Work hard, Play hard

If  you haven’t had a friend telling you what everyday is like at the Fisher College of Business, you might think that life at a top-ranking business school is boring. I have to admit that students do work hard on their coursework, but they also play hard. One might see them working diligently on a group project in the Gerlach Hall student lounge or cramming for a test in quiet study room. However, when it comes to Friday, Fisher students are different. They put on their jeans and shirts and enjoy their lives by hanging out at local taverns and restaurants. Last Friday, Fisher held a Halloween party at Callahan’s in the Arena District. All students in all of the graduate business programs were invited. Let me take you there, too.

At first, you should dress up. You might want to be a princess, a doctor or a policeman/woman. For me, I was a Big Four partner that night. Sounds creative? Actually not. I couldn’t find the “perfect” costume beforehand, so I put on my interview suit and pretended to be a partner from one of the Big Four accounting firms. When we got there, many people had already arrived. I was mesmerized to see how people dressed up in their costumes – doctors, maids, Super Mario, and princesses, just to name a few. I couldn’t believe that they were my fellow business school classmates. How “well-behaved” and hard-working they were at school, and all of a sudden, they were partying like excitable kids. I could not resist the atmosphere, and jumped right into the fun. I could not remember when I left the bar. I can only tell from the photos that I had loads of fun with friends.

Fun doesn’t just end with the Halloween party. MAcc students have a social outing every Friday night, normally a dinner together followed by a couple of drinks at a local establishment. What a wonderful mix of life at Fisher! Study hard from Mondays to Thursdays, play hard on Fridays, watching OSU football games on Saturdays, and having random fun and gearing up for the rest of the week on Sundays.

A rolling stone… well, you know the rest.

This past week has been a haze of interviews, midterms, projects, group meetings, phone calls and of course, the everyday tasks – like eating, sleeping (hopefully!), cleaning, etc.

Although the Class of 2011 technically has until graduation (mid-June) to find a full-time career… it seems like you’re behind if you’re not madly rushing to second-round interviews at a hectic pace.

For me, it’s been a busy few weeks – it really forces you to decide whether a company is a good fit for you, when you need to either skip class, miss hanging out with friends, or otherwise disrupt your life to attend second-round interviews. I had the good fortune of interviewing with Belden, in Richmond, IN this past Monday. The plant tour made me nostalgic for Owens Corning, my previous employer. Once you’ve worked in manufacturing, you either realize you love it (like me), or you get the heck out. I also was invited up to the Paint & Coatings Division of Sherwin-Williams in Cleveland, OH. Having worked as a painter and a maintenance tech for a number of years, I knew enough about their products to have a very engaging conversation with the CEO of this company at the Fisher Scholar’s luncheon a few weeks ago. I am very grateful that he thought highly enough of me to pass my information along to this division.

In other news, 5 Class of 2011 MBA students will be traveling to Arkansas this Thursday – Sunday to compete in a Graduate Logistics Case Competition, sponsored mainly by Sam’s Club. I have not been to Arkansas for a few years, and I’m excited to compete in another case competition – the Internal Case Competition last year was extremely rewarding!

In case no one else has mentioned it yet, this past Friday was the annual Fisher MBA Halloween party. This time it was held at Callahan’s, in the Arena district. Everyone appeared to having a great time! It was nice to be able to mingle with first and second year students, as well as those from other programs, and their friends and significant others. An important part of maintaining sanity in graduate programs is having a solid support network of friends, and being able to loosen up and “check out” every once in awhile. A big thanks to the Fisher Graduate Student Association Social Chairs for setting up this event!

Check back for another post next week – I look forward to telling you about how the Logistics Case Competition went!

preparation for Halloween

As an international student, I honestly have no idea what exactly the Halloween holiday is until I arrived here.

However, after my first step into America, I found everything brand new and amazing. I always want to join the locals’ lives and experience unique things in this diversified country. Time flies as I have been here for one and a half month. And now Halloween is coming. With the holiday atmosphere around me everywhere, I signed up for the the Fisher College of Business Halloween party next Friday with no hesitation.

Consequently, the most important thing was to get a unique and fantastic costume. Both of my roommates and I were too excited to fall asleep last night. This morning, we went to the Halloween City store in University Village. There were various kinds of costumes, wigs and ornaments from kids to adults. First thought in my mind was to be an angel for Halloween. Therefore I selected a white dress, which symbolizes purity and perfection. After putting it on, I felt really satisfied about my choice. I cannot wait for the Halloween party on Friday!

The pause that refreshes

I know it’s been a while, loyal readers /skimmers! As I’m sure you’ve realized from other bloggers, one of the two really excellent times during a quarter is just wrapping up – MIDTERMS! To satisfy your curiosity, the other really excellent time is FINALS!

Of course, I’m being slightly sarcastic, but in truth, it is exciting to show all the professors what I’ve learned so far. And the feeling once all the midterms are over… nearly priceless.

So let’s have  a recap of what’s been happening recently.

The good news:

  • All midterm exams and projects are completed
  • The quarter is more than half-way over
  • The community service day was a great opportunity to learn more about the Waste Not Center, run by Professor Neil Drobny
  • The Halloween party was a smashing success! (see the pictures for proof!)
  • U of M has been having a pretty poor football season AND MSU beat U of M

The bad news

  • The quarter is more than half-way over
  • There is another exam next week!
  • The weather is becoming a serious de-motivator… I forget every year just how awful it is to see your breath while walking out to the car… which needs the ice scraped off!

That’s all I’ve got for you right now! Time to relax for a little bit, which means sprinkling in some episodes of House and perhaps a movie or two, while doing all the normal reading, accounting cases, and other assignments!

Pictures from the 2009 Fisher Halloween Party at Mozaik

Myself, Maria and Aaron
Myself, Maria and Aaron
Orlie, Jon and myself
Orlie, Jon and myself
Andrew, Sam, Erin, myself and Anthony
Andrew, Sam, Erin, myself and Anthony

Kid’s story: Gratitude

Timeline: Monday, 10-ish

I see: an envelope

I hear: my coughing, thanks to the God-forsaken weather

I smell: “Be”, by Calvin Klein

I feel: nauseous

First, a short recollection of what has happened these past few days:

  • Midterms. Veni, vidi, vici; that’s all I have to say about that (Julius Caesar and Forrest Gump together, who’d have thunk…).
  • Community service, wherein I raked something around a million leaves. It was totally survivable, but I dislike community service.  I was really ticked off that day just for being there, but it’s in the past (duh, isn’t everything??)
  • Halloween party at Mozaik. Too many surgeons, but I think that everyone looked great. If you chose not to go to Mozaik or to JF’s place before that, you should really not be reading this. I personally had a BLAST, and I think many people did.
  • The “bad” part of the party: I almost knocked over a cop (no intention of doing it, though) while leaving and for a second the cold feeling of cuffs made me shiver. Fortunately, he said “don’t apologize, it was my mistake” and I could be on my way.

And today we got our EPI midterms back, including the video recording. I must say that my respect for Prof. Ankerman’s job has seriously increased after seeing my video. Just today, he mentioned to us in class how he had to grade some 200 presentations last week, then adding the comment of how he was very pleased that this year the presentations were much better than any other (a theme that is becoming so common among the teachers that it’s starting to sound scripted).

I seriously look like a total retard in that video. I mean, you have to keep that away from any recruiting material there may be for the Fisher COB, because that’ll scare them off (or at least it should). I’m actually surprised the antivirus in my laptop didn’t go off when I pressed play. Now, I’m not saying that all my classmates look like retards in their videos, but I actually got a good grade on that midterm, so—well, whatever, you figure it out. I must say that I don’t have any problem with retarded people; I just would like not to look so much as one.

This, along with other experiences, has shown me that what the MBA is really teaching me is to have a new perspective on my life. This is a really good lesson on humility and submission. I used to believe that I was fortunate because I had received an excellent education, allowing me to have aspirations, dreams, and possibilities. I used to believe that my abilities allowed me to stand out and put me in an ideal position to help others.

Now I know I should be grateful I can remember my own name. Now I know that the question “are you aware I’m a danger to others?” is one I should ask myself and the people around me frequently. Now I know I was wrong.

The way I see it, it’s either that my life has truly lost all meaning and purpose, or it’s just that loneliness has finally caught up with me and I’m past the honeymoon stage of my coming here. One thing’s for certain: studying for midterms was nothing compared to coping with an empty house, a pile of due readings, a cooling weather, and a zero level of motivation.

It’s a good thing a friendly smile makes all that disappear at least for a moment. To the smiler: you asked not to be mentioned, but I owe you for that.

The takeaway: be grateful.

“You ready to die, motha(bleep)er?” – Petey Pablo


It feels as though I haven’t posted in quite a while. So much has happened in the last 5 or so days that I feel horribly behind in my updating.

First and most important, I got the interview! I’m very very excited about the opportunity. I had the chance to speak with the director of IMS a week ago and after talking with her, it just made me realize so much more that I would love the chance to complete an internship with the program. It wasn’t until a few days later that I was offered a position within the center. Such a relief. It will surely be a great opportunity. I have my first training program tomorrow during lunch. I’m nervous for it all, but excited at the same time.

Second, this weekend was Halloween, and it was a BLAST!!!!! I’ll post pictures below. I went up to Michigan State for Halloween. I know, I know, I skipped out on the grad student Halloween get-together, but I had so much fun this weekend. Friday night, I went to a long-time friend’s party dressed up as a Crayon. You can’t beat home-made costumes. I was “tickle me pink”. I love that costume. Saturday night, my fiance and I and his friends roamed around the streets of Lansing and East Lansing dressed up as the toy soldiers from Toy Story. It was SO much fun seeing everyone’s expression as we walked around and randomly posed. We were trying to find a place to catch the MSU vs Minnesota game, and decided on Bdubs. We walked into the restaurant in our stealth mode and you could hear the entire place go silent. It was awesome. I’ve never had so much fun in my life. Anyway, pictures are below. We’re now taking ideas on next year’s costumes. If you have any awesome costumes that you saw, send them my way, or feel free to share.

Lastly, tomorrow is your chance to go out and vote. Vote yes for Issue 2. That’s my only political plug because I have a personal connection with it. Issue 2 will establish a board of directors to make decisions about animal care in Ohio and the board will be made up of informed individuals who know the animal industry and know what’s best for Ohio and for the animals. I grew up on a small sheep farm and I have many farming friends who know what’s best for their animals and would rather have informed individuals make decisions about how they’re supposed to farm than people who know very little about the agriculture in this state. If nothing else, make sure you’re informed about what/who you’re voting for, but just make sure you vote.

Halloween Fun

This year the student leadership is working hard on creating “One Fisher” by integrating all of the graduate programs together (MBA, MAcc, MLHR, MBLE, WPMBA). In the past the programs were very segregated and there was very little interaction between groups, even between the first year and second year MBA classes.

A step in the right direction was the Halloween Party last night that the Social Committee successfully orchestrated. Thank you to Dave, Jenny, Kevin and Jeremy for putting everything together (a quick shoutout to Social Committee member #5 Elias studying abroad in Denmark). We had over 240 people RSVP and people still paying at the door, so the turnout was great considering the size of our program. If you weren’t there you missed out on a great time and a chance to build relationships with your classmates in a more informal setting. The costume creativity was also very impressive.

Hrostoski’s Top 10 Costumes of the Night:
10. Jorge as Hannah Montana
9. Nick as Billy Mays
8. John as Bill Cosby
7. Anil as Bert from Sesame Street
6. Adam as Santa Claus
5. Scryan’s couples costume
4. Ian’s “In the mouth of a shark” costume
3. Shay’s iPhone
2. Jerry as the Pillsbury Doughboy
1. The Indian Mafia

Honorable Mention: Yours truly as Captain America

The full-time MBA program has the best of both worlds. On one hand, we grow so much in regards to improving our business acumen, global awareness, communication skills, and emotional intelligence. On the other hand, we still take the time to celebrate life and remember that we’re all still kids at heart.

“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”George Bernard Shaw