Archive for February, 2013

You need to check out Columbus Restaurant Week

A new experience I recently had was being able to go out to eat in Columbus for Restaurant Week. Restaurant Week is a week in Columbus in which you are given the opportunity to enjoy the best restaurants Columbus has to offer at an irresistible price. They are three-course meals that have prices ranging from $15-35. There are a ton of restaurants to choose from at $15, $20, $25, $30, and $35.  Click here for a complete list of restaurants to choose from.

A group of MAcc students and I decided this was  a great chance to try a place in Columbus in which we typically would not go to to eat. We choose to go to a great Italian place called Rigsby’s Kitchen. Rigsby’s is located on N. High Street in the Short North. Rigsby’s is a 26 year old Columbus dining institution, serving artisan comfort food inspired by local farmers and Italian regional modern cuisine. My Gnocchi Bolognese entree was absolutely delicious! We were able to enjoy a wonderful restaurant and they even had a piano player there for some live music during our dinner. I can’t wait to be able to try somewhere new next year!!


Fisher’s Chinese New Year Gala

The Chinese Business Club at Fisher College of Business hosted its annual celebration for Chinese New Year. This year, students from around the world helped ring in the new year with food, fun, and great performances throughout the night.

For me, being from the United States, this was a great opportunity to learn more about a culture that I know so little about. I was able to watch traditional dances from many Asian countries. A handful of performers sang some of their favorite songs and played traditional Chinese instruments.

One of the highlights of the night was when a number of students, families, and professors joined together to play a traditional game. The game not only kept the participants on their toes, but it also gave the audience a great deal of quality entertainment.

Next year I will definitely be attending the Chinese New Year celebration here at Fisher. If you are around next year, this is an opportunity you don’t want to miss. Check out more photos of the event on the Fisher Flickr Page.


Blockbuster Research in Fisher MAcc

Argo Wins Best Picture at the 2013 Academy Awards

One of my favorite courses that I have taken since starting the MAcc program at Ohio State has been Accounting Policy and Research with Professor Zach. He always finds ways to make class exciting and has a knack for simplifying complex topics.

The class primarily consists of reading research papers related to accounting topics and writing abstracts about their core content. In addition, the students were assigned into groups of four and given the task of conducting their own research project in the form of an event study. An event study is a methodology for measuring the impact of an event on the price of a stock. My group decided to analyze whether a successful opening weekend of a blockbuster film had an impact on the price of the stock of the production company. We defined a successful weekend as a movie reeling in $70 million dollars or more.

Wall Street (A Blockbuster Movie about Business)

Our results were really interesting. It turns out that, in general, prices actually go down following a major success at the box office. How can this be? We hypothesized that production companies are only a minor component of much larger entities and so despite $70 million seeming like a large sum, in reality it is small fries for the parent company. In addition, we contended that investors may be overconfident in the future success of a movie. As a result, stock prices may be inflated due to unrealistic expectations for the movie’s success prior to its release. Therefore, even a “successful” weekend may lead to a decrease in price.

This was a great experience and opened my doors to the world of practicing accounting research. While this was a very minor first step, it was certainly an invaluable experience and something I know I wouldn’t have had the chance to do outside of Ohio State.

The Fisher College of Business


The Fisher Annual Internal Case Competition: What A Blast!

 

Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to compete in Fisher’s annual Internal Case Competition sponsored by Ernst & Young.  Granted, the idea of choosing to be holed up in a break-out room in Gerlach Hall for hours on Friday night might not sound like the most exciting or glamorous way to spend a precious weekend, but I have to say that it was a complete blast.  The chance to work with some of my friends in the program that I don’t typically get to work with was awesome, and we really got into it.

The case for this year’s competition revolved around an established fragrances brand that was evaluating a variety of channel and product development options as avenues toward sustainable growth.   Since my group was made up of four dudes, and this fragrance line was exclusively for women, one might have perceived that as a distinct disadvantage, but we were undaunted.  We walked over to the gas station and loaded up on Combos (pizzeria pretzel, obviously), Sun Chips, Starburst, and an array of beverages—essential elements of any successful case competition experience—and got to work.

One notable thing about the Fisher MBA experience is the broad scope of knowledge categories that you begin to develop in a really short time.  For someone without a business background, taking classes in operations, finance, accounting, marketing, leadership development, organizational behavior, economics, and global business, all in the first year, can feel a little like drinking from the fire hose at times.  That said, now that we’re approaching the end of the first year (that’s insane to realize), it was really fun to discuss this case with my classmates and find that I was able to view the company’s position from an array of vantage points.  As we brainstormed solutions and discussed threats and opportunities through a variety of lenses, I realized something—I’ve been learning stuff!  The chance to get outside of the traditional classroom and apply that knowledge was once I won’t soon forget, and the camaraderie of competing alongside good friends just enriched the experience more deeply.  I will wholeheartedly recommend the Internal Case Competition to next year’s first-year MBA students—good times, for sure.


Thanks to Team 7

A good team makes working on projects and assignments easier.

A great team helps you keep calm when you have seven interviews in one week, two homework assignments due and a midterm within days.

Luckily, I fall into the second category! I wanted to take a quick second and thank my incredible team members: Pat, Davin, Arjun and Tracy for everything this past month.

Not only did February bring snow and cold (also some 60 degree days – thanks Ohio), but lots of interviews, projects and and team assignments.

You thought finding time for coffee with a friend was hard – try finding time on  5 calendars to meet for 2 hours. A nearly impossible task.

But, you make it work. You talk to your team and projects are suddenly divided up through emails and Google docs. You have meetings through Skype, speakerphone and more. Everyone supports one another and with some open and honest communication (and coffee if you’re me), everything is somehow perfected and turned-in before the due date.

THAT, my friends, is some FCOB teamwork magic. And I know magic, I worked for the mouse himself.

Business school is more than learning the material, it’s adapting to crazy situations and knowing how to be a leader — and a  team player. You learn how to ask, and accept, help from team-members.

So thank you to the incredible and supportive individuals of Team 7, we almost made it through another crazy term!

 


Winter blues? Head to the Short North for a taste of Columbus.

I know it has been quite awhile since I have last posted. This winter has been jam packed with five courses, VITA volunteering (see my last post), balancing MAcc group work, you name it! Even amidst the frigid weather of Columbus, I try to sneak away to the Short North for some great restaurants, art galleries, and window shopping when I get the chance. This district of Columbus, located on the outskirts of Ohio State’s south campus gateway area, is known as the “arts district,”full of quirky shops and any type of cuisine you could imagine. Rain, shine, or snow, the Short North is always a great place to venture with friends, family, or even on your own during a study break.

This past weekend, I had the luxury of heading to the new Cameron Mitchell restaurant, The Pearl. The Peal is designed to carry innovative twists on comfort foods, oyster specialties, unique cocktails, and craft beers. While visiting The Pearl, I tried the beet salad, and grilled cheese filled with brie, pear jam, and pesto. While both dishes sound so simple, they were absolutely delicious. I also tasted a Brooklyn Sorachi beer that was excellent. Beginning in March, The Pearl will start serving brunch, which I am sure will be great given the quality of the food I tried this weekend. Below are some images from my night out, including my meal. Stay tuned for more Short North adventures!

 

Delicious grilled cheese

 

Beet Salad


Super Bowl Ads and Major Market Moves

Several weeks ago, I mentioned that one assignment in our accounting policy and research class is an event study.  Our class was split into groups of four, and each group was asked to choose an event and perform a study to determine whether that event affected specific firms’ stock prices.  My group chose to study Super Bowl advertisements.  Companies spend millions of dollars for a thirty-second slot during this huge game to tell viewers that they have a great product or potentially have a new product to unveil.  If investors in these firms believe that these ads do their job by boosting future sales, the stock price of these firms should increase right after the Super Bowl.  Not only should they increase, but there should be some portion of that return that is abnormal, or unrelated to the market.

So, if investors in Anheuser-Busch saw the commercial below, do you think the firm would have significantly positive abnormal returns a few days after the Super Bowl?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2prAccclXs

It turns out they do!  I won’t get into any of the technical portions of this study, but we did find results that proved our hypothesis.  We also expanded our study to look at firms that were advertising for the first time in the Super Bowl to see if their returns were even higher.  We believed there was more of an element of surprise for these companies, and the ads possibly contained more information than ads of firms that always advertise in the Super Bowl.  Lastly, we broke our group of ads into good and bad ads based on USA Today ratings.  It would seem that good ads would have more positive returns than poorly ranked ads.  We received mixed results for our last tests, but I was really happy with our results overall.

This course, along with many others in the Fisher MAcc program, go beyond lectures and readings to allow students to get their hands dirty.  In this course, we didn’t just read research papers, discuss and then forget them.  We built an understanding of the research process that helped us conduct our own study and present it like many academic researchers.  In fraudulent financial reporting, we don’t just talk about hypothetical situations and different methods of fraud.  We actually are able to examine all different types of financial data from a sample of firms and investigate the fraud ourselves.  These hands-on learning experiences are very valuable and helpful in making the class more meaningful.

With that, we start our last week of Spring Term 1 with finals just around the corner!  To all of my classmates – hang in there, it’s almost spring break!!


2013 Buckeyethon Raises Over $600K For Nationwide Children’s Hospital

This past weekend myself and thirteen other Fisher MHRM students dedicated twelve hours of our lives to the children of Nationwide Children’s Hospital’s hematology and oncology departments during Ohio State’s annual Buckeyethon. The dance marathon took place from 8pm last Friday to 11pm Saturday with dancers choosing one of two twelve hour shifts. I chose to dance the overnight 8pm-8am shift.

As an undergraduate I participated in UCLA’s Dance Marathon so when the opportunity to participate in Ohio State’s version presented itself, I jumped at the chance. As a Buckeyethon dancer we individually pledged to raise a minimum of $100 “for the kids” at Children’s Hospital. As a whole, our MHRM group raised $4,555.13! On the day of we rounded up as much purple gear as we could and went to the Ohio Union to join our fellow purple team dancers along with all of the other students participating in this year’s event. Hundreds of students packed the union for opening ceremonies as we welcomed some of the children from Nationwide along with their families. Speakers reminded us why we were dancing, and we recognized those that were dancing specifically for friends or family members. It was then off to the ballroom to get our twelve hours of dancing started. During our twelve hours we danced, played games, met some amazing kids, made cards, colored pictures, ate, talked, and laughed.

Spending Time With The Kids

If you have never participated in a dance marathon, it is truly an amazing experience. When you are tired, your feet hurt, your back is sore, and you just want to sit down- those are the times when you remember the kids you are dancing for and the pain that they have to go through on a sometimes daily basis as they battle all different types of cancer. Those thoughts give you strength to jump up and down, keep your blood pumping through your body, and fight through the little bit of pain. Our pain is temporary, and the same may not be able to be said for some of the kids at Nationwide (and across the country fighting similar illness).

In the end, Buckeyethon 2013 raised $608,623.29! The event was absolutely incredible, and it is my hope that next year we can get even more Fisher graduate students involved.

Buckeyethon 2013 raised $608,623.29! Photo via Buckeyethon Facebook Page.


Flyin’ Solo

This past Sunday and Monday I took a trip to New York City to network and visit with contacts. The trip started out well with timely flights and a decent Philly cheesesteak in the Philadelphia airport. After 5 hours of travel, I arrived at Grand Central Terminal and decided to call my family back in Florida and finally tell them about my trip (prior to that, they didn’t know I left Columbus). I came with one bag that contained my suit, laptop, and a few research samples. The point of the trip was to meet some of my contacts in person, buy them some coffee and connect with them.

The trip was a resounding success. I had the opportunity to talk with researchers at Barclays, Goldman Sachs, and KeyBank. They gave me insights to the industry that I had not thought about and shared their story with me. Hearing how others got to where I want to be is exciting. Every person has a unique journey, and I can relate to most of them in one way or another.

Besides researchers, I sat down with someone in FX at JP Morgan. I met him on my last trip to the city and wanted to hear his story. We seemed to bond over the fact that he was from a non-core school and made it to where he is now by seizing one opportunity. He reassured me that while it is hard to get to New York from a non-core, it is possible if you work hard enough and impress the right person.

Overall, the trip was worth it and it’s time to start planning my next round.


Adventures in Venture Capital

Adventures in Venture Capital:

Over the next two weeks my entire life will center around two words. Venture Capital.  First off a group of fellow students and me are ditching the fertile plains of Ohio for the sunlit shores of California.  Every spring the Fisher Entrepreneurship Society, in cooperation with the Center for Entrepreneurship, sponsors a trip to Silicon Valley.  Once there we will meet with 7 different Venture Capital firms over a 4 day period.  It’s my first chance to move from the classroom to the board room and learn more about the Venture Capital world.  This opportunity represents an amazing chance to gain exposure to a world that has captured the mind, and pocket books, of people the world over.

The following Wednesday I join a team of top MBA students participating in the 15th Annual Venture Capital Investment Competition (VCIC) north east regional.

“At the core of the event is a creative turn of the tables. Unlike business plan competitions in which students pitch their own ideas to investors, at VCIC the students are the investors, and real entrepreneurs pitch to them. It is a very powerful learning experience for both parties. Add to the mix a dozen VC judges, and you have what the VCIC website describes as a “win-win-win.” Students learn (and win cash), entrepreneurs connect with investors and VCs get an early peek at some viable deals.”

This competition is invite only, and is the first time that Fisher has been invited to participate.  Our team has spent the last two weeks in deep preparation for the event.  After the win in the fall at Maryland’s Mergers and Acquisitions tournament, our team is hungry for more success.

Silicon Valley Firms List: Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, Canaan Partners, Band of Angels, 500 Startups, The Halo Fund, Angels Forum, Horizon Ventures, Sand Hill Angels, Andreessen Horowitz

VCIC Sponsors


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