New Friends and New Challenges

Time is flying here in the Fisher MAcc program. I feel like every day is a new whirlwind of useful information from all my 7 week classes, which are now (unbelievably) halfway over. The professors are all extremely knowledgeable in their fields, which makes the fast pace of classes feel so much more manageable. Midterm exams and projects have been keeping all the MAcc students studying diligently, but we still know how to relax and enjoy time with our new friends in the program.

Large group of students seated at a group of tables in a restaurant
Dinner before the Quinn XCII concert. What a turnout!

This picture is from a MAcc Council event (you can learn more about that in a future post from me!) where everyone enjoyed a delicious dinner at a local Mexican restaurant before seeing Quinn XCII perform on campus. Definitely a night to remember! Even though it’s only been a month, I’m making great friends that I truly enjoy spending time with.

The Fisher MAcc allows you to enjoy yourself while also working hard to learn and grow as a professional. I am happy to have chosen a school that has the total package.

Meet the Blogger – Eric Luehmann

4 men smiling while sitting at a table
Checking out a welcome event for new graduate students with new MAcc friends

Hello party people my name is Eric Luehmann and I’m super excited to be a part of the team in the Graduate Programs Office at Fisher this year as a graduate assistant. This blog was an awesome resource as I was scouting out MAcc programs last year so I’m hoping I can be of use to prospective students this year. Even though I’ve only been at Fisher for a short time, I can already tell that there’s a ton of opportunity to grow and develop as a business professional here.

To give you a little bit of background on me, I was born and raised in La Crosse, WI. It’s a pretty small community and a great place to grow up. My undergraduate years were spent at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN. I wanted an adventure for my four years and definitely got that in Music City. My bachelor’s degree is in Human and Organizational Development with a minor in Financial Economics, so I can speak to the possibility of pursuing a graduate degree in accounting coming from a bit of a different background.

View of an empty Ohio Stadium taken from a suite
View from a suite at The Shoe during a networking event – Go Bucks!

My first few weeks at OSU have been spent learning accounting principles in the Pre-MAcc Seminar (super useful for non-accounting students like me!), getting into the swing of classes, and getting to know all of my peers in the Fisher MAcc program. Keep your eyes on this blog as I explore Columbus, develop my accounting skills, and go through the on-campus recruiting process for public accounting firms. I hope seeing the life of a MAcc student through my experiences helps you make an informed choice about your graduate education.

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!

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!

And, on to the Next Chapter

To say the Fisher MBA program has been a whirlwind is most definitely the understatement of the year. It has been the opportunity of a lifetime, the chance to pivot my career trajectory back toward social impact, an environment of experiential learning and continuous growth, one of the hardest things I have ever done, and, ultimately, an experience I will never regret, but rather, value now and into the future.

Looking back, I wonder how well prepared I was for this experience. The first year was definitely challenging and included many ups and downs. From constant interviews and internship rejections to an amazing entrepreneurial summer internship with NAWBO and a global consulting experience in Ethiopia and Kenya through GAP, first year included both some of the hardest and most rewarding parts of the program.

Going into the second year, after taking time to self-reflect and refocus over the summer, it was a slightly easier transition back into the academic world. However, the hunt for a full-time job was overwhelming at times. With the constant pressures surrounding us in this program, I found the time to take a step back and self-reflect to be essential for my journey.

Now, looking back, I wish I would have taken more time for this, as well as more time to develop relationships outside of student organizations/course work. This 2-year experience not only provides an education and opportunity for career growth, it is a chance to build and grow your network of personal and professional relationships with some of the most intelligent individuals you’ll ever meet.

Sitting in Gerlach Hall on this beautiful spring morning, I cannot help to embrace the bittersweet feeling of graduating and heading into the next chapter as an OSU alum. I am so excited for this next part of our journey, as my husband and I will be moving to Washington, DC where I recently accepted my dream job! I will be working with Management Sciences for Health (MSH), a global health NGO, in their operations and business development team. Without a combination of the experience in this program, along with taking time to self-reflect on why I came back to school in the first place, I would not be in this position today. To all pursuing this journey in the near future or finishing the program next year, I wish you all the best!

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.

Fisher Graduate Student Appreciation Week

A couple of weeks ago was Fisher Graduate Student Appreciation Week. I wasn’t aware of this precious week before starting my Master’s program but it is honestly a golden opportunity for student to win free prizes and get fantastic discounts in many restaurants in town!

Throughout the week, Fisher had a random drawing every day of the week to determine the lucky winners! Some examples of things you could win included: hot/cold tumbler, free food (gift cards), free coffee and donuts, among others! One place offering a free tour was Watershed Distillery, a micro-distillery in Columbus, owned by a Fisher alum Gregory Lehman. Among others, I was happy to hear that one of my favorite restaurants, Brassica, was participating in the gift card drawing process.

In fact, I had just been in Brassica the other weekend with a couple of friends from the program, and of course, our meal was delicious.

Love at first bite!

After my meal, I definitely felt appreciated as a Fisher graduate student! 🙂

April Activities: An Update!

I recently shared a post about all of the activities this April that Fisher had to offer for the graduate students and promised that I would return with an update, so here we are! 

MAcc Gives Back

A week ago, MAcc students and faculty split off into two groups to volunteer at the Franklin Park Conservatory and the Mid-Ohio Food Bank. I went with the Franklin Park Conservatory group and had a great time bonding with my fellow MAcc classmates! We were assigned to clean up the children’s garden and get it ready for Spring. After spending a few hours working among the staff, we had an opportunity to walk through the conservatory and see all of the beautiful plant habitats. We also had time to go into the butterfly conservatory! After volunteering all morning, the groups from both locations came back to Gerlach Hall for lunch together. It was a great way to spend a Friday morning! I wish that we had more organized volunteering throughout the year because it was a great way to spend time together outside the classroom!

Fisher Formal

Elise (MHRM GA); Me, Julie & Matt (MAcc GAs) at Fisher Formal

Last Friday was Fisher Formal, and it did not disappoint! Fisher Formal is put on every spring by the MBA social committee and is offered to all Fisher graduate students. Included in our ticket price was a buffet of heavy hor devours, drinks, a photo booth, and a DJ all night! I went with a group of MAcc and MHRM students and had an absolute blast. The DJ played really good music and it was really fun getting to hang out with the MHRM and MBA students that I work with every day the Graduate Programs Office. The event is definitely one of the highlights of the year for me!

An April Full of MAcc Activities

Spring is finally here! In less than a month, I will become a proud alumna of the Ohio State MAcc program. April is the last month of classes and our program graduates May 5th with the rest of the Ohio State University. With only a few short weeks left, the MAcc program continues to host various activities for us to look forward to! Here are a few of the upcoming April activities that we have on our calendars.

Fisher Graduate Student Appreciation Week

Each spring, the Graduate Programs Office puts on a graduate student appreciation week. During the week, there are various raffles, discounts at local restaurants, giveaways, and more! This year, more than 10 restaurants and stores have donated coupons, gift cards, food, and other giveaways for the students. Each day of the week there is also an event to attend, whether it be donuts and coffee in the Graduate Student Lounge or a free Distillery tour in the evening. I will absolutely be taking advantage of the 25% off discount at local restaurants and entering into the raffles!

Graduate Student/Professor Kickball Tournament

To kick off graduate student appreciation week, my classmates and I participated in the graduate student/professor kickball tournament. We formed teams of about 10 students and each team reached out to their favorite professor to join their team. It was a great way to bond with the MAcc class and grow our faculty relationships.

MAcc Team Tournament Champs!

Fisher Formal

I definitely thought that my days of attending college formals ended when I graduated from undergrad. I was wrong! The Fisher Social Chairs club puts on a fabulous formal event in April for all the graduate programs combined. This event will be all the more fun because I have had the opportunity to make friends outside the MAcc program through my job as a graduate assistant.

MAcc Gives Back

Every year, the MAcc Council organizes an event for MAcc students, alumni, and faculty to volunteer at various local organizations. The event takes place on a Friday morning and gives the MAcc community a chance to connect with the Columbus community. I am looking forward to learning about the organization in which I will be volunteering for soon! Click here to read about a 2018 MAcc graduate’s experience!

MAcc Pre-commencement Ceremony

On the weekend of graduation, the MAcc program holds a ceremony and reception acknowledging the accomplishments of the MAcc class. This is an event that our close friends and family are encouraged to attend! Keynote speakers will be in attendance, as well as a chosen speaker from our program. It will be wonderful to have an intimate closing ceremony with the classmates I have gotten to know so well!

KPMG MADA Students Return

A perk to living in Columbus this summer while I continue to study for the CPA is the fact that the KPMG MADA students will be returning to campus. They all completed a winter internship in their respective KPMG offices and will be returning to complete their MAcc degrees during the summer semester. It will be valuable to have a support system of MAcc students to continue studying for the CPA and will be fun reuniting with the friends I made last semester!

Hopefully, I will be reporting back with memorable experiences from all the April activities that my fellow classmates and I have to look forward to!

 

2019 Women’s Leadership Conference

Last week, I attended the 2019 Women’s Leadership Conference at The Ohio State University! The event was coordinated by Fisher Graduate Women in Business (FGWIB)  with the topic of cultivating an entrepreneurial mindset. FGWIB is a student organization that acts as a forum to discuss and address issues relevant to women in business and build awareness of women in leadership positions. The event was hosted in the Blackwell Hotel on campus and kicked off with a lunch and panel of women leaders.

Power Panel Speakers: 

  • Kara Trott, Founder and CEO, Quantum Health
  • Paula Bennett, Former CEO J.Jill, Inc.
  • Camille Gibson, Former VP Marketing, General Mills
  • Angel Harris, Executive Director, Dress for Success Columbus
  • Moderated by: Rhonda Talford Knight, President & Founder,
    Knight Consulting Group

Each of the speakers shared their entrepreneurial journey, what entrepreneurship means to them, how they led others, create buy-in for their visions, and gave advice for aspiring leaders. The panel was followed by networking and breakout sessions that included three learning opportunities:

Option 1: Building Your Personal Brand
Natasha Pongonis Co-Founder & CEO, OYE! Business Intelligence

Option 2: Seeking and Securing Advocates
Fran Skinner, CFA, CPAChief Administrative Officer – Investments
Diamond Hill Capital Management

Option 3: Getting Started as an Entrepreneur
Malika Jacobs, Fisher MBA,Founder, Kingmakers Board Game Parlour

Because of my interest in entrepreneurship, I listened to Fisher alumni Malika Jacobs, who shared the realistic challenges and successes of starting her own business right here in Columbus. Some of her highlights were that there is never a perfect time to start a business,  a good support system is essential, and that being an entrepreneur requires tenacity.

Finally, we heard from the keynote speaker, Natalie Keller Pariano, Chief Sprinkler of Positivity Confetti of NatterDoodle in Columbus, who talked about facing adversity on the entrepreneur’s journey. There was also an appearance by the Dean of the College of Business, Anil Makhija!

Overall, it was a wonderful event and I’m glad I had the opportunity to listen to many accomplished, talented women speak about their experiences.

Here are my top takeaways from the day: be curious, empower others, don’t underestimate your value, nothing is going to be handed to you, love what you do.