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Career Workshops and Academic Talks

One of the perks of the MAcc program is the very large number of academic talk events, career workshops, and “lunch and learns.” Such events typically consist of a speaker, either a professor or professional in industry, a topic related to the accounting or business world, and often free lunch. Often the academic speakers are our very own MAcc professors that wish to shed light on research projects they may be working on, or a topic they were familiar with in their work experience. Career workshops often relate to interview tips and tricks, or professional certification information, while professional topics could be political, specific to a type of industry, or simply designed for the speaker to share their personal/career stories.

Today, I attended a career workshop about CPA review courses with Becker Professional Education, one of the largest CPA prep programs in the U.S. The workshop provided an overview of the test structure, a detailed timeline of the application process, and the program offerings provided by Becker. The “fast pass” accelerated prep course is even offered right here on OSU‘s campus. In addition to the breadth of information we were offered, workshop attendees received free pizza and drinks, and were informed of all the discounts we are eligible for through Ohio State, potential employers, and through Becker ambassador opportunities. The workshop definitely eased my nerves and uncertainty about the application process and prep course success rate since the CPA exam is known for being a brutal exam.

The massive amount of material I will likely be purchasing for CPA prep

In addition to the Becker workshop this week, I will also be attending a talk with Aaron Beam, former CFO of Healthsouth, a company known for a huge corporate scandal which sent Mr. Beam to prison due to acts of fraud. Today, Mr. Beam speaks across the nation about the ethical nature of his experience, and what it has taught him.  I am super excited to learn more about Mr. Beams experience from the inside since we learn about these major scandals from an external perspective in the classroom. I will be sure to post details after the event tomorrow!


Columbus gives back

Columbus is a unique city full of great restaurants, of course a large academic community, sports teams, you name it. But this city is also full of service and giving back to the community in pretty extreme ways. Today was a special day for service: The Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon. This event consisted of either a half (13.1 miles) or full marathon (26.2 miles) and included a total of around 18,000 participants! Proceeds for the marathon went directly to the Children’s Hospital mentioned previously and each mile marker of the course shared stories of terminally ill children struggling to fight their disease. There were opportunities to not only run the race, but to volunteer, cheer on the runners, watch, or simply give to the cause. I had several friends run the half and full marathon today and were able to aide the cause. I think I will attempt to train and participate next year!

This the course map for the Columbus Marathon

Another huge, annual event that I was able to participate in this past summer is Pelotonia. In this event, participants bike a designated number of miles with a team or peloton through Columbus and the city outskirts in the fight to end cancer. The bike routes had several mile categories to accommodate all types of riders-I did 25 miles to start out for The Ohio State University team. 100% of all donations and funds raised go to The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center for cancer research. This event was by far one of the most amazing service events I have ever completed and I hope to be a part of this cause going forward. The event was in August this past year, with donations and fundraising ending this month. The check presentation ceremony in which the final monetary value raised is scheduled for November 5th. Last year they raised around $12 million and I am confident this will be beat this year.  Watch this video to learn more about the cause and join the fight to end cancer. Until next time guys!

 

 


Close one book, open another

Well, the first session of my life as a MAcc student has come to an end believe it or not. The seven week structure of classes definitely seems to fly by versus my time under the 10 week quarter structure. While I was feeling completely overwhelmed with taking five classes at once and balancing my work as a graduate teaching assistant, I was able to pull through with success! I think what helped me the most amidst my busy schedule were my fellow MAcc students.

Having two required courses together as a program, MAcc students were able to get to know each other, bounce ideas off one another during group work, and struggle together if we came across a tough problem or case study. Being in a group of students that were in the same boat as myself allowed me to feel comfortable asking questions of professors or among other students if I did not understand a topic. I think such behavior is easily applicable to the business world. If you are struggling with a task or project at work, struggling alone will get you nowhere. You can always benefit from asking questions or putting together multiple minds in order to solve a problem.

The diversity within a group is also key. The MAcc program is full of students who did not necessarily study accounting in their undergraduate careers. We have those who studied political science, music, psychology, and many other topics not entirely related to the business world or accounting. I think such variety provides a wide range of perspectives when approaching a case study or group assignment. It allows the group to attack the problem from multiple angles, versus following a narrow path through the eyes of an accountant.

Overall, I think the real message here is that we have to go outside of our comfort zone – we can do so by embracing diversity in teams, being comfortable with ambiguity or not always knowing the answer, and recognizing that what we learn in the classroom or in the MAcc program in my case, can ultimately be applied to real-world experiences. Given the message, I am looking forward to another fall session filled with new experiences :-).

 

Love this group!


On to round two!

Hello all,

As promised, I am checking in with more interview tricks and tips as the recruitment process progresses for Fisher graduate students. I went over my top 5 tips for first round interviewing a few weeks ago. Assuming everyone followed my guidelines and aced their first interviews ;-), we will move on to the second round interview, or office visit.

There are several differences between the first and second round interviews for full-time employment. First, this interview is often conducted onsite, or at the company headquarters/corporate office. The duration of this interview is often much longer as well, often lasting several hours, in order to familiarize you with the office, allow time for multiple interview sessions, and meet with other employees. Additionally, the second round often entails a “pre-night” event, which is often a business dinner with other associates from the company, management, and possibly your interviewers. During the first round, you made a solid impression on the interviewer, but now is the chance to really sell yourself to upper management, and prove you would be an asset to their company among all other candidates who have passed the initial screening. So far so good? Now, let’s get to the basic tips for success in the second round:

 

What we all wish we could have during an interview…

1.) Review your previous first round interviews. This allows you to avoid mistakes you may have made previously, brush up on your answers to relevant questions you may be asked, review items you want to discuss with your interviewer, etc.

2.) Dress for success: Often, second round interviews only require business casual attire. It is important to dress accordingly and avoid too casual, business casual. I feel it is especially hard for women to choose business casual clothing-there are so many options!  Click here for some tips on business casual wear.

3.) Research, research, research: Now more than ever, it is important to have a solid knowledge base on the company you are interviewing with. This will help in potential interview questions, as well as determining if you are actually a good fit for the firm.

4.) Be prepared for potential case interviewing: Often, interviewers will conduct case study interviews (either individual or group) to test your logic, analytics, and creativity. Don’t panic-just try your best and use your technical logic. There is often no right or wrong answer-they just want to see how you would break down a problem to arrive at a solution, using exemplary team skills or individual though.

5.) Ask questions and say thank you: The interview is not just for the firm to decide whether or not to hire you, it is for you to get to know the firm and staff for your benefit. Be sure to ask questions and send appropriate thank you responses.

While these tips are basic, I hope they have provided some insight and will be helpful as you progress through the second round interview. Until next time. Good luck everyone!


 


Study break fun: Perks of going to OSU

Hi all!

In the midst of exams, case studies, and quizes, one always has to find time to stop and take a breath and take one’s mind off of the stress. One of my favorite things about going to Ohio State is the wide range of fun and FREE activities/discounts provided to students. If you log on to the website for The Ohio Union, you will be able to see a list of upcoming events and can access discounted tickets/coupons (known as D-TIX) to concerts, festivals, sporting events, restaurants etc. And all you need to receive all of these perks is your BUCKID-you can’t beat that!

I have frequently received free or extremely cheap concert tickets from the Union offerings for concerts to see the Foo Fighters, OAR, and Third Eye Blind just to name a few.

 

Lead Singer, Dave Grohl, from The Foo Fighters concert!

More recently, the students were just notified of a FREE concert this week featuring OAR performing on the oval-right in the middle of campus. Several members of the band were actually OSU students before they made their big music break, some of the band is from Maryland originally as well like me.  All students are invited to celebrate a new University fundraising initiative, “But for Ohio State..” This initiative is backed by the generous $100 million donation to Ohio State by Mr. Les Wexner-OSU alum and current CEO for Limited Brands. While OSU offers tons of concerts year round-the fact that this one is FREE and right in the heart of campus is awesome! I definitely plan to be there to take advantage. Stay tuned for post concert pics!


What to expect in first round interviews

Hi again!

A a few weeks ago I mentioned that I would get back to you on interview updates now that the career fair rush has finally passed. After giving my elevator speech to what felt like 100 people, passing out resumes at both the Accounting and Fisher Career Fair, and applying for positions on FisherConnect, I have scheduled interviews with 3 companies. Typically, companies that recruit at Fisher have a two-three round interview process before issuing offers to qualified candidates. The first round (what I am experiencing right now) is of course the most important.

The first round is where you give your first impression, allows the recruiter to see how you handle pressure and if you would fit with the company’s personality/if you even have a full understanding of the company itself, and provides an opportunity to ask questions (you should always ask questions). The time frame for all of this is only about 30 minutes to an hour-not much time at all to make a lasting impression. In my experience, the type of questions asked in a first round interview are primarily behavioral-though this year I have been surprised at the more conversational interview structure so far. While I am of course not an expert or a pro at interviewing by any means, I think these 5 points have been helpful in my interview experience during my Undergraduate Career here at Fisher and so far in the MAcc program:

1. Know Yourself-be prepared to describe who you are, what you hope to accomplish, and why the recruiter should hire you

2. Know the company-understanding the company you are interviewing for seems obvious, but it is still important! I once had an interview in which the first words out of the recruiter’s mouth were “Tell me everything you know about our company.”

3. Prepare some behavioral style examples-I think it is helpful to keep track of leadership examples, milestones you have achieved, struggles, etc. so your mind doesn’t go completely blank in the interview room.

4. Dress smart-another given, but still important. As an accounting student, black suit/white shirt conservatism is a must.

5. Ask questions and follow up-Recruiters love talking about their jobs and of course remember if you follow up with them.

I know those are simple tips-but definitely a list I keep in mind during the interview process. Stay tuned for any second round interview updates! Wish me luck :-).

 


Fall in Columbus = Festival Time

Hi all!

In the midst of studying for session 1 mid-term exams (can’t believe it is already half way done), I will be highlighting some fun activities to take a study break with in Columbus during the Fall season, my favorite time of the year. Other than Columbus’s main fall attraction, Ohio State football, there are tons of food festivals, cultural shows, micro brewery showcases, and festivals solely dedicated to the autumn season. There is no excuse for being bored in this city.

One of my go-to websites I use to check up on what is going on around town is Columbus Underground. Here you can find information about new restaurant openings/reviews, events around Columbus, and local news. This past weekend was the Columbus Microbrew Festival held at The North Market. The festival cost $20 for 10 beer tastings from local breweries, and included a $5.00 food voucher for the market and a cute pint glass.

 

Sample of microbrews at the festival!

 

To ring in the fall season, I am also super excited for the Circleville Pumpkin show. At this event, you guessed it, everything is about pumpkins. Pumpkin pie, pumpkin carving, largest pumpkin contest, pumpkin parades, and my all time favorite, pumpkin cheesecake. If you enjoy pumpkin flavors, you have to be there! The last festival I will mention today is the Columbus Italian Festival. If you want to experience authentic Italian food from the local eateries in Columbus’ Italian village, you need to check this out. The festival has been around for over 30 years and continues to grow each year in terms of participating vendors and entertainment. The festival is even throwing in a football tailgate called “Italiagate” for the OSU vs. Nebraska game, as the festival falls on game day weekend. A giant TV screen will be showing the game as festival goers chow down on some delicious pasta dishes. All of the upcoming festivals and fall events are great really, I can’t wait to check them out and you should too!

 

Huge pumpkins at the Pumpkin show!

 

 


Career Fairs and Recruitment Festivities

Hi all!

This past week has been SO busy-largely due to two career fairs, coffee chats, and buckeye football. After a long weekend, Tuesday was the Accounting Career Fair. A total of 33 companies were represented at the fair, including large public accounting firms, regional firms, and corporate functions. The next day, The Office of Career Management hosted the Fisher Fall career fair. Two floors of the Ohio Union were filled with companies in search of prospective interns and full-time hires. After networking with several recruiters, I felt pretty good about the status of my recruitment thus far. I was even able to have a coffee chat with a recruiter to learn more about career opportunities.

I a lot of my networking/recruitment expertise to my time in Fisher’s undergraduate program. There are so many resources available to prepare Fisher undergrad and grad students for career fairs, including but not limited to the always needed resume updates/reviews, and mock interview opportunities. The available recruitment tools were even molded for graduate students or any type of student in Fisher. (Check out this link to learn more about student resources within our career management office.) Interviews should start up later this month for first round selections. This week was short and sweet but I will try to fill in the gaps this next week once recruitment hype has a slight lull until interview start ups. Wish me luck!

 

Interviewing Spoof

 

 


Grad School vs. Undergrad

Hi again!

A little over a week has passed of the MAcc program and I already feel like it has been in full swing for months-it is flying by. Today’s post will highlight some of the differences I have noticed between my undergrad experience and MAcc that I have noticed so far. There are A LOT of differences…which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Change is good! While I am sure there are more changes/differences I will come across here are just a few that popped out to me this past week.

1. Quantity of work: It is MUCH higher

2. Students are motivated to work hard which means group work is much more productive

3. Graduate school is more of a career, in a professional, challenging sense.

4. Diversity. Students come from a wide range of majors, cities, & even countries.

5. Exclusive access to recruiters. Specific recruitment events are planned for JUST graduate students. 

While I am still adjusting to the new MAcc schedule and the differences above, having everyone on the same page has been super helpful. I know this year will pay off immensely. As the career fair (s) approach, displaying the MAcc program on my resume has given me more confidence in itself. Recruiters are genuinely excited to hire students from our program.  For student resources related to the Fisher Fall Career Fair, check out this link. I will keep you posted on career fair activities later this week. For now, I will leave you with this cartoon I came across which stresses the importance of a degree these days :-). Until next time.

One of many grad school cartoons I came across while surfing google.



Orientation, Week 1, and Quarter to Semester Shenannigans

Hello readers!

First, I want to introduce myself. My name is Delainie and I have just begun the journey through the Master of Accounting program this past Wednesday. This past June, I graduated from Fisher with a BSBA in Finance and chose to take a fifth year of schooling to earn my MAcc. I must say it feels like another world walking into the graduate programs building versus the four years I was walking through Schoenbaum and Mason Hall (the undergrad business buildings). Though I am sure I will accidentally walk into the Mason computer labs to print something in the near future…

But back to MAcc details…As I mentioned I have just started classes as a MAcc student. The plan as of now is to focus on a finance and audit track. The program is extremely flexible in the sense that I only have 4 required classes! (This works out to about 78% of the degree made up of electives.) I definitely recommend checking out our curriculum structure to learn more about the customization benefits. Such benefits are excellent for a girl like me, who at the end of her degree wasn’t ready to grow up just yet and wanted to explore all of her options in the world of finance and accounting.

Orientation for the MAcc program was packed full of events! We met our advisor, career consultant, and several professors to get a feel of how the structure of the program was going to work. As someone who is used to a quarter academic schedule, I must say it was quite a shock to hear our semesters were going to be split in half (two sets of 7-week classes).  But, I was ready for a change though and to be on the same time frame as other Universities nationwide. In addition to meeting the graduate staff, we were able to tour the stadium and press box, meet recruiters, participate in team building events from 50 feet in the air, AND were provided with free meals all day!

 

View of the field on our tour of the Shoe!

After orientation came to a close, I was ready to start class! For session 1 of Autumn semester I have a total of 5 classes-much different that the quarter schedule course load! Here is my schedule of courses:

1. AMIS 6000 Management and Control

2. AMIS 6200 Financial Reporting

3. BUS FIN 6211 Corporate Finance

4. AMIS 7500 Audit

5. AMIS 7400 Tax 1

So far, I am loving the professors for all of my courses and the groups we have formed for case studies! We will see how the rest of the semester plays out. I apologize in advance for the length of this first post … I will try to condense my rambling for future posts :) That is all for now!

 

 


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