Observations from Ohio

It’s Sunday night and one of my preferred blogging periods. I think I like to use blogging as an excuse to be productive but avoid the fact that classes are tomorrow and homework is tonight…(my teammates are yelling at the screen right now – do your work!)

As you may have already noticed, I am not big on using pictures in my blog posts. I have come up with one post which will include a picture; you’ll just have to wait and see because it could be a few weeks before the time is right.

Part of the application for this blogging position (yes, we had to apply; I’m not sure how I slipped through the cracks) included what our background was. I grew up in Cincinnati, OH , attended a private all male high school, studied Civil Engineering at Purdue University, and then worked as a structural engineer in Dayton, OH. Cincinnati isn’t known for it’s diverse population. Going to an elite high school doesn’t exactly expose you to the different cultures of the world, although some of my classmates were from other countries. Purdue has one of the largest international student populations in the country – but I can’t say that I really gained much insight into the rest of the world while studying structural engineering (although, I was fortunate to work with some great people from India during one summer). Working for a small structural engineering firm in Dayton, OH actually did give me some exposure to people from outside the US.  Fisher has been a different story.

I think one of our professors did a good job summarizing: Essentially, some people will try to say all people are same. In some respects, this is definitely true. We are all human. However, the reality is we are all very different – we are all unique. In my short time here at Fisher (wow – about 6 weeks already), I’ve been exposed to people from vastly different parts of this country, and from places all over the world. While there is obviously some comfort in the people from familiar places and familiar backgrounds, I find the most interesting individuals to be those from unfamiliar places and unfamiliar backgrounds.

I have a teammate who is from China. I have a teammate who is from India. Obviously, we have been exposed to different situations. However, I have already noticed that we share a lot of the same struggles – again, we are all human. I’ve noticed we share a lot of the same concerns. I’ve noticed we share a lot of the same motivations. Even though we have different perspectives, we still approach a lot of things the same way. Perhaps, deep down we are all a lot alike.

However, the differences that do exist force all of us to grow.  For those of you who get most of your international exposure through television, I assure you, the world is much bigger than anything the TV will ever teach you.

The challenge for this average Joe from Ohio – and for everyone – is to embrace the similarities and the differences. Be honest. Be open to learning and trying new things. Show people you care. Human nature is to appreciate feeling like someone cares.

“We all live with the objective of being happy; our lives are all different and yet the same.” – Anne Frank


Best Week Ever! Just like the TV show, baby!

Did I draw you in with my catchy title? Good, because I’m lying. And I just tricked you into listening (well, reading) me vent. This week has sucked. Hard. I thought it would be over by today: Sunday, 10/11/09. A new week. A fresh start. But, nooooo. Same old bad news.

First off I have had the WORST issues with this software program for our Statistics class. For some special reason, my computer that I just got less than a month ago, will not download/upload/run/whatever the software that we need. Several days ago I spent three hours at Best Buy with two Geeks from the Geek Squad trying to figure out a solution. We ended up erasing everything on my computer and starting from scratch, with a 99.99% guarantee that everything would run correctly with a fresh download. Not the case. Because this was, like, the 5th time I’d been to Best Buy in the last week for the same issue I was frustrated. So I took it back, and left it for the weekendfor them to test, analyze, and fix. They did the same thing again, even though I was hesitant, and gave me the same promise. I picked it up today (when they told me it would be done by Friday) only to have it not work again. And then those Geeks acted like they were doing me a favor by not charging me $ to fake fix it. Excuse me? Did I miss something??? So now I have to go back AGAIN to tell them that it’s probably my computer. Mind you, I told them this in the first place, given that at least 150 other MBA students have this same software and NO issues similar to mine. Now, if you read my previous blog titled “Time is money!” you’ll understand why this is big deal to me.

But this isn’t all…on Wednesday night the thing I feared most happened: I got sick. Normally, I can just take Airborne when I feel that little tingle in my nose or throat and I stay well. But this little bug was a monster. On Thursday morning, I went to campus but ended up leaving 10 minutes after I got there because I was, well, sick and tired. Even though I didn’t feel so hot, I came back for the noon info session on finding a Corporate Mentor. Then I felt guilty for skipping classes earlier and let one of my classmates persuade me to go to the afternoon session of Econ. I decided not to care about the Stats class I missed because of my computer issue.  Friday didn’t end up any better. I woke up and couldn’t even talk because my throat was so sore and lymph nodes were swollen. I still dragged myself out of bed and went to the first half of the Marketing Boot Camp. I found this very “edutaining” but left early because of my illness issues.

There’s still a LOT more to my week from hell but this entry is getting too long and I need to take some more cough syrup. If you read this far, thank you for your e-sympathy. Feel free to send me some chocolate when I get better and can actually taste it. Or you can always just get me a new computer that can handle StatTools software. O:)

Fisher Commons… No Left Turn!

I really enjoy living at Fisher Commons, its very convenient for getting to Gerlach, especially for my 8 am GA, its 30 minutes walking and less than 8 minutes of a drive. The only inconvenient thing is that, you can’t make a left turn into or out of the only entrance to the Fisher Commons. It is really annoying because it means making several inconvenient turn and tacking on precious moments to get home, to ease the suffering, I made a small infographic showing the best routes to get from the Fisher College of Business parking lot to Fisher commons, with the accompanying times… you should really print this out and tape it to your dashboard… or just look at it once… whatever you want.

Fisher Parking Lot to Fisher Commons Infographic
Fisher Parking Lot to Fisher Commons Infographic

I know no one likes baseball in the Buckeye State but….

The title of this post is not exactly what I am going to be writing about but I just have to say that I was watching the ALDS Yankees v. Twins baseball game on Friday night and I think MLB needs to develop some sort of rule about fair v. foul balls in the outfield.  Towards the end of the game the Twins had a hit to left field that landed SO incredibly fair and was called foul.  It cost the Twins the game and it made me depressed because who in the world wants the Yankees to win (I’m a Mets fan but am contemplating adopting a new team because they stink). And of course to top it off Mark Texiera the baseball robot hit a walk off home run to win the game for the Yankees.

Enough about baseball.  Other comments/observations from the weekend…

-I spent the majority of today and yesterday reading and catching up on work.  I read about half of my reading for my Fundamentals of HR book (this is the second book I’m reading for the class and it is slightly more interesting than the first thank goodness) and I caught up on stats and became a master of excel and StatTools this awful (but helpful) stats program for Excel that came with our book.

-I went out to dinner on Friday night for a late birthday celebration (my birthday was 9/30).  It was at a restaurant in Delaware, OH where Ohio Wesleyan is and where I went to undergrad.  I know I know why would I leave Columbus when there are so many good places to eat but the reason is because the restaurant is called Nova and they have the most amazing grilled chicken salad I have ever had.  It has a sweet onion balsamic vinaigrette that they home make in the kitchen, the chicken is delicious, it has blue cheese, spinach, strawberries and blueberries in it.  Hi amazing. So it was worth the trip to Delaware (which is actually a really cute town to walk around if you want to see someplace outside of Columbus).

-I had Rita’s again.  I went in sweatpants with my friend Rachel.  It was delicious.  I have two more stamps to get until I get a free ice.

-I discovered Antrim Park, up on Olentangy River Rd.  It’s a pretty park with a little lake and a 1.2 mile path around the lake.  There were a lot of people there with their dogs and people just walking and running.  I’m not a runner, I’m a brisk walker so I walked around the lake twice.  It was a beautiful day outside, I’m glad I found the park.  Sometimes I just need to get fresh air it helps me think.

-The same friend I went to Rita’s with, Rachel, said that I needed to do some more decorating in my apartment so I was inspired and got some nice pillows for my couch/loveseat and a pretty candle centerpiece for my dinged up coffee table.  Now I just need some things for my walls…it’s fun decorating an apartment except sometimes I’m completely uninspired and I get confused about what would look good so I never get anything.

So fun weekend for me (minus the homework) I’m off to read more and watch game three of Yankees Twins series.  If the Yankees win I’ll cry.

Chadwick Arboretum and Learning Gardens

Recently I’ve been missing Austin, but as soon as the leaves started changing, I quickly remembered why I moved back to the Midwest.  I love the seasons, especially fall.  There are so many fun fall activities such as pumpkin carving, corn mazes, and of course, football!

When the leaves have changed to beautiful oranges, reds, and purples I can sit and stare at the trees forever.  OSU campus has the perfect place to enjoy the fall colors too.  It is called Chadwick Arboretum and it is right next to the business college.  Chadwick Arboretum is such a perfect place to take one of those extremely interesting books about business structures or strategic business planning and study.

Chadwick Arboretum also has a labyrinth in its Lane Avenue Gardens.  Sometimes, as graduate students, we need a place to go contemplate life.  As stated on the Chadwick Arboretum and Learning Gardens website, “The labyrinth symbolizes the cyclic journey that each of us must take daily and seasonally throughout our lives as we follow a path to unity and wholeness. While reaching the center of the labyrinth is a goal, every participant in this ancient ritual will approach the center and then be taken back to an outer circuit that is far removed from their destination. Eventually, however, the center is reached. The lesson of the labyrinth is simple: As long as you persist, you will reach your destination.”

There is a ton of excellent information on the Chadwick Arboretum and Learning Gardens website about the labyrinth, as well as information about their volunteer program.  I hope everyone gets out to visit the Arboretum because it is truly beautiful!

The Coldest Football Game I’ve Ever Been To In My Life!!!

Okay, I know I’m probably gonna get laugh at for saying this, but I don’t care: The OSU vs. Wisconsin game was the coldest football game I’ve ever been to! I have to be fair though, the weather was terrific. Blue sky, tiny bit of cloud, mild wind, last but not least… 50-55 degrees… orz (that’s almost winter for Texans)

I’ve been to plenty of games back in Texas, both college football and NFL, and I’m accustomed to be in a 90-100 degrees environment (100+ if you’re in the sun) plus the heat from the 100,000 fans surrounding you. I’ve also been to the Rose Bowl twice in January and even then it didn’t feel nearly as cold as today. I ended up going home early in the 3rd quarter after we opened the quarter with a kick-off return and expanded the lead to 24 points. Here’s my excuses for having such pitiful endurance and lessons learned:

  1. Defense > Offense – our defense and special teams scored 3 TDs but that only came once every 30 minutes or so. I’m sort of the offense kind of guy. I like seeing big plays. GO LONG!!!
  2. Not much of a challenge – their QB looked pretty good, but still, I get bored easily, especially when the margin goes beyond two possessions
  3. Bring a bigger jacket!!! I felt really smart wearing a t-shirt and a light BR jacket (just for looks) and found out that our section has our backs to the sun. Never have I missed the sunshine so badly. LOL

I said the same thing on fb when I got home last night and almost immediately I got a couple responses saying “just you wait til the Iowa game in November”. Time to bring out my Columbia heavy-duty skiing coat. I’ll be ready!!!


The Search for the Missing Wallet

October 2 was supposed to be a ‘slow news day’ for me. Because I did not sign up for any of the events of the day, I decided to just work and then attend the Accounting review session. If I only knew that things would become more complicated.

Because the review finished early, I decided to head to the bank to deposit something. But when I opened my bag, my wallet was missing. My stomach lurched. I dumped all my things out. It wasn’t there. I searched under the table and seats. Nada!

I immediately ran out of the room and back to Mason Hall (I am a student assistant with EdTech). I frantically searched there. My wallet wasn’t there either. I remembered that I went through the tunnel which connected Mason and Gerlach at lunch. It still wasn’t there.

I ran back to the classroom again, hoping that the wallet was there and I just missed it. Nope!

Search and rescue was over! I had to cancel my cards. I needed internet. Because my BuckID (OSU ID) was also in my wallet, I could not get in to the computer lab. I decided to go to the Graduate Programs Office (GPO) and ask for help. I knew I needed to go to Alisa.

Alisa McMahon is the Information Associate at GPO and the ‘mom’ to Fisher graduate students. She is amazing! You would not meet a kinder and more caring person. Before that moment, ‘hi and hello’ were the only words I ever spoke with her but she got out of her way to help me. First step was to calm my panicked state. Then, she helped me get the information I needed to do what I needed to do (i.e. cancel my cards and ID).

Fast forward to Sunday morning, I woke up to a Facebook friend request and message from an unfamiliar name – Latoya Sanderson. She found my wallet! She is a Consumer and Family Financial Services student at OSU and had an Accounting class at Fisher. She found my wallet lying on the ground. Turns out, I was being careless. The wallet must have jumped out of my bag.

My story has a happy ending – thanks to great people (and my personal heroes) in Fisher and the Ohio State University. Thank you Alisa and Latoya! I pray that God shower you with more blessings and love.

A special mention goes to Facebook! I will never call you a timewaster. Never again! 😀

Finding Your Passion

When I was younger, I came to school one day excited to do my first ever writing sample.  Our teacher told us the day before to get some rest because the next day we were going to do a writing assignment that was to be sent in and graded by other teachers who would assess our writing against our peers.  Her advice was to stick to the topic, be original, and to write naturally.

I don’t remember exactly what the topic was, but I remembered how excited I was when I decided to write about my mom- one of the people I love most.  I went through the outline/web development, a rough draft, and was proud to put my first sample in the manila envelope to be sent out to the graders.  The top score was a 4, and the worst was a 1.  The teacher then explained that if we did not follow the topic, or if it did not follow the directions, they could not grade your paper and you received an x.  The dreaded X.

Needless to say, a few weeks later, we were told our papers were sent back.  I was so excited, because I was so proud of my work.  When the teacher called me to her desk, she pulled me outside of the class to give me my paper which had received a double X.  I was devastated.  I came home in tears, shocked that I did not even receive a grade, let alone two 4’s.  Then, I was afraid to tell my mom, because I was even more embarrassed that my piece that could not be graded was about her.

While I was only in the third grade when this happened, it obviously had big effects on my writing career.  (I have never pursued a career in writing)  But it did teach me one thing.  That sometimes your passions have to align with your opportunities.

This is a mature view for a third grader, but I have had a few years to reflect on this.  This lesson is something that I am currently being reminded of now at Fisher.  Between recruiters and career counselors, I am constantly told to follow my passion.  But finding this connection between our passion and what are opportunities are is the hardest part of the internship right now.  My goal over the next few months, is to find an internship that will foster my passions through the opportunities that I have.

PS If you are reading my blog, please don’t grade it with an X!

Careers in Marketing Boot Camp

I spent the day yesterday in the “Careers in Marketing Boot Camp” at The Fisher College of Business.  The Career Management Office organizes several boot camps throughout the fall covering the various careers that MBAs typically seek including: consulting, operations and logistics, marketing, finance, sustainability and real estate.  The Marketing Boot Camp, which was generously sponsored by Nationwide Insurance, was a day-long seminar focused on career paths in marketing, networking strategies and interviewing techniques.  Several alumni and marketers from local firms came to Fisher to share their experiences and take questions on their careers and firms.

The keynote speaker, Mr. Brad Davis, Vice President Nationwide Financial Individual Investments, gave an engaging (and sometimes humorous) but certainly informative presentation covering his experience in branding in the CPG (consumer packaged goods) industry and how that brought him to his position at Nationwide.  The topics he covered were too numerous to summarize completely, but some of the highlights included:

  • The balance between the science and art of marketing
  • The concepts of “misattribution” and “consideration sets”
  • The marketing cycle
  • Marketing is Business and Business is Marketing: everyone owns a piece of establishing and nurturing a relationship with the customer

Once again thanks to Brad Davis, Nationwide, Jenny Heckscher, the Fisher Office of Career Management and everyone else that took the time to attend and answer questions: The Scotts Miracle-Grow Company, dunnhumbyUSA, Nestlé, Cardinal Health, Resource Interactive, Greif, Sterling Commerce, The Columbus Chapter of the American Marketing Association, The Fisher College of Business Marketing Faculty and second-year MBA students.

Reposted from aaron360.com.



To all those wondering, no my title isn’t gibberish.  It was actually the topic of my first presentation in “Enhancing Professional Interchange” (EPI).  EPI is basically a speech class.  I know that most people fear public speaking but I was actually excited to hear that we were required to take this class because I know there is always room for improvement.

So back to the title…During class, Prof. Ankerman posted a bunch of gibberish words on the board and we were asked to give a 30sec presentation on one of the words.  I was one of the last people to go and as others presented on the words I was planning on talking about, I found my mind racing to come up with what I was going to say.  Ultimately, I think I said something to the effect of it being a new invention that actually made time travel possible, blah blah blah.  Next we gave our 2min persuasive talks that we had been working on.  I think mine went okay.  I talked about why PE class should be an integral part of school.  But as usual, I talked too fast.  This is a really bad habit that I’ve had since birth but towards the end of my speech, as I got more comfortable, I found myself slowing down.

One would think that after an undergraduate education in architecture where I was forced to present daily that I would be a pro at public speaking but this is not so.  And so, I am looking for some helpful criticism and tricks to become a better speaker…..I’ll keep you updated on how it’s going…