Every year AMP (Association of Marketing Professionals) and IF (Innovation Fisher) host a marketing and innovation summit here at Ohio State. This year the event was one to remember. The lineup of speakers was incredible and the insights that were shared are sure to benefit all that were in attendance.
This year’s speakers came from a variety of industry backgrounds, yet they all contributed their thoughts and ideas on the importance of innovation for any business. The keynote speaker of the event was Brad Wolf who was instrumental in launching Nike’s latest hit product, the Nike FuelBand.
Brad highlighted the importance of really innovating towards the end consumer. If the consumer will be pleased with the product and it resonates with the brand’s current position, then it will drive loyalty and attract new segments. The FuelBand has successfully done this. I was blown away when Brad informed us that the FuelBand sold more than 30,000 units in the first 24 hours it was available. The FuelBand continues to be such a success that there is currently a 3 week back-order for medium black FuelBands. Impressive.
A few of the other speakers noted the importance of using technology to innovate and learn more about our consumers. From analyzing their buying habits in the store by tracking their carts with a gps unit to looking at their photos on instagram and twitter, all in attendance were educated on the many ways marketers can successfully innovate. It was a great experience and another reminder as to why I love being a full-time MBA student here at Fisher.
When most people think about what a career in accounting entails they typically picture auditing financial statements or filing tax returns. To be sure, assurance and tax services make up a huge component of the industry and are fantastic opportunities for development and long-term success. However, there are many other exciting ways to leverage the unique skill set developed during a Master’s of Accounting program. In this blog post I would like to describe one such opportunity, which I will be pursuing after graduation.
This past October I received an email from the accounting department at the Fisher College of Business asking if I would accept a nomination on behalf of the university for a fellowship with the Financial Accounting Standards Board. Post-graduate Technical Assistants (the formal title of the position) serve, “one-year terms, during which they become highly involved with the accounting standards-setting process and come to have an in-depth understanding of the roles played by preparers, auditors, and users of financial information.” The prospect of becoming directly involved with accounting policy and working alongside some of the top accounting minds in the world sounded like an amazing opportunity so I enthusiastically accepted the nomination. Over the course of the next six months I went through a rigorous recruitment process including obtaining a substantial letter of recommendation from the accounting department, traveling to Norwalk, CT for a final interview with the Financial Accounting Foundation, and ultimately receiving a phone call at the start of spring break letting me know that I had been selected as one of six PTAs!
As a PTA I will work on major agenda projects as well as short-term practice and implementation issues. According to the FASB, my roles will include, “analyzing written submissions received on documents issued for public comment, reviewing and analyzing published research, preparing memorandums on technical issues for Board members’ information, drafting due process documents, and evaluating accounting proposals of other organizations.” Additionally, I will, “attend and occasionally participate in public Board, task force, and other meetings pertinent to my projects.” Current projects at the Board include accounting for financial instruments, revenue recognition, leases, and many more.
The experience I will gain through my time at the FASB will be truly invaluable and provide me with a unique skill set moving forward. It allows me to apply my accounting knowledge in an unconventional way, which aligns well with my personality, strengths, and long-term goals. I am thrilled to see what the next year has in store for me and am grateful to have attended a university that gave me the education and support needed to identify & realize this opportunity.
When I arrived to Chicago last Thursday, I did not expect to see the United Center full of confetti in celebration of the Ohio State Buckeyes winning the 2013 B1G Championship! But after experiencing all 11 games in 4 short days, I am thrilled that we did it! This is our third title in just four years.
Here are some of my favorite highlights from the entire weekend:
Aaron Craft winning the B1G Tourney Most Outstanding Player
This past week has given me some time to reflect on this past year at Fisher and everything that I have learned. I have had the opportunity to meet and speak with many friends and family members that have asked me to tell them the most important lesson I have learned thus far through b-school. To be honest, I tell them that learning how to balance every aspect of life and business school has been the greatest lesson. I’ll go into specifics below.
Family – When you move your wife and 2 month old son across the country you realize that you are not the only person involved in the decision making process. For me, coming back to school to obtain an MBA was not a personal choice, it was a family choice. They have been more than supportive. With that being said, they always have been and always will be my first priority. I personally feel that in business today, too many people put dollars above family. Spending time with them and having time to play with my little boy each night helps me to focus better on my studies than I normally would. They help me realize what the purpose of returning to b-school was all about. My advice to any b-school student with a family – put your family first and everything else will take care of itself.
School -Let’s face it, grades and school are important. The costs of returning to b-school from working full time are extremely high. Knowing that, I do my best to allocate my time at school as efficiently as possible. I have also learned to prioritize my time to certain subjects and responsibilities that I have. Because of the heavy work load and demands on my time while I am at school, I have become better at managing my time. It also helps being on such a great core team that works well together.
Networking – Almost equally important as the education and knowledge that one receives at b-school is the important aspect of networking. When I talk of networking I don’t mean the cheesy guy at the bar with a beer in his hand trying to chum it up with every person that enters. Those guys annoy. I am talking about learning from those with expertise in areas that interest you. It should be a learning experience, not just another business card or email address. Learning how to network and speak with people about industries that I have no experience with has helped balance my understanding of many interesting business industries and meet many great people.
Social – If all you worry about at business school is getting straight A’s and your interviews you might go crazy. I have been able to balance my schooling with many social events and activities that help me stay sane. From hanging out with classmates at a happy hour to tailgating for a buckeye game there is always a way to take a step back and breathe. A few weeks back I was able to participate in a dodge ball event that helped raised $500 for a local charity. I have also been able to play intramural basketball with a few of the other first year MBA’s. Each week their is an event of the week that is hosted by the Fisher Social Chairs that give students the chance to meet one another and relax from studying for a few hours. These social opportunities help with mental and physical health and have been great for me.
The message of my post today is to work hard and play hard. Business school can be a very demanding time, just like any worthwhile accomplishment … but if you don’t find a balance you may get burned out. By balancing my life here at Fisher College of Business, I am hopeful that it will carry over to my career for many years to come.
A wonderful restaurant that I recently tried in Columbus was Nida’s Thai on High. It had been recommended to me from some fellow MAcc students that they had great Thai food, which I have been looking for a good place to try.
Nida’s is a great location in the Short North and has reasonable prices. They are even open for lunch as well. Nida’s is a cute comfortable environment and a great place to go with friends to eat. I recommend to make reservations or call ahead if you plan to go on a weekend night. My friend and I made that mistake by not but that just gave us an opportunity to walk around the Short North for an hour or so until we could be seated for dinner. We decided to get an appetizer to share in which neither of us have tried, we got Todd Mun Goong, which is deep friend ground shrimp. I ordered my favorite Thai dish the Chicken Pad Sew Ew – it was delicious. It was very flavorful and not too spicy (you have the option of making it as spicy as you want). I would recommend trying Nida’s Thai on High if you have not gotten the opportunity to yet. I will be going back!
I recently had the chance to sit in on a Q&A session here at Fisher with a successful entrepreneur who was willing to spend time discussing the challenges and rewards of starting and running your own business. Tom has a lot of experience in entrepreneurial ventures and continues to work with start-ups and other companies in need of capital.
Tom is currently a partner at KCP Capital which specializes in investing and consulting with digital media clients. He is also currently working as the Chief Product Officer at DashBid, a video advertising private exchange company. His past is full of great experiences within the digital and technological business field and he was nice enough to give us some of these key points of insight for entrepreneurs.
Working With Friends – He is definitely a proponent of working with friends. He said that it makes work more fun and that it is an environment that can really harness the strengths of all parties involved due to the level of comfort you have with your colleagues.
Understand the Finances – Tom mentioned that one of the most important steps of being an entrepreneur is making sure that you understand how the financing aspect of your venture will take place.
Effort -Starting a company takes a lot of effort and time. He mentioned that it is hard to focus a lot of time anywhere else than a start-up. He made sure to emphasize the importance of time management and the effort and work that is required to get a new venture off the ground.
Passion and Fun – The more you care about the product, the more passionate you will be in helping the business be successful. Tom mentioned that he enjoys working in IT and Tech industries and it helps motivate him to work more efficiently and diligently.
Dress the Part – This goes without saying but Tom made sure that we all understood that we need to dress and act the part. Early in his career he didn’t grasp the importance of his personal brand. He has since changed and emphasized his wife’s help in that category.
The first several days of my last spring break as a MAcc student were spent in Mesa, Arizona, with my dad. (One of the benefits of being in Columbus is you’re always one change of planes from any decently sized city in the U.S.) We flew out Friday evening and spent Saturday and Sunday afternoons at Hohokam Park, home of the Chicago Cubs spring training! Unfortunately (although unsurprisingly), the Cubs lost on Saturday to the Cleveland Indians in an embarrassing performance involving five, six, maybe seven different pitchers? I know, I know, it’s only spring training, but a 9-2 loss doesn’t get my hopes up for the games that apparently do matter in the regular season. But, the Cubs were able to turn it around on Sunday and beat the San Diego Padres 9-3. The sun was out, there were hot dogs and ice cream to spare, and it was a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon!
After a couple of days of baseball, we drove out to the Phoenix Botanical Garden to get some sun and see the Sonoran Desert at its finest! We saw tons of cacti as you might expect in a desert, but the botanical garden also had an herb garden and butterfly garden, as well as some hand-built shelters and tools used by tribes native to the desert. I also saw a few prairie dogs running about. If I remember correctly, the real name according to an official botanical garden sign was some type of squirrel, but they sure looked like prairie dogs to me! There were also lots of beautiful flowers among the green cacti; the one below was one of my favorites!
We spend the last couple of days soaking up the sun at the pool, as it reached the high 80’s by our last day. After what seemed like a short trip, it was back to Columbus for a pit stop before heading to Chicago for the Big 10 Tourney to get my basketball fix before the last six weeks of classes in the Fisher MAcc!
A couple of weeks ago, FisherServes held a charity dodge ball tournament benefiting Honor Flight Columbus, an organization that honors senior veterans throughout the United States. In a throwback to the playground days, Fisher graduate students from all programs formed teams of six and prepared to practice the five D’s of dodgeball: dodge, duck, dip, dive and dodge! Myself, Ashley, and Amanda from the MHRM program teamed up with Simon, Casey, and Scott from the SMF program for the Friday afternoon tournament.
Twelve teams battled to win best two out of three matches through round robin style play before heading in to playoff brackets. This design guaranteed that everyone got to play a solid number of matches regardless of wins and losses- which our team certainly appreciated. Admittedly, our team was not the best on the court. But we may have been the best dressed!
Afterwards all the participants headed out to Zeno’s, who also donated a portion of the night’s sales to Honor Flight Columbus. It was a great opportunity for students from all programs to hang out, mingle, and get to know each other a little more after the friendly competition.
The event raised almost $600 for Honor Flight Columbus and added bonus? It was an absolute blast! It did not truly matter whether your team won or lost, it was just a ton of fun to get out there and play.
How is it already the fourth term?! The MAcc students are just seven weeks away from graduation! With this last term comes new, exciting classes, and here they are:
AMIS 7784 – Tax Research:
That’s right – one last tax class! This course will allow us to take all of the knowledge we’ve gained the past three terms on corporations, trusts, estates, etc., and apply it to research questions. We’ll be developing research skills and using different tools provided by the IRS and other sources to answer realistic tax questions from all kinds of different parties. This will certainly be applicable to many of us in the class that will be starting our careers in tax.
BUSMHR 7230 – High Performing Teams:
After having a wonderful experience in managerial negotiations with Dr. Tracy Dumas, I’m taking another one of her courses on building and leading effective teams. Many of us MAcc students will be working in roles in public accounting, where it’s very important to be able to perform well in teams. This class actually reminds me of some of the activities we participated in at Summit Vision all the way back at orientation. One of the activities (pictured below), required trust, listening, creativity, and many other skills we’ve already begun to talk about in this course. I’m excited to learn more about how I can perform effectively in a team setting and motivate others to do so as well.
AMIS 7250 – Government and Non-Profit Accounting:
I can already tell that this is going to be a great class! We started out with an overview of non-profits and then began learning about the differences between for-profit and non-profit accounting. We read an interesting article on Livestrong, formerly the Lance Armstrong Foundation, and the conflicting public perception of the non-profit organization and actual use of donations. It’s important for people to understand how the money that they are donating to charities and other organizations is being used, and we’re learning how accountants can help with that process. We’ll also cover governmental accounting later on this term.
After a short first week, it’s already spring break! I’m off to Arizona for some spring training with the Chicago Cubs and then heading back east to Chicago for the B1G Tourney. Plenty of stories from this packed week to come!
As promised in my previous post, I wanted to discuss some of the interesting details and perks of Thompson library. So, here it goes.
The aesthetics: As was previously mentioned, the library was recently renovated. It is apparent the modern, sleek, yet comfortable vibe the designers intended. A good study atmosphere is essential.
The café: Thompson Library boasts its own eatery, The Berry Café. This amenity is particularly convenient when an all-nighter keeps you in the library for extended periods, whether you are looking for a caffeine burst or a healthy snack.
The top floor: If you have ever toured The Ohio State campus, you have probably already seen the views from this study getaway. Overlooking the entire campus, this room has a rustic feel that draws students in.
Some good luck: Finally, every student needs a little bit of luck when it comes to exams. Legend has it that rubbing the head of President William Oxley Thompson’s bust gives students that extra push they need to ace even the most daunting exams. The back of poor William’s head is showing the wear and tear of these loving head rubs.