Why The Ohio State University was the Right Choice for Me

As my time in college is coming to an end, I can only reflect on how deciding to attend The Ohio State University was the best decision that I have ever made.  Ohio State offered me the perfect combination of academics, athletics, and a social atmosphere.  While at Ohio State, my professors challenged me day in and day out to get outside of my comfort zone.  This allowed me to become a more knowledgeable and confident individual.  I am positive that I would not be headed off to work for the most valuable company in the world (Microsoft) without the skills I learned in my Fisher classes.

Every weekend at Ohio State, there are dozens of things to do.  Concerts, clubs, sports games, bars, or just hanging out with friends to name a few.  Having the city of Columbus at your doorstep offers the same opportunities any major city can provide  you.

Where else but Ohio State can you walk down the sidewalk and bump into Top 5 NFL draft picks each year? Or go to speeches from presidential candidates? Or be able to earn both a Master’s and a Bachelor’s degree in four years? The opportunities here are endless.

If you are reading this, you are probably on the fence about whether you should come to Ohio State and be a part of our MAcc Program.  Remember, you can make a big school smaller, but you can’t make a small school bigger!  Why be a big fish in a little pond, when you can be a big fish in a big pond?

Thanks for following along all year and feel free to reach out for any advice or questions! Go Bucks!

Fisher Kickball Tournament Champions

On March 30th, the Fisher College of Business hosted its first annual Graduate Student Kickball Tournament! Five teams of Fisher graduate students signed up to play in this tournament hosted at the ARC. I played on a team with other Master of Accounting students.

The tournament was competitive. In our first game, we beat a team of MBAs in extra innings.  The game was tense, with our team having to hold the MBAs to one run in the bottom of the extra inning or we would lose or play another inning.  Our championship game came against students from the MHRM program, where a few home runs propelled us to victory.

The MAcc Team Winning the Kickball Tournament

The tournament was especially fun because it gave us an opportunity to come together and meet students from other Fisher graduate programs.  Professors played in the kickball tournament too.  I was happy to hit a home run off of a professor I had for an HR class.  As the winning team, we won a catered lunch of our choosing!

The kickball tournament was another example of a fun opportunity outside of the business school that Fisher offers its graduate students.  Hopefully next year’s MAcc team can retain its title!

March Madness

While Ohio State football is the main priority (at least for sports fandom) on campus, everyone becomes a basketball fan once March rolls around.  This year, the Buckeyes made the tournament as an 11-seed and upset a strong Iowa State team in the first round.  I watched the game with my friends at a campus bar and everybody was very excited.  Unfortunately, we lost our second game to a very good U of Houston team.

My favorite part of March Madness is the bracket.  This year, a bunch of MAcc students joined together to form a bracket pool.  I am currently in first place in the pool (humble brag), as I had a perfect “Sweet-16.”  If Gonzaga wins the tournament, I should be set to win bragging rights over my MAcc peers for eternity.

Watching sports often builds relationships.  The other night, the MAcc students headed to a local restaurant to watch the games and get some tasty appetizers.  This event us just one of many unofficial events that our program has hosted this  year.  We have also done a bar crawl, scooter tour, and had parties for various holidays, such as Halloween and Chinese New Year.

While academics are definitely the main focus of our program, it is important to be involved socially so that you can build friendships and relationships that will last a lifetime!

Tips for Virtual Interviews

Part of the application process for the Master of Finance, Master of Accounting, and Master of Human Resource Management programs involves completing an online video interview.  Here are some of my tips to help you ace our virtual interviews.

  • Look into the camera.  If you were in an in-person interview, you would look the person you are speaking with in the eye, right? Why not do the same for a virtual interview?
  • Pick the perfect spot.  Try to find a place that is clean, quiet, and comfortable.  We do not want to be distracted by people walking by you in the background or background noises.
  • Don’t drag it out.  If your response is shorter than the amount of time allocated for it, there is nothing wrong with ending the video! Don’t throw yourself off track by making the story longer than it needs to be.
  • Dress for success.  Dress as if you were going to an in-person interview.  Looking your best conveys the message that you are interested and prepared.
  • Test your technology beforehand.  Make sure that your browser is compatible with the interview platform.  Check to see that your voice is not too loud or too quiet.
  • Practice – Before you start the interview, make sure you have different ideas of talking points you would like to bring up to generic interview questions you may get.  Get the nerves out early!
  • BE HONEST & YOURSELF – This could be our only chance to get to know you before making a decision on whether or not to admit you into our program.  Be honest and genuine with your answers.  Let us know what you are passionate about and what makes you unique!

Best of luck with your application to Ohio State!

*Disclaimer : This is my personal advice to you and may not reflect the opinions of The Ohio State University as a whole.

Buckeyethon!

Buckeyethon is one of The Ohio State University‘s signature events each school year.  This 24-hour dance marathon is a fundraiser for children being treated in the Hematology/Oncology/BMT Unit at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.  This year, Ohio State students raised $1,704,184.19 for the kids!

As a participant in Buckeyethon for the first time, I was amazed at how many Ohio State students selflessly sacrifice their time to fundraise money and dance for twelve hours on the weekend in order to promote awareness for childhood cancer.  My shift was the “Scarlet Shift” which ran from Friday at 7 P.M. to Saturday at 7 A.M.  My friends and I were placed on the green team.  Each color team had seemingly more than 100 members and had kids from the hospital to celebrate and dance with.

Members of the Green Team

There was more to do than just dance – I played dodgeball, mini-golf, “Gaga ball” and caught up with friends I had not seen in a while at the dance marathon.  My favorite part of the night was the 3 a.m. rave, where all of the students got together to dance under neon flashing lights in the Union Ballroom.

Buckeyethon 3 a.m. Rave

Overall, Buckeython was an amazing experience and I am so glad I made the commitment to doing it back in the fall.  I would recommend every OSU undergraduate or graduate student to take part in this event, as it is truly a great time and raises money for an outstanding cause.

Buckeyethon Kids Dancing on Stage

Snow Place Like Columbus

This January has been especially snowy at The Ohio State University (and around the country), which has provided students with opportunities to have fun in the snow! Our first snowfall in January was a big one, and so my roommates and I took full advantage by going sledding around campus using cardboard and makeshift plastic for sleds.

My roommate Nathan sledding down the sidewalk

I also was able to go skiing with friends at a resort just outside of Columbus. Ohio State offers discounted tickets to many different events and locations around Columbus, so we were able to get lift and rental tickets at a great price. Skiing as a beginner was challenging, but a ton of fun.  It’s important to push yourself out of your comfort zone and try new things in order to grow! I am grateful to Ohio State and the MAcc program for providing me these kinds of opportunities to learn and have fun.

Skiing with my friends

One thing I love about the MAcc program is that all of our classes are in the same building: Gerlach Hall. This saves us from having to walk across campus to get to our next class. All MAcc students are provided a locker as well, making it easy to change out of those snowy boots into your business apparel! While the weather may be cold outside during the start of spring semester, our love of Fisher certainly is not.

Traveling Back in Time to Cuba

Fresh off the excitement of finishing my first semester of graduate school, I decided to take a break from the books, cold weather, and CPA prep courses and travel to Cuba with my brother.

Wait – that Cuba? Yes, that Cuba. Visiting Cuba has always been a dream of mine.  My grandmother immigrated to the United States from Cuba before the Castro regime took over in the early 1950s.  Due to obvious political conflicts between the U.S. and Cuba, the U.S. government restricts U.S. citizens from traveling to Cuba unless they meet one of 12 OFAC requirements.  No one in my family has ever been there, and my grandmother has not visited since she left 65+ years ago.  When the opportunity to travel to Cuba arose for my brother and me in November, we jumped right on it.

To get to Cuba, we took a small cruise ship that left from Miami.  Cuba is only about 330 miles off the coast of Miami.  Upon arrival, I felt as if I stepped back time time.  The first thing you notice is the old cars.  They are everywhere!  Due to economic sanctions, it is nearly impossible for Cubans to get new cars or new car parts.  Because of this, they make sure to keep their cars from the 1950s in top shape and even make their own parts for repairs.

Pink Car Cruising down the Street
Me in a 1955 Cadillac Eldorado

My brother and I rented a gorgeous 1955 Eldorado for three hours and drove all over Havana (we had a driver) to see the sights before deciding which ones we would explore more.  Driving around, you will not see anything that you would in America: no fast food chains, major billboards, bright lights, or department stores.  Communist propaganda is everywhere around the city.  Even the U.S. embassy was closed.  The only American reference we saw was the capital building in Havana, El Capitolio, which was modeled after the White House.

El Capitolio in Havana

Day-to-day life is drastically different too.  Many Cubans do not have cell phones or internet access.  One Cuban we talked to said they got access to Google the week before we arrived (early December).  For example, Cubans have to go to the “Black Market” to watch American TV shows we see every day, such as South Park or Game of Thrones.   The vast majority of people in Cuba make $10 a month, with doctors being the highest paid at $50 a month.  Education and healthcare are free for all and you can take advantage of these services as much as you want.  A tour guide we had showed us her “Ration Book” that she has to take to get her bread and rice from the government.

My trip to Cuba was eye opening and made me feel very blessed to have been born in the United States.  Everyone we talked to was extremely friendly. I’m very grateful to be able to visit and share my experience!

Thanks for reading!

Thanksgiving Break Activities

Thanksgiving break allows Ohio State University students to take a break from the stresses of college life and enjoy time with friends and family.  At Ohio State, we get the Wednesday through Friday of Thanksgiving week off.  I was very excited to have the opportunity to go back to my hometown of Buffalo, New York for break.

Thanksgiving Hockey

After saying hi my family, I hit the ice! Hockey has always been a huge part of my life, and so having the opportunity to skate around for a couple hours and play the sport I love felt great.  Hockey is a very popular sport in Buffalo, while it is just starting to grow in popularity in Columbus.  I participate in intramural hockey at Ohio State, which I find to be a great way to exercise after classes.

My view for the Sabres game

After playing hockey, I decided to go watch an NHL game! My hometown team is the Buffalo Sabres, and they won their seventh straight game when I was there! Columbus has an NHL team called the Blue Jackets, which is popular around campus.  The Blue Jackets offer discounted tickets to students, and I go to their games occasionally too!

Catching up with long time friends

I caught up with some friends from Buffalo, ate a massive Thanksgiving dinner, and then went back to Columbus for “The Game,”  which refers to the Ohio State vs. Michigan football game, which happens every year on the day after Thanksgiving.  Our two schools are well known to be the biggest rivals in all of sports.  This game was especially important because the loser would essentially be knocked out of the college football playoff race.  Ohio State won 62- 39 and everyone stormed the field to celebrate during the final seconds.

Beating Michigan!

As I have said before, school spirit runs high at Ohio State.  Students here are proud to be Buckeyes both inside and outside of the classroom!  Thanks for reading and as always, please let me know if you have any questions!

The GA Life

Ohio State Specialized Masters Programs all have Graduate Assistant (GA) opportunities available for students.  Many of those who contribute to the My Fisher Grad Life Blog are graduate assistants, including myself, so I figured it would be helpful to explain a little more about the GA position and what we do!

In my opinion, the GA position is the best opportunity for a graduate student to work on campus.  Graduate Assistants work 10 hours a week and are rewarded with a 50% tuition waiver and monthly stipend.  Everyone who applies for a graduate program is automatically considered for a GA position.

Graduate Assistants work as recruiting ambassadors, teaching assistants, or help out with special projects.  As a recruiting ambassador, I have had the opportunity to interact with students from across the world and talk to them about how great Ohio State’s Master of Accounting program is.

Promoting Ohio State Masters Programs in the Graduate Programs Office.

My main role as a recruitment GA is to coordinate visits for students who are invited to visit to the Master of Accounting program.  I talk with the prospective student and find a day that works well for them to visit.  I then make the necessary appointments with faculty, recruiting and admissions, and Office of Career Management so that the student gets to experience all the important aspects of Fisher.  On visit day, I will meet the prospective student, bring them to a class, take them out to lunch at the Blackwell Bistro, walk them to their appointments, and give a tour of the Fisher College of Business or the whole Ohio State University campus.

A Student Recruitment Lunch at the Blackwell

Aside from coordinating visits, I help manage our MAcc email box and answer questions daily from interested students.  I also speak to potential students over the phone or during walk-in visits about the MAcc program.  Being a combined BSBA/MAcc student, I am the “go to” for information about getting a combined undergraduate/graduate degree for The Ohio State University undergraduate accounting majors.

Working hard on Halloween

Other responsibilities I have as a recruitment GA involve helping with applicant relationship management in our Salesforce database and speaking to undergraduate classes or on panels about graduate school.  Working in the Graduate Programs Office at Fisher is great because you get to know people from the other programs Fisher offers, such as the MHRM, SMF, and MBA programs.  Everyone in the office is very helpful and friendly and make me enjoy coming to work every day!

With Audrey (MAcc GA) and Elise (MHRM GA) at a Buckeyes game

I hope that this blog has helped provide some insight into a great work and funding opportunity the Fisher College of Business provides select graduate school applicants.  I love The Ohio State University and being a part of the Fisher College of Business, so it’s only a bonus that I get paid to promote the school that has given me so much!  As always, please feel to reach out if you have questions about the MAcc program or life as a graduate student!

How to Get Both a Bachelor’s and Master’s in 4 Years

Picture this – It’s May of your senior year of college. You are at graduation in Ohio Stadium and walk across the stage with your classmates, shake the Dean’s hand, and get handed two separate degrees: bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree.

The combined BSBA/MAcc program is one of the most unique opportunities the Fisher College of Business has to offer.  You are essentially both an undergraduate and graduate student during your final year of college, taking graduate level classes that satisfy both undergraduate and graduate degree requirements.  Every year, high-achieving undergraduates who have met the combined BSBA/MAcc requirements enter the MAcc program and take classes with graduate students from all around the world.

In order to be able to join the combined BSBA/MAcc Program, you must:

  1. Be an Ohio State University undergraduate student studying accounting.
  2. Have 90 credits at the time of application and 120 credits by the time you enter the program.
  3. Have a cumulative GPA at 3.5 or above.
  4. Have taken all required 3000-level accounting specialization courses (except 3400 – tax) by enrollment.
  5. Complete an online application during the fall of your junior year. For the application, you will need to have taken the GMAT and have at least two academic letters of reference, so make sure to plan ahead!

There are a number of undergraduate accounting courses that can be taken as equivalents in the MAcc to satisfy both graduate and undergraduate requirements. This allows for maximum flexibility in completing other undergraduate courses. For example, I was able to finish my Spanish minor my Junior Year because I could defer undergraduate courses to the MAcc program. Here are some examples of course substitutions:

                                                       BSBA/MAcc Course Substitutions

If this seems like something you might be interested in, plan ahead! It is never too early to come into the Graduate Programs Office to speak with a Graduate Ambassador about planning out your undergraduate schedule to meet the program requirements.

I know that this is a lot of information, so if you have any questions about my experience with the BSBA/MAcc program, please feel free to reach out. Being a part of the MAcc program has been an enriching experience and I would recommend it to anyone looking to make themselves stand out by obtaining a graduate degree.