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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

 


Non-Quants Have (Almost) Nothing To Fear

Coming into Fisher, my biggest fears were circled around being a “non-quant”. With my background in law and public policy, I had never taken an accounting or finance class and I haven’t taken a math class in almost nine years! I had nightmares about being singled out for not knowing about the intricacies of pivot tables in Excel or for forgetting how to determine whether two variables are independent of each other. What I found at Fisher was a welcoming community of students and professors from all walks of life who were more than happy to help.

The most “feared” first-year class is Data Analysis, a class that covers everything from statistical analysis, probability, regression, hypothesis testing and sophisticated excel functions. For a “non-quant”, I was sure that this class would require a significant amount of my time and energy. What I didn’t realize (besides the late nights) is that it would also be the class I would learn the most from. Every career panel and professional I have spoken to has specifically pointed out the skills that we develop in this class as an essential part of their job.

Where I have struggled, my classmates have been more than willing to help me catch up and fortunately our TA, Ryan, has gone above and beyond to help us understand the concepts. These experiences, even two weeks in, exhibit the atmosphere at Fisher. Encouragement is shared freely, ideas are accepted and risk is rewarded. These two weeks have felt more like two months, but I can already tell it will pay off immensely.


My First Year MBA Life Begins!

After 5 years working, I finally choose to come back to school to pursue a MBA degree. Exciting! Everything at Fisher and OSU is new to me; it’s totally different from my past experience in the undergraduate university in Beijing. During Pre-term from 5/Aug to 21/Aug, I met my dearest classmates,  those guys will spend the next 2 years with me. How wonderful! It must be quite  amazing to share each others’ experience and wonderful stories in class. Also, each of us was assigned to a team, usually 4-5 team members per team, including 1-2 international students and 1-2 female students. For my team, my dear team 13, we have John, Tara, Joey, Deepu and me. It is important to build a team successfully because many assignments are required to be handed in as a team. I must say, my team members are fabulous, talented, passionate and nice!

 



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