Better the Devil You Know…


In the weeks leading up to my arrival at OSU, I was filled with a potent mix of anticipation and anxiety.

The anticipation came from the nerdy schoolboy in me jumping for joy at the prospect of being back in a classroom. “Imagine all I’ll get to learn!” “I wonder what interesting people I’ll meet!” “I can’t wait for football games!”

The anxiety came from my inner skittish recluse pulling his hair out at the prospect of being back in a classroom. “What if I can’t keep up with what they’re teaching?” “What if people don’t think I’m interesting?” “I don’t even like sports!”

I suppose this anxiety would be a little more palpable if I explained my background. I graduated with a Bachelors of Fine Arts from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts’ School of Filmmaking in 2014 with a focus on film directing. I moved back home to Youngstown, OH after graduation where I did a mix of videography, editing, volunteering at a ballet company, participating in community theater both on- and off-stage and working a variety of part time gigs. I decided an MBA was the right choice after my experiences told me that my passion for film had grown to all arts. I decided I wanted to be the guy who could talk to the stuffy suits as well as the airy artists.

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My mom made me take this photo!

No time in a big corporation. No use of what math skills I had. No sports. Does that anxiety make sense now?

Fast forward two weeks and that potent mix has been replaced with something much more powerful.

Coming back to school has felt more like a coming home. I had been to OSU only twice before, but within 48 hours, I felt like a prodigal son returned to his joyous father. Being here has felt like digging an old baseball glove out of a dusty attic and finding that it still fits after all this time (sports!).

I don’t know what a pivot table is or what exactly a consultant does, but orientation at Fisher has made me feel like I’m going to be the best businessman the world has ever seen. The faculty and upperclassmen have not been stingy in telling me how hard I’m going to have to work to make it through the next two years, but without attending a single class yet, they’ve managed to make me feel like I’ve learned a lifetime’s worth of information.

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My core group and I during our preterm scavenger hunt.

Adoration has replaced anticipation and until class starts, the anxiety still exists. Now, though, I know better what I’m getting myself into. I know who to turn to for help. I know what boundless resources I have at my disposal. I know who Urban Meyer is (sports!!).

I feel I’m staring into the abyss and the abyss is staring back, hungry. You know what I have to say to it, though?

Bring it.

 

Exciting Semester Starts with FINAL EXAM for SMF!

Aha! The new semester begins! Believe it or not! SMF students are preparing for their first final exam this week! How exciting! : )

SMF stands for Specialized Master in Finance. There is no doubt that we are a special group who has already done two group assignments and five case studies before the new semester begins and is going to take a FINAL EXAM in the first week of the new semester.

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There are maybe many question marks in your head: Are you kidding? Do you finish a course for only one week? How is that possible?

Well, that’s because we have been on campus for three weeks before the semester officially begins! We were taking a course called Turbo Finance which covered almost all basic ideas of Finance, from Monday to Friday, 10 am to 3 pm.

Additionally, we met successful alumni of our program and took Bloomberg training with the legendary rock star of Bloomberg, Professor Matt Sheridan, during the busy pre-term schedule.

This sounds like mission impossible, but we did it! The awesome staff of Fisher and the director of our program who is also our professor for Turbo Finance, Dr. George Pinteris, prepared and scheduled perfectly to make all of these happen.

& Here is some beautiful view of campus and Columbus!

Fisher College of Business:

Fisher

The Oval:

The Oval

The One & the Only RPAC:

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Ohio State Fair (Annually August Event in Columbus):

Ohio State Fair

Columbus at night:

Columbus Nightview

Welcome to Grad Life!

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Today marks “Day II” of my two-year adventure in grad school! I wanted to just take a moment to introduce myself as I will be writing about my experience here at Fisher College of Business’ Master of Human Resource Management program. My name is Chase Lakhani, and I am from the wonderful state of Georgia! I have lived in Georgia all 22 years of my life, and graduated from Georgia Southern University in 2016 (but it feels like ten years ago). I studied Electrical Engineering, but my true passion (and I love talking about other’s passions in life) was when I was working with a core group of leadership development freshmen in a peer-to-peer mentoring program my supervisor and I developed over three years. I loved it so much I decided to find a career that I could do that for the rest of my life, and lo and behold Ohio State came-a-knocking with this wonderful information about Human Resource Management! I will end this ramble with just a few things about my first day:

  1. Columbus is such an amazing city and such a pleasure to explore!
  2. Fisher College of Business has such a supportive family atmosphere between faculty, staff, and fellow students
  3. The MHRM program has spectacular 2nd year students that want to see the 1st years (like me!) succeed in every way possible
  4. If you love food as much as I do there are so many amazing restaurants and food trucks to fill you up ten thousand times over
  5. I cannot wait to see what else I find and do among the Ohio-ans (and of course fill you all in as I continue on my adventure)

Well, I hope you will continue to read about my adventures, and if you have any questions about the program or myself please do not hesitate to leave a comment!

 

MAcc Gives Back!

This past Friday many of the MAcc students joined together to donate their time to various local charitable organizations. The day started, as most days should, with coffee and bagels with the class. After breakfast had finished, each of the groups dispatched to their respective service locations. Some of the locations that were available to volunteer at were: The Boys and Girls Club, The Capital Area Humane Society, Franklin Park Conservatory, the Columbus Rabbit House, and several other locations.

My group, which consisted of students, working professionals from Columbus, and two Ohio State faculty members, were assigned to COSI, which is a science museum and research center located in downtown Columbus. Unfortunately, we were not there to explore the museum and see what research is being done (which is must-do if you end up coming to Ohio State.). Our group’s task was to help the landscaping team finish mulching different flower and tree beds that surround the property. For the two hours we were at COSI, we were able to mulch several beds, which was able to save the landscaping team at least a full day of work!

After we finished at COSI, all of the groups met back at the Varsity Club, which is a staple restaurant across the street from the Fisher College of Business. Everyone had lunch together, discussed their volunteer project, and caught up.

Overall, through MAcc gives back, our class was able to donate over 100 service hours to the community of Columbus. Aside from donating time, it was also a terrific opportunity to interact with your fellow classmates, Fisher Faculty, and working professionals.

The Big Spring Concert at OSU

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Every year, the Ohio Union Activities Board (OUAB) puts on what they call the “Big Spring Concert”. They bring in a popular artist or
group and have a free concert for all Ohio State students as they near the end of their academic year. In the past, they have brought in groups like OAR, Passion Pit, The Chainsmokers and Weezer plus artists like Skrillex, Juicy J and Childish Gambino. Needless to say, the OUAB does a good job of bringing in a wide range of music genres. This year is no different as they lined up Marshmelllo, Vic Mensa and headliner Martin Garrix. Garrix and Marshmello are both EDM artists with Garrix being one of the most popular in the current EDM scene.

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garrixIn years past, they have held the concert on The South Oval, just across the street from The Ohio Union, and students would just walk in. This year, they held it at Columbus Commons (a very popular outdoor venue in downtown Columbus). My favorite event that I’ve attended at Columbus Commons was by far the Food Truck Festival where they brought in around 100 different trucks with foods ranging from pizza and sandwiches to cupcakes, churros and other sweet treats. To get in to the event this year, students were required to pick up a wristband from the Ohio Union. I’m not sure why exactly the university moved the concert from The South Oval to Columbus Commons but I thought it was a huge hit!

Sadly, I did not attend the Big Spring Concert this year. My sister surprised me about a month earlier with tickets to see Panama Wedding, Magic Man and The Griswolds at Newport (America’s longest continuously runningmagic man concert hall). These artists are more indie and electronic rock bands than EDM. I enjoy listening to almost every genre of music (especially live) and I have already seen Garrix and Marshmello live so it was time to mix it up a little. The indie/electronic rock bwristbandands were certainly way more relaxed than the EDM artists. Moral of the story, Columbus has many options for lovers of all types of music.

Wrap Up of the Year!

Wow, it’s hard to believe the MAcc Program is coming to an end! It feels like we just started, but then again, we did only start about 8 months ago. Even though the year is almost over, there are still more events to look forward to. One event is Fisher Formal. This is a formal end of the year celebration at a Cathedral in which all graduate students at Fisher are invited. We are allowed to bring guests to this event as well. Another event is an end of the year celebration for the VITA program at Dave and Busters with all of the VITA volunteers.

Final exams are coming up in the last week of April and then graduation takes place on May 8th. There is a Pre-Commencement ceremony taking place 2 days before graduation to recognize MAcc students and professors specifically. There is certainly a lot to look forward to the rest of the school year and the weekend of graduation!

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This summer I will be staying in Columbus and studying for, taking, and hopefully passing the 4 sections of the CPA exam. I will be starting my full time position in federal tax at KPMG in Columbus this upcoming October.

Overall, this has been a fantastic year. I have met so many new friends, some of which are staying in Columbus, and some that are moving to other places. I hope to stay in contact with the people I have met in the program. I have also really enjoyed all of the cool classes I have gotten to take this year, both accounting and non-accounting courses. Finally, I enjoyed all of the events I was able to attend as a student here such as football games, basketball games, volleyball games, and volunteering. This is definitely a year I will never forget, and I am so grateful that I had the wonderful opportunity to attend such a great program and university!

Is it Graduation Time …already…!!!???

linkedin Didier Hirwantwari aka “SMF for life”

Graduation = Closer to reaching Personal and Professional Goals. 

I would first like to thank all my followers and fans. This has been a truly great experience and continues to become an even greater experience as I approach the finish line of this program. I have enjoyed writing these blogs and have put all my heart into them trying to share my daily musings and articles and great pictures. It is an experience that has given me much more than I have given.

I started my collegiate career here at the Ohio State University in 2010 and was granted entry into the business school as an undergraduate in Finance shortly thereafter. It was a great and challenging experience and it still is now as I finish up my graduate studies here. I think the biggest part of this school and university as a whole are the people whom I’ve met. I can honestly say with a hundred percent that it is because of the people I have met that I am here right now. I did well in my studies but it was always the people whom I would meet who would push me to even want to work harder and give an extra ounce.

Thank You to my family and friends for believing in me and carrying me when I was tired. From my stats professor Doug Evans who wrote my recommendation letter and made it possible for me to gain an internship with the FDIC; Thank You. To Professor Albert for everything, from advising to explaining the foreign exchange to listening to my worries. From my undergraduate adviser Jane Palmer who guided me throughout the halls of Schoenbaum so that I could work harder and harder to standout as a finance student and for hugging me at my undergraduate graduation and making me almost shed tears (don’t tell anyone) ; Thank You to Professor Kewei Hou for believing in me and writing a recommendation letter that I am sure helped a lot when I applied to this great SMF program. To Dr. Pinteris; Thank You for this great opportunity, it has been a blast meeting my classmates and learning from you. To Professor Lou Zhang, I would recommend your class to everyone; one of the best learning experiences I have had.  To Caroline C., Thank You for your guidance throughout the first semester, it helped me grow in so many ways. Thank You Rebecca Z. for asking me about my experiences with the program and making sure that I have everything I needed; It definitely helps me to stay centered. To Rob C., I cannot say enough thanks for the opportunity, but many thanks. To Claudel; Our talks have made me so much more confident to go out and face the world, thank you. To all my classmates, if you ever read this. I would not be the better person (I think 🙂 ) without you all. Thank You all !!!

I am sure I missed some people but if they (you) ever read this…Thank You.  So …. graduation is around the corner. I have been thinking if I will do the dab like Coach Urban Meyer did in my earlier posts. As I start approaching this date, the impact of what I am going to achieve here grows larger and larger. In such a short amount of time I have learned so much and met so many people. I never stopped learning while here and I doubt that I ever will. There are great things coming down the line for the SMF program and I am very excited. For the incoming SMFs if you read this; Welcome to what I feel is one of the top finance programs into one of the top business schools into one of the best states with the best football team, best damn band in the land, …..Welcome to your Buckeye Experience !!!

Go Bucks

Yours Truly … Didier Hirwantwari

Wrap Up!

As the fourth session begins to wrap up, I look back on the past year in the MAcc program and think “wow, where did all of the time go?” It truly does not feel like 9 months ago I was sitting in orientation, eager to begin working towards a master’s degree. However, as I write this last blog post, I am reminding myself of all the memories that I have had in the MAcc program, all of the incredible people I have met, and all of the information and skills I have learned over the past 9 months.

Commencement at The Shoe!

The most obvious part of my MAcc experience that I can reflect on is the classes. Like any program, there were some classes that I absolutely loved, and some that were a little more challenging to get excited for. However, all classes had extraordinary professors who provided valuable learning experiences. After my first three years in Undergraduate classes at Fisher, and this past year in the Graduate classes, it is clear, the professors are the best assets that Fisher has. Regardless of class title or professor, you are going to be challenged in the way that you think, which is the best way to learn.

Another place where I spent a large portion of my time this year was working as a Graduate Assistant. As a graduate student ambassador, I was the first point of contact for many people who were interested in or being recruited by Fisher. Seeing this other side of the business school has taught me many hard skills that will make me a better business person, but has also instilled a strong sense of Fisher pride in me. Having to pitch the program and the College to people I hardly know has made me realize that I truly love the Fisher College of Business, and more importantly The Ohio State University.

It will be a very bittersweet moment when I walk across the stage for graduation in a few Sundays. Bitter because I am leaving campus, friends, and memories, yet sweet because I have so many memories to look back on as an Alumnus (wow, that sounds weird)! After graduation, I will begin studying for the CPA exam. If all goes well, I will hopefully be majorly done with the exams prior to starting at EY in Chicago come September!

Memories of Graduating MHRM Students

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  • “I would say that without a doubt my favorite memory from this program has been the opportunity to travel to Brazil for the global business expedition class. I enjoyed this so much because I got to meet students from all the other Fisher graduate programs and travel with them to different companies such as Nike, GlaxoSmithKline, etc. I learned so much about what it means to do international business in an increasingly global world. I was able to apply the concepts we’ve learned in our HR classes, and also gain additional business knowledge through the other graduate students at Fisher.” –Kaitlin Bressler
  • “One of my favorite memories from my time here at Fisher was at Fisher Formal, which is an event where multiple programs get together to celebrate the end of the school year. It was a great time to hang out with other MHRM students and also get to know people in some of the other programs Fisher offers!” –Katie Baird
  • “It’s hard to pick just one, but my favorite memory is the Welcome to Campus mixer for returning students and incoming students during Orientation 2015.  There was just so much buzz and excitement in entering a new academic year, meeting new people and hearing about everyone’s summers and internships.  That’s the best part of the program.  Meeting so many smart and diverse people and developing those friendships.” –Craig Baker
  • “My favorite memories from the program always involve spending time with the wonderful friends I have made. Whether we are staying up late working on a group project or having fun on the weekend, we always create memories that I will never forget.” –Taylor Boyer
  • “One of my favorite memories for myself, may be a little more stressful for others, however for me, I really enjoyed participating in the 1st year fall recruiting season. I have never been in an environment where I had a legitimate opportunity to apply and pursue internships with such prestigious companies, and actually be desired amongst these companies.  It was the first sign that I knew I chose the right school.” – Brennan Brumfield
  • “Aside from having a summer internship, participating in case competitions is the single-most valuable thing that I have done during my time at Fisher. Sure, I’ve learned important theories, methods, and skills in the classroom, but those things hold no value without real-world application. Case competitions have provided me with an opportunity to practice what I’ve learned in the classroom, and to improve soft skills like leadership, public speaking, and persuasive communication.” –Marlina Frederick
  • “My favorite memory or most memorable parts from the program were my internship with Cargill and support from Jill Westerfield. Jill was most encouraging and positive. The insights she gave helped make my internship happen. The internship itself was a priceless component of the program. I also came away very grateful for the opportunity to do what I love, teaching as a Teaching Associate and get paid for it. The best was Dr Noe. His support, listening and guidance made the difference and helped me have a high quality experience!”-Rodney Adewole
  • “Fisher Formal was one of the most impressive memories for me during my two-year program time, because it is a brand new experience for me hanging out with friends dressed in casual elegant. Friends in our program helped me to get involved and enjoy this wonderful time, and I love to embrace this part of a new culture and tradition since then. Thanks Fisher, and thanks MHRM!” – Zhechuan Sun

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Ohio
#BuckeyeForever #HeartIsInOhio

 

CFA Research Challenge Global Finals in Chicago

Seven months later, we finally arrived in Chicago for what was one of the coolest and most exciting events of my life. For a recap of what the CFA Research Challenge is and what it took to get to Chicago, please read my previous blog (https://fisher.osu.edu/blogs/gradlife/2016/03/07/cfa-research-challenge-pt-2/).

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When we arrived at the Hilton on Michigan Avenue, I was a little overwhelmed with excitement. Not only was the weather amazing, but the CFA Society of Chicago really rolled out the red carpet for us. The main stage was spectacular and made me a little nervous for the four teams that would be presenting up there. The structure of the week looked like this:

-Tuesday was registration and the opening ceremony

-Wednesday consisted of the semi-final round in the morning, an advancement ceremony at lunch, the national final round in the evening and dinner afterward.

-Thursday was the Engage Symposium where leaders in the finance industry talked about current topics and how students should prepare for the finance world followed by the global finals and a reception

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There were over 100 teams competing in the semi-final rounds with only 26 moving on to the national final round. Of those 26, only 4 would go on to present on the main stage in the global finals on Thursday. The 4 that made it were: Italy, The University of Georgia, a team from Asia Pacific and the eventual global champions (and the team we lost to) Waterloo. Watching those 4 teams on that stage was incredible. They all did an amazing job of answering some incredibly difficult questions but Waterloo walked away the champions. After they were crowned, we all made our way to the reception area which was a giant dance floor with a live band. The entire experience was surreal.
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After the Research Challenge was over, it was time to be a tourist. I packed my bags and left the Hilton for an Airbnb three blocks from Wrigley Field. Two friends from Columbus joined me as we explored Wrigleyville, downtown, Michigan Ave, Millennium Park and the business district. The weather was perfect so we walked for hours everyday and enjoyed every second. If you ever have a few days to explore and are looking for a destination, I highly recommend Chicago. It is hard to beat. IMG_5978