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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.


And so it begins.. Oh wait, it began three weeks back!

 

Belay On

Belay On

 

Before I begin telling you about my experiences in the last 1 week at Fisher, I definitely would like to share some activities( Read super cool) which we did during our Pre-term program.Yeah,you read it right. PRE-TERM. At Fisher,we believe in truly in our motto ” Go Beyond”. The pre term program exposed us to various facets of the Fisher MBA- Career Management, Core courses, Leadership development opportunities, and of course, the fun ” team” exercise at Summit Vision. This was one such experience wherein you get into it with one set of expectations and you come out with a totally different set of perspectives. It helped us get out of our comfort zone, I mean literally. If you had not earlier considered dangling from a beam 50 feet above the ground as a part of your comfort zone, you would consider reframing it now.It helped us trust our team mates who were acting as the ‘belayers’ and believe me, the word ‘trust’ was definitelyredefined in my mind.During the course of 4 hours, we learned from each other’s mistakes, put aside our individual goals and collaborated as a team to see the task through the finish line. I think we cherished the outing even more because it provided us a much needed break in our hectic schedule.On a side note, I used to think my pre MBA schedule was jam packed and hectic. I am laughing at that thought now.I will leave you at that.


Welcome Fisher MBA Class of 2016

Fisher Campus

It was a warm morning. Not too uncomfortable, although it left little doubt that the afternoon would be quite hot. As if I didn’t have enough on my mind already while making my way across the Fisher campus, I now had to brood over the efficiency of the off-brand antiperspirant I was wearing. Coming up to Schoenbaum Hall,  I took one last glance at the Pre-Term schedule I had printed out the night before to make sure I was in the right place, heaved one last heavy breath, and entered the building.

The door opened into a small corridor brimming with well-dressed men and women, acquainting and socializing, demonstrating their varied levels of networking competence. Striding across the corridor, from handshake to handshake, I felt as if my mind was hosting a potluck attended by two dozen different versions of myself, each bringing a different emotion. I was excited; I was nervous. I was confident; I was diffident. I was calm; I was frantic.

An administrator directed us through two sets of doors leading into a large lecture hall with stadium seating. I found a seat and continued to converse with my neighbors, trying desperately to remember their names without looking at their name tags. The murmuring in the halls quieted down as the administrator stepped forth once again and, to a roaring applause, officially welcomed the Fisher MBA Class of 2016 to the Pre-Term Orientation.

What transpired over the following week and a half of orientation is far too much to detail in just one blog post, but in summary, it was truly an uplifting and apprehension-slaying event. It was an exciting blend of macro and micro insights into the adventure my class and I are about to begin. Between meeting my classmates, getting assigned my cohort (shout out to Team 11!), learning about all the student groups and opportunities, lectures from such distinguished guests as the CEO of Sherwin-Williams, Christopher Connor, and activities such as team-building exercises at Summit Vision – which was far more enjoyable and of practical use than my skeptical mind expected – orientation provided an excellent introduction to this new chapter in my life.

I’ve come a long way to get here (more on that in another post). As bumpy as the road was at times, I’m sure ahead it will be even more long and winding. Great changes come prepackaged with great uncertainty. I might not be venturing into the last frontier, but I am running full-speed into my own unknown with nothing but drive and optimism providing bright but limited lighting. But as far as I can tell, I couldn’t ask for better resources to help guide me along the way than those which I have found at the Fisher College of Business at THE Ohio State University.


Summer Activities – Pelotonia

It is hard to believe, this this school year is already coming to a close.  Last August seems like such a short time ago, and the months have gone by in the blink of an eye.  I am currently in the middle of mid-term exams for the second term of the spring semester, and will be halfway through my MBA journey in under a month.

This summer is showing no signs of being any less busy, between working during my internship, to participating in the GAP program, and taking advantage of other opportunities around Columbus.  One of the activities that has occurred in Columbus every summer for the better part of the last decade is the Pelotonia charity bike ride, which raises funds for the James Cancer Center here on campus.  A short description from the ride’s website:

The model of Pelotonia remains simple: Pelotonia’s operating expenses are covered by funding partners so that 100% of every dollar raised by Pelotonia riders, virtual riders and volunteers goes directly to fund cancer research at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center—Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute. Pelotonia was initially funded with a five-year, $12.5 million commitment, with a goal to raise $39 million during this time period.

The ride has raised over $61 million dollars to help fund cancer research over the years, and is a great way to give back to the community.  This year, I will be riding as part of the Fisher College of Business team, along with several of my other classmates who are also going to be in the Columbus area over the summer.  So, along with my internship this summer, I will be balancing my training regime in order to prepare for the ride.  If you have any interest in learning more about myself and the other Fisher students who will be riding, you can follow this link:  Dan Reeder


Sparking INNOVATION around the CAMPfire

On March 21, 2014, Innovation Fisher and the Association of Marketing Professionals present INNOVATION CAMP 2014 to a group of approximately 200 students and business professionals.

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The speaker line-up was phenomenal:

Sucharita Mulpuru, VP and Principal Analyst of Forrester Research
Cathy Lewis, VP and CMO of 3D Systems Corp.
A panel discussion – “Marketing Columbus as an Innovative City”
Daryl Butler, Director of Brand Marketing for Beats By Dr. Dre

Each speaker and discussion brought a different outlook and great takeaways of marketing and innovation in today’s world. Sucharita outlined disruptive innovation in the customer service industry, food and shopping/delivery models. Buying groceries online and having them delivered or picking them up at specific location? Count me in!

The discussion about 3D blew me away. From retail, electronic, automotive…even food! I am excited to see what happens next with this cool tool – the possibilities are endless. Cathy talked about the possibility of personalized organs and bones.

Cathy Lewis - 3D Systems

Cathy Lewis – 3D Systems

Then, there was a panel that told the audience how they are putting Columbus on the map. We compete directly with other cities such as Cincinnati, Chicago and etc. for talent and resources – how do we bring, and sustain, life in the good ol’ Columbus? Our brand of ColumbUS has always caught my eye, but it was interesting to see where that stems from. THE state of Ohio losing to Michigan because of the “Pure Michigan” campaign?! Say it isn’t so!

Fisher voted Beats by Dr. Dre as the Marketer of the Year. The event ended with a talk about Beats advertising that was incredible – Daryl talked about the “Hear What you Want” campaign and how storytelling plays a critical role in all commercials. The attribute of noise cancellation became the campaign of “Hear What You Want”. Daryl also talked about how products, culture and music support the company of Beats by Dr. Dre – but at the core is passion.

Daryl Butler - from Beats by Dr. Dre - to accept the Fisher AMP MOTY award

Daryl Butler – from Beats by Dr. Dre – to accept the Fisher AMP MOTY award

Here is the Beats commercial with Colin Kaepernick & the commercial about the Pill Dudes – whenever I watch these I feel so inspired!

Can’t wait to come back next year as a business professional :)

 


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!


Ramon Gregory – Success to Significance

In any strong MBA program, you get plenty of opportunity to hear about the application of specific disciplines from researchers, experts, and professionals at the top of their field.  What you don’t get as often is the chance to hear a successful, dedicated leader talk openly and intimately about their life journey, their successes and failures, and values that led them along the way.

Recently, I had the privilege of attending a lunch event sponsored by Fisher’s Black MBA Association, wherein we heard from Ramon Gregory, who is Senior Vice President, Customer Care Shared Services for Cardinal Health.  With more than 25 years of experience leading customer service and contact centers, Mr. Gregory can speak with authority on multiple topics, but at this event, he focused on his professional journey, the way he and his family navigated the various forks in the road that they encountered as he balanced raisinRAMONg a family with leading in a company, and the mindset of a leader.

As he spoke, Mr. Gregory kept coming back to a phrase that seemed to be very important to him: “from success to significance.”  Although he never directly explained the phrase or specified how he came across it, he used it to underscore a shift in his professional perspective that seemed to occur over the years.  Although he is extremely successful, he seems to have come to a conclusion that I have heard expressed before from men and women of high achievement.  He communicated to us that success is great, and that we—as MBAers who are hungry to get out into the world and climb the ranks—should do so.  Success comes with a lot of benefits, and he recommends them.  But he said that once success is attained, there is something more important that he hopes we will set our eyes on.  That to lead truly significant lives, we should invest in the process of knowing, developing, and collaborating with people.  Mr. Gregory spoke with kindness, honesty, and humility about his dedication to serving others, developing leaders who work for him, and leading a life that will benefit not only his company, but the people who work there, in powerful and meaningful ways.  I am thankful to him for his transparency and willingness to speak to a room of strangers about some of his deepest convictions, and I hope I am blessed with the opportunity to put them into practice.


Happy Lunar New Year! An Amazing Celebration in Fisher!

Happy New Year every one! January 30th was the first day of Chinese New Year-the year of Horse! To me, it was my first time to celebrate this traditional Chinese festival abroad. It should be the day to spend with family members, just like Christmas. This year, instead of celebrating it with my family members in Beijing, I celebrated it with my new family members in Columbus! Check this video for all those sweet greetings sent from my classmates:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RhWCpm5wB6g

Isn’t it sweet? All of them in the video are saying Happy New Year in Chinese. My fantastic classmates are so interested in learning Chinese and Chinese culture.

photo-CNY2So, in Fisher, as an international student, you are never alone. Last Saturday night, the CBPA(Chinese Business Professional Association) and MBLE Council held the Chinese New Year Gala in Fisher. A total of 150 people attended this gala, including First year and second year MBA students, MBLE students,  professors, and corporate guests. Everybody had a lot of fun. Picking eggs by using chopsticks, guessing the Chinese idioms, Chinese Kongfu show……and, of course, Chinese food! 3 hours passed fast…..I’m even looking forward to the gala next year! And I hope more and more friends come and join us to celebrate the new year.

As Chinese old saying, it’s always lucky for a person born in the year of Horse. I wish, not only to those who were born in the year of horse, but also to everyone in the MBA program, a prosperous year of Horse! Good luck in your MBA study!

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Best Damn Band in the Land!!

On October 26th, the OSU football team put its winning streak and undefeated season on the line vs. the Nittany Lions of Penn State – who had just come off a dramatic win over the team up north!  While our football team jumped all over Penn State from the opening kickoff, in route to a 63-14 drubbing, the OSU band is the one stole the night with its halftime tribute to “Hollywood Blockbusters.”

This eight minute performance captured not only the music rendition of some of America’s beloved movies, but the band also marched its way into depicting some of the movies favorite and most memorable moments!  Click here to see the full performance.

Personally, my favorite renditions were Jurassic Park and Pirates of the Caribbean (the last two in the attached link).  In the Jurassic Park montage, the band transformed into a T-Rex and ran down the field to gobble up an unexpected person.  This attack was capped by T-Rex spitting out the humans hat – a marque moment in any Jurassic Park movie!

The band capped off this amazing half time show with a classic Pirates of the Caribbean battle between two ships –OSU vs. Michigan.  Of course, the OSU ship proved to be much stronger and a better shot, as it sunk the Michigan boat!

What even made this day even more special was spending it tailgating and enjoying the game with other 1st and 2nd year Fisher MBAs.  The two years here at Fisher fly by and it’s moments like the Penn State gameday that truly create an amazing MBA experience!

 

 

 

 

 


Let’s Do Lunch

Jesse Tyson (left), former Global Aviation Leader for ExxonMobil came to speak at a Cullman Luncheon in late September 2013

Recently, I had the opportunity to attend a Cullman luncheon with the former President and COO of Wilson’s Leather, Dave Rogers. Earlier this fall I participated in a Cullman Luncheon that featured Jesse Tyson, Global Aviation Leader for ExxonMobil. The Cullman Executive Luncheon Series is designed to bring 10-15 graduate students and senior executives, many of whom are also graduates of Fisher, together in an informal setting. Past executives have identified their current roles, discussed work history, and have provided insights into business in general. There is also a time for Q&A at the end.

Personally, it was hugely beneficial to interact with and glean “best practices” from these executives who had 35+ year careers to draw upon. Jesse and Dave both shared things that they did well and also shared about things to avoid as a manager and an executive. The questions asked by my fellow classmates were also very informative and brought out the richness of their experiences in business.

In an age where there seems to be a lack of either good or ethical leadership, the luncheon was a great way to get face to face with an executive who led well and could share those experiences and lessons learned along the way.

Jack Detzel, Director of Supply Chain Capability & Baseline Optimization/Productivity for PepsiCo, is coming to speak at a Cullman Luncheon in October

Craig Bahner, Fisher alumnus and Wendy’s chief marketing officer came to speak at a Cullman luncheon in April 2013

 


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