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First Semester Lessons Learned

First semester of the MAcc program was a wild whirlwind of experience gained, learning fast on my feet, and figuring out how to be an efficient and effective grad student. Here are my tips on how to be more successful in grad school.

Fall term 1, if you are searching for a job, that will be your life. You may look at your schedule and think, this is not so bad. It is. Before I started Dr. Dave Williams told me that the job search is like taking another class. As someone who was not used to the level of intense work required by the MAcc program, I would say it is like taking two extra classes. Job fairs, information sessions, and interviews will eat up the time you would have used to study, run errands, or just generally have a life.

But!- It gets better. Thrive a little while you survive by having a non-computer oriented hobby that is easy to start and stop when you have free time, like reading, crosswords, painting, knitting, or exercising. These can bust stress and remind you that there is a life outside of case studies and upper level math.

Stay at school and study during breaks – Whenever possible, do not use 2-3 hour breaks between classes at lunchtime to run errands. There is something about being surrounded by other people studying that makes starting and continuing your own homework easier. Having classmates around also means you can ask questions- and when appropriate, commiserate- about assignments.

Keep up – This is much easier said than done, especially in times like Fall term 2 when my combination of classes required about 10 hand-in assignments due the second week of classes. If you fall behind in your reading or understanding, do not use that as an excuse to not do the reading for current classes. Picking up later in the class is better than never getting current, but it is extremely taxing to keep up with classes and trying to catch up at the same time, and you will not be able to learn everything you have missed.

Don’t be afraid to take MBA classes- I took Advertising and Leading and Managing Change last Fall and absolutely loved them. Business classes are a great opportunity to learn interesting non-accounting topics and meet people outside of the MAcc program.

Finally, if you are not a morning person and have to take an early class, try to arrange a break afterwards that is long enough for you to go home and take a nap afterwards. Like my other tips, it will give you a little more peace of mind.


Back in the Saddle

It’s good to be back at Fisher. Winter break is always a fun time for graduate students, but it always has to come to an end.

Returning to campus is a time to meet up with friends and classmates to discuss what has taken place in the past few weeks since everyone has been in class. It is pretty exciting to hear about all the exciting places my classmates visited during the break. Some of them returned home to various parts of the United States, others flew home to India, China, and parts of Europe. A good handful of classmates celebrated their honeymoons and spent the majority of their time on tropical beaches enjoying 85 degree weather and sunshine.

For me, the return to school marks the last big holiday break that I will ever experience as a student. 75% of the MBA is completed and the finish line is now in sight. This doesn’t signify that things are over, or are slowing down by any means, but it does signify that the end of a good thing is quickly coming to an end.finish-line

These next two terms are pretty exciting for most MBA students – it can be felt in the air. First year students are wandering the halls, dressed in business professional, anxiously preparing for their next internship interview. I remember those times. Hectic and fun all in one! While the first years run around interviewing, most second years are enjoying the freedom of selecting electives and socializing with one another before they graduate and part ways. It’s almost a surreal feeling.

Either way you look at it, returning from the winter break is always a fun time at business school, regardless of if your a first year or second year student. As I said before, there’s a feeling of excitement in the air and it is a joy to take part in it.


Marketing Hop 2013

 

This December I was a part of Marketing Hop, organized by Fisher’s student organization, Association for Marketing Professionals (AMP). Marketing Hop is an annual three day, multi-state trip during Winter Break that arranges for students to visit ad agencies, meet with marketing teams of major corporations and get a feel for a day in the life of a marketer.

photo (4)After a 5:45am departure time the morning after our last final, we

photo (7)said adieu to Columbus, and headed north on a chartered bus. Our first stop on the tour was Ford’s North American headquarters in Detroit , MI. We met with four members of Ford’s branding team, who walked us through several case studies including their successful use of content marketing with the Fiesta. After a photo-opp in the lobby, we headed across the street to one of Ford’s main ad agencies, Team Detroit, who presented the creative process and gave a tour of their jean-clad creative workspace. Potbelly sandwiches were awaiting us when we climbed back into the bus, and we happily settled in for the 5 hour drive to Chicago.

photo (8)

We arrived in Chicago to a party in our honor – an alumni event at Edelman on the 60th floor of a downtown hi-rise. We enjoyed mixing with 30 alumni, including Edelman’s President. We returned the next morning for a panel discussion with Edelman managers on communications strategy before heading to Hillshire Farms and wrapping up the visit with a trip to Ogilvy’s Chicago office.

photo (3)

 

The Hop wasn’t all business – we also had an amazing 5-course meal at the super-foodie Perennial Virant and show-cased our skills at a karaoke bar. 

The trip was a great way to see Marketing in action – and an even better chance to make some lasting friendships with classmates. I will definitely be going on Marketing Hop 2014!

 


We Came, We Saw, We Conquered…


john1

To say the past month has been a whirlwind would be a huge understatement. Everyone in Gerlach Hall has been incredibly busy with classes ending, exams approaching, interview prepping and of course all of the fun extracurricular activities that happen at Fisher this time of the year. The most famous of these events is the Fisher Auction.

For those of you who have not experienced the Fisher Auction, it is a night where all of the current students and alumni dress up and head over to the Blackwell Ballroom to partake in both a silent and live auction. Some of the popular items to bid on are things like a dream ride in one of Professor Rucci’s classic cars, the chance to have Dean Wruck come into your class and sing happy birthday to you, and attending a Clipper’s game with Professors Hill and Gray. There are of course some unpopular items as well, like, for example, a date with a current classmate… which did not go for as high of a price as originally hoped (sorry Andy, but I’m sure you and Joey will have a great time).

I feel like I walked away with the best prize of the night, which was a ticket on the 50-yard line to the OSU vs. Michigan game along with a fully catered (and stocked) tailgate beforehand accompanied by Professor Mitchell, our first-year core marketing professor.

The trip was downright awesome. JP Prescott, my fellow auction winner and friend, and I headed to Ann Arbor at 5am and met up with Professor Mitchell and her friend Chuck. Chuck is a big Michigan fan, but we were able to easily overlook this due to the fact he hooked us up with the tickets and a spot right next to the stadium to tailgate at. He also took the liberty of getting some of the best food I’ve ever had at a tailgate…major shout out to Professor Mitchell on getting him to agree to donate all of this to a couple of Ohio State fanatics on his own turf.

john2Also, due to the great location of our tailgate, there were plenty of opportunities to get pictures of both teams, both bands and both cheerleading squads entering the building.

Obviously this great time was capped off by the incredible win the Buckeyes had over the Wolverines…which was an awesome thing to witness in the heart of the Big House. The coolest part, however, was getting the opportunity to have this experience with both a fellow classmate and my professor. This is something that really doesn’t happen at other B-schools schools, but at Fisher it is encouraged. I am looking forward to Follies next year, and continuing to be involved at Fisher. Fisher Follies, along with AMP and Innovation Fisher, are all clubs that have caught my interest!


Bid Often & Bid High

Back in November, Fisher Follies held their yearly auction – and it was an INCREDIBLE NIGHT. Now, I am on the Follies Steering Committee, so I might be a little biased :)

For those who don’t know, Fisher Follies is a student organization with a lot heart and even more personality. Follies strives to celebrate and leverage the camaraderie of all Fisher students, faculty and staff in order to raise money for the “Fisher Community Fund”. This is a special fund that assist Fisher students who find themselves facing unexpected hardships. Bottom line, it strengthens the Fisher family and allows us to help another. Which in one of my favorite things about this school.

Auction items are donated by faculty, staff and students and range in all sizes and prices. There is a Silent and Live Auction, so the event is great for everyone.

For the Silent Auction, I donated coffee for a week – you text me, I bring you coffee! Other examples of donations include beautifully decorated cookies, dinner for two at Hyde Park, rounds of golf, even manual labor!

The Live Auction is where the big items come to the spotlight. These include tickets for the OSU/Michigan game, a private tour of the Watershed Distillery, brewing beers with Professor Campbell and rides in one of Professor Rucci’s classic cars. The list goes on and on — I had to keep a tight grip on my purse, I wanted to bid on everything!!

The prizes are fantastic, and the entire evening is full of laughs…and quite a bit of competitive bidding. Students dress up in cocktail attire (hey, it beats business professional) and make it a night to remember.

The next Follies event is the Variety Show in February – see you there!

Lindsey and I ready for the night!

 

Auctioneers bidding off “Pie a Michigan Fan!”

 

Good lookin’ group of 1st Year MBAs

 

This little princess came to the auction as well!

 

Todd (1sr yr MBA) and Jenn (Fisher Advisor) having a blast at the Follies Auction

 


MAcc Autumn Reception

Last week the MAcc class gathered together for the Autumn Reception at the faculty club to celebrate the successful end of the first semester of the program. The evening started with appetizers and cocktails, and then we were treated to a dinner consisting of salad, pasta, potatoes, chicken, and a slew of other dishes. With finals being the week before, my diet mainly consisted of pizza rolls and coffee so it was a welcome change of pace to get some “real” food in my system.

After dinner Delanie Britton, graduate of the MAcc class of 2013, spoke to us about how the program helped shape her career and shared some life advice from her perspective as a recent graduate. I thought it was a great learning experience and it was very cool to see how alumni of the program feel the connection to come back on occasions like this.

MAcc Class of 2014

Finally, to wrap up the ceremony several faculty shared their thoughts on how the first semester went. Professor Anil Arya stood out in my mind, not only because of the advice he shared, but because I didn’t realize that accounting teachers could be so funny! It was a great end to the night and put everyone in a very light mood as we headed out on winter break.

 With that, I hope you all have a Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year!


The Man with a bowtie

As a Buckeye undergrad, I am no stranger to Dr. Gee and his adorable bowtie. He was President of Ohio State for my entire undergraduate career and the first year of my MBA program. On November 18, some Fisher students has the pleasure of having lunch with Dr. Gee and learning more about his background, views on OSU and how to keep energy and passion in your life.

Dr. E. Gordon Gee has been president of West Virginia University,  Vanderbilt, Brown and Ohio State (twice – because we are that awesome). In 2010, Time Magazine rated Gee one of the top 10 college presidents in the United States.

During the lunch, Dr. Gee talked about his love for Ohio State. He explained that it was a challenge, and opportunity, to pull together all the departments at OSU. The diversity allowed for connections to be made  by the OSU Medical Center, the College of Law, the College of Engineering and the Business School. He outlined his view of Fisher being tied to the integrity of the University and that it is essential for the university as a whole to constantly reinvent itself.

I thought it was refreshing to hear a leader talk openly about making mistakes – but also about learning from the past and moving forward. Dr. Gee emphasized the need to stay true to yourself, “Even if I failed, I made sure  I was going to do it having fun and with personality.” Students asked about dealing with criticism – and in typical  Gee fashion – the man just laughed. He said that he has received enough criticism till fill hundreds of books and that it typically isn’t about you as a person, but your actions.

Gee’s 5 keys too success:

  • Have self-confidence
  • Play to your own strengths
  • Have thick skin
  • Have a sense of humor
  • Have nerves like sewer pipes
  • Keep your passion – “If you don’t believe in what you’re doing, you want last very long”

Gordon Gee Brutus!
Could this man be any more adorable!?

My favorite takeaway from the entire lunch was Dr. Gee’s take on family and balance. He told how he is a workaholic, but looking back, regrets missing some important family moments. As he said, there is no substitute for a loving family, a good home and caring friends. 

 

 


My First Half Marathon!

Columbus in October is a pretty exciting time. Not only are the leaves changing color and the holidays near, it is a time where over 18,000 people gather together to run at least 13.1 miles before lunch. The Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon just completed its 12th annual run; however, for me, this would be my start.

So, you might ask, why in the world did I want to spend my morning running 13.1 miles around downtown Columbus and through different suburbs (click here for the course 

map)? Well, to be brief, essentially my mom. My mom, about three years ago, decided to pick up running as her new form of exercise and I thought she was crazy. She was not a runner in high school or college, but at the old age of 25 (she may or may not be lying about this) she decided it was time to change her exercise ways and find a new outlet. So, slowly, she would increase her walking to running as her goal was to complete a half marathon by the following year. Well, not only did she complete her first half marathon in less than a year, she then went on and signed herself up for another one, and another one, and another one after that.

My mom is what led me to pick up running myself, as it is a fantastic form of exercise and I know I can get a fantastic workout from it. I cannot tell you what great motivation my mom was in initially starting, as I could barely go over two miles without feeling like I was going to die. It takes time, but I now cannot fathom going even a couple days without this routine in my life. My mom then wondered why I wouldn’t sign myself up for a half marathon (as she completed about 6 already) and I told her there’s no way I could run that much.

Well, finally, after two years of running consistently, my mom forced me to run this half marathon with her and a couple of my siblings. Looking back, I cannot thank her enough as seeing that finish line was such an exhilarating experience for me. I am now signed up for another half in May and hopefully my family will run it with me. Oh, and the best part? I beat my brother (whose doesn’t train) by a couple minutes.

Could not have done this without my family!


Make Yourself Uncomfortable!

One of the coolest aspects of the Fisher MBA program has been the ability for me to get involved in things that allow me to get out of my comfort zone. This is a risk-free environment- why not?!

Classes:

I know that I will be entering into a marketing career upon graduation- because of this, I have viewed my 2nd year of school as a chance to take tough classes that will make me as well-rounded as possible. Both Intopia and Corporate Finance II have fit this bill for me:

Intopia: This is a business simulation class in which you and a team of two or three other people run a company in the PC and/or computer chip industry in one of three global markets. Decisions within all functional areas of business are required- finances, marketing, pricing, operations and R&D, just to name a few. As you can imagine- it is challenging and very complex!

Corp Fin II: This class takes a deep dive into mergers & acquisitions. The class is instructed by Senior Associate Dean Wruck, and has been the most worthwhile class I have taken during my time at Fisher. I have learned about analyzing mergers, acquisitions and corporate governance- which includes really cool subject matter like hostile takeovers, golden parachutes and poison pills. Take the class to learn what these crazy terms mean!

New Skills:

Last semester, I wanted to challenge myself to learn golf, and had an opportunity to sign up for lessons through the RPAC. I got together with a coach and three other trainees once a week to go over basic golf skills, including swing (yes, I can now effectively chip!), club selection, putting and even terminology. It provided great balance with class, and I now feel confident that I can practice this spring on a local course with classmates.

Teamwork:

Looking back on my experience so far, I am pleased that I have sought out unique teams for every elective class project in my second year. I feel that it is so valuable to hear different opinions and ways of thinking- if you continue to work with the same people for over and over, it will be hard to expand into new and different ways to solve problems.

My biggest piece of advice if you’re applying for or entering into the Fisher program- get involved in things that push you to your limits!


Operations, anyone?

Last week I had the opportunity to attend not one, but two Operations related Career Conference events and they were awesome! First, there was the Annual “Links Symposium” sponsored by the Operations and Logistics Management Association, and I volunteered to help organize this event, being a member of OLMA myself.

The half – day event was hosted at The Blackwell Inn, Fisher’s own hotel and Executive Conference Center. This year’s topic was Lean Management, and there were two discussion panels, one for Lean Management in Manufacturing and the other Lean Management in Services. For all the Ops and Supply Chain Majors out there, this was a fantastic opportunity to interact and network

At the OLMA Links Symposium

with the panelists, who were a mix of academic faculty and industry experts from companies such as Greif, Huntington, Cardinal Health etc. To top it all, we had a great moderator – Georgia Keresty, a lean expert with more than 30 + years of experience. 

The very next morning I attended an Operations Career Change Round table event hosted by the Working Professional MBA Program. Fisher’s apt selection of the panelists should not go unmentioned. The 4 WP panelists were each from different areas of Operations – the distribution side, Supply chain side, the IT side and the customer side. It led to a very interesting Q and A session where they shared valuable stories from their work experiences and advice on how we could better ourselves to become ideal hiring candidates for Operations Management roles in top companies.

The biggest perk in attending these kinds of events is that you get to meet such vibrant personalities who are willing to help you in your career any way they can . Drawing from their experiences is a big plus, and ultimately helps you in connecting with more people in the field of your interest. Kudos to Fisher faculty and the COE , for their amazing contributions year after year and a special thanks to Fisher alumni who are so eager to give back to the business community – you are invaluable resources to the current students and one of Fisher’s greatest assets.

And these networking events are right at your doorstep. My advice is to never let these chances slip, because these are golden opportunities that can lead to lifelong career connections. Boy, am I glad I came to Business school :)

With WP alums Megan and Jonathan at the Ops Career Change Roundtable


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