The Perks of Being a GA

Fisher College offers several types of financial aid to graduate students. One particular type of aid is a Graduate Assistantship. The majority of MAcc Graduate Assistants (GAs) are placed in a teaching position for 211 or 212 undergraduate accounting classes. Along with teaching, other GA positions may include grading papers, administrative work, or acting as a MAcc ambassador.

Most MAcc GA led classes are taught on Friday, and are considered “labs”, or“ break-out“ sessions from a larger lecture class. The Friday “lab” session is typically devoted to group work on an accounting case project. GAs are responsible for assisting students with their cases, as well as grading the cases. Occasionally, GAs may teach a brief lesson to supplement class material taught earlier that week. GAs are expected to contribute ten hours a week to their duties.

If you are interested in a GA position, it is important to submit your Fisher MAcc application early. The deadline for financial aid priority consideration for domestic applicants is December 31, 2010. Also, it is important to schedule a visit to Fisher College. During your visit, you will have an opportunity to meet with admission staff, professors, and current students, which may increase your chances of being considered for tuition assistance.

So what are the perks of being a GA? Along with tuition assistance, GAs receive a monthly stipend. Since I am living at home this year, I am able to save my GA money and plan a vacation this Christmas break. I will be traveling to Peru to visit Machu Picchu and the Amazon jungle! If anyone has any Peru travel advice, please let me know. I will post an entry after I return with photos!

Career Search 101

Wow! What a long strange trip it’s been! Ever since the recruiting process for MAcc students started a few weeks ago, I’ve been uber-busy! Finally, fall recruitment is beginning to come to a close, and I’ve just now had time to think how lucky I am! I knew the on-campus recruitment process is a big deal at Fisher, but I had no idea of just how intense it is!

It’s times like these when I sit back and wonder, how did I come to be an accountant! One thing I do know is that my career goals have changed since the 1st grade, when I wanted, “to be a lawyer, or work at McDonald’s.”

Even though formal recruitment didn’t begin until mid-October, there were several recommended tasks to perform prior to the process. In August, students were encouraged to think about their future career goals and complete several “self-branding” worksheets.

Once school began, there were numerous opportunities for students to attend events, or socials, sponsored by accounting firms. Attending these events is a must, as it is important to meet as many people from each firm as you can. It makes the formal interview process much easier, as you’ll be acquainted with people who may be interviewing you.

The day before school started in September, Fisher sponsored a “MAcc Boot Camp” to get students prepared for the upcoming recruitment process. This was not mandatory for MAcc students, but I would strongly encourage everyone looking for a job to attend!

At Boot Camp, I learned how to use “Fisher Connect”, the main source of job postings on the Fisher website. Prospective employers post jobs on Fisher Connect and students can submit their resumes to request an on-campus interview for a specific position.

Students are invited to attend a pre-night event the evening before the scheduled interviews.  Pre-nights usually consist of a brief informational session about the firm followed by time to mingle with employees.

Formal interviews are held on-campus in Gerlach Hall. Interviews usually last 30-45 minutes and are conducted with one (or sometimes two) interviewers. Some firms ask behavioral type questions and others ask general questions about the interviewee.

After on-campus interviews are conducted, selected students attend second round interviews at their desired office location. During office visits, students typically have two interviews with different representatives of the firm. This gives students an opportunity to meet with firm employees and learn more specifics about what makes each firm unique.

From the beginning of the interview process it is extremely important to identify the city where you want to work. This question is asked early on, and firms want you to be able to answer this question with conviction. Also, just be yourself! Prospective employers know that Fisher students are well qualified. What they what to see is that you have a positive outlook and a desire to learn—and that you are anxious to contribute to the organization.

Seize this opportunity! You may never have another chance quite like this.

P.S. It’s Dine Originals Week in Columbus; go try a new restaurant!


To Commute or Not to Commute?

Yes, I’ll admit it. I’m still living with my parents.

After deciding on the MAcc program in early 2010, I was presented with the issue of housing. Being from Columbus, I had the option of living at home (in a suburb of Columbus) or getting an apartment close to campus. Initially, l thought that living at home was a definite no. I had nightmares about having to wake up ridiculously early to get to class or being stuck in traffic and missing an exam. I was sure that after living on my own for the past five years, I would not return to my childhood abode.

However, when I returned back home to Columbus this past August, I was immediately bombarded with “real-world” responsibilities and finding an apartment was the last thing on my mind.

Fast forward to the present day—I am happily sitting on the sofa in my home, talking to my mom about what foods she should buy at the grocery store and writing this blog entry.

What I have learned is that it is totally feasible (and actually quite easy) to commute from the suburbs of Columbus to OSU. If you are thinking about commuting from a suburb of Columbus, I would encourage you to do so. And as for the traffic, I must have forgot that I lived in Columbus, Ohio; traffic is not an issue.

Oh, I almost forgot! The number one reason why commuting is not a problem at Fisher… because every student gets a locker! Only recently did I realize the value of lockers to commuters. Last week, I was at my locker and I noticed a girl next to me who I had never seen before. We laughed for a minute because in almost a month at school we had never been at our lockers at the same time. She quickly said to me, “oh, I never use my locker”, and I immediately gave her a shocked, deer-in-the-headlights look as a pair of black pumps from last weekend and a suit jacket from my interview tumbled out of mine.


Lost In Translation

In my last blog entry, I mentioned that I spent part of last year living in China. I love talking with others about China and sharing my experiences. Recently, I’ve had several classmates ask me about my time abroad, so I decided that an entry about China was overdue.

After graduating from Clemson University in 2009, I decided to take a year off before starting graduate school. Originally, I wanted to spend a year in Spain (where I studied abroad my sophomore year), possibly teaching English. One of my friends from Clemson, who was also looking into a gap-year activity, mentioned that it would be much easier to find a job in Asia, where there is a high demand for English teachers. After doing quite a bit of research online and speaking with the International Department at Clemson, I decided on a job at Nantong University, in Jiangsu, China.

At Nantong University I taught three courses, Writing, Speaking, and Journal & Periodical Writing, to sophomores and juniors. I had an amazing group of students who were eager to learn about the English language and were fascinated with American culture. I was free to make my own lesson plans, which allowed me to create fun and unique activities. Occasionally, I would show an American movie and have my students act out an alternate ending. Sometimes we even played Catch Phrase!

Nantong University
My Class!

Of course, not everything was amazing. I definitely paid a price for living in a country without knowing the native language. Problems with language barriers ranged from “accidentally” getting my hair died pink to living in China “illegally” (but it was less than a day…) and consequently, having to write an apology note to the government.

I learned so much about Chinese culture and am grateful that I can continue to learn more about it at The Ohio State University. I have made so many friends from China at the Fisher College of Business and love reminiscing with them about my adventures. I feel lucky I to attend a university with such a rich culture!


New Blogger Alert

It’s October!

That exclamation point at the end of October is not just me trying to get your attention. I am genuinely so excited that it is October. No, not because it’s football season. Because it’s fall, and I am in Columbus, Ohio.

I’m a Columbus, Ohio native but for the last five years I have been living away from home. The latter of those four years I was attending school at Clemson University in South Carolina, and last year I was living abroad in China.

I am determined to not let this October go by without enjoying all that Columbus has to offer in the fall.

So… what does October mean?

Believe it or not, October means more than Pumpkin Spice Lattes. In Columbus, October means cool, fresh air, great local produce and plenty of opportunities to visit farms where you might just find that perfect pumpkin. And if you have time left over why not channel your inner child (you know, the part of you who still wants to go trick-or-treating) and go to a haunted house.

Skeptical Reader: Rachelle, you just started the MAcc program. You must be so busy with homework and your job search, how will you make sure that this October doesn’t pass you by?

As an undergrad, this would have been a really good question. But now, I’m an OSU graduate student, I can’t just hope for something to happen, I have to make it happen. I have to set goals.

My October Goals

I will go…
1.    To a haunted house
2.    To a local farmer’s market
3.    To a pumpkin farm
4.    To an apple orchard

Great. I feel much better. Not only have I stated my goals, but I have publicly stated my goals. Four goals, four weeks in October, this should be fun!

Lastly, I encourage you, wherever you are, to set some fun October goals. And who knows, maybe next year you’ll be enjoying a Columbus October.

Hmmm… what should I do first?