Course selection can seem like a daunting process at first due to the variety of electives available within Fisher. To make this process slightly less stressful, the MAcc program hosted an electives information session a few weeks before it was time to register for Spring courses. During this session, several professors spoke for a few minutes about their electives that would be offered during the Spring term. They discussed the course components as well as some of the topics that would be covered and then opened up the floor for questions from students. This informal session really helped me gain a better understanding of what courses were being offered within Fisher’s accounting department and I was able to narrow down my selections to the courses I was most interested in taking. However, I have also asked students in the MBA and MHRM programs for their recommendations on elective courses that I should enroll in from other academic departments. Asking my peers from within the MAcc program for elective recommendations was also a great idea because I was able to get a feel for some of some of the accounting electives from the perspective of a MAcc student as opposed to that of the professor. Utilizing the available resources really simplified the process of deciding which electives to take and will hopefully allow me to make the most of my last semester within the MAcc program.
One of the great opportunities available to students in the Fisher MAcc program is the MAcc Academic Speaker Series. The speakers for this program typically consist of professors, both from within Fisher and from other universities, and they speak about a variety of topics that are of interest to graduate business students.
As part of the MAcc Academic Speaker Series, Phillip Stocken, Ph.D., Associate Dean for the MBA Program at Dartmouth College, came to Fisher to speak about voluntary disclosure. The talk touched upon issues that are very relevant to accounting students since many of us are planning on pursuing careers in either audit, advisory or tax within public accounting firms. Stocken emphasized the importance of the role that auditors play in terms of the financial disclosures made by a firm. He reiterated to us the importance of being skeptical when there is insufficient proof or material discrepancies before making a determination on the reliability and accuracy of a company’s financial statements. He reminded us of the dangers of misrepresenting information and explained that whenever we choose to disclose information, since there is usually the option to withhold information, we must disclose accurate information. As mentioned by Stocken, “In the absence of information, capital markets fail.” This quote really resonated with me because it stresses the importance of voluntary disclosure within the realm of business.
Securing a job can seem like a daunting task, especially when you have to keep up with your classes in the Fisher MAcc program. However, doing some research before attending a career fair or campus recruiting event can really help in terms of making sure that you are prepared to speak with potential employers and current employees from companies that you are targeting. Additionally, it’s very helpful to have an “elevator pitch” prepared that highlights your strengths and sets you apart from your peers.
One of the first career fairs I attended at Ohio State was the Fisher Fall Career Fair which took place in the beginning of September. As a graduate student in The Fisher College of Business, I found this fair particularly beneficial because I was able to get a feel for many of the companies that are hiring Fisher graduates. The employers in attendance ranged from public accounting firms to insurance agencies and almost everything in between. From my prior research I had an idea of the types of careers I was most interested in and attending this career fair allowed me to gain additional perspective on the types of opportunities available within different companies. By attending this event I was able to learn more about some companies that were hiring accounting graduates that I hadn’t previously thought of as potential employers.
As a current MAcc student at Fisher, who did not major in accounting as an undergraduate, I chose to complete some of my prerequisite courses through the Pre-MAcc Seminar. This program, which is administered by the Fisher College of Business Office of Executive Education, allows students to fulfill the Intermediate Accounting I & II prerequisite requirements the summer before beginning the MAcc program. This seminar lasts approximately 2.5 weeks and provides students, particularly those who hold Bachelor’s degrees in disciplines other than accounting, with some of the additional foundational knowledge that they need to be sufficiently prepared for the MAcc program. This past summer, the Pre-MAcc Seminar went from 9:00 am until 5:00 pm for approximately 13 days.
During the program, our instructors, Marc Smith and Stephanie Lewis, would introduce new material through lectures and practice problems and would then give students the opportunity to try additional problems on their own in order to gauge their comprehension of the material. Given the small class size of about 18 students, the seminar lent itself to significant interaction between the students and instructors as well as small-group discussions. Not only was I able to better prepare myself for the Autumn semester in the MAcc Program by completing this seminar but I was also able to meet a variety of students from different educational backgrounds and many different countries. I feel that this seminar allowed me to transition more easily into the MAcc program since I didn’t major in accounting as an undergraduate.
Since I moved to Columbus about five weeks before the start of the Autumn term, I have had plenty of time to explore the city. It’s difficult to keep track of the many great restaurants and entertainment venues around Columbus, but a few that really stand out are Huntington Park (home of the Clippers), Due Amici and Rigsby’s Kitchen. Be sure to check back here for more on the MAcc program and life in Columbus!