Archive for August, 2012

Exploring Ohio Stadium

MAcc students enjoying a tour of the stadium and the brand new HD scoreboard

I cannot imagine a better introduction to the Fisher College of Business MAcc program than the one we experienced during our first day of orientation.  At the end of our first day, we made the short walk over to Ohio Stadium (popularly known as “The Horseshoe”) where we were given the opportunity to network with classmates, professors, and recruiters, as well as tour the stadium.

As a lifelong Buckeye fan, I have long adored The Horseshoe and have considered it one of the most fascinating places to visit.  Interestingly enough, this visit to Ohio Stadium was much different than my prior experiences at the stadium.  During my prior visits inside the historic Ohio Stadium, I was watching an Ohio State football game on a Saturday afternoon with 105,000 other screaming fans.  In fact, the boisterous crowd that fills Ohio Stadium during every home football game is a major reason why Yahoo! Sports recently named Ohio Stadium Number 1 on its list of “College Football’s Top 25 Toughest Places to Play”.

The closed end of The Horseshoe

However, the electric atmosphere I grew accustomed to was missing as I saw the suddenly peaceful stadium empty for the first time during our orientation event.  I felt privileged to be one of only 100 people in the stadium at the time, taking in the magnificent views of the bare stadium from field level as well as the press box.   During our tour, we learned a lot about the history and evolution of Ohio Stadium, which was built in 1922.  It is nicknamed “The Horseshoe” because of its once-open south end.  The stadium is now only partially open as permanent seating has been added to the south end over the years.  An interesting fact about The Horseshoe is that it actually provided living quarters for students beginning in 1933.  In fact, the University’s dean at the time noticed that there were many Ohio high school students that could not afford to go to college and, thus, he provided them with affordable housing through the stadium dormitory.  The students’ rent was a meager $1 a month, but in return, they were responsible for completing all the chores throughout the dorm while taking classes at The Ohio State University.

Our tour concluded with a trip to the Press Box

My appreciation for the stadium was greatly enhanced during orientation as I learned more about its history and saw it from a completely new perspective.  With that being said, nothing compares to being in the stadium with 105,000 rowdy fans as the Buckeyes kick off on Saturdays.  I cannot wait to be in the stands with my fellow MAcc students for the first game of the year as the Buckeyes take on Miami University.  After the orientation event, I have a feeling it is going to be a great year, not only for the Buckeyes, but for all of us in the MAcc program.  Go Bucks!

New Life, New Challenges

This is the fourth week since I’ve arrived in the U.S. Classes began on August 22 so that I have met all the professors teaching the courses I’m enrolled in. Life is tremendously busy, including for us international students. We had so many orientations, workshops, seminars as well as welcome parties at the beginning of the semester. Class schedule at Ohio State is different from last year since we transferred from quarter to semester. OSU used to have 3 quarters for one academic year. But now it has 2 semesters and each semester is divided into 2 seven week sessions. So, it’s definitely a challenge. However, group projects have made assignments very interesting and efficient. As a new arrival, I would like to give several hints to international students. I hope that they can be helpful for new international students getting accustomed to new surroundings here.

Do you need a pickup and temporary accommodation?

If you don’t know anyone to pick you up when you arrive at Port Columbus airport and need temporary accommodations for a few days before you can move into your apartment, you can contact IFI for help. IFI volunteers are so nice and helpful! My friends and I lived in a volunteer’s house for a few days. The hostess drove us to Chase Bank and AT&T to get our bank account and cell phone numbers set up. We had a good time together and I truly appreciate their kindness and assistance.

Come to U.S. several days earlier before your orientation begins.

Some people suffer from time lag when they travel to another country. I came from China so I had to turn my biological clock 12 hours backward. Luckily I seemed to adjust to the Eastern Standard Time (“EST”) after a goodnight sleep on my first day arrival. You need to open your bank account and get a SIM card for your cell phone. You also prefer to buy furniture for your apartment unless it’s provided already by the apartment complex. Thus it’s a good idea to come to Columbus at least 4 days earlier before orientation begins.

I need to go to campus for another workshop now. I’ll write about academic stuff and other interesting events in the following blogs.

Ohio State football games are on the way. GO BUCKEYES! ! !


A lot of pizza and a little bit of finance

Just a quick blog post before my Thursday 8:30 AM class (BUSFIN 6221: Industry, Risk & Pricing with Prof. Brandl… I’ll probably write a post about him at some point… he’s a lot of fun in the classroom)…

Most of you may not know that I got my BS in Electrical (& Computer) Engineering from tOSU in 2002 (I put the “& Computer” in parentheses because that was a name change implemented AFTER I chose Electrical Engineering as a major… I assure you that I am not qualified to program a computer, build a computer, or fix a computer). During my time at tOSU from 1997-2002, I probably ate Adriatico’s pizza half a dozen times and never really thought it was great (though it was the favorite pizza of many of my friends at the time). Then I went about 10-12 years without having it, until last Friday, when the Fisher Graduate Finance Association (FGFA) provided Adriatico’s pizza for free at their Info Session. (Aside: If you want “college kids” to attend anything, provide food. If you feed them, they will come.) Though I love pizza, and especially free pizza, I didn’t truly appreciate Adriatico’s until recently. It was AWESOME!!!

Yesterday after class, a number of my SMF classmates and I couldn’t help but notice some tables set up out in the “quad” (I actually don’t know what the open area in the middle of all the buildings is called). There were large open boxes of pizza (again, Adriatico’s) on the tables. It was free; provided by the good folks at Ernst & Young. They also gave out free t-shirts (“I <3 EY”).

In light of all the free-food opportunities at tOSU, my classmates and I have decided to found the Fisher Finance Food Association. Do you like Finance? Yes. Do you like Food? Yes. Welcome!!!

On to class… Prof. Brandl doesn’t like technology out while he lectures. Computers and phones in their cases, or incur his wrath.

You saw Captain at 1 year. Here he is at about 9 weeks.


“How was your internship?”

The first question you’re asked upon returning to school for your second year as a full time MBA student is: “How was your internship?”  Whether it is driven by social convention (ask about something you know), or pure curiosity (what else could I have been doing with my summer), I have noticed it is more often than not the best way to kick off a conversation after not seeing your classmates for 10 weeks.  And, interestingly, I have noticed that the answers vary dramatically from person to person.

The internship experience means something different to everyone.  It can be viewed as an opportunity to push the boundaries because you’re only there for 10 weeks.  Or it can be viewed as a test run for a full time job.  It can help you decide what you would love to do after graduation.  Or it can help you decide what you absolutely would hate to do after graduation.  You can meet people that inspire you.  You can meet people that demonstrate exactly the kind of manager/worker that you do not want to be.  You will most likely find that everything you learned in your first year of school is useful and helps you with your work and decision making!  How fantastic!

The internship experience is ultimately a learning experience.  As incoming students you will start to identify your potential internship opportunities before you’ve even started classes!  And I remember how overwhelming that felt.  An important thing to remember is that YOU have the power to make your internship great.  Because what makes an internship truly useful is what you learn from it.  So do everything in your power to find the right internship for you.  Then do everything in your power to learn everything you can from it.

I was very fortunate to have a truly incredible internship experience.  As the sole intern at a garment factory in Bali, I had the power to experiment with ways of improving operations and motivation in a new (to me) culture.  I met incredible people and we were able to achieve truly great things in my short time there.  That short experience has helped to shape me for my second year of the MBA program.  And I hope you have that same sentiment upon completing your internship as well.

My team at Wooden Ships


From Classmates to Friends

As a graduate student, I didn’t know how much of the normal student body I would be exposed to throughout the year, so a few of my SMF classmates and I took part in one of OSU’s Welcome Week events. The university put on a concert with Big Sean headlining. Six of us met up before just to hang out before with the main act not starting until 9:00 or so. Since most of us aren’t familiar with the campus, it was quite an adventure trying to navigate by foot across campus to the South Oval. We went up and down a few streets and alleys, maybe circling the same building a few times.

Once we got to the North Oval, which is next to the library, we could hear thousands of freshman screaming, yelling and singing along from about 200 yards away. The opening acts were just finishing up, so our timing was perfect. We all piled into the crowd and got to enjoy the fun that was a outdoor concert with thousands of others.

Big Sean at OSU

The concert was fun, but the best part was the bonding that went on through the entire ordeal between us. After, we all decided to swing by the nearest Jimmy Johns for a quick bite to eat then continued to enjoy each other’s company for the rest of the night. It may have just been some silly concert, but it was the start of turning people who were just classmates into friends.


“Chef” Restaurants in Columbus

In my attempt to adapt to the rapid moving life style of a Fisher SMF graduate student, I have personally failed already in my attempt to save more money.  How does one save money?  Cooking at home for most is the best start.   The average meal I have cooked at home thus far costs me roughly $3.50.   Eating out?  Roughly $12 (after tip) and can grow exponentially if you find yourself ordering alcohol.  If any good has come from my failed attempt to cook is that I have discovered two very good home-style restaurants that offer great options for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Chef-O-Nette (2090 Tremont Center, Upper Arlington)

Styled from an era before this millennium, don't be fooled by the offerings of its menu.

Chef-O-Nette’s interior is similar to what one would expect a diner to look like from the 1950s.  I went for lunch with a few friends and discovered a must have item. Their milkshakes. Diners are traditionally known for greasy food and milkshakes, and Chef-O-Nette answers to the call.  Priced a bit steep in my opinion ($3.50 for approx 16oz), the taste makes up for any raised eyebrows on the cost.  I chose the vanilla which was far superior to any shake at Shake-N-Shake or Johnny Rockets.  I politely asked for a free refill but the waitress laughed and looked as if I was psychotic.   The lunch menu offerings are mostly a la cart, but fairly priced in my judgement. I chose a chesseburger and it was excellent.  Its a 1/3 lb patty cooked medium well by default and comes with all the trimmings for only $3.50. Adding fries will cost an additional $2.00 only.   The restaurant however has their “claim to fame” item, which is the “Hangover Sandwich”. Perfect for those late Saturday and Sunday mornings, the Hangover comes with a hamburger patty shacked with shaved ham as well.   In all, Chef-O-Nette is perfect for a breakfast or lunch, with a nostalgic diner feeling paired with excellent customer service.   It is no wonder Google Reviews gave it a 27/30.

Chef’s House (5454 Roberts Road, Hillard)

The second “Chef” restaurant is another diner style restaurant just west of Columbus in Hillard.   Like our first choice, the menu is full of traditional diner items, with a classical, yet simplistic decor inside.  Rumor from the streets was Chef’s House has a major specialty on the menu that sets a favored breakfast item apart from anyone else.   Established in 1989, Chef House’s hash-n-eggs is a cardiac pumping treat.

Chef's House: Tasty Hash and Eggs to get the heart pumping

While most restaurants that offer hash and eggs usually serve some version out of a can, traditionally with tiny diced potatoes and grounded up corned beef (or even ground beef), Chef House’s hash is from scratch.   The actual corned beef part of this meal is ripped pieces of corned beef, pan cooked to perfection with sliced onions and peppers.   The potatoes are sliced pieces that are added as an optional side.   Eggs come with the meal and the portion is generous for about $8.99.   While I wouldn’t recommend eating this daily per the FDA, this is most definitely a treat and worth the drive down interstate 70.   The menu offers traditional mom and pop diner food such as sandwiches, soups and burgers. It would be serving the eggs and hash a great disservice to fail to even consider this meal when ordering.   Urban Spoon rated Chef’s House 8/10, but the hash is a perfect 10 in my book.

In all, the quest to find “Chef’s” in the Columbus area proved to be fruitful for those times I choose to not be one myself.

JB


My Goals for the MAcc!

First of all, a little bit about myself for those of you who don’t know me…

My name is Sarah Hambley and I am a combined BSBA/MAcc student, meaning I will receive both my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in accounting in May 2013.  I’m from Hilliard, Ohio, so Columbus has been my home forever.  I’m proud to be a Buckeye and am so excited to be spending my final year at Ohio State in Fisher’s MAcc program!

As another year starts, I’d like to share my goals for the year – specifically the MAcc program.

  1. Learn as much as I can from everyone – not just the faculty, but also the other students, guest speakers, business professionals on campus, etc.  MAcc students are lucky to have amazing faculty members like Anil Arya, Dave Williams, and Eric Spires (just to name a few).  However, we only spend three or four hours a week in class with these professors.  We’ll spend many, many more with our classmates who come from diverse backgrounds and have unique ideas.  I’m looking forward to learning from all of them!
  2. Get out of my comfort zone!  Many of the Grad bloggers have shared stories about their experiences at Summit Vision on the high ropes courses during orientation.  I’m proud to say that I kicked off grad school by climbing a 20-something foot pole and jumping off (eyes wide open)!  I definitely consider myself to be a risk-averse person, so this was a big step for me.  I hope I can take other big leaps with the support of my MAcc classmates.
  3. Dominate Tzachi’s research class.  My first accounting professor at Fisher was Tzachi Zach, and…well…he must have had a positive influence on me since I’m still studying accounting and going into the profession :)  Most MAcc students by now have heard that Professor Zach’s research class is intense and extremely difficult.  Therefore, I’m making it a personal goal to, well, dominate!
  4. HAVE FUN!!!  Apparently I can be described as “too uptight,” “nerdy,” or “insane” when it comes to how much time I spend on school and other Fisher involvement.  With this being my last year, I will do my best – for everyone’s sake – to relax and have fun!  (I can’t promise anything…I’m already caught up in the MAcc hype).

Above all, I can’t wait to share the next year with these kids.  It’s going to fly!

MAcc Class of 2013 at Summit Vision

 


Consulting Foundation Seminar at Fisher

Last Friday, first year MBAs had the opportunity to learn a little bit more about a very popular career for MBA grads – consulting. Consultants from some of the top consulting firms around the country came to Fisher and spent the afternoon and evening sharing their knowledge and experiences.

Thanks to the great consultants and companies that attended the consulting foundation seminar.

The career management office did a great job at bringing in Fisher alumni and other professionals in order to help students learn more about career opportunities in the consulting world. The keynote speakers highlighted what an associate consultant out of business school should expect during their first few years on the job. All of the consultants took time to sit on a panel and answer questions from Fisher MBAs.

The highlight of the event was the Ernst and Young case competition practice session. The session was designed to help consulting students learn what to expect in case interviews.

From having attended the Consulting Foundation Seminar I feel that I have a much better understanding of what a consultant does each day…besides travel.

 

 


Not Your Average Ice-breaker

Taking a leap of faith on the Summit Vision Zipline

The Fisher Specialized Master’s program kicked off the semester with a bang. After an exciting first day of orientation, the second Fisher SMF class headed to the Summit Vision ropes course for a fun-filled day in the sky (and on the ground). Summit Vision lays claim to a multitude of team building activities that focus on fostering communication, trust, problem-solving skills, and leadership among other values. It was the ideal setting for this green group of young professionals to mesh and form bonds that will continue to grow throughout our ten months together (and long into the future).

The fun-loving and competitive spirit of our SMF program was on showcase throughout the experience. Activities such as the 50 foot zip-line and the “Pamper Pole” allowed students to get in touch with their daring side and take a “leap of faith” if you will. Some of the yips and yells that resounded through the area were priceless. On the other hand, several ground activities encouraged teamwork and innovation. The competition to record the best times in these ground initiatives got intense and led to some good-natured banter among teams.

As much as we learned as a group, I think the greatest takeaway from the Summit Vision experience was the groundwork that was laid for this recently introduced group to transform into one big family. As the professors have already made evident, this year is definitely not going to be a “walk in the park.” It is important that we have fellow students to lean on when the “going gets tough.” After our orientation and morning at Summit Vision, I can confidently say we have a group of students that will get through the toughest of times together.

Side Note:

After seeing several of our SMF students in action, I have a feeling the university’s intramural leagues better be prepared for a serious contender coming out of the Fisher School of Business this year!


My 1st day at Fisher as a WPMBA student

I made it through my 1st real day at Fisher and my 1st class last night.  I was a little nervous and wasn’t 100% sure what to expect.  I am very outgoing by nature, so didn’t think I’d have a tough time making friends, but it has been years since I was last in school, and the thought did put some butterflies in my stomach.  To my excitement, everyone was friendly and many had similar concerns about the 1st day.  We had Economics last night, and I already formed my team for the class group project.  It was very easy to strike conversations with your fellow students.  Professor Campbell is also very engaging, funny and witty.  I am  pretty sure this is going to be an interesting class!

Everyone in the Working Professional program is going through similar circumstances and you’d be surprised to see how many work colleagues are actually in your class.  That’s why it was an easy and comfortable 1st day.  Please be warned, the ease was in networking and making introductions, not in the class work or the program in itself.  That I have yet to gauge… of course we were all told in orientation that it’s a rather rigorous program and that you must stay on top of readings and assignments, especially that it’s now on the Semester system, which only means, same work load and less time.  I will certainly write a blog on the actually program once I have more experience under my belt to share.

Nonetheless, I enjoyed my 1st class and 1st day and the connections I made.  I am looking forward to Accounting tonight, since almost everyone I met in Economics is going to be in my Accounting class as well.  So that just eased the introductions for this course.  Now I can focus on deciphering all these Accounting formulas :-)


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