Class Dinner Time!

One of the things I love most about the SMF program is the diversity of our students. Last Friday, the SMF Council organized a dinner to celebrate the culmination of our capstone class. During the capstone class, all the teams were able to develop an equity research report about a company of our choosing. Two Fridays ago, all teams presented their final report to a panel of professors and the entire class.

SMF Capstone Presentation

That same Friday, the Fisher Indian Association was celebrating Diwali Night. One of the SMF students, Sowmya Mikkilineni, introduced me to this beautiful dress (see picture below).

Kurti dresses!

Our initial plan was to attend the SMF dinner and then head over to Diwali night at Fisher. The SMF dinner end up taking longer than planned—it had been a long day presenting our equity research reports. However, we were able to take a group picture with everyone before they headed home!

Group Picture at Tadka

Big shoutout to Sowmya and Jayaprabha for being kind enough to introduce us to all the exotic dishes. We ordered so much food but I’m really glad we did!  The food was truly delicious.

I look forward to our next group dinner soon!

Ferny

Planning and CFA

Hey everyone!

I am back to blogging again! I mentioned I would talk about how planning helps us in grad school. Developing time management and planning skills is particularly useful especially during the holidays. This year many of my peers traveled back home to spend Thanksgiving with their families. Thus many teams had to plan ahead how our schedules would look like, what times would be best to meet, before or after the holidays, dividing up the work, etc.

One thing that was particularly helpful in our planning process was the development of a project management plan. I was given the opportunity to develop a project management plan following a template that we were provided after one of our speaker’s presentations. In this project management plan, we assigned tasks to each member of our group would be responsible for and set deadlines to complete each milestone of our projects.

CFA Planning

I have been amazed by the level of effort, skills and diversity of knowledge that peers bring to class every day. I asked a couple of my peers preparing for the CFA and CFA Research Challenge to share about their experiences. This is what they said.


Joey Nguyen, Interested in Investments Track

How has your experience been getting ready for the CFA exam?

Since I’m taking it in December, while we are overloaded with a lot of projects and I also have to work on the CFA research challenge, I just think I would try my best for the exam. Everything you learn in the exam materials is what you need if you want to work as an equity analyst or break into investment management.

What are some takeaways of studying for the CFA?

Two things I learned from the preparation for the exam: first is stick to your schedule because it’s a big commitment, and second is being patient because you might have to take one level more than one. So just do it when you are really interested in asset management. One good thing is that 70% of the materials for level one will be covered from all courses in Fisher.

How has your experience been preparing for the CFA Research Challenge?

I have applied what I learned from class to a real investments project, also to work and to think as a real analyst. Bloomberg and modeling are two big key skills you can leverage from the classes while working. You also have to read a lot and try to find the key points (conceptualize it), learn where to start while reading a 10K and spot out the company’s problems. The CFA society also asks the company selected for the challenge to give a presentation about their company to all the participant teams so we need to know which questions we should ask to make them disclose some unique information.


Rizvi Bari, Interested in Investments Track

What are some takeaways of studying for the CFA?

I would say start as early as you can and do a lot of practice questions. I’m still trying to find more sources, but I think the professors are good resources. Working closely with the CFA institute helps a lot as well.


Jayaprabha Dhavale, Interested in Investments Track

What advice do you have for someone who is thinking about taking the CFA?

Personally, as I was already working, I studied on weekends only. Many of the topics were not as hard but some topics were new. Topics covered in the Financial Analysis Valuation class are covered in the exam. Regarding planning, I’d say you have to have a time line such as finish studying equity by this date, derivatives by this date.


Thank you to my peers who collaborated on this 😊

Cheers and Go Bucks!

How to Become a Time Management Ninja

Happy Fall, everyone! The temperature is dropping here in Columbus but some beautiful fall colors were seen these past few weeks!

Fall at Ohio State campus

I was recently advised to blog about how my experience as a student-athlete has helped me as a finance graduate student. That gave me the idea to write a post on what skills will help you be successful in grad school and detail along some specific examples where these skills are put into play in the SMF program. So here it goes!

In my first post, I mentioned used to be part of the Ohio State University tennis team when I was an undergraduate. During my time as a student-athlete, I found myself juggling school, academics and life in general. Life as a student-athlete is very busy, especially during the season when you are playing two matches per week, sometimes even either at home or away, or when there is a tournament happening out of town and you have to miss class for a whole week. Also, the more your team wins, the more days you will need to take off school to play matches if you are playing a tournament. Therefore, you learn to use every minute of your time productively.

I was thankfully able to begin to develop my time management skills back when I was younger, as I used to juggle tennis, school and life since I was 11 years old when I started traveling for tennis tournaments and would come back home to catch up with school.

Time management skills developed in my earlier years are definitely helping me with my responsibilities between school and being a graduate assistant. I would share to anyone applying to graduate school that time management is something you will need to master during your years as a graduate student.

In graduate school, you are taking around fifteen credit hours per semester but most of your time will be spent working on group projects outside the classroom. For example, I am currently part of two teams for three different classes. One of my teams is working on an R (coding) project, my other team is working on our core capstone equity research project and several Excel presentations. I would say at least five hours each week are out put into group work, and that is keeping it short. Another SMF team was meeting for six hours straight one of these days. Kudos to them, seriously!

Either you run the day or the day runs you. — Jim Rohn

I was not familiar with Jim Rohn’s background as a motivational speaker but found this quote on the Internet and decided to include it in this post because it could not be more true.

Either you start working on that long assignment today or the length of the assignment will seem more daunting tomorrow. Either you read that one more chapter of the book today or are lost in class and have to read two more chapters tomorrow. Time is so valuable in the life of a business student and professional in general, that either you control it or it starts controlling you.

But what is the best way to control time, you may ask? Some might have different answers for this one but this leads me to another topic for my next blog: planning! No pun intended, but I’m planning to ask some SMF students who are currently preparing for the CFA about their experiences studying for the exam and how they are dealing with time management. Stay tuned and thanks for reading!

First Semester, Second Session

Hi everyone!

Second session classes have just started and I can’t believe it is already time for us to schedule classes for next semester. As the other SMF Ambassador Tatenda wrote in his blog, time is really flying by. It feels like yesterday when I was sitting in Gerlach 305 for our first Financial Analysis and Valuation class. During this first half of the semester, I had the opportunity to meet my fellow classmates a little bit more, participate in several networking and career fair activities as well as have some fun attending a Beyoncé concert and Ohio State football game.

Ohio State Stadium
Beyonce at the Ohio Stadium (Aug 16th)
Fisher Graduate Latino Association at the Prospanica Conference in Milwaukee, WI

As an undergraduate, I had the opportunity to make it to a football game several times and I just love the atmosphere while at the stadium. As a graduate student with more loaded schoolwork and less availability over the weekends, I wasn’t really planning on going to the stadium this semester. However, a couple of weeks ago, Tatenda was kind enough to invite me and some of his friends to the OSU vs. Minnesota football game. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed being at the stadium and experience a football game.

I LOVE the school spirit here at Ohio State, especially when it comes to sports!

When I first arrived to Ohio four years ago, one of the things that impressed me the most about Ohio State folks was their love for football and college sports. People really get into it when it comes to college football and I can certainly understand why. Initially I had no idea what was going on, or even how the scoring system worked. Coming from a country (Peru) where soccer is the most popular sport, I really had no chance to learn about football when I was growing up. However, people from my tennis team and friends in general were really patient explaining me the rules to help me become a master of football rules. Totally kidding—I’m far from being an expert, but hey, I do understand enough to have fun while watching! 🙂

The marching band also had an astonishing performance during halftime.

As second session continues, I look forward to more learning experiences in and outside the classroom, and sharing those with all of you!

Go Bucks!

View of the Fisher Courtyard

A week before finals

Hi there!

This is Ferny again, sharing some new stories about the SMF program.

These past few weeks have been busy for everyone, as first-session finals are right around the corner. Personally, right after attending the Prospanica Conference, I came back to Columbus to take a midterm that Monday. Since then first session classes have gone by rather fast and now it is time for finals! In this post, I would like to highlight a couple of activities that happened at Fisher since the last time I posted.

During one of our investment classes, we were fortunate to receive a visit from SMF alum Nitish Gupta. Nitish is currently working at Diamond Hill Capital Management as an ETF Consultant. He shared his advice on career search, networking skills and how to break into investment management.

Nitish Gupta at Fisher

Professor Pinteris also held a professional development presentation in which he described thoroughly different career paths that we could follow within finance. This session helped students who are still undecided about which career track to follow, get a better idea of career options available for Master in Finance students. Professor Pinteris also gave great advice on what steps to follow for specific career paths.

More recently we heard from Phil Renaud, the Executive Director of Risk Institute as well as Mary Beth McMormick, Executive Director of the Real Estate Center as they presented their respective organizations and several activities organized by their institutes throughout the year.

As a side note, my classmates and I also spent a lot of time these past few weeks at the Bloomberg Computer Lab, completing assignments for our Financial Software Applications class.

Picture of SMF students in Bloomberg mode, completing the Bloomberg Markets Concept course on the Bloomberg Terminal.

Side note 2, I hope you had the time to watch the Buckeyes’ comeback versus Penn State recently. If you follow college football we have climbed up to the number 3 spot in the AP top 25 poll, beating all other Big Ten schools. As always, it is a great time to be a Buckeye!

I promise to make the next post a little longer and to share with you more stories outside academics. 😊

I hope you all have a great rest of your week.

– Ferny

Professional Networking Event and Career Fair

Hello everyone!

I started writing this post on my way to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, as I was heading out to a Professional Conference & Networking event organized by a professional organization called Prospanica. I was given the opportunity to attend the conference by the Fisher College of Business Office of Diversity and Inclusion, as well as the Office of Career Management at Fisher.

Fisher students at the 39th Prospanica Conference

This year, five master students—3 MBAs and 2 SMFs from the Fisher College of Business—participated in the 37th Prospanica Conference. The purpose of the organization is to connect Latino students and other diverse student populations with employers and recruiters from Fortune 500 companies.

All of us had the opportunity to practice our elevator pitch with many recruiters and had the chance to interview on-site. Some companies that were present during the conference were Google, Nike, Nintendo, Nationwide, Northwestern Mutual, Henkel, GE Healthcare, CenturyLink, John Deere, Federal Reserve, Eaton, among others.

The Prospanica Conference is only one of the many events that are supported by Fisher, OCM and ODI. This coming week, there is another Conference for the National Black MBA Association that I know many graduate students will be attending. I would like to thank both OCM and ODI for this opportunity, and wish all the best to students attending future conferences.

Now, I am ready to go back to campus and continue studying for my first data analysis midterm; hypothesis testing, confidence intervals and all that fun stuff.

Me for the next five days

Cheers and go Bucks!

Ferny

My journey to the SMF

Hi everyone!

My name is Ferny Angeles, I’m a current SMF student and one of the Fisher Graduate Student Ambassadors. I’m excited to share my Ohio State experiences throughout this academic year with all of you. Since it will be my first time blogging, it will be quite the adventure for me but I’m up for the challenge!  In this first post I wanted to briefly introduce myself and explain how I decided to pursue the Specialized Master in Finance degree at the Fisher College of Business. I hope you guys enjoy it.

I am originally from Lima, Peru. See picture below. If you already know where Peru is located, I congratulate you for being a geography savvy!

Map of Peru from geology.com (https://geology.com/world/peru-satellite-image.shtml)

You might have heard of Macchu Picchu, the Inca Trail or Ceviche. Yes, you can find all of these in Peru!

Machu Picchu. Cuzco, Peru

So how did I end up in Columbus, Ohio, you may ask?

I came to the U.S. about five years ago to complete my bachelor’s degree. I was very fortunate to receive a scholarship to play tennis at Ohio State. Attending OSU has been one of the most extraordinary and enriching experiences I’ve had so far. As a Buckeye, I have been able to meet many wonderful people from different backgrounds, develop my academic and athletic skills but also grow personally and professionally. As an international student with no family in the U.S., I found support on the extensive network and large Buckeye community that have made my time at Ohio State and Fisher truly remarkable. My teammates, coaches, classmates, OSU professors and the University staff definitely helped Columbus feel like home.

Picture of my team at Purdue, after capturing our first Big Ten Championship in program history (2016)

After graduating with a BSBA in Finance and Economics, I decided to come back to school and complete my master’s degree at OSU. Knowing that Fisher College of Business has one of the top Master of Finance programs in the nation, I felt like it was the right place for me to pursue my graduate degree. My past experience at OSU as an undergraduate encouraged me to apply and the wonderful admissions team made the process very smooth, answering many questions I had throughout the process. Believe me, I had a lot!

Picture of me, taken at the Graduation event organized by the Office of International Affairs (OIA)

It has been a month since the SMF program started, and I’m really enjoying getting to know my SMF classmates. We just completed our pre-term class, Financial Analysis and Valuation, where we went over concepts such as DCF, Relative Valuation, APV, as well as Start-Up and Private Company valuation.

Stay tuned for more about my Buckeye experience and SMF journey in the following weeks!