The MBA Diaries

In the months leading up to my return to school, one question continuously crossed my mind: What does a day as a Fisher MBA student actually look like? Although my campus visits during my interview and Red Carpet Weekend gave me a good feel for the program, it’s hard to know what your day-to-day will be until you actually get here. So, I decided I would give you a taste of a typical day as a Fisher FTMBA. I like to keep myself extremely busy, but this day (below) was an unusually busy one for me. Your own schedule will obviously vary based on what you decide to get involved in and any obligations you have outside of Fisher, so take this as just one example of what life here is like:

Thursday, 11/09/17

7:45am – Roll out of bed after “snoozing” my alarms at least ten times. I hate mornings, but many of our core classes begin at 8:30am so you do what you have to do. Luckily, my roommate (a third-year vet student) shares my sentiments.

8:10am – Head to campus to begin my day. I live in Grandview a little more than two miles from Fisher, so I usually drive and park on campus.

8:30am – Operations I – I’m a marketing major, but I’ve always been fascinated by operations and I have to say that I’m really enjoying this class. Professor Hill leads us in finishing up the value stream map calculations we started on Tuesday. When he’s done, we have time to discuss potential solutions with our classmates based on the calculations we’ve made. Even though my math skills aren’t stellar, I enjoy thinking about how to make processes more efficient. This class is particularly heavy in case studies, and it’s really helpful to apply the principles of operations to real-world examples.

10am – Professor Hill lets us out a few minutes early, so I make my way downstairs to drop off some stuff in my locker and grab coffee from Rohr Cafe. I try to make coffee at home in my Keurig to save money, but I often don’t leave myself enough time to do that before I have to leave for class. On my way, I run into Julee Conrad and Sarah Campbell from Admissions. They offer me free coffee from the Fall Preview Day table. The GPO is the best!

Coffee coffee coffee!

10:15am – Accounting – We just had our second midterm exam on Tuesday, so today we’re transitioning from Financial to Managerial Accounting. Accounting is the quant-heavy class I like the most because the math is fairly basic and Professor Xue (most of us just call her Sue) is the best. Our last Financial Accounting unit was difficult, so I’m glad to be moving in a new direction.

12pm – I pass by my friend Courtney in a study room on my way out of Accounting and stop by for a chat. Courtney is a second-year student and the president of the Fisher Graduate Women in Business (FGWIB), and I work closely with her as one of FGWIB’s first-year liaisons. We talk about FGWIB, Fisher, and life in general– and before I know it it’s almost time for my next class! The second-year MBAs have been an incredibly valuable resource and I can’t wait to pay it forward next year. So if you’re reading this and are starting at Fisher next fall, come find me!

12:45pm – Quickly scarf down some leftovers for lunch before heading to Finance class. I’m not always good about packing lunch or cooking in general, but I try. Gerlach Hall, home of the Fisher graduate programs, has fridges and microwaves and there aren’t a lot of places to get food by Fisher. Plus, it’s healthier and more affordable.

Eating lunch from my snazzy Fisher lunchbox

1pm – Finance – This is our most quant-heavy class this semester, and the English major in me has been struggling. Luckily, I have awesome classmates and a great TA who help me get through it. Professor Wellman does a lot of example problems in class, and copying down the solutions as he works through them helps me understand the material. Today we continue our discussions on the interest tax shield and capital structure decisions.

2:45pm – I head to the Office of Career Management for a meeting with Chase which is recruiting on campus today. I’ve been working hard on my internship search since I got to campus, and Chase is one of my top choices.

3:15pm – I have a little time to kill before my next meeting, so I stop by the Graduate Student Lounge. I spot Ashley, another one of my second-year friends and the co-president of the Fisher Sports Business Association of which I’m also a member. The lounge is a great place to catch up with friends between classes and do group work. I often pass through just to see if any of my friends are around. I won puppy playtime with Ashley’s dogs at last week’s Fisher Follies auction, and I can’t wait to meet them!

4pm – The Office of Career Management started a Job Search Action Team program, and today is my team’s first meeting. The teams are made up of students across all of Fisher’s graduate programs and led by one of our career counselors. The goal is to support each other as we move through our internship and job searches. We get to know each other and learn about “feedforward,” a positive feedback system we’ll be using in future meetings.

5pm – After the meeting ends, I run over to the Blackwell for a happy hour with prospective students. The admissions team is always looking for volunteers for our Fall Preview Days and I love to help out. It’s nice to unwind with some of my friends after a long week and share my experiences with people who might just be my classmates one day!

5:50pm – I make my way back to Gerlach Hall for Chase’s info session. After hearing more about the company and their opportunities, we have the chance to network with a number of representatives from the Columbus office. I’m inspired by Chase’s initiatives in the digital banking space and impressed by their customer-focused mission. I leave the session exhilarated and look forward to learning more as I move through the application and interview process.

8:00pm – I finish up just in time to give my friend a ride home from yoga class. Normally we both go to yoga Thursday at 7pm at the North Recreation Center, but my schedule was just too full today.

8:30pm – Get home in time to collapse on my couch and watch some TV. It’s Thursday, which means I have no class tomorrow!

Hope you enjoyed a day in my life! If you want to see more posts like this, feel free to let me know in the comments.

 

My First Football Game!

On Saturday, I had the chance to experience one of the most impressive and exciting sporting events of my entire life. I have to say that I have been to many sporting events over the course of my life such as a World Cup game in Germany, a European Cup game in France, a Premier League game in Manchester, and multiple World Cup qualification games in Belgium. I thought that no other sports could compete with soccer in terms of fan atmosphere and suspense during the game, but I have to admit that I was wrong.

39-38 was the final score of the OSU vs. Penn State game! Picture the dramatic ending: 3:07 is left in the game. After being down the entire time, Ohio State has the ball with the chance to take the lead for the first time. A little more than a minute later, Quarterback J.T. Barrett finds Tight End Marcus Baugh and… Touchdown! The entire stadium goes crazy!

As a big soccer fan, I left Ohio Stadium a surprised student. I knew that it was supposed to be a great event between two really good teams, but I was definitely not expecting myself to be as hyped as I was for an American football game. The best part of it was these 100,000 OSU fans that kept believing in their team, even after being down 14-0 three and a half minutes into the game.

I was not planning to go to the two last home games of the season, but after this game, I’ve completely changed my mind!

Enjoying Life at OSU

College, especially time in a graduate program, can be a lot of work and consume substantial time out of your day. However, it’s important to keep on enjoying your life and do things that make you happy. Below, I have listed a few things that help keep me sane:

  1. Watching Sports

Coming to Ohio State, you have plenty of opportunity to watch sports, especially if you love college football. Ohio State has, and will continue to have, one of the best college football teams in the country. Most recently, the Buckeyes came off a huge victory over #2-ranked Penn State (they are not our rival, even though Penn State fans may argue otherwise). The Buckeyes were down 18 points late in the second half and came back for the defeat.

Image result for ohio state football penn state
J.T. Barrett – Ohio State quarterback
  1. Playing Intramurals

OSU has a lot of opportunity for students to stay in shape and have fun. Not only do we have world-class recreation facilities, but we have a large intramural presence. We have anything from intramural baseball to intramural inner tube water polo! Personally, I make sure to participate in at least one intramural team each semester.

Image may contain: 9 people, people smiling, people playing sports and outdoor
My intramural soccer team after winning our first playoff game. That’s me in the back row on the right!
  1. Getting Involved at Ohio State

Get involved, get involved and get involved! Being involved on campus is not only a great way to develop as a professional, but allows you to expand your network and create lifelong memories. Personally, I am the president of my student organization MUNDO. MUNDO is very near and dear to my heart. Moreover, joining as a new member was single-handedly the best decision I made during these past four years. I would highly suggest that you get involved in something you’re passionate about while at Ohio State!

MUNDO
MUNDO – Multi-cultural Understanding through Non-traditional Discovery Opportunities
  1. Making Friends

Being in the Midwest, people are very personable and always willing to include you in their activities. This is one of the main reasons I chose to stay in Ohio for college. Everyone here is so friendly and there is never a dull moment while at Ohio State!

Image may contain: 5 people, people smiling
A few accounting students with Professor Zach at a baseball game

 Hey, My Friends: You Did Great!

This is my fifth year studying in the U.S., so I am more used to living on my own than most students who are here for their first time studying abroad. As I recall my first year in the States, I think about the hardest experience and it wasn’t studying for exams; it was celebrating the holidays and festivals by myself.

In China, people use both the solar calendar, the calendar that the U.S uses, and the lunar calendar, the one that most of the Chinese festivals are based on.

The most recent festival was the Mid-Autumn Festival which was on October 4th (the solar calendar date). The Mid-Autumn Festival is very similar to the Thanksgiving Festival here in the States that all the family members are expected to attend. For this festival, we eat mooncakes and of course, share life stories.

In order to celebrate the festival here and relax from the busy school work, I drove my friends to a local Asian grocery store to buy some mooncakes. The first thing that we noticed was a well-packaged mooncake gift box. The logo name on the box was very appealing. It was named “COME BACK HOME.”

A strange mix of emotion came to us when we saw the box. It was hard to describe the feeling at that moment. On one hand, we were heavy with stress from our different course assignments, projects, and notes to get us ready for the coming exams– and submitting tons of resumes and crossing fingers to get first-round interviews. On the other hand, we saw these bright, golden characters–COME BACK HOME– that reminded us of how far away we are from our families. Just like the needle that bursts a balloon, some of my friends could not hold back their tears.

But I celebrate their journey and all the hard work they’ve done to succeed in this new country. And I want them to know: hey, my dear friends, you did great!

 

Meaningful Careers Await

It’s wonderful to be back at Ohio State, my alma mater, in Columbus, Ohio– a home away from home for me. Although it might seem short, it has been three weeks since the autumn semester began, and if I had to choose one word to describe my experience in the MBLE (Master of Business Logistics Engineering) program so far, it would be “busy.”

My busy schedule, like those of my peers in their first year of MBLE, consists of not only knowledge-building classes but also job hunting battles which are very likely to be a first-time experience for some MBLE fellows. We are challenged by engineering courses that demand a significant time investment and we are squeezed by career fairs that need us to invest our precious minutes very wisely with our target employers. The state of constant “busy-ness” and pressure, I believe, is a tradition of students in this uniquely-designed program integrating business and engineering. Sometimes I can hear my inner self shouting out “Give me a break!” I believe my MBLE peers can, as well.

However, my busy schedule, and more precisely, our busy schedules are paying off. It was surprising for me to find out that a significant number of our first-year “MBLErs” (yes, I just coined a new word!), including myself, have received next-day interviews, being officially in this program for only less than three weeks. Isn’t this a powerful illustration of how much the supply chain/logistics industry values the unique integration MBLE has been providing and the hard work MBLE professionals have done? I believe so.

One thing I particularly like in MBLE is that coming out of this program, I can expect a career in the real economy, which is the career I prefer. If we MBLErs call ourselves “engineers,” we should create something solid (yes, I’m being a little old-fashioned now and no offense to other professions that deal with virtual stuff). It’s not hard to discover that companies at the career fairs most valuing MBLErs are those from various real industries, which in my opinion form the backbone of our well-being. The belief that my career after MBLE can be part of the “backbone” makes the journey very meaningful to me.

And I just got started. We just got started. Many more meaningful careers await. Go MBLErs! Go Bucks!

Welcome Week at OSU

Before classes started, the MAcc program had a week-long orientation. During this orientation, students were able to meet faculty, learn more about the program and life at Fisher, and to attend Summit Vision. During orientation, I was able to meet new classmates and build relationships with them and attending Summit Vision was my favorite activity. I was randomly put into a group of about seven people where we then had to do various team-building activities outside. All the activities required trust and teamwork, and by the end of the day, I knew more about each person in my group.

The first week of class is known as “Welcome Week” which includes many activities such as a movie played in the Oval, a Fisher Involvement Fair and an OSU Involvement Fair, and a concert (see below). While there were many activities occurring during the evening, Fisher also held different events during the day.

Many students are actively looking for employment during the MAcc program, and I’m happy to say Fisher makes this process easy for students. Every day, during the first week of class, a different company would be set up outside on the Quad with free pizza and other goodies. In addition to the recruiter the represented firm would have many employees outside; therefore, every student had a chance to network while enjoying a free lunch. Fisher also has various career fairs set up and most firms that recruited on the lawn will also hold information sessions later that day, giving students many chances to network and learn more about various firms.

Students attending the Involvement Fair in the Oval.

Now… the concert! At the end of Welcome Week, there was a free concert for all students with Zedd, an EDM artist. Regardless of own music preferences, I must say it was an AMAZING concert. I recommend that all students attend the events during Welcome Week at OSU. It’s a great opportunity to meet new people and learn more about various programs on campus.

Zedd Concert

Study Abroad at Fisher–Orientation and Welcome week

Where to start?

I never imagined I would go this far, both academically speaking and geographically speaking. 15 years of education and 6239.79 miles (to be exact) of traveling, and now, I am here. Hello, FISHER! Hello, OHIO! Hello, AMERICA!

Look how long I travelled to get to Fisher! 6239.79 miles (10041.97 km) Isn’t that crazy?

The journey as an international student begins with a lot of help from the university. As an international student who did not attend THE Ohio State University for my undergrad degree, I attended two separate orientations. The first one was held by the Office of International Affairs (OIA) and the second one was held by our lovely MAcc program.

During the summer time, all international students receive many pre-arrival emails from OIA that contain a lot of useful information for international students such as housing information. They guide international students step-by-step on almost everything. Due to the large number of international students at OSU, all the international students had to register for a specific time to go through the immigration check-in. Based on the immigration check-in date, students would go to the corresponding OIA orientation slots.

OIA orientation information for the year 2017-2018

Students then were able to go to the Ohio Union to get their Buck IDs on the same day of check-in.

You are going to see Brutus a lot, especially during football season.
Ohio Union

The OIA orientation itself took about a day. We went through various workshops to make our adjustment to campus life (and life in the U.S.) easier. Also, to further help, there are some student organizations located on the first floor of the Union to help students set up their bank accounts, U.S phone numbers, and things like that.

The second orientation event for me was the MAcc orientation, which would focus on team-building activities, job-search related questions, and course-related questions. The length of the MAcc orientation may vary year to year, but believe me, you will not regret it (I enjoyed it a lot).

Of course, OSU is great in many aspects, but one thing that you should definitely check out is the D-Tix, the discount ticket service. There all kinds of events in Columbus– and D-Tix offers major discounts on tickets. OSU also offers some free concerts to its students. You just need your ID to pick up the tickets.

Here is my first (free) concert in my life: DJ ZEDD!

DJ ZEDD OSU Concert

I think I’m starting to get used to this new life and am ready for the challenges that are coming soon — the first one is finding a job. It’s “recruiting season”!

Hopefully, next time, I can share some good news on my blog.

GIPHY Studios Originals reaction hope good luck promise GIF

Brett Has Left the Building

Dear Loyal Following,

Over the past nine months, we have shared so much. You have witnessed a special and intimate viewing of the journey from the beginning of the Specialized Master in Finance program to this final week. From my introductory blog to my first semester recap to this final thank-you letter.

Roughly one year ago, I submitted my deposit for the program and solidified my change from a Political Science/International Affairs undergraduate student to a Candidate for the Specialized Master in Finance program at the Fisher College of Business. Arguably one of the biggest decisions of my life, I switched from a pre-law track to a finance track. Looking back, it was the defining moment in my life.

I have been exposed to a vast array of financial instruments and models that I will use in my future career. The amazing faculty and staff here have been awesome in supporting my growth as a student of finance and a student of The Ohio State University. In addition, the friends I have made here will last a lifetime, coming from backgrounds all across the globe and from different avenues of business. One thing you may have noticed throughout my blogs was the influence of the different cultures in the restaurants we visited. That is one of the greatest attributes of our program.

With all that being said, this is my final week at Fisher and my final week serving the program as a graduate ambassador. I have never been great at goodbyes and thus will keep this soliloquy short and sweet. To everyone at The Ohio State University, it has been an amazing ride. I am excited to see what the future holds for us in our future careers.

Adiós. 再见. 안녕. Tạm biệt. αντιο σας. अलविदा. Ijeoma. ลาก่อน.               Goodbye, Blog World.

Brett Hornung                                                                                                     Specialized Master in Finance, Class of ’17                                                       The Ohio State University – Fisher College of Business

 

My Top 5 Moments of This Year

1. #3 Ohio State vs #2 Michigan (“The Game”) – Although this year’s rivalry week did not include the Mirror Lake jump this year, this was one of the best rivalry games in OSU history. The only game vs. Michigan that may have been better was the 2006 edition of “The Game” when #1-ranked Ohio State beat #2 Michigan to secure a spot in the National Championship. This past year’s game secured us a spot in the Playoff, but we won’t talk about that. As a lifelong fan, this rivalry means so much to me and once you step foot on campus, you will understand the rivalry.

Omar, Mark and me before rushing the field after we won in OT

2. Random Social Events –This one is sort of a catch-all. One thing I am very grateful for is getting to know my classmates pretty well. I knew some of my classmates before the program, but I also met some really awesome people through the program. Throughout the year, we had many social events with everyone in the MAcc. We celebrated birthdays together, tailgated before footballs games together, and went out on the weekends together. While there are still people I wish I got to know better while I was in the program, I am glad I went to as many social events as possible this past year to get to enjoy my final year with classmates.

Celebrating Heewon’s Birthday

3. Fisher Formal – I was hesitant to buy my ticket for this event, but it was definitely worth attending. Fisher Formal is advertised as Prom for graduate students, and since we are of age this time, an open bar is included! Everyone at formal looked amazing and it was a really great time with fellow classmates. Even though I am horrible at dancing, you would have seen me dancing like nobody was watching. Fisher Formal will be one of my most memorable moments from the MAcc program.

4. MAcc Olympics – I wrote about MAcc Olympics a few weeks ago, so if you did not read that blog, check it out. This event got everyone active and playing childhood sports together. We played basketball, volleyball, kickball and dodgeball. This event was also conveniently timed to be right after our Exit Exam was due, so everyone was pumped to be done with that and we celebrated with one big “recess.”

5. Intramural Sports – I’ve blogged about this before as well, but playing intramurals is a great way to get involved and get to know fellow classmates. There are many sports in which you can play and several competitiveness levels for you to choose from. So no matter your skill level, there is an intramural league for you. If you are still not sold on playing intramurals while you’re in the MAcc, just know that if you win the league you get a free t-shirt and get to call yourself Intramural CHAMPION for the rest of your life.

MAccletes could not win it all, but we looked good doing it.

This past year has been one for the books. I have grown a lot as a person and learned more than I thought possible in just 9 months. I have made lifelong connections and feel blessed to have been apart of this class. As promised, I made the most of this year and I encourage everyone to do the same.

Student Perks: D-Tix

Of the many perks available to Ohio State students, I think one of the neatest and least advertised is D-Tix (abbreviation for “discount tickets”). Through OSU’s vast network of community partnerships, the school is able to offer general discounts and discounted tickets to special events through an online lottery system. Everything from Hocking Hills zipline tours, passes to the Columbus Zoo, and gift cards to local restaurants may be available at any given time on D-Tix.

The website is set up similar to Groupon, but with a lottery component. Undergraduate, graduate, and professional students can enter the lottery for any particular event they are interested in, and if selected they pay a discounted price for the tickets (anywhere from 25-50% less than face value).

Obviously, the popularity of the event determines the probability of being selected. The recent John Mayer concert at the Schottenstein Center was quite popular (by the way, Chance the Rapper will also be performing there next month), but for other lower-key entries (gift certificates to local restaurants, for one example) students have a relatively high chance of being selected. Also worth noting—for any unclaimed tickets, they are sold first-come, first-served at the Ohio Union.

One of the benefits of attending a large, public institution like Ohio State is that perks like D-Tix come at a very small cost to each student and are included in the student activity fee (hello, economies of scale!). Let us also not forget the general student discounts afforded to students at various establishments around the city by simply presenting your BuckID. I am grateful that we’re able to enjoy so much of the city, even on a student budget!