$291.81 + tax – The cost of getting a bit smarter…

Classes start in a few days…

This upcoming Thursday (9/24) will be the beginning of my two-year journey towards  an MBA degree while working fulll-time in the American corporate world.

While I spent my first weekend catching up on pre-class assignments and readings, I couldn’t help but add up the initial investment towards this graduate-level education.  So far I have no complaints on this investment, but for those of you who still haven’t purchased the textbooks, here is a sneak peek on what to expect if you are purchasing new editions:WPMBABooks

MBA 812:
1) “The Mystery of Capital: Why Capitalism Triumphs in the West and Fails Everywhere Else” – $13.56
2) MBA 12 Custom Book – $91.45
3) MBA 812 Uniprint Course Packet – $51.42

MBA 870:
1) “Super Crunchers” – $14.00
2) “Data Analysis and Decision Making with Microsoft Excel” – $121.38

Yes…the total just for the face value of these textbooks is nothing less than $291.81!
However, as one of the professors offered during the orientation session, it may be wise to see if you can borrow or buy a last year edition from a second-year WPMBA student, the text will be identical.

Author disclaimer: prices were quoted from Barnes and Noble online and may vary depending on the bookstore.

at the Ohio State University…RPAC

One of the biggest advantages of the Fisher MBA program is that it is a small sized program within a large university. Literally the Ohio State University is the largest university in the US.

The university campus is simply huge. To give you a glimpse of the campus, over the quarter, I will cover significant parts of the campus in a series of posts under the title ‘at the Ohio State University’, consider it a virtual tour ;). The RPAC or the Recreation and Physical Activity Center  is our first stop. It is located just south of ‘the shoe’ (I will cover that in a subsequent post).  RPAC is a wonderful facility which includes the following:

  • Fitness floor, approximately 27,500 square feet in size.
  • Basketball, badminton, racquetball, squash and volleyball courts
  • Jogging/walking track
  • Swimming pools, diving well and dive spa
  • Massage therapy center
  • Wellness center
  • Table tennis and pool tables
  • Sports shop
  • Golf stations
  • even a crèche.

It is an experience to just go around it once, it will take a really long time I bet. Amazingly whenever I go there I find so many people there. It starts like at 5:45 a.m. and closes at mid-night, but it is always packed with people. One tip I can give you is about lockers, they are limited and hence if you are planning to be regular, it would be good to apply for the lockers early in the quarter. There is a lottery system so even if you apply you are not guaranteed. But I was told if you don’t get it in a particular quarter and if you are still interested then you are given preference in the next quarter. You’ll have to use the day locker till then. I still don’t know if I managed to get one this quarter ;-).

It is a place full of energy and it gets you pumping. So those of you who never been to the RPAC before, I suggest you go and check it out.

Hunt for the Great White Internship

Part of the First Year MLHR experience is the internship hunt.  For those first years out there, let me pass down a little bit of advice.  From what I have heard, a lot of you are pretty stressed out.

So you know there is this perfect internship out there for you with the perfect company.  You don’t know exactly what it looks like or where it is going to be.

Excuse the deep sea fishing analogies, but it is kind of like traveling into unknown waters and going after something that is somewhat elusive and even a bit scary.

Here is the good news.  When you go deep sea fishing, the biggest part of the voyage is being prepared.  Having the right tools, a steady vessel, and a good crew makes the journey so much more fun. (Well that and a cooler full of beer).

The tools you need for your internship hunt are a polished resume, a practice run (mock interview), a nice suit, and well developed responses.  These are all things that you can do to prepare.

The vessel to get you there should be your individual characteristics, why companies want you over the 20 other people applying, the experiences in your life that make it a good fit.  These are things that you should be very familiar with, after all, you know yourself better than anyone.

A good crew on a deep sea hunt is vital.  Career services is that crew.  Make sure you keep them up to date, ask them questions, make networking connections, really take advantage of everything they offer.

If you really give it your all, the big fish will start coming to you.  Good luck to all of you first years out there!

Rather be Fishing,

Lauren

Universal Studios Orlando Florida Jaws*Jaws @ Universal Studios

Real World MHR 843

I signed up for an elective MHR 843 with Professor Rodek.  Going into it, I had heard good things about the professor and needed to take an elective and it happened to fit my schedule.  Did I have a genuine interest about Org. Change and Turnaround?  Probably not.

We had our first class today and TaDa.  Boom.  It hit me!

I am going to love this class.  First, we have a tremendous amount of knowledge and background diversity which is more reflective of the Real World than any class I have previously taken at Fisher in the MLHR program.

Second, Professor Rodek has Real World experience in the subject he is teaching.  Not discounting and of the other wonderful professors I have had.  It is just very refreshing to take a class where the professor can provide insights and stories and analogies to actual experiences and not just teach us directly from a text.

Finally,  in today’s economy of bankruptcy, mergers, restructures, and reorganizations, this class is going to prepare me for when it happens to me in … The Real World.

Needless to say, I am looking forward to this class.  I will keep you posted on how it is going, but at this point I recommend it to any MLHR student needing an elective because we are going to be facing these types of challenges in future careers!

Getting to Know You, Getting to Know All About You!

If there is one thing I learned in my first year of the MLHR program, is the importance of building relationships.  Throughout our careers, we are going to be subject to hundreds of networking events.  Some good, some not so good.  In my personal experience, however, the relationships you build here at Fisher are going to last a lifetime.

Grad school is an influential part of our lives and can in some way even define who we are.  That first day of classes, when we go around the room and do introductions, you may find people you have things in common with, and you may find people who have life experiences very foreign to your own.

My advice to incoming first years, don’t dismiss this.  Take a valid interest in getting to know each and every one of your classmates.  Everyone has something to offer.  Part of this will come with time through the countless group projects.  Others will be social contacts.

My point is, give it some heart.  Genuinely care about what people have to say and don’t dismiss new thoughts and ideas.  Yes in grad school we are learning course material, but more so, we are learning how to be high performance individuals.

Don’t forget:  second year students, professors, and other faculty and staff are invaluable resources.  For first years, when you are hunting for internships, and for alumni when you are looking for new positions, the people you get to know at Fisher will always be there.

Get to know them!

If only I could be in two (or more) places at once!

While at the Fisher Student Organizations Fair this Monday, I concluded that there are enough student activities that I could literally spend 24/7/365 doing things related to Fisher!

I am definitely interested in several of the organizations, especially the Fisher Board Fellows, which places about 16 MBA candidates on boards of local non-profit organizations. What a wonderful way to give back to the community while growing your business skills! I’m also considering the Center for Operational Excellence, because of all the interesting work involving Six Sigma and Lean. While interviewing, I had the pleasure of meeting Peter Ward, the director of the Center, and was really intrigued by all the projects being pursued. I noticed the sign-up sheets for most of the organizations were getting pretty full, so it seems like the class of 2011 is definitely ready to get involved!

I’m looking forward to the Fisher experience over the next 21 months – not just the coursework, but the chance to really explore new ventures and meet motivated, engaged students and faculty.

Have a great first week of classes!

Stacey

Int’l students, get your calculators ready…

65 mph.

I immediately regretted not reviewing my “conversion of measurement units” skills. Although that road sign was a clear signal that I was in fact in the US.

Miles and not kilometers; Fahrenheit not Celsius; US dollars not Philippine pesos – I had a lot of converting to do. And besides the currency, I only dealt with these units in some mathematics classes.

One mile is around 1.6 kilometers. Walking this distance takes about 15 minutes. I would know. I am staying in the South Campus (Neil Building) while the Fisher campus is on the North. It isn’t so bad (in my opinion). The air is starting to become chilly so you would not be drenched in sweat.

Temperature is still a bit tricky for me, just because the formula is a bit more complicated to do in your head.

0F = ((9/5)* 0C) +32

As a general guide though (i.e. deciding what to wear), 800 is a warm day. 600 is a bit chilly. And 320 is the freezing point of water, so beware. I have not actually experienced freezing conditions yet – the leaves are just starting to change colors. I am just looking forward to seeing snow. I’ll worry with the cold later.

With currency, my advice – stop converting, especially if everything turns out to be expensive. Accept that you are receiving dollars so you do need to spend in dollars and not, in my case, pesos. Only then would you not feel guilty of spending $12 dollars, plus tips on a haircut when you need to spend just about a dollar back home. :p

Fisher Orientation, it begins…….!

Hello Fisher Friends!

Thank you to all the Fisher staff and professors for organizing such a complete, resourceful and fun orientation program. It was a very warm welcome and we certainly appreciate all the effort and time put on the event. There were many things I enjoyed from Orientation, but here are my top 10 memories of orientation:

  1. International orientation: Very important to understand cultural differences and how to overcome with them. Take advantage of all the resources for international students (English and American culture classes) and let’s succeed as international students!!
  2. Warm Welcome: Was choosing Fisher College of Business the right choice? YES!!! Congratulations!! We are in an outstanding program within a wonderful university, and with people willing to help as succeed and have the best experience ever.
  3. Going Global: It was fun to see how Fisher students are gaining unique experiences around the world and exciting to know all the options the Office of International Programs have to offer!
  4. Career Management: Impressive display of resources and personal approach that every staff member in the career management offers to students. Definitely something to take advantage of!
  5. Leadership and Professional Development: Need to develop leadership and professional skills? YOU WILL, get ready for Professors Inks and Rucci’s input in your careers!
  6. Key note Speakers:Three successful professionals: Neil Currie (global perspective for MBA’s), Craig Morrison, (how to succeed as MBA’s), and Dr. James Waldroop (career leader assessment).
  7. Networking: Let’s be ready to network at ALL the times! Carry business cards and resumes, talk to guest speakers, have your elevator speech ready. We never know who is mysteriously recruiting in Fisher!
  8. Discovering ourselves and team members: Exciting to discover several aspects of our personality, career paths and social styles. Teamwork is learning about the differences and understanding them! Good Luck Teams!
  9. Summit Vision:Extremely fun and adventurous! Great exercise and effective tool for teambuilding J.
  10. How to survive MBA life: Basics in excel, how to present a report, how to elaborate an answer, time management; and learning from second year student’s experience was tremendously useful.

Good luck to Everyone and welcome to an exciting adventure!!

MBA Candidate 2011

Back to School

It’s the night before my first day of business school and I don’t know how to describe my feelings.  Does “reluctant anticipation” make sense to anyone?

Don’t get me wrong…  I am definitely excited about the start of classes.  This is something I have wanted to do for a long time.  Earning my MBA from Fisher College will provide me the business skills necessary to think both critically and strategically about leadership and management.  What more could I ask, right?

Well, I am reluctant to begin this journey because for the first time in my life I am behind on schoolwork before classes have officially begun.  You might be wondering, “How is it possible to be behind in something that hasn’t actually started?”   Don’t worry, this is not some theoretical question.  (Remember, my personality is ESTP… theories and conceptual problems bore me.)  The answer is really quite simple: three out of my five classes have work due on the first day of class.

The good news is that I am almost finished with my homework and I will be ready to dive into my MBA experience head first.  Wish me luck.

Joe

Why Fisher?

After graduating this past spring from The University of Findlay (small private university in Northwest Ohio), I had a very difficult decision to make about where I wanted my career path to go.  To complicate things, I accepted an offer to work full-time as a cost accountant at Guardian Automotive Industries well before considering the MAcc program which made choosing between the opportunities I was later presented with all that much harder to choose between.

After randomly deciding to take the GMAT based on a recommendation from a friend; I decided to apply to the MAcc programs at Ohio State and that school up north after it was recommended by a professor at UF (as a die-hard Buckeye fan who has never lived outside of Ohio, I’m still shocked that I considered attending that school up north so heavily).  After being accepted at each institution, I visited each school and felt much more comfortable with the environment, weather, people, parking situation, location… and of course the sports teams at Ohio State.  The administration at Fisher showed me that they were genuinely concerned about every student and I felt very comfortable with the atmosphere.

After graduation, I knew that I would have a difficult decision between staying at Guardian and going back to school.  During my short time at Guardian, I was exposed to a wide variety of accounting tasks and learned a lot about what it takes to be a successful cost account.  After a great deal of deliberation, I ultimately chose to go back to school based on the countless opportunities and resources that I will have access to at Fisher.

I’m looking forward to a great year in the MAcc program!