Break Breakdown/Introducing…Columbus

So over winter break, I went back to Michigan to spend the holidays with family and friends.  It was a relaxing and much needed break, as I’m sure everyone would agree.  It is always nice to see family during the holidays as we have never been very close in general so the holidays are the only times I get to see many of my aunts and uncles.  My sister also recently gave birth to my nephew, so I got to see him for the first time.

Break also gave me tons of time to do some pleasure reading and music searching.  I have felt a bit of music withdrawal since starting classes.  One of my favorite things to do is dig up new music and collect records, as well as dabbling in songwriting and playing guitar.  I decided to leave my guitar in Michigan when I moved to Columbus, and I have missed almost all things music since I’ve been here.

It was great to have time to spend with an amazing group of friends.  Since I was in Michigan for so much time we were able to get back into some of the things we did before I left.  We had a regular schedule; wallyball on Tuesday nights, trivia at one of the local bars on Thursdays, skiing normal once a month through the winter.  Being here in Columbus I miss those friends and activities.

While I was there, I started planning to have some of them down here one weekend soon.  However, since I spent so much time on classes, internship hunting, and all of the things that go into surviving grad school, I didn’t have too many opportunities to explore Columbus last quarter.  Because of that, I am a bit at a loss for the best way to introduce visitors to Columbus.

As much as I’m sure many of you would rather not have a group of Michiganders down here in Buckeye territory, I wonder how someone from Columbus would welcome visitors to the city.  Do you take them to a game, Schmidt’s, somewhere in the Short North?

Please feel free to comment and let me know how you would introduce visitors to Columbus and OSU.

On a side note, some of you may have heard about the Beard Competition that took place at Fisher after the break.  The way it worked was, if you wanted to participate, you grow your beard all through break and at the end there would be judges over the course of three days.  The first day was the full beard, the second day was facial hair design, and the final day was the mustache.  I decided to give it a shot.  I had to trim my beard a couple weeks before the end of break, but even with the mid-growth set-back, I’m proud to say I took Third Place.  No prizes, just man/beard pride.

From Michigan to Ohio

“Not Ann Arbor.”

That has become the standard answer that I give to one of the first questions asked when meeting new people.  Starting life at a new university and a new job, in a new city, “where are you from?” is one of the most common introductory questions.  In Columbus, Michigan definitely isn’t an answer most people like hearing.  I, however, am not from Ann Arbor, nor did I attend the University of Michigan at any point in my academic career.

Of course, the students of The Ohio State University aren’t alone.  That’s what makes the rivalry so exciting, right?  When deciding on which university to attend for graduate school, the only people in Michigan excited for me to come here were transplants from Ohio.  This puts me between a rock and a hard place.  I get booed in Columbus when I tell people I’m from Michigan, and I get booed in Michigan when I tell people I am going to school here.

So far it has all been in good fun and I have meet some great people in the few weeks I have lived in Columbus.  I have also found a classmate from Michigan, so I am not totally alone.  In the end, I’m glad I chose to come here and I am excited for the start of classes this week.  I’m also excited to go to my first football game to watch Ohio State vs. Eastern Michigan, the university where I earned my undergrad degree.  It should be an easy win for the Buckeyes since I could probably count on one hand the number of wins EMU had during my four years there.

Picture of the Day

Starting with my post next week, I will be adding one picture for everyday of the week to help document my first year in the MLHR program.  For prospective students, friends, family, and classmates reading my blog, I hope it gives a better idea of what it is like as a new Grad student at the Fisher College of Business.

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.

A tradition that never gets old!

This weekend past was the ‘game’, which apparently was not only a game but also a great opportunity for research on human behavior (“studying the big game”). The game is the annual college football match between The Ohio State ‘Buckeyes’ and The University of Michigan ‘Wolverines’. The rivalry has dated back to 1897 and there have been 106 meetings total between the two teams. The University of Michigan has an edge overall with 57 to 43 wins but in recent years Ohio State has been the stronger of the two teams with a run of 6 victories in a row. This weekend they got the sixth win with a 21-10 score line in Ann Arbor, MI to leave the team 10-2 on the season and heading to a big bowl game in Pasadena CA in January known as the Rose Bowl.

rose bowl

The rivalry has a range of traditions such as jumping in Mirror Lake on the OSU campus on the Thursday night before the game (where did the jumping tradition came from?), usually in some very cold temperatures leading to a range of illnesses….. The scene on a Thursday night is something that everyone should experience, jumping into questionable water quality in sub zero temperatures, I’m not so sure……



The game also allows for a range of charitable organizations to benefit, with a run for cancer occurring between the two universities and also a blood battle to see which university can gain the most donations playing a role in stocking local hospitals blood supplies. It is also the last game of the intense football season and everyone’s attention on campus focuses on it with a range of events occurring.

This year the football team has had a good year – one poor performance against big ten rival Purdue and a tough loss against University of Southern California has meant they do not get to go for a national championship title. It does mean however that the team won a Big Ten title and the team has improved as the season has gone on and the campus is excited for next season already. The only problem is that the season doesn’t start until August of next year!

As I write this blog, I need to acknowledge my sports advisor Ed, a big contributor for this blog and without whom I would not have any idea of what is football or its rules so ever 🙂

A Day at Nestlé

Today I traveled to Solon, OH with several Fisher MBA classmates to take a tour of the Nestlé campus and learn more about brand management opportunities at the company.  After the tour, it was clear that Nestlé is a unique place with remarkable brands.  I thought the most interesting part of the day was when two Marketing Associates spoke to us about their experience in the Toll House Cookie Dough Group during the E. coli recall several months ago.  I can’t think of a larger obstacle to overcome than a product recall, but this group never panicked.  After several weeks with the product off store shelves, the baking division re-launched the cookie dough in a slightly modified package highlighting that the product was safe.  Their initiatives were a major success and the Toll House brand suffered no major brand damage.  In fact, their sales this month are slightly higher than they were a year ago.

Tomorrow is the big game against Michigan.  I’ll be at the Buckeye Hall of Fame Cafe talking to prospective students about Fisher and all that it has to offer.  So if you’ll be there, please hold any questions until non-critical moments of the game. Thanks.