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

Q&A with a MHRM Student: Shane G.

ShaneShane Greskevitch: MHRM Class of 2017

Hometown: Wheeling, West Virginia

Undergraduate Major: Economics and Psychology

Favorite place to go in Columbus I really enjoy walking and biking on the Olentangy River Trail. Luckily, we have had beautiful fall weather this year and having the trail so close to my apartment and Fisher has given me the opportunity to spend a lot of time outdoors. On the weekends, I really enjoy wandering around Short North exploring the different shops and restaurants. I feel like there is always something new to try there.

Favorite extracurricular activity at Fisher: Any event put on by the MHRM Council. They do a great job organizing events such as scavenger hunts, networking activities, and group outings like “Zoo Lights” that make you feel closer to your classmates. A vast majority of 1st and 2nd years attend and participate, which has helped me get to know people in the program a lot better outside of the classroom.

Favorite hangout spot on OSU’s campus: The Shoe! I am a huge football fan and game days at OSU are awesome. Football Saturdays are a great opportunity to tailgate, eat great food, and socialize with friends and classmates. Once you’re inside, you realize how massive and electric the stadium really is. My first game is an experience that I’ll never forget. 

Favorite MHRM class thus far in the program I really enjoyed Markets, Organizations, and Human Resource Management. The class dives into the complexities of labor and employment issues from an economic standpoint. We discussed how we, as Human Resources professionals, must respond to changes in wage rates, employment trends, and macroeconomic conditions. I liked being able to put my economics background into a HR-related application.

What I hope to do after the MHRM program: After completing the program, I plan to become either an HR Generalist or a Compensation and Benefits Specialist for a large corporation. I’m hoping to work for a great company that will allow me to put my knowledge of HR to work right away.

Advice I would give incoming first years and/or prospectives: Do not be afraid to branch out to meet classmates and don’t be shy! Many friendships are formed within the first few days and weeks of the program. Don’t be afraid to start conversations with new people- remember: they are in the same situation as you are!

Gimme a Break, Gimme a Break

Earlier this semester, I wrote about the astonishing speed of the first term (seven weeks). Even though I have the exact same feelings about this second term, I won’t bore you with my flabbergasted view of time during this program (but seriously, didn’t we just start Leadership and Operations a couple of weeks ago?).

Amid the flurry of classes, exams, group projects and meetings, there is time to breathe. Trust me. Breaks are such an important part of this program. Luckily, they’re almost perfectly spaced apart.

Academic Calendar

Like any school schedule, the breaks can be short (Labor Day, Veterans’ Day), a little more substantial (fall break, Thanksgiving weekend) or massive (winter break a.k.a. four weeks of brain-resting bliss). Whether it’s a Wednesday off or a five-day weekend, each and every one of us can appreciate a break because we get a much needed taste of normalcy. Some choose to take the extra time to focus on catching up in Data Analysis. Others take time to catch up on Netflix. Anything and everything that has been neglected throughout the preceding weeks receives much needed attention.

Personally, my favorite break activities are sleeping in, reading (for pleasure, not to learn more about value stream mapping) and mini-marathons of beloved TV shows or movies with my girlfriend. Before Fisher, I used to finish a book every one to two weeks. This has drastically changed. I can say, with a twinge of sadness, it took me about twelve weeks to finish the last book I started (it was a terrible book, but still). Nonetheless, I will not be deterred. I have a stack of 10-15 books waiting to be read over winter break, next semester, spring break and beyond.

As for shows, wonderful creations like On Demand, DVR, Netflix and Hulu enable all of us to catch up on our favorite shows in one day (if you’re feeling up to it). I’m partial to travel shows, namely “Parts Unknown” with Anthony Bourdain, but anything will work. I’m sure I have a few classmates who can’t wait to finish the latest season of “Pretty Little Liars” or “UFO Hunters.” I’m not here to judge anyone’s preferred method for fully exploiting a day with no schedules and no deliverables. I think we should all revel in our days off and do just that, take the day off. Do what you want to clear your mind, relax and get re-centered.

Like all great things, breaks come to an end. The hectic schedule awaits on the other side, but that doesn’t mean we can’t put our brains on cruise control and get lost in something other than regressions for a day.

 

Ohio State Thanksgiving Dinner

November 26th, my roommates and I joined the Ohio State Thanksgiving Dinner. It was a wonderful experience.

As there are thousands of students who took part in this event, the dinner was separated into two sections. We could choose either to have dinner at 11:45 a.m. or at 2 p.m. Tickets are required, but we could get them for free at the Student Union.
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When my roommates and I arrived at the Union, I found it was decorated with a welcome board and some special designs, which created a festive atmosphere.
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At about 11:30a.m. We saw the volunteers of the Ohio State Thanksgiving Dinner. And then the “Turkey”. The “turkey” was very cooperative and made many funny poses as people took pictures with him. It was a funny but really cute “turkey!”
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When we were waiting in line, we met many of our friends. It seemed that the Ohio State Thanksgiving Dinner was a popular event as so many people came. We waited for about 20 minutes and then we got into the Archie Griffin Grand Ballroom. Volunteers were already there. With the volunteers’ help, we came into the room and sat down. During the speech, I learned that the dinner has been held for more than 10 years. No wonder they can arrange thousands of people and make sure that everything was in order.

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The food was great, too. Beans, turkey, potatoes, and pies……all kinds of traditional Thanksgiving food.

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After dinner, there was a board outside the room to write down what or whom we wanted to thank. I wrote down my thanks to my roommates because with their company and help, I did not feel lonely as a student – one who had left family to study alone in a different country. We then signed our names on the board and took a picture. I thought it was a meaningful picture because it was such a memorable moment.

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I really appreciated the Ohio State Thanksgiving Dinner as it created a special memory for our Thanksgiving holiday. And I really want to say “thank you” to all of the volunteers, who made this event such a success.

Thanksgiving Dinner

On the night of 26th, November, my host family invited me and some other Chinese students for a Thanksgiving dinner. It was the first time I spent Thanksgiving day with an American family and I took a close look at how they celebrate the holiday.

After about half an hour’s drive, we finally arrived at our host family’s house. When we arrived, many people had already been there. Actually, there were about 15 people in the house. Because our hostess, Hyesuk, was Korean, she prepared not only traditional American Thanksgiving food such as turkey, pies but also some delicious Korean food for dinner. Guests also brought some dishes. For example, I brought tofu and chicken. A Chinese family brought a bottle of wine. Hyesuk put all the dishes in the kitchen so that we can pick up whatever we like. We also shared some wine and several good conversation at the table. By the way, the dessert was really delicious!

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After dinner, we played some games. One of which was called pictionary. We were separated into two groups. One person in the group picked a card and drew a picture about the word on the card while the rest group members had to guess the word in 60 seconds. I had played this game in China and it was one of my favorite games.

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We also shared some family stories that night. For example, Bob, showed us a pair of shoes that was worn by 10 of his family members. He also showed us a special clock. See the picture below, can you tell what time it is? It must be difficult as the clock was opposite!

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The day after Thanksgiving Day, when I was on the coach bus to visit my cousin who lived in Buffalo, a lady who sat next to me asked what I thought about Ohio. I told her I liked it very much because people here are so nice and warm-hearted. I was deeply touched by what they did for me and actually I have already considered it as my second hometown now. Sometimes when I think about leaving one day to go back to China, I get upset since I would miss the people I met here and the experience they brought to me.