Looking Back and Looking Forward

fisher college

graduation

I am a second year full time MBA student and am set to graduate in about a month.  There is a mix of reflection and excitement (even more so from my wife who has endured having her spouse in a full time graduate program).

The Past

When reflecting on the past two years and what I’ve gained from them, I’ve thought of the relationships I’ve made and how walking out of this experience confirmed the things that brought me here in the first place.  When talking about Fisher, we talk a lot about the small class size being a key component of the overall experience.  The small class size lends itself to more intimate settings which, in turn, lend itself to more opportunities to connect with classmates, faculty and career management.  This all made logical sense, but I’ve been able to now have the experience of living it out and I can say it’s all true.  Friendships-I have been able to get to know several classmates in a deep way over this relatively short period of time, and I fully expect to continue those relationships even after the program is finished. Professors-even having gone to Ohio State for undergrad, I’ve seen a world of difference in the depth of relationships I have with my professors at Fisher.  Most of them are in the Ops/Logistics field (my focus in the program) and I have been able to cultivate these relationships and to lean on them for better understanding a concept and also for career advice.

Another area that sticks out to me is the Corporate Mentor Program.  As a student, you fill out an “application.”  It’s more of an info sheet on what you’re looking for in a mentor, and they pair you with an executive in the Columbus area.  The program is only supposed to last for a year, but often the relationships extend for more, and that was the case for me.  My mentor has been a great source of advice and has graciously connected me to others in the supply chain profession.

The FutureFuture path

Looking now to the future.  Currently, I am searching for a supply chain position in the Columbus area, but am hopeful that something will come through soon.  Coming to an MBA program is somewhat of a gamble, albeit a calculated and relatively low risk gamble (92% of graduates last year had jobs within 3 months of graduation).  You’re essentially putting all of your chips in and hoping the investment pays off.  Thankfully it almost always does, but at certain times tries your resolve.  I’ve found in those times it’s been helpful to focus on the good things in your life and to know that life is more than just what job you have.  For example, my wife and I just welcomed our daughter to the world a couple weeks ago (see picture below).  What a blessing!

Evie

The MBA program has been a great re-calibration experience for my career and I’m looking forward to a brighter future than when I entered.


No Diggity, No Doubt

Three fantastic things have happened this semester.

1. I correctly predicted how long it would be for me to write another Fisher Grad Life blog post.

I was definitely right when I insinuated this semester was going to keep me busy. The best part? I have enjoyed the chaos. The classes have been interesting and filled with invaluable content – most of which is almost immediately applicable to a Human Resource Professional’s current job or internship.

2. I have gotten to know my classmates better (which is a HUGE feat when you have an *almost* three year old).

One of the best pieces of advice I can give to incoming business students (MHRM or other), take the time to get to know your classmates. Sure, networking with them is great. But more importantly, establishing real connections with people in the same boat as you will offer you lasting support and friendships. Whether you go to Thirsty Scholar at the completion of the week, or you sit by the same people in every class, GET TO KNOW YOUR PEERS. This will define your experience at Fisher almost more than anything else.

Lastly…,

3. I HAVE AN INTERNSHIP (and, consequently, I found a fantastic daycare for my kid). Saying I’m “excited” to start my internship is an understatement. The projects, the brand, and the people I’ll be working with make me beyond excited to begin. I can’t wait to fill you in when I get back.

 


A Day with Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett Trip_ Group Picture

It was exciting to learn that a group of Fisher MBA students would travel to Omaha, NE for a Q&A session with Warren Buffett… just another opportunity Fisher provides. We were each asked to draft a question to ask Mr. Buffett if given the opportunity. Throughout the 2.5 hours visit, Mr. Buffett graciously answered questions from each of the participant schools. Topics of discussion were wide-ranging and very candid. My question was chosen to be Fisher’s first, specifically:

As an Orthopedic Surgeon in training, I’m very concerned about the sustainability of health care in America. The need to provide better medicine at less cost is more evident than ever. Of the many business principles you have mastered, which one is the most vital to the future of healthcare in America?

As a physician I was interested in asking Mr. Buffett about healthcare in America.

As with all of his answers, Mr. Buffett’s optimism was contagious. He was certain that we would solve the healthcare challenges given our country’s history of overcoming challenges. He mentioned that we have been focused on solving problems at any cost, but that our generation’s great minds would innovate world-class care that could be provided at a sustainable cost.

Mr. Buffett emphasized the ingenuity that has been employed in the U.S. over an impressive track record of productivity and problem solving. He was particularly encouraged by trends in the increasing involvement of women in leadership, seeing this as a largely untapped potential for even more productivity moving forward. He also elaborated on the important difference between equal opportunity (which he is a big fan of) and equal outcomes, pointing out that those who do a better job should be rewarded accordingly. He also pointed out that a society should be structured so that no single segment is “left behind” and that opportunity is distributed as widely as possible.

Mr. Buffett provided much food for thought. With his impressive philanthropic spirit he encouraged each of us to prosper our own communities and to be a force for good. I came away from the Q&A session bullish on America and personally enlightened. Thank you Fisher!

Warren Buffett Trip_ Furniture Mart_Group Picture

 

Special Thanks to trip sponsor:

Sander A. Flaum
Founder and Managing Partner, Flaum Idea Group (FIG)

Sander Flaum has been a long-time champion of the big idea, both in business and in his role as Adjunct Professor of Management at the Fordham Graduate School of Business, where he founded and chairs the Fordham University Leadership Forum. He was also the school’s commencement speaker in 2011. Prior to launching FIG, Sander was Chairman of Euro RSCG Life, a worldwide network of 43 healthcare agencies. In addition, Sander presided over the growth of Robert A. Becker Inc. as it became the number two healthcare agency in the US. Med Ad News named Becker “Agency of the Year” and Sander “Man of the Year” in 2002. Perhaps most importantly, Sander worked for 18 years at Lederle Laboratories where he became Marketing Director and honed his vision of the company he dreamed of finding as a client — the result of which is the Flaum Idea Group. Sander has his BA from The Ohio State University and his MBA (cum laude) from Fairleigh Dickinson University.

 


Negotiations

This entire post is dedicated to one class, because it is just that awesome. As an SMF, you have the opportunity to take classes outside of Finance. Negotiations is one of them. Take it. Absolutely, under any circumstances, sign up for this. It is taught by either Professor Lount of Professor Lewicki. I currently have the night class with Dr. Lewicki. I could go on and on about Dr. Lewicki’s achievements in the field of negotiations, but I will stick to the class.

I hate night classes. Simply put. There are hundreds of things I would rather be doing at the end of March from 6-9 at night and I am sure most of you feel the same way. Negotiations happens to fall in this category of things I would rather be doing. This is one of the two most engaging classes I have had at Fisher (Dr. Wruck’s Corporate 3&4 are the others). Almost every night you are participating in some sort of negotiation. You have free reign to stretch the truth, never reach a deal, anything. The thrill of winning a negotiation, even with fake money, is something that is hard to compare with. This class also gives you the opportunity to work with Working Professional MBA’s, Full-Time MBA’s, JDMBA and MHRM students. With this in mind, you know you will never be negotiating with someone of the same background or goals.

I will warn you. You might look up after laughing, cheating, and lying in your negotiation to the point where you will enjoy it so much, that you actually might be a little depressed that you have to leave for the night. The 3 hours in negotiations passes by entirely too quickly, to say the least.


Board Announcements!

Last week, the first year Fisher Board Fellows had their board training session. We learned about the fundamentals of non-profit work and serving on a board from Janie Levine Daniel, a former board fellow herself, and we also learned about non-profit accounting from Brian Mittendorf. The session, combined with the Bridges To The Boardroom luncheons over the last few terms, have helped the first year fellows become more comfortable with the board process and get a better idea of what to expect when we begin serving on our boards.

After the training was over, our board assignments for next year were finally announced. I will be serving on the board of Catholic Social Services, which I am thrilled about! They were my first choice board, and I’m already doing some pro bono marketing work with them, which will be a good way to learn more about the organization and its needs before I begin my board project.

Each of the boards is different in terms of how often they meet, and when they want their fellows to start. Some fellows begin attending board sessions over the summer, and some don’t start until the fall. Some boards meet once a month, and others only quarterly. Because of these differences, the second year FBF leadership team has organized a banquet for the first year fellows and representatives from their boards to meet before the end of the school year. This way, everyone has at least touched base with their board before leaving for summer internships.

My first meeting with the Catholic Social Services board will be next week, and I’m really excited to meet everyone on my board. This meeting will be a little different than most, as the Bishop will be inducting new members onto the board. It’s kind of a new beginning, in a way, and they felt it would be a good time for me to start, along with the new full-time members. I will also be attending a strategic planning retreat next Saturday, which will be run by Professor Rucci, who has been working with the organization and helping it come up with a new strategy over the past year. I’ve never been on any kind of professional retreat, so I’m interested to see what one is like. I can’t wait to start working with my board, and I’m very excited to see what kind of projects they need help with!

 

 

 


Channel Stuffing aka the MAcc Soccer Team

One great thing about Ohio State is the wide variety of activities to participate in during the school year! One popular choice this term was intramural soccer. The MAcc team, Channel Stuffing, competes every Monday night against other groups of students. While I (unfortunately) am not able to bless the team with my (non-existent) soccer talent, I was able to go cheer them on! The team they played had another MAcc student on it, I guess this is okay even though I consider it borderline treason to be on any team besides the official MAcc team. Below are some pictures from the game!

SoccerAction1

Action on the field

 

J&H

Intensity during the game

The Fans!

The Fans!

theteam

Channel Stuffing!!

Unfortunately, Channel Stuffing did not prevail but because they have already won a game they are guaranteed a spot in the playoffs. It was a lot of fun to go see everyone play! If you are interested in learning more about intramural sports at Ohio State, click here! There are so many options it is hard to choose!

 


Tackling the CPA Exam

We only have about a month left in the MAcc program, and so many of my peers are studying for the CPA Exam. Some students have even started taking sections of the exam. We get a lot of questions about the CPA Exam in our admissions inbox, so here are some Q&As that will hopefully clear up some things:

1.  What’s on the CPA Exam?
The CPA Exam is a computer-based test that has four sections:

  • Auditing and Attestation (AUD): 4 hours (90 questions & seven task-based simulations)
  • Business Environment and Concepts (BEC): 3 hours (72 questions and three written communication tasks)
  • Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR): 4 hours (90 questions and seven task-based simulations)
  • Regulation (REG): 3 hours (72 questions and six tasked-based simulations)

You can take the sections in any order you choose, and you must complete all four sections within 18 months.

2.  Am I eligible to sit for the CPA Exam?
It depends! The requirements vary by state, so I will use Ohio as an example. Please look up the state you intend to practice in on NASBA’s website to find that state’s specific requirements. For Ohio, you must:

  • be at least 18 years old
  • have completed 150 semester hours of college education and meet one of four educational requirements. (For more information, click here)

After completing the MAcc program, you are eligible to sit in Ohio.

3.  Does the MAcc program help prepare you for the CPA Exam?
While the MAcc program does not teach towards the CPA Exam, a lot of the topics covered in MAcc classes are on the exam.

4.  How much does the CPA Exam cost?
The application fee and examination fees for all four sections total $869.08 for first-time applicants. You can apply for one or more sections at a time, and you are advised to only apply for a section if you are ready to take it within the next six months. If you need to retake any section, there are additional fees.The other cost of taking the CPA Exam is the cost of a preparatory course, but a lot employers, especially public accounting firms, will help subsidize the cost of a CPA review course. Some also cover the fees to take the four sections the first time.

5.  When do most MAcc students take the CPA Exam?
With the credits that they have earned thus far, some of my peers are already eligible to take the CPA Exam. On the other hand, some students, including myself, have to wait until the end of the program before they can start taking sections of the Exam. Most of my peers who will be working for public accounting firms have start dates in the late summer or early autumn. Therefore, many intend on taking all four sections of the exam (or as many as they can) during the summer.

To learn more about the accounting profession and the CPA Exam, check out this website by the AICPA. Oh, and remember:

CRUSH-THE-EXAM


Team Projects

One of the great features of the SMF program is an action-based course in the last academic term. Students have a number of projects from which to choose, from investment management to corporate finance to risk management, and students rank all the projects. Professor Pinteris then assigns people to groups based on their specializations, previous coursework, grades, and other factors. I was assigned to be team leader for a corporate finance project with Ohio State’s Treasury Office. My team and I are working with the office to model operating cash flows based on historical data, determine how much cash the university needs to keep in interest-bearing deposits, and addressing a number of pending considerations for Treasury.

The people with whom we are liaising on this project told us that they would like a candid assessment of Treasury’s results, so this project is already testing my knowledge of government and non-profit accounting. Plus the project is very relevant to the job that I took in public finance, so I’m really getting a great transition from school to the workplace.


Q&A with a MHRM Student

Sri 1

 

Bagyasri Hari – MHRM Class of 2016

Hometown: Bangalore, India

Undergraduate Major: Business Management

Hobbies and Interests: Sketching/Painting, Anime, Jigsaw Puzzles and Music

What you like most about Columbus: I appreciate that it is a pretty calm and relaxing city with very friendly people.

Favorite things to do in Columbus: I enjoy shopping at the many malls and shopping centers in the area, and am really happy that Columbus has a Godiva store (I love Godiva chocolate!)

What interests you about HR: Human Resource serves as a link between a business idea and its effective implementation. It is a live wire connecting and converting ideas into happenings. I want to be actively involved in attracting and retaining the right talent, as people are the most important asset for any enterprise.

Favorite aspects of being a MHRM student at Fisher: The knowledgeable faculty, class times that allow students to balance a job and school, the atmosphere in class and the curriculum.

What advice would you give incoming first years and/ or prospective students: If you are an international student (on F1 visa), it is important to understand that it can be difficult to find an internship/job in HR as it is not a STEM field, but it is not impossible. So please be mentally prepared to be optimistic and work hard. Use the resources available like the career management office and company information sessions to network.


Asset Misappropriation

Last term I took a class that focused on fraudulent financial reporting.  This course focused on methods to detect whether the financial statements can be analyzed in ways to determine if fraud is being perpetrated by the company.  This would normally involve managers or executives.  This term I am in another fraud class, asset misappropriation.  This course focuses on ways employees one way or another steal assets from the company.  This type of fraud tends to be more common amongst companies but usually results in a smaller amount of loss as compared to fraudulent financial reporting.

In the course we have been learning about different ways employees steal from their company.  Usually it involves employees with trusted responsibilities over some type of asset.  This can range from an employee taking cash out of the register to more elaborate payroll or billing schemes.  While there are way too many different methods for us to cover in 7 weeks, we hit the major and most common approaches used by fraudsters.  As part of the class we also talk about how to prevent or detect these frauds.  This is clearly a very useful skill to acquire when going into a career as an accountant.

I have really enjoyed this class so far.  It is interesting to discuss how creative some of these fraudsters get when perpetrating the crime.  Classes involve a mix of discussion about schemes, cases, and videos featuring real world examples.  I am looking forward to learn about other kinds of fraud schemes as the course continues.


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