Posts Tagged 'Nationwide'

It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon

I recently ran the Nationwide ½ marathon in Columbus this past weekend and it struck me how similar a marathon (or ½ a marathon in my case) is to the MBA experience.   There are countless similarities and lessons, but there are five that stand out to me immediately.

 

1.       There’s no substitute for hard work…

This is probably the most obvious, yet it’s the one that we overlook the most.  Many of us in the MBA program have to prioritize our time and meet endless obligations like: class, studies, clubs, info sessions, networking, interviewing, and the list could go on and on.  In our desire to get a job, we may neglect the reading in order to research a company coming to campus.  Everyone realizes that, as students, we still have (or want to have) lives outside the classroom.  BUT, there’s no substitute for putting the time in.  Just like training for a marathon, if you neglect it or push it back on the priorities list, you will feel it later on!  This is one I particularly struggle with, in my running and in my studies.

2.       Know your pace!

If you were the Type A – President of your class, 4.0 GPA, joined every club that was offered – then you will really need to figure out what you want in Grad School.  You may thrive on doing as many activities as humanly possible, and maybe you can do that!  But for those mere mortals out there, we aren’t Olympic runners and we aren’t able to participate in everything that we want to.  So, know your pace.  In my running, I can sustain a 12 minute mile for 13 miles, but if I tried to run an 8 minute mile pace, I would flame out within the first 5 miles.  The same is true for your school endeavors.  If you want the most out of an MBA education, be selective and commit to the activities that truly interest you, not necessarily the ones that will enhance your resume the most.  If you try to do everything, you will be miserable.

3.       Just keep running…

There will be times when you regret the decisions that you make.  For me, this was at mile 7.  I had run fine up until this point, but that’s when my muscles really started to experience the pain from my lack of training.  In class, there are times that you will fall behind.  It’s inevitable if you are going to football games, visiting with friends, and meticulously scoping out job opportunities.  The trick is to keep going!  Don’t get discouraged because you weren’t able to get your Data Analysis homework done.  At some points along the journey, you may have to take it easy, maybe even walk.  That’s OK!  But always keep moving forward.  Never quit, even when you’ve not as prepared as you should have been. 

4.       The power of community.

One of the best attributes of a marathon is the support that the community gives for the event.  While running, you may see signs like this: “I know you’re a random stranger, but I’m so proud of you!” or “Stop reading this sign, keep running!” or “Kick Asphalt!”  It’s amazing to see people come out of their homes to cheer runners on.  Children will be on the curb soliciting high fives.  It’s just fun.  In the same way that the community supports running, Fisher’s community supports its students.  One of the things that drew me to Fisher was that staff, professors, donors, and peers alike truly want you to succeed.  Although we are all trying to get jobs, the program is small and intimate enough for our priorities to be focused on supporting one another, rather than stepping on one another.  This is probably the best thing about Fisher!

5.       Have fun!

No matter what, have fun!  You are obviously a highly qualified individual if you’re considering Fisher, and you obviously want to invest in yourself.  Though that’s all well and good, remember that you will only be here two years.  You will make some amazing friendships that will last a lifetime, but you have to first make those friendships!  That means you may have to skip a reading in order to go out to dinner with someone.  Do it!  This time is valuable in so many ways, but I would argue the most important way is in developing your network.  Show the other Fisher students that you’re more than simply focused on your studies or the job afterwards.  You should hang out at the tailgate, join a club, or perform community service, maybe even help out with (or run) a marathon.  You won’t regret it. 

Regardless of your ambitions, remember that the time spent in the program is not a sprint, though at times it certainly feels that way.  It is a marathon, unfolding even after you’ve left the program.  So, prepare and compete, but never forget to enjoy every moment. 


First HR Summit – successful!

Two Fridays ago was the first HR Summit held by GHRA (the professional development committee) and I have to say, kudos to them. It was held in the Fawcett Center from noon to four and people from all of Fisher was invited (although it was mostly HR students) as well as HR professionals from around Columbus.

Over lunch we had the opportunity to talk to everyone at the table. It was actually nice to be able to talk to one of the second years that I had never formally met before as well as a professional consultant, who had worked in HR for about ten years before starting his own consulting firm. I also shard a table with Amber, one of the other MLHR bloggers/first years, and an MBA student focused in finance. It was a great experience to talk to other students that I had never really had a chance to talk to before as well as a professional consultant.

After/during lunch, there was a speaker from Cardinal Health, who talked about the health care industry/Cardinal Health. It was interesting to hear his insight into how the new health care bill affects their business and, in turn, how it affects HR professionals. It was great to start with him because what he spoke about was more general HR information, not too much into the specifics. After he spoke, we had a little discussion/activity at our tables. We had the luxury of having a professional consultant at our table, so he helped lead the discussion in terms of where we should start when it came to solving the problem in the mini-case study. I learned so much about consulting in that 30 minutes, than I knew after about a year of the MLHR program, which is not a knock on the program, it just isn’t HR consulting focused. Also, it was interesting to hear from the MBA student at our table who wanted to look at solving the issue from a financial perspective instead of an HR perspective. After the activity we heard from a panel of two professionals, one lady from Nationwide Insurance who focuses on diversity and Steve Russell, the Chief People Officer, at McDonald’s. Both professionals discussed the issue of diversity and how it relates to HR. They answered questions from one of the second year GHRA executive board members about what their company’s definition of diversity was and how they handle diversity. Finally, we had our last speaker from Nationwide, who also summarized what her company does and then lead a discussion about anything we wanted to talk about further.

I certainly hope next year that the new GHRA professional development committee and our new president (hint hint Shawn H.) will continue this tradition.


Work Smarter, Not Harder

This has been my motto for a while now. Not to say that I make a point of finding shortcuts, because I don’t, but to just step back and think for a second or two about what you have to get done, before you just jump in. Maybe a way to say it could be think more logically and systematically before you begin something? How does that sound?

My project for my IMS internship is finally underway. I have a meeting today with the redesign team, and Friday, I’m going to begin the real work on my project because I have 80% of the data I need. My project, so that you know what I’m talking about, includes looking at all of the students in the Nationwide Marketing University and, after putting them into groups of students who have taken approximately the same classes, developing a course plan which will enable them to graduate in a timely manner. When I was looking at the data (when I say data, it really means the spreadsheet of everyone who has taken a class), I started writing formulas to count the number of times a class was taken. If I had truly taken the advice of my motto, I would have looked through the entire file and noticed that this was already done for me. Brilliant! So anyway, it will be exciting to get that stuff going.

I have a second meeting this afternoon about an internship for the summer, and if it goes according to plan, I will have an internship by approximately 4:45 tonight! Woot! It’s very stress relieving to start figuring out my  plan for the summer, after the wedding. It seems like everything I’ve been doing has been to concentrate on planning, and not enough for my internship search. Not that it’s a bad thing, it’s just that you can tell where my priorities lie. :)

For now, that’s all. More updates as I work through my project and hopefully some good news about my meeting!

-Amanda



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