Keeping Pace

There was a saying that we used in the Marine Corps: “It is easier to keep up than catch up.”

This phrase mostly applied to things like running or forced marches in that context, but it seems to me that is is quite applicable to an MBA program as well.   Time management is a crucial skill that is needed in order to thrive in this sort of environment.  In the Marines they begin training in stress inoculation and time management almost immediately.  It is not uncommon in boot camp for something simple, like making a rack (bed), to be given an impossible, or nearly impossible time restriction, and it progresses from there to more complex issues with seemingly impossible time constraints.

Important life decisions.

Time management and the ability to work under duress are two of the many valuable skills (along with leadership), that the Marines helped instill in me.   So, back to the MBA program, during the program, there are a lot of priorities that need to be balanced.  Some of the main ones are:

  • School:  Not just going to all of my classes, but doing homework assignments, studying, and working on projects.
  • Future Careers:  Especially for people like myself looking to switch careers, I need to actively work on building my professional network, attend company info sessions and events, job fairs, apply for jobs, hopefully interview for jobs, work on my resume, and meet with my career counselor.

    First Career Fair as a graduate student today!
  • Student organizations:  There are a myriad of student organizations at Fisher, and they all offer valuable opportunities to students.  There is certainly not time to join all of them, but I have joined several, but each additional one requires an additional time commitment.
  • Personal:  This is possibly the easiest to neglect, but humans need sleep, and to eat, and every once and a while to relax.  Things like going to the gym take time, but it is something that should not be neglected.  Also, having a social life within the program is important.  A big part of business school seems to be networking, so doing things like going to happy hours, and football games are important to building strong relationships with classmates.

All of these areas need to be kept in balance, and maintained, sometimes one is going to be more in focus than the rest, but that doesn’t mean the rest can be neglected.  If I neglect an area, then I am going to fall behind in it, which means that in the future, I will need to expend the same amount of energy needed for it now, plus the energy needed for it in the future, in order to catch up.  That is in addition to meeting all of the other requirements from the other sections of my life.  So, a short term sacrifice now, causes long term harm if I decide to slack in one or more areas.  So, even though it might seem overwhelming sometimes, keeping up with it all is easier than trying to catch up with it all in the future.  I should thank my Drill Instructor for the life lesson.


Four simultaneous Script Ohio’s is an amazing thing.

Start early, start often

People, perhaps now more than ever, like instant gratification.  We want answers and results right now.  We don’t want to have to wait until 6 in the evening to catch the evening news, which is why we have multiple 24 hour cable news networks.  Most of us carry more computing power in our pockets than it took to get to the moon, so that we have everything, news, weather, banking info, contacts, and whatever else there is an app for, at our fingertips.

But, if you are looking at attending an MBA program, or utilizing the GI Bill, or even planning to use the GI Bill to attend an MBA program, then an important element to achieve success is to start both processes early.   And neither one is really going to give you that instant gratification that we all crave these days, but they are worth it in the long run.

If you are thinking that attending a top MBA program sounds like a good idea, then if you haven’t already, you should be studying for and scheduling a time to take the GMAT.  It was actually about this time last year that I took mine.  That way, you will have your score when you go to recruiting events, and if you don’t score as high as you would have liked, might even be able to re-take the test before it is time to apply.

After the GMAT is done, come all the other important things, like recruiting events, campus visits, and interviews, all of which you want to get done before application deadlines, so that you can make the best informed decision possible.   Sometimes there are also scholarships and fellowships that are available only to those who apply to the earlier deadlines a school may have.

And, if you are eligible to use the GI Bill, I assume you have dealt with the VA before, so start the process of verifying your eligibility early, because that process can involve a whole lot of hurry up and wait as well.   Time management and task prioritization will be of the utmost importance when pursuing an MBA, so it is best to build those skills early, if you don’t already possess them.

Finally, here is a more current picture of Ohio Stadium, taken last Saturday vs.  Buffalo.

I think my seats are not too shabby.


A student once again

Saying that I am a student once again may not be completely accurate, because really, we are all constantly students in life, expanding our horizons and our knowledge.  Perhaps “back to being a professional student” is a more accurate description.  It has been a little over six years since I received my Bachelor’s degree in Ohio Stadium (a.k.a. the Horseshoe), and in those six years I learned a lot about myself and the world.  I am sure I will talk more about the journey in future posts, but here is a picture to serve as a primer.

Seeing the world, one muddy field at a time. Yes, all that stuff was quite heavy.

But coming back to Ohio State, and going to the Fisher College of Business for my MBA was the kind of offer that I just could not turn down in good conscience.  The reasons to come here at this point in my life are varied, but things like Fisher being a top rated MBA program (including in Operations, Logistics and Supply Chain Management), a world class faculty, beautiful campus in a vibrant city, and small class size for more exposure to faulty and staff certainly didn’t hurt.  But, I also get to go to one of the happiest places in the world, on a regular basis for the happiest time of year:  Ohio Stadium for Football Season.

A slightly dated, but beautiful, Horseshoe picture, I will need to take some new ones this Saturday.

Lots of Lasts for a Buckeye Fan

What a sentimental week for a senior…

As a combined BSBA/MAcc student, this is my fourth and final year at Ohio State.  This past week was what I would fondly refer to as an epic one – complete with the Mirror Lake jump, my first OSU men’s basketball game of the year, the Michigan game, and of course Thanksgiving and all the food and napping that may imply!

The epic “Beat Michigan” week started off with the Mirror Lake jump on Tuesday night.  Let’s put it this way:  tens of thousands of students jumping into a waist-deep, unclean pond in what was actually mild weather for late November.  Words really can’t describe the experience, but it’s a great way to feel some Buckeye pride and pump yourself up for the big game on Saturday.  I’ll leave the rest to the imagination…

The first of many basketball games this season!

After spending a wonderful Thanksgiving with my family, it was back to campus on Friday evening for the OSU men’s basketball game versus UKMC.  I’ll play the role of stereotypical accountant here and refer to the numbers by pointing out the final score of 91-45 does indicate that our boys scored more than twice as many points as those “Roos” from Missouri.  Some people to watch out for this season:

  • Aaron Craft – our star point guard…yeah, not much else needs to be said there
  • Deshaun Thomas – so glad he came back this year!  Look for him to become the 49th player in OSU history to hit 1,000 career points…he’s only 7 away!
  • Sam Thompson – one word:  aerodynamic
  • Lenzelle Smith Jr. – this kid knows when to light up a game.  He had some great moments in the playoffs last year, so I’m looking forward to more this year!
  • Evan Ravenel – yep, he can dunk
  • Amadeo Della Valle – our only freshman and the kid with the coolest name ever

After a nice win on Friday, I was ready for the THE GAME.  The Buckeyes’ big win over TSUN (“that school up north”) was the perfect last OSU football game as a student at Ohio State.  It was bittersweet singing “Carmen Ohio” in the stadium after our big win; I felt so proud of the team and so proud to be a Buckeye in that moment.

Big win for OSU against that team up north to complete a perfect season!

Before I start tearing up as a realize all of the “lasts” that I’ve experienced in the past few weeks, I should probably wrap this one up.  So, after a great weekend for sports, here’s to being a Buckeye!

Can the football team affect your grad school experience?

Grown men crying
Buckeyes football - Bringing grown men to tears since 1890.

Ok, let me get this out of the way, I promise this is not a “The Buckeyes lost two games in a row, the Mayans were right, the world is ending soon” post. And I am not suggesting that the SMF program or Fisher in general is an expansion of the football team. However, the SMF program provides the unique experience to spend only one year (read: one football season) in Columbus. For the regular Buckeye fans (ok, I may be a bit past regular), this is just a sad season, and everyone will deal with it using their own levels of mourning, denial, and anger. I am talking about the out-of-towners, whether they are from Boston, Beijing, or Bombay.

There is an undeniable connection between Columbus and the Ohio State football team. This is sewn into the fabric of the city. So what if that huge chunk of the experience is missing for a season (like so many of our players are “missing”). Saturday, October 8, was one of the strangest “Football Saturday’s” I have experienced in my seven years in Columbus. Regardless if the game is home or away, campus is flooded with fans ages 8-80 decked out in their scarlet and gray, with as many Buckeye necklaces as you can find. Even on Fridays, all around Columbus and in the surrounding suburbs, businessmen and women don their Ohio State attire to show support and excitement for the upcoming game. After the game, it is commonplace to wear your attire out the local watering holes where throngs of your counterparts are either celebrating or drowning their sorrows along with you.

This was not the case a couple of weekends ago. This year – no national title talks, no College GameDay invading campus at least once, no January bowl trips giving us a great reason to extend our winter break just a few days longer. Maybe it is because I live off campus now, but I lived off campus last season and I did not seem to notice a big difference. It is certainly not depressing around campus this year, just different. I was out before and after the game. Jerseys were scarce. Buckeye beads were nowhere to be found. It might as well have been April. Maybe with only one year here, outsiders would never know what they are missing. Or maybe they don’t care. But part of the fun of a new country, city, or school is the local nuances.

So explore the arts district in the Short North. Gorge yourself with a Thurman’s Burger or a Dagwood from Ohio Deli. Watch out for the basketball team to make a Final Four run. And certainly do not lose sight of the top notch academics offered at Fisher. Those will always be here. I’m just saying, if you are on the fence about coming to OSU, ask any of the 105,000 people below. I can safely say that most of us (yes, I am in there somewhere) will never forget this day or this season. I hope our visitors will be able to say the same.


Fans rush the field after "The Game" in 2006

Me and my friend Gee

MBA team with my new best friend, President Gordon Gee

Last Saturday, I had the opportunity to present at President Gordon Gee’s Pre-game Lunch event as part of a team of Fisher MBA students.  It was amazing! The event began like a pep rally complete with cheerleaders, the band and Brutus Buckeye. Athletic Director, Gene Smith, gave a brief address as did President Gee. Then we went into the Reading Room of the beautiful Thompson Library for some delicious lunch with a side of networking. Our presentation was a huge success (as was the Fisher undergraduate presentation) and we all had a great time!

 So, how did I get to be a part of this presentation? Pretty simple, actually – I took Professor Shashi Matta’s Advertising and Promotions class last spring. Professor Matta’s courses are designed to be “action-based learning” which is a key component of courses at Fisher and throughout Ohio State.  A major component of that class was a live marketing project for a local business, Watershed Distillery. The project itself was very rewarding since we knew we were doing work that would directly benefit a local entrepreneur. As I make my way through my internship/part-time job and my new courses, I continually refer back to all the things I learned in that class and on that project. It was probably the best – and most time consuming – course I have taken at Fisher based on personal growth and professional application. And now, it’s opening opportunities for us as well.  I can’t wait to see what the next unexpected Fisher opportunity will be!


Brutus doing the "O-H-I-O" with his legs (this is the "H")



Gene Smith makes a joke about getting his hair wet 🙂
If you read any of my posts from last year, you may recall that I'm a bit of a band geek. Here TBDBIL begins Script Ohio - did I mention that we were given 2 tickets to the game as a 'thank you'?

It has only just begun

Hello my fellow Buckeyes (and prospective ones too)!

It is an exciting time for us 1st year MLHR students. Over the summer, I was anxiously awaiting what this new chapter of my life would bring. And I have to admit – I was nervous! On the first day of orientation, I had no idea what to expect and had the butterflies fluttering around in my stomach. As my first blog, I felt it was fitting to give you all a little insight on what I loved most about MLHR orientation and how I got those butterflies away. So, here goes nothing!


The opportunities and resources here at Fisher are endless. From the organizations, internship options, and networking, I know I will have no problem keeping myself busy the next 2 years. One of my favorite things from orientation was the panel of 2nd year MLHR students who came to give advice, answer questions, and tell about their experience so far at Fisher. I was very involved in organizations in undergrad and cannot wait to join GHRA (Graduate Human Resources Association)!


I am always up for meeting new people and I was eager to see where all my classmates would be from come this fall. The first night of orientation, our advisers put together a fun quiz to help us become more acquainted with one another. The quiz consisted of 4 facts and we were to guess which one was false. After guessing the false fact, each student represented in the ‘true facts’ confirmed which one was theirs. I was astounded by all of the different backgrounds of my classmates! I have lived in Ohio my entire life. Although I have met many people from different backgrounds over the years, I have never been in a setting such as this. The class of 2013 come from all over the world and possess an array of personalities. Getting to know one another over the next 2 years will not only be exciting, but will surely enhance our social development and prepare us as successful HR professionals. Just think, how boring would it be if we all had everything in common with one another?

Tour of Ohio Stadium

View from the press box - Do you feel the greatness?

I am, and always have been, I huge fan of Ohio State football. Although all my life it has been Cleveland sports and Notre Dame in my household, I found my way to the greatness! So, as you can already tell I was very excited to learn my classmates and I would be getting a tour of Ohio Stadium.

Even though I ‘claim’ to be a huge fan of the Buckeyes and have been to many games, I did not know much about the history of Ohio Stadium. My classmates and I were given a complete tour (inside and out) and told all of the stories of how this stadium came to be one of the most eccentric in the country (I would love to share, but some of you may be getting this tour next fall!) After the tour was over, I had even a more clear understanding as to why Ohio State Football is a secular religion here in Columbus.

I look forward to the next 2 years at Fisher. Here’s to a new beginning!

A few of us at Ohio Stadium - I need to improve my 'I'! 🙂

OSU vs. Purdue

My husband and I went to the game last Saturday. Professor Jay Dial was there, too, being recognized for receiving the Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching earlier this year. Unfortunately, he flashed by too quickly on the scoreboard for me to get a picture.

The game was great, if a little repetitive. Touchdown after touchdown after touchdown. (Ha!) The Bucks made Purdue look like a hapless high school junior varsity squad at times. Too bad they didn’t do so well against their previous opponent. We’ll see if the new #1 falls yet again this weekend. I suppose if Ole Miss scores a touchdown against Auburn on their first kickoff return, we’ll find out!

We sat in the nosebleed section, almost directly below the Iowa pennant. It was unfortunately the away side, which meant we didn’t get the full effect of the halftime show and Elvis dotting the “i”–in “Elvis,” not “Ohio.” I thought it was a bit silly to dedicate a whole halftime show to the King, but it was funny. The Elvis impersonator was only okay. If this were Las Vegas, you’d have a better crop of those dudes to pick from.

After the game, we made the trek from the stadium to the southeast corner of Lane and High, passing the massive street party that forms along Lane Avenue during home games. Where were we going? To eat at a taco truck: El Manantial Latino. My husband works at Ohio State and frequents this truck for lunch. He had a huge order: two empanadas (beef and chicken), one cheese arepa and plantains. I, being a vegetarian, opted for the arepa and plantains. The arepa was like a flat cheese tamale, but griddled instead of steamed. The plantains were deep fried–health food!–and oh so delicious. You can see a picture of the taco truck itself in the gallery below. The menu can be seen in a larger picture here. It was much better than any of the humongous chain restaurant options nearby; and the truck really wasn’t busy after the game. In contrast, the BW3 across the way was jam-packed. Well, Buffalo Wild Wings opened its first restaurant in Columbus, so you could argue that it’s “local”. It is awesome how some local restaurants can “make it big” and start taking over the world, but at the same time I think eating in locally-owned restaurants is better than choosing from homogenized menus intended for large regions of the country.

I hope everyone has a happy Halloween weekend!

I hate football!

O.K.  I don’t really hate football.  But I don’t love it either.  As a student at Ohio State (or simply a resident in Central Ohio) who doesn’t LOVE football can get a bit uncomfortable at times because it seems that everyone except you treats Buckeye Football like a religion of sorts and you are a leper, begging for mercy.  Even though I am not a true fan of Buckeye Football, I purchased season tickets (yes, that’s tickets – married students get to purchase TWO tickets, even if your significant other is also not really a fan…).  You may be wondering why I would spend all of that hard-to-come-by cash on tickets to five events that I don’t really care about.  The answer is actually quite simple:  I love marching bands, fanfare, pageantry and tradition.

This weekend my daughter and I took part in one of the Ohio State Marching Bands long-standing traditions: The Skull Session.  The Skull Session began as a final memorization run-through for the members of the band.  Over time the Skull Session has become a giant band driven pep rally with 10,000 of your closest friends!  The best part?  It’s absolutely FREE!  You don’t need a ticket; you don’t have to go to the game afterward.  All you have to do is show up (2 hours prior to kickoff) and have a good time.

During the Skull Session, the band practices all of the music they will play during the game including the score for Script Ohio.  As the band plays, the drum majors and the sousaphone players practice dotting the “i”.  I am a big fan of low brass (I played some tuba in my day…) so I’ve included a video of this practice “dotting” for you to enjoy as well!

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If you don’t love football, are not a fan of low brass, and do not care for pageantry or tradition, Central Ohio is still a great place to live.  Just treat OSU game days as I once did – a really great excuse to hit the shopping malls!  Everyone else is watching the game so you’ll have the entire place to yourself.

Not in this House, Brandon Hanning

Bobcat:  Hitting Brutus was ‘whole plan’

Ohio State Football is definitely an experience for the ages.  Over the years,  I have been to quite a few collegiate and professional sporting events and I would say attending a football game at ‘The Shoe’ tops ’em all.

First of all, I was absolutely ecstatic to learn that I would have the opportunity to purchase student football tickets this year.  I didn’t think I would get the chance since I was newly admitted to the university in mid-April…but the FOOTBALL gods saw SHINED upon thy self and, lo and behold, I have tickets.  (NOTE to new students…APPLY for your tickets EARLY!  I’m glad I did so I had the opportunity to order tickets.)

Now, at sporting events, I tend to be a casual observer.  I am not a FANATIC, but I do enjoy watching good teams playing good games, all the while engaging in some lighthearted and fun, on-the-field gamesmanship as well as exhibiting an appropriate amount of sportsmanship.  For me, it’s the entertainment factor.

But what I witnessed on Saturday was anything but “entertainment”.  I was seated in section 34A, messing around with my camera, and this guy behind me pipes up, “Hey, check out the OU (Ohio University) mascot…what is he doing?”  So I look and see the OU Bobcat pouncing on Brutus.  I guess I didn’t think anything of it…I thought it was purely for show. But after reading ESPN today, I thought wrong (click here).

I feel like Jim Rome right now…and I think I’m gonna ‘BURN’ for a moment, if you don’t mind.

Brandon Hanning.  Seriously.  C’mon man.  You are a 19-year old college kid who happens to the be the mascot for a Div. 1 intercollegiate football program who happened to be playing the #2 college football team in America. Instead of being like every other ‘normal’ 19-year old college male who occasionally skips class, participates in all-night keg stands and plays way too much PlayStation 3…you decided to turn into Generation Y’s version of the Unibomber and plan a kamikaze attack on Brutus the Buckeye Mascot.  It’s not like you were attending the game with a bunch of buddies from your 4th floor dormitory at OU and got double-dog dared to run out on to the field and tackle an interstate rival mascot.  Heck, the worst you would get for that is tasered, carried off in cuffs and be on SportCenter’s Not so Top 10.   Not you, Ted…whoops, I mean, Brandon…you decided methodically plan it for an entire year!  You say, “I think I planned it pretty well…and I definitely would do it again.”  Well, Brandon, I got a sober suggestion for you:  how about you ‘plan’ on showing up to this week’s game and try ‘that’ again?  I guarantee you will get swallowed up by 105k passionate Buckeye Fans, my friend.  Let me just say this:  Next time you “plan” on doing something as idiotic as “that” again, in the words of my friend Ice Cube: “Chickity Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself.”