How to Have the Best Start to the SMF Program

Hi everyone! My name is Claire Hinkle, and I am just now starting my fourth week in the SMF Program at Fisher. In the first three weeks, I have taken a final, met with alumni, had several case discussions, completed a workshop with our Career Management Counselor, and am now beginning to ramp things up in the First Session Core Classes. So, while the undergraduate students have just finished syllabus week, we in the SMF program already feel at home here at Fisher. However, I realize that just a few weeks ago I was nervous to start the SMF program. So, here is some advice on how to have the best start:


I know this seems obvious, but when you are entering a program where there are people from completely different backgrounds than your own, it can be incredibly nerve-racking to be outside your comfort zone. It can be awkward at first, but what makes the SMF program so great is the learning that takes place outside of the classroom. As one of the few Americans in the program this year, I have learned so much about different cultures from my classmates, and I have had the pleasure of explaining the rules of American football. 

2) Stay On Top of Your Coursework from Day 1

The pre-term Financial Analysis and Valuation class goes by quickly. If you do not stay on top of your assignments and readings, they can build up and lead to anxiety if you put them off. But, if you budget time each day outside of class to work on things, this can save you from being overwhelmed. Even if an assignment is simply reading or preparing for a case, it is worth putting in the effort. Professors in this program treat us like the highly-qualified, intelligent graduate students that we are and expect that you are prepared for each class, so it is essential to take ownership of your own education and prioritize it.

3) Live Columbus, Don't Just Live IN Columbus

While I just recommended that you spend time outside the classroom on schoolwork, this does not mean you should be working all the time. I have spent most of my life in Ohio, yet there is SO much that I have not explored within Columbus. There really is something here for everyone to enjoy. If you are like me and love sports, there are professional and collegiate sports to watch, or recreational teams to play with. If you love concerts, there are music festivals and huge artists that come through Columbus all the time. There are outdoor trails, great coffee shops, incredible restaurants, cool bookstores, and trying new things is the perfect way to make friends with people in the program. 

Choosing the SMF program at Fisher was the best decision for me, and I cannot wait to see what the rest of the year holds! Go Bucks!