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The Stages of Semester No. 2 – MAcc

 

The first semester of grad school in the MAcc program at OSU leads directly into the last. It’s a whirlwind where, just when you’ve settled into the rhythm, you remember you only have 3 or 4 months until graduation. Frightening moments from senior year flash back every once and a while and you feel the need to grab the closest paper bag and breath into it.

The collective class will realize some truths as the final semester begins. You’ve settled down faster than you did as freshmen, entering graduate school is not like starting the first year of a bachelors program. You have people who you genuinely like seeing casually and would be willing to vouch for professionally. You have a good idea of when professors are in their office, how to find them if they aren’t, and how late they’re willing to respond to e-mail.

Some less poignant things you may have learned include:  the best and worst times to find a parking space (including what time the ROTC students leave so you can snag that spot right up front), which restaurants within walking distance have the best specials on Tuesdays, you have gained an excellent understanding of the underground tunnels which protect you from the frigid weather that sometimes decides to overcome the city, why it is or is not a good idea to jump into Mirror Lake, and which chairs are bolted to the floor in the classrooms and by now you have probably stopped trying to push them in.

You know what is expected of you now. You know which events you have to go to and which events you really should go to (which is as many as possible because they’re all awesome). You know that you will be an excellent alumnus and you secretly hope that you’ll get invited back for alumni events. The MAcc program is something that you’re proud that you will complete and, if it wasn’t already, it has for you become an experience which has allowed you to develop a deeper understanding of your craft, lasting relationships with truly fantastic people and the idea of the program has ceased to be simply a program or degree and has become so much more.


Winter at OSU or How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Snow

This is a special blog post. What follows is meant for those of you who will be coming from sunny places and know little to nothing of winter in Ohio.

Snow has finally reached Columbus, much to the joy or dismay of the students, faculty and staff.  The relative beauty of such an occurrence seems to be directly correlated to a few factors. The love one has of snow can, most often, be extrapolated based on the  amount of time one spends scraping ice off of their windshield. Another factor to consider in our little study is the number of winters such a student has spent in similar conditions. Experience can limit error and reduce stress but so can a few helpful hints from a seasoned veteran of the frozen onslaught of the fluffy white stuff.

From someone who grew up in Ohio and who has spent the past 4 years living in the snowiest county in Ohio (which is NOT near Columbus so don’t worry too much) here are a few tips to conquer winter in Ohio.

CAR

1) Own an ice scraper and PUT IT IN YOUR CAR. 

I would actually recommend that you have 2 scrapers. This way if you are not alone you can make your travel companion help you. Additional helpful gadgets are the keychain ice scraper and the extendable ice scraper (A must have for the SUV, Truck or Van driver). The only time you should use a credit card or drivers license to clean a window is under extreme duress.

2) De-Icer Liquid and PUT IT IN YOUR CAR

There is a spray you can buy which helps to de-ice your windshield and it is an AMAZING emergency tool. You can also purchase windshield wiper fluid which contains de-icer. Both are cheap and can become EXTREMELY helpful.

3) Start your car early AND TURN ON THE HEAT

Start your car before you need to leave and allow yourself some extra time to clean your car so you are not late for class. If you’re going to scrape off your car, start the engine, turn the defroster (the setting that looks like bacon in a little square) on full blast all the way to the warmest setting. This will help to a) warm up your car so when you get in it isn’t freezing and b) loosen the ice on your windshield.

GEAR

1) Boots and Socks - Invest in some rubber or winter boots and nice thick socks. Alpaca and wool are good options and there are many places which produce these locally!

2) Coat and Hoodie - For the coat I would suggest wool or something that makes you look like the Michelin Man. Whatever you choose make sure that the wind can’t get through. For the hoodie, go for an OSU hoodie, the OSU Bookstore has some GREAT cold weather selections.

3) Gloves, Scarf and the Fluffiest Hat You Can Find  - I’d stick to Scarlet or Grey! You’re going to want them when you sit through the OSU-Michigan game! 

HOUSE

1) Shovel - get a snow shovel, this may also be used to dig out your car or in a particularly frustrating moment, remove snow from your car.

2)Melting Salt - If you have a sidewalk, driveway or porch this is helpful and can get some of the ice off of your walkway.

The most important thing about this preparation is that each of these items or actions allows you to fully appreciate the beauty of winter in Ohio. The snow is beautiful, making a snowman in the oval is tons of fun and if you’re daring enough to jump into mirror lake before the OSU/Michigan game, you’re going to want a nice warm coat to put on once you’re done. Those who have never spent a winter in snowy weather say it’s like nothing they’ve ever seen. Seeing winter through they eyes of my classmates from warmer climates is like seeing snow for the first time all over again.  Winter is not impossible, it’s not even all that hard. Winter in Ohio just take a bit of forethought to make it successful. Snow can be beautiful and seeing it upon waking up can become a joy rather than a burden, as long as you let it!

 


Visiting Fisher – MAcc

I had several choices when choosing a MAcc program. The programs were good but in retrospect not quite as good as Fisher. Of the three programs I applied for, and was accepted to, I visited two. When it came down to it, each school was equally affordable and relocating would be an equal hassle. My decision was purely based on the quality of the school and the fit of the program. My visit to Fisher made that decision for me.

A visit to Fisher is planned so that you get a taste of what the program will be like. You meet professors, students and you can sit in on a class. The resources available in the career management office are like a god-send for someone who comes from a small private college in the middle of nowhere with a two person department. With on-campus interviews and easy scheduling, the idea of job hunting while in school did not seem so frightening. The tiered seating classrooms and meeting rooms with large flat screens for group work were impressive. The facilities were perfectly conducive to a learning environment in which I felt I could flourish.

While the resources that Fisher offered were excellent, it was the indescribable feeling of fitting in that was present while on campus. I showed up to my campus visit early. Classes were in process and it was still early in October and winter’s chill hadn’t set in yet. I sat outside of Fisher Hall after buying a cup of coffee from the Rohr Café and I could see myself walking between buildings. I didn’t feel as much like a stranger in a strange land, campus felt familiar.

When it came to the actual visit, my host was amazing. The student ambassador who led me around Fisher left no stone un-turned. She answered every question I asked and even the ones that I didn’t. For me, that visit was my decision. I decided that, if I got in, I would choose OSU.  I haven’t for one moment regretted that decision. If you have the opportunity to visit campus, do it. Visiting campus is the best way to know if Fisher is right for you.


Pre-Nights and Recruiting Events

You hear all about the importance of how you conduct yourself at an interview and how to put together a perfect resume but one of the most important things you can do when going through the job interview process and in applying for jobs is to go to the recruiting events and pre-nights held by firms and companies. I made a point of attending every event that my companies of interest held and it really helped me get to know the recruiters and people from the company and most importantly I learned more about the company itself.  Firms that I had only a fleeting interest in became my top choices.

Attending recruiting events allows you to learn more about a company in a more relaxed environment.  Mixers, recruiting events and pre-nights are all very important for Fisher MAcc students and I would never discount any of them as “simply a dinner” or “just an event”.  Every dinner, party, recruiting event and career fair is an opportunity to learn more, get noticed/remembered and to find the company that is the right fit for you.

Another point of these events are so that the interviewers and recruiters and members of the company can get to know you better. Together you can begin to discover whether the company is a good fit for you. It can’t hurt to get that extra exposure and when it comes to interview decisions and job offers you will be remembered.

My favorite recruiting event was attending a baseball game with Plante Moran. They took a group of us to a Clippers game at the beginning of the semester so that we could get to know more about the firm and more about them.  I got to know the staff at Plante Moran and as an added bonus we had first row seats right along the first base line!


OUAB in the Kitchen – Graduate/Professional Student Activities

OUAB in the kitchen – BBQ

Ohio State University has many entertaining offerings beyond the Fisher campus even for the serious, and seriously busy, graduate student. One can easily become absorbed in their own program and in the rigor of recruiting and academic work or research. It is acceptable and encouraged to engage in activities on and off campus. OUAB, The Ohio Union Activities Board, arranges events specifically for graduate and professional students. These events are timed appropriately for our programs and vary in area of interest and even location. OUAB has events ranging from Kickboxing to Happy Hour. Many events are exclusive to graduate/professional students. I chose my first OUAB event as the OUAB in the Kitchen – BBQ. OUAB has arranged a series of interactive cooking classes, in a variety of topics and cuisines, which allow the busy grad student to take a break, get to know people outside of their discipline, and to just participate in a fun campus activity.

Held in the lower level of the Ohio Union on campus the OUAB in the kitchen classes are taught by a well trained staff. Not the best at–home –chef? Not a big deal, the class is very fool proof. Ingredients are measured out for you and a combination of live demonstration along with personal help from the head and sous chefs and good old fashioned team work will keep you from ruining your meal. You get to eat what you cook and take home leftovers so this is a particularly delicious event to participate in, choose wisely though! In general, you are limited to 3 OUAB Kitchen classes per semester.  I chose to go to the BBQ class where we made BBQ chicken, jalapeno corn muffins, baked beans and banana cream pie.

My group consisted of graduate students from all disciplines and we had great time. My partner and I were in charge of making the banana cream pie and if I may say so, it was delicious!

 

Chef Marc was great. He helped us out, gave great tips, and made sure we did not ruin our dinner.  The room was full of lively conversation throughout the whole class and everyone was enjoying themselves. At the end of the class tables were pushed together and arranged with real china and silverware for a family style meal to enjoy the food that we had all cooked.

I would definitely encourage anyone to try and sign up for an OUAB in the kitchen event! You are even allowed to bring a non-student or non-graduate student guest as long as you register them along with yourself. In addition to guests there are some classes which are open to families and are kid-friendly. The popularity of these classes has led to an increase in topics, class times and overall number of events. Snatch up a spot while you can before the class fills up!

Click HERE to see a list of Graduate and Professional OUAB events for Fall 2013.


Moving to Columbus

Not from Columbus? Not from Central Ohio? Not from Ohio? No problem! Columbus is a city eager to please and with a generous learning curve to ride while acclimating yourself to a new environment.

I grew up in a rural area of Springfield Ohio about 45 minutes southwest of Columbus near a small artsy little town called Yellow Springs (definitely worth the day trip if you’re interested!).  I completed my undergraduate degree at Hiram College in rural northeast Ohio, about 45 minutes south east of Cleveland.  My knowledge of Columbus started with the fastest way to get through/around the city to get to Cleveland and ended with the general location of the Columbus Zoo with few auxiliary details in-between.

Fisher College of Business caught my eye the summer between my junior and senior year of my undergraduate degree. While visiting, not only did I fall head over heels for Fisher’s MAcc program and the opportunities it offered, I fell in love with the city of Columbus.  So this person who had always lived in the middle of nowhere decided to pack up her things after graduation and haul a carload of memories and very uncomfortable high heels to a 3 bedroom house in Grandview Heights, a community located about 2.5 miles from Fisher Campus.

I started looking for places to live 3 months before finding my roommates and our house in Grandview Heights. I live with two OSU Veterinary School students who are both in their final year and will graduate along with me in the spring of 2014. Finding roommates for me was unconventional. I lucked out and they found me. I did plenty of searching before that opportunity came around though!

Trying to find an apartment for the first time is hard enough now add on top of that the fact that most students are not from Columbus, many are not from Ohio and some are even from different countries. The staff at the Fisher Graduate Programs Office was extremely helpful.

Using their own experience with the city they helped me to familiarize myself with the area before I started my search. I found Columbus to be a city that was easy to get to know. The apartment owners I spoke with were kind, accommodating and patient. Rent was pretty standard across the board and each landlord was relatively transparent and even went so far as to give me an idea of what bills would be. As someone who was terribly naïve concerning “living on your own in the real world” it was wonderful to have so many resources and kind people available to me.

Columbus is a city begging to be explored. I have only been here since
May and already I have been to a Clipper’s game, found the best taco truck in town, explored OSU’s campus, wandered the German Village and eaten a giant cream puff from Schmidt’s. I have even found a hole-in-the-wall restaurant to get some amazing and cheap Thai food and a little Chinese grocery that carries all the things I miss from my time abroad. I have my own secret places in Columbus now! You’ll have to keep reading the blogs to discover them along with me.

I am so glad that I chose Fisher and Columbus to become my new home. If given the choice I would pick Columbus all over again and I would definitely recommend it to any considering the move.



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