My two current favorite off-campus study spots

Recently, I decided to explore some local coffee shops with a friend, Christina, in the MAcc program as I didn’t want to head for Starbucks constantly. Columbus is filled with some phenomenal coffee shops that are excellent study spots for Fisher graduate students. Below are my two of my current favorites near campus.

1. Stauf’s Coffee Roaster on Grandview

Some of Stauf’s food options

This location is pretty closed to campus, and it was very packed on the Sunday morning that we went! However, there is plenty of space inside the shop, so finding a table is pretty easy. Parking is spacious as well, and the prices are similar to those at Starbucks. There is a lot of food options too. I like to study with noise in the background, so this is a great option, and the food is there to feed us for however long we want to stay.

2. The Roosevelt Coffeehouse on Long St

I personally prefer this place more as the aesthetic is much nicer!

However, it is a bit farther away from campus as it’s in downtown, and parking can be a bit hard during peak hours. They have fewer tables compared to Stauf’s, so it may be hard to get one during busy hours. I like to come here when I need to get some serious work done, as it tends to be more quiet and calming inside, compared to the hectic atmosphere at Stauf’s.

That is my quick review of the two places. Columbus has a lot to offer Fisher graduate students, including a lot of coffee shops to choose from 🙂 I’m hoping to explore more local establishments during spring semester and to blog more about newly discovered favorites. Stay tuned!

 

 

Reuniting with the Fam

This year’s Thanksgiving was a little bit more special than the other four because this year, I got to spend it with my sister, who is currently working for PwC (I’m a very proud little sister) and my brother, who just started his freshman year (also a very proud older sister). After a long, intense, and very rewarding first semester in the Fisher SMF program, this was a welcome occurrence.

First time reuniting in the States
First time reuniting in the States

There are many things that I’m grateful for this year. One of them is having both of my siblings living only 2-hour (by car) away from me. With my sister being able to provide for herself and care for us, I feel like I finally have a place to call “home” in the States.

We don’t usually celebrate Thanksgiving, but this year was an exception. My sister (on a whim) decided to do something different: host a Thanksgiving meal. It took us so much time to cook the turkey, make the mashed potatoes then bake the pumpkin pie… This is just a glimpse of how amazing everything looked!

Our Thanksgiving Meal
Our Thanksgiving Meal

Just kidding… We got most of our food from Bob Evans’ Thanksgiving combo, which is why they turned out so nice and yummy.

It’s easy to get really wrapped up in everything school- and SMF-related – I’m glad I had the opportunity to reconnect with some of my family. As rigorous as grad school is, it’s important to maintain your circle of friends and family. I really did enjoy myself to the fullest this year and am always looking forward to the upcoming ones.

Go Bucks! … My last home game :(

As many of you may know, Ohio State is a sports school, and we dominate in almost every division 1 sport you can think of. One in particular that brings a lot of attention to our school is… FOOTBALL. Ohio State is currently sitting as the number 1 ranked collegiate team in the nation, but this is not an unusual thing for Ohio State football. OSU is consistently a top 10 football team year in and year out in the recent past.


Ever since my freshman year of college here at Ohio State, I have gone to every single home football game to support the bucks. I love looking forward to Saturdays in the magical Shoe. The Shoe is our football stadium that seats 100,000+ fans every game. Being in the stadium is electric … every fan is decked out in red and is cheering at the top of their lungs to help root the Buckeyes to a victory.


If you attend Ohio State, you should try and go to at least one game while you are here because it is an experience like no other. I recently just attended my last home game as a student, and I can say I am still very emotional about it. On November 23rd, the Bucks played Penn State. It was supposed to be a massive game for us, but just like the rest of the teams, Penn State fell victim to an OSU win. Every fan in the stadium cheered the bucks on to a great victory, and at the end of the game, we even got to rush the field to celebrate a big win!

 

KPMG Masters of Accounting & Data Analytics

I had the opportunity to sit down with Michael Kaufman Ortiz, the campus ambassador for the KPMG Masters of Accounting and Data Analytics (MADA) program here at the Ohio State University (OSU). After his studies at the University of Puerto Rico- Mayagüez, he is thrilled to be here at OSU as a MADA participant. Here are a few questions I ran by him to learn more about what this program is all about.

What is MADA?

MADA helps move KPMG professionals into the data age by providing them with the tools necessary to succeed in an increasingly technology-driven world. The MADA class of 2020 has 135 students (110 in audit and 25 in tax) receive full-ride scholarships and stipends to attend one of nine participating masters programs throughout the country in exchange for a three year commitment to the firm. The number of students in the program increases every year. A few of the other schools in the program include Villanova University, University of Mississippi, Virginia Tech, and the University of Georgia.

Ohio State is one of the founders of the program, and has 25 sponsored students this year. MADA participants take a full schedule in the fall, participate in a paid busy season internship, and return to campus in the summer to wrap up their Master in Accounting.

We take many of the same classes as the other OSU Master of Accounting students. However, the MADA students focus their electives on data-driven courses.

What is the application process for this program?

The application process is rigorous and consists of several interviews and taking the GMAT. Applicants are considered holistically. Additionally, MADA students apply and must be accepted to the MAcc programs they will be placed into separately through the school’s process. The process from initial application to acceptance of the offer takes around 6 months. If you’re interested in learning more about the program and its application process, click here.

How has MADA impacted your professional development?

This program has opened my eyes to data analysis tools like R, Python, SQL, and Tableau. Firsthand experience with all of these tools in my classes is very valuable. I think the biggest thing has been learning to think about things through the context of big data. As an accounting professional in the data age, the opportunity to adopt that mindset and be able to apply it in our future audit engagements is an invaluable skill for my future career at KPMG.

Moving to the US as a Family

I have only been at The Ohio State University for about four months, but it does seem like it has been so much more. My experience here has been really intense, so many positive experiences in so many different aspects – it is already easy to call Columbus home!

One of the first things I read about grad school is that it’s not a sprint, it is a marathon and I really agree with that. My process was long, it took almost a year, but it was worth it. In the beginning the challenges were many: finding the right program, TOEFL, GRE, scholarships, leaving my job, applying for visas, doing all of this in double since my husband was going through the exact same process!

I think there were three major steps for us as a couple: Brainstorming – what did we want? What were immediate and long term goals? Researching: what programs fit our interests? Was it possible to find programs in the same university, or at least close to each other? Preparing: Getting our scores as early as possible so we had time to be competitive and have time to prepare resumes and essays.

After having our goals clear, we spent some months researching and then decided to visit some universities during our vacations. We were leaving full time jobs behind to find something that fit our goals, so we really wanted to make the right choice. My visit to Fisher made me certain this was the right choice for me.

The reason I was looking for a Master’s degree at this point in my career was that I wanted a program that would really give me deep foundations of HR. I already had an MBA, but since it wasn’t completely focused in HR, I wanted a program that would be highly specialized and help me to grow as an HR professional. Visiting Campus, talking to the recruiter, to current students, spending time clarifying all my doubts about the curriculum and the logistics, were really helpful in my decision. At the same time, my husband was visiting campus and other universities, and we decided we would focus on being in Ohio and we went back home with that decision in mind.

We studied for the exams together, and we decided to focus on one at a time. We studied for the TOEFL for a few weeks and once we were done we focused on the GRE. This was what worked best for me, it made it less confusing than focusing on two at once. I gave myself a few weeks as well to prepare my essays and my resume.

Since we applied early, our results came early as well! We were both accepted with scholarships! Knowing that with 6 months in advance helped us to have enough time to apply for our visas, raise money for extra costs, prepare our cats (leaving the country with 2 cats was also a challenge!) and still take some weeks off before we came here.

I am really enjoying the program, the professors and classes, and have been able to be very engaged with it. I have been involved with the Fisher Graduate Latino Associations, and have now been accepted as a Member of the Fisher Board Fellows. I have also been awarded with a Minority Award offered by ExxonMobil, have won second place in our internal case competition and have just been offered last week an internship at Microsoft! I am also a Graduate Assistant at the Graduate Programs Office in which I support the recruiting and admissions of MBA candidates. There are so many resources on campus that are helping me have a successful experience: my colleagues at the GPO, my classmates, professors, advisors and the Office of Career Management. It was a long process until I got here but I really think it was worth the effort.

Here are some pictures of the many experiences I have lived here:

Holding the ExxonMobil Minority Award at the Courtyard of the Fisher College of Business
My husband and I saying goodbye to our family at the airport

During the final round interviews at Microsoft

VITA Info Session and My Past Experience

The Fisher MAcc Council recently held an info session regarding the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program for current MAcc students as well as undergraduate accounting students interested in participating in this year’s tax filing season. If you are not familiar, the VITA program is organized by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to offer free tax return services for low-income individuals and households. Volunteers must train before participating, and often work for a few hours a week at a designated site depending on one’s availability. The site that OSU students would be working at is about 5 minutes of driving from campus, and we would work on either Friday or Saturday, for either 5 or 10 weeks, from mid-January to the end of March next year.

Olivia and Madie, members of the MAcc Council, presented to students about the VITA program

I participated in the program for the first time my junior year during my undergraduate studies and my experience was absolutely enjoyable/rewarding. (I couldn’t do it during my senior year since I had a conflict with my internship.) However, I really hope I would be able to join yearly from now on, since the experience of interacting with people from different backgrounds and being able to apply what I have learned in class in real life to help others is so fulfilling. Although my career interest is audit, I’m very obsessed with taxes. In fact, I registered for all four tax classes offered next semester. Solving a tax problem, such as filing a tax return, is like solving a puzzle to me. I’m given all the facts about a person’s financial circumstances, and now have to piece them together to complete their returns so that I can help them not only comply with the law, but also in most cases optimize their refunds since we all love to get some cash back when submitting our returns, and if the cash is a big check that is even better. Not to mention the free snacks and food, as well as the welcoming atmosphere, especially from the site supervisor, as she appreciated all volunteers who took time to come and help.

With that, I’m definitely looking forwards to rejoining the program this spring!

Travelling Across Campus and Around Columbus

Most people use COTA (Central Ohio Transit Authority) to get around the city. For Ohio State students, the bus service is almost free (we pay a small fee at the beginning of each semester). We just swipe our BuckID as the fare when we get onto the bus.

*https://seattletransitblog.com/2018/12/08/transit-report-card-columbus/

I live about twenty minutes away from Fisher. So, on lazy (and/or cold) days, there are a couple of buses that can get me to college – route 1, 2 or 8. These buses come every fifteen or so minutes. Fisher is just a one-minute walk from the bus stop that most of us use (W Lane Ave and Neil Ave).

COTA takes you places other than just Fisher like the zoo, good restaurants, shopping centers, etc. Most of my SMF friends live in University Village. So, by now, I know the last bus from their place to mine, and vice versa (I also know the first bus because we usually miss the last bus :)).

Ohio State students use Campus Area Bus Service (CABS) to travel across campus. There are ten routes that encompasses the whole campus. These buses come every five-ten minutes, and you can look at the bus arrival times via the Ohio State app.

Ohio State App showing Campus Loop North and South routes

When I want to walk a bit (instead of taking the COTA bus), I walk to Ohio Union, and take a CABS bus from there to Fisher. The Campus Loop South bus drops us right outside Mason Hall.

*https://ttm.osu.edu/cabs

If you want to go somewhere across campus or around Columbus, one of these two bus services will get you there!

 

MHRM Friendsgiving, 2019 edition

A few weeks ago, the MHRM program held its very own Friendsgiving! It was graciously hosted by one of our working professional MHRM students, Scott Bassett, and the evening was filled with tons of food, drinks, and laughter. These events are especially important as we head into finals in the upcoming weeks. It really is a time to sit back, relax, and enjoy each others company.

In our class, there are a number of students representing different backgrounds and cultures so our meal consisted of traditional American food to dishes represented from China and Brazil.

Traditional Brazilian Brigadeiros

As the semester begins to come to a close I want to take this opportunity to say how grateful I am to be apart of the MHRM program as well as for the professional and personal relationships it has enabled me to develop with my fellow classmates! Although this was my last Friendsgiving as an MHRM student I know that that the friendships will extend far beyond my time in the program.

Let’s have a little tour!

I decided to switch things around for the blog this time and give you guys a little sneak peek of some of the places that I regularly visit in Gerlach Hall.

As one of the Graduate Ambassadors for the Specialized Master in Finance program, I spend a lot of my weekly hours in the Graduate Programs Office (GPO). My daily tasks would include going over inquiries emails, reaching out and planning visits for prospective students. Over the semester, I have grown to enjoy working in the office and with the students alongside GAs from other programs (MAcc, MHRM, and MBA).

Graduate Programs Office

Another place that I often spend my hours studying at is the computer lab on the second floor in Gerlach Hall. It’s a great quiet study area where you can get stuff done pretty efficiently if you tend to get distracted quickly like I do. In the lab, you can utilize a lot of different software that you might not be able to run on your PC such as SAS or applications that you don’t normally have access to such as Capital IQ.

Gerlach Lab

The student lounge is probably one of the busiest areas in Gerlach Hall. It is located on the second floor and is a huge open space where students come to have their meals and enjoy their breaks. I spend a lot of my times here chatting with friends and catching up on things during the breaks.

Gerlach Lounge (Another Perspective)

That’s all I have for today’s blog. I will cook up more exciting things to discuss as the break is just around the corner.

Hungry? Six places to eat within 5 mins of Fisher’s campus

Ohio State has an abundance of places to eat on campus for every appetite. We have café’s, dining halls, and grab and go options. Additionally, dinning locations offer vegan, vegetarian, and gluten/ allergen-free options. So if you are ever on campus and want to grab a quick bite, I have created a list of 6 places that are on campus and are within a 5-minute walk of Fisher.

  1. Rohr Café

Rohr Café is located in the Fisher Business school, so you never have to leave the building to refuel; this is very convenient when the weather outside is not appealing. Rohr Café serves Starbucks beverages, and they have pastries and sandwiches. It is an excellent choice for a quick drink or snack in between classes.

Rohr Cafe

2. Scott Dining Hall 

Scott dining hall is one of three all you can eat dining halls on campus. Scott’s main food attractions include a Mongolian grill, taco station, orange chicken and fried rice station, make your own omelet station, salad bar, and dessert station. There is also breakfast food all day, grilled cheese and soup, yogurt station, meats, baked potatoes, etc. Scott is a great place to go if you want a wide array of options or want an all you can eat buffet!

3. Connecting Grounds 

Connecting Grounds is right next to Scott and is about a two-minute walk from Fisher. This dining location is a café style location but also has a c- store attached to it. The c-store is a mini version of a grocery store; they have everything from frozen meals to plastic cups. Connecting grounds is also an excellent go-to study place if you are looking for a change in scenery.

Connecting Grounds

4. KSA Café

KSA is located in the architectural building, which is across the street from Fisher. KSA is very similar to Connecting Grounds and Rorh Cafe. They usually have a unique option of pastries, such as donuts. But, they also have other food such as sushi and pasta salad and bagel sandwiches, etc.

5. Oxley’s and Oxeleys To-Go

Both Oxley’s and Oxley’s To-Go are within a five-minute walk of Fisher and located right next door to each other. Both serve sandwiches primarily, and Oxeley’s to Go is primarily make-your-own subs and take them to go as the name suggests. Whereas, Oxley’s has a more extensive selection of food and drinks available to choose from.

6.  Curl 

Curl is one of my go-to places to grab a quick bite on campus because it is less than a 5-minute walk away and has a wide variety of food I can choose. One of my go to’s at Curl is sushi, which they have a large selection of. Additionally, they have a make your own pasta station, burrito station, rice bowl station, and sandwich station. They also have a fruit and vegetable bar and refrigerated food as well. Overall, this is an excellent go-to place to grab food if you are interested in a quick meal.