Reflecting on the last nine months brings to light many memories with the Fisher MAcc program at Ohio State.
What I learned in Grad School is… What I’ve come to realize is that grad school really isn’t about technical knowledge or skills. That’s one misconception that I personally came here with. Grad classes aren’t about turning in a worksheet, doing hours of busy work each night, or cramming for that exam. In fact, grad classes are the opposite. What I once hated about undergrad classes is now what I love about my grad classes. Group projects are a blessing (that’s right, I said it). My biggest takeaway from grad school as a whole is how to better work with others. With literally almost every assignment being worked on in groups, there are many opportunities to improve your interpersonal skills.
Graduating from the MAcc program on May 5th will be a bittersweet moment for me. My college years are over as well as my time spent in Columbus. The stereotype of Midwest kindness is real; these really are the nicest people you will probably ever meet.
So, what’s next for me? Following graduation, I will move back to sunny Florida. I’m excited to connect with my family and friends that I have missed over the school year. This summer, I hope to finish taking the CPA exam (currently half-way there!!) and relax before I start working at Deloitte’s Boca Raton office this fall.
If you thought prom was over, you thought wrong. Prom is no longer just an event for American high school students, it is a social event for Fisher graduate students too! This event is a great stress reliever following a long week of mid-term exams. The event is technically referred to as “formal”, however, I prefer to think of it as prom.
A great thing about this event put on by the Fisher Social Chairs Committee is that it is for all graduate programs in the Fisher College of Business. This is a great way to get to mingle and interact with people outside of your specialized program. Programs in attendance were: MAcc (Accounting), SMF (Finance), MHRM, Part-time MBA, and Full-time MBA.
It is a great opportunity to hang out with your classmates outside of the classroom, on a more casual level. Having the same classes with the same 80 people throughout the school year, you get to know your peers pretty well. One of the many positive traits of the Fisher MAcc class is how close-knit of a group we are. Coming from out-of-state, I didn’t know anyone prior to the program orientation, which takes place a few days before classes start. The numerous group projects and social events, like Fisher Formal, really encourage students to get to know one another better. At this point in the year, we are nearing the end with about 3 weeks left of class. This is a great capstone to the end of an amazing school year at Ohio State.
The end of the school year is near, with spring break still fresh in our minds. While I went to Florida and spent time with family and friends at the beach, here are some testimonials of what a few other MAcc students did during their well-deserved break.
Haoyuan (Eva) Li – Road Trip
“During the spring break, we went on a road trip. The experience was awesome since we drove through seven states and visited five cities. Each city is different and has its own special thing. As I have never been to any of those cities, I got to experience different culture and try all kinds of delicious food.
One of the most impressive experiences during the trip was to see colonial Williamsburg. The buildings are classic and historic. You can see people dress up in different roles from the 18th century. They are from a variety of backgrounds, and under the tour guidance, you get to learn how their choices impacted their families and community.
Another highlight is that we visited several well-known universities during the trip. We spent a lot of time in their business schools and libraries. Each school has its own unique qualities; some have great facilities, some have great architecture design, and some have a really good vibe. We did the “O-H-I-O” gesture in front of each business school as the proof of our ‘conquering’ of the area. The whole trip was fascinating and was a great travel experience with other MAcc people!”
Nick Sampsel – Washington D.C.
“Over Spring Break, I took a few days to go to Washington D.C. As I was notifying a few of my classmates that my hotel had CCTV, I discovered that there were others going to D.C. as well! We visited a bunch of the different Smithsonian museums, like the Museum of American History and the Museum of Natural History, and saw all of the different monuments. As MAcc students, it was absolutely necessary to get our picture taken in front of the IRS as well! Overall, it was a nice getaway and a pleasant surprise to see a few of my friends on vacation.”
Yajie (RJ) Liu – Global Business Expedition to Israel
“Global Business Expeditions (GBEs) are short-term, high-intensity global programs offered during Spring Semester. Each program is designed by our Fisher College of Business faculty to integrate industry expertise with a global context. For full cultural and business immersion, students travel during 2017 Spring Break on a private tour of globally successful, multi-national companies and the must-see historical sites of the region.”
Students have the option of attending a week long program in Germany, Spain, or Israel. Israel focuses on innovation and entrepreneurship, giving students viable insight into multinational business dealings. These programs are not only limited to MAcc students, but also open to all graduate business students. Prior to traveling, students participate in a 7-week multinational business course. While in Israel, students partake in cultural tours and business meetings with several multinational entities. Program brochure can be found here.
Getting your CPA can be a very confusing and stressful process for some, but once you get all your facts aligned, it may be easier to see that end goal of CPA licensure. The Fisher College of Business hosts CPA representatives throughout the school year who provide office hours to answer exam questions. Also, during orientation, several CPA courses give a brief presentation breaking down the information in more detail. I will discuss some common information about the exam.
150 credit hours are required by the AICPA. Directly referenced from its website, students can meet the 150-credit hour requirement if they:
Combine an undergraduate accounting degree with a master’s degree at the same school or at a different one;
Combine an undergraduate degree in some other discipline with a master’s in accounting or an MBA with a concentration in accounting;
Enroll in an integrated five-year professional accounting school or program leading to a master’s degree in accounting.
For those of you who do not come from a traditional non-accounting background, do not fear. If you notice the second bullet point, a master’s in accounting satisfies this requirement. Therefore, the Fisher MAcc program is your way to CPA.
It is important to recognize the distinction between the licensure requirements and the exam sitting requirements. Every state requires 150 credit hours for licensure, but some states may allow you to sit for the actual exam before those 150 credit hours are earned.
For example, the State of Ohio has a 150-hours education requirement for licensure and 150 hours must be completed prior to sitting for the exam.
Other states– for instance, Florida– have 150 hours education requirement for licensure, and 120 hours must be completed to sit for the exam.
You can find all this information broken down by state here.
Sections of the Exam
There are four sections of the exam:
Auditing and Attestation (AUD)
Business Environment and Concepts (BEC)
Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR)
A passing score is a 75; however, this score is not simply how many questions you get right. Similar to the GMAT, it is weighted and calculated through various methods. The AICPA has released information that is helpful to understand how your score is calculated.
While there are numerous study materials out there, make sure to pick the right materials for you. Know your study habits. If you love to use flashcards, make sure to pick materials with flashcards.
While going through the recruiting process, make sure to ask your employer if they can help financially with the cost of prep materials. A great thing is that most firms are willing to help.
Firm won’t help? No problem. Check out these AICPA scholarships here. Additionally, make sure to check with your state board of accountancy as it may offer additional scholarships, too.
The MAcc program offers many social events throughout the fall and spring semester. In the fall semester, we went to see the Columbus “Zoo Lights” as a group and tailgated together for football games. This spring, we are planning a trip to go skiing, a hockey game outing, MAcc Olympics, and bowling night! There are a variety of ways to connect with your classmates no matter what you are interested in. Not to mention, these events are events with just MAcc students. We just recently had a bowling night on Saturday evening. This was put on by our social event committee as part of our MAcc council. This council, which is generally voted on during the first week of school, also plans community service events as well as social events.
Here are some bowling highlights:
With a class of 81 students, tight-knit experiences such as these make it easy to get to know your classmates better. There are additional events that are put on fisher-wide throughout the school year.
For those of you that are used to warmer temperatures like myself, going to school in the Midwest or anywhere up North may seem a bit taboo. This year was my first winter experience. Here are a few tips that I’ve learned along the way:
Stock up on winter gear over spring or summer
This may seem crazy to some, but prior to moving to Ohio for the Fisher MAcc program I owned ZERO coats. I had some light jackets, but I was not prepared at all for weather less than 50 degrees. My advice: get your winter gear in spring or summer! Most retail stores have a great clearance selection and you can find gloves, heavy coats, scarves, and boots for a great price.
Buy an Ice Scraper!
These things cost about $10 and are a must-have for early mornings. Also, allow yourself an extra five minutes in the morning to defrost and de-ice your car.
Scarlet and Grey Skies
During the winter months, the sun is not out nearly as much. This does not mean you will never see sun, but it’s just something to get used to. What I learned is not to let the weather dictate your mood or your day. We are all here to learn– don’t let some clouds put a damper on your day.
Thank You, Fisher Tunnels
I’m not sure who thought of this ingenious idea, but I’d personally like to say “thank you.” In classrooms, there are hooks where you can hang your coat. If you want to run out and grab a cup of coffee from the café in the next building over, you can leave your coat hanging and take the tunnels to four of the buildings on the Fisher College of Business campus. The tunnels are useful not only in cold weather when you don’t feel like putting on your coat, but also just to avoid the rain and stay dry.
Winter officially began December 21st and ends March 20th. With that being said, there is still plenty of time for winter weather as it is only mid-January. So far, it has been very mild (knock on wood). To put it in perspective, it has only snowed three times to date. As a reference, here is a helpful link to look at weather averages for Columbus, OH.
Don’t let the fear of the unknown stop you from pursuing your dreams of attending the Fisher College of Business. The winter season isn’t so bad!
After a well-needed three-week hiatus, I am feeling rested and ready to get back to it. I’m lucky and got to embrace my inner snow bird and return to the sunshine state of Florida for a few weeks. My break consisted of mostly sleeping and spending time with family, as well as spending time on the water doing different activities such as boating and fishing.
Returning to Columbus three weeks later, I felt refreshed and ready to take on this semester. I still have my personal goals (and even got a Fitbit for my birthday), but I also have academic goals in mind. In four short months, I will be graduating from The Ohio State University MAcc program. I feel very proud to even type that. It’s a bittersweet feeling because I know that I am moving this summer to another state, but that motivates me even more to enjoy my final semester in college (possibly ever).
I’m sure this semester will pose some challenges down the road, but that’s what we all signed up for. I personally enjoy tackling challenges and I look forward to what this semester has to offer.
As an end-of-the year celebration, the MAcc program (including faculty and students )all got together for one last hoorah. We had an evening reception with dinner and drinks the Friday before finals week began. I can’t believe we are 50% there! [editor’s note: the MAcc program duration is nine months]
The night started off with a cocktail hour followed by a dinner. A great thing about the reception was that it was a mix of faculty and students so we got to sit with our professors and interact with them on a more social level, rather than professional level. Of course, this was followed up by Professor Zach’s excellent jokes and Professor Turner’s “twas the night before finals” rendition. All in all it was a great time to get to know the professors and program director better. It was also yet another opportunity to get to know my classmates more. There was also an alumna speaker that graduated from the program two years ago. Her speech really got to me as I realized this is my last year of college, last year to enjoy not working full-time, and last year to get to know these wonderful people I just met (but feel like I have known for much longer).
After the reception, a large portion of us attended the Fisher College of Business ugly sweater party downtown. With only half of the program still to complete, I couldn’t have made it this far without my fellow classmates. I didn’t know anyone before moving up here and now I am worried about how much I will miss them just over winter break. Your classmates really will be your support system as everyone is in the same boat. I’m looking forward to being done with finals, but also looking forward to another (last) semester at Fisher! Happy New Year!
Experiencing my first “TTUN” week (keep reading…) was and will be one of my best memories here at The Ohio State. The *ichigan rivalry is a long-standing source of angst in college football. During the week leading up to the big game, all the “Ms” are crossed out on campus and the team is referred to as “that team up north.” Being from out-of-state, I had a decision to make: fly home for Thanksgiving and miss the game, or go to the game to cheer on my Buckeyes. I chose the latter of the two. I have a flight home in three short weeks for winter break so I decided to save the money of booking two flights and stay up here for Thanksgiving to go to one of the all-time greatest college football games I have seen.
It was a noon game so the MAcc program decided to put on a tailgate in the morning so we could all get together before the big game. We had it at a house close to campus (shout-out to Kaitlyn) and then for those of us whot had tickets, we walked to the game together. Once we were at the game, time flew! It was so exhilarating just to be in the stands experiencing the ups and downs of the game, but mainly the ups! I have never seen a double overtime game, but once Curtis Samuel ran it in for a touchdown, the entire student section just started running for the field. People were hopping over the railings and helping each other on to the field to celebrate a breathtaking Buckeye win! I made it onto the field and listened to the band play the fight song and cheer. A 30-27 double overtime win was an amazing way to end the last home football game during my time here as a MAcc student.
Some people might say that a school like Ohio State is too big and overwhelming. In my experience, this has not been the case at all. Ohio State has almost 60,000 students! However, the MAcc program has about 80. This really gives it that small campus feel, with the resources of a major university.
Because the MAcc program is comprised of about 80 students (81 to be exact this year), we are a very close-knit group. I am in classes all day with these people, eat lunch with them, and hang out with them on the weekends. It makes Ohio State feel that much smaller.
If you are shy or nervous to meet people, there are so many great opportunities to meet people! Each program has a council (MAcc, SMF, MBA, MHRM) and each of those councils have a social chair and community service event coordinator. In addition, there is the Fisher College of Business Social Chair club that encompasses students from all of the specialized programs to put on events for everyone. One example of events we have is home football tailgates at Fisher Commons. This is put on by the Fisher Social Chairs (for all programs) and they have someone grilling… and cornhole. We also recently had our Fisher Halloween Party for all programs.
The MAcc program had its own event over the weekend, as well, where we all went to a local farm and picked apples and pumpkins. Point being, there is numerous opportunities to meet people from within your program and within the Fisher College of Business as a whole. Later this month we have a MAcc toy drive! Many more fun events to come.