And, on to the Next Chapter

To say the Fisher MBA program has been a whirlwind is most definitely the understatement of the year. It has been the opportunity of a lifetime, the chance to pivot my career trajectory back toward social impact, an environment of experiential learning and continuous growth, one of the hardest things I have ever done, and, ultimately, an experience I will never regret, but rather, value now and into the future.

Looking back, I wonder how well prepared I was for this experience. The first year was definitely challenging and included many ups and downs. From constant interviews and internship rejections to an amazing entrepreneurial summer internship with NAWBO and a global consulting experience in Ethiopia and Kenya through GAP, first year included both some of the hardest and most rewarding parts of the program.

Going into the second year, after taking time to self-reflect and refocus over the summer, it was a slightly easier transition back into the academic world. However, the hunt for a full-time job was overwhelming at times. With the constant pressures surrounding us in this program, I found the time to take a step back and self-reflect to be essential for my journey.

Now, looking back, I wish I would have taken more time for this, as well as more time to develop relationships outside of student organizations/course work. This 2-year experience not only provides an education and opportunity for career growth, it is a chance to build and grow your network of personal and professional relationships with some of the most intelligent individuals you’ll ever meet.

Sitting in Gerlach Hall on this beautiful spring morning, I cannot help to embrace the bittersweet feeling of graduating and heading into the next chapter as an OSU alum. I am so excited for this next part of our journey, as my husband and I will be moving to Washington, DC where I recently accepted my dream job! I will be working with Management Sciences for Health (MSH), a global health NGO, in their operations and business development team. Without a combination of the experience in this program, along with taking time to self-reflect on why I came back to school in the first place, I would not be in this position today. To all pursuing this journey in the near future or finishing the program next year, I wish you all the best!

Where Did Two Years at Fisher Go?

Wow, I cannot believe in a less than a week, I will be graduating from The Fisher College of Business with my MBA. Where did the time go?

My incredible core team (L to R: Gustavo, Shiva, Michael, Ben and myself). We spent so much time together our first year working on projects for every class. Some of the best friends I made here at Fisher.

I still remember going through pre-term before classes started where I met my cohort and my amazing core team (picture of us above!). I felt so much energy from my peers, from professors, and from the professional staff at Fisher who would help and guide us all through two of the hardest years of our lives. That energy carried through the entire first year, and was replaced by a different, but equally amazing, type of energy in the second year where my peers and I felt more at home at Fisher and with each other.

Jeff, Nikki, Margot, Adam, and I picking apples for my birthday!

I came to business school to pick up the technical skills I didn’t learn in undergrad. As a journalism and art double major, I never touched subjects like accounting, finance, economics, or operations. Those skills, I knew, would be critical to my success in the next phase of my career.

Margot and I at one of the home football games in The Shoe.

But what I didn’t expect was how much I would grow as an individual and as a leader, and how much I would discover about myself. Within the walls of Gerlach Hall, I was exposed to topics on leadership, motivating teams, and developing subordinates. I was forced to think about who I wanted to become, what type of leader I wanted to be, and what I wanted to be remembered for. Professors challenged my ideas and views on a variety of topics, which pushed me to think differently and take a hard look at how and why I saw the world in a certain way. Sure, I gained technical skills that will undoubtedly help me after I leave Fisher, but those softer skills and self-reflection will be the driving force behind my performance as a leader in the workplace.

Meeting Anderson Cooper (for the second time!) at the ROMBA Conference in Boston.

One of the main reasons I chose Fisher was because of the casual environment. When I came to campus for Red Carpet Weekend, I felt this unique energy among the people around me. The focus was on collaboration over competition, and students were encouraged to be themselves versus trying to fit into whatever mold they thought a graduate business student should be.

My winning case competition team (L to R: myself, Matt, Sammy, and Ross).

After two years at Fisher, I cannot tell you how beneficial that feeling is. I never felt pressured to come to class in a suit every day, and I knew if I was ever having a bad day, all I had to do was walk into the Graduate Programs Office or the Office of Career Management unannounced, and one of the professional staff members would have the right words to help me through whatever I was dealing with that day. That, without a doubt, is one of the selling points of Fisher. Classes are classes, but the people who help you along the way make so much of a difference on your success.

My good friend, David, and I. We were both in Seattle last summer for our internships. He was at Starbucks and I was at Expedia.

Business school is one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life. But it’s all worth it. After two years of staying up late reading cases, working on an assignment, or trying to build the perfect financial model, I am so happy with this decision. It’s one of the best I have ever made. I met my best friends at Fisher, and I know the best is only yet to come for us. Somehow, I also found time to start my own online business, which my Fisher peers and professors were instrumental in helping me get off the ground.

My dad and I in The Shoe for his first OSU football game!

And so, as I begin the next phase of my life, I leave you with this. It’s not a sales pitch for Fisher (though I do hope you consider it!). Instead, find the program that works for you. Find the energy and support I found at Fisher. Find the place that will push you harder than you ever thought possible. But most of all, find the place that feels like home. I found that at Fisher and I hope you find that too.

April at Fisher

Nice weather is back again! Although sunny days come hand in hand with rainy days, I’m excited to announce that snow has stopped, and trees are started to blossom again. While experiencing beautiful weather throughout these past few weeks, Fisher organized a couple of events that were unique in nature.

We had an Indian Festival celebration, and the Black MBAs organization’s An Afternoon of Culture. I found it quite brave from many students to stand in front of the entire Fisher student body and staff to dance and walk in a fashion catwalk. Both events included a dance out session, ethnic food and a fashion show. My fellow SMF GA Tatenda got to participate in the second one (fashion show) and I got to witness the great dances during the Indian Festival presentation.

It is great that Fisher organizes a series of activities during the year for student to participate – or in my case to observe, ha! – to get their minds out of their busy academic schedule. This past week I had two final presentations for two of my classes: Private Equity and Corporate Restructuring and Bankruptcy. It is bittersweet that classes are getting to an end, but it has been an enjoyable ride so far and I still have two more weeks until I graduate. As I type, I am thinking that I need to go find my tassel and graduation cap soon as a group of students are planning to take graduation pictures with our graduation outfits soon.

During campus tours with prospective students, sometimes we get to visit the 11th floor of Thompson library. If you come visit The Ohio State University at some point, I highly recommend you check out this view.

The Oval view from 11th floor Thompson Library

I went for a jog the other day around the Oval (as I mentioned the weather is beautiful these days), and saw students playing frisbee, reading books, just hanging out and having a good time.

Also, in my last post I mentioned I was crossing fingers to win one of the gift cards or giveaways that were distributed during the Fisher Graduate Appreciation Week (especially for one of favorite places in Columbus). Unfortunately, I did not get a gift card for the place I was hoping for but received a gift card from one that is in my top 5. Not too shabby!

Memories from the MAcc Class

It’s hard to believe that I’m sitting down writing my very last blog post of the year. I remember wondering in August how I could possibly have material to write about consistently throughout the year. Little did I know that the MAcc program is about way more than just completing 31 credit hours! I decided to reach out to some of my fellow classmates to learn about their favorite memories from their time in the MAcc program!

“I would say my favorite part has just been getting to meet so many people from all different backgrounds. Most of us probably would have never crossed paths without this program.” – Tyler Stacks, MAcc ’19

“Attending the Washington Campus during the Spring break was one of my best MAcc experiences. Through the unique learning opportunity from professionals in the accounting industry, I was able to equip myself with a well-rounded education that could not easily earn inside of the classroom as well as a strong rapport with my peers.” -Oscar Han, MAcc ’19

“My favorite memory of this year was probably the kickball tournament. We assembled a team of all our close friends and had so much fun! We ended up winning the tournament for a free lunch!” –Stephanie Saccogna, MAcc ‘19

“I had a lot of fun at Washington campus! I learned a lot of interesting views from the guest speakers and it broadened my perspective about the accounting profession. It gave me a chance to re-think my career plan for the future. Also, visiting the Capitol and alumni networking event was fun too!” -Min Kwon, MAcc ‘19

“The corn-hole event in fall was a great way to get to know my peers outside the classroom!” -Kelsey Kirkpatrick, MAcc Council President

Finally, I’ll end with mine:

My favorite memory from my time in the MAcc program has been my position as a GA in admissions. I have had the opportunity to coordinate and host prospective student visit days, where I have gotten to know students from all walks of life. It has helped me to better understand the various paths that students take that lead them to pursue a MAcc degree. The position has also helped me discover that my interests and strengths align closely with those necessary in recruiting, so I will be sure to get involved with campus recruiting when I start my career with Deloitte.

Some of the Graduate Programs Office GAs at Formal!

Internship Relocation Guide

If you went through the recruitment process this school year and secured a summer internship then you may be feeling a sense of accomplishment and relief that it has come to an end. For those who are required to relocate for the summer, finding housing is more thing on the to-do list that can be a  timely challenge if you are moving to an unfamiliar location. Questions such as: Where do I live? Who can I live with? How do I find something short term? How much is this going to cost? I found myself asking these questions and more as I prepared to head to the west coast for the summer.  I hope that my experience of finding summer housing can help those reading with their own moving process!

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Full disclosure, the cost of living and availability of housing will differ between locations and it is worth asking the organization if they offer relocation stipends or having corporate housing options.

Connect with Other Interns 

Most organizations will utilize Linkedin Image result for connect iconor Facebook groups to introduce incoming students to their internship cohort. This is a great opportunity to expand your network and find others who are looking for roommates and housing options as well. In addition, there may be students who already live locally that can offer suggestions on where to live or provide housing resources in the area. If the employer you’re going to be working for doesn’t do this currently, ask if you can have a contact list of the incoming interns.

 Short Term Options

Some apartment complexes Related imagewill offer short term leases but with a premium on top of the regular rental prices. This definitely isn’t the cheapest route to take and I would research other options prior to resorting to this one. Other options include searching for colleges in the area rent out vacant dorm rooms for the summer, hotels that offer short term stay discounts, or utilizing Airbnb.

Subletting

Subletting is more than likely going to be the best value, many students will be looking to sublease their apartments for a lower price than they actually pay. Some of these offers may also include utilities or come Image result for sharing iconfurnished. Search for colleges within the area and see if they have an off-campus housing page. If you don’t find it at first don’t be afraid to call the university and ask for it. A quick google search can also provide many links to sublet apartments in the area.

I hope these options will help you to find the perfect place for the summer! When in doubt, don’t hesitate to reach out to family or friends who may have contacts in the area your looking for. Congratulations on the opportunity to expand your resume and gain real-world experience. Best of luck this summer my fellow interns!

The End is Near

It is crazy to think my time here in the MAcc program is coming to an end. Over these past couple weeks, the MAcc Council and the Fisher Social Chair has put on some great events to help us through these last few weeks of class.

MAcc students at the food bank

In the beginning of April, the MAcc class has the option to attend MAcc Give Back, which is a volunteering event. The MAcc class was dividing into two groups with half going to the Franklin Park Conservatory and the other going to the Mid-Ohio Food Pantry. I was part of the group that went over to the food bank and it was a great experience getting to help out others. This is something the MAcc program participates in every year and something I believe is very important.

The Fisher Graduate Programs also put together a Graduate Appreciation Week with fun events, free food, and many prizes to help us grind through the rest of the semester. One of the events a kickball tournament with our professors. We all got teams together and invited a professor to play with us. Our MAcc team came out on top winning the tournament and winning a free lunch. Fisher puts on a lot of events for us to keep us engaged outside the classroom as well.

Also, last weekend the Fisher Social Chair put on a formal for all Fisher Graduate Students. It was held in downtown Columbus and there was food, drinks, and dancing. It was a lot of fun to be out with all the different programs and get all dressed up. We are all appreciative of the extra mile a lot of our social chairs and program coordinators go to for us. They make sure our time here is a lot more than just earning a degree.

Fisher Graduate Student Appreciation Week

A couple of weeks ago was Fisher Graduate Student Appreciation Week. I wasn’t aware of this precious week before starting my Master’s program but it is honestly a golden opportunity for student to win free prizes and get fantastic discounts in many restaurants in town!

Throughout the week, Fisher had a random drawing every day of the week to determine the lucky winners! Some examples of things you could win included: hot/cold tumbler, free food (gift cards), free coffee and donuts, among others! One place offering a free tour was Watershed Distillery, a micro-distillery in Columbus, owned by a Fisher alum Gregory Lehman. Among others, I was happy to hear that one of my favorite restaurants, Brassica, was participating in the gift card drawing process.

In fact, I had just been in Brassica the other weekend with a couple of friends from the program, and of course, our meal was delicious.

Love at first bite!

After my meal, I definitely felt appreciated as a Fisher graduate student! 🙂

April Activities: An Update!

I recently shared a post about all of the activities this April that Fisher had to offer for the graduate students and promised that I would return with an update, so here we are! 

MAcc Gives Back

A week ago, MAcc students and faculty split off into two groups to volunteer at the Franklin Park Conservatory and the Mid-Ohio Food Bank. I went with the Franklin Park Conservatory group and had a great time bonding with my fellow MAcc classmates! We were assigned to clean up the children’s garden and get it ready for Spring. After spending a few hours working among the staff, we had an opportunity to walk through the conservatory and see all of the beautiful plant habitats. We also had time to go into the butterfly conservatory! After volunteering all morning, the groups from both locations came back to Gerlach Hall for lunch together. It was a great way to spend a Friday morning! I wish that we had more organized volunteering throughout the year because it was a great way to spend time together outside the classroom!

Fisher Formal

Elise (MHRM GA); Me, Julie & Matt (MAcc GAs) at Fisher Formal

Last Friday was Fisher Formal, and it did not disappoint! Fisher Formal is put on every spring by the MBA social committee and is offered to all Fisher graduate students. Included in our ticket price was a buffet of heavy hor devours, drinks, a photo booth, and a DJ all night! I went with a group of MAcc and MHRM students and had an absolute blast. The DJ played really good music and it was really fun getting to hang out with the MHRM and MBA students that I work with every day the Graduate Programs Office. The event is definitely one of the highlights of the year for me!

Fisher Kickball Tournament Champions

On March 30th, the Fisher College of Business hosted its first annual Graduate Student Kickball Tournament! Five teams of Fisher graduate students signed up to play in this tournament hosted at the ARC. I played on a team with other Master of Accounting students.

The tournament was competitive. In our first game, we beat a team of MBAs in extra innings.  The game was tense, with our team having to hold the MBAs to one run in the bottom of the extra inning or we would lose or play another inning.  Our championship game came against students from the MHRM program, where a few home runs propelled us to victory.

The MAcc Team Winning the Kickball Tournament

The tournament was especially fun because it gave us an opportunity to come together and meet students from other Fisher graduate programs.  Professors played in the kickball tournament too.  I was happy to hit a home run off of a professor I had for an HR class.  As the winning team, we won a catered lunch of our choosing!

The kickball tournament was another example of a fun opportunity outside of the business school that Fisher offers its graduate students.  Hopefully next year’s MAcc team can retain its title!

Silicon Valley Venture Capital Trek

The week after spring break, myself and a few of my MBA peers were fortunate enough to go on the Silicon Valley Venture Capital Trek in various cities – San Francisco, Santa Clara, Palo Alto, Menlo Park, and a couple others. As members of the student organization, Fisher Entrepreneurship Association (FEA), our goal is to learn about Entrepreneurship, Start-ups, Venture Capital (VC), and Investing through networking, events, and experiential opportunities. This was my first time on the trip, and it was by far one of my favorite MBA experiences so far. We met with Managing Directors, IPO Lawyers, Venture Capital Partners, and Founders & CEOs from various companies: Wilson, Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati (WSGR), Google X, EY (Ernst & Young), DFJ (now Threshold Ventures), Prevedere Inc., and Aeris, and a couple others.

Listening to professionals in this space was eye-opening. There were so many questions myself and my peers had as young minds interested in learning how to get into the start-up space and understanding what type of professional experience and knowledge you need to be successful in it. Hearing success stories, failure stories, stories about the “grind” of this world, and honest perspectives about the start-up and venture capital industry gave many of us the ability to narrow in on what we would love to do professionally in this space. For me, after a few years working in tech and sports/entertainment, I would like to start my own company which will tie my passions together.

Most interesting things I heard during the trip:

  • Most of successful companies created their own market (ex: Facebook, Google, Intel, Cisco).
  • This idea of collaboration in tech is called “coopetition”.
  • Value = product-market fit / risk (execution).
  • NETWORKING is crucial!!
  • Get a mentor.
  • 3 parts to venture: 1) sourcing, 2) due diligence, 3) portfolio.
  • People who start a company aren’t always the ones to scale it.

What venture capital firms look for in entrepreneurs:

  1. How self-aware is this person?
  2. Are they able to recognize the fires and won’t ignore the problems?
  3. Do they recognize their own strengths and weaknesses?
  4. Are they persistent and do they have the mental endurance it takes to build and grow a company?

If you’d like to learn more about VC, start-ups, and entrepreneurship, below is a list of books and videos that were suggested to my classmates and I during our trip:

  • “The Hard Thing About Hard Things” by Ben Horowitz
  • “The Art of the Start” by Guy Kawasaki
  • “The Startup Owner’s Manual: The Step-by-Step Guide for Building a Great Company” by Steve Blank & Bob Dorf
  • “Straight Talk for Startups” by Randy Komisar and Jantoon Reigersman
  • “Venture Capitalists at Work: How VCs Identify and Build Billion-Dollar Successes” by Tarnang Shah and Shital Shah
  • “Crossing the Chasm” by Geoffrey Moore
  • “Something Ventured” – Netflix movie
  • “Secrets of Silicon Valley” – YouTube

Below is a list of people you should be familiar with – learn their stories as they either successfully built up billion-dollar companies or founded VC firms with highly invested portfolio companies in the Silicon Valley area:

  • Larry Ellison – Oracle
  • Marc Andreesen – Netscape
  • Andy Grove – Intel
  • Alan Shugart – Seagate Technology
  • Gordon Moore – Intel
  • John Chambers – Cisco
  • Steve Jobs – Apple, Pixar
  • Scott McNealy – Sun Microsystems
  • John Doerr – Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
  • Larry Sonsini – WSGR
  • Lewis Platt – Hewlett-Packard
  • James Clark – Netscape

A big thanks to Fisher College of Business, Professor Oglevee, Mr. Terranova, Mr. Coleman, and the MBA student leadership of FEA for making this trip happen and providing a wonderful growth experience.