It is week four of the quarter and the semester conversion is right around the corner! I cannot believe it is almost time to register for another set of classes! When your registration appointment opens, you will be able to register for both Summer Term and Autumn Semester. I’m excited about registering this time around because of the ability to schedule whatever classes I choose. Since I began the program last June, we have been on a pretty strict schedule with the conversion looming. To best align with the switch, we had a specific set of core classes to take each quarter. After this quarter, I’ll only have two core classes left which will be offered in next Spring Semester. So that means a wide variety of electives available to fit my schedule, work experience, and interests.
From my experience as an undergrad at OSU, here’s a few pointers when scheduling for electives. Before your appointment opens, take a look on BuckeyeLink of the different class options that are available. Some electives only have open seats of 20-30 people so it’s good to have an idea on what classes you want to take and some backup options. Read the course descriptions and ask fellow classmates if they have any recommendations on classes or professors. Also, check out some of the graduate opportunities outside of Fisher as well. You can request to take a free elective outside of the Fisher College if it aligns with the MBA program.
Elections for the 2012-13 WPMBA Council are quickly approaching, and I have my name in the hat for “Internal Public Relations”. The WPMBA Council is a group of six current students that represent the WPMBA student body. The Council serves as the interface between students and the Graduate Professional Office, Career Management, and other student organizations, and is responsible for a variety of professional and social events. Specifically, the Internal Public Relations representative is responsible for student communications, event HUB management, and maintaining the Facebook page, amongst other activities.
Believe it or not, I have never run for office, or at least that I remember. My mother tells me that I ran for Secretary of the National Honor Society my junior year of High School, but I certainly don’t remember a campaign of any sort. Call it motherly bragging. So, as far as I’m concerned, this is my first dabble into “politics”. So far, it’s been…interesting. I am running as part of a “ticket” with 5 of my classmates, a strategy taken by last year’s council, and one that proved to be successful. This ticket has caused some drama amongst my fellow classmates, of which I won’t divulge here – but suffice it to say, it’s been somewhat “political” – at least more than I expected. WPMBA students are more competitive than I thought!
As for me, I just want to be “the one that sends all the emails” – in this case, “Internal Public Relations”. This is generally my MO in life as it is. At work, I manage our internal and external communications and marketing programs, and am the one who organizes birthday lunches, team happy hours, and other morale-building activities. In my personal life, I am the “social coordinator” – the one who brings my group of friends together for nights out and dinners in. And, in the WPMBA program, I have naturally assumed the informal position of “the one who makes everyone go to the bar on Thursdays”. I believe in the value of being involved, and the intangible benefits it brings not only to the individual, but to the collective group. As the Internal Public Relations representative, I believe I can rally the troops, and make for a more beneficial and enjoyable program for all.
“It’s better to hang out with people better than you. Pick out associates whose behavior is better than yours and you’ll drift in that direction.”
Warren Buffett, the Oracle of Omaha, has said some of the wisest things anyone has, and the quote above is just one of them. A group of Fisher students applied this first-hand when we had the enviable opportunity to hang out with Warren Buffett himself!
We arrived in Omaha and had a great time at the Upstream Brewery in the downtown area. After a good night’s sleep at the Doubletree hotel, we were up and about in our best suits, ready to get started with the day planned for us. First stop was the Nebraska Furniture Mart. This place was HUGE! We had the honor of hearing from VP Bob Batt, who shared with us the history of the firm, its family business roots and its acquisition by Berkshire Hathaway. Here, we met with students from several other business schools from around the US.
After an enlightening tour of the furniture mart, we boarded our bus and headed to the Field Club, where we settled into our seats, sipping coke and waiting with bated breath. Right on time, Mr. Buffett walked in with that endearing smile on his face and accepted the excited applause gracefully.
After a brief speech about his passion for meeting young business professionals, he dove straight into a Q&A session with the students. Each school had their turn and students came up with some excellent questions for Mr. Buffett. His profound wisdom and encyclopedic knowledge of value investing, and even life in general, shone through in all his answers. Mr. Buffett wove in some amusing and insightful anecdotes from his life and relationships that left us the better for having had the opportunity to listen to them.
Mr. Buffett emphasized the importance of doing what you love, with the people you love, from the home you love. He truly believes that opportunity exists for those who seek it, and advised us to be proactive in our careers. He was a careful listener, and made sure to fully understand a question before answering it. Of global economy and politics, he gave his honest opinion about his concern for certain policies and behavior, but indicated that he was very positive about the future of both the developing and developed world.
After more than 2 hours of this valuable interaction, we left for Piccolo’s, Mr. Buffett’s favorite restaurant! A few lucky students got to travel with Mr. Buffett in his limo, and a few more had the enviable privilege of sitting with him at his table. The rest of us enjoyed some excellent Omaha steak and the highly acclaimed root beer float! After a great lunch, Mr. Buffett humored each and every one of the 150 or so students with photographs both plain jane and goofy! Some of the guys got into arm wrestling matches with him, while a few gals actually got him to go down on one knee and “propose” to them! His humility and patience was disarming and truly inspirational.
I think we all left for Columbus rejuvenated by the experience and filled with a new found love for life and a motivation to strive for success. I am immensely thankful that I had the opportunity to meet such a marvelous human being.
The deadline to apply for the Autumn Semester for the Working Professionals MBA program is right around the corner! May 15th is the deadline. If you are unsure whether you want to participate in this program, here are just a few of the benefits that I have experienced over the past year of the program.
The majority of the students in this program have at least three years of work experience and are currently working during the day. This leads to rich discussion in class with examples of concepts currently happening in the workplace.
Professors understand the students are working professionals and are willing to work with students on balance work and school commitments.
The core classes cover a wide variety of topics, from marketing to finance to statistics and the material used is (for the most part) current and relevant.
You can specialize in an area by taking a specific set of electives, or you have the ability to take a variety of electives that covers all types of topics.
The students in this program all want the same goal (get a MBA) and are willing to work well in groups, are all really friendly, and are willing to help each other out whenever possible. This makes for a great class experience.
Along with the last bullet, the students in this program are the best. There’s endless networking opportunities. Plus, with so many different backgrounds and a lot of different workplaces, there’s opportunities to network if you needed to get a new/different job.
These are just a few benefits for applying for the WPMBA. If you are still unsure, I’d recommend taking an evening and sitting in on a class or two and talking to several students who are currently in the program.
Welcome back to another quarter; or your first (and last quarter) of the WPMBA program! I’m sure many of you agree that Spring Break went by far too fast. Spring Quarter brings warmer weather which makes sitting in class a little harder.
This quarter, the my classes are two of the core: Finance and Marketing. So far, both classes seem interesting and engaging. A positive this quarter is the minimal amount of group work. After last quarter of having a group project or presentation in all three classes, a break from group work is welcomed. Now, I’m all for group projects and see the benefits, but it’s such a challenge on the part of scheduling time to meet when you have a group of working professionals. Like Sarah, I also welcome the Marketing class!! What I do every day aligns more with Marketing aspects over any other area.
When I came to class on Tuesday, I sat by someone who was unfamiliar to me. Marissa is starting her first quarter in the Working Professionals program. As we were talking, I realized what a “veteran” I began to sound like about the program. It does not seem possible that I’m starting my fourth quarter in the program. For those of you who think that the (at least) two year program seems a long time, the time really goes by fast. As a student, you get into a routine of work, class, and study time. I do not feel as stressed going into the start of another quarter and I feel much more comfortable around my fellow classmates.
Welcome Spring Quarter – one week down, nine to go!!
Last night in class, for the first time since I started the WPMBA Program last summer, I had that feeling I dreamt of having when I decided to pursue my MBA. That feeling of utter excitement, engagement, and passion for what I was learning. That’s not to say that I haven’t been impressed with the level of education I am receiving at The Fisher College of Business –believe me, I am – after all, we are ranked #9 in part-time MBA programs! And while I have enjoyed my classes thus far (Econ was particularly interesting), I have yet to feel giddy over a class. That is, until last night …
So what class could make me feel this way, you ask? Why, none other than MARKETING! This shouldn’t come as a huge surprise given that I work in marketing, and have long proclaimed my distance from my undergraduate background of Industrial Engineering. A large part of why I chose to pursue an MBA is to gain a formal education in marketing, so that I can establish myself in the field and continue to grow in a marketing career. But although I was really looking forward to taking marketing, I didn’t have high hopes for the class. It’s notorious for inconsistency in professors, and as of the first class, I had yet to hear a peep from our professor.
But happily, Professor Deborah Mitchell way exceeded my expectations! A Buckeye alumna, she is new to the Fisher teaching community – so new, that she only gained access to Carmen yesterday afternoon. (Carmen is the online class management system used by faculty and students at Ohio State.) She is the exact opposite of the unorganized, uninspiring professor I feared. Her first class was engaging and thought-provoking, and had me smiling with excitement the entire time! To her, marketing is much more than the 4P’s, and rather, is the driver for growth in a firm. I believe that I will be a better contributor to my organization after every class I attend.
Wow! What great weather we are having for Spring Break. As a Working Professional, “Spring Break” for most is a week when you just go to work and then come back home and not head to campus for four hours. But, I hope you are all taking advantage of this wonderful weather after hours. So far, I have jogged a bit outside, rode my bike a few miles, read a couple books on my front porch while listening to the birds chirp, did a little shopping (ok, so this doesn’t have anything to do with the weather, but it’s more fun to buy flip flops when it’s nice out), had the windows open most afternoons, and on Saturday, we even had a fire going outside. We created a new twist to the traditional smore. Since the only chocolate in the house came from a couple boxes of Girl Scout Cookies, you’ll see our concoction (not the best picture, but you get the point). And yes, it was delicious and a little less messy than a regular smore.
Hope you are all enjoying Spring Break and I’m sure you’ll agree with me that it is going by very fast!
We have made it through another quarter! I have been a blog slacker for the past couple of weeks because of being (like everyone else) completely swamped with final presentations, group projects, and final exams. I also had a big conference for work the Friday and Saturday before finals that took up most of my time for the past month.
Here’s a few reflections I have on Winter Quarter:
I’m very thankful for the weather cooperating. With my drive, I was dreading bad weather but luckily I only had two nights with a tiny bit of snow.
The theme of the quarter was group projects. Having a group project in three classes makes for some creative scheduling and a some outside of class prep time.
Group projects led to meeting more people and interacting more with my classmates which is great!
Winter Quarter seemed to go by a lot faster than Autumn Quarter.
I write this post from 30,000 feet in the air, on my way to sunny Las Vegas, Nevada! That’s right – I am FINISHED with winter quarter! Before you get too excited, I am not going to Vegas for fun – on the contrary, I am going for our biggest work meeting of the year. Being that I am basically in charge of the event, it will be almost all work and very little play. Nevertheless – it IS Vegas, and the highs are in the low 70s every day.
But, you say, aren’t finals next week? And you would be right – finals are next week. And because of this work trip, I had to take them early. This, of course, added a huge layer of stress to what was already a very stressful time at work. It meant that I had to complete all three work projects AND study for my finals before the end of classes. I also had to find time to squeeze in some studying during the last week of class, in between work and class.
Somehow, I managed to get all those projects and all that studying done, just in time to take my finals this past Friday. Both went surprisingly well – I was prepared for both. Now, it’s on to the next big thing – our big work meeting. Hopefully the meeting goes swimmingly, and by this time next week, I’ll be able to take a big sigh of relief. This spring break will truly be a break!
Ok, guys. It’s officially crunch time. Both my job and school are entering the peak of their busyness – at the same time.
Group Projects: I have a group project and/or presentation in all three of my classes – all due in the last two weeks of the quarter.
Finals: I have to take my finals EARLY, on Friday of the last week of class, because I am leaving the Saturday before finals week for a week-long business trip in Las Vegas (off strip…don’t get too jealous, it will be more work than play). This means I will miss a weekend of study time, as well as Professor-led study sessions.
Work: I am responsible for the success of our biggest meeting of the year – one that involves customers – and just so happens to be during finals week.
So, yea, I’m busy right now. But it’s time I stop b*tch*ng about it, and instead, take a deep breath, and start pushing through it. I will try to take one day – no, one hour or minute- at a time, and make the most of that hour or minute. I will plan ahead, so that there is set time to complete all of our group projects. And I will hunker down this coming weekend and study, study, study for finals!