Archive for October, 2012



Vote For Dr. Ben Campbell!!

Fisher’s very own Dr. Ben Campbell has been nominated for the Business Professor of the Year Award given by the Economist Intelligence Unit. This is a great honor for Professor Campbell and he is definitely deserving of this recognition. Let me tell you a little more about why I will be voting for Professor Campbell.

I recently took a class from Professor Campbell and he was definitely a favorite. In the class I attended, Organizations, Markets, and Management, he taught extremely complicated business and economic principles in a simple and meaningful way.

Professor Campbell creates a safe atmosphere for Fisher MBA students to learn and to raise objections, and brings up interesting conversations to the class that are memorable, such as dedicating an entire class period to discussing the economics of modern pirates. He is very passionate about teaching, and this passion is apparent in the lessons he imparts and even through his exams.

In addition to being humorous and down to earth, he incorporates ethics and civic morality into the curriculum in a way that encourages discussion. It is refreshing that even through discussions about taxes, subsidies and healthcare reform, it is impossible to decipher his political views, as he is very adept at arguing both sides of an issue to get the students to look at issues from a different viewpoint than one normally would adopt.

Professor Campbell has an undergraduate degree from The Ohio State University in Mathematics and a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley. Prior to teaching at OSU he taught at the Wharton School for three years.

VOTE HERE!

 

 

 


A Day in the Life of a Fisher MBA Student

Or a week in the life of an MBA student

First term ended a week ago, I am thankful for the wonderful professors at Fisher. It is amazing how much you can grow in 7 weeks. It took me a while to get used to being a full-time student. (5 hours of sleep?! More coffee, please…) Here is a quick overview of a typical week so far:

Monday

Wake up at 4 am in Cincinnati, arrive in Columbus at 6 am

8:30-11:45 am Data Analysis and Managerial Economics

Lunch, errands, reading assignments, gym, dinner, homework

Tuesday

8:30-11:45 am Marketing Management and Accounting

Lunch and core team meeting

1:15-2:45 pm Workshop Core

More reading assignments and homework

Wednesday

Same classes as Monday

ProjectOne team meeting

Seminar on MBA Career Path

Did I mention endless homework and readings?

Thursday

Same classes as Tuesday, usually no Workshop Core

Student club meeting

Grocery shopping, gym, yes, more readings to do

Friday

Same classes as Monday

ProjectOne meeting

Drive home (Cincinnati)

It’s our Date Night! Mike and I go out for dinner and dancing

Saturday & Sunday

Catch up with my dad and sister

Run errands, do laundry, go grocery shopping, cook… household chores

Check email, start reading & homework assignments for next week

Watch Criminal Minds, Burn Notice, Castle, NCIS

Pack up for the week in Columbus

 

I talk to my husband 2-3 times a day. We talk about school, work, life, and silly little things. Because we see each other only on the weekends & holidays, it is important to have open and honest communications. One of these days, I will learn to Skype!

 

 


Helmer’s Heroes

To take a break from all our studying the the Fisher College of Business, the Graduate Assistants in the Graduate Programs Office decided to put together an intramural flag football team to play on Sunday nights.  In honor of Rob Chabot’s dog, we decided on a team name of Helmer’s Heroes. We were unsure as to the level of skill we would have so we decided to join the Co-Rec B league. Our first game we all showed up eager to get the season started! We had 4 guys and 6 girls there the first week. We came out with a bang beating the other team 68-0!!! I think we were all a little surprised at how well we played each with each other. We were all able to get involved with the play and had a great first game. It was great to be able to get out there and practice some things we could maybe use in the upcoming games.

The following week we played a much more competitive team. We were down a player for the first half but still managed to keep them to only a 15 point lead. By the start of the 2nd half we were at full strength and able to start our comeback victory. Andrew Gropper was able to start the comeback with an interception to run back for a touchdown! From there we were able to take over the game and with the help of a few mistakes by the other team (regarding the rules in which we are all still learning them). Tyler was able to get the second touchdown for us as well as the one point conversion in which he made an acrobatic catch to secure the win for our team! We are undefeated going into our last regular season game this weekend.

Check back to see how our season progresses!

Helmer dreaming of his team’s next victory


Close one book, open another

Well, the first session of my life as a MAcc student has come to an end believe it or not. The seven week structure of classes definitely seems to fly by versus my time under the 10 week quarter structure. While I was feeling completely overwhelmed with taking five classes at once and balancing my work as a graduate teaching assistant, I was able to pull through with success! I think what helped me the most amidst my busy schedule were my fellow MAcc students.

Having two required courses together as a program, MAcc students were able to get to know each other, bounce ideas off one another during group work, and struggle together if we came across a tough problem or case study. Being in a group of students that were in the same boat as myself allowed me to feel comfortable asking questions of professors or among other students if I did not understand a topic. I think such behavior is easily applicable to the business world. If you are struggling with a task or project at work, struggling alone will get you nowhere. You can always benefit from asking questions or putting together multiple minds in order to solve a problem.

The diversity within a group is also key. The MAcc program is full of students who did not necessarily study accounting in their undergraduate careers. We have those who studied political science, music, psychology, and many other topics not entirely related to the business world or accounting. I think such variety provides a wide range of perspectives when approaching a case study or group assignment. It allows the group to attack the problem from multiple angles, versus following a narrow path through the eyes of an accountant.

Overall, I think the real message here is that we have to go outside of our comfort zone – we can do so by embracing diversity in teams, being comfortable with ambiguity or not always knowing the answer, and recognizing that what we learn in the classroom or in the MAcc program in my case, can ultimately be applied to real-world experiences. Given the message, I am looking forward to another fall session filled with new experiences :-).

 

Love this group!


Case-Based Interviewing

 I first learned about case-based interviewing in my first week at Fisher, when we participated in a mock team-based case interview during a workshop hosted by Ernst & Young.
During the first meeting of the Fisher Consulting and Strategy Club (FCSC), we got the chance to participate (as a group) in another mock case-based interview.
A few weeks ago, I attended a talk by Marc Cosentino, a leading expert in case interviewing and author of  the best-selling book “Case in Point: Complete Case Interview Preparation“.
He gave a really great breakdown on the anatomy of the case interview, how to prepare for one, and some tips and tricks for success! We also went through a practice case interview.
As part of FCSC, the first years are grouped with a second-year mentor, and our mentor introduced us to “interviewer-led” case-based interviews.
I also attended an information session for Kalypso (a wonderful consulting company!), where we ran through another case-based interview.
Are you seeing a pattern here? I’ve heard it over and over again: if you want to succeed in a consulting-oriented interview, you need to practice case-based interviewing! And then you need to practice some more.
I was very intimidated at first – people spoke of cases with dread; a necessary evil, that had to be mastered. Very few spoke with enthusiasm and excitement, but it was these people I related to, because I have a secret: I love cases! They are challenging, but exhilarating..  intimidating and yet, intellectually stimulating!
It forces me to organize my thoughts in seconds, think on my feet, be succinct and concise and state my “conclusions” with confidence I don’t really feel ( not yet anyway.. not under that amount of stress!). I haven’t had a chance to practice much, but I can already feel myself becoming better organized in my thinking, coming up with better ideas, and definitely feeling more confident!
I will have to practice many more cases before I can confidently sail through a real (read: stressful) case-based interview, but I am very much looking forward to the practice!

New Classes?! Already?!

That’s right – Fall Term 1 has ended and Term 2 has begun!  Just thought I would take a few minutes to share the MAcc courses I’m taking and my first impression of the classes that will consume the next seven weeks!

  • AMIS 6201 – Professional Research in Accounting – this class is all about researching the FASB codification.  We’re given real-life scenarios and questions that clients could ask us in our future jobs, and we research the code to find the correct answer and explain it to our client.  This class is likely to be one of the most practical.  Professor Turner has had many students come back to visit who tell him that they use the research tools from this class on a daily basis!
  • AMIS 7410 – Tax II – this class is focused on corporate income taxes.  Even for students who aren’t going into a career in tax, it’s really beneficial to know the tax planning goals of corporations.  Professor Raabe has a great deal of experience in tax and makes the key takeaways extremely clear for each class.
  • AMIS 7420 – Tax III – that’s right – another tax class!  We’re covering all sorts of different topics like exempt entities, gift and estate taxation, and how to reconcile taxes on financial statements.  Professor Raabe teaches this course as well, and again brings a great deal of experience and real-world examples for these relevant topics.
  • AMIS 7510 – Assurance Services and Information Quality – this course is focused on developing an understanding of the value added by assurance services, which include audit.  Professor Spires simulated a stock market for our first class on Tuesday to get us thinking about how markets benefit from quality information.  I thought this interactive activity was a fun way to kick off the term!
  • BUSFIN 6212 – Finance II – this is a continuation of Finance I, which I completed last term.  This is going to be more conceptual, as we’ve started by learning about efficient versus inefficient markets.  Professor Ben-David brings a lot of research experience to this course, and I’m looking forward to the next six weeks of the course.

It’s been a great first week with these new courses, and I’m excited to see what this term will offer!


Oh, the places you’ll go

To quote the title of a great book by Dr. Seuss, “Oh, the places you’ll go”.

Thanks to The Ohio State University’s partnership with the CFA Society of Columbus, I have had the opportunity that is given to very few that are in school. At the beginning of the year, I signed up for a student membership to the society for (a low rate of) $65. This has allowed me to attend a dinner and a lunch with them. At these events, I’ve had the opportunity to network with investment professionals. They have ranged from a sell side analyst at Wells Fargo to buy side analysts at STRS to an interest rate derivatives trader at Huntington. All of them have been more than willing to share their experiences and talk about nearly anything.

The best part of the society meetings are the speakers. So far I have had the luxury to hear John Rodgers and Abby Joseph Cohen. Mr. Rodgers is the President and CEO of the CFA Institute. He spoke about how important ethics are. As having passed the CFA Level I exam, I know that there is strong emphasis on ethics. He also talked about the future goals of the Institute. I even had the opportunity to talk to him for a few minutes after the presentation. That was a top 5 moment of my life.

Abby Joseph Cohen was another great speaker. With her working experience from Goldman Sachs, she was the smartest person in the room from my perspective. Ms. Cohen talked about economic cycles and the current recession. My biggest takeaway from her was how she framed the current unemployment problem. From the charts that were show, it looked like a structural shift (which was was longer) combined with cyclical unemployment (higher numbers) .


Lookin’ sharp

One of the sweetest compliments a blogger can receive is someone emailing them and commenting on a blog – and then continuing to ask questions! It truly makes a writer feel like they are touching on meaningful topics and making a difference…no matter how small! So to that person, thank you very much!

Moving forward with that idea, I was recently asked in an email: What do you WEAR to business school?!?

Great question! And, just to be honest, that was a question we anxiously asked one another during pre-term (well, ok, at least some other girls and I talked about it! Sorry guys, this post may not be for you).

This website is a great resouce that outlines business casual for both men and women.

Jessi’s opinion on how to dress at Fisher College of Business:

-During pre-term you will be expected to dress business casual and business professional. So, nice pants and a blouse, and a jacket when needed. Besides, the jacket is great when the AC is on and blasting!

-Once classes start the outfits begin to span across the board. Students who are working in offices around the college are usually in business casual. However, on regular days, jeans are totally acceptable – but you usually don’t see a lot of sweatpants in Gerlach Hall.

Personally, I try to dress-up a little bit for class every day! When I see my professors in full suits for class and looking extremely professional, I want to be seen in the same light. When I only have class I am typically in jeans and a dressy top with heels. Comfortable when I’m spending 10 hours on campus studying and going to class — but still business school “appropriate”.

Just remember! There always seems to be an fantastic networking/meet-and-greet event going on at Fisher and these require business attire. You always want to present yourself in the best light when meeting business professionals and learning more about their careers.

Something I’ve learned within seven weeks of classes? If you don’t want to dress up, have a nice outfit (don’t forget your shoes!) and a few resumes in your locker. You never know who will be on campus and who could be your next important contact!

Again, this is a quick post of my own opinion about what to wear at Fisher. As an MBA Candidate who is constanly scheduling meetings with advisors, the Office of Career Managment and professors, I am always striving to put my best (dressed) foot forward.

Hopefully this shed a little light on how to dress for school :)

Have a great week, see you guys soon!


Accounting vs. non-accounting

The first session of the fall semester in the Fisher MAcc program ended just last week. I remembered that at the beginning of the session one of recommendations that I received is to get out of my comfort zone and to challenge myself, and that is why I choose to take three accounting courses and two non-accounting courses in the first session. From those two non-accounting courses, I found the most valuable thing I have learned is to broaden my horizon.

At first, no matter what class I took, the first thing that comes to my mind is numbers. When I took Logistics Management, I cannot stop thinking about inventory turnover ratios, and I am more interested in computing numbers, such as EOQ and Safety Stock Level. When I took Six Sigma class, I tend to focus more on financial impacts than operating impacts, even though the operating impacts are indispensable part of Six Sigma analysis. I found that after years of learning accounting, I become narrow-minded.

On the contrary, MBA students in my classes are able to think out of their own expertise and to consider company’s overall situation, and that is what I lack most (and probably a function of little prior work experience prior to taking these classes) – developing an “overall” point of view. In both Logistics Managements and Six Sigma classes, considering overall interest and situation of the company is necessary. What I mean by overall interest and situation does not only include company’s hard (e.g. money) and soft (e.g. human) resources, but also include its impacts on suppliers, customers, and competitors. For example, when you make forecast on next month production, you have to consider company’s inventory level. You have to consider whether your suppliers have enough resources to provide and what the unit price for that resource. You also need to consider your customers’ demands. Here, managing supplier-manufacturer-customer relationships is as important as managing revenue and cost analysis.

In the end, I hope that after reading my blog current and future MAcc students can understand why non-accounting courses are indispensable part of the curriculum, and I encourage everyone to get out of your comfort zone and try something different. I believe that you will find a different way to think. And your education will be much better for it.


Columbus Favorites: Northstar Cafe

My long week of final exams ended with a three hour Econ final. I needed to load up on some much-needed comfort food, so I headed to one of my favorite places in Columbus: Northstar Cafe.

 

 

They have three locations, but since it was an unseasonably warm fall day, we headed to the one on High street, which has a nice outdoor seating area.

 

Their food is delicious, all locally grown and organic. I ordered my favorites: chicken avocado sandwich (slow-roasted bell peppers, chicken, avocado, topped with cheddar cheese and arugula) with sweet potato fries (tossed with caramelized onions and rosemary), paired with their legendary ginger ale (ginger, organic cane sugar, lime juice and mint).  Yum!

If you still have room after that delicious meal, their cookies are DIVINE… and I love how they note the time the cookies were made!

This is definitely one of my favorite local places.. it never disappoints!


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