Archive for August, 2012



The trust walk…

Delaine (left) and I looking down at the ground before we start the trust walk

Delaine (left) and I looking down at the ground before we start the trust walk

In the MAcc program we had a two day orientation. The first day was filled with classroom activities and many networking opportunities to meet our new classmates, professors, and future employers.  On the second day we really got to know each other and began to develop trust in each other.

We went to Summit Vision for team building and high ropes activities. My group did a few team building activities to warm-up then went to our first high ropes challenge. I volunteered to go first with a fellow classmate Delaine Britton. The activity was called the trust walk. We anxiously climbed our rope ladders to meet at a platform. On the platform there were two large logs angled outward (it was a V).  This is where the trust comes in: we joined hands and began to walk out on our own log (of course we were harnessed in for when we fell). Delaine and I worked well together, at one point we had to let go of each other so she could climb around the random obstacle of a pole on her side. I patiently held onto a random rope hanging in the middle of our logs. When we were ready to re-join hands we said on the count of 3 we would let go and join hands in the middle. If we did not catch each other we would both fall! So we said together “1,2,3…” and there was no movement from either of us. We laughed about it for a few minutes then decided we are going to trust each other and tried it again. So on the count of 3 we let go and caught each other!! We continued trusting each other as we walked a few more steps and eventually fell before reaching the end of the log. From this I learned we both have to trust each other in order for the trust walk to work or else one of us would have fallen …

Stay tuned for more blog posts as I continue my journey through graduate school at Ohio State!


My Five Steps to Home, Sweet Home

My search for a place to call “home” in Columbus while a student in the Fisher MLHR program was both stressful and rewarding.  I think of my process in 5 different phases: looking for an apartment, looking for roommates, moving in, settling in, and being settled.  Looking back now, it was all worth it to finally have a place I consider my home, sweet home!

  1. The Search – I began looking for apartments during the fall of 2011.  Even though I wasn’t going to be moving in until August, I wanted to get a good feel for the Columbus neighborhoods, the rent, and the freeways.  I did a lot of searching on Craigslist and different websites since the majority of my search was from a distance.  At first I was considering a one bedroom; however, I began to broaden my search to multiple bedrooms.  My hope was that if I found a great place, I could turn around and find a great roommate or roommates.  After touring apartment buildings in Clintonville, Upper Arlington, and other areas, I decided on a fantastic four bedroom just south of campus.  I was worried about filling the four bedrooms, but was willing to take a risk.
  2. The Roommates – Now that I had found a place, I needed the roommates.  I grew up in Missouri and went to Davidson College, so the number of people I knew in Columbus was less than a half dozen.  I posted an advertisement on Craigslist, but it was difficult to find someone compatible.  That’s when I discovered the fantastic roommate resources offered by Ohio State!  I joined a Fisher Student Housing Google Group and created a profile on the off campus roommate matching resource for all Ohio State students.  Creating my profile felt like joining a dating website.  I described my lifestyle, interests, and what I was seeking in a roommate.  Using these resources, I was able to find 3 fantastic roommates!  All 3 are graduate or PhD students at Ohio State.  Although we are from different parts of the country and different undergraduate colleges, we share a lot of the same values and interests.
  3. Moving In – The next step in my process was actually moving to Columbus.  I had to move my things both from Davidson College in North Carolina and from Arkansas, where my parents live.  Nothing makes you want to stop shopping like moving!  After driving my things to Columbus, storing them for a summer, and then moving them once more, I swore that I would never buy another thing in my life!  After much heavy lifting and the help of my friends, I was officially a Columbus resident.
  4. Settling In – My oath to never purchase things again was short lived; soon after moving in, I had to buy new bedding and furniture.  I put together a dresser with the help of my boyfriend and a bookcase all by myself.  I spent longer than I care to admit shopping for just the right desk chair that was both stylish and functional.  And then there were the trials of a new apartment building…The washing machine leaked through the ceiling, the cable and internet took three weeks to set up, and the sounds of ongoing construction occasionally drift through my open window.
  5. Home Sweet Home – Thankfully, there have been many, many good moments to outweigh the stressful.  I was finally able to meet all of my roommates in person.  I am adopting a stray cat, and getting to know the area around my apartment.  I am finally able to drive to most parts of Columbus without my GPS.  I have pictures on the walls and books on my shelves.  I have added to my collection of Ohio State gear, have started classes, and have tickets for the first football game of the season.  I’m really looking forward to my next two years at Fisher.  I have a great place to live and some wonderful roommates.  Not only is my apartment my new home, but so is Ohio and Fisher!

This adorable cat, Dagny, found me.


Hello! O-H-I-O!

I can’t believe that it’s already been two weeks since I left home. It seems that I’m still full of curiosity and am eager to explore my new life in OSU. So fortunately I’ve got no time to get homesick. Looking back on the past two weeks, I had an amazing experience here and I really want to share with you.

HOST FAMILY
On the date of my arrival, our flight had a terrible delay (7 hours late). Fortunately, I had contacted a host family through IFI and I felt so relaxed when I saw Don, my host, holding a sign with my name on it. I met my host family Jennifer and Don later and they picked me up at the airport after midnight. It’s so nice to have them after a long and tiring flight. I’ve stayed with them for three days and I was treated like a family member. Their help and concern made me feel so warm, especially for a girl who just left her hometown and stepped on a new country.

 

 

MY ACCOMMODATION—UNIVERSITY VILLAGE

I’ve booked my apartment in University Village  three months before arrival. UV is a nice choice for international graduate students. It is not far from the campus and the UV shuttle runs every 20 minutes to take students to the campus. There is a supermarket “Kroger” and a department store “Big Lots” located just outside the village. However, it’s a totally empty apartment without any single furniture so my biggest target was to find a mattress to sleep on.

 

 

ORIENTATION WEEK
Orientation week was super busy and exciting. One of the most interesting things that I remember was the “O-H-I-O” slogan (when one person shouts “O-H”, the other person must respond with “I-O”) Well, that’s the spirit of OSU. As for my program’s orientation, I was quite impressed. The MHRM(MLHR) program is highly career-oriented. We were asked to write the resume, marketing plan and cover letter during summer holidays and were suggested to get prepared for job interviews even before our first class. Some senior students and alumni were invited to the orientation to give us a good understanding of the program and help us set expectation and goals. Though a little puzzled and nervous, I found the Career Management Office helpful and it’s exciting to think that I could find an internship in the USA.

WHAT I HAVE LEARNT
The first semester has already begun and I’m still trying to get used to the new model of teaching in the USA. Each class involves lots of interaction and it’s impossible not to get involved. I understand that it won’t be easy for international students because of the barrier of language and culture. Every day, I encourage myself to step out of my comfort zone and do more networking. Everything is hard in the beginning, but I believe that I will make a big progress if I keep trying.

 


How the Fisher MBA Won Me Over

When I was researching schools for my MBA degree, I had a very long list of reasons why Fisher was in my “top schools” list. A simple Google search will produce a plethora of rankings telling you (deservedly so) that the Fisher MBA is one of the best programs in the country. If you’re like me, a detailed search will have you writing a list of why you want to attend Fisher. Some of the things from my list were:

  1. The small class size means you’re a person, not a statistic.
  2. Emphasis on real-world experience (leadership and development, corporate mentorship team-building, etc) means they’re training you for your future career, not just disseminating information.
  3. Customizing major/curriculum means that whatever your background or your career goals, you will be able to customize your major to suit YOUR unique future – there is no one-size-fits-all here!

I could go on and on (and ON!) but you can find all this out for yourself. Because in two weeks of the Pre-Term MBA program and a few days of classes, I already have another long list of reasons, and I could not be more grateful that I chose the Fisher College of Business as my new home for the next two years. I’m not going to share them all here (the list is FAR too long!) but here are a few reasons :

  1. Joining Fisher is like joining a family. From the moment I first made contact, I realized this is a Graduate Programs Office like no other. From application to admissions to start of classes, I was welcomed and assisted by the NICEST people I have ever met! No matter how small my question or concern was, everyone went above and beyond to help. Thanks to all of them, I already feel like I’m at “home” here!
  2. Three words: Intake Interview. Interview, you say? But I haven’t even started classes – why am I interviewing for a job?!  That’s the key here – we start applying for internships in the Fall, and we need to update our resumes, practice our interviewing skills, set career goals and put together a plan for how we will achieve those goals. That’s not easy to do, which is why we were assigned to a career consultant, who will guide us along every step of the way. And it all begins with that Intake Interview, where my interviewing skills were tested and graded (yikes!).
  3. Diversity! That word gets thrown around a lot, but it is truly implemented here. My peers come from extremely diverse backgrounds – ethnic, cultural, education and even work-experience. The opportunities to learn from your peers are plentiful, and I am taking full advantage!
  4.  Career guidance/exposure events. I came into the program knowing exactly what I wanted to do after graduation –the industry, the company and the exact job description. I chuckled to myself when we were told during Pre-Term that we would likely change our minds before graduation: I knew what I was doing, even if everybody else did not. I went to a Career Foundation Event out of curiosity during my first week here, and I’ve realized that I was looking at my future from the limited scope of my past experiences, and my time here at Fisher is broadening that scope daily. While my career goals have not changed, I am now open to changing the way I go about it, simply because I have much to learn!

I could spend all day writing about the multitude of other reasons I love this program, but the bottom line is – no matter how much you know (or think you know!), Fisher will open your eyes to a whole new world of possibilities. I was prepared to learn much in my time here, but I had no idea just how much my horizons would be broadened. I am not a sheltered individual by any means: I have lived in multiple continents, travelled to many places around the world, have earned multiple degrees and consider myself to be a well-rounded individual. But I am already amazed at everything I have learned so far, and how my perspective has shifted.

I am so grateful that I chose Fisher as my new home, and I am looking forward to two incredible years of learning, both in and out of the classroom!


The first few days in the Fisher MBA program

We made it.

More specifically, the MBA Class of 2014 made it through pre-term and the first three days of classes – and what a journey we’ve had so far.

Some of my group at Summit Vision! We had a wonderful time and it was great to work with our Core Team.

It was slightly overwhelming walking into the Blackwell on the first day of pre-term and having no clue what to expect. It’s like Lars said in his post, I felt like I was in kindergarten again. I was hoping I would make new friends, hoping I would like my classes and my professors, and possibly the silliest thing, I was hoping I was wearing the right outfit! Not to worry, within minutes I was talking to other students and feeling much more at ease. The best part of pre-term? You figure out that you’re not alone – everyone is worried about accounting and a little nervous.

So now classes are in full swing, and I’ll be the first to tell you, professors expect you to be on your game. The reading starts before classes even begin and you hit the ground running Before I could blink I had reading to finish, my GA position is about to start and I am trying to figure out how to join all these great clubs! And guess what? A career fair is less than two weeks away.

It’s slightly overwhelming.

But I know that I am not alone. I had coffee with a second year MBA  and know that what I am going through is normal, and that things get easier. Our entire class is extremely supportive of one another, and Fisher has incredible resources at our disposal.

Starting off Thursday w/ Panera coffee and reviewing accounting

Stay tuned for more adventures during my first year at Fisher!


Climbing to the Top

We’re only starting the second week of classes, but I couldn’t be more pleased with my decision to return to Fisher.  Yes, I’m a former Buckeye, but with the new union, library, and everything else going on around campus, I almost feel like a freshman again.  Which makes the fact that I’ve been asked if I am a freshman several times within the last week slightly ironic…either my preventative wrinkle care regimen has made me look 18 again, or I just look like I have no idea where I’m going.  But, I digress…

Between all of the great things going on at Fisher – classes, student organizations, events, internship/job searching – I’m pretty sure I’m not going to get a good night’s sleep for the next couple of years, and I’m okay with that.  I had an amazing time getting to know my classmates during pre-term, and after the hours I spent studying data analysis this past weekend, I’ve also been able to catch up with my good friend, Excel.

I won’t bore you with every detail of pre-term, but I will tell you about my favorite part – Summit Vision!  Summit Vision is a team building camp with high element courses.  My team did the zip-line and pamper pole, but they also have a ropes course and a giant swing.  Let me tell you about this pamper pole!  It’s a telephone pole with pegs that you climb up and have to stand on top of.  Now, I’m not really one who’s afraid of heights.  My absolute favorite thing in the world is skiing (if you read my blog, you should get used to that now because I’ll probably talk about it pretty frequently!)  I’m constantly on lifts, on top of mountains, skiing off cliffs (…okay, maybe small cliffs, but a cliff is a cliff in my book.)  So, naturally, heights don’t really bother me.  Enter pamper pole.  In the climbing world, “Elvis leg,” is indeed a real term, and I found out first hand what this meant while making my ascent up the pole.  After you reach the top, you then have to turn yourself around and jump to a trapeze bar.  Good thing gymnastics was fresh in my mind from the Olympics!

Here I am at the top of the pole.  As you can see, I am pretty happy to have conquered it.  Minutes before, I probably wasn’t smiling because I had to consciously remember to breathe!

And here I am jumping to the trapeze bar.  I didn’t actually make it to the trapeze bar, but that’s not entirely the point… :) 

All in all, Summit Vision was a great experience that brought us closer together as a team and pushed our boundaries.  Every person in my group climbed the pole, no matter how afraid they were, and everyone else encouraged the person who was climbing (and believe me, it helps when you’re the one up there!) The MBA program at Fisher essentially has the same values, and I cannot wait to find out what the future holds.  Here’s to reaching new heights!


Barely have time to breathe? Get an MBA!

FREE BEER!

Before I start with the real deal, you should know that if you carefully read my posts you will learn about FREE BEER! And who doesn’t like FREE BEER? Of course, not every post will have FREE BEER in it, and I may even not talk about beer at all, but chances are one day will be your lucky day and the nectar of the gods will be bestowed upon you.

OK – now that I have your attention, back to business …

If you are like the “old me”, you barely have time to breathe. You probably work about 70 hours per week, not because you have multiple jobs, but because at your only job if you don’t do your tasks nobody will, and even more your colleagues come to you for help and you help them all the time. Oh, and that moment at the office when the unspeakable happens and the fan is hit… that means you’ll be there over the weekend too, to fix the problem. Vacation? You’re not exactly sure what that means. You didn’t have one of those in ages, but you remember reading about them in a newspaper. Or did you see it on TV? Things are blurry and unclear if this “vacation” thing is even real, or just a figment of your imagination. And then it happens.

I don’t exactly know how the transformation was triggered. I know I decided I really want my MBA sometimes mid-January (why I want it in a future post). I scheduled my GMAT exam in 8 weeks from that date, and I started to study every day for 2 hours. At first it was more like 1 hour, because I would start looking over the study books close to midnight, when my nine-to-five job allowed me to get home and then I was too tired. But then, day by day my priorities started to shift. I still finished all my tasks in time at work. I still helped all my colleagues that asked for help (probably not always taking the task from them and doing it instead, but pointing them in the right direction, on what/where to search). I started to get home sooner and sooner. At 10pm. Then at 9.30. Then at 8, and then at 6.15pm.

I got a pretty good GMAT score, and I applied on May 15th (that was the last day one could have applied for the fall semester). I got accepted (best day of this year, so far). I even had time to go to a VMware training course and a week-long Cisco conference. Somehow, without finishing any less tasks at work, and without neglecting anything important in my life, I am now reserving anywhere from 1 hour (weekdays without classes) to 5 hours per day (days with class or weekend days) for my MBA, and I still have more time than I had at the beginning of the year.

Maybe it’s just me, maybe starting an MBA will not clear your schedule. It did clear mine. I think the best decision I took this year so far was to start my MBA.  And did I mention now I also have time to get my FREE BEER?


Orientation, Week 1, and Quarter to Semester Shenannigans

Hello readers!

First, I want to introduce myself. My name is Delainie and I have just begun the journey through the Master of Accounting program this past Wednesday. This past June, I graduated from Fisher with a BSBA in Finance and chose to take a fifth year of schooling to earn my MAcc. I must say it feels like another world walking into the graduate programs building versus the four years I was walking through Schoenbaum and Mason Hall (the undergrad business buildings). Though I am sure I will accidentally walk into the Mason computer labs to print something in the near future…

But back to MAcc details…As I mentioned I have just started classes as a MAcc student. The plan as of now is to focus on a finance and audit track. The program is extremely flexible in the sense that I only have 4 required classes! (This works out to about 78% of the degree made up of electives.) I definitely recommend checking out our curriculum structure to learn more about the customization benefits. Such benefits are excellent for a girl like me, who at the end of her degree wasn’t ready to grow up just yet and wanted to explore all of her options in the world of finance and accounting.

Orientation for the MAcc program was packed full of events! We met our advisor, career consultant, and several professors to get a feel of how the structure of the program was going to work. As someone who is used to a quarter academic schedule, I must say it was quite a shock to hear our semesters were going to be split in half (two sets of 7-week classes).  But, I was ready for a change though and to be on the same time frame as other Universities nationwide. In addition to meeting the graduate staff, we were able to tour the stadium and press box, meet recruiters, participate in team building events from 50 feet in the air, AND were provided with free meals all day!

 

View of the field on our tour of the Shoe!

After orientation came to a close, I was ready to start class! For session 1 of Autumn semester I have a total of 5 classes-much different that the quarter schedule course load! Here is my schedule of courses:

1. AMIS 6000 Management and Control

2. AMIS 6200 Financial Reporting

3. BUS FIN 6211 Corporate Finance

4. AMIS 7500 Audit

5. AMIS 7400 Tax 1

So far, I am loving the professors for all of my courses and the groups we have formed for case studies! We will see how the rest of the semester plays out. I apologize in advance for the length of this first post … I will try to condense my rambling for future posts :) That is all for now!

 

 


Treat it like it’s your job

I’m an outlier. The average age of the 2012-13 class of SMF students is around 23 years; I’m 33. The average work experience of the group is about 1.5 years; I’ve been out in “the real world” for 10 years. So maybe it’s just that I don’t know any other way to approach this SMF thing than this: I plan to treat it like it’s my job.

Some of you reading this post may not have ever had a real job before (you know, the kind that pays you well enough to support yourself, independent of your parents, and, in exchange, requires you to dedicate a significant portion of your time, brain power and effort). Here are just a few tips for treating something like it’s your job…

Be on time. By this I mean to include both showing up on time and completing your work on time (sounds simple, but most people have a hard time dealing with the planning fallacy)

Check email regularly. So much information gets shared through email. If you’re not checking yours regularly, what are you missing?

Calendar everything. When I was 23, I truly believed I could remember every appointment I had just because I was so darn smart. Ten years later I’ve learned that relying on your ability to remember everything isn’t so smart the first time you miss a meeting with someone you might have wanted to impress (client, boss, love interest). Forget gold; time is the most precious commodity on earth. For that reason, time management is really, really important. Check out this book if you want some guidance on the topic. (Side note: I got a new boss in March 2010. About a month later, I approached him to ask about his early thoughts on how I could improve my performance at work. All he said back was, “I don’t know how you organize your time.” Then he handed me a copy of Getting Things Done, the book I link to above.)

Dress for work. Sad but true: people will judge you based on how you look. Personally, I’d rather be pre-judged as competent and well-groomed than have to exert extra effort trying to change people’s first impressions to the contrary. Wear shorts and flip flops if you want… just don’t be surprised when people treat you like a person who wears shorts and flip flops.

Step up and lead. There are opportunities to lead all around us. And the beautiful thing is that we each get to choose our own level of involvement. So the next time a leadership opportunity presents itself, why not take it? Afraid of failure? Guess what, so is everyone else. To quote Mark Twain: “Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.”

To wrap my very first blog post up, and to show you, kind reader, that I am not just the miserly old man in the classroom, I will share with you a picture of something I love…

My dog, Captain, who turns 1 on Monday, August 27th

 

 


Goodbye CA, Hello OH!

“You left California… for Ohio?!” is the number one question I’ve been asked since arriving in Ohio three short weeks ago. It’s true, California is an amazing place- wonderful weather, beautiful scenery, and of course my incredible family and friends. But Ohio offered me something I couldn’t find in California.

Leaving CA; Entering OH

I graduated from UCLA in June 2011 with a BA in International Development Studies and little intention of going to graduate school (at least not right away). Unfortunately the “real world” had other plans. I soon realized that a graduate degree and a bit more time to get some relevant career experience could make me a much more desirable employee. I began my search for a graduate program with Ohio State because it is the only university outside of CA to which I had any connection- a good friend attended OSU for undergrad and I visited during Fall 2010. Still, I didn’t want to put all my eggs in one basket so  I applied to three other universities as well.

When decisions rolled in I learned I had been accepted to all four of the universities to which I had applied! But, that meant I had a TOUGH decision ahead of me. I decided to take a trip to three of the four schools to determine which might be the best fit. I met wonderful people and saw exceptional programs in Texas, Indiana, and Ohio. But, as I mentioned, Fisher was where I began my search for a graduate degree program and Ohio State already held a special place in my heart.

My best friend and I after OSU vs Michigan 2010.

The personal connection I already felt intensified during my visit to Fisher. Each person I came in to contact with was so warm and welcoming. It was clear that Fisher is a supportive and collaborative environment- something I intended to find in a graduate program. Throughout the visit Fisher staff, students, and faculty shared their passion for the program and the university with me. They showed me that despite the massive size of Ohio State, at Fisher you are not a number. Fisher cares about each individual and provides them with the education and resources to succeed in their chosen field.

As I prepared to move 2300 miles away from my home and family, I looked forward to finding a new family and home away from home at Fisher. And I am already well on my way. There is no doubt in my mind that leaving CA was a great decision! And hey, I can always go back in two years.


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