It Can’t Be Over – the Finale (aka “The Best Year Yet!”)

I became friends with Wen, Yan, and Christy, seriously some of the sweetest people I have ever met, during the first week of classes, and now we're graduating!

Well, it’s official – the MAcc 2012 class has graduated! The Graduate Programs Office held a lovely reception for our class on Friday evening. It was wonderful to have my family meet my friends and their families. We enjoyed catching up over hors d’oeuvres before the start of the official ceremony, which included thought-provoking and entertaining speeches by Dean Mangum, professors Anil Arya and Pat Turner, student Jeff Howard, alumnus Bobby Murphy (class of 2010), and Michael Petrecca, a partner with PwC. We all got our names called as we walked across the stage, which is something that of course cannot happen for everyone at the university’s commencement. The finishing touch on the ceremony was a video montage of our MAcc year – so much fun! I loved having our entire class together one last time, but of course it was a bittersweet evening. I was not (and am admittedly still not) ready for our MAcc year to be over.

On Saturday, my family got to experience my exciting Ohio State life through lunch with MAcc friends and families, pictures with my undergraduate Cohort, a Cohort reception, a picnic with my roommates and families, and the candlelight ceremony on the Oval. The student speaker at the candlelight ceremony encouraged us to define our Ohio State years in 6 words, and though it would be hard to capture the essence of my time at Ohio State in such limited vocabulary, I will say this about my MAcc year: This was the best year yet!

On Sunday, commencement was held in Ohio Stadium. There was a record-setting number of graduates (around 10,640), and about 50,000 guests were there for the ceremony. Despite the stifling heat, the ceremony was fun and impressive. As the first listed graduate program in the commencement agenda (“accounting” comes first alphabetically, apparently), we all had good seats for the speakers and enjoyed sitting together as a class. We heard from President Gee, Archie Griffin, and Susan Rice, the U.S. Permanent Ambassador to the United Nations. Then we each got our picture taken on the field as we received our diplomas. It’s amazing we can get our individual photos and our actual diplomas! What a logistical feat! There was a group of us MAccers who got our picture taken with university president Gee after the ceremony, and then many of us went back to Fisher to get post-graduation pictures together.

It is so sad that many of our classmates have already left Ohio, but I know we will keep in touch! This has been a phenomenal year with lifelong friendships and lessons. I can say with certainty that the faculty, staff, and students I have had the privilege of getting to know this year have impacted my life in so many positive ways, many I likely have yet to realize. I look forward to seeing where life takes us all but know there are wonderful things ahead for everyone! In the meantime, there are about 20 of us taking CPA classes together this summer, and I am so thankful for their company. We just can’t get away yet, and I look forward to sticking around Ohio State and Fisher over the summer. In the fall, though, a new class of awesome MAccers will start their new adventures at Ohio State, and I am so excited for them! I hope that one year from now they will also be saying “This was the best year yet!”

It can’t be over … part 2

The past week has solidified the fact that everything really is coming to a close in the Fisher MAcc program. I turned in two final papers and took a final exam, but that’s not really what drove the point home. All sorts of exciting things are happening around campus, and having time to do them has been a wonderful reminder that I have no more homework! I think I am still in denial about the year being over, but for now, I am enjoying and savoring every minute!

For beating our professor in the 5K race, a group of us was treated to Jeni’s ice cream! It was so much fun 🙂 I got to go on a steam tunnel tour and the Orton Hall bell tower tour this week, and my friends and I loved decorating our graduation caps at an event at the Union.

One really fun activity was the dessert crawl that my friends and I did on High Street. We started at Jeni’s in the Short North area of Columbus and proceeded to go to Bakery Gingham, Chocoholique, Piece of Cake, Cuzzin’s frozen yogurt, Insomnia Cookies, Pera for baklava, and Cold Stone! Don’t worry, we didn’t each buy something at every location, and we shared 🙂 Everything was delicious. I recommend trying all sorts of restaurants and taking advantage of the amazing Columbus opportunities whenever possible. Time sure flies when you’re having fun!

Us with my MAcc heart contribution to the chalkboard at Jeni's!

It can’t be over! … Part 1

I have finished all of my classes, both for my undergraduate and graduate degrees. Thankfully, I do not think this fact has fully sunk in yet. I completed two final exams and only have two more standing between me and graduation!

The last week of classes was busy but fun. We made and ordered a MAcc yearbook on and wrote messages for each other! It was wonderful to think back on the year and how close our class has become.

Signing yearbooks made us remember our high school days of doing the same, and another “Are we really grad students?!” moment occurred in the graduate student lounge on Tuesday. The Graduate Programs Office gave us Jeni’s ice cream and a photo booth! We had so much fun taking goofy pictures as a break from studying!

Speaking of Jeni’s ice cream, it was rated the best ice cream in America by US News Travel! Graeter’s ice cream, another Ohio favorite, was ranked sixth.  Although I’m admittedly not ready for this awesome year to end, I am looking forward to a summer being surrounded by the best ice cream in the country 🙂

We had so much fun with the photo booth!

Unofficial “MAcc Weekend”= Official Success!

I am amazed that we fit so much into one weekend! After my classes ended on Thursday, I and some other MAccers attended a dance and fashion show called UTSAV, put on by the Fisher Indian Students Association. We had so much fun watching and enjoyed the delicious Indian lunch afterward! On Friday morning, a group of us was invited to have breakfast with MAcc faculty and staff. This was a wonderful opportunity to chat about the past year and give and receive advice for the future.  Fisher Formal was held on Friday evening and was a great time of dancing and hanging out with people from various Fisher graduate programs.

On Saturday, 17 of us MAccers went to Cedar Point for the day! We left around 7 am, but it was worth it! We had so much fun riding roller coasters, and the weather was beautiful. It was fun to get out of our comfort zone together, speeding in roller coasters at over 100 mph and being several hundred feet in the air. Even waiting in line was fun because we could chat with each other!

Sunday was another eventful day for the MAcc program. Nine of us ran the Fisher 5K to raise money for the Boys and Girls Club of Columbus. Five of us were on a relay team, and since we beat our professor’s time, we get ice cream during finals week! What great motivation! A few hours later, we had a picnic for future MAcc students. Nearly 50 people, including professors and both current and future students, enjoyed great food, meeting and catching up with a lot of different people, and playing corn hole. Once again, we had a warm and sunny day for the festivities. I declare this weekend an excellent success!

People and Places

The past few weeks have truly shown what a wonderful opportunity it is to be a Fisher MAcc student. I am amazed by faculty and staff, classmates, and experiences, and I will try to (as briefly as possible) highlight some of the recent reasons why!

  1. I was spending a long day in Gerlach Hall, and the director of our program walked by, noted that I looked hungry, and gave me a bag of trail mix 🙂
  2. Fellow MAcc students and I had the opportunity to reflect on the AMAZING support of our advisor, Samantha Schnitzer, when recommending her for the university’s advising award.
  3. A big group of MAccers went to Dirty Frank’s (highly recommended!) for dinner and then to the Shen Yun culture show at the Ohio Theater. It was so much fun to take in some culture downtown together!
  4. The next evening, we had our MAcc Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program thank-you event at the Columbus Clippers baseball game. Hanging out at the ballpark with so many awesome people was a blast!
  5. Ohio State held its annual Best Day of Your Life events (to promote mental health awareness), and a group of us MAccers enjoyed the giveaways!
  6. Fisher recognized several of my graduate and undergraduate friends and awesome professors at its Pace Setters Awards ceremony. The room was full of phenomenal and inspiring people who have impacted me in so many ways.
  7. We had our annual MAcc Gives Back community service day, which was so much fun! My group went to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore, and we got to do a variety of projects. Then we reunited with other groups for a picnic in the Fisher Courtyard. It was a wonderful day!

Working hard and having fun

This week really demonstrated the need for balance. With a little time management, it is definitely possible. On Wednesday, I studied a lot for a quiz but then had time to go to Bible study with two other MAcc girls. On Thursday, I spent awhile working on my exit exam (a few short essays we all have to submit near the end of the program) but then had time to visit my sister. On Friday, I had two group meetings and was on the student panel for next year’s combined BSBA/MAcc students (it’s a great group!). All of these events were balanced with friendly chats as well. Then a group of us MAccers jumped around at Sky Zone, which was a blast! It was exhausting, though, so I refueled with some Graeter’s ice cream (an Ohio favorite) with another awesome MAcc friend 🙂 I went to the spring football game on Saturday and continued to work on the exit exam. That left Sunday open for church and lunch at the local Northstar Cafe with MAcc friends, followed by a group project that was both hard work and fun.

There is a fair amount of work to get done in the MAcc program, but having awesome professors, interesting classes, and fabulous classmates makes everything so enjoyable. It’s so fun to hang out with everyone during both group work and outside of Fisher. There is always something to do, and I am thankful for such amazing experiences!

The Lieutenant Governor and two Americas Vice-Chairs … in the same week!

Last week was once again an exciting one for the MAcc program! Mary Taylor, Ohio’s Lieutenant Governor, spoke to a group of MAcc, MBA, and Specialized Master of Finance students on Tuesday. As the first CPA to be Auditor of State, and now as the Lt. Governor, she brings a unique perspective to the political arena. She spoke about her accounting background, balancing career and family, her efforts to make Ohio a business-friendly state, and how she was raised to always do the right thing. We were all so impressed by Mary Taylor’s expertise and personality and were thankful for the opportunity to hear her speak. Afterward, we were able to ask questions, and I presented her with a small thank-you gift from Fisher. It was an honor to be able to interact with such an impressive individual!

On Wednesday, Ernst&Young’s Tom Hough (Americas Vice-Chair for Assurance Services) and Debbie Kissire (Americas Vice-Chair and East Central Managing Partner) took time out of their busy schedules to speak to us. They talked about their career paths, issues in the industry, and how to balance details with the big picture in order to form opinions. It was an honor to have them at Fisher and learn from their impressive backgrounds.

Getting Back to a Routine… with a Twist

This week’s focus was getting into a routine for the new (and our last) quarter. I enjoy being done with class by 12:30 every day and using the lunch hour to go to meetings and catch up with friends. I spent about 11 hours in Gerlach Hall one day this week without even realizing I was continuously there for so long! I was hanging out with friends between class and group work and loved having a fun and productive day.

Group work is once again the norm for this quarter, and I am excited to learn with and from a wide variety of people. I am also excited to learn from new professors in addition to professors who taught some of my previous classes.  By spring quarter, we are all very comfortable with each other, so it doesn’t take long to get into a routine. However, there always new and exciting opportunities to spice up any “routine” in the spring! I look forward to blogging about spring athletic events (including 5K runs, one of which will be hosted by Fisher), MAcc social events, and graduation preparation!

The Last First Week

We’re back from spring break and have already completed the first week of our last quarter in the MAcc program.  It is going too quickly! After my final exams last quarter, two of my friends and I went to Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, which is only about a 6 hour drive from Columbus. It was a lot of fun, the weather was unseasonably wonderful, and I even saw two people that I knew from the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program in which we MAccers participated last quarter!

MAccers kept in touch quite well over break, but it was still wonderful to be reunited with everyone to start spring quarter. Once again, excited greetings could be heard throughout Gerlach, and catching up over dinner was a regular occurrence this week. For the first time, I decided to take all accounting classes this quarter (Government and Not-for-Profit, International, Managerial, and Mergers & Acquisitions), and I am looking forward to learning a lot through cases and group work.

Group work makes our class more close-knit, and our close friendships make our group work even more enjoyable. One of my autumn quarter groups planned a dinner and movie night to end the first week, and it was so much fun. Before a group meeting the next day, one of my friends identified me just by the sound of my footsteps. In part because we’re a detail-oriented bunch, MAccers really get to know each other. Sure, we commented on each other’s haircuts and tanner skin and new clothes after break, but our friendships go much deeper than that. I am looking forward to enjoying the last quarter in this wonderful program with such amazing classmates and friends!

The weather was beautiful, and we saw a rainbow at Niagara Falls!

Great food (Ethiopian and Greek in the same week) and meeting the dean

This past week has been full of fun times with fantastic people and food! On Tuesday evening, I ventured to Easton Town Center for dinner with my sister. We had a delicious meal at Max and Erma’s, a restaurant that has Columbus roots but which is now around the Midwest. On Wednesday, a group of us MAcc students was randomly chosen to have breakfast with Fisher’s Dean Poon. What a wonderful opportunity! We talked to her about why we chose Fisher, what we liked most about the MAcc program, and how we struggled to come up with anything we would change. I have always appreciated how much Dean Poon cares about students and our experiences, both at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

On Friday, the last day of the quarter, some MAcc friends and I went to the Blue Nile Ethiopian restaurant and had the delicious lunch buffet. The restaurant owner was so friendly, and I loved the authentic food. For another cultural experience, on Saturday I met friends at the Greek Corner. There seem to be quite a few Greek restaurants in the area, and I love this one for its convenience, menu, and beautiful décor. Of course this week I also patronized the Panera on Lane Avenue (an extremely convenient hang-out and study spot for business students). However, if you have more time, I recommend trying some other close-by, more local restaurants while you’re here!

If you're near Ohio State's campus, you need to try the Blue Nile for some excellent Ethiopian food