Columbus Day in Columbus: Discovering the New World

In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue…

Christopher Columbus Reaches the New World

On September 5, I set sail from Wichita, Kansas, in a black Ford pickup truck named Bullet — a little bit more comfortable than the Santa Maria. Instead of sailing west for a few months, my voyage took me east and lasted 14 hours.  I did learn, however, that the world is round and that it does not fall off after the Kansas-Missouri border.  Although my travels along I-70 will not lead to the naming of a city or holiday after me, the experience of discovering a “New World” justifies a blog post honoring Columbus in Columbus on Columbus Day.

I had the opportunity to visit Columbus for a campus visit in early January 2011.  The visit was a fantastic experience, and I would strongly encourage anyone who is interested in the Fisher College of Business to visit and experience the campus.  Although I had enjoyed my time in Columbus during my brief January visit, was a bit nervous as I approached the end of the summer.  I could find Columbus and the important parts of the OSU campus on a map, but I did not know the people, the places around town, or the things to do for fun.

It has now been a month since I have been a Columbus resident.  Just as it took some time for news of Christopher Columbus’ discovery to reach home, it has taken me a while to write about my experience on the Grad Life Blog.  But here I am, excited to share with the world that Columbus, Ohio, is a world-class city.

Every day over the past month, I have discovered something new and unique in this “New World.”  Over the next nine months, I look forward to sharing the people, places, and exciting opportunities I encounter in Columbus with the SMF Grad Life Blog.

Happy Columbus Day from Columbus!

How to Celebrate National Coffee Day in Columbus

I am a coffee enthusiast.  I love the smell, the taste, the look, the feel, and even the sound of all the different kinds of brewers.  You may be thinking “okay, this guy isn’t an enthusiast…he’s an addict”.  Fair enough – either definition will work.

Anyways, regardless of whether or not you love coffee like I do, coffee shops are an important part of the collegiate experience.  They are very popular places to go for group meetings, completing individual assignments, and to just pick up a tasty wake up call after a late night of studying.  As today is National Coffee Day, I thought it would be so appropriate for me to grab a cup of coffee and write about the coffee scene on campus and in Columbus.

We’re really kind of spoiled when it comes to coffee on campus.  Almost every library has its own coffee shop inside.  Thompson has the Berry Cafe, the SEL (Science and Engineering) has the Tera Byte Cafe, and Mason (business library…newly renovated!) has the Rohor Cafe.  On top of that, so many other buildings all across campus also have coffee shops inside, so no matter where you are you can get your fix!  We’re talking the RPAC (at both Courtside and Juice 2), McPherson (a chemistry lab), the Law school, Med school, Vet school, Hagerty Hall, Marketplace on Neil, the Union, and the Knowlton School of Architecture.

What’s more is not all of these locations serve the same kind of coffee, so you can pick and choose based on your preferences.  My personal favorite, Crimson Cup (a Columbus based shop!), is sold at the Berry Cafe, the Tera Byte Cafe, Marketplace on Neil, the Union, and the Knowlton School of Architecture.  The new Rohr Cafe at Mason serves Starbucks, as does McPherson, the Law School, Med School, and Vet School.  Hagerty Hall’s Crane Cafe serves Brennen’s (I am fairly certain, though I haven’t been in a long time) and the RPAC cafes serve Seattle’s Best.  Quite the variety you can pick from!

But there comes a time when you or your group just needs to get off campus to get your work done.  You want a place to work that’s close, has a friendly and fun environment, but will still allow you to finish your work.  Sounds like you’re looking for a coffee shop!  You’re in luck – there are so many coffee shops located off campus that make great meeting/work spaces.

To the north of campus, in Clintonville, is Crimson Cup (my personal favorite!).  Located on High Street, Crimson Cup is just north of Henderson road and thus easily accessible to students.  (I suggest biking or taking a bus.)

Crimson Cup Mocha...possibly the best drink they make!

Another great place to check out is Caribou Coffee.  There are four of these located close to campus…one to the north in Clintonville and three to the west of campus.  One of these to the west is on Lane Avenue, one is on Zollinger, and the third is in Grandview.  The Grandview location is probably the largest of the four and thus best suited for group work.

A fan favorite everywhere is Starbucks, and yes, Columbus has Starbucks.  There are some right on High street in the campus area (High and 14th), as well as locations in Clintonville and the Lennox shopping center.

Another local specialty is Staufs.  Staufs is in Grandview and makes one good cup of coffee…I would highly recommend checking them out.  This location also has larger tables and a slightly younger clientele, making it a great place for college students to be!

The Lennox shopping center, aside from the Starbucks I mentioned earlier, houses a Cup O Joe too.  I haven’t been here in a very long time, but I do know that Staufs and Cup O Joe recently came under the same ownership, so it must be good!  There is also a Cup O Joe in Clintonville on High Street.

Finally, in the immediate campus area (aka on High Street) you will find Brennen’s.  Brennen’s makes a solid cup of coffee, but can get very busy due to its proximity to campus.  Definitely stop in and give them a try though!

There are many more coffee shops in Columbus that I’m forgetting to mention (sorry guys!), and some of them are very close to campus!  Believe it or not, some of the shops not mentioned are shops I have not tried, but I do plan to soon.

SO: Whether you guzzle down the caffeine to stay awake, drink coffee to enjoy the taste, or just need a place to study, Columbus has you covered.  There will definitely come a time in your stay at Fisher that you’ll want a cup, and as you can see now, the choices are almost endless.

Happy brewing!

Ole Columbus Town

This blog is dedicated to the city I love and adore … Columbus, Ohio!  When I first thought of the theme for my next blog, I was inspired by my friends.  Then I tried to see if there were any good facts about how awesome Columbus is.  I know that it is one of the top LGBT friendly cities in America, one of the best places to move for recent college grads, and a number of other facts, but I could not find a website that listed a whole bunch of them.  So instead, I will use my own life to tell you about how awesome Columbus is.

I moved here about five years ago my freshman year of college, and fell in love immediately.  I think a lot of this obviously had a lot to do with Ohio State, but one thing that you will find out is that this entire city has Buckeye fever.  I knew that I really loved this city beginning my sophomore year.  Many of my friends would go home over the summer or over the winter and spring breaks back to their hometowns.  I haven’t spent more than probably 3 weeks back in my hometown in about 4 years.  Every time I do go home, it is always for a very brief time (never the majority of the break time).  Well another reason would be for the fact that my mother does not even really live in my hometown any more, and the one friend I still keep in contact with in high school just recently got a job in Columbus, so basically I do not have any real strong reasons to go back home other than to see my mom.

When I originally applied to graduate school last year, it was for a completely different field.  I loved Columbus, but I had not applied to Ohio State, so I was either going to be living in Athens or Oxford, Ohio (these cities will probably give you a hint of the schools I got rejected from).  On the day I received my diploma, I didn’t get my acceptance letter from Fisher for a little more than a week later.  Once I found out I wasn’t going to those other schools, I was determined to get some type of employment in Columbus if I did not get into graduate school here.  Now that I have had another year in this glorious city, I don’t ever want to leave.

Neither did any of my friends.  One of my good friends, who got her BSBA in HR at Fisher here, desperately tried to find entry level HR jobs in Columbus.  Unfortunately, she could not and ended up getting a job in Chicago.  However, she really misses Columbus, and is waiting until she’s been with her company for a year, before she starts to apply for jobs in Columbus (which should be easier now with some work experience).  Some of my friends had no other option to go home, but they made plenty of visits throughout the year.  Some of my friends even decided to take lower-level jobs just to stay in the city…eventually hoping to get jobs in their field.  One of my friends worked at a dry cleaner until she found at job around this past December, and one of my friends just recently quit her job at Hooter’s and found a marketing job.  The latter friend actually loves Columbus so much that she built a website about it and has gained a following through various social media.

Some of my friends who had to go back home were still determined find some type of employment in this city.  One of my friends just recently got a job in Columbus.  She is going to be a correctional officer, and has to work third shift, and is EXTREMELY happy.  Another acquaintance of mine just got a job at a bar near Polaris, and studying for the LSAT at the mean time (presumably to go Ohio State or Capital University, another school in Columbus, for law school).  They may not have the most ideal jobs, but the point is is that they are thrilled that they get to be back in this city.

This blog really doesn’t highlight any of the Columbus nightlife, restaurants, places to go, or anything like that.  I think actually a lot of the other MLHR bloggers have done a good job with that this year.  I think this shows you how infectious Columbus is, and how it pulls you back.  None of the people I have used as examples were born in Columbus, but they got extremely homesick after 4  years.  It may be harder to get into it as a graduate student and older (sorry but not nearly as fun…but still some good times!), but as for me, I never want to leave.

First HR Summit – successful!

Two Fridays ago was the first HR Summit held by GHRA (the professional development committee) and I have to say, kudos to them. It was held in the Fawcett Center from noon to four and people from all of Fisher was invited (although it was mostly HR students) as well as HR professionals from around Columbus.

Over lunch we had the opportunity to talk to everyone at the table. It was actually nice to be able to talk to one of the second years that I had never formally met before as well as a professional consultant, who had worked in HR for about ten years before starting his own consulting firm. I also shard a table with Amber, one of the other MLHR bloggers/first years, and an MBA student focused in finance. It was a great experience to talk to other students that I had never really had a chance to talk to before as well as a professional consultant.

After/during lunch, there was a speaker from Cardinal Health, who talked about the health care industry/Cardinal Health. It was interesting to hear his insight into how the new health care bill affects their business and, in turn, how it affects HR professionals. It was great to start with him because what he spoke about was more general HR information, not too much into the specifics. After he spoke, we had a little discussion/activity at our tables. We had the luxury of having a professional consultant at our table, so he helped lead the discussion in terms of where we should start when it came to solving the problem in the mini-case study. I learned so much about consulting in that 30 minutes, than I knew after about a year of the MLHR program, which is not a knock on the program, it just isn’t HR consulting focused. Also, it was interesting to hear from the MBA student at our table who wanted to look at solving the issue from a financial perspective instead of an HR perspective. After the activity we heard from a panel of two professionals, one lady from Nationwide Insurance who focuses on diversity and Steve Russell, the Chief People Officer, at McDonald’s. Both professionals discussed the issue of diversity and how it relates to HR. They answered questions from one of the second year GHRA executive board members about what their company’s definition of diversity was and how they handle diversity. Finally, we had our last speaker from Nationwide, who also summarized what her company does and then lead a discussion about anything we wanted to talk about further.

I certainly hope next year that the new GHRA professional development committee and our new president (hint hint Shawn H.) will continue this tradition.

Gourmet Food on the Cheap

In another attempt to bring you ideas on how to save money, this one may not be considered as strong as my last post. I mean, we are still talking about gourmet food here — you’re going to drop at least $15 a person. But these plates will take you to some of the best restaurants in Columbus at heavily discounted prices. It was even featured on NPR WOSU, so you know it’s cool. And if you make your reservations fast, you’ll get to partake! They call it Restaurant Week and it begins today, Monday January 17th through the 22nd. Prices range $15-$35 a plate for a fixed multi-course menu. What’s more? Restaurant Week benefits the Mid-Ohio Foodbank. I’m going to try the Melting Pot with my boyfriend, just $30. Or you can check out Hyde Park or Cameron’s for the same price, and Mitchell’s Steakhouse or the Refectory for just $5 more.

To peruse other participating restaurants and their menus, as well as phone numbers to make reservations, go to:

Concerts in Columbus

I will gladly admit that I am a HUGE music fan. In fact, between playing an instrument and listening to music, I would say that music in general is by far my favorite hobby/pastime. Considering this, one of my biggest concerns of moving to Columbus was the question: “is Columbus a good music scene?” (I honestly asked that question on my tour when I came and visited Fisher during the admissions process). It’s only been a few weeks into the quarter, but I think it is safe to say yes – Columbus is a great place for concerts and music in general.

I am declaring this for two big reasons. The first being that the city of Columbus, OH is a decently-sized city – definitely big enough to be on the map of all major music tours across the country. One big concert destination for these traveling acts of musical entertainment is called the Newport and it is conveniently located directly across the street from the student union. In the small time that I’ve lived here, there’s already been a plethora of musical goodness to grace the stage at Newport including some really big names such as Guster. In the next month, other acts for Newport include, but are not limited to: Ingrid Michaelson, Michael Franti & Spearhead, and Jonsi (from Sigur Ros). Basically what I’m getting at is that Newport is a great place for some great bands, and I really like it because it’s so close to campus. And of course, there are some other great venues around town – I just haven’t had the chance to venture out to them yet.

The second big reason behind Columbus being deemed a great place for music is the same reason it’s a great town in general – OSU. With one of the biggest and best universities in the country, you’re bound to have some great performers that are willing to come for a visit. Not to mention that the Ohio Union Activities Board (OUAB) seems to do a fantastic job of ensuring that our student activity fees are spent on quality entertainment. This last Thursday I had the pleasure of seeing Iron & Wine for free in the student union. John Legend is playing for free tonight as I type this, and next week I will be going to the comedic stand up act of Aziz Ansari. On top of all this, with such a diverse student body that attends the Fisher College of Business, you can quickly come across other individuals with similar tastes in music. Personally, the quickest way I have expanded my musical knowledge is through my friends (new and old) that just knew about all these great artists that I had never heard of. Basically, with the students of Fisher you can find similar interests in anything with at least someone, and music has been no exception.

Overall I am pumped that OSU and Columbus is such a great scene for music. If you are a proud music-buff like me, be sure to take advantage of all the concerts they have here. On a final note, the one band that I am anxiously holding my breath for would be The Black Keys – they started their musical career here in Ohio and I think it would be really cool to see them in the state where they started it all (I just checked and at least through next March, they have no plans to stop in OH, so I’ll be crossing my fingers for some time between March and our June graduation). Below is a concert poster for the Black Keys by one of my favorite artists, Tyler Stout. I know it’s not for a show in OH, but I wanted to get some color in this post.

The Black Keys Concert Poster
A Black Keys Poster by Tyler Stout

Thanks for reading (now go check out all the links to the great bands above by clicking the embedded hyperlinks),


New to Columbus? Prepare for some unpredictable weather

Living in Columbus, or Ohio for that matter, you have to get used to the unpredictable weather. I can’t tell you how many times during my undergrad career at OSU I woke up in the morning to sunshine, went to class in sandals, and lost a toe to frostbite on the way home because it was snowing. (I’m down to 7.) What I’m really trying to get at is that when you leave your house/apt./RV/houseboat in the morning, make sure you bring attire for a vast array of weather and temperatures. Dress in layers, utilize the provided lockers in Gerlach Hall, keep a jacket in your car. Not only is the weather unpredictable outside but in the classrooms at Fisher as well. If it’s warm outside, chances are they are pumping the A/C at Fisher so keep a sweatshirt in your locker.


The great Columbus community

I have noticed in the last couple of weeks as we prepare for the What If summit ( and as I have been in contact with prospective speakers, that Columbus – Ohio is really a place full of people who have a wide range of world class talent.  Also, it seems like Columbus is a business community that works together and promotes each other so well it’s a wonder to behold. It has been patently obvious to me that there are many successful professionals willing to share their experiences and help others success, as well as contribute to grow the Columbus community. Fisher is lucky to be part of such a community and to be surrounded by so many individuals willing to share with us.

Some great examples  that have started in the locality and are showing a great potential for sustainable success are:

  • Jeni Britton – Jeni’s ice-cream:    built on hard work, innovation and talent, Jeni has grown her business by doing fair business with farmers and suppliers. Jeni is an artist with huge passion for her business and tremendous humbleness despite her success. Great person to meet and inspiration for entrepreneurship!!!
  • Kelly Mooney– Resource Interactive: Kelly Mooney is a super successful and humble woman with an innovative and creative mind. She is considered a widely influential thought leader and spokesperson in the digital and multichannel arenas, and she is one of the feature speakers for the What If summit. Meeting her last week was a great pleasure and it was really fun to see how she and Professor Bills can talk about innovation for hours!! But the most important part is that regardless her extremely busy agenda she is always willing to share her thoughts with students and help MBA students understand better the Innovative world.
  • Maren Roth – Rowe: Maren shared her love for clothes and her journey into the boutique business.  She said that since she was 5 years old, she knew that one day she would have her own fashion style. “Having your own business is very hard, but you have to try it” Maren said. She also suggested to try to get as much help as possible from friends and family especially at the beginning; it is a great way to get things done!!
  • Steve Weaver– Candle Lab: I got to know this place through a social activity hosted by Fisher Board Fellows. It was a really fun experience and a great place to create your own candle. Steve and his wife started the Candle Lab business due to their passion for candles and in a very short time they have expanded into several locations around Columbus. Steve mentioned that working with his wife is fun and challenging at the same time but at the end of the day they both are very happy with their business and their dream is to create a better community around every Candle Lab shop they open.

Jeni, Kelly, Maren and Steve are only a small sample of the great talent and things that are being created in Columbus. We are lucky to be in a city where its people really care about making a better community everyday. What can we Fisher MBAs do to make our community better?

Winter Warning

There is no doubt about it: the Columbus winter is harsh.  For the past seven years I have taken great pride in my ability to survive the winters of New Haven, CT and New York City.  When I decided to move back to Ohio, I never thought twice about the Ohio winter.  I clearly underestimated its potential.

Since the beginning of the month it has snowed pretty much every day.  Although the accumulation has not been too heavy, it has been an obnoxious amount capable of covering my car, which inevitably delays my departure for class by 15 minutes every morning.  Not only is it constantly snowing, it is absolutely freezing outside.  It is so cold, that I succumbed to driving to the gym a few days ago.  Although this might not sound bad, you should know that the gym is about 300 meters from my place and is clearly visible from my apartment.