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!
A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to partake in a food tour with Columbus Food Adventures. I was attending a two-day company meeting, and many of our Swiss colleagues were in town. Our meeting planner wanted to show them that Columbus has good food too – it’s not just in Europe! So she scheduled a customized tour with Columbus Food Adventures. All we had to do was hop in the bus, and they took us around to three trendy restaurants for three tasty courses – and taught us about each one along the way.
Course #1: Hors’ Devours and Cocktails Till
This was my favorite course of the evening. Although I live within walking distance of it, I had never been to Till. Previously a vegan restaurant called Dragonfly, the owners decided to mix things up a bit with a fresh name and fresh concept. Everything is as local and homegrown as possible – they grow their own herbs and produce on their back patio, and even compost! Our first course was this unbelievable corn cake. That’s an anchovy on top – I didn’t care for it (too salty), but the cake was rich and flavorful. It was served with dry champagne and Riesling – a perfect combination.
Course #2: Entrée Barcelona
I have been to Barcelona number of times, so I wasn’t as excited about this course as the others. However, it was the perfect spot for a quick and tasty dinner, and the non-locals loved the warm atmosphere. We were served an antipasto plate and a giant cast iron skillet of their signature dish – Paella. Along with a full-bodied Cabernet, it was perfect. My only complaint with this course was that we didn’t have enough time – one of the challenges of a food tour. It was in and out.
Course #3: Dessert! DeepWood
Surprisingly, I wasn’t that full at this point. I think it had to do with the moderately sized portions and spreading out of the courses – I was pleasantly full and ready for some decadent dessert – my weakness. The atmosphere at DeepWood was a little formal and stuffy for my taste, but man was the dessert GOOD! I am a sucker for chocolate, and we were served a trio of chocolate and caramel. The milkshake was by far my favorite – rich but not overwhelming. Dessert was served with port, but I am not a fan of port and had had enough to drink for night (and a hangover the next day to prove it).
Overall, our experience with the Columbus Food Adventures was unique and tasty – I highly recommended it for any group activity or even just with a friend or special someone. Thanks, work and CFA!
I’ve always wished that I had my own blog in which I could just muse about whatever I wanted and somehow people would read in awe. I read a few blogs like that, and I’m always jealous of the writers. So, indulge me a little with a blog post that pretty much has nothing to do with the WPMBA program or Fisher or even Ohio State – but it does have something to do with living in this part of the country so, yes, it does have something to do with “being here.” 🙂 After a (very) hot summer, I am finding myself enjoying fall even more this year. Here are some of my favorites:
Skinny Cinnamon Dolce Lattes at Starbucks: I know most people are obsessed with the Pumpkin Spice, but I prefer the cinnamon. Sipping one on a crisp fall afternoon is perfection
Sleeping with the windows open and a million covers on the bed: So. Cozy.
Boots: Sorry, gentleman, this one’s for the ladies. I am pulling on my camel-colored mid-calf flat boots again, with skirts and jeans. Love.
Tailgating: OK, confession – I haven’t done this yet this football season. But the biggest and best tailgate of the year is fast approaching (the Nebraska game), and I can’t wait! Hotdogs, buffalo chicken dip, day drinking…need I say more?
Running: I’m not a warm-weather runner. I’d take running in 40 degree temps over 80 any day. But the perfect weather for running is what we have right now – 50s, 60s, and sunny, with the leaves crunching at your feet. Leave the iPod at home and just enjoy.
Chili: I made a big pot of turkey chili with lots of beans and cumin last week – best served with sour cream, cheddar cheese, green onions, and crackers on top. It freezes well and gives me a cozy lunch or dinner long into the fall
I guess I’m lucky that my 1st week at Fisher coincided with a long weekend for Labor Day holiday! However, I know this is not always going to be the case, which means, I need to work better at time management to ensure that I am staying ahead with this rigorous program.
So I am giving you some advice on how to manage your time and stay ahead of the game, while still enjoying somewhat of a personal life.
1)Cook in bulkon Sundays so that you have enough food for the week. Make sure you pack your meals so you are not wasting time and money on food
2)Keep up with your reading and homework assignments during the week (on the days that you DO NOT have class) Trust me, if you keep up with the work during the week, you can enjoy some free and personal time on the weekends!
3) Make time for the gym, either before or after work! You will have more energy to combat those long sessions! On days where I don’t have class, I go to the gym after work for about an hour. On class days, I either skip the gym, or go in the morning before work. Either way, make time for it and you will be HAPPY you did!
4)Use Saturday and Sunday mornings for catching up on reading and any remaining assignments you were not able to complete during the week. This way, you have the rest of Sat/Sun to enjoy the football games, and other personal activities of your liking!
5) Don’t stress! If you manager your time efficiently and plan ahead, you will not need to worry about playing catch up or feeling stressed! I had an amazing 1st week and I know that planning ahead will ensure me staying on track and enjoying this program!
I made it through my 1st real day at Fisher and my 1st class last night. I was a little nervous and wasn’t 100% sure what to expect. I am very outgoing by nature, so didn’t think I’d have a tough time making friends, but it has been years since I was last in school, and the thought did put some butterflies in my stomach. To my excitement, everyone was friendly and many had similar concerns about the 1st day. We had Economics last night, and I already formed my team for the class group project. It was very easy to strike conversations with your fellow students. Professor Campbell is also very engaging, funny and witty. I am pretty sure this is going to be an interesting class!
Everyone in the Working Professional program is going through similar circumstances and you’d be surprised to see how many work colleagues are actually in your class. That’s why it was an easy and comfortable 1st day. Please be warned, the ease was in networking and making introductions, not in the class work or the program in itself. That I have yet to gauge… of course we were all told in orientation that it’s a rather rigorous program and that you must stay on top of readings and assignments, especially that it’s now on the Semester system, which only means, same work load and less time. I will certainly write a blog on the actually program once I have more experience under my belt to share.
Nonetheless, I enjoyed my 1st class and 1st day and the connections I made. I am looking forward to Accounting tonight, since almost everyone I met in Economics is going to be in my Accounting class as well. So that just eased the introductions for this course. Now I can focus on deciphering all these Accounting formulas 🙂