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Much more than classroom knowledge

Fisher has great faculty and staff whose contribution to the wonderful fisher experience is priceless. In here, I would like to highlight just a few of the many people who made my 10 months in the Fisher College of Business MAcc program a memorable one.

Patrick Turner – I spent all three quarters learning from Pat. Aside the “academic” knowledge gained from him, I learnt a lot from Pat as he shared his personal experiences with us. I was particularly encouraged by these two things  he shared with us:

1. It takes an extra effort to succeed amidst all the pressure and stress in public accounting. What distinguished him from others he worked with was his resilience.
2. He always made an effort to have dinner at home with the family so he could spend time with his wife and children. He will then continue his work later on in the night when the kids are in bed. For me, this is one of the most creative ideas I have ever had about managing one’s time. Thank you Pat.

David Williams – I walk to class feeling tired but the moment class begins, I feel refreshed. This is what the atmosphere created by Dave did to when I took his class (corporate financial reporting) in the first quarter. If you are to ever meet the personality of Dave you would know what I am talking about. His approach to lecturing is phenomenal. One thing I picked up from him is this: get what you have to get done appropriately and in time but don’t make those around you feel pressured so much so that they panic. Be jovial but be serious.

Anil Arya – I took Arya’s class in the most stressful school session I have ever had but I always had a smile on my face every time I sat in his class (Foundations of Accounting). Learning about the moments shared with his wife, his tremendous e-mail response rate, and his powerful sense of humor impacted me greatly. My take away from him is this – make time for the people you care about; spend time with the people you love and do your best to help others reach their full potential.

Samantha Schnitzer and Kaylin Ward – From responding to mails through chatting and spending time with students to putting together programs and activities; Samantha and Kaylin have taught me what it means to work with passion. Do what you love doing and be sure to give your all are the words that would keep on ringing in my mind every-time I hear the name and think about Samantha and Kaylin.

Alisa McMahon – If you have ever heard the phrase – a smile speaks a thousand words- then stop by the GPO office and Alisa would show you what that means. Work and happiness is one thing I am taking away from Fisher, courtesy of Alisa. Don’t let the pressure take away your lovely smile.

To all the wonderful people I wasn’t able to highlight, know that I cherish and admire each and everyone one of you. I love you all.


These people, they changed my life for the better

The very first day I walked into Gerlach Hall last September and met the men and women I was to spend the next 9 months with in class, group meetings, and various activities, I was unsure if it was going to be the kind of experience I was hoping for. But as I write this today, I can confidently say that my colleagues in the MAcc class of 2012 are awesome people. Though we came from different backgrounds, we quickly embraced the culture of teamwork which undoubtedly resulted in building lifelong friendships.

Personally, I made friends who corrected me and drew my attention to flaws in my character; friends who encouraged me during my down moments; friends who were willing to go every extent to make sure I felt comfortable in my new environment; friends that opened up their homes to me so I felt at home; and friends I will remember forever. The lovely people I spent the last 9 months of my life with have definitely changed my life immensely – my outlook of life, understanding American culture, learning about different cultures and ethnicities, and what it means to respect other people. Thank you!

If you are an incoming MAcc student or considering applying to the Fisher MAcc program in the future, know that you are in the right place. I don’t know how the admission committee gets all these wonderful people together, but it’s something they do every year. The people in Fisher – especially the MAcc class – are/were awesome.

I wish all my colleagues the very best in all their endeavors.


Be A Team Member!

One for all, all for one!

So soon, the class of 2012′s last and final quarter in the MAcc program is here. While some may regard this as pleasant, others may linger in the shadow of not having to see all these lovely people for years to come.

Silence is normally the most popular companion just before an exam in universities, where the moment is regarded as solemn and a bit stressful, but that was not the case just before one of our finals last (winter) quarter. It was amazing to see almost everyone chit-chat with someone just before the final exam. It was as though there was nothing to worry about. This, to me, portrays the number of friendships built over the course of just 7 months.

Reading through a passage from the Life Application study bible, I came by a profound truth which I would like to share with you. It says:

Cooperating with others has advantages. Life is designed for companionship, not isolation; for intimacy, not loneliness. Some prefer isolation, thinking they cannot trust anyone. We are not here on earth to serve ourselves, but to serve others. Do not isolate yourself and try to go it alone. Seek companionship; be a team member.

The message is clear and straight to the point. I only seek to add this – If you have not established friendship with anyone in your program yet, this is the time to do so. I personally think there are so many lovely people out there; find one and befriend one.

I pray we are all able to smile at the beautiful sunshine every morning. All the best to all who have the spring quarter as their final – finish hard!!!


Do you have “a passion”?

Many use the word rather loosely but not many of us have been able to relate to it very well. It’s beneficial to know and understand the true worth of passion. If i may ask, “What is your passion?”

We celebrate our parents, family, friends, history makers, colleagues for what they’ve been able to achieve but fail to realize that the very thing that led them to success was their ability to find their respective passions. It is not rare to find people in the latter years of their lives regretting the careers they chose. One is  unable to comprehend why it took someone so many years to realize he/she never had an interest in something. The truth is that while we point accusing fingers, many of us do the same.

If we take the time off our busy schedules to look within, in order to locate the bearings of our passions, I am confident we will all be successful in our chosen fields of study and career. Just take a moment and ask yourself that one question: What do I love to do, what do I do with the best of my ability/strength, what intrigues me, what makes me want to wake up every morning?

The answers wouldn’t come in a day but once you begin to consciously reflect on this, the wind would stop tossing you back and forth.  It is even more true when it comes to recruiting. Your most powerful tool (competitive advantage) in any interview is your passion – it cannot be hidden. One interviewer put it this way: “the only difference between two candidates in an interview is the passion.”

 

The will to win; the desire to succeed; and the urge to reach your full potential …

these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence (Confucius) 


My MAcc year so far…

“Today’s accountant is expected to know more and do more than ever before. To be successful, accountants must demonstrate critical and analytical thinking, teamwork, leadership, and be effective communicators. Fisher’s MAcc program can give you the tools and training to get you there” (Fisher, 2011).

During this period, there are many out there who are yet to make one of the most important decisions that will shape their career path. Many questions rage on but one that I would love to answer is this: Is Fisher’s MAcc program what it says it is?

I enrolled in the MAcc program because I was convinced by what I read on the school’s site. Looking back, I have no regrets. With just a few days to end my 1st quarter in the program, I would like to give you a candid account of my experiences so far.

Critical and analytical thinking – Learning from world class professors who make you challenge every thought process will inevitably make you into an individual with good critical and analytical thinking skills. I worked as an auditor prior to my enrollment in the program where I used these skills a lot. However, examining my own thought process now makes me know that something more has been added; something has changed: I think and analyze differently – and more effectively.

Teamwork – If you don’t like working in teams then brace yourself to move out of your comfort zone. From an undergraduate program where team work wasn’t the norm, it’s been extremely beneficial having to learn how to work in teams about 60-70% of the time. As an accountant (esp. an auditor) – or in any field for that matter, the importance of teamwork cannot be overemphasized. This is exactly what Fisher works at: helping to make you a person who functions efficiently/effectively in a group and not only when you work alone.

Leadership – No group functions effectively without direction. To have direction, you will need a leader. Interestingly a “shadow” leader emerges for every single assignment even though every member of the group takes ownership of the task. We all accommodate the strengths and weaknesses of others but when it is time for the group to capitalize on your strength, you lead and drive the group to success. Leaders serve others and are blessed!

Drive your team to success

Effective Communicators – Aside writing papers, presentations are much a part of most courses. Also, the rich diversity in the MAcc program provides the enabling environment to help sharpen your communication skills to be understood by both the native and foreign students (see class profile). Other opportunities such as writing blogs will help you improve your communication skills.  You would have no excuse to graduate without a significant improvement in your communication skills. You will learn and will be an effective communicator.

The MAcc program has lived up to and beyond what it says it is. I will not hesitate in recommending any of Fisher’s programs to you. Choose the program you are passionate about but pick Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University.

Proud to be a Buckeye


 

 

 

 

 

 


Interestingly Different

You must be kidding me! My brain has thought more of these words than any other word since I arrived in the United States.  Sure you would say the same by the time you read through this blog. There are some really amazing differences between the American and Ghanaian culture which I would like to share with you. Enjoy!

  Wait a minute! Is this for lunch? With the Ghanaian mentality of lunch being more of rice dishes, I had a rude awaking when I decided to go to a function where lunch was to be provided on an empty stomach.  To my utter surprise, I had a “snack” for lunch! Most Ghanaians eat pizza as a snack but never as a meal. Surprising isn’t it? This is variety # 1.

Where can i have goat meat in the US? In fact, where are all the goats? Every restaurant or food vendor in GH is sure to serve “goat meat” (as it is affectionately called in Ghana). It is a delicacy in most homes. Goats are even reared by some individuals in their homes and seen all most everywhere in the country. See how beautifully someone dressed his/her goat in the colors of the national flag! Coming over to the states, I had and still have one question: Where is the “goat meat”.

Also, I have been thinking. Do I have to pay for every single space my car occupies? I can’t remember ever paying for parking anywhere on campus or at most banks, shops and restaurants, etc. Almost all commercial establishments have free parking available for customers.  However, the sight of the parking meters and the sound of coins being dropped into them lets me know without doubt that I am in the United States.

It’s wonderful biking to class here but try riding a bicycle on a Ghanaian university campus. Every eye would stare at you as if you’ve committed the greatest crime ever. Legs are preferred to the two wheeled machine; no kidding! You have 4 options:  Walk, Run, Drive, or use the University Shuttle Service. We will end it here with difference # 4.

Now! To honor the rich diversity at Fisher, I will be glad to share a bar of premium Ghanaian Chocolate with anymore who is able to answer all the questions that follow accurately before viewing the answers. Here we go!!! (Try it under a minute)

  1. If an electric train travels from East to West, in which direction will the smoke travel?
  2. How long have you been walking under the sun?
  3. A little boy was rushed to the hospital after being involved in an accident. At the hospital, the doctor shouted; “Oh my son!” The doctor was not the father of the boy. How would you explain it?
  4. When a cock lays an egg between the US and Canada, which country will own the egg?
  5. Two fathers and two sons went out for dinner. They were served three pieces of pizza. Each had one. Explain.

We all got a lot to learn from each other as we prepare for the global world. Diversity as encouraged by the College affords us the opportunity to be present on each continent whiles in the US.  My free advice: Take very good advantage of it.

 “The future belongs to those who prepare for it today.” –  Malcom X

Answers

  1. Electric trains don’t produce smoke.
  2. It simply means. What’s your age?
  3. Doctor was the mother.
  4. Cocks don’t lay eggs
  5. It was a Grandfather, father and a son (grandfather is the FATHER of the father thus the father being the SON; then the last two -FATHER and the SON)


What I would have done differently to prep for the GMAT

I am unable to boast of a high GMAT score but I am well positioned to offer some advice on how to make the most out of the exam.

Many worry about getting high scores but spend little time preparing for it: Sadly enough, that was my mistake!

Let me walk you through my mistakes. If you learn from my experience a stepping stone to a very high score awaits you.

Wrong Timing

 I decided to take the exam in my final semester whiles pursuing my undergraduate degree. I had a dissertation to complete and other requirements to fulfill as a senior. In spite of all these pressures, I thought I could pull a fast one by sitting for the GMAT as well. This adversely affected the number of hours committed to study and thus my preparation as a whole.  My advice: Do it when you know you can make enough time to study. It is critical!

Don’t rush

Prepare adequately.  That’s my simple advice. I committed little time and effort as I prepared for the exam. I had to take it quickly and get it out of the way so I could concentrate on my academics. I used barely 2 weeks to prepare; I just don’t know what I was thinking. You can tell I wasn’t being realistic, right? But sadly enough, many of us make the same mistake.

Be true to yourself

Know thy self and be true to yourself.  I need to read to get things right unlike others who may not even need to read at all. Just know your strengths and work on improving your weaknesses. Develop your own personal approach. Review various websites, course preps, blogs… and you will be amazed by the amount of information out there. Commit enough time to do your research before you buy any course material. Everyone is different and thus will need a different approach.

  Easy but not easy

It may look very easy when you start reading the books but from my perspective, don’t under estimate the exam. It is involved and you will need to prepare very intensely no matter how easy it looks. It takes approximately 4 hours to actually sit for the exam (including short breaks). Make sure you practice sitting and engaging your brain actively for 4 hours before exam day.  I know I made silly mistakes because I was exhausted after 3 hours. You can do better!!!

Update your knowledge about the exam and its structure.

The next generation GMAT is scheduled to take be administered from June 2012. Here is the current structure of the exam. Read more about the exam from links provided at the end of the post.

What’s your plan?

If you really want to get into that business school you have always wanted; if you want to be proud about your score; if you want to be as happy as a chick that comes out from an egg shell then study hard!!!

Discipline, commitment and hard-work will get you this:

More information about the exam can be found on these websites:

http://www.gmac.com/gmac

http://www.mba.com

http://www.collegedegreeguide.com/articles-fr/gmat.htm

You can also spend some time reading about many more experiences

http://www.manhattangmat.com/blog/index.php/2009/06/10/all-about-the-gmat/

 


A worry lost forever … a lesson from Summit Vision

High on a pole, about 30 ft, you see friends making sure they have their grips on, ready to hold you and lower you gently to the ground so you don’t fall and injure yourself. In the event you are about to fall, a hand grabs you to help you stay on your feet; when the strength within you wavers, they cheer you up to go beyond your limit regardless of your race or skin color.

From the Kotoka International Airport, Ghana, I flew to a place I have never been. Tired and weary, I arrived safely in the United States.

In a room with of over 75 students I could not locate an “image” of myself; I was the only African present. I asked myself many questions: “How am I going to survive? Is this the right decision? Or should I have just stayed in Ghana?” Lifting my head and looking across the room, my thoughts were dismissed with the gleaming smiles from my colleagues. All I could see were wonderful people who wanted to know more about you and your passions, people who rather admired you for taking that bold step out of your comfort zone to take on the challenge of being in a new environment. I then realized that my self-imposed worries started to fade.

A day after, I smile knowing that my worries are long gone. Having different people, from different backgrounds, races, etc. willing to help you accomplish a dream was extremely overwhelming in a positive way. At Summit Vision (part of MAcc orientation, outdoors high ropes courses that helped us develop problem solving abilities and working in groups, etc.), I imagined I was back home in Ghana but then I appreciated that fact that I was, in fact, in Columbus (US) and not Anyaa (Ghana).

At Summit vision... Team 4 in Spanish

On the top of a pole, about 30 ft, I relived my vision from the first day of orientation – White or black; Asian, African, European, American; we are one and together we can make it.



The content and opinions expressed on this site do not necessarily reflect the views of nor are they endorsed by The Ohio State University or Fisher College of Business.