I took a trip to Ann Arbor, MI… and liked it!

Last weekend, I had the pleasure to travel to Ann Arbor (home of OSU’s arch rival) for the 2010 Net Impact Conference.  For those of you who do not know, Net Impact is a global organization that focuses on changing the world through business.  Fisher College of Business is home to a two-time award winning local graduate chapter of Net Impact of which I am proud to be a member – VP of Marketing and Communications, actually.  That’s right!  Not only do I get to follow my passion (I have a previously underutilized BS in Environmental Health) and be a part of this wonderful group of like-minded students, but I also get to hold a leadership position as a first-year MBA!  Yet another perk of the small, close-knit Fisher community.

Perhaps the most simplistic, yet most profound quote of the weekend came from Chet Gesechickter of GTM Research during the Future of Smart Grid Communities panel discussion: 

Things aren’t smart.  People are.  We need to give people the information [they need] to make the right choices and force the changes to the system.

It really can be that simple.  Get the information to the people so they can make informed decisions that will ultimately help us all.

In addition to great panel discussions and amazing keynote speakers – like Gary Hirshberg of Stonyfield Farm –  the conference offered us a break from midterms and some time to recharge.  Often, the most important part of any conference is the extra time that you get to spend with your fellow classmates.  The Net Impact Conference was no exception.  We debated sustainable topics, we brainstormed sustainable ideas and we taught one of our International classmates some American nuance and slang.  We had so much fun together!  And now we are back in Columbus fully charged and ready to make a Net Impact at Fisher!

Most Valuable Resources

Time, time, time, see what’s become of me… while I looked around for my possibilities.  I was so hard to please.  Look around, leaves are brown and the sky is a hazy shade of winter.      – Simon & Garfunkel

Don’t worry: it’s a gray day but no sign of winter.  It’s officially fall, week two is in full swing, and I have yet to find my groove.  Assignments, applications, and deadlines are fast and furious.  I am doing my best to stay on top of things but it feels like I’m chasing them down before tackling them.  With concerted effort, I know I can find my rhythm.  The key is to streamline my efforts.

Everyone has different goals for their MBA experience.  Believing that opportunities are limitless, I want to maximize my potential outside of the classroom just as much as I want to succeed in class.  THE PLAN: load my schedule to the fullest extent possible without severely compromising academic performance.  Visually translated:

My two most valuable resources: TIME and ENERGY

There are only 24 hours in a day and 7 days in each week.  At face value, no one person has an advantage over another; we each have the same amount.  What sets one person apart from the rest?  Utilization.  Spend time wisely and you can maximize results and broaden your experiences.  Being efficient (doing things right) is good . . . but being effective (doing the right things) is better.

My team is enabling me to maximize my activities.  I can tell they will be a great support system.  Like most other teams, we’re “chomping at the bit” to get started on group assignments.  That said, we’re not meeting for the sake of meeting.  We’ve opted for a strategic approach and acknowledge the need to use each other’s time wisely.  Patience is a virtue . . . we’ll have significant quality time together soon enough.

Many applications for student groups are due this week.  Additionally, I started my Graduate Assistantship with the Leadership & Professional Development Office.  Thursday evening, I make my way to Louisville, KY for the National Association of Women MBA’s (NAWMBA) Conference.  The Fisher College of Business is the host for this year’s event and I’m fortunate to be volunteering while I’m there.  Before I depart, I need to update my resume and continue to practice networking and interviewing.  Several intern opportunities are available at the companies attending the conference.  Interview fact: you can never be too prepared!

Want to be memorable?  Tell your story.

The Wake-Up Call From The National Black MBA Conference 2009

So our first week of classes ended last Thursday, and I was hoping to get a break to relax after a very grueling 2 days of classes. Instead, I immediately hoped on a plane with 10 other first year students to fly to New Orleans for the 31st annual National Black MBA Conference. The National Black MBA Conference has a multifaceted mission, which you can discover from their website, but my main mission was to start networking and try to find a internship for this summer. The most surprising thing I learned, was that, wow! finding an internship was going to be a little harder than I thought! The conference really put into perspective how competitive the MBA job space was. Although there were more than 400 corporate sponsors and recruiters, over the course of the conference, about 5,000 MBAs were rambling through the career fair (you can find other conference statistics here). Especially when you got to very desirable companies like Disney, Microsoft and Ogilvy, the lines to wait to talk to a recruiter could stretch beyond a half hour. And when you did get to talk to a recruiter there was a varied mix of responses ranging from  people who were very interested in your career goals, people who wanted to just run through your resume, people who wanted to just direct you to their company’s career website and people who were actually doing on the spot first-round interviews. I felt mostly though that the Conference’s career fair was quite a wake-up call/ reality check that just handing out your resume is not enough, especially when it is sitting on a mixed off-white, cream, eggshell white pile of 500 other resumes. The rest of the conference besides the career fair was fun too, and New Orleans was a very fun city, with lots to see and do, all in all a very worth while experience, although running on 4 hours of sleep 4 days in a row is very hard! Can’t wait for next year’s NBMBAA Conference in Los Angeles!