maybe it’s the nerd in me…

Okay, so I am definitely feeling the reality of business school.  No more talking about what it is and what to expect.  The games have begun.  In Managerial Economics we covered a quarter’s worth of content in 3 classes.  In Data Analysis, I found myself daydreaming only to snap back and realize I missed some vital information….”Wait, what Excel file are we in now?  Okay, make a histogram and then do what….?? ” (I’ll explain these terms later).  But even with all of the information overload, I am proud to say that I have retained most of the information.

I’ve found myself applying the concepts of marginal costs and marginal benefits-weighing things as trivial as my options for social events.  I even had an interesting talk with my parents based on our lecture in Organizational Behavior.  We discusssed the importance of a good hire and also ways to boost retention in a company.  I immediately referenced all of my previous work experiences-determining how they faired regarding employee satisfaction and retention.  And probably most entertaining (or just sad depending on how you look at it), was my conversation with some classmates while watching the game last night.  We attempted to cram all of the new concepts we learned this week into one conversation.  I think I most enjoyed rating their marginal utility of getting another beer lol.

Just one week of school has already got me thinking about concepts that I previously took for granted or never even bothered to think about.  Who ever knew school would be a place where I would actually learn something!

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?


‘fly like paper, get high like planes’

Hi Guys! Well today the first full week of school ends. Ah! a huge sigh of relief.

Highlight of the week: Working in a paper plane assembly-line.

I will not delve in to details of the humongous MBA812: Economics readings since a few of my peers have already spoken about it. The biggest take away for me was that it’s all possible. Prof. Cambell mentioned during class that we covered most of a traditional economics course of a full quarter in 3 sessions! I remember during the start of the week wondering how we will make it through, but it was real fun. The class was interesting and we had some great discussions. Having said that I am currently wondering about Financial Accounting for the coming week.

This week was very interesting also because a lot of activities happened simultaneously. Along with the heavy class load, we had career fairs, company information sessions and student organization presentations almost every single day. Feels good to be on the edge (fyi: this is 4 cups of coffee speaking), work as hard as possible full steam ahead.

Ok, now getting to the most entertaining part of the week. Today we had the Operations, Logistics and Supply Chain Boot Camp. As always there were faculty, alumni, industry representatives and 2nd year students who shared their expereinces and their thoughts on the Operations as a career option. I must say the passion in the alumni for what they are doing as part of an operations team was encouraging. Post lunch we made planes!

This was a prime example of ‘learning by experience’. We were organized in to 2 teams of 9 each. We were two competing paper plan manufacturers. There were set quality standards, a manufacturing process – divided between the shop floor workers, a CEO, a quality manager, a plant manager and even a paper plane test pilot.

The aim of the exercise was to explore various ways wastes can be eliminated in the simplest of processes. How to most efficiently use every single resource. How to work as a team. And how to even engage in competition sledging, although it an objective. We saw how implementation of lean processes eliminated wastes and lead times. We ran the production following a batch process, lean process and then finally the rules were dissolved to enable the teams to creatively achieve operational excellence. The quality manager’s job was to constantly track every workers performance and get the various metrics to the plant manager who over saw the production as he looked to remove bottlenecks. The CEO did pretty much nothing other than just getting the raw materials on to the shop floor!….hmmm may be he should have been fired. I must commend Anthony was excellent flying skills ;). Also Ross for his commitment to faster production, he was our bottle-neck all though (to be fair to him he did have the most difficult and time consuming tasks of all). The activity was great fun. You can see the picture of a our master-piece in paper plan manufacturing. Anthony flew them as if they were rockets. And the rival team was so intimidated that they had to try out new test pilots in each round!American Aeroplane Corp.

It was a tough and eventful week and wish all of the class of 2011 good luck in their effort to fly like paper, get high as planes!


Strengths Finder 2.0

Part of the second year MBA experience is attending numerous information sessions in an attempt to figure out what you want to do with the rest of your life. Representatives from various consulting firms, banks, and other Fortune 500 companies come to tell you why Company XYZ is the best place in the universe to work. It’s a little overwhelming at times, because the job that you take after your MBA really dictates the rest of your career for the most part. I think the hardest thing for most of us is the fact that we could succeed in all of these roles, so it’s finding the right company, position and people to work with that will ultimately determine how successful/happy we are.

A company that wasn’t on my radar until this week is Gallup Consulting. Most people are familiar with The Gallup Poll, but aren’t too familiar with their consulting arm (including myself until recently). They’re a little different from most consulting firms, in that they help companies drive true organic growth from continuing operations. They specialize in: talent acquisition/selection & hiring practices, succession management, strengths-based development, leadership development & manager training, performance management design & measurement, employee engagement measurement & impact training, customer engagement measurement & impact training, and brand/market research. For those of you who know me pretty well, it’s as if they created a consulting practice that revolves around all my professional interests. Needless to say, Gallup Consulting is now very high on my daily-expanding target list.

Another piece of Gallup’s business is Gallup Press. I had no idea that they were behind many business best-sellers such as: First, Break all the Rules, Now, Discover Your Strengths, StrengthsFinder 2.0, How Full is Your Bucket? and Human Sigma. Always being one who’s interested in increasing my self-awareness, I bought StrengthsFinder 2.0 at Barnes and Noble today and took the online StrengthsFinder assessment. My top five strengths were:

Includer: People who are especially talented in the Includer theme are accepting of others. They show awareness of those who feel left out, and make an effort to include them.

Woo: People who are especially talented in the Woo theme love the challenge of meeting new people and winning them over. They derive satisfaction from breaking the ice and making a connection with another person.

Communication: People who are especially talented in the Communication theme generally find it easy to put their thoughts into words. They are good conversationalists and presenters.

Positivity: People who are especially talented in the Positivity theme have an enthusiasm that is contagious. They are upbeat and can get others excited about what they are going to do.

Empathy: People who are especially talented in the Empathy theme can sense the feelings of other people by imagining themselves in others’ lives or others’ situations.

Evidently, “Insatiable Appetite” and “Wii Mario Kart Skills” weren’t on the list of 34 strengths, otherwise those would probably be my top two. On a more serious note, I encourage anyone to get this book as it gives you a custom-made report of your strengths and an action planning guide based off of those strengths.

Well, I’m off to go fill out some more applications, watch some football and spend some quality time with Molly (who’s been very tolerant of my 80 hour workweek since school’s started).

Mike ^_^

It really helps!

It really helps to use the career management resources. It was not only during Orientation week but it keeps going!! I am extremely happy by the continuous and amazing support I am receiving from the Career Management office. Having a science background I felt slightly lost on how to focus my resume, brand and interview skills for a new career path such as Marketing. Some of the highlights that have been really helpful for me are:

  • Career Assessment: to discover strengths, abilities, motivational things I need to work on, and possible career paths.
  • Mix and Mingle with recruiters: to start practicing networking skills and develop some practice with informational interviews (Do not overwhelm the recruiter trying to tell them your life in one minute, have an engaging “conversation”).
  • Resume: reviewed and significantly improved. Jenny Hecksher’s (MKT consultant) feedback was extremely quick but most importantly tremendously useful to have her Marketing input on the content.
  • Career search resources: I explored some of the resources and so far my favorite is Hoover’s Online. It offers summarize key information about companies and different industries. In addition, while looking at this resource I also came by another very interesting website related to “cool running companies” ( focused mainly on companies that have proof to be very creative and innovative in our days. The site is really fun and interesting to look for original businesses.
  • Crack the Case Workshop: with David Ohrvall. I was definitely not ready for a case interview. Actually I am still not. But this workshop definitely helps to know what to expect and how to get prepared for a case interview. A key thing is to anticipate possible questions, situations and reactions. If you think you may need to develop some of these skills, I definitely suggest looking at his website and even more attend one of these events in the future (
  • Companies Information session: this is very resourceful to know what exactly the company is about and their culture but more importantly what are they looking for and what type of candidate are they trying to recruit. Let’s not forget that these sessions are a great opportunity to network too.
  • Getting ready for a career fair: I learned some strategies on how to make a difference with recruiters in between thousands of applicants in a career fair.  Consultants at the career management office have a huge amount of experience in dealing with these issues. They have several suggestions to share according to each person’s needs.
  • Practicing for Interviews: if you need advising and practice for your interviews, career management is the place to go! They know what recruiters are looking for, and they will act like recruiters. This is the safest place to practice and get ready to make an impact on your interview!

These are just some of the things that have had direct impact on me. However there is a much larger amount of resources and activities organized by the career management office. Be sure to stay in tune on what is going on through Fisherconnect or the Hub. There are a lot of things going on and it could be overwhelming, but this is exactly how we learn to manage our time, prioritize and make wise selections.

Wet, wet, wet!

Remember to be prepared!
Remember to be prepared!

The fall is off to a rainy start to this year, and walking from Fisher Commons to Gerlach for classes, information sessions, networking events and group meetings has required some additional preparedness…

As the saying goes, “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade!”  Case in point, I finally ordered the Hunter rain boots from that I have been thinking about purchasing for over a year.


When my boots arrived earlier this week, it wasn’t as rainy of a day as it appeared it would be when I was on the golf course at 9:30am.  So when I arrived for my 1:30pm Consumer Behavior course (wearing the new boots, wool tights, a jean skirt, sweater, down vest, scarf and pageboy cap) – I looked a little over prepared for the weather.  My friends were quick to point out that my outfit had “a lot going on” (their words) and fortunately as class progressed there were opportunities for them to look over at me as an “exhibit” of sorts.

You might find this entry a bit odd, but at the core, what I’m trying to express is how wonderful my friends are here, the subtle ways b-school prepares you, and how great it is to be in a program where individuals are allowed to express themselves freely.

And although, I’m constantly struggling to remind myself that “I am not the typical consumer.” and that, yes, I MUST actually get my finance practice problems done tonight before I go to hang out with those same friends who mocked my fashion.  Everyday I am a little more prepared for whatever comes next.

Ok, back to work…

*In celebration of my new purchase: tonight’s drink suggestion – a classic Cosmopolitan.  4 parts vodka (may I suggest Tito’s Handmade Vodka), 2 parts triple sec, 2 parts cranberry juice and 1 part lime juice (PINK!!!)

Time to pick student organizations

Have you ever wondered what it would feel like to eat Papa John’s pizza 4 days in a row? I have – and that’s why I attended every student organization’s information session in 375 Gerlach Hall this past week. By the fourth day, I had succumbed to pouring Papa J’s famous garlic dipping sauce all over my pizza to spice up the monotonous (but free) lunch. Am I alive? Yes. Does it feel like it? Not really.

Actually, the real reason I attended the meetings was not for the free pizza, but for the opportunity to learn more about the student run organizations at Fisher College. What I discovered is that Fisher has a plethora of organizations that span the diverse student body.  Since I have a limited amount of time, I am trying to whittle down the number of organizations that are attractive to me. I will probably join only 2 or possibly 3 clubs, so that I will have the time and energy to take an active leadership role within the organizations. I am currently interested in the following groups…

Hopefully by the end of next week I’ll have made my decisions. 


Coffee Talk

I know all professors want to hear students pay attention and do not surf the web or do other activities while sitting in a lecture.  I understand that and recognize that we all wish to get full attention while presenting, however, sometimes that is just not possible.

Today as I sit in a lecture, one that I’ve already contributed to multiple times (yay – multi-tasking!) I am thinking about how I’ve already enjoyed a grande coffee today and am already dreaming of a second.

Fortunately, there are a long list of options close to campus where I could dash and pick up a pipping hot beverage.  Unfortunately, my favorite spot, Staufs Coffee Roasters is not within walking distance.  They do have a Cup o’ Joe cafe at Lennox Mall, however, I still don’t have time during my 15 minute break in between classes.

Ah well.  Back to discussion – mmmmm…. coffee.

Wednesday is my “Friday” when it comes to classes and Friday is often associated with cocktails and celebrating the end of the week, so in celebration of the end of the week… I proposed a coffee-flavored toast – Irish Coffee.

I think the Buena Vista in San Francisco does it best… check out their recipe here.

Slainte!  Back to California dreamin’…

AMIS 824 – Corporate Finance

I love all 4 of my classes this quarter, but I want to bring your attention to this particular one – AMIS 824 Corporate Finance. This class is unique in many ways. To start off, in the introduction email Professor Dave Williams sent to the class, he specifically mentioned that we won’t be doing any journal entries, T-accounts, or cite FASB statements. But wait a second, I thought this is an accounting class??? (AMIS stands for Accounting & Management Information System)

Now that school’s been in session for about 2 weeks, I started to get a feel of what he means. Dave (he likes to be informal and prefers to be called by his first name instead of Professor Williams) usually starts the class by reading an article or two on the Wall Street Journal and discuss with the class the magnitude of the news and the effect/consequence/special meaning it has both to the accounting profession and the financial industry. Then we spend the remaining class period analyzing financial statements of various companies in a very fun and intuitive way. You might say, how is analyzing hundreds of pages of the 10-K fun?

Well, first of all we don’t look at the entire 10-K because Dave is environment-friendly and would like to save trees. Second, some day we look at just the income statement, another day we’ll look at the balance sheet followed by the statement of cash flow, or sometimes the combination of them. Then he’ll make the students think hard and fast what lies beneath the numbers. He asks questions like: why do you expect to see a high balance in the inventory account for so and so? What does it mean when you see cash outflows from PP&E every year? Is that a good thing or a bad thing and why? So far we’ve looked at the financial statements of Tootsie Roll, Hershey, GE, Southwest Airline, Whirlpool, Campbell’s Soup, 5/3 Bank, Amazon, J-Crew, American Eagle Outfitter, and Pacific Sun. Next week we’ll talk about revenue recognition and look at Microsoft’s financial statements. Microsoft!!! I’m getting excited just as I’m typing this.

Dave is ingenious in drawing the class’ attention. He tells jokes, makes fun of himself and sometimes his kids, and you can be sure that he’ll call you out (not to embarrass you, but all for good fun) if you say something silly without giving it some thought. He comes at you fast and furious and you better devote 120% of your attention to him if you don’t want to miss anything important (and the jokes). Starting this week I’m bringing a digital recorder to record the lecture so that I don’t have to take notes frantically. Lastly, I tried to imitate his style a little bit and be funny in front of the 211 students (I’m a TA) but so far to no avail.

The Dreaded Flu!

If you haven’t already done so, I would highly recommend getting a Flu shot!  I came home from class on Tuesday night and out of nowhere started shivering and coughing.  While in graduate school, we don’t have time to be sick and take it from me, this Flu is a doozy!

Well, I’m spent.  I have included the Wellness Center Flu shot schedule information below.  You can also visit their website at  Take care of yourselves!

Flu Shot Clinics

Walk-in Clinics

  • Location: Wilce Student Health Center Ground Floor
  • Dates: October 6, 12, 22, 26, November 4, 9
  • Times: 4:00PM – 6:30PM
  • No appointment needed

Additional Flu Shot Opportunities:

  • Morning Clinic: Walk-in to our Pharmacy, Monday – Friday 8:00AM – 11:00AM
  • Afternoon Clinic: Call ahead (614) 292-4321
    • Location: Wilce Student Health Center room 264-C
    • Dates: September 23, 24, 25, October 1, 8, 15, 29, November 5, 12, 19
    • Times: 2:00PM – 4:00PM< /br>

Cost for all Clinics:

  • $25 due at time of service
  • Covered in full under the Student Health Insurance Plan

** Flu Shots given at an individual appointment have a cost of $36.