Thanks to Team 7

A good team makes working on projects and assignments easier.

A great team helps you keep calm when you have seven interviews in one week, two homework assignments due and a midterm within days.

Luckily, I fall into the second category! I wanted to take a quick second and thank my incredible team members: Pat, Davin, Arjun and Tracy for everything this past month.

Not only did February bring snow and cold (also some 60 degree days – thanks Ohio), but lots of interviews, projects and and team assignments.

You thought finding time for coffee with a friend was hard – try finding time on  5 calendars to meet for 2 hours. A nearly impossible task.

But, you make it work. You talk to your team and projects are suddenly divided up through emails and Google docs. You have meetings through Skype, speakerphone and more. Everyone supports one another and with some open and honest communication (and coffee if you’re me), everything is somehow perfected and turned-in before the due date.

THAT, my friends, is some FCOB teamwork magic. And I know magic, I worked for the mouse himself.

Business school is more than learning the material, it’s adapting to crazy situations and knowing how to be a leader — and a  team player. You learn how to ask, and accept, help from team-members.

So thank you to the incredible and supportive individuals of Team 7, we almost made it through another crazy term!


There is no “I” in team…but there is a “Hotdog”

After the first week of classes this quarter, I managed to catch a stomach virus.  I was stuck at home, mostly confined to my bed and felt like I had been given a one-two punch to my head and gut.  And to make me feel worse, I had to miss our first core team meeting as well as an entire day of classes.  Luckily, I have the best team ever.

On the Sunday of our first scheduled meeting, I sent emails to my team letting them know that I was in bed with a fever and that I wouldn’t be able to make it.  Here are some of their replies:  “Get well soon, Mama Miche”  “No problem, Mama.  We got this, you just worry about getting better”.  Nice, right?  But wait – there’s more!  The following Tuesday, I received a text from one of my teammates that went like this:

  • Teammate:  I reserved a room for our team from 12-1:30 on Wednesday before our quiz in marketing.
  • Me:  That is fantastic! After the past two days, I feel like I am behind in everything.  🙁
  • Teammate:  You are, well at least in ops and marketing.  But that’s what teams are for!

This may seem like a simple, polite exchange but it meant the world to me.  Business school is demanding, time-intensive and, frankly, pretty darn hard.  When life happens, it is easy to fall behind – and once you are behind, it is nearly impossible to catch up.  I am so lucky to have a team that works together to make sure none of us is left behind!

Kudos to Fisher for putting so much effort into designing and training, highly-functioning core teams.  Most B-schools are heavily focused on teamwork and Fisher is no different.  However, I can’t imagine that the larger programs take time to ensure that core teams have a great mix both in demographics and in experience.  My (our) team consistently works well together, listens to each other and has fun while doing it!  Let me introduce you to Fisher FTMBA Class of 2012 TEAM TEN:

Ahmet "Turkish Delight" Kadioglu
Michael "Hotdog" Higgins, who apparently is some type of ghost or vampire - every attempt at a photo leads to a blurry pic!
Jonathan "JLowe" Lowe
That me, Michelle "Mama Miche" Petrel
Brandon "we can't agree on a nickname" Tackett. Suggestions encouraged!

Team 10: The best MBA team ever!

Yay, Team!

Ah, at last it’s Thanksgiving week, Michigan week, and most joyfully the end of team presentations!

I knew coming into the program that teamwork would be a large component of the class experience. This quarter I have enjoyed two teams, giving three presentations. Both teams, all women, were great to work with. One was more tentative, and well paced, while the other was more social, and well researched. Both were great partnerships and I came away feeling like we equally shared the burden of class presentations.

I’ve been impressed not just with the work ethic of my teammates, but also with the informative presentations of my fellow first-year MLHRs. I saw beautifully crafted presentations about Apple and the great healthcare debate. I’ve listened to young students who could be orators. And I’ve heard classmates field questions that I would have never dreamed of in a thousand class hours. Granted, we were not always riveted to the large screen in front of us, and I’m sure more than one person turned to their Facebook page while I yammered on about the topic at hand, but the room was always filled with a sense of support and empathy from fellow classmates.

Of course all of the PowerPoint presentations start to make me think of my time as an undergrad. I remember ONE! team project the entire four years. It was for a business writing class where we were supposed to construct a mailer for a new company. We developed a doggy wash business (which was virtually unheard of at the time) called De Dirt De Dog. I still think we could have made a mint off of that one, and maybe my partners are now enjoying the good life thanks to our idea. If so: you go, girls. (Call me!) I start to get a little nostalgic thinking of the simplicity of those presentations–about one step up from a science fair poster board. The oldster in me wants to say: In my day we didn’t have drop down screens and computer presentations…we had index cards and our imaginations and, well, we didn’t really like it.

On that note, Happy Thanksgiving everyone and Go Bucks! Turkey day and Beat Blue week; it’s hard to get better than that. 🙂

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

I was working with my teammate Logan this afternoon on an Accounting case study, and we both were scratching our heads over a certain problem. After some discussion, he found an important number in the case, I found a hint from our textbook, and together we were able to solve for the answer to the problem. My response, “Teamwork makes the dream work!” Logan: “You are a nerd. I wish we could take our final in groups.” Ugh… if only…

I have to admit, coming into the MBA program, one of the aspects I was most worried about was the idea of being tied to the same core team of five for an ENTIRE YEAR. In the past, I felt I always got burned with being placed on a team with free riders, or people who just lacked motivation to perform at a high level. I was dreading being “stuck” with people I didn’t get along with.

Little did I know, I had nothing to worry about! The Fisher MBA program only attracts motivated, high-achieving students. We haven’t even come close to having an issue with someone not pulling their weight. In fact, I am consistently impressed with how my teammates are always ahead of the game. We leverage each others strengths, use our time effectively, and have been successful in our group work. But for me, that hasn’t even been the most rewarding aspect…

When it comes down to it, I really, really like my team. That is not to say we always agree, but we are able to constructively challenge each other to create the best outcome for the group. I can appreciate each individual for what they bring to our team’s dynamic. Logan always has a funny story to share, Adam helps us all keep perspective, Aaron’s laugh can make me laugh any day, and Ankita is the most thorough and sweet one of us all.

So for those perspective students who are a little nervous about the group dynamic – take it from me, you have nothing to worry about! My guess is that your group experience, like mine, will be one of your favorite aspects to the MBA program. I’m excited to be “stuck” with my team for another two quarters!

Bee Dance, Make-Buy, Test Drives and one crazy weekend.

So as Week 4 of Winter Quarter begins, several note-worthy things have happened since my last post.

Bee Dance:

Last Thursday, Professor Drobny (who teaches MHR 841 – Business Sustainability) invited the inventor of Bee Dance to speak to our class. The session was devoted to biomimcry, which is the use of nature as a design model. Bee Dance was created recently, and uses the theory of bees’ “waggle dance” to develop the business strategy and actions. The presentation was very intense, and it was very neat to hear about how the company actually received a grant for its’ use of biomimcry in the business. Check out the website for more information!

Make vs. Buy:

One of the many unique things available to Fisher students is the Center for Operational Excellence. This group held a 2 hour Supply Chain Forum last Friday. Over 25 supply chain experts from local companies joined several Fisher students in listening to Dr. John Gray (an OSU professor) explain global sourcing decisions, using a case study on Scott’s. The presentation was VERY useful; Dr. Gray gave several decision matrices, and went through a very detailed decision process for: in-house vs. outsourcing vs. off-shoring. He also explained the basics of Monte Carlo simulations, which can seem intimidating, but can really aid in decision-making.

Marketing Project:

Our core Marketing class has a large project component: choosing a product and creating a detailed marketing portfolio for it. My team, (Team W.A.M.) chose the Honda Fit! This past Saturday our team split into two groups and visited two Honda dealerships to learn more about the Fit, and do test drives. We learned the aspects of the Fit that salespeople focused on, and also learned more about the demographics of the target customers. The only downside to the trip is that since I was the one who did the test drive, I am also the one getting lots of voice-mails from the salesperson!

One crazy weekend:

Although I’m one a tight budget like most other graduate students, I decided to go to ICFA “New Beginnings” Friday night – 15 live cage fights, fully sanctioned by UFC and televised from Screamin’ Willie’s on the east side of Columbus. I rationalized the cost: $30/15 fights = $2/fight OR $30/3 hours = $10/hour… Not too bad for such an unusual event!

The other fun thing I did this weekend was to go to a “Zombie” party. I got to work on my networking skills – I met about 10 really interesting people. In respect for the theme of the party, I brought some Zombie cocktails, which are made as follows:

  • 1 oz clear/light run
  • 1 oz dark rum
  • 1/2 oz creme de almond
  • 1/2 oz triple sec
  • 1 oz sweet and sour mix
  • 1 oz orange juice
  • drizzle with 1/2 oz of Bacardi 151, pouring it over the back of a spoon

Warning: Although these are very delicious, they are also very potent!


A Zombie... with a Zombie.
A Zombie... with a Zombie.