Posts filed under 'Travels'



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.

photo (8)

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.

photo (3)

 

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!

 


Anticipating March Madness …

OSU student basketball season tickets sold out this year in 6 minutes. I was one of the 2400 students waiting at their computers at 6:00 PM when tickets went on sale last semester to buy them.

This year Ohio State has been in the top 25 throughout the year and has played many other top 25 opponents on its home court at which I have gotten the privilege to attend. One of my favorite games thus far this season was the Ohio State vs Michigan game. I arrived about 3 and ½ hours before the game to get in line and lucked out with getting lower bowl seats. The rivalry between Ohio State and Michigan is like nothing I have seen before, the energy was incredible in the arena of 18,000 people. Ohio State went on to win the game 56-53. It was a thrilling game to watch as the teams battled back and forth at the end of the game.

 

Being from Louisville, I am a Cardinal basketball fan and with the Cards being ranked #1 in the country at the time I decided to road trip back home to catch a game. (Louisville is only ~3.5 hours away from Columbus.) A group of MAcc students and I went to Louisville for the weekend to watch the Syracuse vs Louisville basketball game since some MAcc students are Syracuse fans. One of the many fun things about the Fisher MAcc program is meeting people from all different backgrounds and finding common ground with them. Even though we were cheering for different teams, we had a great time at the game which went down to the last minute. (Syracuse winning unfortunately)

Road trip from Columbus to Louisville to see Louisville take on Syracuse

 


Fisher AMP Chicago HOP 2012

A yearly tradition at Fisher has once again proved to be a highlight of our year as marketing students.  Each year a group of approximately 20 Marketing students travel to the Windy City to learn from leading marketing companies about cutting edge marketing concepts.  As the president of Fisher Association of Marketing Professionals (AMP), it was up to me to create a fun and educational experience for our members.

Luckily this year was once again a great success (whew!).  We had the extreme honor to visit Edelman, the world’s largest PR firm, Jack Morton, a brand experience agency, Wrigley’s, focusing on brand management of their gum brands, and finally a stop at Navigate Research, a sports market research and sponsorship valuation firm.

Another highlight of the trip was an Alumni networking night sponsored by an alumnus at the Hilton Chicago.  What a great venue to chat with 30 local Chicago Fisher alums!

Thanks to all of our sponsors and hosts.  We all had a fabulous time and learned a little along the way too 😉


My weekend trip to Music City U.S.A.

As Fisher MHRM students, we spend most of our time studying, meeting for group projects and going to class, but weekends give us an opportunity to get away and explore new places. Lucky for us, Columbus is close to many big cities and tourist attractions so traveling is pretty easy.

Ashley and I decided to make use of our long weekend for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and take an impromptu trip to Nashville, TN. My family is originally from Tennessee, so I have visited too many times to count. Ashley, on the other hand, had never visited. Ashley loves country music, southern cooking, and cowboy boots, so I knew she’d fit right in! My cousin, Matthew, was the only brave soul willing to join us on our last minute getaway.

Long weekend trips are a great way to explore the world around you while in grad school

We left Columbus at 5am Saturday morning. Six hours later we arrived at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. I have been to the museum before, but the exhibits change on a regular basis. Although some of the articles and stories were familiar, I was able to see new pieces added to the collection in the last year. We also took a tour of RCA Studio B where legends, like Elvis Presley, and today’s artists, like Carrie Underwood, have recorded more than 1,000 American hits.

Ashley, me and Matthew sitting at Elvis’ piano in RCA Studio B

Saturday night we went downtown to experience all that Nashville has to offer. Broadway is the main street that features restaurants, shopping, bars and entertainment venues. We also went down Printers Alley, a famous alley that has been home to nightclubs since the 1940’s. The live music was incredible! Even the artists busking on the streets deserve to be recognized. We heard everything from country to blues to pop and even gospel.

Ashley and me on Printers Alley

Sunday we hoped to get a seat at The Bluebird Café where singers like Taylor Swift and Garth Brooks were discovered. We wanted to catch the unique performances for Writer’s Night. Unfortunately, we didn’t realize how many other people had the same idea. The Bluebird was at maximum capacity and there was still a line of about 60 people curving around the side of the shopping center. Next time, we will have to go on a night when they take reservations!

We decided on dinner at Merchant’s on Broadway. This restaurant had a very different atmosphere from the usual “country” scene. Everything was in black and white. The service was quick, the food was delicious, and the hipster ambiance was executed perfectly in every detail. Of course, since we were already on Broadway we couldn’t help but check out the local bands again.

Me and Ashley in front of the band

Sadly, we had to head back home on Monday. We stopped for one last meal at The Pancake Pantry. We waited an hour and a half for our table, and it was well worth the wait (and the calories!). I had their specialty, sweet potato pancakes with cinnamon cream syrup. Perfection.

I was very impressed by everything we did in Nashville, but there are still so many sights and sounds I want to share with Ashley and Matthew. We will just have to add it to our list of places to visit: Chicago, Pittsburgh, Memphis, Indianapolis …


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