HUG a Veteran on Veteran’s Day, Novemer 11, 2010

It’s been over seven years since I’ve returned home from my tour of duty in Iraq.  I will definitely tell you, it was a long 18-month stint in Iraq and I came away from that experience with a lot of positive memories.

Over the years, I have had time to reflect on my military service.  I am extremely grateful that I commited to serving my country for eight years of life.  I am not going to say it was ‘easy’ all of the time, that I enjoyed every every minute of it or even, at times, questioned my reasoning for doing it.  I have come to realize that the military is not for everyone just as everyone is not cut out for the military.  All in all, I am glad to have fought for our freedom in the capacity that I did.  Every day I am thankful that I live in a free country.  I do believe there is a price tag to enjoy the freedoms that we do in the United States and I am glad that I was a part of paying that price for all of us to enjoy.

Now, Thursday, November 11, 2010, is Veteran’s Day.

I know that throughout The Ohio State University, Fisher College of Business, there are numerous veterans that span through all the programs offered (i.e. FT MBA, MLHR, MBLE, MACC, Working Profesional MBA).

I offer the following challenge:  if you know someone who is currently serving, has served or has been out of the military for a LONG time, let them know how much you appreciate them and the sacrifices and service they have given to this great nation we call America.

Some of my personal favorite ‘thank you’s’ are:  “High-Five” a Veteran…or… “Hug” A Veteran.  Whatever you do to show you care and appreciate them and their service, do it.  I feel it is our patriotic duty to reach out and honor those who served in any of our armed forces branches.

What I have taken away from my whole miliary experience is this:  Its not about equal giving, its about equal sacrifice.

Below I have included some pictures from Iraq!  ENJOY!

Happy Veteran’s Day!

Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?

When I was growing up, my favorite day of the week was Saturday.  As a kid, life always made a lot of sense to me.  Oddly enough, I had a fuzzy understanding that Monday through Friday was meant for school.  But Saturday, now that was a different story.  Saturday was MY DAY!

I have so many great memories of Saturday morning.  I have to admit, I was a ‘tootsie pop’ for cartoons.  And for the most part, I still am (I love Tom & Jerry).  I would definitely say a large part of my young adolescent life was completely and totally dedicated to cartoon watching.  All I wanted to do was wake up early and turn on the television to watch TMNT (that would be Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, by the way), GI Joe and, occasionally, sneak in an episode of Bill Nye, ‘The Science Guy’.  Nonetheless, I felt it was somewhat of a Saturday morning tradition for me.  Now, on Satudays, I like my bed and the amazing sleep that comes along with it.  Oh, how times have changed for this guy.

Now, I need to fair to the Saturday morning cartoon argument.  Sure, I had my favorite 3-4 shows I watched with religious fervor and intent.  Yet, what I remember the most about Saturday mornings was all my “not-so-favorite” shows.  Seriously, you almost had to be methodical in your approach because if you got up too late, you were gonna get stuck watching horrible cartoon television programming.  Take my word for it:  horrible cartoons = no fun.

The show that quickly became one of my “not-so-favorite” shows was, “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?”.  I strongly disliked this show.  And I even more strongly disliked the “annoying, still to this day can’t get it out of my head” theme song (listen).  The basic premise of the show has you (the watcher) being agents for ACME Detective Agency attempting to thwart the featured V.I.L.E. ringleader, thieving villainess and former ACME Detective Agent, Carmen Sandiego.  The series initially focused on teaching geography and history.  All I can say to that is:  boring.  To me, Saturday mornings are meant for mindless watching of cartoons, not educational stimulation.  I felt I was getting enough of that in school.  Eh, I was 10 years old.

Now, in the month of November, I think I’m going to finally know how Carmen Sandiego “really” felt all those years while she was on the run from the ACME Detective Agency.

After a long month of interviewing at OSU for summer internships, I have been invited to some 2nd round interviews.  I feel very fortunate, humbled and excited to be considered for as many opportunities as I have thus far.  My ‘Carmen Sandiego-esque’ itinerary is as follows (so far):  Kansas City, to New York, back Cleveland and a few other places in between.

Needless to say, I am just going to take one day at a time and let the chips fall where they may.  As always, I will have to continue to balance my studies/class time/etc. around all of this traveling, but I know that’s what I signed up for.  I may feel like ‘I’m on the run’ this next month, but I am sure it will be an experience I will be sure to enjoy!

Stay the Course

It’s hard to believe that the month of October 2010 is more than half-way over.   Eerily enough, it seems like yesterday when I started orientation at OSU.  But, in all actuality, it’s been well over 30+ days.  Now, I am definitely “not” going to be cliche’ and blurb, “oh time sure does fly when you are having fun!” because that would just be completely inaccurate – and that’s just not me.  In the wise words of fellow MLHR’er, Shawn Henderson, the more appropriate – and timeless – quip would be:

Get Ready to Live, People.

For me, the last 30+ days has been a test of sorts.  A test of my time management skills; a test of imposing my will over my fleeting emotions (i.e. watching “American Pickers” and “Pawn Stars” on the History Channel vs. studying for a BUS 863 quiz); a test of not eating my weight in Adriatico’s pizza at “every” employer informational meeting; a test of not hitting my “panic button” during statistics because it’s been ten years (yes, T-E-N) since I’ve calculated anything that’s even worth mentioning in this blog; a test of keeping a cool head in the midst of a hot storm; a test of how to take bad news and “still” keep a good attitude; a test to faithfully study all the reading material even when my hearts not in it.

For me, it’s easy to get caught up in every OSU social event, be a part of every clique-club-group or even “activity myself to death”.  This past weekend, I had to have a sit-down with “me” and talk to “me” about staying the course.  Staying the course is paramount.  I know the commitments I made to Ohio State Unversity and the Fisher College of Business’s MLHR Program.  Literally and figuratively speaking, I know I am facing tests of all kinds and I fully intend on passing every one.  Will I do it with a smile on my face?  C’mon, I’m a realist…No.  But I’ll still pass them, nonetheless.

One of my favorite movies is the 1994 drama film, “The Shawshank Redemption”.  The film portrays the story of Andy Dufresne, a banker who spends nearly two decades in Shawshank State Prison wrongly imprisoned for murdering his wife.  During his time in prison, he befriends a fellow inmate, Ellis “Red” Redding, who is a man who “knows how to get things”.  Towards the end of the movie, Andy is roaming the prison yard with Red just before he’s about to break out of prison.  With his head hung low, he depressingly states that he’s either going to… “get busy livin’ or get busy dyin'”.

I plan on “gettin’ busy livin'” while I’m at OSU all the while remembering to stay the course and finishing what has been set before me.

A Whole New World

During my military career, I was afforded many opportunities to travel abroad to several foreign countries.  My most memorable overseas trip was traveling to Germany.  At the time I was 19 years old,  fresh out of basic training and ready to see every inch of this planet as I could.  So, as luck may have it, I got the opportunity to do a 3 week stint in Germany.  I was ecstatic!  It was my first “official” overseas trip and I couldn’t wait to see all that Germany had to offer.

Now, I must remind you, fellow readers, I was 19.  I guess I could’ve been excited about the fact that I would be walking around the famous Nuremberg City Walls, touring St. Peter’s Church Cathedral in Munich or even renting a sports car and going bananas on the Autobahn for a while.  But what really excited me was the fact that I was able to, shall we say, “sample”  all the fine German beer I wanted to…legally.  I’m not sure I would classify this as a “dream come true”, but in my little world at the time, I thought it to be quite an accomplishment.  So, I lined my pockets with Deutsche Marks (that was the currency type at the time) and made sure that while I was touring Germany I hit every local pub I could, making the most of my so-called 3 weeks of  legality.

The most interesting part of my Germany trip was being able to interact with an entirely different culture.  Up to that point, I spent my entire life growing up on the rolling plains of South Dakota.  I had never been outside of the USA, let alone in a foreign country were I now was considered the minority.  I had a blast sitting down at local restaurants in various German cities ordering food I have never eaten before.  The German locals were very accommodating and did their best to interact with the “American Tourist”.  At times, I almost felt they were more excited to interact with me than I was them.  The locals would always try to practice their English with me – which is what I found hilariously interesting.  The most eager participants were the  local pub owners.  They were always trying to learn the simple English phrases and, at any opportunity, learn our trendy “slang”.  If my memory serves me correctly, I think it at the time it was trendy (at least in Germany) to say Will Smith’s “Gettin’ Jiggy With It” or something ridiculous like that.  I was astonished to find out that they were big on American TV programs and they all loved MTV and Hollywood.  All in all, I had a great time connecting with someone half a world apart that I barely knew anything about.

This experience taught me at an early age how important it is to connect with other people form different cultures, countries, ethnicity groups and backgrounds.  I learned how much we as human beings all have in common, no matter where we come from or what geographical distances separate us.

FAST FORWARD……After a late night of statistics class, some of the MLHR class decided to journey across the street to the Varsity Club (VC)  for a time of “socializing”.  I knew this would be a great opportunity to connect with my classmates and also it would give us all a chance to wind down after 4 hours of classroom fun.  While at the VC, I got a chance to interact with a lot of our international classmates.  I had such a great time talking with them and learning about their first experiences in the US.  Listening to all of them say they like it in the US and how friendly everyone has been to them was very rewarding.  Sitting in that booth on Thursday night reminded me a lot of my first time in a foreign country.  Thinking back, I am so glad that people I didn’t know very well (ha, that being local pub owners) took the time to make me feel welcome in their home country and took a genuine interest in me even though I was just passing through for 3 weeks.

I am glad I got an opportunity to meet our international classmates.  It was fun laughing and letting them share their thoughts, feelings and experiences so far at Ohio State University.   I am sure it, as it was for me, a whole new eye-opening experience which, at times, can seem overwhelming.  I am glad as an MLHR class we have made our international students feel welcome and a part of the Fisher College of Business academic family.  I challenge everyone to get to know their fellow international classmates.  Trust me, you’ll have a lot more in common with them than you think…and you’ll have a lot of fun as well.

Not the best way to end the quarter…

Today’s topic is a bit more serious in nature.

Fisher College of Business hosts a variety of graduate programs, including the MAcc program, the MLHR program, the MBLE program, the Full-Time MBA program, the Working Professionals MBA program, many dual-degree programs, as well as Executive MBA programs.

Judging by actions of select faculty, staff AND students, there seems to be some sort of feeling that the Full-Time MBA program is more important than the other programs. The evidence for this conclusion is both pervasive and disheartening. I do not wish to delve into specific occasions, but suffice to say, I found the topic compelling enough to present it for public consumption.

I believe that since everyone pursuing a graduate degree is already realistically in the top .5% of the world’s population in terms of opportunities, there is absolutely no reason to create any sort of hierarchy within the Fisher College of Business.

I encourage everyone in the Fisher College of Business to truly think about their beliefs about this school. Do you want Fisher to be known as an inclusive, welcoming community, or as an MBA program with some “other stuff” thrown in? I strongly believe that the first choice is the correct one, and if you do not, I recommend re-evaluating your position. As someone once said, the greatest danger is not evil people, but the indifference of “good” people to evil actions.

That’s all for today. Best luck to everyone on your finals, term papers, and everything else!

Stacey

A Guide To Recognizing Nameplates

If you spend any amount of time wandering the halls of Gerlach, and staring into lecture halls, you will probably see many students sitting at attention diligently paying attention to class. If you look in front of the students though you will probably see the most important item that is issued to them during their time at Gerlach… their Nameplate Dimensionsnameplates. These nameplates are 9 inches long, 1.88 inches high and 1/16 of a inch thick with the student’s name routed into the front with capital letters. The name plates are useful for the professors to cold call you and make sure that you are in class… more importantly though it is helpful for your fellow students who may be very forgetful with names to be able to quickly remember your name. It is one of the worst feelings in the world if you forget your name plate (or even worse, LOSE IT!) and are forced to be represented by a piece of loose-leaf paper with your name scrawled on it with a sharpie.

Gerlach is home to several graduate programs and each has its own specially designed nameplate. The Masters of  Business Administration (MBA) program is designated by a black plate with white type.

MBA

The Masters of Accounting (MACC) is designated by a yellow nameplate with black type.

MACC

And the Masters of Labor and Human Resources (MLHR) is designated by a purple/blue  plate with white type.

MLHR

I also recently discovered a special nameplate while working at my Graduate Assistance-ship position for a special event for alumni. Apparently if you are a VIP you get a super special Silver name plate with black type. One can only dream!

special