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?

Start Small…

Over the last week of work and class, I have come to understand the importance of the little things.  For instance, while walking from my car to Gerlach this week, I looked like a big geek with my arms loaded with books and my laptop case along with my book bag.  I saw a friend who smiled to me and helped me carry my books.

Later that day, I was sitting in the lounge, when someone came up and with a smile, I offered them the seat at my over-crammed with said books.

At the last football game (my first ever OSU game!), I came to realize how loud the Buckeye crowd can be.  Between the cheers of O-H….I-O and the jaunts towards the only Illinois person around, along with the pouring rain, it was hard to communicate with anyone in our group.  But whenever something good happened, we all cheered towards each other and then “high- fived” everyone around us, as if we were the ones who just scored the field goal. ( I will admit, half the time I didn’t really know what was going on, so I just cheered along with the people around me…)

At last week’s EOTW, the bar we were at was so crowded and the music was blaring.  Despite the environment, we still met some of the other first years and the second years.  I am sure people could not understand what I was saying because I tend to be soft-spoken, but I don’t really know because I was always received with a smile and a nod of the head.

While this post seems cliche, and maybe someone who reads this will see me and ask for the five minutes of their life back they spent reading it, I think that this week has shown me a valuable lesson.  It is the small things, the signs of unity and the consideration towards each other that makes Fisher stand out.  While we are all busy with work and such, a small gesture such as carrying some one’s books, holding a door, or an understanding smile can go a long way.

Thank you to those of you that have shown these acts towards me!

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!!

Detroit Trip

I would say one of the great things about being in Columbus, Ohio is the accessibility you have to other neighboring cities such as Chicago, Indianapolis, or of course Detroit!  After the first week of graduate school I needed to get my mind off things and refocus!  I wasn’t overwhelmed just yet, but I could feel the emotion rising inside.  Luckily, it was my friend’s 24th birthday this past weekend and it allowed me the opportunity to get away.  The drive to Detroit from Columbus is about 3.5 hours, not too bad.  I was particularly excited about this trip because:

1. I had never been to Detroit

2. My friend was also my college roommate in undergrad and I hadn’t seen her since graduation (2 years ago)

3. Two of our other friends lived there and I hadn’t seen them in a year

Consequently, I had a lot to look forward to.  Usually I feel like a 32 year old trapped in a early 20 year old body, because my life is just that uneventful.  However, this past weekend made me feel like the 23 year old that I am.  The weekend was mostly spent celebrating her birthday in two of Detroit’s casinos, Motor City and MGM Grand.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see much of Detroit, yet I am positive this will not be my last trip to Detroit.  At the end of the weekend, I felt renewed!  Sometimes you need that little getaway to get your life back in order. So many changes have been made and this past weekend really allowed me the opportunity to just relax and let everything settle for a bit.  First, I was getting acclimated to Columbus, and then graduate school. It all happened so fast!  Since I got back from my trip I feel less worried about graduate school, and am feeling more comfortable as each day passes by.

Moral of the story:  Don’t be afraid to take a break while in graduate school. Sometimes refocusing your energy is all you need to get back on track and in the game!

New Washer and Dryer

While, they were new to us at least. Sarah’s parents drove in from Richmond to visit (8 hours through VA and WV mostly,) and we decided since they had the truck here, we should try and get a washer and dryer. Just to preface, we have the hook-ups for a washer/dryer in our house, we just hadn’t bought one yet, and had been using an awful laundromat down the street.

Laundromats are not particularly fun places to be. One has to keep feeding the machine with quarters, it is a huge waste of time to just sit there etc. So Sarah and I started looking. We started on the Craigslist.org appliance section, and struck gold almost immediately. There was a guy who lived in Victorian Village (just south of campus) that had moved into an apartment that came with a washer/dryer already included.  To make a long story short, Sarah and I are now the proud new owners of a brand new (to us) washer and dryer, for only $220. We are pretty excited we never have to go back to the laundromat.

We also decided a couple weeks ago to adopt a puppy. Her name is L.E. pronounced Ellie. She is a Beagle mixed with something, we are thinking either Basset Hound, or Dachshund. She is about 12 weeks old, and weighs about 8 pounds. She is an awesome little puppy, and loves being around us. The crate training isn’t 100% done yet, hence the dire need for a washer/dryer : )

On the career path, things are going well. Deadline’s have already started expiring on Fisher Connect, which is Fisher’s online career portal. I have applied for quite a few positions up till now, and all the networking I have done through Fisher has really paid off. I have already been accepted for one Big 4 interview, and one regional firm in the coming weeks. I am definitely excited to get the interview process started.

GO BUCKS!

A list of firsts

Within the last 7 days, exactly, many firsts have happened in my life. They are as follows:

  • First day of Graduate School
  • Wearing stilettos to class
  • Creating a grad level presentation
  • Creating a presentation which may or may not ever be presented
  • Sitting in class in a comfortable chair
  • Sitting in class where the ‘desk’ isn’t attached to my chair
  • Having plenty of room to spread out my notes during class
  • Having a professor wear a suit to class, each class, not just the first day
  • Forgetting my name plate for class – which is conveniently sitting in front of me in my apartment, now
  • Having something to add to class, and actually saying it (trust me it doesn’t happen hardly ever)
  • Sitting in class for four hours
  • Being warm in Gerlach Hall

I’m sure there are many more, but these are just a few that come to mind.

I keep hearing the reoccurring theme to keep ahead of things. And, as I sit here at 10:30 at night, having just gotten home from class, I realize how true it is. For now, I’m off to read 50 pages about the origins and evolutions of the field of industrial relations.

The comfortable chairs and spacious desk areas!
The comfortable chairs and spacious desk areas!

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.

Third Day of Classes – A Case of the Mondays

Ever trying to be different, I realized no one had done a “Day in the life of an MBA” yet. Yesterday seems like a good candidate; perhaps as the year goes on, I will repeat this feature for comparison.

6:30 AM – Alarm clock goes off. I press the snooze button.

6:45 AM – Another alarm clock goes off. I press its snooze button.

6:50 AM – Alarm clock 1 goes off again. I press the snooze button.

7:00 AM – Alarm clock 2 goes off again. I adjust snooze to 2 minutes. I press snooze button.

7:02 AM – Alarm clock 2 goes off again. I get out of bed and turn off all alarm clocks. Notice that funny taste in my mouth from not getting enough sleep.

7:05 AM – Fill coffeemaker with water and coffee and start the brewing process.

7:07 AM – Shave, Shower, get dressed, put shoes on. Liberally apply product to hair.

7:20 AM – Fill bag with books, notes, binders, and laptop. Coffee smells good. Fill travel mug (I really need to get a bigger one).

7:30 AM – Depart apartment for bus stop. It’s cold outside and looks like it might rain. Decide to chance it and not take the umbrella.

7:45 AM – Board Campus Loop North bus, standing room only of course.

7:50 AM – Arrive at Fisher Campus

7:52 AM – Stop at Schoenbaum Hall to grab a Wall Street Journal.

7:55 AM – Arrive at Graduate Student Lounge in Gerlach Hall. Proceed to read WSJ. Discuss WSJ and classes with classmates/friends as they show up

8:30 AM – MBA860 . Contribute to class discussion where appropriate. Room is very hot.

10:30 AM – MBA800 . Lights were dimmed and I was sleepy. Room is very cold.

12:30 PM – Student organization information session. Consider joining the Fisher Latino Graduate Association after their excellent presentation. Ate free pizza.

1:30 PM – Team meeting to discuss the MBA812 readings for Tuesday.

2:00 PM – Rode CABS bus back to Fisher Commons; standing room only again.

2:30 PM – Arrive at Dry Cleaners with three suits; in the rush to get out the door, I grabbed one in error. Drop off two suits.

2:35 PM – Made phone call while driving to bank and post office. Have mental exercise asking why the closest post office to Fisher Commons is all the way in Grandview.

4:00 PM – Start reading cases and textbook for Tuesday classes

5:30 PM – Warm up leftovers and eat dinner. Beef stew is delicious on a cold day.

6:17 PM (estimated) – pass in and out of slumbering while trying to read textbook for class which will go unnamed…

7:30 PM – Drink several Diet Mountain Lightning (I’m a poor student – can’t afford Mountain Dew)

9:00 PM – Change and head to the ARC to work out. Upon arrival, perform cost-benefit analysis on lifting weights. Result: too crowded for me – skip it! Cardio for 30 minutes.

9:41:35 (approx) PM – For some perverse reason, “pumped” about being super busy already.

9:45 PM – Stop in at Mike’s apartment to discuss classes for tomorrow, internships, career fair

10:30 PM – Resume reading and doing homework, work on application for internship, email High School counselor in an attempt to retrieve SAT/ACT scores.

1:30 AM – Head to bed. As I glanced out the window at the empty street, remembered how it feels to get up before most people and go to bed after most people. The empty streets with traffic lights flashing and streetlights lit seems peaceful almost. Or maybe I’m just exhausted.

-NWF



It’s Intern (interview) Season!

You know how a lot of companies hire interns for the summer? I’ve heard it referred to more often than not as “intern season” meaning all of these clueless naive interns who are excited about dressing professionally swarm the office and try to schmooze with as many people as they can.

Well I am going to say that it is intern season here at Fisher within the MLHR program but I don’t mean it the way it is usually meant.  By intern season here I mean ’tis the season to be figuring out how to use our only semi-user friendly online job search system FisherConnect.  Great resource, don’t get me wrong, but navigating it takes some getting used to.  It also means that once you have figured out how to navigate FisherConnect you get to find out what companies are recruiting on campus, what they are recruiting for, and how to submit your resume to them in the hopes that they select you for an interview.

After you’ve done all that you sit back and wait for a bit and then the emails come rolling in.  And by rolling I mean that I have only gotten three so far. The subject email always has a generic tag line so it isn’t until you open the email that you find out if you have been chosen to interview.  I did receive two acceptances and one decline (can’t win them all..) and was euphoric for all of two minutes until I realized that I actually have to sit down and talk with these companies and explain to them how absolutely amazing and talented I am and they should hire me.  It’s probably a good idea if I spend some quality time on their company website as well.

(p.s. I am not even getting into all of the informational sessions and meet and greets held by companies…yet another opportunity to talk about how awesome you are! What great confidence boosters…but really they will be helpful and I’m glad for the opportunity)

In addition to all of this, you’re trying to balance classes, group projects and reading (which has been reasonable so far)…..this all adds up to a lot of crazy stressed nutjob students running around campus talking about the core values of a company next minute to the glory and wonder of statistics the next.

So to sum it up…yes I am busy with classes and preparing for 2 interviews that I know of so far next week plus attending three different career events.  Busy but well worth it once I get a great summer internship! Hooray for intern season!

How Far Are We From Med School?

Obviously, the title doesn’t mean the physical distance between Ohio State’s med school and Fisher.

Last Tuesday I attended a Fisher Hub event–MIT Global Broadcast. Audience watched a lecture give by a MIT professor on his biotechnology research and, more importantly, how his ideas and products were commercialized. The topic involved networking among various fields, lots of which are between science and business. Besides the business terms and concepts I am familiar with, waves of scientific terminology stroke me. I was glad that my grades in science were not bad and I still remember most of the knowledge, otherwise it would be very hard for me to understand a significant portion of the lecture.

All these things lighted a bulb in my head.

I believe very few graduate students at Fisher think about getting to med school afterwards. Many of us may not touch anything in science because we think that’s “not our business”. But, are we really saying “Goodbye” to all other subjects after we confirm our career path in business?

Same Tuesday, at the MAcc Boot Camp, a partner from one of the large public accounting firms gave a presentation. When asked his opinion on how the economy would affect job markets in these coming years, he said, “I am not sure, but if you know the European history well, you might expect similar situation like what the European countries experienced.”

“If you know the European history well”, we can forecast future economic environment! Right, this was what my history teacher told me in high school, but when and how did I begin to forget all of these?

Everything is related to business. Medical technology is, history is, computer science is, art is, everything is! So my Fisher fellows, once we are in Fisher, we are not saying “Goodbye” to any other fields. Say “Hello”!