Becoming an American citizen

It’s been almost five years since I have come to live in the United States and this Thursday (10/8) I will be taking my naturalization test in hopes of becoming an American citizen.

Since coming to the U.S. I have finished my undergrad, worked in two different American corporations, got married, got a dog, met several great people, and finally started the MBA program.  It’s amazing to think about all that has happened since I first arrived here and it is always fun to remember the unique experiences I have had here: snow days and driving in bad weather, interacting with people from different cultures, etc…it’s been a great ride!

Trip to NYCI know a lot of people would be really worried about the test, but I am actually looking forward to it.  Since I was young I have had the dream of living and studying in the U.S. – being a citizen would be a true honor.

In preparation for the upcoming test, this weekend I went through the studying materials one more time and, for those of you that do not know, the naturalization test covers: 1) civics (basically U.S. history), and 2)English.

I shall keep you posted on the results if I learn anything on Thursday.  For those of you that have just arrived in the U.S., I will dedicate some of my upcoming posts to give you a flavor of some of the cultural shock that you may experience in your first year here.  Regardless of where you come from, this is indeed a great country.

Have a great week and stay warm!

Recording lectures

I started my MBA program hoping to record most lectures using a digital voice recorder.  My plan was to review lectures during my commute to work or class.  For my Organizational Behavior class (MBA860), the recordings were invaluable (Thanks to Prof. Ford for his permission) .  This is especially true when the professor does not use or make available his lecture notes.
This quarter, however, I am not using the voice recorder.  In MBA870 Data Analysis, the class is primarily based on in-class  laptop/Excel work in which recordings would not nearly be as useful.  My other class, MBA825 Enhancing Professional Exchange (Speech), does have several lecture days however the professor preferred that students not taped his lectures.  I fully understand his reasons for such, though it sure is nice to have the lecture recordings available in case I have to miss class for business travel or sickness.
Takeaways:
  • Always ask permission first before recording the lectures.
  • When recording, try to sit close to the professor so the recordings are clear.
  • If you bother recording lectures, then listen to them!  Recordings demand some extra attention in order to classify, sort, save, and burn CD’s.

Ohio State Football

If you are not familiar with Ohio State Football and how much it means to the city of Columbus, you are in for a big surprise when you step on campus on a football Saturday. A stretch of Lane Avenue is closed from High Street to Olentangy River Road to make room for tailgating and football fun. Everywhere you look, you will find Scarlet jerseys, Ohio State apparel, and buckeye necklaces. Sounds of The Ohio State Marching Band play from various speakers up and down the street. You hear someone yell out a loud “O-H!”, and with that comes an even louder uproar of” I-O!”. As game time approaches, the fans lucky enough to have tickets pour into the stadium to watch TBDBITL perform “Script Ohio” at the start of the game.

The Illinois game showcased the dedication of Buckeye fans. It was raining hard, rain that just never let up in the first half, but the stands were filled with fans to support their Buckeyes. The crowd noise was loud throughout the game, which led to penalties and poor decisions by the Illinois quarterback. Stadium OHIO and the exuberance that reverberates around the stadium is nothing short of amazing. If you are not familiar with how this works- basically the stadium divides up into four sections, each with a letter. It starts with the south stands- O- and travels around, H, I, O. It continues to go around the stadium until the kickoff.

After four quarters of marching down the field and an Ohio State victory, the team heads to the South Stadium and joins in with the band to sing The Ohio State University’s alma mater, Carmen Ohio. To learn more about Carmen Ohio and other Ohio State fight songs, click HERE.

This was just a small taste of an Ohio State game day. Game days are not only about football, they are an opportunity to step away from school work and enjoy an afternoon with your closest friends.

We didn't let the rain stop us from having a great time!
We didn't let the rain stop us from having a great time!

Weekend studying and other stuff

This weekend was rather uneventful. I spent my time sleeping, studying, catching up on TV shows and watching sports. And I also just got back from seeing “It Might Get Loud” at the Landmark Gateway Theater on campus, which was good, but not quite as good as I was hoping.

This morning I went to campus around 10:30 am to do some studying for MBA 812 and MBA 870. Unfortunately, the main library doesn’t open until 11 am on Sundays so I ended up going to the Science & Engineering library, which I know from my undergrad days is open 24 hours a day. There I was able to get a few hours of studying in and get caught up on some of my reading and homework.

On the way back to my car from the Science & Engineering libary, I decided to stop in the main library and look around since it was recently renovated. Wow. The library looked really great. It is much, much nicer than it was when I was an undergrad. However, one downside is that it was very crowded and I don’t think I’d be able to focus as well there.

Rewinding the weekend a little, the Buckeyes and Blue Jackets both won on Saturday night. I am a big Blue Jackets fan and Saturday night was their first game of the season so it was nice to see them get off to a good start. I had some friends over and we set up two TVs so we could watch both games at the same time.

The weekend is winding down now, but fortunately tonight I have some time to watch a few of my favorite shows: Curb Your Enthusiasm and Mad Men. If you haven’t seen either of these shows, I recommend checking them out.

Don’t study in bed

Now that pool season is over, I’m in search of a new place to study. I tried studying in bed yesterday, but that never works no matter how many times I try.

When it was warm, I could trick myself into believing I was having fun while studying if I sat by the pool and did it. But now that we have to take it indoors, I don’t know what to do. If I stay home to study, there’s always something more  important that needs to be done like brushing my cat or laundry or just about anything else.

I’ve also tried studying in coffee shops because it seems like the cool thing to do, but I don’t want to have to buy anything.

Does anywone know good places to study? Also, who knows what the good WiFi spots are?

Thanks!!!

Economics and Baseball

As I read through my Economics text this weekend about comparative advantage and specialization, I was amazed the textbook used a sports analogy to explain the situation.

For all of you that have not had the pleasure of taking MBA 812, and at the risk of sounding  like a text book, the Principle of Comparative Advantage states that “everyone does best when each person concentrates on the activities for which his or her opportunity cost is lowest.” Opportunity cost is defined as the value of the next-best alternative that must be given up in order to perform the activity.

Okay, back to sports: The book gives a great example of how baseball players no longer hit .400. For all of you not familiar with baseball, hitting .400 involves getting four hits for every ten at bats. This may seem easy, but the average for the entire league in 2008 was .264! That means that only 26.4% of the time that someone walks up to the plate, they would get a hit! Can you imagine if we could slide by with a 26.4% on an exam?

Ted Williams was the last person to hit over .400 in a season, and that was in 1941.  The book  states specialization as the reason for .400 batting averages not occurring in recent times. Basically, instead of being a jack of all trades, MLB pitchers are now becoming specialized in how they pitch. You have relievers, closers, left and right handed pitchers for specific situations, and the starter is not forced to pitch an entire game. This makes it much more difficult for hitters, as they may face three or four different pitchers in a game!

It all makes sense! Concentrate on the activities which you perform best relative to others, and you will succeed!  Now, the question is, which activities do you perform best?

And so it begins…

One down…how many more to go??  And so this two-year journey starts…

If you haven’t realized yet, I am a first year, first quarter WPMBA student who is now juggling school and a very loaded work schedule.  I meant to write something interesting during the weekend, but guess what?? EXACTLY!!! I spent most of the weekend trying to catch up (already!) with all of the reading material assigned for week 2!

By now you have probably heard all about the first week of classes and the mixed expectations between first year first quarter students (me!) and the rest of the crowd – so I won’t bore you with that.  The only comment I will make is that, regardless of how we feel, we are all in this together and hopefully we will all make it through the two years.

Check back and next time (maybe tomorrow) I will tell you all about my upcoming immigration test (10/8) and what it’s like to go through that experience. Stay tuned!!

Second night of class

I just finished my second night of class and now that school is in full swing I have had to sketch out my calendar for the next 10 weeks. In October, I have a ton of events that I have tickets for and thus I have had to plan ahead. Among those events are concerts, out of town football games and the local Italian Festival which you’ll hear all about in my blog over the next few weeks. Anyway, what I guess I am trying to say is that time management is really, really important. If you want to do all of the fun stuff, you have to manage your time well so that you can still get all of your work done.  October is going to be crazy, but fortunately it should slow down a little in November and I will have a little more free time then.

Also, one thing I forgot to mention in my last post was that I went to Montgomery Inn in Dublin over the weekend and it was awesome.  If you like BBQ then this is definitely the place for you. If you don’t like BBQ then it is also definitely the place for you. The service and food were great. Make sure you check it out.

Upcoming events for WPMBA

I considered several other part-time MBA programs in the area.  One area that surprised me is the level of involvement and number of additional activities available for students like me .  Here is a list of upcoming events available to working Professional MBA’s for just this quarter!

October 1st MBA Networking Event: 15 Companies Represented 7:00pm – 9:00pm
October 4th Fisher Potluck Picnic 11:30am – 2:00pm
October 5th Fisher Professional  Serves Kick- Off Lu nc/i 12:30pm — 1:30pm
October 5th Chinese Business Assoc. Mid-Autumn Day Celebration 12:30pm – 1:30pm
October 7th How to Networking Using Linked-In 12:30pm — 1:30pm
October 7th MBA Marketing Assoc: Brand Management Speaker 12:30pm — 1:30pm
October 8th Cuilman Exec Lunch: Jason B. Jones, VP, Lockton Companies 12:30pm – 1:30pm
October 13th Evening Professionals Town Hall Meeting 5:15pm – 6:00pm
October 14th Innovation Fisher Kick- Off Meeting 12:30pm – 1:30pm
October 20th Google VP of Finance: Business Performance Management 12:30pm – 1:30pm
October 2Ot Evening at Limited Brands 5:30pm – 9:00pm
October 22d Thermo Fisher Scientific Sr. VP Info Session 12:30pm – 1:30pm
October 28th1 Warren Buffett Trip Info Session 5:15pm – 5:45pm
November 12th International Speaker: William Fetter 12:30pm — 1:30pm
November 13th Job Hunt and career Design: Daniel Porot 8:30am – 1:00pm
November 13th Deloitte Case Interviewing Workshop 1:30pm – 4:00pm
November 1 6 Alumni Relations Brown Bag Lunch 12:30pm – 1:30pm
November 1 6th International Speaker: Tom Heilman 12:30pm – 1:30pm
November 20th Fisher Winter Games 12:00pm – 5:00pm

Hopefully the program director for these programs will gain enough resources to podcast or stream some of these events so working professionals can actually benefit from them!!!!

First day of class and OSU – Illinois weekend

I had my first night of class this past Thursday and I was pleasantly surprised that the (almost) 4 hours of class went by as quickly as they did. In 812 (Managerial Economics), we discussed a case for the majority of class and in 870 (Data Analysis for Managers), we went over the syllabus and then jumped into the course material. I think it will be a good quarter as long as I stay up to date with my work.

Since Thursday’s class I really haven’t had time to think about the reading and homework I have to do for class on Tuesday. My girlfriend’s family flew in from Chicago on Friday and we’ve been busy until now. Friday night we went to dinner at Marcella’s in the Short North. The food was good but the service was slow and the restaurant was ridiculously loud.

Saturday we went to the OSU – Illinois game. As most of you know, the weather was awful and despite our waterproof jackets and ponchos, we still managed to get pretty wet. Five minutes into the 2nd quarter we decided to go underneath and watch the rest of the quarter. We quickly decided that it would be a good idea to leave at halftime and watch the game from home. The defense looked great and it was nice to see the Buckeyes get another shutout.

Once the rain had cleared Sunday morning, we went golfing at OSU’s Scarlet course. It was a little soggy out there and I didn’t play very well but we had a great time. Scarlet is one of my favorite courses and for $30 you won’t find a better deal in Columbus. For those of you that aren’t golf fans, OSU’s golf courses were designed by Alister MacKenzie who designed Augusta National (where the Masters is played) and is considered by many to be the greatest golf course architect ever.

Now that the weekend is winding down, it is time to to get started on my homework and readings for class. Thanks for reading…below are a few pictures from the game.