Posts filed under 'SMF'

Resources at Your Fingertips

If you are pursuing a career in finance, it is important not just to have a conceptual understanding of the discipline, but also to keep up on the news and to know how to use different software programs. The Specialized Masters in Finance (SMF) program at the Fisher College of Business places a premium on just these two things.

With respect to software training, the program has adopted a curriculum that forces students to learn how to use Excel in their sleep, use certain Excel add-ons like Crystal Ball (which includes Monte Carlo analysis), CapitalIQ, and the ins and outs of Bloomberg terminals, the industry standard for gaining corporate information. In order to teach these software programs, Fisher has retained a former institutional investor, Professor Matt Sheridan. In addition to these software programs, Fisher students have free access to a plethora of other resources, such as IBISWorld Industry Reports, Thomson Research Reports, and LexisNexis, all of which are very helpful in researching companies, sectors, and markets for class projects. Knowledge of these programs is often prerequisite for many of the positions to which finance students will apply. In my interviews, I haven’t gotten brownie points for having these programs on my résumé—but I doubt I would have gotten an interview without some of them.

sg2014030362942

This is a typical screenshot of a Bloomberg terminal. Look confusing? Trust me, it won’t be after a few weeks in the program.

Dr. George Pinteris, the director of the SMF Program, likes to tell students that when finance professionals get together, they don’t talk about the risk premium over a risk-free asset that they use in the Capital Asset Pricing Model or whether they use the current portion of long-term debt when calculating the cost of debt. Instead, they discuss current events. Dr. Pinteris and other professors expect (but do not require) that students read the Wall Street Journal., Financial Times, and/or The Economist. Personally, I like to supplement my reading of WSJ and FT with American Banker. Whether students access these resources through online university library resources or through special discounts Dr. Pinteris distributes to students, students have access to very valuable resources. A full year’s subscription to American Banker costs about $1,400, while full year subscriptions to WSJ and FT cost a little over $300 each. During some of my interviews, mentioning a recent relevant article I read in FT or AB has often been a catalyst that made a good interview a phenomenal one.

The SMF Program not only gives students a solid academic background in finance, but also an excellent technical and professional background as well.


Staying at Fisher makes me feel proud!!!

Staying at Fisher makes me feel proud!!!

Different from most of my classmates in the SMF program, who joined the Fisher family a few weeks ago, I am so proud that I am a senior buckeye!!! I studied finance in Fisher for my undergraduate and I decided to stay at Fisher for my graduate without any doubt. I only applied one graduate school and obviously that is Fisher! In this post, I am going to share with why Fisher is an awesome school.

You will have tremendous opportunities.

For example, there are hundreds of companies recruiting Fisher students in the career fair every year. There are more than one thousand student organizations in OSU. If you are a sports fan, we have the best gym—RPAC! And we have a magnificent football field with a capacity of 100,000 audiences, and so many awesome buckeyes!!!

autumn scriptohio 2014_sif_11 rpac_weight-room1319

 

Faculties are always willing to help. 

I have already seen a post from my classmate, describing how helpful and considerate faculties are. Only with proper mentorship, can students fully take advantages of those tremendous opportunities. And this is exactly what Fisher has.

Take myself as an example, when I was an undergraduate student at Fisher, I was motivated by Professor Brandl’s Global finance class. I gained great interests in financial history and financial regulations. I asked a lot of questions and Professor Brandl encouraged me to write a research paper on this topic. During the research process, I realized that creating a student organization related to business ethics would be a great testimony to some of my research findings. Professor Brandl supported my idea by being the advisor of my organization and coached me patiently throughout the whole process. Partly due to what I have achieved with the research project and the student organization, I am very humbled to be awarded the highest honor in Fisher—Pace Setter Award.

Fisher is the school that you can be exposed to tremendous opportunities and get tremendous support from top-ranking faculties. Fisher is the school that encourages students to “GO BEYOND” and be the best. Fisher is the school that I really love and feel proud that I can stay longer. Till now, school has started for a month for SMF students. I am very confident that I have made a brilliant decision to stay at Fisher for my graduate study.


The Interview

When I used to hear the word “interview,” the most daunting images  would come to mind. Whether it be getting drilled on finance questions by a recruiter that you don’t know the questions to, forgetting your resume, or even worse, forgetting your interview time, the interview process can be a scary, scary thought. I have a Nationwide interview for the Financial Leadership Rotation Program. It is an 18-month rotation program in which you will work with top executives in strategy, finance, investments, M&A, enterprise risk management and much more. The job is mainly open to 2nd year MBAs, so to get an interview without being one, it took some work, but it is possible. So, if you know you are interested in finance, do not think this program is inferior to the MBA and that you are somehow at a disadvantage.

Career Management offers tons of resources; from helping you perfect your cover letter to doing mock interviews beforehand. You’ll even find out that some of the professors have extensive knowledge with the company you are interviewing for, or have even worked there, especially companies based in Columbus. If you utilize your resources here, you will be ready.

Normally, I am one to be extremely nervous for a position that I am highly interested, especially with a well-respected company. However, today that case isn’t true. Between my research and the help of Career Management, I am well-prepared to fight anything that comes my way. I prepared for days and know I put in the work to do well.

And  cue the Peyton Manning hum to..."Nationwide is on your side."

And cue the Peyton Manning hum to…”Nationwide is on your side.”

Update: I feel like the interview went extremely well. The mock interview with the professor helped tremendously. He helped me understand certain questions that I would have never thought of. So … definitely utilize the help of your professors. I will say it again, they are among your greatest assets in the SMF program.


The Newest Pieces at the Wexner Center

On Friday night, after a long day of working on group projects and assignments with some of my SMF peers, I donned a suit and tie to attend an early showing of the newest exhibit at the Wexner Center for the ArtsTransfigurations: Modern Masters from the Wexner Family Collection was nothing short of breathtaking. The blockbuster paintings were remarkable pieces by Pablo Picasso, Alberto Giacometti, and Jean Dubuffet.I found myself arrested with two paintings in particular.

The first was Diego dans l’atelier by Giacometti. At first glance it’s an ashen man in a dirty room. But upon closer inspection, it’s an inscrutable, otherworldly figure. The artist seems to have poured his tensions and anxiety through his brush, yet the feverish pitch left nothing concrete for the onlooker to see. We are left to ponder.

Diego dans l’atelier by Alberto Giacometti

The other was Three Spokes by Susan Rothenberg. The horse reminded me of a cave painting, but everything else was a mystery: the color scheme, the cut off hooves, the inexplicable cracks, and the white dividing line. I could not possible imagine what it meant, but I could barely take my eyes off it.
Three Spokes by Susan Rothenberg

Three Spokes by Susan Rothenberg

Sherri Geldin, Director of the Wexner Center, assembled the exhibit and its début in stunning fashion. Between chatting up the University President and a member of Columbus City Council, I had the pleasure to meet some executives from Huntington Bank, one of Ohio State’s closest partners in delivering value to students. While Friday ended up being very long indeed, I thoroughly enjoyed the exhibit and made a few contacts along the way.

OSU Round 2: Reflections of a Seasoned Buckeye

I went to The Ohio State University and majored in economics in the College of Arts and Sciences. Now that I am back to pursue a Specialized Masters in Finance (SMF) at the Fisher College of Business, I have been struck by how different life as an undergrad and as a graduate student is, and further, as an OSU alumnus, how different general campus and Fisher’s campus are.
First, OSU is an enormous school, but you would never know it from being on Fisher’s campus. Many prospective students may think navigating OSU entails a steep learning curve. On the contrary, Fisher’s campus comprises five academic buildings (Gerlach, Schoenbaum, Pfahl, Mason, and Fisher) and a hotel (The Blackwell). All graduate courses are taught on the second and third floors of Gerlach Hall. The Office of Career Management, a vital resource for graduate students (especially those in one-year programs), is on the first floor of Gerlach. I would consider academic courses and the career search to be the two most important and time-consuming affairs at Fisher, and those two activities were given priority in designing a graduate education at Fisher.
The lovely Gerlach Hall in the morning.

The lovely Gerlach Hall in the morning.

Second and related to my first point, the ease of transition to Fisher is remarkable. Many students are assigned lockers, which are scattered throughout the building, in which students can keep books and other things for school. If you are trying to save money, there are five refrigerators and two microwaves, so packing a lunch is a no-brainer. For computer labs (like for the Bloomberg terminals), you can take a stroll across the Fisher courtyard or, when the weather is bad, take the underground tunnels to Schoenbaum Hall. Most of my classes are scheduled fifteen minutes apart, so classes are densely scheduled and allow me to meet with my group for class projects or go to office hours with professors in the afternoon. There are many study spaces available, including rooms for independent and group study.
Third, when you do want (or need) to venture off the Fisher campus, most places are only ten minutes or less away. For example, you can get your workout in at either Jesse Owens North, which is directly north of Gerlach Hall, or at the crown jewel of OSU’s rec facilities, the RPAC. For studying, you can choose between eleven floors, two reading rooms, and countless reading nooks at the massive Thompson Library. And if you just need to get off campus, the Columbus’ public transportation system, COTA, will take you just about anywhere you need to go in a reasonable amount of time.
All in all, I think that Fisher puts the tools to be successful at your fingertips—you just need to grab it.​

Orientation and Networking!

Networking, Networking, Networking! Many students will tell you that the objective of any college degree is to help you obtain your dream job. This can only come through hard work and networking. This is exactly what orientation will help you to do and one of the first things you will do at Fisher is orientation.  While it is geared towards meeting your professors, career adviser and students in the program, you can rest assured knowing that at the heart of it all, you are networking.

10407409_840544665969121_6662181692259459424_n 10516859_840544442635810_8258430673197501499_n

You will get to meet many, if not all, of the professors that you will be spending the next 9 months of your life with in the Fisher Specialized Master of Finance program. These professors are your greatest assets in the program. They have far more connections than you can fathom and chances are at least one of the professors has a contact at the company you are interested in, or in the position you want. They come from all walks of life and between their many years of teaching and spending time in the financial workplace, they have an arsenal of knowledge that far surpasses anything I have seen. I mean, where else can you meet a professor with a PhD in Nuclear Physics that teaches Data Analysis in a way that is very easy to understand and can apply it to current applications to businesses here in Columbus?!

Orienation 3

Orientation1 Orientation2

At orientation you will also have a great chance to work with your fellow classmates in some fun activities provided by the GPO. As most of you know, the foundation of strong career search is networking and at the center of that is building relationships. Building relationships is an essential skill no matter if you are in school, starting your career, or are a veteran in the work force with 30 years of experience. Orientation is a great opportunity to start building relationships with your fellow classmates. There are plenty of opportunities to talk to your fellow classmates and professors during orientation. Two weeks into the program and I felt like I had known my classmates my whole life. I can already tell, this year will be a blast!


First month at Fisher SMF!

I have realized two most important things in my first month at Fisher SMF program. One, the breadth of resources and two, to succeed here you need to prioritize!

Once you are admitted to Fisher SMF, even before the program begins, the Fisher Career Management Office (CMO) starts communicating with you to offer you personalized career search services. From how to network in US (especially for international students) to how to dress formally (important for all the female students) and how it is different from business casual to how to brand yourself, everything is personalized. In my previous academic life (trust me, it’s a long one) I have never come across such a depth and breadth of services/ resources offered.

And CMO is just one office there are many such offices and organizations here which offer ample professional and social development opportunities. When there are so many opportunities around its very important for us, as students as to how to allocate our time. For example as an international student I had to take English as a Second Language (ESL) test and it had some conflicts with my finance classes. After discussing this issue with SMF program director Professor Pinteris and advisor Jennifer Bennett, they helped me reschedule it for the next semester, which was such a relief for me. I would have missed a very interesting class. So in a nutshell, if you know what you want, Fisher SMF gives you ample opportunities to explore your path!


Fisher Wall Street Trip

One of the great opportunities that we have here at Fisher for those interested in a Career on Wall Street is the Fisher Wall Street Trip.  During this trip we had the opportunity to meet with alumni and friends of Fisher at most all the major Wall Street Banks.  We had the chance to meet with individuals from the following firms:

Morgan Stanley
J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.
KeyBanc Capital Markets
Bloomberg
UBS
Goldman Sachs
Barclays
Vertical Research Partners
Waverly Advisors

During these office visits we had the opportunity to talk with a wide variety of people from the analyst level, up to managing director.  This was a great opportunity to ask questions regarding the firms and investment banking in general and was very informative to those who did not know as much about the field.  In addition to the office visits, the office of career management also set up two dinners that gave us the opportunity to network and interact with alumni of Fisher in a more informal environment.  This was a great opportunity to speak with alumni in the industry about their experiences and journey from Ohio to New York City.   Overall, this was a great opportunity that I would highly recommend to any future SMF student interested in a career on Wall Street.

SMF Students in Times Square


Fisher Attracts Top Speakers

In my opinion, one of the biggest perks of enrolling in the SMF program has been the access it provides to Fisher’s impressive list of guest speakers. I am only a few months into the semester and already I have had the chance to hear from equity analysts, investment bankers, and even several CFO’s from big name corporations.

Just a few weeks ago, Robert Green, the CFO of GE Capital (a $46 billion company), came to Fisher. He was in town for the 2013 National Middle Market Summit, which was co-hosted by GE Capital, the National Center for the Middle Market, and The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business. Mr. Green spoke about his strategy and goals as a CFO, as well as offered some advice to the students in attendance. Namely, he recommended that students really connect to their studies, that they stay informed about world news, and that they see the interview process as a two-way street, i.e. try to find a company that reflects your values and meets your specifications rather than just taking any job that comes along.

The SMF program has also hosted several exclusive events. For example, earlier in the year, the SMF students were able to speak with Larry Hilsheimer, the CFO of The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company, which is headquartered in Marysville, Ohio, and coming up in the next few weeks, we will hear from Andy Rose, the Vice President and CFO of Worthington Industries, Inc., a leader in the diversified metal processing industry.

These speakers are such an invaluable resource. I can’t wait to see who will be here in the Spring!


Staying in Shape at Fisher

Here at Fisher there are plenty of opportunities to get out and do things other than schoolwork and studying.  I am a very active person and as such have taken advantage of the many physical activity programs that are available at Ohio State.

  • Intramural Football – Fisher put together a co-ed flag football team that was comprised of people from a variety of programs.  It allowed me and a few of the other SMFs to meet some of the individuals in the other Fisher programs.  Football was a good chance to get out on the weekends and get some physical activity while in a fun, competitive environment.
  • Club Swimming – I was an NCAA Swimmer in undergrad at the University of South Carolina so I am always looking for ways to continue to stay in shape and Club Swimming is one of the best opportunities that I have found.  We practice a few times a week and then swim a few meets a semester against other colleges in the area and it is a great chance to not only do a little training but also get up and race every few weeks.
  • Recreation Facilities – Ohio State offers some of the best on-campus recreation facilities in the country with the RPAC, Jesse Owens North, and Jesse Owens South all within a few minute walk of Fisher.  The RPAC is the flagship of the rec department and is one of the largest collegiate rec centers in the country.  They offer over a dozen basketball courts, a massive weight room, hundreds of pieces of cardio equipment, an indoor track, as well as one of the nicest aquatic facilities in the country.  It is very convenient to Fisher and is just a 5 minute walk into campus and is a great place to grab a quick workout in between classes or to break up a long study period.

RPAC exterior


Next Page »


The content and opinions expressed on this site do not necessarily reflect the views of nor are they endorsed by The Ohio State University or Fisher College of Business.