Prospective Fisher MAcc students for AU 12: A winter quarter recap and chance to ask questions!

Can you believe it?  This is the last post you’ll read from me during Winter Quarter!  And unfortunately, that means my posting days are quickly running out too…The LAST winter quarter post will be dedicated to a brief recap of, you guessed it, winter quarter.  But first, I wanted to extend an opportunity to all of you.

By this point, many of you have been accepted to OSU and are planning on joining the Buckeye network in a few short months.  Many more of you may still be considering applying.  During my last quarter at OSU, I’d like to dedicate a bunch of my posts to the specific questions that you have!  So – leave me some comments with exactly what you want to know…which classes to take? what organizations to join? where to eat on High Street? where to live?  Anything and everything is fair game, and I’ll then dedicate a post to it!  Don’t leave me hanging here guys – ask away!

Now, on to winter quarter.

We kind of got spoiled in that it wasn’t brutally cold the entire time.  Sure, we had cold days and rainy days, but it definitely could’ve been worse.  For those of you coming to Ohio, you’ll soon find out this weather is kind of to be expected – and by this weather, I mean the kind that you wake up and have no idea what season it is.  Ohio is always unpredictable.

I took an Entrepreneurial Finance class taught by Professor Berk Sensoy (Finance 844) and really enjoyed it!  I’ll start by saying it wasn’t what I expected, in that the focus was on large companies and how they interact with angels/venture capitalists, but there were some smaller companies discussed too.  The material was interesting, and Professor Sensoy did a great job leading class discussions.  I’d recommend this class if you have any interest in entrepreneurship!

I also took a strategy course with Professor Jay Dial – I’m not sure what the graduate course number is though.  I had to take it as a capstone class for my undergraduate degree (since I’m in the BSBA/Combined MAcc program).  He does teach it at the graduate level, and told my undergraduate class that the MBA version is essentially the same.  I would definitely recommend taking this class – it expands your views and challenges your thinking process on a daily basis.

I had a lot of fun doing two indoor triathlons at the RPAC.  One of these was put on by the OSU Triathlon club, and they do this every year.  If you’re a triathlete or even just curious about the sport, definitely check this out!  It’s all time based, so you don’t have to worry about not being able to finish.  The second triathlon was the John Glenn Friendship 7 Indoor Tri, put on to honor John Glenn’s trip to the moon.  It was also a ton of fun, but I don’t think they’ll be hosting that particular tri again.  Rec Sports at OSU always does such a good job of putting on events though, so you’ll definitely be able to find something fun next winter!

Well, I have two finals today that I’m going to get back to studying for.  Hard to believe that I’ve only got one quarter left in the MAcc program.  You’ll quickly find that time flies in the program – enjoy it while you’ve got it!  And remember…comment with questions that you have or with posts that you want to read about!  I want my spring quarter posts to be exactly what you want and need to get ready for an excellent year at Fisher and Ohio State.

Duties of a Graduate Assistant

School is expensive.  We’re all looking for scholarships, right?  Well – Fisher MAcc has plenty to offer, especially if you look in the right places. For those of you who have applied and will be applying, you’ll be glad to know (if you didn’t already) that Fisher automatically considers you for merit-based financial aid.  Some financial aid is offered in the form of Graduate Assistantships (GAs), and are awarded to candidates based on the strength of their overall application credentials, relative to the rest of the admitted student pool (e.g. GMAT, grades, references, etc.).  They provide a waiver for a certain percentage of your tuition and fees, as well as a monthly stipend.  In exchange, you maintain solid academic standing and work for Fisher.  This post is dedicated to one job you might hold if you receive a GA position – assisting with Ohio State’s undergraduate Intro to Accounting course.

Helping with Accounting 211 or 212, the two introductory accounting courses required for all business majors, comes in one of two forms -(1)  Serving as a lab instructor and (2) Serving as a case writer.  I’ve had the pleasure of doing both, so I thought I’d give you some insight on what each entails.  This way, if you are a GA working with 211 or 212 you can make an informed decision about what you’d prefer to do.

1.  Your life as a Lab Instructor

Working as a lab instructor puts you in the classroom with 40 undergraduate students.  You’re in charge here, and will interact with your students twice a week.  You’ll have two classes, each of which will meet once a week – currently it’s one on Tuesday and one on Thursday, unless you’re a 212 instructor (you have two different classes on Friday).  I’m not sure if this will change under semesters though.

You won’t actually be teaching the course, but you will review major concepts that they’ve already covered in lecture.  So what’s your role?  You teach the labs.  Students work on four phases of an accounting case that helps them learn the basics of accounting – what a payable is and how it works, how loan payments and interest are treated, how cash flows relate to the income statement and balance sheet, etc etc etc.  As a lab instructor, you introduce the students to the cases and then help them when they get stuck.

You’ll also be responsible for grading the cases when they’re submitted, but you’re given a very thorough grading rubric to follow.  It takes a little getting used to at first, but once you get the hang of it it’s not bad at all.

Teaching students can be really fun.  Sure, at times you’ll get frustrated but you know that you’re never alone.  The professors in charge of the course are behind you 100% and make sure that if you’ve got more help and resources than you’d ever need.  It’s a good experience – especially if you ever want to teach full time.

2.  Your Life as a Case Writer

As a case writer, you’ll actually be writing the cases that are used in the 211 and 212 courses.  There are fewer writers than there are instructors, but that doesn’t mean you should assume you won’t be a writer if that’s what you’re interested in!  Case writing gives you a little bit more flexibility than working as a lab instructor, but it comes with entirely different demands and expectations.

You’re expected to put at least 10 hours in each week – this is easy if you’re not suffering from writer’s block.  There are a few cases that need revised and updated, but your primary responsibility will be creating entirely new cases.  You can make these up from your imagination, or meet with local businesses to create a case based on their experiences.  This can be a lot of fun, but again, can add a whole new element of stress.  If you work with a local business, there will certainly be facts and figures they are not comfortable releasing, and you will need continuous communication to ensure that they are comfortable with your writing.

There’s always the chance that you may be asked to help grade assignments as a case writer, too.  You attend the weekly meetings that the Lab Instructors go to so you’re in the loop for what’s going on in the classes – this is necessary in case you have to grade, but also so you can see what students are having trouble with in the course.  What better way to make sure that your cases are written clearly and appropriately than to listen in on direct feedback?

Case writing can be very rewarding.  Your cases will likely not be used until after you graduate, but you will be acknowledged on the case itself each time it is used.  How cool is that??  Case writing can be frustrating, as you may run into writer’s block or have to wait for professors/your contact/etc to find time to edit and approve what you’ve written.  But, in the end it was a job I really enjoyed!

Over the next few weeks and posts I’ll detail some of the other GA responsibilities you may have.  Check back regularly to see what else being a GA at Fisher has to offer!

A life-changing experience – Join the Buckeye Student Riders



Community service is an integral part of the MAcc program – you can get in with VITA, preparing tax returns.  FisherCares offers a multitude of opportunities to fundraise and give back.  And trust me, these are just the first two of many that pop into my head.

There’s a relatively new way to give back at Ohio State though, and its the way that I’ve chosen to devote my time and resources – Pelotonia.  Pelotonia is a bike ride (not a race!) that raises money for cancer research here at the James Comprehensive Cancer Center.  100% of every dollar raised comes back to the James, which is an incredible feat.  Pelotonia is giving patients all around the world new hope in their fight against cancer.  Further, the ride is fully supported…this means its an all you can eat, all you can drink, “we’ll fix your bike if you have an issue” kind of ride.  Pretty sweet, huh?

At Ohio State, we have Team Buckeye, and specifically the Team Buckeye Student Riders (of which there is a specific Fisher team).  This team offers students a multitude of benefits, such as a reduced registration fee and lower fundraising minimums.  Its a great way to join a group of students who all have one goal.

This year (Pelotonia 2012) will be my fourth year riding in the event.  Over the years, I’ve seen riders of all skill levels – from those with training wheels to those that live and breathe in spandex.  There’s definitely room for you to ride, and its a great way to connect with the Fisher community while giving back in a meaningful way.

For more information, also check out the Team Buckeye website (and specifically the student team).  There’s certainly a way for you to get involved if and when you choose to join the Ohio State community, whether you volunteer, donate, or ride 25/50/75/100/150/180 miles in the fully supported ride itself.


A group of us at the lunch break. Check out our awesome Team Buckeye jerseys!



We Love You – So Come Enroll!

Valentine’s Day was last week, and I hope you all had a wonderful time.  Whether you went to dinner with a special someone, received a beautiful bouquet of flowers, or treated it like any other ordinary day, I hope you had a great time.  Here at Ohio State, we love you, and we’d love to have you look into the Fisher MAcc program.  If none of my previous posts have convinced you to apply yet, I’m hoping this will.  Because today I want to just share with you how much Ohio State loves each of us, and highlight one professor in particular.

First of all, check out this video that Dr. Gee sent out to all of us.  How many universities can claim such an awesome video, sent on just one day just because?  Sure, many places have recruitment videos and the like that are similar to this, but this was for students already enrolled.  And check out how involved Dr. Gee is in all of it!  How cool is that!?  Yeah, Ohio State loves us.

Now, I said there was one professor in particular I wanted to talk about.  If you apply, are accepted, and come join the Fisher MAcc program, you’ll have the distinct pleasure of interacting with and learning from Dr. Anil Arya.  First of all, he’s hilarious.  Yes, he’s a professor so you’re going to learn, but he makes it fun in that he’s not afraid to pick on himself (or perhaps a student, if the opportunity presents itself).  Second, his examples are clear, thorough, and relevant.  Third, he’s genuinely interested in making sure that you learn, and is very clear about why he assigns what he assigns.

So – how does he fit into my Valentine’s Day post?  Check out what he sent us, on Valentine’s Day.  If this doesn’t convince you the Fisher MAcc program is a winner, I don’t know what will:

Dear kids:

Having been born in a country where three-quarters of the marriages are still “arranged”, it is no wonder I forgot to note Valentine’s day in class yesterday.

So, Happy Valentine’s day to each of you.  I hope you have a nice day, and I know you will also make sure your friends in class too (from distances near and afar) have a wonderful evening.

See you tomorrow.

Sincerely (or is the appropriate sign-off “love you” on such occasions?),

This is pretty much how his class is!  This e-mail is obviously genuine and he communicates his concern for each of us, but it’s done in such a comical way that I can’t help reading it over and over.  I told you, both Ohio State and its professors love us!

Places in Columbus You Must Visit — The Book Loft of German Village

Books hold a special place in my heart.  Wait – let me clarify, books that are not textbooks hold a special place in my heart.

We talked the other day in one of my classes about the e-reader trend, and I so hope it never totally catches on.  I love being able to hold a book and turn a page.  I love the way the paper smells.  Perhaps most of all, I love going to bookstores and getting lost for an hour or two (or three or four), just seeing what all is out there that I could be reading.  This post then, is dedicated to the greatest bookstore in Columbus, and quite possibly all of Ohio/the Midwest:  The Book Loft.

Are your eyes watering yet? No? Better keep reading then...

The Book Loft is located in German Village on South 3rd Street, just a few minutes drive from campus. Right next door, you can grab a cup of coffee from Cup o Joe, which only enhances your book browsing experience…seriously, trust me on this and try it.  If Starbucks is your preferred brewer there’s one of those across the street too.

Inside the Book Loft, you find yourself swimming in 32 rooms full of books.  32 rooms.  32.  Whoa.

A peek into the many rooms of the Book Loft

Each of the 32 rooms has a different theme, ranging from Cookbooks to Youth Fiction to Nutrition to Business/Economics to – well…you get the idea.  And the selection of books within each room is incredible.  I’ve always found the book I’m looking for, and then some.

As you can imagine, 32 rooms can be difficult to process.  If you notice in the picture above, each room and hallway has a map in it that tells you exactly what is in each room and how to get to that room.  The map is hanging directly to the right of the “Bargain Fiction” sign.  Additionally, there is always helpful staff that are waiting to guide you where you need to go.  I swear they have computers in their heads…not only do they know the store layout, but they know where every book is.  It’s incredible!

Finally, all of the books are sold at for at least a small discount.  Typically you’ll find them for 5% off the publisher’s price, but every time I go there are different books that are selling for a steal.  Take for instance what I saw on Saturday – Malcolm Gladwell’s What the Dog Saw in hardcover for only $6.99.  Retail on that bad boy is roughly $19.99, I think.  So yeah, you’re going to get some good deals.

Well, if you love books (or even like them a little bit), what are you waiting for?

Get to the Book Loft!

This is me - I was very sad to learn how little my car is worth. At least I was at the Book Loft!

I Gave it A Tri :: The Ohio State Indoor Triathlon

This past weekend was the (fifth?) annual Ohio State Indoor Triathlon.  Contrary to what you may think, the event is open to anyone, and is set up in such a way that literally anyone can participate and have a good time!  I decided to give it a “tri” this year, and am so so incredibly glad I did.  You should try it next year!

You start out in the pool.  When you register, they ask roughly how fast you swim, so you get placed in a section of swimmers that swim a similar pace.  I am by no means a swimmer, so this was comforting for me.  Further, you get your own lane!  I didn’t have to worry about getting in people’s way, or slowing down anyone who might be faster than me.  And the nicest part about the swim?  Its only 10 minutes long.  That’s right – you swim as long or short as you want, using any stroke you choose, in your own lane, for only 10 minutes!

Next, you have 10 minutes to walk upstairs to start the bike portion.  Again, really nicely done.  You simply tell one of the volunteers your name, pick out a stationary bike, and then when the clock starts ride for 20 minutes.  You can choose any resistance that you want, making your ride as hard or easy as you’d like it to be.  They have music playing in the background, or you’re welcome to listen to your ipod or play on your phone!  And the volunteers walk around and cater water and Powerade to you….service at its finest!

To finish off the day, you are given three minutes to stretch out after your bike before you begin the run.  The run is 15 minutes around the indoor track in the RPAC.  You run in a group of 10 people, so the track is by no means crowded.  Again, you go at your own pace and run as long or short as you want.

The entire event was really well done, and I wish I had done it in my undergrad days here.  I’m so glad I finally got the chance to “tri” it (had to do it one more time), and definitely recommend you do the same!  There will be another, shorter indoor triathlon on February 19th as well – this one celebrates John Glenn’s flight on Friendship 7.  You know I’ll be there – will you?

Ask and You Shall Receive…Probably!

In an earlier post, I talked about how awesome it is that being in the Fisher MAcc program allows you to take a multitude of courses, both in and out of the accounting department.  As a MAcc student, you can enroll in finance, HR, operations, and even math classes if you really wanted to!  During my last quarter, I really wanted to take advantage of this and selected an operations class to take.  However, when I attempted to enroll in it, I received the dreaded “Could Not Add Class – Prerequisites Not Met” error message…

I emailed my adviser to let her know my dilemma.  Luckily for me, she assured me this was by no means a rare occurrence, and that I should simply email the professor teaching the course and ask for permission to be enrolled.  As long as he gave me the okay, I could be added to the class!

I emailed the professor, explaining the situation and asking for permission to enroll in the course.  I included some background information in the email as well, which I would recommend doing if you find yourself in this situation.  What kind of background information did I include?

  1. Why you are interested in the course – Thoroughly read the course description, then explain exactly why you want to take the course.  Maybe its directly related to the field in which you hope to work, or maybe its a topic you know you’ll never get to experience in the real world but find incredibly fascinating.  Be honest!
  2. Look at the prerequisites in detail – Once I realized I hadn’t taken MBA 850, the prerequisite for this course, the first thing I did was go look at the course description for MBA 850.  As I read, I realized it sounded fairly similar to a course I had taken in my undergraduate days.  When I emailed the professor, I told him about the course I had taken in undergrad, so he could use that to evaluate whether or not I would be prepared for his course.

I was extremely excited when I got an email back from the professor, letting me know he’d be glad to give me permission to enter his class.

SO – as a MAcc student, you truly do have every opportunity to take the courses you really want to take.  Sometimes, you have to work a little bit harder to get into those classes, but that makes it more fun.  This really is a case of ask and you shall receive!

The Pros and Cons of South Campus Living

Gerlach Hall, home of the Fisher graduate programs, is basically as far north as you can get on Ohio State’s campus.  I’m sure you know its located on Lane, which is essentially campus’s northern bound.  A lot of grad students thus decide to live up north, or at the beautiful Fisher Commons.  Some students even live as far north as Clintonville (a mile or two off campus)!

However, there are a few of us crazy enough to live on south campus.  As in one + mile south of Fisher.  Why, you might ask?  What could possibly drive us to live so far away?  Here is a list of the pros and cons of living on south.  And you can trust my advice – I lived there for my undergraduate years, too.

Let’s get the cons over with first…

  • If you want to live on south and stay west of High (which I would recommend…east is where a lot of Greek Life is), the closest you can get is 10th Avenue.  This will require a roughly 0.8 mile walk to Gerlach on a daily basis.  That’s not exactly short, so you’ll need to plan ahead and give yourself enough time to make the trek.
  • You will need to invest in a good pair of walking shoes.  And boots.  The walking shoes will be necessary in Autumn and Spring Quarter, when its nice out.  Often, sandals won’t make the cut.  In the winter, when there’s snow galore, you’ll want a really nice pair of boots to keep your feet warm and dry during your walk.
  • Once you leave for the day, you’re gone.  It often doesn’t make sense to walk to and from your apartment throughout the day, so when you leave for class in the morning, take food/homework/etc to keep you moving all day.  That way, you only have to hike it once.

Now that wasn’t so bad, was it?  Let’s talk pros!

  • South campus offers some great deals on apartments.  For being on campus, I have a dishwasher, a washer and dryer, a room that’s bigger than my room at home, and my own bathroom (I have three other roommates, so this is awesome)!  Further, I really don’t pay all that much more than a lot of my friends that live north or east of High.
  • South Campus Gateway and the Short North:  I live right down the street from the South Campus Gateway, which is awesome.  A lot of Fisher grad students will end up spending time here and in the Short North, so while getting to class is rough, getting to social activities is a breeze.  The South Campus Gateway is filled with restaurants, bars, and a movie theatre, and the Short North has fantastic restaurants, bars, and a monthly gallery hop.
  • When the weather is nice, the walk is awesome.  It’s really relaxing to start your day off with a relatively long walk, and the walk home can be a great way to reflect on everything you did during the day.  Yeah, you can do this when its raining or snowing, but it’s really great when there’s sun out.
  • Access to the Olentangy Bike Trail and the Jessie Owens South:  This could be true for those who live up north (except the Jessie Owens North), but I personally believe that access is still easier on south.  This makes your goal of getting and staying fit much more of a reality!
  • Grocery stores abound!  If you live up north, you’ll probably have to take a bus to the grocery store.  On south, you can still take a bus to Giant Eagle (on Neil, Fifth, North High, or the Market District in Upper Arlington), but you can visit the new and improved Kroger on 7th and High.

In sum, I love love love living on south campus.  Sure, there are times that I wish I lived up north for the convenience of getting to Fisher.  In the end though, I have really loved living on south and would definitely do it again.  Leave some comments if you have questions about living on south – I’m happy to answer!

What I Wish I Would’ve Known Autumn Quarter…

This post title is a little misleading.  There are a lot of things I wish I would’ve known Autumn Quarter.

I would have really liked to know the answers to my exams.

I wish I would have known exactly where in the FASB Codification to find what I needed to find.

BUT, if I had known those things, my Autumn Quarter would have been pretty plain.  So what I really wish I would’ve known relates to each and every class I’ve taken, am taking, and will take.

I really wish I would have known that participating in class is actually really fun.

I went in to Autumn Quarter a little bit afraid to voice my opinions and answer questions.  I’m not sure if I was worried about looking stupid or what, but I was a pretty quiet student.  For whatever reason, I felt like speaking up during the first few weeks of Winter Quarter.  And seriously, it’s been working out really well for me!

I find that by actively participating in class, I’m enjoying my classes a lot more.  I’m more motivated to dig deeper into the material so I can contribute to the class, and I’m more likely to challenge certain points that my classmates and professors make.  I’ve actually found that I have to spend less time studying too, probably because I’m paying much closer attention while in class.

The nice thing about the MAcc program is that you’re able to take classes with more than just MAcc students.  Participating in these classes lets you engage with MBAs and other students that definitely have different experiences than you.  This is a great way to talk with people who have real world experience, or if nothing else, will make you justify your views in a safe, academic setting.

If you’re one of those students that was like me, aware of what’s going on in the classroom but hesitant to join in – step up!  I really think you’ll have a better experience in your classes if you get a little more engaged.  Comment back and let me know (a) what’s holding you back and (b) if you agree that participating makes class more fun!

It’s National Spaghetti Day – Celebrate!

I can’t help it.  I love posting about National *Insert Food Here* Days.  First I posted on National Coffee Day.  Next up was National Cupcake Day.  I now have the distinct pleasure of helping you celebrate National Spaghetti Day right here in Columbus!

First of all, who doesn’t love spaghetti?  There are so many ways to eat the stuff and it can easily be prepared at home or found at a restaurant.  I will share one recipe with you so you can try it at home, but I’ll also give you a few places in Columbus to go get your pasta on!

Let’s start with the restaurants…

  • Piada:  I love Piada.  Think of it as an Italian version of Chipotle.  You walk in, get your noodles (or salad or piada, which is sort of like a burrito!), look across a bar to tell the staff what meats, veggies, and sauces you want, then go sit on modern, wooden furniture to enjoy.  There are tons of options…in terms of meat you’ve got chicken, Italian sausage and salmon, to name a few.  The sauces include pesto, a spicy tomato sauce called diavolo, a delicious red pepper pesto, and of course traditional marinara.  I guess this technically isn’t spaghetti, but it’s close enough!
  • Cafe DaVinci:  This is a great little cafe located a few miles off campus in Upper Arlington.  It was once a full sized restaurant, but the owners decided to downsize and relocate.  They continue to serve great tasting Italian food at very reasonable prices.  I would highly recommend checking this place out.  Their spaghetti is great – especially if you follow it with some of their homemade gelato!
  • Mama’s Pasta & Brew:  I’ve actually never been here, though I’ve walked by it plenty of times.  Located on High Street (okay, technically it’s right off of High St) this is an incredibly convenient place to get some spaghetti.  It’s as much of a hole in the wall kind of place as I’ve ever seen, which means it must be good.  Not to mention I always hear incredible things!
  • Noodles and Company:  Noodles is really not unique to Columbus at all, but it’s still a tasty place to grab a bowl.  There is a Noodles on campus (Lane and High), making it one of the easiest options to go to celebrate National Spaghetti Day.

    It may be a chain, but it sure tastes good!
Now, on to the recipe…  This is a great way to celebrate National Spaghetti Day in a more non-traditional way.  It technically isn’t spaghetti, as in the noodle made from flour, but spaghetti squash.  Yep, a vegetable.  But it looks like spaghetti.  It even feels like spaghetti!  And of course, you eat it like spaghetti.  Check out the recipe for Spaghetti Squash Pesto here and let me know what you think!
Is your mouth watering? Mine is!
And with that, I’ll leave you to some happy fork twirling.  Enjoy!