Posts filed under 'MAcc'

Recruiting Tips

At this point in the MAcc program, students are finishing midterm exams and are in the midst of first-round interviews for full-time positions at public accounting firms. The first seven-week term of the program been certainly been a whirlwind, so this is a good opportunity to sit back and reflect on all that has been happening as well as share some advice for future students.

Here are my 5 Recruiting Rs:

#1: Reflect
Use the opportunity of upcoming interviews to think about yourself and your experiences. Not only are these reflections useful to answer behavioral questions during interviews (“tell me about a time when…”), but they are also incredibly helpful when having conservations with recruiters at pre-interview recruiting events. It helps you to articulate your story and communicate to others what you are looking for in a company.

#2 Research
Most know to research a company before an interview. However, it’s not just memorizing the stats and figures on the company’s website that is going to land you the job. You have to utilize your network to reach out to current and former employees that can help paint a picture of what it’s like to work at their company. Having these conversations and personal connections in the back of your head during interviews will help you immensely.

#3 Relay
Don’t let your research and preparations go to waste because you get nervous during your interview and forget to relay what you know. It’s important to be excited about the position, have educated questions to ask, and show that you put time and care into preparing for the interview.

#4 Relax
Remember to stay calm and think of the whole recruiting process as a chance to get to know people and a company. It’s all simply a string of conversations that will help determine if you’re the right fit for the position.

#5 Rejoice
At the end of recruiting season, it’s time to rejoice! Hopefully you have received an offer (or multiple) and you are pleased with the results. Remember that things have a way of working out. Recruiting is a mutual selection process, and you should end up where you’re supposed to be!

MAcc Men in Black

MAcc Men in Black


Midterms, Quizzes, and Cases … Oh my!

Reality hit this last week … grad school is not all fun and games. We Fisher MAcc students had multiple midterms/quizzes/case studies/assignments and they all seemed to fall on the same couple of days. Isn’t that how it always works out? In order to keep my head above water, here are a couple tips I like to follow!

Busy week tips -

1) Stay Organized – During the busiest of your weeks it is so hard to keep track of everything and the worst thing would be to allow something to fall through the cracks. I would highly recommend a planner! I know some people are more on top of their game and use an electronic calendar but I like to keep it a little more old school, paper planner for the win. This allows me to stay on top of all my assignments and *hopefully* never miss a due date.

2) Prioritize – I think one of the hardest things to do when you are extremely busy is to realize that maybe not everything will get done or get done with the quality of work you normally do. While it isn’t ideal to hand in less than fantastic work, sometimes it is absolutely necessary. In order to know what to focus on and how to allocate your time wisely, I always make a list of priorities. This allows me to quickly scan and know what is first to get done and what is last to be done. This way you are more efficiently working and if all goes well and time is allocated correctly, everything will get done!

3) Quality of study time > Quantity of study time – It may seem like it is necessary to devote hours and hours to studying, but in my opinion it is not the total hours you spent studying but rather the quality of the time you put into studying. After a couple hours of studying where you are focused and working hard will always beat a day of studying with frequent computer/snacking breaks (my favorite kind of break). If you study hard and really devote yourself to an exam, the results will probably beat days of mediocre studying.

4) Rid yourself of distractions – I cannot study at my apartment, it will just not get done. There are too many distractions from the TV, to the kitchen, to the possibility of taking a nap…it is just a complete fail. I also think a library is just way too quiet and serious (though it is better than trying to study in my room), the best place to study for me is a coffee shop. The perfect mix of a relaxing environment but not relaxing enough that you want to take a nap. For the last couple exams/quizzes I have gone to various coffee shops and managed to get some good quality studying in. There is also the added perk of delicious coffee which can really help the studying process (I highly recommend Stauf’s and Luck Bros‘ in Grandview!)

5) Sleep – I know everyone always tells you to get a good night’s sleep but it actually does help. You wake up in the morning feeling refreshed and ready to go instead of waking up dreading getting out of your bed. Before I go to sleep I like to review my notes once more and then put it out of my mind. It doesn’t help to dwell on journal entries while trying to fall asleep, put the textbooks down and relax…it will all be okay!

So these are just a few things that help me stay sane during a crazy week. The nice thing is that everyone is going through it together so you always have a friend to commiserate with. One good thing about a busy week is the following weekend, that is always the light at the end of the tunnel!

 


The MAcc Goes to Summit Vision

As part of our orientation for the Fisher MAcc program we spent half a day at a place called Summit Vision.  Summit Vision is a high ropes course, outdoor activity center located about 30 minutes from OSU.  We got there in time for lunch and spent awhile eating and hanging out, playing games like knockout and Frisbee.  After lunch, we were randomly split up into teams and completed five team-building activities.  For the most part, these activities were puzzles where we had to work together to complete.  Being put into random teams was a great way to meet people that I hadn’t met yet and step outside my comfort zone a little bit.

Our first activity was to replicate a picture of wooden sticks arranged to make numerous squares.  The sticks all varied in length and had notches located in various places.  Only one stick fit in the correct place, making it difficult to figure out which stick belonged where.  Summit VisionAfter discussing possible ways to approach this, we finally determined a strategy and completed the puzzle, getting faster with each attempt.  Another activity involved us using wooden blocks to get our whole team from one point to another without touching the ground.  Everyone was given a block and the block had to be touched at all times.  If a block wasn’t being touched we’d lose the block and make the puzzle harder one ourselves.  This was kind of like a team-building, grown up version of “the floor is lava”.  Without a doubt, my favorite activity was when we went to the zip line.  This wasn’t as much of a puzzle solving station, but still required support and encouragement from team members.

Overall, Summit Vision was a really great way for us to get to know some fellow MAcc students and have fun learning about some characteristics associated with teamwork.  Already, it is clear that teamwork is a big part of the MAcc program, as the majority of classes I am in have at least one group project assigned.  It is very easy to tell that the qualities and characteristics of teamwork that were associated with Summit Vision are already translating into practical use inside and outside of the classroom.

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Summit Vision1


MAcc BBQ & First Impressions

I cannot believe that we have been in classes for almost two weeks! Time is already starting to fly. So far, everything has been absolutely great! One of the very first that things that helped start the program on a great note was the MAcc Reception at the Horseshoe. This was an event where all MAcc students were invited to attend and network with alumni, faculty, and recruiters. Not only were there all of these great opportunities to meet people and network, we also got to hang out in the Stadium University Suite in the football stadium and go on a behind the scenes tour of the facilities. I’ve attended a ton of football games at the stadium but this was the first time I’ve been able to see all the inner-workings of the field and it was a really unique experience. The last time I was down on the field was at my graduation from undergrad and it was kind of surreal to be back again as a graduate student!

View of the field from a suite!

View of the field from a suite!

Walking down onto the field!

Walking down onto the field

I just had to do a classic senior picture pose down on the field.

I just had to do a classic senior picture pose down on the field.

After this great event, classes officially began! Once you are in classes, your calendar really starts to fill up but of course we had to make room for a little fun. After our second week of classes one of the other students decided to throw a MAcc BBQ. He boldly invited the entire MAcc class to his house (imagine 80 kids being invited to your house…wow, intimidating) and we all brought over some dishes to supplement his grilling out. There was a ton of food and games and a lot of students came out to enjoy the night! It is always nice to get to know your peers outside of the classroom and take some time to relax after attending classes and group meetings. This event also allowed everyone to go outside of their comfort zones, it is really easy to stick to the friends you have met in your classes or knew before the program but everyone mixed and mingled at the BBQ and I talked to a lot of people I had never had the chance to yet. Overall, a great weekend event for the MAcc!

Hanging out at the MAcc BBQ!

Hanging out at the MAcc BBQ!

This week is our first full week of classes (we started on a Wednesday and had Labor Day off), so hopefully everything continues to go well!


No Accounting Background? No Problem!– The Pre-MAcc Seminar

My Fisher MAcc experience started a bit earlier than most because I wasn’t an accounting major in undergrad. I majored in economics and minored in mathematics at Denison University, and I took the one accounting class that was offered during the fall of my senior year. Then, I took a second accounting class at OSU-Newark’s campus (a short 15-minute drive from Denison) during the spring of my senior year. These steps set me up to participate in the Pre-MAcc Seminar, which is a 2.5-week, intensive summer program offered by the Fisher College of Business Office of Executive Education that allows students to fulfill the Intermediate Accounting I and II MAcc prerequisite requirements.

This year the program ran from July 31 to August 15, every day but Sunday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm (with an hour for lunch). It is certainly an intense program, but it is a great bonding experience to have with other incoming MAcc students who have non-accounting backgrounds like yourself. It was great to go into our two-day MAcc Orientation the week after the Pre-MAcc ended and see familiar faces! Eleven students participated in the Pre-MAcc this year, and we were a diverse group. Five were international students and three students were returning to school after being in the working world (two of which also have law degrees). While most of us came from an economics or business background, one student had an undergraduate degree in communications, for example. That’s the great part about the Pre-MAcc—regardless of our past education and/or work experiences, we all chose to go into accounting at this point in our lives and are very committed to be at Fisher.

Not only were my peers in the Pre-MAcc wonderful to be around, but the instructors, Marc Smith and Stephanie Lewis, were also inspiring and able to gracefully deliver long (but interesting!) lectures. Other members of the Pre-MAcc team are the numerous TAs (mostly rising senior accounting majors at Ohio State) that ran our afternoon review sessions. All in all, a lot of work goes into running the Pre-MAcc, and while it is a rigorous program, it is a great way to meet two of the MAcc prerequisite requirements, explore Columbus before the fall, and get to know some fantastic students and instructors alike!

 

The Pre-MAcc Seminar 2014 Graduation Luncheon

The Pre-MAcc Seminar 2014 Graduation Luncheon

 

 


MAcc Scrapbook

How the time has flown! I have gone from being a prospective MAcc student reading the My Fisher Grad Life Blog and wondering why some authors didn’t post more, to being a soon-to-be graduate who is impressed they posted so much! The past nine months have been the most intense period of self-growth and change I have ever experienced in my life. I met so many amazing people and was exposed to different perspectives on life and business. I know I will walk into my first full time job as a finance auditor at the Auditor of State’s office better prepared to be a successful professional thanks to my time at Fisher.

Here is a small sample of some of the things I was doing over the past year while I was too busy to blog:

50 Yard Line

Standing on the football field during Orientation

Class

Inside Arya’s Management and Control class

Corn maze

Heading into the corn maze at Circle S Farms

Picking pumpkins

Picking pumpkins!

Thao

I managed to get out and see Thao and the Get Down Stay Down and Neko Case at the Newport, a concert venue on High St. across from campus

Neko

Neko Case

Foxy!

Me and my boyfriend Brent all dressed up and ready to go to the Fisher Grad Student Halloween party

Fraud: never worth it

Aaron Beam talks about drugs, SEC and rock and roll during his MAcc talk

Held at the Faculty Club

The Class of 14 at the MAcc winter dinner

Christmas in bloom

A winter break girls day out to the Franklin Park Conservatory. Left to right: Liana, Lina, Dongqi, Yeajung and me

Our professor then hosted the speaker at his house

Barry Hoffman speaks to our Corporate Mergers and Acquisitions class about the Valassis-ADVO merger

Book your group ahead of time!

A bunch of hungry MAcc student getting pizza after hunting for a place to play lazer tag

The food was delicious!

I didn’t get pictures at the FISA’s Holi dinner so I snapped a selfie with my friend Ping before our Advanced Negotiations class

Tip: Place your napkin on your lap immediately when you sit down

My table at the MHRM etiquette dinner

The last ever MAcc talk, given by OSU's own Dr. Zhang on accounting research (my camera created the rainbow effect)

The last ever MAcc talk, given by OSU’s own Dr. Zhang on accounting research (my camera created the rainbow effect)

Group photo of MAcc students and alumni who participated in the spring MAcc gives back event. I helped organize the Dress for Success store in the Short North

Group photo of MAcc students and alumni who participated in the spring MAcc gives back event. I helped organize the Dress for Success store in the Short North

Also: travelling to Africa alone, working with Steve Jobs and her non-profit Free the Tampons

Nancy Kramer of Resource Marketing speaks to our Advanced Leadership class about her leadership legacy

AKA Grad School Prom

Action shot of the Fisher Formal

Me and my boyfriend Brent dressed up at the Fisher Formal

Me and my boyfriend Brent dressed up at the Fisher Formal

My friend Lina and I at the Formal

My friend Lina and I at the Formal

He plays the best music before class!

My last ever class- Dr. Mittendorf’s Non-Profit and Governmental Accounting course.


MAcc Applied Talk with Joseph A. Alutto

Joseph A. Alutto, Interim President who served as the university’s executive vice president and provost for more than five years and dean of Fisher College of Business for 16 years, shared his experience and advice on leadership with our MAcc students.

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“There is more to life than work and a career”

Joseph A. Alutto pointed this out at the very beginning of his speech before he talked about other leadership topics. He advised us to find out  ‘what really means for you’, either at work or in life. He showed different attitudes towards work and life for different time periods by recalling his journey of work. At the early stage of his career, work was always the priority. However, at this point of time, family overrides work. For us, who are going to start a brand-new career path, may not be able to get a good balance between work and life, but what we can do is to figure out what really mean for ourselves, either career achievement or family relationship, and approach it step by step. We should work toward what we are expecting, not what others are hoping.

“Thick skin” 

This is another interesting concept that Alutto mentioned during the speech. I understand this concept in a few aspects: first, we need to develop a thick skin to face failures and learn from them. Second, we need to develop a thick skin to push changes in the organization. Third, we need to develop a thick skin to deal with complaints among team members and “accept the reality that you will often be the only ‘adult’ in the room”.  Alutto mentioned this concept several times through his speech and concluded that “develop a thick skin, know ‘who you  are’ and make it your brand”. I consider this is the key to leadership. How you brand yourself affects how you are going to stand out from the crowd.

Alutto highlighted other key insights, including:

“Skill development and performance have greater career value than title, position or compensation.”

“Always surround yourself with people who complement your skills, interests and perspectives but who duplicate your values.”

“Focus on alternative paths to goals and not just on goals themselves.”

“Do what you believe is best.”

Leadership is a process that one’s reputation is built. There are a lot of things we need to learn before reaching the stage of leadership, and there are also many things we can do to step toward it.  Go Buckeyes!

 

 


The Stages of Semester No. 2 – MAcc

 

The first semester of grad school in the MAcc program at OSU leads directly into the last. It’s a whirlwind where, just when you’ve settled into the rhythm, you remember you only have 3 or 4 months until graduation. Frightening moments from senior year flash back every once and a while and you feel the need to grab the closest paper bag and breath into it.

The collective class will realize some truths as the final semester begins. You’ve settled down faster than you did as freshmen, entering graduate school is not like starting the first year of a bachelors program. You have people who you genuinely like seeing casually and would be willing to vouch for professionally. You have a good idea of when professors are in their office, how to find them if they aren’t, and how late they’re willing to respond to e-mail.

Some less poignant things you may have learned include:  the best and worst times to find a parking space (including what time the ROTC students leave so you can snag that spot right up front), which restaurants within walking distance have the best specials on Tuesdays, you have gained an excellent understanding of the underground tunnels which protect you from the frigid weather that sometimes decides to overcome the city, why it is or is not a good idea to jump into Mirror Lake, and which chairs are bolted to the floor in the classrooms and by now you have probably stopped trying to push them in.

You know what is expected of you now. You know which events you have to go to and which events you really should go to (which is as many as possible because they’re all awesome). You know that you will be an excellent alumnus and you secretly hope that you’ll get invited back for alumni events. The MAcc program is something that you’re proud that you will complete and, if it wasn’t already, it has for you become an experience which has allowed you to develop a deeper understanding of your craft, lasting relationships with truly fantastic people and the idea of the program has ceased to be simply a program or degree and has become so much more.


First Semester Lessons Learned

First semester of the MAcc program was a wild whirlwind of experience gained, learning fast on my feet, and figuring out how to be an efficient and effective grad student. Here are my tips on how to be more successful in grad school.

Fall term 1, if you are searching for a job, that will be your life. You may look at your schedule and think, this is not so bad. It is. Before I started Dr. Dave Williams told me that the job search is like taking another class. As someone who was not used to the level of intense work required by the MAcc program, I would say it is like taking two extra classes. Job fairs, information sessions, and interviews will eat up the time you would have used to study, run errands, or just generally have a life.

But!- It gets better. Thrive a little while you survive by having a non-computer oriented hobby that is easy to start and stop when you have free time, like reading, crosswords, painting, knitting, or exercising. These can bust stress and remind you that there is a life outside of case studies and upper level math.

Stay at school and study during breaks – Whenever possible, do not use 2-3 hour breaks between classes at lunchtime to run errands. There is something about being surrounded by other people studying that makes starting and continuing your own homework easier. Having classmates around also means you can ask questions- and when appropriate, commiserate- about assignments.

Keep up – This is much easier said than done, especially in times like Fall term 2 when my combination of classes required about 10 hand-in assignments due the second week of classes. If you fall behind in your reading or understanding, do not use that as an excuse to not do the reading for current classes. Picking up later in the class is better than never getting current, but it is extremely taxing to keep up with classes and trying to catch up at the same time, and you will not be able to learn everything you have missed.

Don’t be afraid to take MBA classes- I took Advertising and Leading and Managing Change last Fall and absolutely loved them. Business classes are a great opportunity to learn interesting non-accounting topics and meet people outside of the MAcc program.

Finally, if you are not a morning person and have to take an early class, try to arrange a break afterwards that is long enough for you to go home and take a nap afterwards. Like my other tips, it will give you a little more peace of mind.


MAcc Autumn Reception

Last week the MAcc class gathered together for the Autumn Reception at the faculty club to celebrate the successful end of the first semester of the program. The evening started with appetizers and cocktails, and then we were treated to a dinner consisting of salad, pasta, potatoes, chicken, and a slew of other dishes. With finals being the week before, my diet mainly consisted of pizza rolls and coffee so it was a welcome change of pace to get some “real” food in my system.

After dinner Delanie Britton, graduate of the MAcc class of 2013, spoke to us about how the program helped shape her career and shared some life advice from her perspective as a recent graduate. I thought it was a great learning experience and it was very cool to see how alumni of the program feel the connection to come back on occasions like this.

MAcc Class of 2014

Finally, to wrap up the ceremony several faculty shared their thoughts on how the first semester went. Professor Anil Arya stood out in my mind, not only because of the advice he shared, but because I didn’t realize that accounting teachers could be so funny! It was a great end to the night and put everyone in a very light mood as we headed out on winter break.

 With that, I hope you all have a Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year!


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