Finding a little piece of home

Homesickness is something that most international students have to deal with during their time abroad. You can never be completely used to it, but there are days where it gets easier in the company of the right people at the right place at the right time.

For countries following the lunar calendar, we have an annual festival called the Full Moon or Mid-Autumn Festival where families and friends gather to give thanks to the moon for our harvests as well as to pray for the upcoming ones. Needless to say, I got rather homesick during this period as my family does have a tradition of celebrating it together. It was thanks to the new friends I had made in the Specialized Master in Finance program here that I managed to find a little piece of home in the states.

This is a picture of us dining at a BBQ restaurant to celebrate the occasion

In addition to us celebrating the festival with bellies filled with BBQ, we got to enjoy a traditional dessert that comes along with this occasion, Mooncake.

The mouthwatering Mooncake that I got to enjoy thanks to my friends.

Indeed, the celebration here can never be completely similar to the ones we might have back home. However, it was certainly more than enough to make our homesickness go away for a short while.

It doesn’t really matter if this is your first year, second year or your fifth year living in the U.S., homesickness is always going to be a bit harder to cope with during special occasions. It is during these times that you should surround yourself with good friends who can help you find that little piece of home just like mine did.

It’s Not All Debits and Credits…

After a long week full of learning about everything from the statement of cash flows to how to code probabilities in R, my brain sure needed a break.  Luckily for me, I was able to take some time off from studying and venture to Ohio State’s Schottenstein Center, which hosts athletic contests for the university (e.g. basketball, etc.) as well as concerts and live events.

Along with other students from the MAcc program, I went to a concert to see Quinn XCI. While I didn’t know much about him prior to the show, Elise and Celine (two of my colleagues that work in the Graduate Programs Office) claimed to be super-fans of Quinn XCI. So, I tagged along and got to experience a Friday night on the town in Columbus. I had a blast at the concert, and had so many pizza slices over the course of the night that I had to stop keeping track. While keeping up with schoolwork can be challenging in such a prestigious program, it’s nice to have friends to spend time with for a few hours to take your mind off the stress of a big test or project. I’m thankful that Celine and Elise let me tag along and broadened my musical horizons, and hopefully I can return the favor someday!

Staying Active

It is essential to stay active when you become immersed in school. Luckily Ohio State offers a plethora of opportunities for everyone. One of the key benefits of being a student at Ohio State University is having full membership to state of the art recreational facilities. Included in this membership is access to group fitness classes, personal trainers, rock climbing walls, soccer fields, basketball, volleyball and racquetball courts and much more.

Sunset and soccer fields outside of
Soccer Fields outside of the RPAC

Have you ever wanted to work out, but didn’t have the motivation to do it on your own? Or have you ever wanted the company of others and instructors to motivate you to keep going? I love being active, but the stress of having to create my workout is discouraging to me. I found my solution with Ohio State’s group fitness classes. Ohio State offers a wide variety of group fitness class. Classes are typically 45 minutes to an hour and are offered at almost every time of the day Sunday through Friday’s. Classes are offered in a variety of formats including aquatics, cycling, dance, strength, cardio, Pilates/barre, and mind/body classes. Some of the classes I have enjoyed going to are Buckeye boot camp, cycling, and relaxation yoga. All of these group fitness classes are included in our recreational fees!

Me and the bootcamp fitness instructor after class
Me and the boot-camp fitness instructor after class

If you are into traditional workouts, Ohio State has multiple state of the art facilities equipped with pretty much every workout equipment you can imagine. Ohio States main recreational facility is called the RPAC. Besides weight machines and treadmills, the RPAC has a track, basketball/volleyball courts, racquetball courts, Saunas, pools, and even a hot tub! Other facilities on campus are Jessie Owens South, Jessie Owens North, North Recreational center and the Adventure Recreation Center (ARC). At the ARC, there are indoor soccer fields and a rock climbing wall that is all free of charge. I love taking a break from classes to go rock climbing!

GA Celine rockclimbing at the ARC facility
Me rock-climbing at the ARC

Often time, I enjoy getting together with my friends and playing pickup sports. All around campus there are soccer fields, volleyball and tennis courts. I find pickup games as a great way to relax and get to know all of my classmates while staying active. Whatever way you like to keep active, OSU has something for everyone!

A view of the tennis, basketball and volleyball courts
Some of the tennis, basketball and volleyball courts on campus

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! 🙂