Before I begin telling you about my experiences in the last 1 week at Fisher, I definitely would like to share some activities( Read super cool) which we did during our Pre-term program.Yeah,you read it right. PRE-TERM. At Fisher,we believe in truly in our motto ” Go Beyond”. The pre term program exposed us to various facets of the Fisher MBA- Career Management, Core courses, Leadership development opportunities, and of course, the fun ” team” exercise at Summit Vision. This was one such experience wherein you get into it with one set of expectations and you come out with a totally different set of perspectives. It helped us get out of our comfort zone, I mean literally. If you had not earlier considered dangling from a beam 50 feet above the ground as a part of your comfort zone, you would consider reframing it now.It helped us trust our team mates who were acting as the ‘belayers’ and believe me, the word ‘trust’ was definitelyredefined in my mind.During the course of 4 hours, we learned from each other’s mistakes, put aside our individual goals and collaborated as a team to see the task through the finish line. I think we cherished the outing even more because it provided us a much needed break in our hectic schedule.On a side note, I used to think my pre MBA schedule was jam packed and hectic. I am laughing at that thought now.I will leave you at that.
High on a pole, about 30 ft, you see friends making sure they have their grips on, ready to hold you and lower you gently to the ground so you don’t fall and injure yourself. In the event you are about to fall, a hand grabs you to help you stay on your feet; when the strength within you wavers, they cheer you up to go beyond your limit regardless of your race or skin color.
From the Kotoka International Airport, Ghana, I flew to a place I have never been. Tired and weary, I arrived safely in the United States.
In a room with of over 75 students I could not locate an “image” of myself; I was the only African present. I asked myself many questions: “How am I going to survive? Is this the right decision? Or should I have just stayed in Ghana?” Lifting my head and looking across the room, my thoughts were dismissed with the gleaming smiles from my colleagues. All I could see were wonderful people who wanted to know more about you and your passions, people who rather admired you for taking that bold step out of your comfort zone to take on the challenge of being in a new environment. I then realized that my self-imposed worries started to fade.
A day after, I smile knowing that my worries are long gone. Having different people, from different backgrounds, races, etc. willing to help you accomplish a dream was extremely overwhelming in a positive way. At Summit Vision (part of MAcc orientation, outdoors high ropes courses that helped us develop problem solving abilities and working in groups, etc.), I imagined I was back home in Ghana but then I appreciated that fact that I was, in fact, in Columbus (US) and not Anyaa (Ghana).
On the top of a pole, about 30 ft, I relived my vision from the first day of orientation – White or black; Asian, African, European, American; we are one and together we can make it.
I have always loved Ohio State. Whether it be the academics, the athletics, or the countless traditions, I am always amazed by what this University can do. The 2011 MAcc Orientation lived exactly up to these standards.
I’ll be honest – I was a little bit skeptical of what I would gain from orientation. I am a combined BSBA/MAcc student (a great program that Fisher offers, for any of you who may be accounting or finance undergrads at OSU right now!!) and thought I was pretty well versed in the ways of Ohio State. After all, I’ve spent the last three years of my life on campus at Fisher and the last 18 years of my life in Columbus.
I was so wrong!
True, I may not have needed the facilities tour (which was still fun, and for those who do not do their undergraduate work at OSU will be extremely helpful!), but there was so much more for me to gain. I think what impressed me the most was how interactive each session was, and how well I got to know some of my classmates before classes began.
Throughout orientation, I was given opportunities to see how diverse of a class I will be a part of. This diversity is not only based on physical locations but extends to the way we each think and act. I have classmates that will think completely differently than me, as this is really their first exposure to accounting! Being able to see this as one complete MAcc class, rather than in bits and pieces once we meet each other a few people at a time in class, was incredibly interesting and really got me excited to work with everyone in the program.
We also got to meet all of the people at the University present to help us throughout the year. Alisa downstairs in the Programs Office said she will help with anything from scheduling meeting rooms to Halloween costumes, Samantha (our advisor) will help us all find the courses best suited for what interests each one of us, and Dr. Dietrich (the department chair) will (attempt to) provide us comic relief if we’re feeling stressed. The best part of who I’ve just listed is that they’re the tip of the iceberg.
Before signing out, I want to share one of the most rewarding portions of orientation. Our class took a trip to Summit Vision, a high/low ropes course, for some team building. We all walked away with much more than we thought we’d get though! Throughout the day, we learned to communicate creatively, think diversely while working towards a common goal, and to really trust one another. I think I can safely say too, that the high ropes course left us all extremely motivated and confident to begin classes. Climbing over 35 feet in the air and jumping off a platform attached to nothing but a rope is not exactly in my comfort zone, nor was in the many of my classmates’ comfort zone. Yet so many of us did just this. Each of us that jumped absolutely loved it. I can’t think of a better way to learn that stepping out of your comfort zone can be INCREDIBLY rewarding.
So – whether you’re a diehard accountant looking to expand your expertise or a soil scientist interested in studying for a MAcc degree, the MAcc program at Fisher can help you step outside of what is comfortable to you and really develop you as a person. I can’t wait to keep stepping out of my comfort zone this year and sharing all my experiences.
On Friday, May 6, 2011, more than 25+ 1st and 2nd MLHRs headed out to Summit Vision in Westerville, OH. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Summit Vision, Inc., check out their website. For me, I think the best thing about Summit Vision is the unique way each of us (individually and as a group) can learn about essential skills such as trust, leadership, communication and decision-marking through outdoor team building activities.
The first activity I got to do was the “zip line”. This was my very first time ever doing a high rope activity. I’ll admit, I was a bit nervous climbing 55 ft. into the air – I don’t think it was so much the climb as it was that the entire platform shook as I climbed a rung higher on the ladder. Through all of that, I conquered my fear and successfully made it down the zip line! My takeaways from this activity were: (1) it’s fun doing things you’ve never done before and (2) you definitely learn a lot about yourself by taking risks and/or overcoming your fear to accomplish a goal.
The 2nd activity I really enjoyed was – you guessed it – the step off swing. Again, this was another high rope activity that required you to climb only 30 ft to a platform where you get harnessed into another rope. The only nuance to this activity was the fact that I had to actually make myself step off (NOT jump!) to the side of the platform and then swing back and forth about 6-8 times. For me, that was a tough decision. I was definitely more scared this time because I felt like I actually had to choose to step off rather just letting the zip line do its thing. So since I was scared and shaking the first time I stepped off, I asked my instructor, Paige, if I could go back up a 2nd time. I knew deep down I needed to overcome that fear so I decided to face it head-on. And, as you can see below by the wonderful videography by the one and only Rob Chabot, how my 2nd step-off jump turned out.
All in all, the Summit Vision was a great individual and team-building experience for not only me, but the rest of the MLHR graduate students. I think each and every one of us enjoyed getting out of our comfort zones as well as getting another opportunity to get to know each other in a different way.
A special thank you to Lisa C. (fellow 2012 MLHR grad student) for taking the pictures you are about to see below. Thank you, Lisa!
This past Friday many in the MLHR cohort (mainly first years and a couple of second years) went to a place called Summit Vision. It is a place where many organizations (corporate and student) go for team-building, group bonding, and in our case, learning how to facilitate. We were told that HR people may be called to serve as some kind of facilitator for the company we work for in a similar situation. This is true, because my mom had to do something like this YEARS ago at her job (which I was surprised until I saw video footage). Actually, probably sooner than receiving full-time job offers since some of us will help facilitate similar activities for the first year cohort next year during their Orientation – which is already weird calling the incoming class first years as I am about 4 weeks from entering my second year.
Now I will be the first one to tell you that I did not want to go to this for a number of reasons.
1. I am not an outdoors person. If I was meant to roam the outdoors I clearly would have been born as a jungle cat or something.
2. I do not like heights due to a fear instilled upon me genetically by my mother. Apparently I give off that vibe, too, since one group was taking bets on whether I was going to do the zip-line. (Most bet against me and won.)3. Even though I am utterly terrified of heights, this experience was kind of old news to me. The first time I did a ropes course was when I was in SEVENTH GRADE. It was a requirement for my gym class, and I was crying and quite sure I was hitting my classmates below me with my tears. Then, I was required to do it in high school (and run a mile which is completely irrelevant but obviously my secondary educational system was cruel). Oh wait…I also did it sophomore year in college too. Every time I got up there, did activities, and took years off of my heart from shaking on the ropes. Many people who went had never done anything like this, so I was wondering why everyone was so excited. For me personally, it was just another trip around the carousel. Plus, since I went to undergrad here, I’m pretty sure that was my 4th or 5th time being at Summit Vision.
4. Like many others, I would’ve rather not have taken the time out of my paycheck from missing work that day or time out of my studies.
However, even through all of these things, I still went and had a pretty good time. I got up on one task called the X-Files and was completely stumped on how to get pass the first rope step. Then I tried the rock wall but kept falling and I kept smacking against the wall, and almost injured myself. I climbed up halfway through up to the zip-line as well, but was practically choking on my own heart so I came down (thank you cohort bets).
A lot of the other cohorts faced their challenges, fears, and succeeded (my group’s name was SuccessONE…a play on words of succession but I forget where the ONE comes from). But there were a few others who tried to step out of their comfort zone and gravitated to panic and did not go through everything. Regardless, I think everyone made some sort of attempt to step out of their comfort zone.
So if you skipped past all this detail and are still reading, I was basically over the whole ropes thing (you can only be “excited” for something that makes you shake in fear so many times).
What I did enjoy though was what others have highlighted in their blogs. I was placed in a group with people I really don’t talk to that much (and apparently weigh a whole lot more than), and it was nice to be able to spend the day with them. I even got to chat it up with someone on the bus ride home, and I’m pretty sure it was the longest conversation we have ever had. Due to classes, groups, and different social interests, it can be easy for classmates to clique up in the program. It was nice to talk to different people that didn’t involve class, stress, or who was going to write this part of the paper.
I’m glad I did it and I encourage all of the incoming class to do so as well (even if you have done it a million times)!
I would post pictures but I feel Fisher already did a good job with that!
When I first started graduate school, I thought it would be a lot like undergrad, where you met a few people that you liked in classes, were maybe in a few groups together, but at the end of the day, we would all go home and hang out with our friends from either back home or from undergrad. Of course, I couldn’t be more wrong. This year has been quite the opposite, in fact. I know I’ve made friends for life in this program.
At the beginning of our first year, our class was required to participate in team-building exercises at one of the fitness facilities on campus led by a group from Summit Vision. They told us that in the spring, we would go to Summit Vision after having spent a year together to do more of these types of activities. I thought, at the time, that a year wouldn’t make too much difference in how we were towards each other. But, what a difference a year really does make.
When we first got to Summit Vision we were divided into teams, then each team did their own activities with one of the leaders from Summit Vision. Our first event was the zip-line, which put me right into anxiety mode. I wasn’t sure how I was going to deal with the zip-line because we were told that we needed to stay in our “growth zone” and not put ourselves in our “panic zone.” As soon as the lady told us our first activity was the zip-line my mind went right to the boarder of “panic zone” and “growth zone.” However, we got suited up in our harnesses and thank goodness the guys volunteered to go first. It really helped to see them go first. Not to be left out or be a baby, I decided to at least climb up the thing and see how bad the height was before making any final decisions on whether or not to do the zip-line. Once I got up there, I watched 2 people go ahead. They didn’t die, so I thought it might be ok. Emily and I were the last to go, and probably the most scared, but we both were able to encourage each other to move forward. Sure enough, we both counted down from 3 and off we went, down the zip-line. It was actually pretty fun, quite honestly. I enjoyed it and I might even zip-line in the future.
It was after this activity that I really started to realize how much we all had changed over the past year. We really had developed friendships, that I didn’t even know existed. It sounds silly, but I always thought a friend was someone who went to the bars with you on Friday night and someone who was there for you when you needed to cry.I didn’t realize until Friday during these activities that friends don’t always have to come like that (meaning they don’t always have to be your best friends who you over-share everything with). Friends can be the people who just encourage you to scoot your behind off of a platform to go on the zip-line. Friends can be there to calm you down after you’ve been scared about doing the zip-line.Everyone in my group were all of those things and more.
Our next activity was the “Commitment Bridge” or as I called it, “Marriage/Dating Counseling 101.” This was one where you had to get on the ropes and balance each other as the two ropes got further and further apart. This, again, got me thinking about how I’d developed a friendship with everyone in my group. Emily and I had to lean on each other and trust that the other one could help with balance. You also had to trust that the people who were standing in front of you or behind you were going to catch you if you fell. Having, a few trust issues myself, this was one that was difficult for me, mentally. Yet, the important thing was that I had friends there to help me. A few people were there to grab me when I fell and Emily proved that she really could help me balance on the rope and vice versa.
This trip really helped me to fully understand how great the people in our first year class are and how I really have developed friendships with most people in our class. I may not be out at the bars with everyone in the class on a Friday night nor has everyone in the class seen me cry; however, I have learned to lean on my classmates for support, and I’ve learned to be support for classmates. We’ve learned about each others strengths and weaknesses through group projects and we’ve seen how everybody holds up after a 2-day long case competition. The activities at Summit Vision really helped to cement those friendships and helped those of us who hadn’t before this, realize that they actually had developed.
Over the past year, we’ve laughed, cried, had anxiety, stressed, studied, shared stories of significant others mis-behaving, shared stories about work, discussed job searches, and most importantly, gone to Varsity Club on most Thursdays together. I think I can say with confidence that I can call everyone in the 1st year MLHR class a friend. Classes come and go, but the relationships that have been built with our classmates will hopefully last a lifetime. Here’s to an awesome first year with everyone and hopefully, here’s to a speedy/challenging 2nd year. Cheers!
PS- Thanks for letting me use these pictures, Lisa 🙂
Hello everyone. This week I felt it would be fun to give you a glimpse of how I felt orientation went recently.
While there were several other auxiliary type events going on (such as association fairs), orientation primarily consisted of three days of activities. The week before classes began, we gathered within the Gerlach hall to initiate the adventures. As you would expect, there were some “get-to-know-you” games going on throughout the morning with a promise of prizes to those who participated the most. After a continental-type breakfast (very popular in the program), we began a series of presentations and discussions designed to help us ease our way into the program and feel out the atmosphere. Professors introduced themselves, administrators gave great advice, and it was incredibly fun to get to know those who shared similar ambitions as mine. Later that night, the MAcc program put together a welcoming social mixer that was held in the president’s box at the buckeye football stadium (Ohio Stadium). As was promised, prizes were given for the games earlier that morning and I won a gift card to Kroger (score!). All of the prizes were sponsored by firms that would be having a recruiting presence during the quarter. While it was fun to network with professionals from different corporations, I think most would say the best part of the evening went to the outstanding tour of “the Shoe.” Many alum would love to see the press box or walk on the field (I think there was even a wedding going on that same night between a couple of true buckeyes).
The next day was just as great. The morning began with a couple more presentations. We were familiarized with different resources available to us along with some handy information concerning the CPA examination and how to prepare. After a brief lunch (no, we did not eat underwear… get it?), we all hopped on buses and were taken 20 minutes north to begin our summit vision. The summit vision was first and foremost an incredible time. The MAcc students were divided into teams of about 12 to 15 and we were tasked with different challenges. Some tasks were designed to build teamwork skills such as a timed three-dimensional puzzle. Others were meant to simply get us out of our comfort zones. One of my team’s high-element challenges was jumping off a platform and swinging 40 ft above the ground. Other teams had to balance on the top of a pole nearly as high. While many lessons were gleaned from the summit vision, I feel one that stood out to me was that I was among an incredibly talented group of individuals. While I think very highly of my undergraduate education, I always considered myself as a top-performing student and often sought to lead on team assignments. After confronting our challenges alongside my classmates, I felt as though any single person in the group was more than qualified to lead. I learned to trust.
The third event I would consider meat and potatoes of orientation was the MAcc boot camp. This day was filled with guest speakers and panel discussions. Working professionals gave advice on careers, succeeding in life, and professionalism. Of our panels, one consisted of former MAcc students all working in different areas of accounting. It was great to see that some were still working their way through ranks of large public firms while others had the flexibility to move into industry and get into corporate accounting. Another panel was filled with only individuals working in industry and that had a background in accounting. Most of the topics discussed dealt with the corporate world and how accounting helped those in it. A third panel was composed of public accounting firms (recruiters specifically). I was amazed to learn how hard the big 4, other national, regional, and local CPA firms worked in order to compete for the talent coming out of the Fisher School of Business. The big 4 even hold office hours on campus with open door policies designed to help us get a feel for the atmosphere present within their respective companies.
As I navigated my way through these different events, I was gratified knowing it was far more than a pleasantry to truly tell those that surrounded me, “It’s a pleasure to meet you.”
Oh, this weekend…It was a blast in many, many different ways. Friday was Summit Vision, and as promised, pictures are below. Immediately after getting back to campus, I left for Fort Wayne, Indiana for the Vera Bradley Outlet Sale. Yes, I’m one of those. Sunday was a chance to relax and then start studying for our 854 exam.
Summit Vision was fun. We were split up into 4 groups of 7 or so students each. My group started off with the highest challenge of the day – the zip line. That platform is at least 40 feet in the air. For a person who’s afraid of heights, aka me, this was a very nerve-wracking way to start the day. The worst part wasn’t climbing up the pole to the top with staples for the thing to climb on, no…the worst part was going second to last and every time someone jumped off the entire platform shook horribly. That was awful. My heart is racing just a little bit just thinking about it. Our next challenge was the Integrity walk. Each of us had a 2 foot long section of a 4″x4″. We had to walk only on these boards a distance of about thirty feet. If a board wasn’t being touched by at least one person at all times, we lost the board. A lesson we learned very early on. Woops… But, after invading everyone’s personal space, we made it the distance, and Jacob, our leader said it was the best he’s seen. No one fell off, we didn’t have to start over, so kudos to us! Our third challenge was recreating a picture which had a bunch of 2″x2″ boards connected together, to make a geometric shape, in under 40 seconds. This was challenging. I’m pretty sure the most frustrating, too. But after much deliberation, we managed to go from over 5 minutes to 27 seconds! Patient Persistence! <— See Dr. Mangum, I did learn something! Our final challenge was the giant swing. It wasn’t as high as the zip line, but just as scary. Instead of scooting off the platform, you have to just step off to the side. Instead of the other analogy I was going to use, I’ll just compare it to stepping off the side of a pool into the water – except 30 feet in the air. It was a lot of fun though. Check out my facebook profile picture if you’re interested.
And then the Vera Bradley Sale…6:30 in the morning is too early to stand in line for 2 hours in the rain. But, we found some amazing deals. Karen, my friend I grew up with, and I went dumpster diving into these bins which were the ‘rejects’ from the people checking out, and ended up finding everything our moms wanted. That was successful. We bartered with a woman for about 20 minutes to snag some super totes from her. She had at least thirty – I think it was ok that she gave up 3. Insane. Pictures are below of the lines to get in, people as they came out then the line we had to stand in to check out. It was crazier than Walmart on the day after Thanksgiving.
The final adventure of the weekend was making the window swags for my church. They turned out beautifully! I’m so happy with them.
So – lesson for the weekend – take chances. You’ll probably never again have the opportunity to do what you could do at this moment. Throw a little bit of caution to the wind and allow yourself to grow! Enjoy the pictures, and I hope your Monday isn’t too manic!
Well yesterday was quite eventful on campus. Two Bulls got loose from the vet hospital. And yes, I emphasize the word bull because they were in fact bulls, NOT cows. Quick agriculture lesson for those who may not have grown up on a farm. Bulls are in-tact male cattle and cows are female cattle who have calved. Heifers are females who have not calved, and steers are males who are no longer in-tact. Anyway, it created quite the stir across campus, and after one bull jumped on a police car, both were contained and taken back to the vet hospital. And if you’re curious, these are Belted Galloways.
In other parts of life, the compensation project is starting to make more sense. I don’t know if people have realized this or not, but our final and project are due May 26th, the 9th week of classes. Of course this means we have 2 weeks less to get everything done than we normally due for his class, but that also means we have 2 weeks where we don’t have to think about the project or the final and can concentrate on our other two classes and their projects.
With next week being the start of midterms, this weekend looks like it’s going to be quite busy. Engagement pictures are *finally* being taken on Friday. Then it’s off to camp to teach counselors how to teach mountain biking sessions at their summer camps. Somewhere in all of the craziness finding time to study would be in my best interests.
I’m for sure looking forward to next week, though. Not because of the midterms. Don’t get me wrong, they’re awesome and all (sarcasm), but next Friday, the MLHR students are taking on Summit Vision. If you’re an MLHR student and you haven’t signed up yet, then you should! I’m delaying my trip to the Vera Bradley sale in Indiana for this! It should be really awesome. More details and pictures will come after next Friday. Dr. Inks and some of the other faculty have said they were going, and Dr. Inks said he was going on the zip-line, so we’ll be sure to bring back pictures from that!
Have a great Thursday, tomorrow’s the start of the weekend! And remember to watch out for the stray livestock running around campus.
The Fisher College of Business full-time MBA class of 2011 has officially been orientated. The second week included several important activities like an intake appointment and mock interview with the Career Management office, and an introduction to case discussions with Jay Dial. Perhaps the highlight of the week was the Summit Vision team building experience which my team participated in on Wednesday.
Summit Vision is a team building and corporate development company based out of Westerville, Ohio. They use “…adventure and experiential learning tools [so that] people have the opportunity to reach their full potential–both individually and as part of a larger team.”
Specifically, my core group teamed with another group to create one ten-person team. Throughout the morning we were challenged with physical and mental exercises that tested our problem solving, inventiveness and perseverance. Each station, while fun, was designed to make us work as a team towards a common goal. Some of my favorites include:
Zip Line – Wheeeeeeeee!
Pamper Pole – Climb up a telephone pole. Get yourself standing on top (easier said than done—it is the size of a dinner plate). Leap out 8-feet in the air and try to grab a trapeze bar.
Building Blocks – Each member armed with a signed 4×4 block, our team crossed a stretch of grass without touching the ground.
Spider Web – Each team member crossed trough a different hole in a bungee cord spider web—without touching the web at any time.
It does sound like a lot of fun and games, but we were forced to focus as a team, find a solution and amend it as we worked towards our goals.