Posts Tagged 'Learning'

2014 Internal Case Competition – controlled chaos

A couple weekends back I volunteered for the 2014 Internal Case Competition. It was a great experience to set back and time – much less stressful that last year where my group and I were frantically trying to create a strategic plan, marketing campaign and solid finances for a fake perfume company.
I am a a big fan of case competitions – I even traveled to Calgary, Canada last year to complete in the Haskayne 24 Hour Case Completion with the Haskayne School of Business. Side note, want to see four outspoken and intelligent Fisher MBAs become experts about the Canadian Oil Sands Industry in less than a day? Send them to Canada and throw them into a case competition!

One thing I enjoyed seeing during my volunteering was truly how much you learn in business school. As a timer, I was able to watch several presentations – and hold up cards that said 5/2/1 minute left and STOP – yeah, I  know, I am a huge deal :)

OSU-FCOB-Horiz-RGBHEX

But in all seriousness, the presentations were fantastic. I am constantly in awe of the talent of my fellow classmates. The Class of 2015 is full of great presenters and very creative individuals. The Internal Case is a weekend of long nights, early mornings and learning how to communicate with your teammates. Judges aren’t afraid to ask intense questions and make you defend your ideas — or think on your feet!

Congrats on another successful Fisher Internal Case Competition weekend!

 

 


Middle Market Student Summit

On January 29, I was able to attend the Middle Market Student Summit – it was a great opportunity to learn more about a strong, but often over-looked, market. There is a Middle Market Summit, but this event is geared specifically towards students in a more casual setting.

As I learned, the U.S. Middle Market is a mighty force to be reckoned with. It is comprised of nearly 200,000 businesses that all have an annual revenue of $10MM — $1B. They are 1/3 of all US jobs and contributed more than 1.2 million new jobs last year. PLUS (and this is my favorite fact), they added  jobs during the financial crisis, when big businesses lost jobs.

- The National Center for the Middle Market on Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn -

student middle market

Some Middle Market companies you may not think about are Krispy Kreme, Smart Balance, American Apparel, Bravo Brio restaurants and Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams! These companies fall right into the sweet spot of being not-to-small, but also not-to-big.

With such large sums being thrown about – seriously, I think I heard the world million and billion more than thirty times – it was hard to stay on-top of all the information given. I was so surprised that the Middle Market makes such a huge impact on our local and national economy, but also how many Fisher grads and other professionals work for mid-size companies.

The speaker for the event was  Giovanni Feroce, the CEO of Alex & Ani (really cool jewelry that focuses on symbology and spiritual energy). Extremely candid and a joy to listen to, Mr. Feroce talked about doing the right thing and really working for what you believe in.

alex and ani

I thought it was interesting that he asks his employees three questions (see below). Trust me, this guy doesn’t cut corners and starts true to himself in every situation.
1) What were you hired to do?
2) What are you doing?
3) What do you want to do?

Fisher is always giving me and my fellow students opportunities to learn more, interact with interesting C-level executives and become the best business professional possible. Once again, this event didn’t  disappoint!

 


#MidMarketSummit

Yesterday was the 2013 Mid Market Summit, and thanks to my GA, I was able to attend the afternoon sessions and help with social media. It was an incredible opportunity listening to business leaders discuss current trends, the future of the Middle Market and more.

One of my favorite moments was listening to ESPN’s Darren Rovell talk to Billy Beane (GM of the Oakland Athletics) about big data. Mr. Beane discussed the similarities between baseball and business – and how you need to trust your head, not your gut. It was a fascinating story — and I know that I will be renting Moneyball in the very near future.

Some of my classmates even got to meet Mr. Rovell after his segment and got a great photo!

Right: ESPN’s Darren Rovell
Left: Oakland Athletics’ GM, Billy Beane,

 

The Fisher Sports Business Association had the great opportunity to meet with Darren Rovell from ESPN/ABC today — he’s the authority on the business of sports.

These opportunities are what I absolutely love about my school. The National Center for The Middle Market, in collaboration with the Fisher College of Business and GE Capital, host this event and put critical attention on the Middle Market. Other speakers from yesterday included Under Armour’s CEO Kevin Plant, The Washington Post‘s CEO Don Graham, Jonah Berger (author of Contagious: Why Things Catch On and Marketing Professor at Wharton School, and more.

Story from Fisher about GE Executives visiting and sharing their expertise with students: http://fisher.osu.edu/newsroom/?folder=65&news=3744

It has been a very educational 72 hours for me, and everyone at OSU!


Lean Six-Sigma, The Basics

Last month I attended a Six Sigma Workshop during lunch with Professor Peg Pennington. It was about an hour and students with non-operating majors were encouraged to attend. I had my Matching Supply and Demand class with Professor Hill yesterday — boy was I glad I had that ops review a few weeks before! Professor Hill’s class will focus on different things than what we discussed during lunch, but the workshop was the perfect jolt back to the “ops world”.

I saw the Six Sigma Workshop on the Hub, a RSVP system that allows students to review and sign-up for activities.  These range from lunches to events put on by student organizations or Fisher departments, information sessions and more.  It’s a great system that allows students to stay organized and involved with everything at Fisher.

Throughout the workshop we discussed how six sigma is a problem solving methodology that uses research and data to construct a plan. Topics also included the DMAIC method (see illustration below) and quickly talking through two examples of a banks and an emergency room in a hospital. For a one hour workshop, it was jammed-packed with information!

Visual explanation of the DMAIC method – image taken from Google.

This type of of workshop is one of the reasons I absolutely love Fisher’s MBA Program. One of my fellow students described it best: I am treating this opportunity like a dressing room – I want to try on everything and see what fits”.

Fisher has given me an opportunity to find out my passions, but has also exposed me to brand new worlds. I will never be a finance guru, but I feel much more comfortable with the topic after my CORE finance classes and my  Corp. Finance 1 Class. Operations and Logistics, sign me up! Negotiations and strategy, let’s try it out!

My heart will always lean towards marketing and advertising, but why would you ever stop yourself from learning everything you could? I am excited for my Matching Supply and Demand and my diverse course load next semester. Who knows what I’ll learn and what “will fit”!?


More about me…

Another week of exams – CONQUERED! Now on to…the last week of classes? Well, kinda. Some of our classes are seven weeks and this week marks the last week of our first seven-week term. My classmates and I will be trading statistics, economics and marketing for finance, organizations and operations (accounting spans across the 14 weeks).

I can’t believe we are almost into our finals week! But, that’s a post for another day. Since this week seems to be pretty mild and relaxed, I wanted to take a few moments and tell you a little bit more about me!

My name is Jessica Reynolds, but all my friends call me Jess. I am 23 years old and I am a MBA Candidate of 2014 (don’t you love that title?! I always feel so incredibly fancy when I see that on my business cards!). I graduated from OSU in 2011 and couldn’t love being a buckeye more. Coming from the Cincinnati area, I am full of Ohio pride!

After graduating from Ohio State I traveled down to Orlando, Florida to participate in the Walt Disney World College Program. I was in Florida for about nine months and worked in Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Toy Story Midway Mania! and Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show! So, it goes without being said, I am a huge  Disney fan and if you need any help planning a Disney vacation, I’m your girl :)

Boyfriend and I at the castle! So magical :)

Working at Disney was an amazing adventure and I would recommend the college program to everyone. I learned so much about myself, the true meaning of hard-work and how to truly live a brand. But, my heart is in Ohio and I returned from this incredible adventure at the end of February, 2012. I worked in the Arena District and started to focus on grad school applications. After a few interviews, tons of GMAT practice and some great guidance from Fisher’s Admission Team – here I am! Talk about a whirlwind, but what’s life without excitement and adventures?

That’s one of the best things about going to school at FCOB  - everyone here has a unique story. People come from across the state, across the country and across the world to attend Fisher. We have a variety of work backgrounds and new perspectives on everything. I love chatting with classmates and hearing more about their hometowns, backgrounds and different holidays/religions. No matter what, I learn something every day, both inside and outside the classroom.

Talk to you guys again soon!

 

 

 


Zoom out

There’s no point toning it down – an MBA program is one of the most demanding things you will ever do. What makes the process even more challenging is that you will not always have a clearly defined structure for the things you do. Quite often, you will have to create your own plan of action and explore apparently uncharted territory. What will primarily define the quality of your experience is how you choose to perceive this challenge.

MBAs are often result-oriented in their perspectives. While this is a vital skill in being able to set and achieve clearly defined career goals, it can be counter-productive in a learning environment. A common theme in your first classes will be your professors saying the same thing in different ways – that your grades are not as important as the experience you will have here. Chasing an A grade instead of immersing yourself in the process of a team project, or sparing a few hours a week for recreation, is not the way to go, and both your teachers and seniors will attest to it.

Blinders

Take off those blinders!

A good way to deal with this is to reassess your priorities. Why are you really here? More than likely, you had a job you were good at and had opportunities to further your career in more ways than one. The very fact that you had pause to consider an MBA suggests that you were doing well enough to seek growth. When you think along those lines, you find that in the bigger picture, you have primarily come here to learn and to develop. To do this, you must be prepared to deal with failure, and bounce back into the game quickly. This is where your 2 years at Fisher come in – this is a sandbox for you to stumble, fumble and fall. You will push your limits here, test new waters and inevitably find your calling.

The only investment you need to make here is hard work. Stress, trepidation, fear and insecurity are burdens you need not bear, simply because they do nothing to protect you from the very outcomes they dread. Instead stay focused on the experience, conscientiously observing yourself and those around you, and allowing yourself the space and time to burgeon.

Sometimes all you really need to do is to zoom out and take it all in.



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