In Between Days

If I hadn’t mentioned it by now, I have a tendency to quote song titles.  Today is no exception: this one by The Cure sums up my life and the life of most b-school students.  As you may have figured out from the other blog posts, we (Fisher graduate students) just finished the school year.  Spring quarter ended differently for me than winter and fall: somehow, I managed to only have one final which was scheduled for Monday morning.  How Lucky Can You Get? (See? What did I tell you?  Streisand song from Funny Lady.)  Anyhow . . . I’ve been on summer break for a week and I can hardly wait to start my internship on Monday.  Having all this spare time seems strange (and rather boring).  Once again, I find myself in transition.  In my Fisher grad life, transitions are not easy but they certainly are plentiful . . . so I might as well dedicate a blog post to them!

Anxiety is normal for anyone facing transition.  We’d all like to expect the unexpected but that’s easier said than done.  Unsure of what the future will hold, we push forward with trepidation.  If you’re preparing to enter b-school, get used to the feeling.  Life becomes a series of transitions starting with the summer preceding school and lasting all the way through (and sometimes post) graduation.  As new “first years”, most of you will be switching gears from working all week to studying all week.  For those of us completing our first year, we’re adjusting to all sorts of things: assuming leadership roles in student activity groups, working with new team members, planning for fall quarter, figuring out where to live this summer, beginning new jobs, scheduling classes, ordering football tickets, and finding things to occupy the seemingly endless hours of time we suddenly have available.

This summer I’m fortunate enough to be staying in Columbus (making it much easier to move to a new apartment).  Internship-wise: I’ll be working three different assignments this summer; one is a Wheeler Internship sponsored by Fisher’s Center for Entrepreneurship.  I’m excited about the opportunity to work with a local business!  I’ll be spending 20 hours each week learning about online marketing and handling some of their web 2.0 communications.  As I learn more about web analytics, I’ll leverage my experience and Microsoft Office prowess to help tackle a few projects that have been on the company’s “to do” list.  During the other 20 hours each week, I’ll be working with a professor on a local consulting project, on campus, and at the Columbus Zoo.  If time allows near the end of the summer, I’ll begin my Fisher Board Fellows project with COSI.  Regardless, I’ll stay busy.  Since I’ll have my evenings free and my roommate will be in France, my inner bookworm can celebrate by reading a few books that aren’t mandatory.  Hooray!

I think I try to stay so busy because for me personally, change is hard and I don’t enjoy being in transition.  Although I’ve had my fair share for the past couple of years now, I don’t ever get totally used to it.  Staying busy = a coping mechanism (I keep my mind occupied).  By nature, I’m a planner and like to know what the future holds.  Since that’s impossible at this juncture, I intentionally choose to look at life as an adventure, knowing my journey will lead me somewhere new.  My advice to you: embrace change.  It’s one of the only certainties in life.

Change is the essence of life. Be willing to surrender what you are for what you could become. – Reinhold Niebuhr

One thing I assure you: time flies.  Assuming the cliche is valid, I must be having fun.  Today was graduation day at the Fisher College of Business.  Congratulations to Fisher’s graduating Class of 2011 MBAs!  Godspeed as you journey forth.  I expect great things to come . . . for each and every one of us.

The Thirst for Knowledge?

A picture’s worth a thousand words.

When anyone asks me how this quarter is going, my answer is: I feel like I’m drinking from a fire hose.  Believe you me: MIT (where the above pic is taken) doesn’t have exclusive rights on this metaphor.  Welcome to spring quarter of your first year in the full-time MBA program at Fisher!  Just when I thought I was getting the hang of things, I was reminded of two things: “you don’t know what you don’t know” and, actually, ignorance *is* bliss.

Let me clarify a few things for those of you that read these blogs regularly: (1) MLHR is not the only graduate business program at Fisher, (2) there are actually more full-time MBA bloggers than MLHR bloggers, and (3) work load definitely varies by program.

FTMBA’s are B-U-S-Y.  That said, I think the Working Professional MBAs have it worse.  They have to go to work all day and then high-tail it over to Gerlach Hall to sit in classes from 6-10pm each evening.  How and when they do their homework, reading, group projects, and presentations, I don’t know.  Unless they’re “multitasking” in the office (you know who you are), they get to spend their weekends studying.  Blech.  Kudos to them . . . I couldn’t do it.

Back to being a FTMBA . . .

This quarter, I have an enormous amount of reading to do – constantly.  There is no ebb and flow.  Spring quarter brings the final two core classes: Strategy & Global Macro.  (As an aside: the elective classes I’m taking are Service Operations and Sustainability Marketing.)  The macro-econ course requires I subscribe to The Economist and get quizzed weekly on the content.  The entire magazine is fair game.  Sound hellish?  I thought so too!  I was wrong.  I *love* this magazine.  Here’s why . . .

To date, I proudly claimed to a member of the apathetic, ignorant American masses.  Thanks to Prof Kistruck’s mandate, I’m a person that has some clue about what’s happening in the world and how current global events affect business.  I live here after all  – so I might as well understand how my life is being affected.  The world gets smaller by the day and global awareness is really critical.  It’s about time I got a clue.  Yay me!

Outside of classes, much is happening around the Fisher College of Business (FCOB).  Officer elections are taking place in student groups, end of year summits and banquets are being held, and the weather is slowly improving (which should result in strong attendance at the Fisher 5K this weekend and the upcoming Fisher Spring Games).  I assumed leadership roles in various organizations next year: President of the Fisher Graduate Women in Business, VP of Innovate Columbus in Innovation Fisher, and Treasurer of Fisher’s Association of Marketing Professionals.  My Fisher Board Fellows assignment is supporting COSI next year and I’ve agreed to help with Fisher Follies.  YAY!

Regardless of your interests, there are plenty of ways for you to get involved and participate in the Fisher community.  This morning, I was inspired by the words of the founder of Fisher Board Fellows, Wake Norris.  “Remember to unpack.” He stressed the importance of unpacking and living where you are when you arrive someplace new.  This advice applies to you as well as me.  When you arrive at your program, how will you get involved?  Be a part of your community?  The choice is yours and the options are plentiful.

I am really excited about the coming year even if it means lack of sleep.  I figure: This only happens once.  I’m going to make the most of it.

“Stay thirsty my friends.”  – The Most Interesting Man in the World

My name in the COSI newspaper

The day before yesterday, I happened to find my name in COSI‘s newsletter. It is says that “Lily Zhang is a Fisher College of Business Student at Ohio State and is majoring in Human Resources. She will assist with volunteer recruitment, placement, research, and administrative duties beginning in November. We are able to help Lily utilize the skills she is honing in college and offer a professional “lab” experience to her”. This introduction was written by my supervisor, the manager of recruitment and placement.

I was really excited about it, since more colleagues will know me. And I was also excited that what my supervisor promised to offer me in the last sentence. My supervisor has much experience in human resources, and is good at reading my mind. My expectation for COSI working experience is to gain more professional experience and utilize more knowledge in the real working environment. And her statement exactly matches my expectations! I believe that the other employees may focus more on improving my professional skills when collaborating with me.  This is a really “real world” lesson about satisfying internal customers, employee motivation, and effective communication.

New job in COSI

I attended the orientation at COSI this past Saturday. I was so proud of myself being a member in COSI.

When I arrived in the U.S., my roommate took me to downtown Columbus, where I knew there was COSI.  I really like COSI, since the people I met there are very energetic and kindhearted. I really like COSI, since COSI provide hands-on scientific experience to children and their families.  This summer, I applied for a position in the Littlekid Space in COSI and I had an interview with my supervisor at the beginning of this quarter. After the interview, my supervisor asked me whether I was interested in working in COSI’s HR Department. I was really excited, since the experience working in HR Department would definitely advance my professional development. Furthermore, this experience would definitely help me find a job related to HR in United States (I will graduate next June). However, I would really like to take care of those lovely children in the Littlekid Space. I have numerous experience in taking care of children. If I work with children, I will have lots of fun in my work. HR work to me is not as interesting as childcare work. What should I do????

I made the decision and I will work with the HR manager. I think I don’t have enough time to prepare for my career before graduation. I should gain more experience in American companies/organizations. And I can take care of children when I have enough time during the weekends or holidays.

Life is a cup of tea. It tastes bitter in the very beginning, but it will taste better and better in the future.