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Real Humans of OSU Fisher’s MBA Class of 2022

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Sami Murphy, Fisher MBA Class of 2022

Age: 26
Hometown: Jeromesville, OH
Undergraduate Institution and Major: Kenyon College, Economics
Pre-MBA Work Experience (years, industry): 4 years working in economic consulting at Analysis Group in Los Angeles, CA

Why business school? Why now?
I decided to pursue my MBA now for a couple of reasons. First, I reached a point in my consulting career where I was ready for a chance to explore other options and thought grad school was an excellent opportunity to take a step back, re-evaluate, and focus on learning. I am excited to use this time pursuing my MBA to learn more about what it looks like to significantly influence corporate strategy, finance decisions, management designs, and organizational structure. Second, I was also looking to make a geographical change and knew an MBA would make the transition easier.

Why Fisher? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
Fisher almost immediately became my top choice. I was attracted to a smaller program that emphasized community and took an intentional, relationship-based approach to supporting and empowering its students. I am also an Ohio-native and wanted to come back to the Midwest after spending the last four years in Los Angeles.

What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to the Class of 2022?
Four years ago, I made the decision to move 3,000 miles away to a city with more people in a square block than in my entire 500-person hometown in Ohio. Los Angeles was a foreign city that felt light years away from my family, the tight-knit community I grew up in, and my comfort zone. While this sounds like the typical story of a generic Hollywood actor, for me, it remains a deeply enriching personal journey that has taught me that my greatest strength is my ability to relate to and unite people with seemingly disparate interests and backgrounds. I am excited about the opportunity to bring my leadership skills, passion for collaboration, and cultural experiences to the Fisher community. Thanks to my journey, I believe that I can make a unique contribution to the Fisher community because I understand the value that each person contributes to their local community.

Fun fact that didn’t get included on your application?
I LOVE Christmas decorations! My family and I usually decorate our entire house from top to bottom. Every room has a different theme and every inch is covered in garland, lights, flowers, ornaments, and a lot of glitter.

Post-MBA career interests?
In all that I do, I hope to make a meaningful impact. I am open to going back into consulting but am using my time as an MBA student to explore corporate finance and non-profit management. Ultimately, I am open to any opportunity that allows me to learn something new and give back to those around me.

Advice to current prospective applicants:
–One thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process?

Talk to as many people as possible! It was helpful to network at the schools I was applying to hear as many different perspectives as possible about the programs and communities themselves. However, it is also so important to talk to people in your life who know you and can help guide you in the best direction for you. I learned the most about myself and gained significantly more confidence through the conversations with people I trusted who supported me through the entire process.

–One thing you would change or do differently?
Take the GMAT early (even the year or two before you want to apply). I am not a good test-taker and taking the GMAT in the months leading up to submitting my application made the process significantly more stressful.

–Part you would have skipped if you could—and what helped you get through it?
The whole process? It is easy to fall into so many traps – comparing yourself to others, questioning whether you are making the “right” decision, feeling like you have to defend the decisions you are making to others or losing sight of where you want to end up. There are countless others and everyone has their own unique journey. I definitely struggled the most with self-doubt and measuring myself against my peers instead of focusing on what was truly important to me. Ultimately, I did end up at the best program for me, but I wouldn’t have made it without all the people in my life who supported, helped, and encouraged me throughout the whole process.

What is your initial impression of Fisher’s students/culture/community?
Fisher students, alumni, and faculty are so eager to help and build relationships with us. The Fisher/OSU network is so strong and there is always someone to talk to about any interest, challenge, or experience. Everyone genuinely wants to see all of us succeed and be the best versions of ourselves.

One thing you have learned about Fisher that has surprised you?
This has been an unbelievable year in so many ways, with so many challenges. The Fisher community has worked so hard to welcome us and make this experience the best it possibly can be given the current circumstances with the pandemic. My fellow classmates as well have been supportive and eager to build relationships. Overall, there is definitely a theme that we are all in this together and we are all choosing to make the most of a difficult year.

Thing you are most anxious about in your first year?
I was most anxious about finding my place in a new community. I tend to be quiet and shy, especially in new surroundings. It usually takes me a while to become comfortable in a new place and find meaningful ways to contribute. I was anxious about how I would accelerate that process given an MBA is only a two-year program.

Thing you are most excited about in your first year?
As cliché as it sounds, I am most excited to learn, especially from everyone around me. I love meeting new people and hearing about their diverse experiences. Also, I would be remiss if I didn’t also mention how excited I am to be back in Ohio – closer to my family, back to having seasons (yay!), and feeling like I am home!

Christina Griffith
Christina Griffith is a writer and editor based in Philadelphia. She specializes in covering education, science, and history, and has experience in research and interviews, magazine content, and web content writing.