New: Fisher Racquet Sports

One group that has received the majority of my spare time is the Fisher Graduate Student Association (FGSA).  This group is the de facto student council and is responsible for implementing change based on student feedback and suggestions.  In order to do this, we have the responsibility to delegate funds to different student groups so they are able to make the largest contributions to the Fisher community.  Therefore, we are also responsible for approving new student organizations that seek funds.

This quarter we received a request from a group of students seeking to start a Fisher Racquet Sports group.  After listening to the group’s formal proposal, we determined that it would be in the best interest of Fisher College to approve this organization.  Some of the sports that will be included in the racquet sports group include ping pong, badminton, cricket, tennis, squash, racquetball, and several others.  Congrats to all the individuals who worked so hard to get the group approved.

On a side note, FGSA is still seeking individuals for the next group of social chairs.  If you have an interest in actively planning next year’s social events, please email me.

– Joe

Hilarious professor email

Long weekends are great.  I was able to practice Finance and catch up on some of the reading I was unable to do last weekend because I was in Cincinnati for the Bengals game.  Well as it turns out, long weekends are also helpful when you are trying to nurse a black eye.  Although my eye is looking better, it is not going to be normal looking for at least another five days.  As a result, I decided to email my professors to tell them that I have a black eye and that I hope it won’t be a distraction in class.  What resulted is one of the funniest emails I have ever received from a professor…


Dear Professor,

I just wanted to let you know that I have a pretty nasty black eye that doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon.  I was accidentally elbowed while playing basketball in the gym on Friday afternoon with several classmates.  I don’t want this to be a distraction in class tomorrow, so here is a heads up.

Best regards,

Joe Fahrendorf


2 minutes later…



Yikes.  If you wanted to cover this up, you could always pull off the eye patch.  If you go down this route, I’d recommend a turtleneck and a blazer to compliment the look.   That said, looking like a villain from a James Bond movie may be more distracting than just having a black eye.

See you tomorrow.


This was not the response I expected.  I would actually try the “villain from a James Bond movie” look, but I think the black eye alone will be funny enough for my classmates.

MBA basketball curse – continued

Despite blogging about the recent string of basketball related injuries to the MBA class, I decided to play basketball with a bunch of classmates.   Oops!   I now have a black eye thanks to a classmate’s elbow (accidental) while we were trying to get a rebound.  Hopefully this shiner goes away in the next five days or I’ll be wearing makeup to meet my corporate mentor.  On the bright side, I guess this is better than spraining an ankle or tearing my Achilles tendon.

The MBA basketball curse

It’s official…  MBA students are not meant to play basketball.  Tonight I drove a classmate to the ER after he had a bad fall during a basketball game.  Initially we thought he broke his ankle, but it turns out that it’s just severely sprained.  Obviously an injury such as this is bound to happen; however, this incident is the 4th Fisher 2011 basketball injury since school began. 

Earlier in the year a group of Fisher MBAs were playing basketball in the ARC and during a wild loose ball scramble, one of our classmates tore his Achilles tendon.  Four days later, another MBA student went down with a nasty high ankle sprain.  Roughly a month later, a third classmate broke his foot in a pick-up game.  These are troubling stats, especially since the Fisher MBA intramural basketball team starts our season next week. 

Feel better Greg.  We need you back next week.

– Joe

Managerial Negotiations

As I mentioned in an earlier blog entry, I am taking an elective called Managerial Negotiations. First year MBA students who have a GPA above 3.25 are allowed to take one elective during their second quarter. I figured Managerial Negotiations was a great choice because it is not only applicable to business, but also to everyday life.

The class is designed to allow us to practice different negotiation tactics each day in small groups. This safe environment allows us to get out of our comfort zone and really test different theories and strategies. Today’s class involved a negotiation between two companies: one interested in selling a manufacturing plant and the other interested in buying a manufacturing plant. The buyer and seller each knew several common facts such as the appraisal value of the plant and the selling price of a slightly newer manufacturing plant in the same area.  Although this common knowledge allowed us to get the conversation started, there were other areas that we had to consider such as: the building’s depreciation, falling land value, synergies between the companies manufacturing process, and the time it would take to build a new plant if an agreement couldn’t be reached.

I left my negotiation very happy with the deal I made.  I purchased the plant in the lower part of my target range which I developed before entering the discussion.  As it turned out, my price was right in the middle of the class’ purchasing prices: five individuals bought the plant for less, six individuals bought the plant for more, and two groups were unable to reach a deal.  Not too bad.


The end of football

It has recently become very evident that I will have little free time this quarter.  Between working on my core classes and my recently invigorated summer internship search, this might be my busiest quarter of the year.  I guess for the benefit of my MBA degree, the Bengals lost in the playoffs yesterday to the NY Jets.  There is no doubt that with my team out of the playoffs, I will now have significantly more time available each week.  Gone are the days of spending endless hours on to get the most up-to-date information on my team, gone are the Sundays of spending four hours watching the game and then several additional hours either too happy or depressed to do any work.

I was actually at the Bengals game this Sunday with my dad and brothers.  The 1 degree wind chill was not nearly as bad as losing.  I’m still upset about the loss, but eventually I will adapt to life without football.  Hopefully I do this sooner rather than later, especially since I have an important phone interview with a recruiter from Cardinal Health on Tuesday.  I will be speaking with her about their summer marketing internship and hopefully I can make a positive impression.


A new chapter – Q2

Tomorrow is the first day of the second quarter. Christmas break was great, but I’m glad that it is over. Three weeks is a long time off and towards the end I started to feel restless.

This quarter I am taking five classes. Four are mandatory: Cost Accounting, Finance, Operations Management and Marketing. The elective that I’ll be taking is Negotiations. Even before taking a single class, I think I can say that I’ll prefer the second quarter over the first quarter classes. Marketing and Operations are two areas that I am considering as majors.

I wish I had better news to report. I am writing this blog as I watch my beloved Cincinnati Bengals get crushed by the NY Jets. Fortunately the Bengals are in the playoffs and it just so happens that they’ll be playing the Jets in Cincinnati next weekend in the first round of the playoffs. I’ll need to make sure to get all my reading done during the week so that I can return home this weekend to attend the game.  Who Dey!

– Joe

Winter break = freedom

Classes are over, finals are finished, papers are complete… and I’m finally on winter break!  For the next three and a half weeks I am off.  This will give me plenty of time to reflect on the Q1 and make the necessary adjustments to be more successful in Q2.

Favorite class: Managerial Economics with Professor Campbell.

Least favorite class: Data Analysis.

Overall, this quarter was amazing.  I met a lot of great individuals and I really stretched myself by taking subjects in which I had no prior knowledge.   Accounting was tough, but I survived.  I hear Cost Accounting next quarter is even harder, so that should be fun.  My professional speaking class really improved my public speaking skills and I feel much more comfortable speaking in front of large audiences.

I’ll reflect more on Q1 a little later.  Now it is time to relax.  I should also have plenty of time to blog over the next three weeks… although I won’t have anything to blog about.  Stay tuned, I’m sure something will come to mind.


The Game? Which game?

The Ohio State v. Michigan game was this past weekend.  Although I am from Ohio, I had no idea that the name of this rivalry was called “The Game.”   This caught me off guard because my undergraduate’s rivalry game is also coined as “The Game.”   After learning this, I did my research on Wikipedia and discovered that the OSU v. Michigan and Yale v. Harvard are the only two football games that use the moniker “The Game.”

Since I have been able to take part in the weekend celebrations for both games, I decided it’d be interesting to examine the similarities and differences between the two different rivalries.

Harvard v YaleThe Game

  • Early morning wake-up for tailgating.  Themed tailgates.
  • Not important to wear school colors.  Classic tailgate look: polo shirt, faded jeans, Ray-Ban Wayfarers and a blazer.
  • Everyone attends the game whether it is home or away.
  • Student ID is free admission.  Game rarely sells out.  Yale Bowl seats 70,870.
  • Recently lopsided series.  Yale has won only once since the year 2000… but they hold the all time series record 65-53-8.
  • Little animosity between schools.  Joint Harvard- Yale tailgates.   Students offer to “host” the away team’s fans if people are looking for housing.
  • Both sides follow the scores to the other rivalry games while tailgating.
  • Alumni from all over the country return for The Game since it is the main Fall reunion.
  • Win or lose it is always a good time.

OSU v MichiganThe Game” (note: I have never experienced a home OSU v. Michigan game)

  • Early morning tailgate.  Real tailgates: burgers, beer, cornhole, football.
  • Traditions: Mirror Lake jump – Absolutely insane event on Friday night.  Students jump into Mirror Lake despite freezing temperatures and ridiculously high ammonia levels.
  • Wear school colors: preferably jerseys – specifically a James Laurinatis jersey.
  • Not as many people travel to the away games.  No student housing provided by the home team.
  • Student IDs are not free admission to the game.  Games are always sold out.  Tickets actually have a resale value.
  • Recently lopsided series.  Michigan has won only once since the year 2000… but they hold the all time series record 57-43-6.
  • No joint tailgates.  The two schools hate each other – don’t wear Scarlet and Gray in Ann Arbor.
  • People actually watch the game.  The tailgate is simply a buildup to the game.
  • You better win to have a good day… or even a good year.

This year’s result:  Yale loses, OSU wins…  I’ll take it.