Posts filed under 'Campus Life'

New Challenge, New Mentors, New Partners

It’s almost the middle of the first session and I have finally written my first blog for this semester. We still have just 3 core courses in the evening, but having heard a lot of good words about the selective courses, I chose to take 3 of the selective courses after a tough picking process. I’m interested in a lot of topics, such as leadership, team performance, technology innovation, and so on.

I end up with 6 classes on my list. One week later I found myself buried in reading materials, and although they are all very interesting, I dropped one of my selective classes.

This semester, we’ve got more readings, assignments, quizzes, and exams. But luckily, we’ve also got experienced teachers guiding us through the valuable process and classmates making progress with us. For example, Professor Klein has our picture and names and tries to remember every one of us. His class always begins with an interesting riddle and a quiz. A quiz is always stressful to me, but it happens the same day when I finished the reading and learn about it in the lecture. The best part is if I do well in all his quizzes, I can choose not to take the final exam.

Why we choose this program? Here’s our answers from our survey.
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MAcc Speaker Series: Susan Blasik-Miller

One of the many great aspects of the MAcc Program (and Ohio State in general) is the abundance of fascinating speakers that are brought in to present to us. We have something called the “MAcc Speakers Series” and this goes on throughout the entire year. We have several speakers from all different professional and personal backgrounds come in to present on a topic of their choosing, and we also get to ask them questions. Recently, we had a speaker who has an extensive background in law. She also happened to be a current MAcc student’s mom!

For Susan’s presentation, she chose to share some of the insights and knowledge she has acquired throughout the years of being a lawyer, an employer, and a mother. Here are some of the things she shared with us:

  1. Email vs. Personal Communication: There are many positive and negative aspects that come with email and constant communication. She stressed the importance of building relationships, and how this is difficult to do from email communication alone. Also, never deliver bad news over email or ask for special consideration over email.
  2. Remember who owns your business computer: Susan shared horror stories of people losing jobs, being sued, and suffering severe embarrassment from things they have done on their business computers. Overall, it is best to keep emails free of jokes or innuendos and to not use your business computer for something that you wouldn’t want others to see.
  3. Own mistakes: We should always admit to our mistakes. Although we might get punished for admitting our mistakes, companies have professional liability insurance in case mistakes happen. The insurance no longer applies if we try to cover up our mistakes, and thus it is important to never try and cover anything up.
  4. Don’t isolate yourself: Get your work done, but also build relationships within the firm and try to meet as many people as possible. This could include doing things such as joining work intramural teams, volunteering, and going to other social events with coworkers.
  5. Find a mentor: It is important to find a mentor at any stage in your career. You are never too old to have a mentor!
  6. Broaden your horizons: Join organizations that you are interested in joining. You never know what people you may meet that will one day be future clients or a future contact for a business opportunity or favor.

I really enjoyed Susan’s presentation and she shared some very good things to think about as we begin our future careers. I also like that many of the speakers, such as Susan, do not have a background in accounting, but they are still able to share very relevant and interesting topics with us.


Chinese Christmas Eve

I joined a Chinese Christmas party held by a friend of my father on December 26th. As you may know, Chinese people do not celebrate Christmas, but to my surprise, it seemed that they now treated Christmas as Chinese New Year (Spring Festival).

Just as Christmas is an important holiday to some Americans, Spring Festival is an important holiday to some Chinese. Our Spring Festival lasts about a month. Families start to prepare 20 days before the Spring Festival. We prepare food, clean houses, and hold special activities such as eating Laba Zhou, Ji Zao and so on.

At Chinese New Year’s Eve, all family members gather together and enjoy big dinner (similar to a Christmas dinner). But we do not give gifts, instead, children can receive Yasui Money (small red packets with money inside) from their parents and grandparents.

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My father’s friend who I call “Uncle Zhang” is in his 50s. He came to America 30 years ago, and now all of his family is in Columbus. He has a big family: his wife, 2 children, his parents, his sister and her family, and his mother- in-law.

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It was a wonderful night. When we arrived, Uncle Zhang’s sister had already prepared a big dinner. Perhaps because they have lived in the U.S. for a long time, some of their traditional Chinese habits have changed. For example, in China we do not use “common chopsticks” for all the dishes. The dinner is different from a traditional Chinese New Year’s dinner too. It is easy to understand as some traditional cooking material is not available in the U.S. But to my surprise, the parents of Uncle Zhang gave us a “red packet,” which is a traditional Chinese Spring Festival custom. They also gave us a small package with gifts in it.

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To conclude, it was a memorable night and gave me an insight into how Chinese mix American customs with their own traditions. For example, they treat Christmas as Chinese Spring Festival: gathering all families together, making a big dinner with both traditional Chinese dishes and American desserts, and giving us red packets as well as Christmas gifts.


The first week back

Happy New Year!  I hope that you all had a great vacation.  I had a truly restful vacation.  My initial plans were to do some intensive reading to prepare myself for the Spring semester. Those plans quickly fell to the wayside as I spent most of my time with my family. I must have read “Cat Power” and “Madeline” at least 50 times to my son and daughter, respectively. Our family passed around a cold throughout the break, but finally recovered. Despite the illnesses, we all truly appreciated the time together and the lack of pressure from school. The break was perfect, but as the new year arrived, I started yearning to get back into the groove of the semester.

The first week did not disappoint. In the first class of the week, we learned about tunnels underneath the business school! The data analytics professor mentioned it in class and I was among others who went to explore. Our class was in Schoenbaum hall. We went to the basement to find a locked door. Luckily, a faculty member happened to come downstairs and he let us in! We curiously found our way through empty classrooms, computer labs, and hallways with exposed pipes. We ended up coming up through Fisher Hall facing the garage. Of course, I”ll be spending sometime on campus before class further exploring this new area! In addition to the data analysis class, I will also be taking Staffing and Employment Law.

Work has been going well and I have still been actively utilizing many of the skills learned in the program. I recently proposed an Office Exchange program in order to increase company client knowledge, participate in a distinctly different work culture, and to facilitate more company wide cooperation. I will be going to the East office for three days and one of their coordinators will take my place at the West office. It should be an interesting experiment!


Graduate Assistantships: Part 1

99-749-35 Fisher College pillar 9-14-99 Photo: Jo McCulty

As a graduate ambassador for the MAcc program here at Fisher, I often get a lot of questions from prospective students about financial aid. Aside from fellowships, merit-based scholarships, and scholarships from external organizations, there are also several Graduate Assistantships (GA’s) given out to students in the MAcc program.

In this post I will describe what having a GA position is like for me (a graduate ambassador). In my next post I will discuss what other MAcc students, who are Teaching Assistants, say their GA position is like.

All admitted applicants to the MAcc program are considered for a GA position. Applicants do not have to complete any additional essays or interviews in order to receive a GA position. These positions are merit-based and provide a 50% fee and tuition waiver in addition to a monthly stipend. Students with a GA position typically work about 10 hours a week.

For my position, I work in the Graduate Programs Office in Gerlach Hall. This is very convenient because it is the same building as all of my classes so I can work directly before or after class. I work about 10 hours a week and this is typically split into several hours a day about 3 days a week. The nice thing about being a graduate ambassador is the flexibility of this position. The hours I work are set based on my class schedule, and if there is an important speaker/career related event/etc. I would usually be able to attend these events and make up my hours at another time.

On a typical day, I come into work and set up at a desk in the Graduate Programs Office. Most of the time I am answering emails/phone calls from students interested in applying for the MAcc program. I also sometimes have prospective students who already attend Ohio State for their undergraduate degree come in and ask me questions about the MAcc program in person.

Another aspect of my position is assisting with prospective students visiting campus. After communicating with a prospective student interested in coming to campus, I setup and plan their visit to Fisher. The day of the actual visit usually involves taking the prospective student to one of my classes, meeting with faculty/staff, eating lunch with the prospective student and another current MAcc student, and going on a tour of Fisher/campus.


Learning Dining Etiquette

I got a new email from OUAB (Ohio Union Activities Board – ouab.osu.edu) about an opportunity to learn dining etiquette. Free meal and learn something, why not? After registration, they sent another email for us to pick the dishes. When I stepped into the dining hall, I was impressed by the well placed knives, forks, plates, glasses, etc. I’m glad that the university is so thoughtful to provide international students opportunities to learn life here. But what moved me even more is that the faculties and staff are devoted to give us the best care and help they can.
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They served delicate food, from appetizers to coffee. At meal time, the speaker provided us suggestions from choosing food to taking a bite. We learned that the formal dinner is not about eating, but a chance to display our grace and make connections with people that will foster our future.

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At the end, when the waiter cleaned the table, he thanked us for keeping the table clean. It’s just a tiny thing, but he even expressed his appreciation for that while we were grateful for his considerate service. You can feel the efforts the university is making to get everybody involved. No wonder every time we shout out “O-H”, we will definitely get an “I-O”. We know we are embraced and have become part of it.


Basketball Game: OSU vs North Illinos

On Dec. 16, I watched a basketball game with my friend. The game was between our very own OSU and North Illinois University. It was the first time that I watch a basketball game. Although I was not very familiar with basketball rules, it was still an exciting experience to me.

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When we arrived at Jerome Schottenstein Center at 6:45 p.m., many people were already there. As we entered the center, I found people walking around, holding food and drinks and talking excitingly. It was hard to describe the atmosphere. It was like people were waiting for something exciting, but the atmosphere was more like a festival. When we found our seats and sat down, I was shocked because I had never seen so many basketball fans, which reminded me of the Quidditch games in“Harry Potter”. When I was young and reading “Harry Potter”, it was hard to me to image why wizards have such great enthusiasm in a sport game. Now I understood.

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Thanks to my basketball courses in my undergraduate university, I knew the basic rules of basketball. When the game began, people were caught by the game. They cheered for every goal and sighed for every miss. The first half of the game was quite exciting because the goals were so close. The beginning of the second part of the game was even more tense. I could feel a desire to win the game. At about the last 10 minutes, we gradually achieved the dominant position. The atmosphere changed again and it now became exciting. But it was different from the beginning of the game, as at first people were excited about the basketball game but now they were excited about the results.

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I was excited about the game, too. It was so different from watching a game on TV. I could hear people cheering, feel people’s excitement, and got exciting myself. But what impressed me the most is one small thing that happened during the game. Two men who sat on my right were loyal basketball fans. One of them was eager for a souvenir T-shirt given out by cheering squads members. Sitting on my left side was a father with a child. During the game the father introduced the game rules to his son patiently. When the guy threw the souvenir T-shirt for the last time, the father got a T-shirt and he gave it to his son. But later, the son gave the T-shirt to the man who sat on my right. The father explained that his son wanted to do so. It was so warm.

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As we won the game, people left with a sense of pride and excitement. When my friend and I waited for the bus, a car passed by and people in the car shout to us “O-H”, we responded by a loud “I-O”. Before the game, I never thought I would be so excited. But now I understand why people all around the world are crazy for sports: sports are really exciting and inspiring.


Sweet final week

“Final” might be a terrifying word for students. But as usual, OSU updated my impression again.

After the international food sharing class, our final class ended with a talk with our classmates in the bar, beer provided by our professor. We reviewed our first semester and shared our new great findings about our classmates’ presentation styles and so on. It was really fun!
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Another class is harder because of the strict requirement of the exams, in which we must be very accurate and clear to get a high score. We have covered a wide range of topics about organizational change and development, but the professor perfectly wrapped it up by drawing two boxes and several lines between it. And he has invited several senior students to talk about how they have applied what they learned in real work. They all looked confident and happy about what they are doing. It makes me feel excited about my own future.
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There are students studying late for their finals, but for us, we mainly got take home exams. They are not easy, but we have more flexibility in doing it. It really drives me to think about how I can turn what I have read and lectures into my tool-kit to analyze and solve problems.

Also, there were people giving out candies, good luck notes, and coffee near the Ohio Union on campus. “Good luck with your final” is just 5 simple words, but you have no idea how encouraging it can be during finals week.
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Places to Work Out on Campus

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!

The RPAC

Recreational and Physical Activity Center

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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!

Jessie Owens

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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!

The ARC

Adventure Recreation Center

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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.


SMF Council!!

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About a month and a half ago, the SMF student body group got to select the SMF council that would represent them and serve as a liaison between the students and faculty as well as staff and other councils within Gerlach Hall. I am proud to see that I was elected and received a seat on the council. I think that the SMF student group is very diverse and has a lot to offer. I want to tap into that as a council member and build stronger relations amongst students within the program as well as with the faculty and the staff. Many a times I think that we get caught up with assignments and forget to learn from each other which I think is very important. Additionally, there are other programs in the building whom the SMF students can benefit from and whom can benefit from the SMF students. There is nothing that I enjoy more than walking through the hallways of Gerlach and running into Mike Dean from the MBA program and talking “John Cena jokes” or Dan Simak from the MACC program and talking class schedules, or running into Carolyn Wong showing MACC visitors around, or talking music with Danny Combs from MHRM. Getting to know our fellow students is always a rewarding experience.

I remember the other day I was at the Buckeyemart and I ran into Professor Sullivan and we had a fifteen minute conversation. I cannot stress enough how great of a conversation that was especially knowing that the professors frequent the same coffee shops as we do. I hope to cultivate more relationships like this as a council member and help my fellow SMFs do the same as well. I remember after finals last Friday, the majority of the class met up after finals for a drink and to my pleasant surprise there were a couple of MBA students there as well. We all had a good time and people who had sat in the same classes across from each other for a semester got to interact with each other.

I am proud to be part of this council and what it will bring. I think Unity strengthens the bonds amongst people and I cannot wait until the semester starts and brings opportunities to strengthen those bonds.

Go Bucks,
Didier, H


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