the fall. When we arrived at the hurricane spot, we can directly feel the falls by touching it. And again, wholly wet. Everybody was screaming while enjoying.

Anyway, during this trip, I experienced something brand new, and learned a lot about American culture. I guess that is the meaning of going out and open mind. Thanks IFI gave me that chance to Niagara Falls. Later on, I will tell more interesting stories about my gradlife on blog.


Spring Break Part II: B1G Tourney Time!

2013 Big Ten Tournament Champions!!!!!!!!!!

The scoreboard displaying the Buckeyes as tournament champs!

When I arrived to Chicago last Thursday, I did not expect to see the United Center full of confetti in celebration of the Ohio State Buckeyes winning the 2013 B1G Championship!  But after experiencing all 11 games in 4 short days, I am thrilled that we did it!  This is our third title in just four years.

Here are some of my favorite highlights from the entire weekend:

  • Aaron Craft winning the B1G Tourney Most Outstanding Player
  • The thousands of IU fans suddenly becoming much quieter during their loss to Wisconsin
  • Sam Thompson’s career-high 19 points against Nebraska on Friday
  • My free Penn State basketball t-shirt – thanks to their student section for bringing extras
  • CHEERING ON MY BUCKEYES ALL WEEKEND LONG!!!

The team and coaches celebrating the B1G championship win!

In case it wasn’t obvious, the last four days of spring break were pretty unbelievable.  Now for the NCAA Tourney…it’s time to dance!


Spring Break Part I: Mesa, Arizona!

The first several days of my last spring break as a MAcc student were spent in Mesa, Arizona, with my dad.  (One of the benefits of being in Columbus is you’re always one change of planes from any decently sized city in the U.S.) We flew out Friday evening and spent Saturday and Sunday afternoons at Hohokam Park, home of the Chicago Cubs spring training!  Unfortunately (although unsurprisingly), the Cubs lost on Saturday to the Cleveland Indians in an embarrassing performance involving five, six, maybe seven different pitchers?  I know, I know, it’s only spring training, but a 9-2 loss doesn’t get my hopes up for the games that apparently do matter in the regular season.  But, the Cubs were able to turn it around on Sunday and beat the San Diego Padres 9-3.  The sun was out, there were hot dogs and ice cream to spare, and it was a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon!

Outside Hohokam Park, home of the Chicago Cubs spring training!

After a couple of days of baseball, we drove out to the Phoenix Botanical Garden to get some sun and see the Sonoran Desert at its finest!  We saw tons of cacti as you might expect in a desert, but the botanical garden also had an herb garden and butterfly garden, as well as some hand-built shelters and tools used by tribes native to the desert.  I also saw a few prairie dogs running about.  If I remember correctly, the real name according to an official botanical garden sign was some type of squirrel, but they sure looked like prairie dogs to me!  There were also lots of beautiful flowers among the green cacti; the one below was one of my favorites!

One of the thousands of beautiful plants in the botanical garden

We spend the last couple of days soaking up the sun at the pool, as it reached the high 80′s by our last day.  After what seemed like a short trip, it was back to Columbus for a pit stop before heading to Chicago for the Big 10 Tourney to get my basketball fix before the last six weeks of classes in the Fisher MAcc!

 


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