First Semester, Second Session

Hi everyone!

Second session classes have just started and I can’t believe it is already time for us to schedule classes for next semester. As the other SMF Ambassador Tatenda wrote in his blog, time is really flying by. It feels like yesterday when I was sitting in Gerlach 305 for our first Financial Analysis and Valuation class. During this first half of the semester, I had the opportunity to meet my fellow classmates a little bit more, participate in several networking and career fair activities as well as have some fun attending a Beyoncé concert and Ohio State football game.

Ohio State Stadium
Beyonce at the Ohio Stadium (Aug 16th)
Fisher Graduate Latino Association at the Prospanica Conference in Milwaukee, WI

As an undergraduate, I had the opportunity to make it to a football game several times and I just love the atmosphere while at the stadium. As a graduate student with more loaded schoolwork and less availability over the weekends, I wasn’t really planning on going to the stadium this semester. However, a couple of weeks ago, Tatenda was kind enough to invite me and some of his friends to the OSU vs. Minnesota football game. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed being at the stadium and experience a football game.

I LOVE the school spirit here at Ohio State, especially when it comes to sports!

When I first arrived to Ohio four years ago, one of the things that impressed me the most about Ohio State folks was their love for football and college sports. People really get into it when it comes to college football and I can certainly understand why. Initially I had no idea what was going on, or even how the scoring system worked. Coming from a country (Peru) where soccer is the most popular sport, I really had no chance to learn about football when I was growing up. However, people from my tennis team and friends in general were really patient explaining me the rules to help me become a master of football rules. Totally kidding—I’m far from being an expert, but hey, I do understand enough to have fun while watching! 🙂

The marching band also had an astonishing performance during halftime.

As second session continues, I look forward to more learning experiences in and outside the classroom, and sharing those with all of you!

Go Bucks!

View of the Fisher Courtyard

How to Make Meaningful New Year’s Resolutions Last in 2012

Well, it’s here.  The year 2012.  The start of a new calendar year. The start of a new academic term in grad school and the Fisher MLHR program. And I know that with every new year comes (and I almost hate to say it) an attempt by many well-intentioned folks to make some kind of New Year’s Resolution.  Even as I write this blog, a lot of people are already 17 days DEEP into trying to achieve a myriad of personal resolutions such as:  losing weight, getting more organized, saving more money, paying off debt, hitting up the gym to get a P90X beach body, finding that special someone to share life experiences with, eating healthier, taking an exciting  and memorable vacation/trip, committing to stop smoking/drinking less, etc. Coupled with starting a new academic term in grad school, new courses, new teammates, etc., it’s a challenge to say the least.

Every year most of us (including myself) try to make unique resolutions.  We may plan it well and try to stay determined to our plan to fulfill those resolutions.  But somehow “something” happens and when we look back mid- year we have found ourselves “off” the New Year’s Resolution wagon and back on the “well, there’s always next year for me to do it” wagon.

So, for all of us out there who either secretly or openly made resolutions this year, I want to share a few practical ways in which we all can make and achieve the promises we made to ourselves so we can finally produce the long-lasting results we “resolved” during the dropping of the ball.

1.  Be realistic.  One thing I’ve learned in my life is this:  Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is anything else that is worth doing or accomplishing.  If you made a promise this year to lose 38lbs, politely remind yourself that you will not be losing all 38 of those pounds in the first two weeks.  It will take time.  And a lot of hard work.  Sometimes making smaller goals that work along with the overall larger goal can make all the difference in achieving what it is you want.

2.  Don’t make too many resolutions.  Our ability to focus on more than a few things at once is limited.  So as it is with achieving your New Year’s resolutions.  I’m sure you’ve made a laundry list of things you wanted to accomplish this year.  My advice:  pick the top two or three things that are most important and meaningful to you…and go after it!  You will likely be more productive and will thank yourself for not over committing and regretting never finishing all those resolutions.

3.  Write them down…somewhere.  If you made a promise to take a vacation to Cancun this year, you need to write it down.  More often than not, if it’s not being talking about, then it’s not being done.  Post a beautiful picture of the white sands of Mexico on your bathroom mirror so it will remind and motivate you every morning to do something about making that happen this year!  It has worked for me.  And I’m certain it will work for you, too.

4.  Have some accountability.  Involve a friend.  Maybe get someone involved with the same thing you are trying to accomplish.  There is power in numbers and two is always better than one.  Plus, it is a greater motivator to have someone keep you committed to what it is you want to do this year.


5.  Expect a slip-up…or two.  It’s gonna happen.  Imagine, it’s week 3 and you’ve been working your tail off to lose that last 21 lbs.  You’ve been eating healthy, sticking to your workout routine and, then…duh duh duuuh…you eat that piece of cheesecake that’s been taunting you.  Just know this:  it happens to everyone.  Eating a piece of cheesecake isn’t going to derail your weight loss efforts.  However, eating an entire pan of cheesecake might.  Go into this New Year’s resolution thing with realistic (rather than unrealistic) expectations, knowing you might slip-up and that you might not give it your all every day.  What matters is that you keep pushing forward and achieve what it is you set out to do.

Good luck!

Winter Quarter Recap

Now that finals are OVER, it’s time to recap and discuss some highlights of Winter Quarter 2011.

First of all, I really enjoyed my classes during winter quarter.  One of my favorite classes was MHR 846 Talent Management.  I learned a lot about the various talent management practices that are employed within organizations, including onboarding, succession planning, recruiting, performance management and developing employee’s strengths.  Additionally, we were given the opportunity to conduct a talent management assessment on a company/business of our choice.  By far, this was my favorite group project because it allowed our group to assess an entire function in relation to the organization.  Most of my projects to date have focused on either designing or developing a process, so this was a nice change of pace.  Next, I got a lot of worthwhile information from MHR 807 Organizational Change.  My most positive takeaways from this class was learning about having integrity and honoring your word, displaying personal accountability in change management efforts and finding out that, generally, people consistently act inconsistent.  This class certainly was challenging.  But I’m always up for a good challenge and, as a result, I definitely had a lot of positive takeaways.  Lastly, in MHR 852 HR II, I learned about two major themes that every HR professional needs to know:  Competencies and HR Scorecards.  As always, all I can say to this class is this:  I had F-U-N.

During this winter quarter I finally got to experience my first SNOW day!  I can tell you, there is nothing like getting a free day off from class due to inclement weather.  Even though this day off might have taken away from some of my learning, I’m not going to complain.  And neither would any other undergraduate and graduate student.  I hope that we get one AGAIN next winter quarter.

As always, I had a good time attending my share of round-tables and guest speakers that are posted on The Hub.  I am not going to lie, if I have a “foreknowledge” that Adriatico’s pizza will be served, you can be sure you will see my name on the sign-up list.  It’s by far the best pizza in Columbus, OH.

Lastly, even though I don’t have any “official” spring break trip planned, I am going to try to make the most of my 10 days off.  I definitely have a long list of “to-do” items to get done.  It’s amazing how many things you can get behind on when you are in the middle of taking classes.

All in all, I hope everyone had a great winter quarter and I am looking forward to spring quarter as well as heading off to my summer internship!

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!

Giving Back to the Community Part 1: Awareness Campaigns

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I thought now would be as good a time as any take a look at just a few of the ways OSU students give back to not only the area of Columbus, but also the nation as a whole. I plan on doing a series of three posts for the month of October about how OSU students give back to the community, the first of which, will discuss various awareness campaigns that have been around campus for at least two years.

There are numerous Breast Cancer Awareness events on OSU’s campus for the month of October. The Fisher Graduate Women in Business will be hosting a Passionately Pink Tailgate before the Homecoming football game vs. Purdue. All proceeds from the event will be donated to Breast Cancer Research funds. Last spring, OSU held a Breast Cancer Awareness walk in honor of the late Stefanie Spielman, wife of former OSU football player, Chris Spielman. Thousands of students and other members of the Columbus community came to event to help raise money for the Stefanie Spielman Fund for Breast Cancer Research. These are both great events that are always well attended by students, faculty/staff, alumni, and people from the Columbus area.

“Pinwheels for Prevention” is an initiative through the Center for Child and Family Advocacy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital to raise awareness of Child Abuse in the Columbus Area. For the project, students and non-students can purchase pinwheels to place on the Oval and in other select areas around Columbus to represent an abused child. Having been a part of the campaign, it is really shocking to actually see the number of children that are abused each year.  The event has taken place in April for the past few years, as April is the official month of Child Abuse Awareness.

The “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” campaign is an international campaign led by men who are working to “put an end to rape, sexual assault, and gender violence.” Many fraternities around OSU Campus participate in this event, which has men walk one mile in high-heels, so men can think about what it is like to be a woman. This is a great event because I’ve seen men get really involved and it opens up discussion for how men can help protect women against these horrendous crimes.

This is by no means a complete list of all of the awareness campaigns at OSU, but just three of the major initiatives that take place on campus. These events just show how OSU students take their role as a big university seriously by using the massive number of students to their advantage. Ohio State students really do care about making their community a better place by holding these awareness campaigns. As Breast Cancer Awareness month continues, I think it is important for everyone to reflect on ways we can use the large number of students at OSU to help support and raise awareness for serious issues facing our nation.

Next week: Giving Back to the Community Part 2: Service Projects Around OSU Campus

Information retrieved from:

OSU Football Update

It has officially been 2439 days since Michigan’s last victory over Ohio State in Football. O-H!!!! That being said, I am quite excited about football season starting in a few short weeks. Terrell Pryor should be much better this year, and coming off the win in the Rose Bowl should give us a fair amount of momentum through the first few games and into the OSU vs Miami (FL) game. I’m excited, and yes, I did get tickets to the Miami game – it’s going to be amazing.

Today, on my way into work, I heard on the radio that Maurice Clarett has re-enrolled at Ohio State. No, he will not be playing for the buckeyes – I’m fairly certain there are few rules about not being able to play once you’ve been recruited for a team to play in the pros. You can read the full story here. But anyway, I’m fully supportive of him getting a degree and attempting to make himself a normal life and support his child. I think it’s awesome.

So this week is the first of the teacher camps for the Department of Material Science and Engineering. So far everything is going very well. I have gone up and down 4 flights of stairs about 20 times already, and my legs are getting sore. I know I can take the elevator, but it is so much more gratifying to know how much I’ve gone up and down the stairs. It seems as though all of the teachers are very excited to be able to take the experiments home to their schools and find new ways to get their students excited about science in general and especially materials science. One of the teachers has already signed up to come to next week’s advanced camp, which is very cool that he’s had such a great time so far.

For now, I’m off to distribute t-shirts and then go to a Women In Engineering demo. Should be really cool. They’re inflating milk jugs to show the students that it’s the same material as a plastic grocery bag, and depending on how thick it is and how it’s shaped, the carrying capacities are different – they might also be putting flowers in liquid nitrogen and smashing them. It’s going to be awesome! Yay recruiting events!

Happy Tuesday! Go to the state fair!

Happy 4th!

Technically it’s the 6th, but I’m slightly delayed. Happy belated 4th of July to everyone. My weekend was fantastic, I hope yours was as well. Benjamin and I bought a washer and dryer and grill  last week, so we had people over to christen the grill and so that people could see our new place. We had a lot of fun. His family was able to come over and go swimming a lot which is good since his dad flew back to Iraq yesterday. We had a lot of fun at fireworks, too. Good times had by all.

Last week was my first full 40 hour work week of the summer, and boy was I tired at the end of it. At GE, I thought I had my summer project figured out, but a mass amount of miss-communication later and so far the only thing I’ll be doing is looking at different HR database systems and figuring out if there’s a way to fix them and if not, looking at other plants and seeing what they do. If something will work for Bucyrus, finding out what it is and if it can be done as cost effectively as possible. It’s not exactly, or at all what I was hoping to be able to do over the summer. It’s slightly disappointing, but I’m hoping that if I do a good job with it, it’ll transform into more difficult projects. Don’t get me wrong, I love Access databases and all, but it’s not what I want to be doing for the rest of my life. It’s no fun to be staring at a computer all day with limited human interaction. Oh well. The people are a lot of fun to talk to. My other HR Co-Op, Rana, is really great to work with. She only has 4-ish weeks left at the plant before she heads back to school.

Work at OSU has been a little slow. Information is flowing slowly and it’s difficult to get stuff done. But, when I walked into work this morning, on my desk was a pen. To the average person, this is just a meaningless pen, but to me, this is the completion of my first project! For our recruiting events, Megan, my boss, gives out pens which have the contact information for the department on them. The week before the wedding, she asked me to put together an order for these pens, and I did, and they came in a week early! I know it’s small, but it’s exciting to see something accomplished since what I’m working on won’t be completed until mid August. So, for now, little victories in life. In a few weeks we’ll have our t-shirts in, which will be good as well.

So in the attempt to find a picture of the Bucyrus plant to show everyone, I stumbled upon this article. It’s pretty cool that I can say “that’s my employer”.

This weekend I’m traveling to Denver to go to the National Animal Sciences meeting. Out of left field, I know, but Benjamin is presenting at the conference and I’ll be able to see my aunt and uncle who were unable to come to the wedding, which will be really nice. Wish me luck. This will be my first ever solo flight, with no one I know on it. I’m pretty nervous. I’m sure it will be fine, but I just don’t like flying alone. At least I can attempt to fall asleep to make the time go faster.

Have a great week, everyone!