Midterms midterms everywhere! (aka “Five Tips to Survive Midterms”)

For many of us, by the time we enter our MBA program, it’s been at least a few years since we’ve been required to take a midterm.  So, this week, a short post on some of my observations about taking midterms.

  1. Keep up with the work in class – don’t let the homework slide at the beginning thinking that you’ll catch up later.  It will be exhausting to try to study for midterms while you’re learning things for the first time. (This especially applies in accounting!)
  2. Study with friends – they may have the same questions you do and that will help you figure out the problem together.  Or they may have thought of a question you didn’t.  Either way, it helps to mingle solo-study with group-study.
  3. Spread it out – haven’t our mothers been trying to teach us this lesson since elementary school?  You get the syllabus at the beginning of the quarter.  Plan accordingly.
  4. Take breaks – I call them brain breaks.  Run and get food, watch an episode of your favorite show, or go out with friends and let off some steam.
  5. Enjoy yourself – stress can have a negative affect on your grade.  Find the appropriate balance between sense of urgency and enjoyment.

Good luck!

Tips for Surviving Midterm Exam Week

If you are like most graduate students, you dread midterm exam week.  Personally, I cannot think of one person I know who actually likes taking exams or gets really excited about studying for long periods of time.  I can usually handle the “spaced” out exams where I have one exam per week.  The real challenge comes when you are forced to have to study for 2-3 exams in the same week and it almost turns into a game of Russian Roulette deciding which exam you are going to study for.

However, despite all the horror stories that are in circulation, it is possible to survive midterm exam week and move on with your life. Here is a list of things to consider as your exam week approaches as well as things to do during your exam week:

1.  PREPARATION.  What is that, you ask?  Simple.  Start sooner rather than later, my fellow graduate students.  Trust me, I am the KING of procrastination.  But when it comes to exams, I don’t mess around.

2.  Find some study buddies.  This is always helpful especially when the material is hard to comprehend or difficult to understand.  People like helping other people.  You would be amazed what can be accomplished when you stick 3-4 heads together.

3.  TAKE BREAKS.  Get out from underneath your study rock and get some fresh air.  Hit the gym for an hour…go for a walk…watch an episode of House Hunters International (or three).  The point here is to just go do something “other” than studying.  Trust me, your brain needs a break.  My break during midterm exam week:  writing my blog.

4.  SLEEP.  I’ve made this mistake before.  And so have you.  Everyone has done it at least once.  It’s called the “all-nighter”.  This can be completely counterproductive to your study efforts.  Try as much as possible to keep your normal sleep routine.  Sacrificing 4 more hours of study time just isn’t worth it in the long run.


5.  REWARD YOURSELF.  You earned it.  Go treat yourself to some ice cream.  Maybe you’ll finally take a trip to your favorite restaurant with some friends.  It doesn’t matter “what” you do.  What matters is that your DO SOMETHING.  Get in the habit of rewarding yourself for a job well done.

Good luck!

Positive Perspective on Progress


The First Year MBA students at Fisher are diligently preparing (i.e. panicking) about our first round of midterms.  As I try to re-learn the relationship between Correlations and Covariance (um, I got an A in stats…in 1995!), I sense that I am neglecting everything else on my ever-growing MBA to-do list.  I’m starting to feel like I am merely treading water in this ocean of grad school requirements and possibilities.  In an attempt to make myself feel better, and point out some of the fantastic opportunities I’ve been able to take advantage of here at Fisher, I’ve compiled the following list of things that I have completed in the past two weeks:

  • Participated in four very productive team meetings – shout out to Team X!!!
  • Attended four Fisher Information sessions (Corporate Mentor Program, Emerging Market Field Study, Fisher Serves & Association of Marketing Professionals)
  • Spent some quality time at the mall with my daughter
  • Spent some quality time with a Fisher Director of Career Management and Corporate Relations
  • Mailed a birthday card to a new friend who is far from home
  • Attended a Brand Management Happy Hour/Info Session hosted by Nestle
  • Heard an amazing speaker from Thailand via the Distinguished International Speaker Series
  • Hand delivered a birthday card because I goofed up the address…
  • Received a hug from a classmate after a particularly stressful day in Data Analysis
  • Gave a hug to a classmate who lost a loved one
  • Attended Fisher Graduate Women in Business happy hour and Young Alumni happy hour – on the same night!
  • Met with my academic advisor
  • Entertained the Fisher Fairy Godmother for a brief moment or five…
  • Attended a Data Analysis review session (and provided comic relief when a classmate made my chair fall – thanks for the love J-Lo)
  • Attended a Fisher Networking Event at the Blackwell
  • Went on a FIELD TRIP to Algaeventure with fellow members of Net Impact
  • Had coffee with a new friend
  • My son went pee on the potty for the first time!  O.K. so maybe this isn’t really my accomplishment but I am claiming it anyway!
  • Got my hair cut and colored (um, hello?  Priorities here!  In my defense, I read three articles for Organizational Behavior while allowing the color to set…)
  • Had lunch with a new friend who tried to talk me down from a Data Analysis melt-down (I see a trend here…)
  • Had a blast with some new friends at a fall potluck – oh how I wish Charades were a major!
  • Participated in an all-day Marketing Boot Camp – one of the best learning experiences I’ve had thus far at Fisher!

So maybe my Organizational Behavior paper isn’t finished, I haven’t prepared anything for my Enhancing Professional Interchange assignment and I am SO not ready for my Data Analysis exam (again with DA?).  But at least I can refer back to this list and realize that I am truly making positive progress!  Now I need to calculate the probability of positive progress on, you guessed it, the Data Analysis Midterm!


Well folks, after submitting my resume to more than 30 businesses, and a lot of interviews, I still don’t have an internship, but…I was offered a Graduate Administrative Associate position with the Department of Materials Science and Engineering! This was quite exciting news this morning! I’m very, very excited about this opportunity. I’ll be working with the undergraduate and graduate academic advisers and developing recruiting events and coordinating visits with potential students. I think recruiting will be very interesting. And in addition to 1/2 tuition and the stipend, the more gratifying part is that someone finally finds value in my skills. I know the other places I’ve applied to and interview with know that I have skills, they’re just not the skills which are most beneficial to them at this time. Which, I understand, it was just to stomach at the time.

Anyway, a small update in the life of the bulls who escaped and ran wild last week. There is now a Facebook group dedicated to them. Apparently they’ve been named Pedro and Herbert. My fiance gave a shout out to all of my faithful readers on my Facebook wall and provided the link for your enjoyment.

Tomorrow is the first of two midterms this week. I have severely procrastinated and am not done with my review sheet, but I am working on it. I’m bound and determined to finish it before midnight tonight, read through it once or twice, go to bed, and then study throughout the day tomorrow. I don’t think it will be too bad, it’s just the fact that there’s so much to remember. I suppose it all fits together, it’s just small minute details which I don’t see as important to the overall staffing picture, but apparently they are, which will trip me up a little bit.

Benjamin and I finally had engagement pictures taken Friday night at my elementary playground. Even if the pictures turned out bad, it was a blast. Apparently I was entertaining. We’ll see. I’ll post some pictures as soon as I get them! I’m very excited to see them.

For now, good luck to everyone with midterms. And if you’ve procrastinated like I have, even more luck your way. Challenge for the week. Do something nice and unexpected for someone you think really needs a pick-me-up, without expecting anything in return. You never know how much it can lift someone’s spirits just by doing something very simple.

Midterm week… again

It’s that time of year again… midterm season.  Although I had a rough midterm week last quarter, I am handling the pressure and the work-load in a much healthier fashion this time around.  I guess I can attribute this to finally getting into the swing of school.

I have already taken my Operations midterm and did really well on it.  Tonight I’m studying for my Marketing midterm.  It is pretty straight forward so I’m not too worried about it… hence I am able to write a blog entry.  After tomorrow I will only have my Finance midterm left and who knows how that’ll go.  I’m just looking forward to having these midterms behind me so that I can refocus on my internship search.   I have two second round interviews coming up, so hopefully I can close on one of the opportunities.


A Trail Mix of a Blog

Sorry guys, I had no better title for this blog. Why trail mix? Well, this blog is mix of a bunch of different random parts of my life and there will likely be no central theme.

Two weeks ago I went to “Boo at the Zoo”. Growing up in Columbus, I’ve been to the Zoo many times, but I was fun to go this year with my fiance, a few of his friends from that state up north and my roommate. Benjamin, my fiance, and I were the only two of the bunch who had ever been to the Columbus Zoo before,  so it was neat to show everyone what we grew up with. Did you know that the Columbus Zoo was recently ranked #1 by USA Travel Guide? Pretty awesome, and if you look at the prices for the other top ranked zoos, Columbus’ Zoo is made even better by the fact that admission is only $12. This weekend is the last “Boo at the Zoo” for the season. I think everyone should go. It’s pretty cool, and a lot of the ‘treat stations’ have treats for adults, too – one thing I got was a $5 off coupon for Bob Evan’s Sausage. Who doesn’t love that?!

Today is my first midterm as a graduate student. I’m nervous yes,  but it’s in statistics and I’m fairly confident I’ll do just fine. Here’s to hoping. Tomorrow, however, that midterm will be a completely different story. I have no idea how to study for that one. All of the second years keep telling me to just keep writing and the more I write the better I’ll do. I suppose, but I don’t know. Good thing is that there will be 3 questions and I can pick 2 to actually answer. I find that method of test taking is the best for me.

Another reason for nerves today is that I should be finding out whether or not I was selected to be an intern for the group I interviewed for last week. I’m more nervous about that than anything else. Additionally, it seems to be taking all of my attention away from studying as I am entirely distracted by checking my email to see if I’ve received the email.

Lastly – Good luck to Elle who made it to the final rounds of interviews for Rolls Royce. Lucky dog is missing both midterms to be in Indianapolis. But, kudos to her! 🙂

Happy Tuesday!