This past Friday many of the MAcc students joined together to donate their time to various local charitable organizations. The day started, as most days should, with coffee and bagels with the class. After breakfast had finished, each of the groups dispatched to their respective service locations. Some of the locations that were available to volunteer at were: The Boys and Girls Club, The Capital Area Humane Society, Franklin Park Conservatory, the Columbus Rabbit House, and several other locations.
My group, which consisted of students, working professionals from Columbus, and two Ohio State faculty members, were assigned to COSI, which is a science museum and research center located in downtown Columbus. Unfortunately, we were not there to explore the museum and see what research is being done (which is must-do if you end up coming to Ohio State.). Our group’s task was to help the landscaping team finish mulching different flower and tree beds that surround the property. For the two hours we were at COSI, we were able to mulch several beds, which was able to save the landscaping team at least a full day of work!
After we finished at COSI, all of the groups met back at the Varsity Club, which is a staple restaurant across the street from the Fisher College of Business. Everyone had lunch together, discussed their volunteer project, and caught up.
Overall, through MAcc gives back, our class was able to donate over 100 service hours to the community of Columbus. Aside from donating time, it was also a terrific opportunity to interact with your fellow classmates, Fisher Faculty, and working professionals.
As the fourth session begins to wrap up, I look back on the past year in the MAcc program and think “wow, where did all of the time go?” It truly does not feel like 9 months ago I was sitting in orientation, eager to begin working towards a master’s degree. However, as I write this last blog post, I am reminding myself of all the memories that I have had in the MAcc program, all of the incredible people I have met, and all of the information and skills I have learned over the past 9 months.
Commencement at The Shoe!
The most obvious part of my MAcc experience that I can reflect on is the classes. Like any program, there were some classes that I absolutely loved, and some that were a little more challenging to get excited for. However, all classes had extraordinary professors who provided valuable learning experiences. After my first three years in Undergraduate classes at Fisher, and this past year in the Graduate classes, it is clear, the professors are the best assets that Fisher has. Regardless of class title or professor, you are going to be challenged in the way that you think, which is the best way to learn.
Another place where I spent a large portion of my time this year was working as a Graduate Assistant. As a graduate student ambassador, I was the first point of contact for many people who were interested in or being recruited by Fisher. Seeing this other side of the business school has taught me many hard skills that will make me a better business person, but has also instilled a strong sense of Fisher pride in me. Having to pitch the program and the College to people I hardly know has made me realize that I truly love the Fisher College of Business, and more importantly The Ohio State University.
It will be a very bittersweet moment when I walk across the stage for graduation in a few Sundays. Bitter because I am leaving campus, friends, and memories, yet sweet because I have so many memories to look back on as an Alumnus (wow, that sounds weird)! After graduation, I will begin studying for the CPA exam. If all goes well, I will hopefully be majorly done with the exams prior to starting at EY in Chicago come September!
For our most recent lunch talk, our MAcc council had a speaker come in and talk to the class about financial planning and health. Greg Zunkiewicz is a financial adviser for Edward Jones. He is also a 2012 graduate of the Masters of Business Administration (MBA) program here at Fisher!
The first topic that Greg discussed was budgeting. He said that whether you make $25,000 a year, or $250,000 a year, it is important to keep track of your money. By setting a detailed budget, you will know where your money is being spent month-to-month, and how much money you can save, all while maintaining your lifestyle goals. By determining how much you can save, you can then begin to look into various advantageous investment vehicles, such as a Roth IRA. Greg also discussed, at length, the benefit of compounding interest and having “interest work for you.” By investing early, young investors can assume more risk and substantially increase the wealth in their portfolio, all without having to pay taxes later.
Another topic that Greg discussed was regarding investment strategy. Since he provides investment guidance and manages his client’s portfolios, he is very knowledgeable in matching individuals’ risk preferences with a particular portfolio type or strategy. In his opinion, younger investors should be more willing to take on riskier investments, as they have a longer investment horizon. However, there is no one strategy for every individual, it must be tailored to the specific financial plan of the investor.
This was yet another enjoyable and valuable speaker to come and speak to the class. Greg was incredibly knowledgeable, personable, and open with the class!
This session I am enrolled in ACCMIS 7520 Misappropriation of Assets, which is an accounting elective course. The course is taught by Douglas Huffner, who is the Chief Risk Officer for The Ohio State University.
Topics covered in the class so far have covered everything from identifying fraud to common fraud schemes. We have also discussed various misappropriations of cash, such as larceny, fraudulent disbursements, and skimming. The course also covers how companies can prevent fraud. Inherently, if you can understand how fraudulent schemes are developed, you can design a company’s internal controls in such a way to deter or completely eliminate fraudulent behavior by employees.
The class topics are all incredibly interesting, but by far, my favorite portion of the class is hearing real-life examples of fraud that Professor Huffner can cite in his past experiences. Since he is the Chief Risk Officer, he works on problem-solving the most sensitive situation on campus and in the Ohio State community (such as campus emergencies and internal fraud investigations). His experiences help to break up the materials and leads to great class discussion!
This session a group of MAcc students (myself included) decided to form an Intramural Co-Ed Basketball Team. Since The Ohio State University is a large university there is a huge number of intramural sports offered for several different groups of people. We were able to enter a co-ed graduate, professional, and faculty league for basketball that plays on Tuesday evenings.
Through three games, The Embezzlers are sporting a powerful 3-0 record entering the second half of the season. With two more games before the beginning of the playoffs, we are hopeful for a high playoff seed and maybe even a championship.
All joking aside, playing intramural basketball has been a terrific addition to my MAcc experience. It has provided an opportunity for me to interact with my friends in the MAcc program in a way that has absolutely nothing to do with accounting or schoolwork. More importantly, the exercise serves as a healthy outlet of stress from classes or looming finals!
Stay tuned for more updates on the progress of The Embezzlers!
This past week Susan Blasik-Miller from the law firm Freund, Freeze & Arnold came to talk to our class. As a lawyer, most of her daily work is spent either training doctors how to avoid malpractice suits or defending them in court. However, unlike many of our other speakers, she chose not to talk about her work. Instead, Mrs. Blasik-Miller talked about things she has learned over her career that she wished someone had told her in college.
Some of her main points were:
Email vs. Personal Communication:
While it is often times easier to just simply send emails to a colleague, it is very beneficial to pick up the phone or stop by their office. By having live or face-to-face communication, you will be able to develop strong connections and strengthen your personal network.
Remember Who Owns Your Work Computer:
What you do or what you send from your work computer can probably be recovered by the IT department of your company. Never post anything from your work computer that you wouldn’t want your boss to see!
Own your Mistakes:
When you do something wrong, own up to it. It is much better for you to admit your mistake to your boss rather than having your boss find the mistake later on when it cannot be fixed. Be open with your communication and don’t try and cover anything up.
Find a Mentor:
Having someone who is experienced in the work you will be pursuing to bounce questions and ideas off of will help maximize your talent. These relationships develop over time so do not fret if you don’t have a mentor within the first 6 months of work.
Mrs. Blasik-Miller touched on many other topics related to career development. It was a terrific experience receiving advice from someone so successful!
One great benefit of the Fisher MAcc Program is the ability to take elective courses in the business school outside of the Accounting Curriculum. This provides students the opportunity to take courses offered to Master of Business Administration (MBA), Master of Human Resource Management (MHRM), as well as Specialized Master of Finance (SMF) students.
This session I am enrolled in a Master of Human Resource Management course titled International Ethics that is taught by Professor David Freel. Professor Freel has a wide set of experiences from being a trial lawyer as well as traveling to Europe to help companies and governments solve ethical disputes. Throughout his career, Professor Freel has met several influential people abroad. Because of these connections, a component of our International Ethics course includes hearing from various professionals involved in compliance related roles abroad.
This past week the class was able to have Drago Kos speak to us over skype. Drago Kos is the current Bribery Chairman for the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OCED). In his presentation to the class, he discussed his daily responsibilities, recent projects he has been working on, as well as how we can continue to improve economic fairness through the banishment of bribes and other forms of corruption.
I am looking forward to an exciting session of classes and learning more about ethical practices overseas!
For many students in the MAcc program here at Fisher, this semester is the last semester of schooling they will have in their life (with the exception of PhD students and students who may return to school after working). This brings on a certain degree of finality and sentimentalism.
For myself, being a BSBA/MAcc crossover student, this semester is not only the closing of my masters of accounting degree, but also of my undergraduate degree. Realizing that I have already attended my last Football game as a student, scheduled for the last time, and had my last Christmas break, I have decided that I am going to milk my final semester for all that it is worth.
In order to achieve this in my final semester, I am taking majorly elective classes that have peaked my interest, I will become more involved in Fisher community activities (such as food truck Friday), and plan on attending as many campus events as possible (such as basketball games and concerts) prior to moving on into the working-world . I am excited to share these experiences with all of you as a close the book on what has been an exceptional college experience!
Whether it is a new years resolution or trying to rid your self of your extra holiday indulgences, there are a plethora of places to exercise on or near campus. And the best news, all options listed below are available to students at no extra cost!
Recreational and Physical Activity Center
The RPAC is located at the center of OSU’s Main Campus (about 4 blocks south of the Fisher College of Business). After opening in 2007, the RPAC was one of the nation’s largest exercise faculties. Offering gymnasiums, racquetball courts, squash courts, putting greens, exercise classes, a full aquatics center, machine and free weights, and plenty of cardio equipment, the RPAC is more than likely to offer any form of exercise your heart desires!
There are three Jessie Owens (JO for short) located on campus: South, North, and West. Jessie Owens North is located just behind Gerlach Hall, where most graduate business courses are offered. All of the Jessie Owens facilities offer a smaller selection than the RPAC consisting of cardio machines, machine and free weights, and a couple of basketball courts!
Adventure Recreation Center
The ARC is arguably the most unique of all of the activity centers. The ARC sports a rock climbing wall, indoor turf soccer fields, basketball courts, as well as cardio and weight lifting equipment.
The Ohio State MAcc program is unique in the fact that the university operates on a semester schedule, yet the MAcc program offers half-semester 7-week session classes. This means that when students enroll in classes, they will enroll in the next two 7-week session’s courses! While this quick rotation through classes keeps MAcc students refreshed on course topics, it can complicate how students schedule for their final semester schedule.
Your first half year in the Ohio State MAcc program is fairly structured as each student is required to 3 of the 4 required core course in the first two sessions. This simplicity, combined with terrific guidance from the MAcc advising staff, makes scheduling for the first two sessions a breeze (even though students are not even on campus yet).
It is the second half-year scheduling where things become a little more complicated. Normally, second semester scheduling windows open sometime before Halloween; this means that students have had roughly 10 weeks to get acclimated to the MAcc program and its courses prior to having to select your courses for your final semester!
While this might seem stressful, it is actually a very exciting time. Since there are so many elective course offerings, the Graduate Programs Office hosts a lunch where professors of second semester courses come and talk about their course topics and expectations. The purpose of the lunch is to help students choose which classes would be best for them. Aside from attending this lunch, there are other keys to take away the stress of scheduling that I have learned by finalizing my schedule.
The keys to take away the stress of scheduling are:
- Make sure you have met all of the program requirements
- Talk to professors to gain more information about their classes
- Make a primary and a backup schedule
- As soon as your scheduling window opens, SCHEDULE! Classes are assigned on a first come-first serve basis based on when your scheduling window opens.
While you will have a lot of decisions to make regarding which courses to enroll in, take comfort in the fact that all the professors in the MAcc program are the very best that the Fisher College of Business has to offer. Any class you choose to take while in the MAcc program will be interesting, engaging, and fulfilling!