1/8th Complete!

1/8th might not sound like much of an accomplishment, but it is an accomplishment, none the less. At Fisher, each semester is broken up into two seven week long terms. A couple weeks ago we wrapped up our first term, aka our first set of seven week classes. With the end of that term, I am officially 1/8th closer to my Master’s degree! Hooray for little victories.

If you are unaware, Ohio recently converted all public colleges and universities to the semester system, meaning Ohio State is now a semester campus. Personally, I have taken both quarter long and semester long classes throughout my undergrad career, so I have the right to say: Fifteen weeks is too long for most classes. While I understand that it’s easier to divide the academic year in half and it is very convenient for all Ohio colleges and universities to be on similar schedules, I still don’t like it. With the quarter system, classes were long enough for you to learn the main concepts of each course, but not so long that you became bored with the material. Lucky for us, Fisher knows this too!

Fisher took some (but not all) of our courses and separated them into two seven week terms. There are still some classes that you need the full fifteen weeks to conquer, like Staffing or Total Rewards/Compensation. Last term, I had one semester course and two term courses. This design meant having finals and midterms back to back. It was a little awkward, but on the bright side it was great not having to study for three finals at once, and try to complete three semester-long projects and papers. Seven weeks seemed to fly by, but that’s okay with me, especially when it comes to any course that has to do with math 🙂

Columbus Favorites: Blue Ginger

One of the things about being a Fisher MBA student and living in Columbus is your food choices, especially if you like to dine out on occasion. If you like Asian Fusion, you will love Blue Ginger. It’s located on Sawmill road, so it’s about a 15 minute drive from campus, but it is definitely worth the drive (plus, Sawmill road has all the best places to shop, including one of my favorite places: Trader Joe’s).

Their appetizers are delicious! One of my favorites is the shrimp tempura, which has a lemongrass sauce that I have never been able to replicate (and not for lack of trying!).



Their selling point (for me, anyway!) is the shrimp pad thai… hands down, the best shrimp pad thai in town!


Would you like to see it from another delicious angle? Sure thing!


They also have some great sushi.. the Sawmill Road roll is famous around here, and for good reason!

I have out of town friends who request a trip to Blue Ginger just for the Sawmill Road roll.. and I am always happy to oblige!


Career Workshops and Academic Talks

One of the perks of the MAcc program is the very large number of academic talk events, career workshops, and “lunch and learns.” Such events typically consist of a speaker, either a professor or professional in industry, a topic related to the accounting or business world, and often free lunch. Often the academic speakers are our very own MAcc professors that wish to shed light on research projects they may be working on, or a topic they were familiar with in their work experience. Career workshops often relate to interview tips and tricks, or professional certification information, while professional topics could be political, specific to a type of industry, or simply designed for the speaker to share their personal/career stories.

Today, I attended a career workshop about CPA review courses with Becker Professional Education, one of the largest CPA prep programs in the U.S. The workshop provided an overview of the test structure, a detailed timeline of the application process, and the program offerings provided by Becker. The “fast pass” accelerated prep course is even offered right here on OSU‘s campus. In addition to the breadth of information we were offered, workshop attendees received free pizza and drinks, and were informed of all the discounts we are eligible for through Ohio State, potential employers, and through Becker ambassador opportunities. The workshop definitely eased my nerves and uncertainty about the application process and prep course success rate since the CPA exam is known for being a brutal exam.

The massive amount of material I will likely be purchasing for CPA prep

In addition to the Becker workshop this week, I will also be attending a talk with Aaron Beam, former CFO of Healthsouth, a company known for a huge corporate scandal which sent Mr. Beam to prison due to acts of fraud. Today, Mr. Beam speaks across the nation about the ethical nature of his experience, and what it has taught him.  I am super excited to learn more about Mr. Beams experience from the inside since we learn about these major scandals from an external perspective in the classroom. I will be sure to post details after the event tomorrow!

The Ultimate Hunt: Finding a Job

Fisher students in action – winning over recruiters.

The academic year is young, but that did not hinder The Fisher College of Business from kicking off the job hunt full-force for its students. Not one, but two, career fairs took place within the first month of the semester here at The Ohio State University, and they were both focused toward students pursuing business-related studies. In addition to the career fairs, the SMF program has had the privilege of numerous information sessions with prominent financial figures.

On September 5, the Fisher College of Business career fair took place in the Ohio Union. The magnitude of the fair was so great that it required the first AND second floor of the student union. An impressive list of companies was present. A student’s worry wasn’t about finding a company of interest, but more about finding time to talk to all of his/her companies of interest. Here is the Student Career Fair Guide. A quick skim will show you what I mean.

Five days later, the Fisher College of Business Graduate Career Fair rolled into town. Conveniently set up in the Blackwell Hotel, this recruiting event was geared toward graduate students only. It offered a more focused, intimate setting to build relationships with potential employers. Needless to say, there was yet another impressive list of companies in attendance.

The most exciting part of it all (for me at least) is the chance to make immediate use of the connections you developed at these fairs. The Fisher College of Business brings many of these recruiters on-campus to do the initial round of interviews. On top of that , all available job listings are posted in an organized, searchable fashion on Fisher Connect for you to apply through. This gives students a significant advantage over non-recruited schools because you have the opportunity to apply twice (Fisher Connect and company website), and we all know how important getting your name seen is!

Since the career fairs, many other recognized individuals have visited our campus to connect with the Fisher College of Business student body. This past Tuesday, the CFO of GE Capital gave a riveting, private presentation to the Specialized Master in Finance class. Other campus visitors include Diamond Hill Investments, Tres Knippa (a registered trader on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange), a previous president of The CFA Society of Columbus, and Greece’s Minister of Tourism just to name a few. Not only were these prominent individuals, but they exposed us to a wide array of financial arenas.

I have been TREMENDOUSLY pleased with the amount of resources Ohio State University and the Fisher College of Business has been able to offer me thus far. However, a word of advice to future students is necessary: be prepared to work your tail off! Even with all this help at your disposal, landing that coveted offer is a full-time job. It requires a tremendous amount of preparation, research, and networking to become the student that your “star” firm is looking for. So be ready: no one said the ultimate hunt would be easy!

Just keep running

For any potential MBA students who love running – Columbus, Ohio is the perfect city for you!

Last weekend, I ran alongside 18,000 other individuals for the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon. I participated in the 1/2 marathon, and have never seen such inspiration. Each mile marker had a “Patient Champion“, and many of the patient heroes were cheering on the runners. Let me tell you, it was a huge burst of speed when I was starting to get tired at mile 9 and I saw their beautiful, smiling faces! Caution: checking out the video and reading about the heroes may cause tears and feelings of pride knowing that Nationwide Children’s impacts so many families!

Here is the “Race Recap” video!

This was my second 1/2 marathon – and while my feet and my body are finally feeling completely normal one week later, I have already signed up for another half-marathon next spring. Numerous people in the program ran, and my Facebook feed was full of great photos this morning. Those who ran the full marathon even ran through the Shoe!

Columbus is city that is constantly giving back, in huge ways! The Columbus Marathon sold out this year, and thousands of people came out to show their support. Other races, such as the Capital City 1/2 Marathon and the Arthritis Foundation 5k Jingle Bell Walk/Run are some of my favorites! Where else can you find such a generous city?

Even if marathons and half-marathons aren’t your cup of tea, there are hundreds of 5ks, 15ks and Walk/Runs every year in Ohio and near Columbus – RunOHIO is a great website to find out the perfect race for you! Running is a wonderful way to relieve the stress of classes –  and when you’ve already registered for a race, a great motivator to take a small break and exercise.

Happy running!

“Good times, hard times, but NEVER bad times.”

Autumn in Columbus is awesome. All the leaves are changing colors and the weather is neither too cold nor too hot. I guess it must be the best season of the year. Walking back home after class last night, I was a little emotional. It was cold and wet and the smell of the air just reminded me of Beijing, my hometown. I’m very proud of myself because I could take good care of myself during the past two months and I have never been so independent and strong. Although not everything went as I had expected, I appreciated every single progress I’ve made in the short time I’ve been here. 🙂

To be honest, I sometimes feel upset when I can’t catch up with my professors in class and I’m disappointed with myself whenever I hesitate to raise my hand to answer questions. What used to be so easy is sometimes difficult for me now. Sometimes I don’t have a sense of belonging here and I can’t help missing my friends and parents. I have to say that language is always the biggest challenge for international students. However, I was so glad when my host Don told me that my spoken English has improved a lot in the past couple of months. All the effort I’ve made finally paid off! I’m grateful for what I’ve got. In fact, I have never been regretful for my choice of studying in the USA. Life is amazing here and I love OSU. Just watch the video of our matching band on Youtube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAzzbrFgcUw) and we’re still undefeated.  (Oh, by the way, I even saw President Obama in person at a campus event a couple of weeks ago.)

I had a great weekend because I just finished my final exams. I bought two chrysanthemums because I happened to pass a lady’s yard on my way to the bus stop. My house looks so cozy with the flowers. Actually, I can see my change/improvement every day. I felt so proud when my classmates said “well-done” after my presentation and when I got my first A in graduate school. I meet different people and I try to step out of my comfort zone. I know everything won’t be easy but I can handle them anyway. I just begin to see everything in a good way.


Fall is in the Air

It seems like it was just summer and we were all arriving to Columbus, OH to begin our first year in 90 degree weather. How time flies when you’re having fun!

The excitement has definitely continued – fall is in the air, and everyone here in the Graduate Programs Office is gearing up for Fisher Season Premiere. We are excited to host over 70 prospective students at the event this weekend – between informational sessions, team building activities, tours and a chance to meet faculty, staff and students, we are excited to have everyone on campus to show what the Fisher full-time MBA program is all about. We have so much to be proud of, and I am excited to be on the ‘current student’ side to showcase our wonderful program, facilities and opportunities.

One recent event that I must showcase is an opportunity I was able to take advantage of on Wednesday evening. We had the wonderful fortune of hearing GE CEO Jeff Immelt and Warren Buffett speak at Mershon Auditorium. Hosted by Fisher, these two amazing leaders took part in the ‘Fireside Chat’ event to kick off the second National Middle Market Summit. It was so influential to hear these powerful leaders discuss the economy and their backgrounds – and even crack a few jokes! This is an experience I will never forget.

Along with the seasonal change, as you all know, comes football. It was such great fun to be at the game to see OSU’s big overtime win against Purdue last weekend (GO BUCKS!), but there is also football excitement going on over at an intramural field near campus. On Sunday afternoons, you can find the GPO Student MBA Ambassadors (from all programs) combining to form one of the best flag football teams in the league. Excitingly enough, we have made the playoffs! (…More to come on this after we hopefully pave our way to the championships!)

E. Gordon Gee

Most university Presidents/Chancellors do not have many opportunities to interact with students. At my undergraduate institution I saw the Chancellor at our “Freshman Welcome” event and at graduation, and I certainly never got the opportunity to meet him personally.

That is most definitely not the case with Ohio State’s President Mr. E. Gordon Gee. President Gee makes a massive effort to interact with as many students as he possibly can. You never know where you may run in to him! Gordon Gee comes to most big campus events- like Buckeye-A-Thon or the recent “Rock The Oval” concert with O.A.R. He comes to football games, meetings for student organizations, classes, graduation parties/engagements, and even campus bars.

Meeting Ohio State President E. Gordon Gee

President Gee is definitely a campus celebrity. Recently, while out on a Saturday night after a football game I had the great pleasure of meeting him. Just as my friends and I were walking out of one of the campus bars we noticed our bow-tie wearing university President walking in. Of course, we quickly turned around to score a photo with him. He was barely able to walk two steps in to the bar before students were crowding around him. He politely posed for pictures with everyone who asked, and even tried to have a mini conversation with everyone.

My interaction consisted of a quick picture (see above), after which he asked me what year I was- I told him I am an MHRM grad student at Fisher. He then asked where I went to undergrad and when I told him UCLA and that I had just moved out from CA a couple months ago, he responded “Don’t you just love it here?” Yes I do, President Gee. Yes I do.

Warren Buffett, Jeffrey Immelt, and Ohio State

What do Warren Buffet, Jeffrey Immelt, and me have in common?Warren Buffett

If you guessed that we were all in the same room last night, you are correct!

This week, Ohio State is teaming up with GE capital as they host the 2012 National Middle Market Summit. The purpose of the summit is to bring together more than 700 CEOs, academics, policymakers, and industry experts to discuss the unique set of challenges faced by middle market executives. Business, sports, political, and entertainment leaders will share insights and perspectives on everything from healthcare, to the economy, to the election.

For Fisher MBAs like myself, we have been blessed with opportunities like last night, where two of the best minds in business came together to discuss America’s economic future. Jeffrey Immelt led the discussion with Warren Buffett as he questioned him about his childhood, Berkshire Hathaway, and future advice for the future business leaders of America.GE CEO Jeff Immelt

Buffett was his usual self – candid, friendly, and honest. He spoke about the bright future that America has ahead of itself. He noted how he buys companies, specifically, how he strives to understand business models. He also mentioned a funny fact – he doesn’t have a computer in his office. Who would have known?

The event last night was only one of many great opportunities taking place at Fisher and Ohio State this week. The 2012 National Middle Market Summit is a great opportunity for business students and professionals alike. Find out more info about the Middle Market Center here!



Columbus gives back

Columbus is a unique city full of great restaurants, of course a large academic community, sports teams, you name it. But this city is also full of service and giving back to the community in pretty extreme ways. Today was a special day for service: The Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon. This event consisted of either a half (13.1 miles) or full marathon (26.2 miles) and included a total of around 18,000 participants! Proceeds for the marathon went directly to the Children’s Hospital mentioned previously and each mile marker of the course shared stories of terminally ill children struggling to fight their disease. There were opportunities to not only run the race, but to volunteer, cheer on the runners, watch, or simply give to the cause. I had several friends run the half and full marathon today and were able to aide the cause. I think I will attempt to train and participate next year!

This the course map for the Columbus Marathon

Another huge, annual event that I was able to participate in this past summer is Pelotonia. In this event, participants bike a designated number of miles with a team or peloton through Columbus and the city outskirts in the fight to end cancer. The bike routes had several mile categories to accommodate all types of riders-I did 25 miles to start out for The Ohio State University team. 100% of all donations and funds raised go to The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center for cancer research. This event was by far one of the most amazing service events I have ever completed and I hope to be a part of this cause going forward. The event was in August this past year, with donations and fundraising ending this month. The check presentation ceremony in which the final monetary value raised is scheduled for November 5th. Last year they raised around $12 million and I am confident this will be beat this year.  Watch this video to learn more about the cause and join the fight to end cancer. Until next time guys!