Chinese Parties

It is true that Chinese always gather together. I think it is partly because of our tradition. For thousands of years, Chinese people have lived in big families that may contain 3 or even 4 generations. As a result, we are afraid of “loneliness” and tend to join a “circle” to be surrounded by others, especially in an unfamiliar environment.

I live in University Village, where many Chinese students live. Soon after moving in, I held a party and invited my neighbor (who are also Chinese – one of my neighbors even comes from my undergraduate university). We got familiar with each other when eating hot pot together that night. Thanks to hot pot!


In my “hot pot” party, I knew one of my neighbors, Huang, is very good at cooking. When my roommates and I were quite familiar with him and his roommate, we sometimes would go to his apartment for dinners. Below is what he made for us, looks delicious right? With delicious food, beer (we are all over 21 years old!), and talk, we always have great time!


Apart from parties with my neighbors, Chinese in Ohio have other kinds of parties. For example, I was invited to a party on Labor Day. It was held by the Southeast University Alumni Association in Ohio. These members held an annual party so that they can build relationships with each other.  The party was held in a park. For me, it was a new experience to have lunch in such an environment: with sunshine, wind, and grass, people grabbing food and talking around me, and with children laughing when they are flying kites. It was wonderful!


It is true that Chinese like gathering together. But it is not because they lack confidence or are dependent. Parties for us are not a celebration but an opportunity to meet with each other,  share food, information and feelings, and to get support.

Summit Vision

One thing I enjoyed the most during Orientation would definitely be Summit Vision. It was full of team building activities and adventures. Summit Vision was the place where we started to build our friendship and helped each other. It was a place where we learned from mistakes and started to grow.

Here are some highlights:

In this activity, we had to move toward the end of the wood. In order to do that, we had to put our weights on each other and lean on each other. We had to trust each other.


Everyone had to go through the spider web in a different holes. Therefore, we had to lifted up each other.

Everyone had to go through the spider web in different holes. Therefore, we had to lift up each other.


We also had some fun with the zip line! Very encouraging when you heard your teammates cheered for you.

We also had some fun with the zip line! Very encouraging when you heard your teammates cheering for you.


In this activity, we had to lay down our integrity blocks to make a road to our goal place. All of us could only walk on the blocks and could not step on the ground. It was a very challenging activity where communication skills and a positive attitude were very important.

In this activity, we had to lay down our integrity blocks to make a path to our goal place. All of us could only walk on the blocks and could not step on the ground. It was a very challenging activity where communication skills and a positive attitude were the key to success.


Another picture from the integrity blocks activity.

Another picture from the integrity blocks activity. is our group picture!

AND….here is our group picture! Welcome to the MAcc!

Listen better

I presented in front of the class for the first time last night.  My task was to report the changes that my team had come up with regarding a case study given by our professor.  I thoroughly enjoyed working with my classmates.  The time seemed to fly by as I listened and kept notes on all the suggestions that we discussed.  It was a truly great experience to suggest, defend, and assimilate information from different people.  I put a lot of effort into listening what we all discussed and synthesizing it into a coherent summary.  The next great thing was listening to my other classmates present.  Many of us had similar ideas, but every now and then, I felt a ‘wow’ feeling when someone would put an idea forward that our group hadn’t considered.  In a more broad sense, it helped remind me of the potential of everyone.  In my current position, I deal with individuals who are sometimes overlooked or discounted because they work in industrial level jobs.  Today, one person came up to me and almost immediately we were on the subject of the passing of her husband in July.  She just wanted someone to talk to about what she was going through.  The conversation floated into different things, but at the end of the conversation I expressed my gratitude for telling me her story and I wished her a good day.  Listening is not only a powerful tool for business, but also a simple way that we can help to strengthen each other.

BSBA/MAcc Crossover Program

One of the great benefits to being an Ohio State student is being able to take advantage of all of the fantastic opportunities that are offered to the student community. Whether it is the 1000+ student organizations, football Saturdays, recreation facilities, or top-notch education programs, Ohio State has it all. One amazing program available to Undergraduate Accounting students in the Fisher College of Business is the BSBA/MAcc program.

What is it?

The BSBA/MAcc is a program in which a student can gain both a Bachelors of Business Administration and a Masters of Accounting degree in four years (3 years as an undergraduate Accounting major, 1 year in the Masters of Accounting Program).

How do I know if I am eligible?

In order to apply students must be:
1) An Undergraduate Accounting Major
2) Have at least a 3.5 Cumulative GPA
3) Have at least 120 credit hours prior to enrollment in the MAcc program
4) Have all undergraduate required classes completed except for ACCMIS 4200, ACCMIS 4500, ACCMIS 3400, and BUSMHR 4490
5) Have taken the GMAT

Why should I do the BSBA/MAcc program?
The BSBA/MAcc provides a terrific opportunity for accounting student to get an undergraduate and graduate degree in a shortened time frame.  The BSBA/MAcc is also a terrific opportunity for students pursuing a career in Public Accounting to satisfy their 150 credit hour requirement to sit for the Certified Public Accounting (CPA) Exam!

Next Steps:

If you are interested in hearing more information regarding the program, stop by the Graduate Programs Office in 100 Gerlach Hall!

Jumping into the Full Time MBA World!

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A picture of my kitchen table on the first day of pre-term MBA program

I’m a 33-year-old (balding) dad of two young kids with 10 years of non-profit work experience.  How do I fit in at business school?

That was the gut-wrenching question in the back of my head as I entered into Fisher’s 1st year MBA pre-term program just one month ago. Little did I know that most of my peers were asking similar questions about their own identity and status.062515Greenawalt-18

It’s no secret that leaving your job as a budding young professional to pursue a degree will cause you to evaluate your identity.  We have left behind our previous jobs, social networks, and, in many cases, even family to live in Columbus and immerse ourselves in a world of academic, career, and personal growth.  While my first day jitters have subsided, it’s that very process of wrestling with issues of identity that I believe contributes to such a powerful experience here at Fisher.  When else in my adult life will I have another opportunity to jump a different direction in my career trajectory, and remove myself from my comfort zone for 20 months in order to learn, grow, and develop as a person and a professional.

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My CORE team of 5 along with some other 1st year MBAs

From my experience so far at Fisher and Ohio State, I’m so grateful for how our resources are pointed towards my personal (and our communal) growth, development, learning, and future career placement.  This university is vast and it’s set up to help many thrive.  From working with career management to tell my story and clarify my career direction, to networking among other MBAs and learning how they are wrestling with their identities, to reading case studies and engaging in class content that relates to my previous work experience and challenges my paradigms, it is nothing short of awesome to be a part of this program!  I’m one of many students here who is utilizing the MBA experience to shift career directions, know myself better, and have a great time doing it.

In the end, I’m thankful to be a 33-year-old balding dad with unique experience to bring to the table here.  Besides, balding gives you wisdom, right?

Change Management

One of the hardest things about this program is that it is a true immersion into the business world.  This week, I have been a part of at least 5 different teams with my classmates.  On the one hand, it is great to work with different people on tasks (as we would in a real world setting).  On the other hand, it can be difficult to remember which team is doing what!  Thank goodness for e-mails to help to keep things organized.

I also realize that my energy drops towards the end of the week.  My persistent ability to stay positive starts to fluctuate as I approach the last class of the week.  The conversation was interesting to listen to, but I felt like I didn’t have a lot to contribute.  Initially, I was quite disappointed with my lack of familiarity with the subjects being discussed.  “Are you gonna do something or just stand there and bleed” (Tombstone, 1993) reminded me that I am at OSU to learn.  Even if I can’t participate in the immediate conversation, doesn’t mean that I can’t be better prepared for the next conversation.  This incident also triggered a desire to rethink my current schedule and tweak it a little bit to accommodate for this increased tiredness at the end of the week.  I am excited about the prospect of being better, even if I have to recover from a bloody nose.

The same evening that I had this “tough” class, I also spoke to my daughter on the phone during break.  She said, “I want Daddy home.”  It broke my heart.  I know that I am doing all of this to make our lives better, but how do you explain the complexities of the arrangement to a three year old?  I was so shocked by her statement, that all I managed to say was “I love you so much and I look forward to seeing you.”

The week ended with me thoroughly enjoying time with my family at the Columbus Zoo.  Both my little girl and my boy were literally all over me.  She didn’t want to walk and insisted that I carry her the whole time.  My boy oscillated between wanting to be held by me and my wife.  To end on a more humorous note, my three year old girl now weighs 28 lbs (pretty tiny) and my 11 month old boy weighs 30 lbs!

Found and Lost

My week ended with the prospect of preparing for my first grad school exam, a presentation, and economics homework.  I got home after work and was looking forward to seeing my family.  My daughter and son greeted me at the door.  I stepped over the baby gate and my little boy started crying because he wanted me to pick him up.  I set my things down and picked him up only to hear my little girl asking for me to pick her up.  My wife came over and got my boy, while I picked up my little girl to hug.  We hugged and she kept saying “Found him, I found you Daddy.”  My wife told me that throughout the week, she had kept saying “Lost Daddy, Lost Daddy.”  It was her way of saying that she missed me.  I was torn between feeling sad that I couldn’t be more available and the joy of just embracing my children.  Along with all this, I think about my wife and her unbelievable support and I have immense gratitude for being an amazing mother.  I would not be able to do this program without my family.

Who Knew 8:00 AM Class Could Be Amazing?!

This semester I am taking “The Business of College Sport” as one of my electives. From the title of the class alone, it is obvious that this class has little to nothing to do with accounting, yet it has quickly become my favorite class. Not only did numerous former students who have taken this class PERSISTENTLY tell me that it was their favorite class they had ever taken, but it is also taught by The Ohio State athletic director, Gene Smith, and his wife Sheila Smith.

The first month of this class has been super exciting considering each class we have had a guest speaker come in and talk about a variety of topics related to the Ohio State Athletic Program such as finances, governance, trademarks, and ticketing for games.


The Football Locker Room

Our most recent class was EASILY the coolest class we have had so far (if you can even call it class) because we got a personal tour of the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. This is the facility that contains the indoor practice facility where numerous Ohio State Varsity Athletic teams practice, including the football team, and also holds the training rooms, workout equipment and locker room used by the Ohio State football team.

The tour started in the lobby of the facility that had been newly renovated and held the plethora of trophies accumulated by the football team over the years. We then walked through the impressive halls of the building that contained extensive lists and pictures of All Americans, the helmets of every NFL team an Ohio State football player has played for (a very full wall), displays of previous team uniforms and shoes, and countless other decor lining the hallways.


Outdoor View of the Woody Hayes Athletic Center


The Football Workout Facility


We then went through Urban Meyers HUGE office that led out to the indoor turf practice facility where the men’s lacrosse team was currently holding an early-morning practice. From there, we walked through the football team’s luxurious locker room. The locker room was huge and even contained a waterfall on one of the walls. The locker room led to the training room with a full staff already at work. Finally, the training room led to the massive workout area solely dedicated to the football team. This area was lined with benches, machines, free weights, and stat charts that showed things such as a player’s attitude and effort were hung on the walls.


A wall in the hallway of the WHAC

I am not a morning person by any means, but even as my alarm rings at 6:30 A.M. every Tuesday and Thursday, I am wide awake anticipating attending The Business of College Sport and seeing what fantastic guest speaker will be in class that day and hearing what intelligent/informative/hilarious insight Gene Smith has to openly share with the class.

Round #2: The Good, The Bad, and The Awesome

They told us second year would be easy. They told us that the workload would be lighter and the classes much less difficult. They said we would learn how to balance grad school with a social life, and they promised we would have more free time. They lied.

At this stage of the game, survival feels like winning. But I will do all the things, and I will do them to the best of my ability, even if it means I won’t be sleeping much. There may be days when I don’t eat until dinner, and days I spend twelve straight hours in Gerlach. There may be times when I clean my apartment at 9:30pm on a Sunday night, because it’s the only free time I have. But there are also days when, as a Fisher Board Fellow, I get to go to board meetings and learn about how a non-profit organization is run. Those days are my shining star of hope in the chaos that is my life.

I wrote a lot last year about my first year experiences with Fisher Board Fellows. Most of last year was spent preparing for this year, because this year, I am actually serving on the board of Catholic Social Services. And I love it. I love it even more than I thought I would. I cannot tell you how much fun I am having. Although my life is a zoo, no matter how busy I am, the board meetings I attend are always the best part of my day.

Since April, I have been to a strategic retreat, Breakfast with the Bishop fundraising event, several full board meetings, and numerous external relations committee meetings. Every meeting I go to is a new learning experience, and I even feel like I’m starting to contribute to the team. Another board member and our CEO complimented me on my marketing and advertising insights at our last meeting. I’m sure Dr. Matta would be proud of me.

Over the last several months, I have been able to learn about what it takes to run a non-profit organization. I have learned about the strategic and branding and financial concerns of Catholic Social Services, and I have learned much about leadership from the CEO, Rachel Lustig. Catholic Social Services is going through some big changes, and I have been lucky enough to be present and to learn about these strategic changes and processes over the summer. I’m actually seeing the concepts we learned in class last year be implemented in a real business situation, and the experience has been invaluable for me.

Overall, this term has been challenging and overwhelming, but it has also been weirdly wonderful. If I survive and make it to fall break, I’ll let you know how the rest of my year and experiences as a board fellow go!

Fisher Grad Buckeyes

Since I’ve been in Columbus for almost five weeks I feel like I’m settling into Fisher and what it means to be a graduate student as well as an Ohio State Buckeye. First, grad school is NOT undergrad. They told us this during orientation but I don’t think it really hit home until the first two weeks of classes came and gone, very quickly. We are held accountable to reading because students need to be a value-added body in the classroom that’s prepared to contribute. Grad school means not sitting in a classroom for an hour and fifteen minutes listening to a lecture twice a week, then taking tests to earn your grade. However, both components I love and each lecture you hear another perspective that you may not have originally thought of. You get to know your classmates, professors, and most importantly, yourself, better. Professors and faculty alike also told us at orientation that in grad school we need to possess a certain level of “intellectual curiosity” because of the opportunities ahead and I feel like I am so fortunate to be welcomed into Fisher’s pool of resources. I finished undergrad in May at the University of Georgia and I can honestly say this a whole different ball of wax because of the standard and caliber. Second, being a student at THE Ohio State University means when someone says, “O-H,” you say, “I-O” (still working on my reflexes with this one). I love when I fly home to Atlanta I’m almost always able to find one Fisher alumnus on the plane ride back to Columbus, and we have an instant and special comradery about campus and football season. Being a Buckeye means Saturdays are now committed to cheering on the Bucks on and off the field. I LOVE football season, so this was a major component when I considered where I wanted to further my education. Could it get any better than winning a National Championship the season before? Not in my eyes. Needless to say, I love Fisher grad life and the Buckeyes!


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