Halfway there …

We are halfway there to completing our Master in Accounting degrees. This past weekend we were able to enjoy some time together with classmates and with our professors at the MAcc Fall Reception. We had a guest speaker from a student in the program last year, Jeff Howard, who was able to give us some great advice about the next semester and our future jobs! We were also able to hear from a few professors and even Dr. Ayra, who told some hilarious jokes. It was a great opportunity to be all together before we started finals week and parted our different ways for winter break. I hope everyone has a great break and I look forward to seeing everyone back in January! Happy Holidays!

MAcc Class of 2013


Winter Break Festivities

Hi readers!

I can’t believe the second session of Fall semester is already over! It is hard to believe I am already halfway finished with the MAcc program either … with classes ending, that of course means finals are among us. This time around, I was done with finals week on Tuesday and am now free for winter break activities! On Friday, I plan on heading to Deep Creek Lake, which is halfway between Columbus and my hometown of Mt. Airy, MD. I have been going to cabins at Deep Creek for years during the summer months for fun weekends of boating, tubing, and relaxing with friends and family. During the winter, the nearby Ski resort, WISP, is open for skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, you name it. This coming weekend is the opening day for WISP’s winter season and I am hoping to get out there for skiing and ice skating! There are also tons of hiking trails along the lake and mountains of western Maryland to add to the winter activities list. After a long day of outdoor adventures, it will be great to come back to the cabin and relax in the hot tub! (Check out the pics below for some nice scenic views of Deep Creek.)

After a few days in Deep Creek, I will head back to my parents’ house for about 10 days to visit with family and friends for the holidays. I know one thing for certain…I will be getting my fair share of delicious seafood while I am back on the East Coast. (Sometimes good seafood is hard to come by in the Buckeye State :-)) Then before I know it, it will be back to Columbus to get ready for new years celebrations and the start of spring semester. The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, which I mentioned a few weeks ago, will also be getting started in January with several training sessions to prepare the MAcc students for this important service project. It is going to be one busy winter! Happy Holidays everyone!

A view of the lake from the ski slope at WISP


Ski Slopes at WISP


A shot of the cabin I will be staying

Photos from Fisher Follies Auction

Fisher Follies Auction had wonderful donations from our student, faculty & staff! (Click here for more information on Fisher Follies.) Here are some quick facts and photos from the auction:

Number of donations at this year’s auction: 134

Amount of money raised at this year’s auction: $19,708

Julian and Alycia
Two beautiful ladies getting ready for the big event. Thank you, Julian & Alycia!

Most popular items were…. are you ready?

1. A Winter BBQ at “The Sanctuary” for 20 Donated by Professors Larry Inks and Tony Rucci Raised $2,520
2. C-Suite Mentoring Trip to Chicago for 3 Donated by Professor Shashi Matta Raised $2,200

3. Two sets of 2 Fisher Suite football tickets in the Horseshoe (for one conference game and one non-conference game) plus invitations to the official Fisher Tailgate at the Blackwell Hotel. Donated by Dean Christine Poon Raised $1,500

I donated a vintage Japanese wedding kimono.

Follies auction
Wedding kimono

All of us were having so much fun, I don’t think anyone wanted to leave when it was over.

Gift basket
Child’s gift basket


Wine basket
Wine basket & Tickets to see Conan
Live auction
Live auction

Freak out for Finals? Never!

It’s a fact.  My SMF finals are done!

With that being said I did a few things different this time versus what I used to do in undergrad preparing for finals.

1.  Start Studying a Week Ahead – This works great, especially if you end up with the flu the day before your exams begin.   I felt comfortable and not as anxious as in the past because I was able to review the material instead of learn it the evening before the exam.

2. Sleep – Sounds crazy during finals week, but I actually managed 7-8 hours of sleep the night before exams this semester.  Helped a lot.

3. Relax – It pays to take time out of your day from studying.  Whether its going out to eat with a few buddies, or popping in a movie or catching a game on TV.   We aren’t wired for constant studying – especially for grad school.

Sounds too easy doesn’t it?   Depends.  It took some getting used to, but in the end, they benefits were great!   Cramming doesn’t work anymore, especially at a higher (and more demanding) level of education.   This practice is proof, after our 17 page exam today for investment finance, the word “relax” had to have run through my mind at least a dozen times!


While it may be easy to follow the advice of this sign… it doesn’t need to be mandatory during exams!

Final Exams!

I can’t believe we are in the midst of final exams – the first semester of the MBA program has flown by!  It’s been a wonderful journey. I’ve learned so much and gotten to know so many great people here at Fisher – my classmates, the second-year MBAs and the wonderful faculty and staff.

I’ve only got two final exams left, and then the first semester will officially be over! We get almost an entire month of break, so I am looking forward to a bit of relaxing and recharging after this hectic semester.

I am also looking forward to practicing more case interviews, researching companies and applying for more summer internships. Interviews for many of my target firms start in January, so I need to get all my applications in before break!

I’m looking forward to a new set of classes next semester, several case competitions and a trip to Silicon Valley with the Fisher Entrepreneurship Association in February (more on those to come!).

Almost there … just two more finals to go 🙂


Need a Study Break? Volunteer!

Feel like you’re swimming in notes, practice problems, and formula sheets?  That’s certainly how I feel when the end of the term rolls around and I start to look over everything we’ve learned over the past seven weeks in the MAcc program.

In all honesty, we’re given plenty of time to study for our finals.  Enough time, in fact, that twenty of us MAccers took a break on Thursday to volunteer at the Mid-Ohio Food Bank.  We wrapped up a holiday season canned food drive by packing a total of 647 boxes of food for the CSFP program.  The food bank’s Commodity-Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) provides a monthly box of nutritious food to low-income seniors.

A great place to do some community service!

After community service, I wrapped up the week with all of my friends at the MAcc Autumn reception.  We enjoyed dinner with Fisher faculty and staff, which was followed by a keynote speech by MAcc alumnus Jeff Howard and the recognition of two autumn graduates of our program.  It was an especially nice way to end the semester and see classmates and faculty before leaving town over break.

My apologies for the short post, but it’s back to studying for me.  After finals, I’ll be traveling to London, Paris, and Nuremberg, Germany, so no worries – there are many exciting posts to come!!

The End of Autumn Semester

One review session, two exams and one take-home final stands between me and break.

So. Close.

When I look back on the first semester of the Fisher MBA Program, and I can’t even begin to list all the memories. Ranging from classes, hysterical lectures (really, wait till you hear Professor Campbell tell you about pirates), Fisher Follies, drinks at the Varsity Club after finals, tailgating, EOTW (Events of the Week),  study groups, a perfect football season and so much more.

*picture taken from the Ohio State Buckeyes Facebook page

There have been tears, there have been laughs, and there have been hundreds of cups of coffee.

I know that days into the holiday break I’ll be missing everyone at school, but I am excited to sleep-in and watch a few movies. But in all honesty, this break will be a great time to throw myself into my 3rd full-time job: finding an internship.

I know numerous companies will be posting internships and coming to campus in January, and I want to be ready. I have had some great mentors show me how they researched companies, and I know I am up for the challenge. Even better, a few weeks without class will allow me to research more companies and follow-up on networking emails.

No one ever said business school was easy – good thing I love a challenge 🙂

The break will give me a chance to rest, recharge, start researching companies and see my family and friends back at home. I know that next semester with Strategy, Finance II, Marketing II and Operations II will be here before I can blink…so let’s get my last three finals out of the way!


Happy Holidays!

Light Up The Lake (after thousands jumped in for the M!ch!g@n Game)

It’s Cold Outside!

Columbus has had an unseasonably warm winter this year (luckily, for those of us who aren’t polar bears!), but we’ve still had plenty of 30-40°F  weather. Since it’s still December, I expect there will be more of that to come… 🙁

The first few days of cold, I bundled up every time I walked the short walk from Gerlach Hall (where my classes are) to Mason Hall (where my GA appointment is located). Alisa, living up to her moniker of resident Fairy Godmother at Fisher, saw me bundling up on my way out of Fisher and saved me (as usual!) by leading me into the tunnel system.

The Fisher campus is gorgeous, with beautifully designed buildings and classrooms. A brilliant architect – to whom I will be forever grateful – connected all these beautiful buildings with an underground tunnel system, so everyone can access any building without stepping outside! I no longer have to worry about the cold (or the rain!), thanks to these awesome tunnels!

As if that wasn’t great enough, the tunnels are decorated with pictures of the Fisher campus in various stages of completion. Here are some of my favorites:

Fisher Campus


Fisher Campus (1997)


Fisher Campus, 1998


Mason Hall (1998)
Mason Hall (2000)

(If you’re curious about what the Fisher campus looks like today, you can take a mini virtual tour here).

These tunnels have saved me on many a rainy and/or cold day.. and the beautiful pictures of the Fisher campus are always an added bonus!

2012 Fisher MHRM Internal Case Competition

On November 9th and 10th the Fisher MHRM program held its third annual Internal Case Competition. This year, the Case Competition was sponsored by Rolls-Royce. During the competition, the participants were required to research a real problem, formulate solutions to the problem, present and articulate appropriate solutions and defend the solutions to top executives. I was lucky enough to team up with the brilliant minds of Tricia, Emily and Ashley.

Tricia, Emily, Me and Ashley

Day one of the competition, we were introduced to the problem by the executives from Rolls-Royce and we were given an opportunity to ask questions. After gathering the information, we went to our assigned break out rooms to begin brainstorming. We all threw out initial ideas and then narrowed them down to the agreed upon three best solutions. We had so much fun throughout the first day. We took plenty of breaks to laugh, relax and eat!  (Thanks to Neesha Hathi for the awesome food!)  After 12 hours of working and re-working our ideas, my team was ready to go home and sleep!

Day two, we were back to Gerlach Hall bright and early to present our ideas to the judges. My team was the second to present in our designated presentation room. When the first team came out of the room wide-eyed and speechless, I have to admit, I was intimidated. What could the judges have possibly done or said to cause that response!? We walked in, greeted the judges and began our presentation. After Tricia introduced the first slide, the judges started to ask question after question. Then it hit me. We were not going to be able to give the presentation as we originally planned.

The judges turned our presentation literally upside down by asking us to start with our last slide. My team was resilient and adaptable to the situation and we did our best to present all of our ideas in our limited time frame. We were rattled but we answered all the judges’ questions. What truly kept our team on point was the support that we gave to one another. If there was ever a question one of us could not answer, another teammate stepped up to help.

I had a wonderful team and we had so much fun competing, despite the stressful, nerve-wrecking, intense situation. Fortunately, my team was chosen as the winner for our room! We received a Rolls-Royce leather portfolio, a $50 gift card to Amazon, and obviously, bragging rights. The Internal Competition was the weekend before my birthday, so along with the delicious chocolate cake that my teammate, Emily, made for me, winning was a great birthday present!

Check out my Flickr for pictures from the event!

This past Monday, the winners of the MHRM Internal Case Competition were invited to lunch with Senior Associate Dean, Stephen Mangum.  It was an opportunity for all the winners to give feedback on the internal competition and debrief about the event.  We were able to sit down and give our opinion, our takeaways and our suggestions for next year.

Also, all of the winners of the Internal Case Competition were invited to interview for a position on the External Case Competition Team.  The External Team was announced yesterday at lunch. Elaina Reinsvold was named the Captain of the External Team. Leanne Tromp, Gabe Schnall and Qin He will join her in representing OSU in the External Case Competition in February. Congratulations to all!

Time to Sprint …

While the job search certainly starts on day one of the MBA program (or even before that), the process was somewhat of a light jog until I came back to campus following my internship.

My target companies have been consulting firms throughout the program, so my core activities in the first year included practicing case interviews, attending on campus information sessions, and conducting informational interviews through networking. Those activities were targeted toward an internship until I accepted one, and then their focus immediately shifted to full time opportunities. Keeping up with networking and practice cases during my internship was challenging as my number one priority quickly became work and networking within the firm with which I interned. Fully experiencing Rio de Janeiro (my home for the summer) was also, admittedly, a higher priority.  🙂

Then second year starts …

I stepped off the plane from Brazil on Sunday with classes starting Wednesday. And while I was prepared for an important 2 – 4 months of more practicing and networking, I was not prepared for the intensity of the 2nd year recruiting process. Campus is immediately flooded with employers conducting information sessions for the 2nd year MBA students (a testament to Fisher’s career services center) which occupy plenty of lunches and evenings. They were all helpful and necessary, if for no other reason than to confirm my lack of interest in certain roles/industries, but they certainly take time. Throw 1 or 2 job conventions in (I went to the NSHMBA, or National Society of Hispanic MBAs, conference in Orlando) and you’re doubling or tripling this time commitment.

There are also just a lot of decisions to make, not the least of which being which companies to apply for! I think I only ended up applying for 10 or so, but typing up a thoughtful cover letter (which, to be good, required a decent amount of prior networking), reviewing my resume (I don’t think I submitted the same resume twice), filling out the online application and sometimes typing up an extra requirement (a few applications asked for an essay, writing sample, or online test or assessment) took me a great deal of time per application. I made a poor decision at one point and burnt an evening applying to a company with which I had done ZERO networking and was outside of my target industry (an investment bank, not a consulting firm). I was certainly not surprised when I didn’t get an interview…

And then there are the interviews themselves … one of my biggest challenges was outlining my “stories,” or office situations that illustrate my strengths and experiences. I had to know them well enough to stretch them out to 30 minute conversations (for 1 story!) or condense them down to a 2 minute answer to a rapid fire “tell me about a time when” question. This was especially difficult to formulate stories about my internship as those experiences were still marinating, so to speak. Toss the warm up practice cases, traveling and follow up emails in and … you get the picture.

I am happy and feel lucky to say it was all worth it. All of the activity helped me perform well in interviews with my top target firm and I landed a position in my top target market … Chicago!