While it may tempting to spend the summer before business school taking a bit of a break from work, there are a ton of great opportunities and resources that you can take advantage of before school starts. Search for “Pre-MBA Boot Camps” and find something that fits your interests or career goals. There are numerous opportunities across a wide range of industries including The Forte Foundation’s Financial Services Fast Track, Google’s Student Veteran Summit, and P&G’s Brand Camp, to name a few.
Use your Resources
Take advantage of the awesome resources and staff at the Fisher College of Business Office of Career Management (OCM). Career consultants from a variety of backgrounds help students narrow down career goals, fine-tune resumes, and practice elevator pitches and behavioral interview questions. In addition to the one-on-one sessions that students can schedule with career advisors, the OCM routinely holds seminars and workshops to prepare students for the job hunt.
Know your Deadlines
There can’t be a worse feeling then checking a job posting for your dream company and realizing the deadline has passed. The best way to stay on top of deadlines and other important dates in the recruiting process is with an Excel file. Keep track of important deadlines, as well as the dates that you applied for and interviewed for positions. If you haven’t heard back in a few weeks it may be a good time to follow up with your company contact.
Dress the Part
When it comes to recruiting events and interviews, the rule of thumb is that it’s always better to overdress rather than underdress. If you are looking for some more affordable options to purchase a suit, check out the Tanger Outlets or Ohio State’s Career Closet. The Career Closet occurs every fall prior to recruiting season and has lightly used business attire, shoes, and accessories offered to students for free!
Fisher MBA students often talk about GAP. What exactly is GAP and why is it such a focal point of our program?
Global Applied Projects (GAP) is an opportunity for MBA students to gain international consulting experience by working on a business challenge in a global location (non-US). It is a three-credit, graded, elective course that allows students to lead, plan, and execute global consulting engagements across multiple functional areas for a wide variety of corporations, not-for-profits, and governments in locations outside of the US. A typical GAP project timeline looks like this:
January: Project client and Office of Global Business work to define the business problem and formulate a high-level scope.
Late February: Student participation begins with the section of MBA team members chosen to meet the needs of the project.
Next 10 weeks: Team is directed by a second-year MBA team coach and a faculty functional expert. Students attend weekly classes that teach best practices in project management and global consulting, and develop cultural awareness. They also meet regularly with teams, advisors, coaches, and clients, and submit class assignments that support the development and execution of the projects.
May: Three-week, in-country, primary research phase with a presentation of findings, an in-depth analysis, and specific, actionable recommendations to the client.
As a second-year MBA student, I would love to share with you my most recent GAP experience, where I had the opportunity to work with Technical Rubber Company, based in Johnstown, OH, as well as Salvadori, based in Rovereto, Italy.
Client: Technical Rubber Company
Team members: Luke Barousse, Abhishek Chakrabarti, Adam Kanter, Andris Koh, Vaibhav Meharwade, Carl Shapiro, Sangyoun Shin, Kristen Stubbs
Cities/Countries we visited: Rovereto, Italy, and Munich, Germany
Activities: Visited TRC’s corporate headquarters, Salvadori’s headquarters, as well as attended the World’s Leading Trade Fair for Water, Sewage, Waste and Raw Materials Management.
Project Title: Rubber Molded Products Business Plan
Objective: To define a pathway for TRC to forward integrate from the equipment business to manufacturing and selling products made from recycled rubber.
Submitted Deliverables: A 100-page business plan that contained our industry analysis, strategic recommendations, as well as financial, operational, and marketing plans. We also delivered a final presentation to TRC’s and Salvadori’s executives.
What were some takeaways from this GAP experience?
1. Even though I had no experience in the manufacturing or recycled rubber industry, I was extremely fascinated by it. By keeping an open mind, as well as the willingness to learn, changed my perspective of recycled rubber and the manufacturing industry.
2. Italians absolutely love good food, wine, and espresso.
3. Working in a team of eight within close parameters is not easy. There were many memorable moments, but there were also moments of tension. It is important to talk through these issues, instead of letting emotions breed over time.
4. Take some down time for yourself. I decided to stroll along the river one evening in Rovereto, where I enjoyed the perfect sunset with a glass of wine.
5. Communication is key. One of our team members was unable to travel internationally, so we had to find a way to deal with different time zones, interact and engage with our teammate, as well as communicate in a way that made him feel as part of the team even though we were not physically together.
6. Take time on the weekends to explore nearby cities, take a break from work, and enjoy the beautiful scenery. I visited Rome, Venice, and spent the last weekend in Munich visiting the Neuschwanstein castle.
7. Rely on each other’s strengths to get things done efficiently. For example, when we were working on the business plan, we had Carl work on designing our logos, Sangyoun/myself on market research, Adam/Abhi on financials, Luke/Vaibhav on technical viability, and Kristen in putting things together. We each had our own strengths and we used them to maximize our output.
8. Having the opportunity to work as a consultant for a global client is something really unique and special. I know that having these relationships with clients and colleagues will carry into the future as I embark on more global projects in my career.
Rolling out of bed after finals week at the end of our second semester in the MBA program, it was both exciting and nerve-racking to be packing for a three-week trip for Ethiopia and Kenya. After making it through final group projects and coursework, I kept wondering if I was truly prepared for our in-country portion of the GAP global consulting project. On May 4, 2018, most of the members of my GAP team met at the Columbus airport for our journey to Addis Ababa. We were headed to our client’s regional office that was recently opened at the end of 2017. Our client, GOHi, is an NGO based at The Ohio State University focused on education, research, training and outreach programs to build capacity toward a global One Health approach.
Before leaving for Ethiopia, our team of seven MBA students met with GOHi several times to work through project objectives and develop a plan of action during the in-country experience. We were working toward developing recommendations for their organization structure and a list of potential partners for GOHi to establish a sustainable presence in the region. The months leading up to the trip, we identified organizations with similar missions to connect with in-country and learn more about their strategy and operations on the ground. We prepared interview guides, developed spreadsheets, laughed late into the evenings in Gerlach Hall, made nicknames for ourselves and bonded over Graeter’s Ice Cream.
After all this time, May 4th finally came around, and we embarked on our journey. Our team spent the first week in Addis Ababa getting to know the GOHi team and beginning our interviews with similar organizations working in the region. We were able to walk to the office every morning from the hotel where we stayed, passing by the ongoing building construction and liveliness of the capital city. The GOHi staff was extremely welcoming and supportive, inviting us to learn about their daily activities, taking us to a traditional Ethiopian lunch and dinner where we tasted our first authentic injera and later experienced the traditional dance of eskista, and allowing us to observe project sites and learn more about the on-the-ground project work taking place.
We met with organizations like Amref Health Africa, PSI Ethiopia and the Ethiopian branch of the CDC. We learned about the importance of maintaining relationships with government entities to gain support for organization success, we identified potential partnership opportunities and recommendations for increased visibility and flexibility in organization structure.
After our week in Addis Ababa, we traveled to Kenya to further our research with organizations based in Nairobi. There, we met with and learned from organizations like the International Livestock Research Institute, World Animal Protection and the University of Nairobi. Although most of our time was spent in meetings, we had time for a quick weekend safari to Maasai Mara as well!
After a week in Nairobi, we flew back to Addis to bring together our final report and presentation to the GOHi team. Throughout the entire project, we had established a strong group dynamic that enabled a strong final product for the client, one that they are still using today! Although a short trip, I found this to be an amazing experience, full of learning, the chance to build new relationships and the opportunity to consult for an organization working toward an important mission.
A huge shout out here to my amazing Fisher MBA GAP team: Aziza Allen, Ariel Cooper, John Cox, Kaitlyn Kendall-Sperry and Obi Nnebedum
And to the GOHi staff and leadership team: Wondwossen Gebreyes, Emia Oppenheim, Ashley Bersani, Getnet Yimer, Kassahun Asmare, Tigist Endashaw, Tewodros Abebe and Joshua Amimo
Everyone loves Spring Break– the perfect week to enjoy right before craziness sets in with projects, exams, and papers due before the academic year ends. Each student’s experience is different. Some students in the MBA program embark on a Global Business Expedition (GBE). GBEs are short-term, high-intensity global programs where students travel on a private tour to visit globally successful, multi-national companies, as well as the must-see historical sites of the region. This year, Singapore and Israel were on the list. I decided to interview two of my classmates, Andrew Page, and Carl Shapiro, who visited Singapore, and Israel, respectively. Continue reading to learn more about their journey and enjoy the beautiful sights!
Andrew Page First-year Full-Time MBA student with a focus on marketing
Why did you choose Singapore for your GBE?
AP: I chose to go to Singapore for several reasons. First, I have never been to Asia and I felt like I would be able to get a great experience with many different cultures in a short amount of time. Secondly, this GBE was focused on experiences with doing business throughout Asia and we had opportunities to meet with companies that had operations in Singapore and throughout Asia.
Who else was on this trip with you?
AP: There were 25 other students and two faculty members.
What were some memorable experiences that you would like to share?
AP: First: the food! We tried all the great food that Singapore has to offer and although it may seem weird that this is such a memorable experience, it is such a unique part of the culture throughout all of Singapore. Everyone has food recommendations for you whether you ask for them or not.
Another memorable experience was visiting the different culturally-specific areas, for example: Little India, Chinatown, and Arab Street. It felt like we were walking into a different country when we went into these areas, but at the same time the cultures were so integrated with each other. There were Chinese jewelers selling to Indian customers in Little India and an Indian clothing shop owner selling Islamic clothing on Arab Street. It was just so unique to see these cultures intertwine.
Finally, I was able to interact with a lot of people with whom I have not had time to spend before. Out of our group, the majority were in the Working Professionals MBA program, so I was able to speak with them about their experiences and make some great network connections. I was also able to spend a lot of time with our faculty member and get to know him outside of the classroom setting.
Was there anything that you did not expect or would have done differently?
AP: I did not expect the opportunities that were available to us as students in that part of the world. There were many instances where we were able to make connections for future opportunities with the companies we were meeting.
Would you recommend others to join the GBE next year?
AP: I would recommend GBE to every student who can do it, and I might try to do it again next year!
First-year Full-Time MBA student with a focus on marketing and brand management
Why did you choose Israel for your GBE?
CS: The focus for my career is marketing and brand management which has a strong relationship with the culture in which the brand is doing business. Israel is unique in that the domestic market is too small to support a major company on its own, so as a means for survival, Israeli firms have to export and market themselves in foreign markets. To be on the ground and start to understand the strategies that these firms develop is incredibly powerful.
I also have a personal relationship with Israel, having family there. I am personally invested in the success of the country. I think the unique aspects of Israel– bringing the Hebrew language back to life, establishing the first independent Jewish state in 2000 years, and transforming a desolate environment into fertile land– show what grit and hard work can accomplish.
How many students/faculty were on this trip?
CS: I went to Israel with Oded Shenkar (faculty) and there were nine students on the trip.
Any memorable experiences that you would like to share?
CS: Some of my most memorable moments were interacting with Israelis outside of the corporate environment to develop a deeper understanding of their culture. By spending my free time out in Tel Aviv on the beach, or in the markets of Jerusalem, I could really get a feeling of where the entrepreneurship begins and what makes the Israeli condition so relevant to the success of disrupting technology. In the corporate environment, we had the opportunity to talk to the leaders of the businesses we visited, the decision-makers at the highest levels. Because Israel’s culture is so casual, we were encouraged to ask probing questions and get very honest and valuable answers that in the United States might not be possible.
Was there anything that you did not expect or would have done differently?
CS: I would have liked to have more time for one-on-one networking with some folks from the different companies. Many of the companies we visited introduced us to several high-level managers, but we didn’t have the opportunity to hear them all speak, and it would have been helpful to break out into smaller groups or have unstructured time when we could focus more on the things that interest us with someone from the company who also shares that interest.
Would you recommend others to join the GBE next year?
CS: I absolutely recommend the trip. The reality of the closeness of the Israeli economy with the American economy means that if you work in tech, you will encounter an Israeli firm. It can be an incredible asset to understand the differences and similarities of the two cultures to get the most out of the relationship.
Last month, I completed the most difficult (and fulfilling) assignment of the MBA thus far. It didn’t involve an extensive group strategy session, or a Sunday afternoon in R studio learning to better work with data, or even a 40-page case read with analysis…. It was even more difficult than those other assignments.
This assignment involved digging deep to develop my personal legacy statement. What do I want my friends and family to say about me when I retire? What do I want the overall impact of my professional life to be?
The premise is that nobody makes it to their deathbed and says “gee, I wish I’d spent more time at the office grinding in Excel.” How much more effective (and challenging) is it to consider your life impact on the front end of your career than the back end?
Our Leadership Legacy class had to not only flesh out our legacy into a paper, but also to present our statements in the form of 5 minutes speeches to the class. It was a beautiful experience to learn how my classmates have overcome crucible moments and how they plan to make a meaningful impact in their careers.
In the end, I’m so grateful that Fisher is not just training me to be a sharp analyst and a strategic thinker, but also to be an effective, authentic, ethical leader who very carefully and intentionally considers my impact on the world.
Hi, everyone! My name is Catherine Banton and I am a second year, full-time MBA candidate here at Fisher working as one of our admission ambassadors in our Graduate Programs Office for the academic year. I’m originally from a small suburb of Seattle, WA and moved to Ohio after living and working in Los Angeles, CA for seven years.
When I meet new first year MBA students in the full-time program, or when I’m introducing myself to our campus visitors, I often get the question, “If you lived in Southern California, how (and why) are you living in Ohio? Don’t you miss it?!” My answer is simple: the people in Ohio make this a great place to live and work, and the opportunities here are endless. I’ve had experiences here at Fisher and in Columbus that I wouldn’t be able to have anywhere else, and I am excited to share one of those with you in this blog post!
I’m convinced that no other MBA program offers a course like the one I am taking this semester: The Business of College Sports. This class is one of the elective options in my Leadership and Organizational Behavior major. It’s taught by none other than The Ohio State University’s own Athletic Direction Gene Smith (more about him here) and his amazing wife Sheila, who runs a successful fundraising and development consulting firm here in Columbus (and is a former star athlete and coach herself). Gene Smith is arguably one of the most well-known and respected athletic directors in the nation, and has been at the helm of tOSU’s athletics for more than 10 years as programs like men’s football have made historic championship runs (Go, Bucks!). The course’s student make-up in and of itself is unique: a mix of full-time and part-time MBAs along with MAcc, SMF, MHRM, and Master of Sports Management students make the discussions and dialogue in class engaging and enlightening, and we get to work on projects in teams that mix programs to further learn from each other.
While you might initially think, “What could college sports and business possibly have to do with one another?” this course turns that misconception on its head – and quickly. Gene and Sheila bring in high-ranking members of the athletic department to speak candidly with us about everything from trademark licensing and partnership negotiations, to coaches’ contracts and revenue drivers for the university’s athletic events. While each guest speaker comes into class with PowerPoint decks and a planned presentation, they are all very open to student questions and truly give us special insight into how the athletic department functions and what goes into keeping a multi-million dollar organization within the university functioning smoothly and successfully.
The in-class experience is fascinating, but the out-of-class activities are what make our Buckeye fans’ hearts stop and keep our camera phone snapping. Throughout the semester, our class has the privilege of visiting Ohio State’s most prized and beloved athletic facilities, including Ohio Stadium, the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, and the Jerome Schottenstein Center.
Long-time staff members of the athletic department take us on guided, personal tours of each venue, explaining to us the history, significance and use of each room, hallway and collection. The best part is, we also meet special, unexpected guests during our visits! We had our first tour this week – of the Woody Hayes Athletic Center – and to our shock and delight, head football coach Urban Meyer appeared on the practice turf while we were taking pictures to share with us some thoughts from last weekend’s exhilarating game against Oklahoma (remember that wrap-around catch by Noah Brown?!) and the importance of the facility in player recruiting, team wellness, and program fundraising.
Since starting this course, I’m much more aware of the use of the Ohio State brand all around me, and I find myself thinking about different things when I watch my beloved Bucks compete for their next win. How much revenue was generated from food and beverage sales at the game today? What would-be sponsors may have used the OSU or Buckeye logos incorrectly in their game day flyers or signs? How will our championship run this year affect top and bottom line growth for the athletic department’s finances? As much as I enjoy cheering on our teams from the stands or in front of my TV as a fan, my perspective is now broader and deeper when it comes to understanding Ohio State’s sports teams and the administration behind them – all because of my time spent in the Fisher MBA program and the opportunity to take such a unique class with unheard-of access to one of the most important athletic directors in the nation today.
My advice to potential applicants to Fisher is: don’t forget to consider seemingly “less important” (but equally formative and fulfilling) things like elective courses and special life experiences when looking at an MBA program. Some schools offer incredible opportunities to take part in courses or events that just can’t be replicated on another campus – like this Business of College Sports class – and if you don’t take the time to look into these things, you might regret it later on in the process!
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.
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.
Last week I had the opportunity to attend not one, but two Operations related Career Conference events and they were awesome! First, there was the Annual “Links Symposium” sponsored by the Operations and Logistics Management Association, and I volunteered to help organize this event, being a member of OLMA myself.
The half – day event was hosted at The Blackwell Inn, Fisher’s own hotel and Executive Conference Center. This year’s topic was Lean Management, and there were two discussion panels, one for Lean Management in Manufacturing and the other Lean Management in Services. For all the Ops and Supply Chain Majors out there, this was a fantastic opportunity to interact and network
with the panelists, who were a mix of academic faculty and industry experts from companies such as Greif, Huntington, Cardinal Health etc. To top it all, we had a great moderator – Georgia Keresty, a lean expert with more than 30 + years of experience.
The very next morning I attended an Operations Career Change Round table event hosted by the Working Professional MBA Program. Fisher’s apt selection of the panelists should not go unmentioned. The 4 WP panelists were each from different areas of Operations – the distribution side, Supply chain side, the IT side and the customer side. It led to a very interesting Q and A session where they shared valuable stories from their work experiences and advice on how we could better ourselves to become ideal hiring candidates for Operations Management roles in top companies.
The biggest perk in attending these kinds of events is that you get to meet such vibrant personalities who are willing to help you in your career any way they can . Drawing from their experiences is a big plus, and ultimately helps you in connecting with more people in the field of your interest. Kudos to Fisher faculty and the COE , for their amazing contributions year after year and a special thanks to Fisher alumni who are so eager to give back to the business community – you are invaluable resources to the current students and one of Fisher’s greatest assets.
And these networking events are right at your doorstep. My advice is to never let these chances slip, because these are golden opportunities that can lead to lifelong career connections. Boy, am I glad I came to Business school 🙂
Do you hear that whooshing sound? It’s the time at Fisher passing by!
In an earlier post I mentioned that since I got enrolled in the Fisher MBA Program, a curious thing has happened: although I have more stuff to do, I have much more time! What do I do with this time? Well… since school just started, and I believe that everything should start with a break, I took a vacation.
Yes, a VACATION. That thing that I wasn’t sure actually exists. I did it. I visited Washington DC, I visited Atlantic City (where I spent more time in the Atlantic waves than in the casinos), I’ve been for a few days in Nashville, TN and for a dramatic finish, I watched a colored Niagara Falls:
Of course, this post is not about my vacation, but about my time at Fisher. I am amazed how fast 8 weeks of classes can pass whooshing by. I have never been in school – at any level – where I enjoyed so much actually being at school and I don’t think there was a time before when I actually thought “oh, good thing I have classes today, I’m looking forward to it!
Remember the time in middle school, high school and college (I don’t really remember my primary school years) when school meant “you’re dumb, the professor is smart, you shut up, listen and take notes while the professor talks”? Fisher is nothing like that.
As a first year at Fisher, am taking 3 classes in the first semester. First one is about Microeconomics (it’s called something else, but really, it’s Microeconomics). The best class I took in my whole life. Interactive and challenging. You have to be prepared (and there’s a lot of reading to do), but it is so fun to be in class, to discuss sometimes absurd situations (to better understand an economic concept), and to make sense of what seemed to be so random at the beginning! And Accounting… who thought Accounting can be fun? I always hated accounting, and I went to the class expecting to hear “bla bla bla bla bla debitbla bla bla bla bla income statement bla bla bla bla bla cash flow“. Surprise! It was nothing like that! I guess if you have very good professors anything can be fun.
Oh, did I mention how amazing everything is? If you want to hear more about it, join me every Thursday night at Varsity Club, and I’ll tell you all about it. There will be free beer involved. Or you can wait a couple of days and read my post about midterms. Until next time, GO BUCKS!
4 undergraduate years + part of a 5th undergraduate year + one full MBA year = 18 quarters.
I have completed 18 quarters at Ohio State. So, it should come as no surprise that the change to semesters part way through my second year in the WPMBA program has made me a little nervous. With one summer term and almost one autumn term under my belt, I thought I’d share some of my initial thoughts on the change thus far:
What I Like So Far:
One class per night: I know some of my fellow classmates don’t like this format, but I do. I only have to think about one subject per night, which makes attending class after a long work day more manageable
Earlier evenings! The difference between 9:15 and 9:48 may not seem like much, but trust me, it is! That extra half hour is enough time to wind down before it’s time to hit the hay – or grab a beer at VC
More classes: Because electives are split into 7 week terms instead of 10 week quarters, you get to take more classes in different subjects of your interest
What Will Take Some Getting Used To:
Longer class time: Some professors are having a bit of a hard time adjusting to semesters – many of whom have taught in quarters for their entire academic career. A three+ hour class is a lot of time to keep the class engaged, but I think this will improve over time
Syllabus restructuring: This is by far the biggest challenge. Both of my classes this term are back-half heavy, meaning that I had very little I could work on in the first four weeks of the term. Now, in the last three weeks, EVERYTHING is due. I will need to plan for this in upcoming terms!
The transition to semesters was the right thing for the university – change is inevitable and it’s time we got on the same page as the rest of the country. Ohio State and Fisher did an admirable job managing the transition – now it’s time for me to get with the change!