A Valuable Lesson in Teamwork

Last Tuesday, just as an ordinary sort of day, I drove to school 30 minutes early with my classmate, Alex, to go to Data Analysis class at 10:30 AM. I picked up Alex at Fisher Commons, drove safely on West Lane Ave., approached the parking lot near Gerlach Hall, and then…. we found a very serious problem:

THERE IS NO PARKING SPACE AVAILABLE!

Oh my god, it’s almost 10:20 and I still could not find one! Alex was also anxious; he looked for the space hardly but, just as my other classmates (I saw Kai drove his car around, also looked for the space at the same time), he could not find any empty spot at all. I drove around the parking lot and it was 10:30! What should I do? Should I keep looking for the space? Should I drive back to Fisher Commons and skip the class? If I skip the class, what information and knowledge I will miss (since I invest a lot of tuition in the MBA program!) ?

Suddenly, a very good idea came into my mind:

‘Go to the class right now!!’ I told Alex.

‘But how about you? Will you skip the class?’ said Alex.

‘Go to the class and work hard. I will try to find a parking space and I will be late, but you can teach me the contents I missed in class today!’

‘Sure!’ said Alex.

Finally, I parked my car in Tuttle Garage and paid 7 dollars for parking over 5 hours (It’s too bad… since I already paid over 200 dollars for the student’s parking permit!). I still went to the class but almost 1 hour late. Fortunately, the professor was so kind and he did not blame me. Alex taught me how to make a pivot table, so I still learn new knowledge.

Clearly, this is a valuable lesson in ‘teamwork’, which is an important element of MBA program. Alex and I cooperated with each other when we faced the difficulty. However, Alex was also late for class for 2 minutes. Therefore, I feel that I should make the decision much earlier when I found that we certainly cannot find the parking space in 20 minutes.

Most importantly, after that Tuesday, I decided that —-

I WILL ALWAYS GO TO SCHOOL 1.5 HOURs EARLY TO SAVE THE PARKING SPACE!

Ha ha~~~

Tandy

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.

Time is money!

It didn’t take me long to realize that as a grad student, your perception of time becomes different than anything you’ve ever expereienced before. Busy is a bit of an understatement right now.

During orientation when we found out our Myers-Briggs Personality Type, (I’m an INTJ- Introverted Intuition with Extraverted Thinking), one of the descriptors for me was that I “abhor confusion, mess, and inefficiency” which is exactly what my life feels like right now.  Needless to say, I do abhor it. I get mad at myself everyday because I feel like I waste SO much time and I can’t figure out how. Everything from getting ready in the morning, to forgetting something that makes my day easier (lunch, a notebook or jumpdrive, etc.), to organizing my class assignments has been anything but efficient. I figured there would be some adjustment, but I didn’t expect to feel like a hot mess 24/7.  I’ve been brainstorming ways to tweak my habits and schedule a bit this weekend and came up with a few things that might work:

  • I just bought counter stools so I can sit at a “desk like” place to work (like I am now! heyyy!) which helps me concentrate. A no-brainer, but I first had to admit that I just couldn’t focus in front of the TV. 🙂
  • Keeping one binder with all of the upcoming week’s assignments divided by class. This cuts down on the number of binders and books I have to carry and lessens the chance of me forgetting something important when I’m thinking about 20 other things in the morning.
  • Wrapping my hair at night. For those of you unfamiliar with ethnic hair, African-American women can tie up their hair with rollers or “wrap” it around their head to keep it straight. Then when you wake up in the morning, your hair is smooth and ready to go, which saves you the time of styling it in the AM. The catch is not being lazy enough to skip this step before you go to bed.
  • Getting a new(er) car. I currently drive a white 1996 Camry. Good car, but after being on the road 13 years there’s a reason I fondly call her “Betty White.” Anyways, with all of her little mechanical issues, I just don’t have time to run to Auto Zone or the mechaninc when the CHECK ENGINE light comes on, or there’s a bad noise to be investigated. This, by the way, happened everyday during the first week of classes, lol. So I found something a little newer, which should save me the hassle of dealing a car when I can focus on class.

Speaking of focusing on class, I should go so I can get some reading in before I watch Dallas Divas (or whatever it’s called) tonight. 🙂

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.

Ack!

After a busy end of last week and an even busier weekend (undergrad homecoming!) I’m back to the grind of what looks like a very busy Sunday evening.  By the end of my time here at Fisher and OSU I will be a professional multi-tasker…as I write this article I am catching up on Project Runway and once I am done writing this I will still be watching Project Runway and writing an email to my group for my “Business 101” class. Then I will be running through some talking points for my interview tomorrow (insert music from Jaws here) and then finally reading for class on Wednesday…in bed…which means I’ll make it through 5 pages before falling asleep.  But I planned for that don’t worry.

“Business 101” is actually Business for the HR Professional and it is like getting your MBA in one quarter.  Only not as intense.  No where near as intense.  I’m really glad it is required though because I definitely will feel more confident after this class about the business world and how organizations really work.  I’ll also be veryyyy well versed on the Banking Bailout, which is the project topic my group picked.  We are presenting a lovely power point presentation in class this Thursday.  My group is made up of three other girls and myself and I couldn’t be happier with us all.  We are very productive and efficient and get along really well together.  We’ve had two group meetings and assigned different parts of the project and then we will meet this week two times before class to run through the presentation.  We also did a short presentation this past Thursday which went pretty well.  By the time I’m done at Fisher my fear of public speaking will be completely eliminated.

And yes I have an interview tomorrow.  I also have one on Tuesday.  I feel much more confident about tomorrow because it’s actually for the company my Dad has worked for since the early 90’s so at least I have something going for me.  Tuesday is another story….I felt compelled to sign up to be preselected for every interview I possibly could and now I’m thinking that was a bad idea because the industry of Tuesday’s company is not my cup of tea.  But at least it will be good practice and who knows…maybe I will change my mind.

So I’m off to be busy and productive with my time and to keep on talking to myself about myself in preparation for tomorrow.  Wish me luck!!!!

ECP

On October, 2nd, I met my English Conversation Speaking Partner Brooke who is an awesome first year student in OSU!

I decided to participate in the English Conversation Partners (ECP) program offered by Office of International Affairs (OIA) and that’s how I was assigned Brooke.

The ECP program is designed to help international students like me, get adjusted and transition to OSU and life in the United States quickly.

I was initially unable to attend the ECP orientation on Sep, 29th, as I had to attend the Shell information Session at Fisher. And I thought I may not be matched with any conversation partners. But I received an email titled “Hello from your Conversation Partner” and I was ecstatic to have been assigned one partner anyway. I was also very thrilled when I learnt that she works in Fisher and felt pretty lucky.

 

I was so excited to meet and talk with Brooke at the Brennen’s Cafe in the Architecture building and never wanted our conversation to end that day. Fortunately, We will be meeting for at least an hour every week! And so we both picked Friday which worked great for both of us!!!!!

I thought fate has some hand in bringing us together for many reasons. Her undergraduate major is marketing, and so was mine in my undergrad! She has applied for some part-time jobs in Fisher, which is my dream part-time working place! Now she is working in Fisher while I am studying in Fisher. Also, we both like dancing and education. And we both can’t wait to meet next Friday and go to Rag-A-Rama and buy some fun discount clothing! I am now trying to find more similar characteristics between us. 

I have some American peers, but it is Brooke that made me feel really comfortable interacting with Americans. I am trying to wonder what might be the reason and I can actually think of two. First, we share the same interesting terms of education. We really want to commit more to help the others become better and better. So she chose High Education as her graduate major while I attend master of labor and human resource program. And secondly, she is really open and willing to learn more about foreign countries. She has some learning experience in England and is very interested in Chinese culture. From my experience I have observed that many Americans focus on their own country, even limited to their hometown without considering the world or the voice outside of United States. When I spoke with some Americans, I was interested in them and their country, but didn’t find them reciprocate the same interest or emotions toward me and my country. But with Brooke, it was so different. We both exchanged a lot of interests and we both enjoy learning from each other. That’s awesome! 

This reminds me of what I said in one of my classes BUS-MHR863. I said: “So far, I have not found anything boring here, since I like anything new here. And I am thrilled to discover the differences. Those differences between China and America don’t mean that America is superior while China is inferior. We are now in an international program and we must all be open and learn form each other. We are born to win!”

(Eva helped me to refine the article, thank you , Eva!)

Star Wars Theme!

I thought I was having a hard time with all this school stuff, and then I heard my husband trying to roll his r’s (practicing for “Elementary Russian I”); he sounds like Chewbacca. It’s pretty awesome, and amusing (but don’t tell him I said that, or he’ll stop making my morning coffee).

Of course, the exciting world of FASB Codification sometimes makes me feel like I should be in “Elementary English” (so I can’t laugh too hard at Chewie, or I’ll start crying). As I was looking through its online pages a couple of days ago, when I experienced a nagging feeling that I’d done all this before… and then I realized why: the Ohio Building Code, and construction specifications. So there you go mom and dad, don’t be scared for me, architecture can prepare you for accounting.

And finally, because I can’t tie all this together, I will list the fun things I learned this past week.

1. Sticking with the “soundtrack to my life” theme could save me about 30 minutes of time when coming up with a post title.

2. Fisher students have free access to Rosetta Stone software (I’m hoping I can learn some French).

3. Printing out eleven copies of your weekly schedule (made in iCal or Outlook) is better than buying an organizer (but I might be the only one who thinks that).

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?

Thanks!!!