My Year in Review

It is very bitter-sweet sitting here writing my last blog post. I am definitely in denial that my time here in the MAcc program is over and the real world is approaching fast. Here is a list of why the MAcc Program here at Ohio State has exceeded my expectations and been a great time:

At OSU beating Michigan
  1. Football Season – One of my favorite experiences here at Ohio State was all the football games. It was fun tailgating with all the MAcc Students and watch the Buckeyes become the Big 10 champions. The Michigan game in particular will be an experience I will never forget. Even if you are not a sports fan it is something you need to experience.
  2. All the social events – There is much more than just classes in the MAcc Program. Between intramural sports, tailgates, MAcc Council and Fisher Social Chair events there is always something going on. Some of my favorites times this year were at these events like Fisher Formals, my sand volleyball intramural team, and winning the student/professor kickball tournament. 

    Sand Volleyball Intramural Team
  3. The Friendships – I came into the MAcc Program not knowing anyone and can say I have made some new friends for life. The MAcc program is a tight-knit group always going out and doing things together. We have survived numerous group projects and celebrated many occasions together. The people I have met made this year one of my best experiences.
  4. Columbus – I had never been to Columbus before orientation and it has exceeded my expectations. There is always something to do whether on campus or throughout the many areas of the city. I loved exploring German Village or going to my first hockey game to cheer on the Blue Jackets. Columbus will always be a special place for me.

Overall my time here at the MAcc Program was amazing. The classes here make me feel prepared to go out and start work soon. I am going to miss my time here, but excited to start another new experience at my job. Go Bucks!

The End is Near

It is crazy to think my time here in the MAcc program is coming to an end. Over these past couple weeks, the MAcc Council and the Fisher Social Chair has put on some great events to help us through these last few weeks of class.

MAcc students at the food bank

In the beginning of April, the MAcc class has the option to attend MAcc Give Back, which is a volunteering event. The MAcc class was dividing into two groups with half going to the Franklin Park Conservatory and the other going to the Mid-Ohio Food Pantry. I was part of the group that went over to the food bank and it was a great experience getting to help out others. This is something the MAcc program participates in every year and something I believe is very important.

The Fisher Graduate Programs also put together a Graduate Appreciation Week with fun events, free food, and many prizes to help us grind through the rest of the semester. One of the events a kickball tournament with our professors. We all got teams together and invited a professor to play with us. Our MAcc team came out on top winning the tournament and winning a free lunch. Fisher puts on a lot of events for us to keep us engaged outside the classroom as well.

Also, last weekend the Fisher Social Chair put on a formal for all Fisher Graduate Students. It was held in downtown Columbus and there was food, drinks, and dancing. It was a lot of fun to be out with all the different programs and get all dressed up. We are all appreciative of the extra mile a lot of our social chairs and program coordinators go to for us. They make sure our time here is a lot more than just earning a degree.

Spring Break in Washington D.C.

The group of MAcc Students in D.C.

A new opportunity here is the MAcc program is being able to spend your spring break with your classmates in Washington D.C. The MAcc program offers you an opportunity to earn class credit while getting to learn about different career paths, have great networking opportunities, and explore the city. I asked fellow MAcc student Cinara about her experience in D.C. and here is what she said:

Briefly describe what the Washington Campus opportunity is.

The Washington Campus is an opportunity for MAcc students to experience accounting topics through the lens of Washington DC. This includes learning about governmental accounting and hearing from speakers about the economic and political environment. We were also able to visit the White House, PCAOB, Capitol Hill, monuments, and museums.

What was your favorite event?

My favorite event was when we were able to visit Capitol Hill and sit on the house floor. Our tour guide was former US Representative Cliff Stearns. Many people do not have the opportunity to sit on the floor and listen to the arguments, but we were given access due to the class.

What was your favorite activity outside of the classroom?

My favorite event outside of the program was the night of the alumni event. The alumni event was a great way to network with professionals and peers in our industry over food and drinks. We were able to learn more about our future profession from people with years of experience. While there was a lot of time dedicated to learning and professional development, we were still able to enjoy the city. We also went to a karaoke bar, which allowed me to get to know my peers outside of the classroom. Overall, it was a great experience that I would recommend.

Talking to a lot of my fellow classmates, the Washington Campus trip was one of the highlights of their time here in the MAcc program. It was a great learning opportunity and a fun time to explore a different city. It was definitely something everyone in the MAcc program should take advantage of.

My First Experience in the Nut House

Now that football season has come and gone, I needed a new sport to go to cheer on the Buckeyes. This past week I experienced my first basketball game in the “Nut House” watching Ohio State beat a ranked Iowa team. It was a close game most of the way with Ohio State pulling ahead at the end. It was a big win for the team since they are currently on the bubble of making it into the March Madness tournament.

The atmosphere at the game was amazing. I was able to sit along the

View from the student section

sideline just a few rows back surrounded by other students. We were all on our feet the entire game cheering on the Buckeyes. I even caught a free t-shirt they were throwing out during the game. I grew up playing basketball and went to all the games in undergrad so it was a lot of fun to experience a game while at OSU. I would add going to a basketball game as a must while at Ohio State.

Basketball games are played at the Schottenstein Center, which is right off campus close to the football stadium. Students can either purchase season tickets or just tickets for individual games. Basketball tickets go for a lot cheaper than football. I was able to get my ticket to the game for only $10. The students get great seats right behind the players and right in all of the action.

The Buckeyes started off the season ranked and have had a very up and down season so far. I am hoping that with a few more good wins they will get a bid into the NCAA Tournament. This year a few of the first and second round games of the NCAA March Madness Tournament will be played in Nationwide Area, which is downtown Columbus, so I’m hoping the Buckeyes make it and I can watch them right down the road in the tournament.

How to Find Housing

After being accepted to a Fisher graduate program, the next big step is figuring out where to live. As someone who had never been to Columbus before, this was a big stress for me. I didn’t even know where to start, so I am here to help you out!

Columbus is an affordable city with many housing options, including plenty of places within walking distance or accessible by public transportation. The average one-bedroom apartment is around $700-$1,100 per month. There are on-campus graduate options, but it seems many students tend to live off campus. One thing to keep in mind is that most MAcc classes will be held in Gerlach Hall at the Fisher College of Business, which is on the very north end of campus.

Some things you should consider when doing your search is what kind of amenities you are looking for.  Some apartments have the option to be furnished, have a gym, parking or a shuttle to campus etc. I know for me, the apartment being furnished was a big factor during my search. I was only going to be here for a year and did not want to figure out a way to move it all out here. These along with price and location should all factor into your decision about where to live. A list of popular off-campus options is sent to all admitted students to help you in your search.

COTA bus stop directly in front of my apartment that goes right to Fisher

If you are choosing to live further off campus, there are many free or cheap transportation options available to you. With your BuckID, students can ride the Campus Area Bus Service (CABS) or the Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) for free! When I am too lazy to walk, I take the COTA to and from campus and it drops off right in front of Fisher. Some apartment complexes also have shuttles to and from campus if you are not bringing a car. Columbus is a very accessible city with public transportation.

The university also provides great help in finding off-campus housing that fits your needs. Best of luck with your housing search!

Tackling the CPA Exam

Many students in the MAcc Program are currently preparing for the CPA exam. We have heard horror stories about studying for the exam, and I am here to tell you it is doable to take while in class. This was a main concern of mine coming into the program because I want to have the exam done before I start working.

For those who don’t know, the CPA exam consists of four tests (Audit, Regulation, Business Environment and Concepts, and Financial Accounting and Reporting). To become licensed, you are required to have 150 credit hours. The rules on when you can sit for the exam and what classes are needed vary by state so make sure you check the rules for your state. Once you have the requirements complete, you can sign up for your Notice to Schedule, which allows you to sit for the exam. You do not have to take the exam in the state in which you are getting licensed.

While balancing classes and studying for the exam is difficult, it can be done. Currently, I am studying for the Audit section of the exam and plan on taking it soon. My main strategy is planning ahead and giving myself more time than I thought was needed. At the beginning of the semester, I wrote down all the due dates of assignments and exams in my courses and then planned my CPA studying around that. I gave myself an extra week than was needed, and am very glad that I did, as a schedule never goes completely as planned.

While I am definitely more busy, don’t worry—the CPA does not control your life. Between working, classes, and studying for the exam I still have time to go out with friends, be on intramural teams, and have time to do things I enjoy.

My Winter Break

It’s hard to believe we are already back and are starting our final semester in the MAcc Program here at OSU. After finals, it was nice to go home to New Jersey and get some R&R. I spent my break relaxing and spending time with my family and friends. Most of my time was spent bingeing shows on Netflix or watching sports, like OSU winning the Rose Bowl!  

My dog decided to take a nap under the tree

I also spent my break starting to prepare for the dreaded CPA exam. I plan on taking the Audit section first sometime in February so wanted to get a head start on that. Sometime in a future blog post, I’ll talk about mine and other students experience taking the CPA exam will in classes because it is very doable!

After some much needed rest, I’m now back in Columbus and back in class. In the spring semester, all of our classes are elective-based classes so you get to choose what interests you most (and it means no Friday classes!). I am in classes like Fraud Examination and Negotiations. These classes seem like they are going to be very interesting and am excited to see how the semester goes!

Where to Get Your Caffeine Fix

Like most grad students, something I can’t survive without is coffee. I need my two cups a day to keep myself going. One of the first things I did once school started was scope out some of the local cafes for some good coffee and study locations. I’ve put together a list of some of mine and fellow students favorites coffee shops around Columbus.

Latte form Stauf’s

If you are trying to stay on or near Fisher to get some quick coffee in between classes. there are a few options for you. Right on Fisher’s campus in Mason Hall is Rohr Cafe. It sells Starbucks coffee and pastries there. Speaking of Starbucks, there is a new one right on the corner of High and Lane just a quick walk from Fisher’s campus. There is ample seating for studying as well.

If you are trying to find some places to study farther off campus with some seriously good coffee, Columbus has many great options. One of my favorites I have been to so far is Stauf’s Coffee Roasters. They have a few locations around Columbus and all of them are a great environment to just grab a cup of coffee or get some serious studying done. They have many seasonal drinks as well as a Buckeye Latte which is a must try. If you are in the German Village shop I highly recommend taking a study break and stopping next door to the Book Loft. It has over 30 rooms filled floor to ceiling with books.

Getting reading done while at Fox in the Snow

Another favorite of many students is Fox in the Snow Cafe. They have two locations and has some amazing coffee and pastries. Fair warning this cafe does not have wifi as they want their customers to socialize with each other. It’s a great place for friends to hang out and drink some coffee or to get some reading done.

Some other locations that I recommend are The Roosevelt Coffee House, Heirloom Cafe (on OSU campus and locally owned/grown products), Mission Coffee and Red Velvet Cafe. My friends and I spend many afternoons at some of these shops getting our work done and enjoying some great coffee.

Autumn MAcc Reception

It’s crazy to think I am currently studying for finals and almost halfway done with the MAcc program. It goes by faster than you could imagine. Every year, the MAcc program hosts a reception for the students and faculty at the end of the fall semester. This past week was our reception and it was a great way to close out our semester before everything gets too hectic. Many students and professors from the MAcc program get together and enjoy dinner and drinks before Dr. Zach, our program director, and a guest speaker say a few words.

The event was held at the Faculty Club right here on campus and I have to say it was nice to be somewhere on campus that was not Gerlach Hall aka Fisher Grad student’s second home. The reception was a great opportunity to see some of my classmates and professors out of the classroom setting. Each table had a mix of students and a professor so we all got to interact a lot in a more casual environment over dinner. Dinner was a large spread of options to choose from along with an amazing dessert bar.

Later in the night, we had a guest speaker who was an OSU MAcc Alum come to talk to us about her experience in the MAcc program and her career thus far. It was great hearing from someone who has been through what we are facing right now and hear about her experiences. Overall it was a great evening. Not only did I get to be with MAcc students and professors, but also got a free dinner which is always appreciated.

Recruiting Season is Here

Something a lot of students stress about while in school is finding a job and I am here to tell you it can be done! The MAcc program here at OSU does a lot to help students have the best opportunity to find the job they want. I asked fellow MAcc student Cinara about her experience during recruiting season in the MAcc program and here are her responses:

Explain a little how the recruiting process work in the MAcc program.

The recruiting process in the MAcc program is very easy if you are pursuing a career in public accounting. There are also many opportunities to pursue a career in industry or government, but I did not pursue them. During the first seven weeks of the semester, you will have the opportunity to meet with national and regional firms. It’s important to attend all of the events and to meet as many people as you can. During the networking period, you will work on finalizing your resume and submitting applications. Most first round interviews are on campus and subsequent ones can be on campus, at the employer’s office, or virtual. From the first interview to receiving an offer, the entire process takes about 2–3 weeks. Most people receive offers around mid-October

How did you manage classes and interviews?

View of a recruiting event on campus

Though it is manageable, I would not underestimate the time that is consumed by the recruitment process. Remember that this will hopefully result in a job, so it takes a lot of time and effort. The first seven weeks will be the busiest between classes and recruitment/networking events, so try to keep your schedule light. I took four classes during the first seven weeks and five classes during the second seven-week session. Professors are also pretty flexible, but you should notify them immediately if there are scheduling conflicts.

What are your results from the recruiting season?

I will be at Deloitte as an Audit and Assurance Assistant in Cleveland!

What advice do you have for future MAcc students who will be going through recruiting?

  • Make sure the decision makers (recruiters, HR, managers, partners, etc.) know your name and that you stand out in some way among your peers. 
  • Ask a lot of questions about the firms so you understand their values and culture.
  • Have your resume reviewed by two to three people.
  • Schedule a mock interview at the Office of Career Management.
  • Find time to also enjoy your time in Columbus and on campus!