What defines you?

Great questions deserve great answers.  If you’re in the process of investigating full-time MBA programs, my guess is you’ve already started formulating your answer to this particular question. Why?  You’ll have to answer it on each admissions application you submit.  Self-knowledge (values, traits, talents, flaws, goals) is key to selecting the right program for you.

Me? No spoiler alert needed … I decided that the Fisher College of Business full-time MBA program was right for me. One of my goals for this blog is to highlight the people, places, and events that make Fisher unique.  I encourage you to follow along.  Even better: go right ahead and live vicariously through me.  A word of warning: no one promised me a rose garden.  I expect the next couple of years to contain ups and downs, victories and disappointments, successes and failures.  My promise is to share my personal experiences with you, giving you a glimpse of what it is like to be a full-time MBA student at The Ohio State University.

The first week of classes is coming to a close and it’s hard for me to remember a time when I’ve been happier.  I’m excited about all that is to come and I look forward to telling you more about what has already transpired (experiencing Fisher Advantage Orientation, meeting my team, finding a place to live as well as a roommate, etc).  All in good time.  Right now, I need to wrap up and get to bed.  I’ve got a big day tomorrow: Fisher Professional Services‘ Consulting Boot Camp (8am – 5:30pm), a Cullman Executive Series lunch, and an evening at The Blackwell recognizing distinguished alumni at the Fisher Alumni Awards Event.  PS: Not one of those events was on my calendar 10 days ago.

Opportunities are limitless.

My First Accounting Research Seminar

Last Friday I attended my first accounting research seminar. The weekly accounting research seminar is hosted every Friday noon at Fisher, where business researchers across the country (mostly professionals from different schools) are invited to present their recent findings.

Since content discussed in the seminar was not yet published, and I am an outsider to accounting research, I won’t and I cannot comment on much detail. However, I can give some superficial opinion as an outsider; while interesting enough, I have attended some science research seminars before, also as an outsider, so here is some comparison and contrast. (Nothing is meant to be offensive and please forgive any impertinence.)

1. Seminar setting. The seminar settings were very similar for both accounting and science. A comfortable classroom or conference room, with 10-30 in the audience. Anyone could attend. Students and faculty members casually walked in and sat down before the presentation started. There was no dress code, though many audiences were in business casual as they came from work.

2. Structure. Same. Introduction, previous findings, new findings, methodologies, then conclusion. This structure is good for “beginners”, like me, because it provides clear outline of the project presented, explaining well why the research is conducted, how the research and analysis is done, and why the result is important.

3. Content. I definitely lean toward accounting research content. “Accounts”, “balances”, “incomes”, “statements”…these terms sound more pleasant to me compared to “T Cells”, “B Cells”, “interferon”, and “Glomerulonephritis”. =)

4. Research tools and methodology. This aspect is totally different between the two. Scientific research usually applies various experiments with specific equipment. The samples are usually concrete and tangible. To the contrary, accounting research relies on computer programming, simulation, and statistic tests.

5. Jokes. Business professionals are thought to be talkative and tell more jokes, but scientists tell jokes, too. It really depends on presenters’ style and personality. Nevertheless, my general feeling is that business jokes tend to be more funny and release tension, while I prove myself smart and/or knowledgeable by getting science jokes (yay).

Fisher Winter Game

“I look at my schedule for the week, a presentation, a research case due, a quiz. Definitely no time for a “formal” workout before the Fisher Winter Games. What if I play the “MBA beast” Mike Hrostoski (sorry Mike, you sound really scary), and what if Prof. Inks aims the dodgeball at me? No, no, I should really squeeze sometime to at least warm myself up for the Winter Game.”

The above was what I put down (but not posted) before the Fisher Winter Games held on last Friday. And related information about Mike and Professor Inks can be found at Mike’s blog below.

For me, the Winter Games last Friday were really unforgettable. I did not champ like Mike did and even did it three times, but I was on a “special” team. I signed up for the basketball game and the dodgeball game. Since apparently the volleyball and dodgeball teams consisted of both male and female players, I thought the basketball game was going to be coed. Well, it really was, but I was the only girl playing in the game. What made my team even more special was that, there were only two players. Ben, probably one of the greatest players in the tournament, and I, obviously the weakest, only figured we were missing one teammate the night before the game. We had to grab one more teammates from other teams, who happened to be Kevin, another awesome player from MAcc.

So things became very interesting for us. Kevin played at least four games since he played both on his original team and with us. I played formally with all-male teams first time in my life. Not only Ben and Kevin had to take care of me but the opponents were also somewhat hampered because of me. Ben and Kevin’s excellent skills were evidenced as we won the first game. The second game was more serious, nevertheless, as one player from each team was out injured. And I felt so sorry for Ben, Kevin, and Patrick, who joined our team after Kevin was hurt. If I was not on the team, they might have advanced to the final and even won the basketball championship.

The Winter Games ended with me being sad a little, not only because our MAcc dodgeball team was disqualified for being “absent”, though we were there all the time (yes, we protest!). I realized it might be the last time I played formally in a basketball game. I enjoyed playing with my teammates in every single game. I felt all those energy and passion which once faded away has come back to me. However, I doubt whether I will sign up for future basketball games since I do want my gentle male teammates to win. There are only two solutions to alter my decision:
1. I get a great coach to train me so that I can better match with the guys next time the Games come.
2. More girls sign up for the basketball games!

So come on my Fisher ladies, join me!!

The pause that refreshes

I know it’s been a while, loyal readers /skimmers! As I’m sure you’ve realized from other bloggers, one of the two really excellent times during a quarter is just wrapping up – MIDTERMS! To satisfy your curiosity, the other really excellent time is FINALS!

Of course, I’m being slightly sarcastic, but in truth, it is exciting to show all the professors what I’ve learned so far. And the feeling once all the midterms are over… nearly priceless.

So let’s have  a recap of what’s been happening recently.

The good news:

  • All midterm exams and projects are completed
  • The quarter is more than half-way over
  • The community service day was a great opportunity to learn more about the Waste Not Center, run by Professor Neil Drobny
  • The Halloween party was a smashing success! (see the pictures for proof!)
  • U of M has been having a pretty poor football season AND MSU beat U of M

The bad news

  • The quarter is more than half-way over
  • There is another exam next week!
  • The weather is becoming a serious de-motivator… I forget every year just how awful it is to see your breath while walking out to the car… which needs the ice scraped off!

That’s all I’ve got for you right now! Time to relax for a little bit, which means sprinkling in some episodes of House and perhaps a movie or two, while doing all the normal reading, accounting cases, and other assignments!

Pictures from the 2009 Fisher Halloween Party at Mozaik

Myself, Maria and Aaron
Myself, Maria and Aaron
Orlie, Jon and myself
Orlie, Jon and myself
Andrew, Sam, Erin, myself and Anthony
Andrew, Sam, Erin, myself and Anthony

How Far Are We From Med School?

Obviously, the title doesn’t mean the physical distance between Ohio State’s med school and Fisher.

Last Tuesday I attended a Fisher Hub event–MIT Global Broadcast. Audience watched a lecture give by a MIT professor on his biotechnology research and, more importantly, how his ideas and products were commercialized. The topic involved networking among various fields, lots of which are between science and business. Besides the business terms and concepts I am familiar with, waves of scientific terminology stroke me. I was glad that my grades in science were not bad and I still remember most of the knowledge, otherwise it would be very hard for me to understand a significant portion of the lecture.

All these things lighted a bulb in my head.

I believe very few graduate students at Fisher think about getting to med school afterwards. Many of us may not touch anything in science because we think that’s “not our business”. But, are we really saying “Goodbye” to all other subjects after we confirm our career path in business?

Same Tuesday, at the MAcc Boot Camp, a partner from one of the large public accounting firms gave a presentation. When asked his opinion on how the economy would affect job markets in these coming years, he said, “I am not sure, but if you know the European history well, you might expect similar situation like what the European countries experienced.”

“If you know the European history well”, we can forecast future economic environment! Right, this was what my history teacher told me in high school, but when and how did I begin to forget all of these?

Everything is related to business. Medical technology is, history is, computer science is, art is, everything is! So my Fisher fellows, once we are in Fisher, we are not saying “Goodbye” to any other fields. Say “Hello”!