Posts filed under 'Travels'

Uncovering the World of Career Conferences

It was my first year in the MBA, and school had started just a couple of weeks ago. I received an email from the president of the Fisher Graduate Latino Association (FGLA) telling us about this conference happening in Philadelphia: NSHMBA Career Expo (National Society of Hispanic MBAs). It was a 3-day career conference hosted by NSHMBA, an organization dedicated to “increasing the number of Hispanics graduating with MBAs; and to assist in networking by helping secure leadership positions and enhance professional development.” I had only been in the MBA program for a couple of weeks, and I had no idea what this event was, or the great opportunities it provided.

After talking to the president of FGLA and my advisor, I decided to attend, along with 5 other first years and a couple of second years. We arrived in Philadelphia Thursday night, and would be attending the Conference first thing Friday morning. The night before at the hotel, we all researched the companies we were interested in, and took a look at the conference map. There would be so many companies attending! The map, however, only conveyed the scale of the conference to a small degree. When we arrived there Friday morning before the conference started, it was a busy, crazy scene of hundreds of MBAs in suits and with portfolios, eagerly waiting to go talk to the company they were interested in.

The doors to the conference finally opened. I decided to walk around the conference and get a feel for the environment before I talked to any recruiter.  It was an overwhelming experience, since it was my first time in a conference such as that one, but it was also so energizing and thriving. So much talent and opportunities everywhere. I walked around the floor and observed the layout of the conference. Once I felt comfortable and ready to take part of this experience, I put down my coffee and looked at the first company name in my list. It would be a great, long day ahead of me – and I felt as ready as ever to start!

Touring Philly the day we arrived

Touring Philly the day we arrived

Right before starting the conference

Right before starting the conference

 


Global Marketing Lab – Singapore Style

I wanted to write about my amazing week in Singapore now that I’ve been back in the States for over a week and I’ve finally conquered jet lag (enough) to organize my thoughts.

Naturally, I’m talking about this year’s Global Marketing Lab, Fisher’s winter break course that pairs teams of undergraduate business students with MBA mentors to create boardroom-ready presentations for multinational companies and their Asia Pacific leadership teams. During our week abroad, our undergraduates presented to Johnson & Johnson’s Acuvue team, two divisions of Deutsche Post DHL and Wendy’s EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Asia) leadership team.

During each visit, the youngsters would present their projects and the respective leadership teams would educate our entire group about their business, and more specifically, illuminate the reality of doing business in Southeast Asia. Perhaps the most enlightening portions of each get-together were the informal Q&A sessions and networking opportunities. After all, these individuals already held the reins for three established, influential global companies. The best we could do was to simply soak in as much information as possible: every insight and industry tidbit that would inevitably help us in the future.

Lotus

While we donned our business professional finest each morning to fulfill our educational duties, each afternoon held a different kind of education. Our days included cultural tours, tourist attractions and some of the most delicious food a human being could ever venture to ask for. Within 48 hours of touching down in the tropical city-state, we had all experienced:

  • The Singapore Flyer: one of the world’s largest Ferris wheels
  • The Marina Bay Sands: imagine a Las Vegas resort containing three massive towers with a boat-like structure spanning all three (complete with a pool, a bar and an incredible view)
  • Gardens by the Bay: a man-made cloud forest and nature conservatory
  • The Colonial District Tour: which can only be completed on a ubiquitous bumboat
  • Jumbo Seafood feast
  • Singapore City Gallery: picture an architectural tour by way of an intricate model of the entire city (down to the unique shape of our hotel’s roof)
  • Asian Civilizations Museum: exactly as it sounds

Our first 48 hours were, in my mind, the busiest and most tour-heavy days of the trip. That’s not to say we didn’t resume our tourist roles again throughout the trip, but bedtime could not come soon enough on Sunday and Monday.

Temple

Throughout the week we toured and spent hours exploring Chinatown, Little India and the Malay District, experiencing the separate cultures that make Singapore such a distinctive place. It was very interesting as a novice Singaporean historian to learn about the cultural make-up of the nation that grew from a small fishing village and nautical crossroads to a British trade hub and, eventually, a free nation leading the Asian tigers to become one of the most developed and prosperous countries in the world.

The growth and prosperity of Singapore is easily seen throughout the city, as well as the strict regulations that govern its people. The public transportation system is immaculately clean. There truly is such a small amount of litter that it becomes rare to even see an empty bottle or cigarette butt in the gutter. As for jaywalking, chewing gum and the other strange laws that we hear about Stateside, I couldn’t tell you. I was too nervous to try.
Singapore is a marvelous entry point for travelers’ first Asian trip. It’s largely English-speaking, safe and compact. The small country, about the size of all five boroughs of New York City, has five million people. You can experience as much traditional culture as you please. Or, if you so choose, the shopping centers are (apparently) amazing. And I’ll say it again, the food is fantastic. Try everything. Find the stall in the hawker center with the longest line and have at it.

Fish head

This goes without saying, but the trip went so well because of our esteemed leaders Professor Shashi Matta and Heidi Eldred, Director, Graduate Global Experiential Education Program. These two know the territory and show the students a great time.

Oh, and one last thing, it’s extremely hot and humid. Pack extra shirts.


Golfing in Naples, Florida!

After I thought all of the presents were opened this Christmas, my littlest brother (Wyatt) brought out one more envelope for me to open. I was a little nervous but extremely excited for what may be inside. After opening it, I read his 13 year old scribbling and the biggest smile came across my face. He, with the help of my mom, had put together a golf trip to Naples, Florida for me, my dad and my other younger brother (Patrick). That wasn’t the only surprise though. My mom decided to add an extra ticket for Wyatt to go with us too!

range
Two days after Christmas, we were packed and ready to make our way down south. We arrived in Naples around 10pm so Patty and I ordered pizza because nothing else was open. I would say it was a great start to the trip. On the first day of the trip, we woke up at 7am to grab some breakfast and head to the golf course. We walked on the first tee box and I was just in awe at how incredible this golf course was. The greenest grass I’ve ever seen paired with some of the bluest water. Now came the hardest part of the entire trip…Trying not to embarrass myself. My first tee shot was miserable. The golf ball popped straight up in the air and fell about 20 yards in front of me; I had tee’d it up too high and walked back to the cart, red in the face.
The rest of that first round was better than the first shot but I still finished above my average score. I also lost more golf balls than ever before (thank god for Santa). After getting cleaned up, we adventured to downtown Naples to try and find a cool place to eat. We settled on an authentic Mexican restaurant that barely had enough room for 20 people. The food was incredible! After that adventure we made our way around to different shops and stores before taking off for the hotel.

fam
Day two was similar to the first but I shot a little better. After the round of golf, Patty and I relaxed on the beach for a few hours as the sun went down. Sitting on a beach in December is an amazing experience and I highly recommend it! On the last day of our trip, I shot the best nine holes of my life on the back. What a great way to finish the trip! Patty and my dad beat me on every round except those last nine holes and I will be proud of that for months to come!


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

Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 10.00.06 PM

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.


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