Safety first

I’ve been struggling to think of a next blog post because of how boring I am, but luckily there are other people in my program who are not which sparked a good topic that I do not think has been covered.  SAFETY.

Since this is rounding out my fifth year at Ohio State, I have always noticed that students tend to put safety on the back burner when it becomes warmer outside–being outdoors more often from their previous winter hibernation.  My senior year last year, there were a few issues that happened due to students not being smart.  Student safety is always a topic of the Undergraduate Student Government elections.   These elections obviously have nothing to do with grad students, but I just like to mention it if you ever leave the Fisher part of campus and see obnoxious amounts of chalk drawings on the sidewalk (chalk drawings are a common electioneering ploy – fortunately Fisher does not allow our beautiful campus to become tacky during those 2 weeks).

Now, this may not be an issue for people in the program who do not live near campus, but for those of us that do (and those of us who will next year), you should know about the important resources Ohio State provides to students concerning safety.  Most Fisher grad students take classes that are not done until it is dark outside, may be down on campus during the weekend, and (though unfortunate) bad things are not restricted to when it’s dark outside.  I don’t have any real data to back me up on this but I would guess 90% of the crime that happens on campus is due to students not using common sense.  Ohio State is in the heart of Columbus, so that will naturally attract a few bad apples.  Normally, these things happen to irresponsible undergrads, but a graduate student unfamiliar with the university or Columbus may still want to be knowledgeable about these things when out and about late on campus.

Buckeye Alert System

This is something good for students to sign up for (even outside of safety precautions).  You can register your email and cell phone number with the university, so that you receive important text messages and emails from the university.  If there is a school emergency, a school cancellation, or anything OSU feels that they need to inform all of their students the university will send a quick, immediate blast to all of those registered with the program.   Though normally just a concern for students, parents can also register their information as well to receive these messages.

Crime Alerts

If you’re going to be living on campus next year, this is also something you should sign up for.  The university will send you an email letting you know when a crime has happened on campus or in the nearby residential off-campus area too.  There has only been 2 things posted for this year alone, so they are not frequent (thank goodness).  It’s better to be an informed resident then a naive one, and it’s good to know if something happens nearby where you live so that you can keep your eye open when you’re coming and going from home. This is also good for those who don’t live nearby campus, because they will also send reports if anything happens near a campus building.

Student Escort Service

This is another good service to use.  They will escort students on foot or by vehicle within certain boundaries around the university.  More information can be listed on their site here:

Safety Posts

I used to know this particular number when I was a tour guide, but OSU has at least 120 something safety posts stationed all around its campus.  They are brown with a blue light at the top and are connected to the university police.  They basically serve as an automatic 911 dial.  If you press the button (at any time of the day or night), the university police should be there to assist you with any kind of emergency (accident, health issue, etc.)  in less than 2 minutes.  Now I forget the actual time span, because fortunately I have never had to use them.  I think it is supposed to be within 30 seconds and a minute actually, but I am sure you could contact the university police yourself if you wanted to know. I would highly recommend to not conduct your own experiment with this if you do not have an emergency.

These are just some of the things that the university does to help protect its students.  The best way to protect yourself would be to use common sense and the basics that you learn about in kindergarten (be aware of your surroundings, etc.).  I for the most part think Ohio State is a safe campus, but I also think students need to be aware that it is a CITY.  If you treat it like that then you will be fine.

As I said before, caution tends to go to the wind when spring arrives so make sure you are careful out there!


Spring Into Action!

I know what you are thinking.  And, believe me, I thought it too.  For starters, my blog title is a bit cliche (and lame-o).  But, if you can move past that, it’s hard NOT to notice the signs of spring all around us:  Birds chirping their brains out at 6am and prematurely waking me up; trees budding; tulips beginning to push up through the ground; grass turning green, consistent 50-60 degree weather and the lovely April rain showers that produce May flowers.

With Spring in the air, I’m hard pressed not to think about the one thing I dislike that is associated with the Spring season.  The dreaded “SPRING CLEANING / TO-DO LIST”.  Yes, I said it.  Shame on me.  And shame on us for trying to ignore all those things we’ve been so covertly putting off to do because it was cold outside.

With that being said, I decided to put together a Spring to-do list that I think will be helpful for every one of us who is in graduate school.

1.  Lose the Winter Coats/Layers. Spring in Ohio can be a bit capricious.  Especially when it was snowing less than a week ago.  But, I’m going to go out on a limb and say, “PACK IT UP, PEOPLE.”  Replace your winter coats, sweaters, cardigans, stocking caps, scarfs and jackets with shorts, polo’s, t-shirts, sandals, flip-flops.  The only way I’ve found to convince mother nature to make Spring stay is to change the way I dress.

2.  Clean. I’m keeping this one short because this word around this time of year seems to be an inevitable “cuss” word.  Clean your desk, garage and car out.  Maybe you just need to tidy up your room or get rid of some old clothes.  Whatever it is, get on with it and do what I call, “The Nasty”.

3.  Take a Drive with the Windows Down. Sunday was a gorgeous 85 degrees.  What makes those days even more gorgeous is going for a drive with the windows down.  If you have a convertible, then I envy you.

4.  Flip-flops, flip-flops, flip-flops. Need I say more.  It’s time to break them out if you haven’t done so already.  Personally,  I haven’t met any more aggressive when it comes to flip-flop wearing that fellow MLHR blogger, Shawn H.  This man sets the standard for flop wearing.

5.  Bust Out the Sunglasses. With the temperatures rising and the sun staying out longer, it’s important to protect our eyes from damaging UV rays.  I can’t think of anyone else I know who dons the sunglasses more than fellow MLHR blogger, Garren C.  This man wears sunglasses 25 hrs day/ 8 days per week/  365 days per year.  Take a tip from, Garren.  He believes in protecting his eyes from damaging UV rays.  So should you.

6.  BBQ. In southern states, it’s BBQ.  In SoDak and other Midwestern states, it’s grilling.  Eh, same thing.  Nuances aside, it’s just plain time to fire up the grill, invite some friends over and enjoy some good burgers & brats and sip some cold drinks.


7.  Enjoy the Great Outdoors. When the weather is nice, it’s time to put away the TV and get outside.  Go for a bike ride or take your dog for a walk.  Maybe join a volleyball or softball league.  Whatever it is, stay active and enjoy being outside.

Go Bucks!

Scheduling dilemma(s) for spring term

Well I am officially over this weather and this quarter (and I haven’t even taken a midterm yet), so obviously I am looking onward to all the joys of spring quarter on campus:

  • Watching people on “Oval Beach”
  • Seeing people bust out the flip flops and shorts as soon as it cracks 50 degrees (yes, I’m serious)
  • The public university and its freedom of speech (insert Oval preacher and anti-abortion activists…with their opponents right out there debating them)
  • Warm weather
  • The spring football game with at least 70,000 people in attendance – for a PRACTICE game
  • Trying to find time to help my fifth-year friends celebrate their last quarter

Class? Yes class.  I have actually looked forward to spring quarter classes.  I’m sorry, but between this weather, gliding to class on ice, the cold, and having foundations, research methods, and statistics all into one quarter, I have just not found any interest in this quarter.  Now, I realize that these classes are important and necessary, but “going through the motions” is an understatement. (It might be due to the weather :-))

One of the things that I have liked with this program is that our academic adviser will just tell us what to register for.  However, at the beginning of the quarter there was an MLHR elective session held where professors who taught different electives came in and gave quick presentations about each of their classes.  At first I thought it was pointless, since I thought that we just once again would be told what to do, until I went to the Master Class Schedule and saw that we actually do have to pick between 2 classes for each day we have class.  Next quarter we only have class on Monday and Wednesday.  If so, I will be so excited to that my academic Fridays will be on Hump Day… I have been so jealous of the second-years being done by Wednesdays at 9pm (Thursday night classes can be hard on one’s “interest level”).

I don’t schedule until next week, but I am not sure what classes I should take!  It would be easier to know if I had an internship, because I would then be able to anticipate the skills and know what I would be working on in the summer, so that I could know what to take but alas I do not so I will have to do some guessing.

Mondays: Human Resources Information Systems (eHR) or Seminar in Human Resource Policy?

HRIS: I think they said that they would no longer be offering this class when they switch to semesters so is it a waste of time to take or should I take advantage of it right now?  Electronic HR, from what I’ve read, is not very strategic and many times gets outsourced.  However, it is important and one must learn how to master the operational aspects of HR before moving to the top dog management table.

Seminar:  The class is about the employee relationship, and organizational development and motivation from an economic perspective.  I have not taken any economic related courses in college, so that would be helpful to have, and it would probably help me develop business acumen.  But would it be helpful in a summer internship?

Tuesdays: Employee Training and Development or Staffing the Organization

Hands down THE BIGGEST DILEMMA.  No matter what, I can guarantee almost everyone of us will need to use one if not both of these skills in their internships.  Will my internship want me to create a training program or will they want me to help with recruiting, sourcing, and interviewing?  Or what if I get an internship after the summer?  Which class would it have been better for me to take? Ugh.

Wednesdays: International HR or Compensation Theory and Practice?

Not as a big of dilemma, but it could be.  I will probably take Compensation (because I love Prof. Heneman), but what if I get an internship with a global organization?  What if it is more important to know about international HR, and if I end up not having to do anything with compensation in my internship? Sighing once again.

After checking there are 2 other classes that I think we can take (but they were either not present at the session I went to or were not recommended for us to take until our second year).

Managerial Negotiations: That is offered on Mondays, but I remember one of the second-year MLHR bloggers discussing this class last fall, so I just assume that will be a core class that we take next year.

Performance Management:  This is currently not a required class, but when the program switches to semesters it will be.  Should I take it now since that is where the program is headed into the future since it is an elective? Maybe, but this class is on Thursday (not saying that that should be a reason not to take it but I have lot of choices being thrown at me!).

I also am thinking about who else in my cohort is going to take what class.  I also want to take classes with professors I am familiar with but also want to get new experiences with different professors.  TOO MANY DECISIONS.

Well I have approximately 6 days to figure it out.  No matter what, I think these classes will be interesting and be able to engage me more.  If anyone has any suggestions please feel free to throw them my way!


Ready For Spring

For two Thursday nights in a row, it has snowed.  And for two Thursday nights in a row, I’ve had the wonderful privilege of getting stuck in traffic on 315N.  My once modest 15 min drive to OSU campus has now turned into 40+ mins, with 20 min of that drive being the last 2 miles.  I don’t know if its just me, but sometimes I feel like I’m the only one in Columbus who knows how to drive in the snow.  Now that might sound like a really bold statement.  And it is.  Because growing up in South Dakota, it was a prerequisite to drive in snow – and lots of it.  After living in Ohio for the past year, I almost afraid of venturing out on the roads after a light dusting of snow.  It seems as if people in Ohio go into panic mode.  The most dangerous thing about it is people completely “underdrive” the road conditions.  To me, driving 5 mph is totally unacceptable – even with 2 in of snow on the ground.

Since I cannot change the weather, I decided to cure my winter weather blues and compile a ‘things I’m going to do when Spring gets here’ list.

1.  Ride my bike.  I cannot wait to get out and hit the roads and bike trails.

2. Go hiking at Hocking Hills.  This is a great place to get away for the day and enjoy the great outdoors.

3.  This may seem random, but I miss washing my car.  Maybe its just the idea of getting outside that makes me feel that way.

4.  PACK UP MY WINTER COAT.  And scarves.  And gloves.


5.  FLIP FLOP TIME!  I cannot wait to rock the flip flops for 8-9+ months.

I’ve officially decided I’m ready for Spring.  And not for any other reason except that I am tired of the ‘white stuff’. (I refuse to  ‘type’ the word).  I hope that Punxsutawney Phil doesn’t see his shadow because I need some sunshine and 60 deg weather.

Kid’s story: One For All and…?

Timeline: Saturday evening

I see: perfectly clear skies

I hear:  Beyoncé

I smell: chicken and curry (yum…)

I feel: a LOT of pain.

Let me summarize my spring quarter: I’m taking six classes (yes, SIX classes) and I have a different group for each one of them. This has been most challenging, especially given that it’s a radical change from the model that we had followed for the first two quarters, in which we worked primarily with our core team.

I haven’t spoken to many people, but the general strategy seems to be “divide and conquer”, or splitting up the groups into mini-groups. This seems to be the only viable option, as the groups face two main challenges: first, for the most part, they are large groups (e.g. nine people each in professor Kistruck’s class) and scheduling is nigh impossible more than once or twice a quarter; and second, most of us haven’t worked together before, nor was there a structured team selection process (for which I call them groups instead of teams).

Then there’s the fact that there is no consistency amongst teachers and courses either. For instance, a couple of them use Carmen to post updates and communications, others have used it once or twice, and still others don’t even activate the course therein. Also, some teachers rely solely on course packets, others focus on articles and updates, others send links to specific material every so often, and so on. There are many more differences, but the bottom line is that it’s very hard to create a studying and working routine that will work well throughout.

Now, don’t get me wrong, people: this may be whining but it is not criticism. Whichever way you take it, that’s what real life is all about, since you rarely choose the people you work with (bosses and peers alike) and you cannot please everyone. A person with an advanced degree such as an MBA will tend to occupy positions of greater responsibility and his/her decisions will tend to have a greater effect on the lives of more people. In this sense, the MBA program is doing a good job (at least in my particular case) of exposing us to less-enjoyable situations so we are better prepared to make those decisions.

My way of releasing my stress this quarter has been soccer practice and running. It’s a very effective therapy, but I think I’m overdoing it a little since I have three purple toes, a swollen shin, and my buttocks are numb, not to mention the fact I can barely walk because of the pain. I’m starting to think those eight hours a week in the gym/field are hindering my progress in other things. Oh, well…

The most important lesson is that I really miss having a secretary/assistant. I keep mixing up my groups, my subjects, and their deadlines. Add the internship search and the interviews into the mix and you’ll have a very “interesting” cocktail of a life.

Speaking of which: I’m thirsty. Cheers!

“We’ve come too far to leeeave it all behind…”  – Chicago