Posts filed under 'Career Stuff'

Beyond the Classroom – Real Estate Development Site Tours

One great aspect of the MBA program here at Fisher (and of OSU in general) is the extent to which the university is connected with the city’s local businesses. Student groups and faculty have hosted local business leaders from small startups to CEOs and CMOs from the city’s array of Fortune 500 companies.

Last semester I took a Real Estate Principles class which basically focuses on the real estate development process from cradle to grave. Taking advantage of the great connections between the university and local business leaders, the class featured 5 site visits to local development projects.  At each visit, we had the chance to meet with the real estate developers, project managers, and other key players involved with projects to learn the nuances of their developments and get a bit of first-hand knowledge to accompany our classroom discussions.

The central project for the class was a team-based development project where we were assigned several blocks in a downtown environment and were challenged to put together an investment proposal for the development site. Our class site visits were scheduled such that we had the opportunity to meet with industry professionals, get questions answered, and see live projects to keep our own projects moving.

With an increasing number of online programs and online education in general, a unique and valuable benefit of an on-campus program is the ability to have experiences such as these. Having site visits with local professionals to compliment in-class lectures and readings provides a learning environment that neither format accomplishes on its own. This is just one more way OSU’s strong network provides rare, valuable opportunities for its students.

Returning to Columbus!

It’s hard to explain the feeling you get when you return to a place that you called home for four years. Four of the best years of your life! Simply put, it feels incredible to be back. Back in the capital of the Buckeye state! After graduating from Ohio State last May, I spent the summer working in the human resources department at Great Clips and truly enjoyed my time. my experience, there is no better feeling than getting off the highway and looking at Ohio Stadium knowing that you are about to begin another year at one of the (if not THE) best school(s) in the nation. For me, returning to Columbus was the simple decision, figuring out what I wanted to do here was the hard part.

I specialized in Human Resources as an undergraduate student here at OSU and until last November, I was certain that I was going to pursue the Masters of Human Resource Management. That was my plan until I fell in love with the material taught in my Introduction to Finance course. This new found interest prompted me to explore a little bit and I decided to take a trip across the Fisher courtyard from the undergrad building (Shoenbaum) to the graduate programs building (Gerlach). On my visit to Gerlach, I met with multiple faculty members who explained what it would be like in the Specialized Masters of Finance program and what resources are available not only for career search but everyday life at Fisher as well. After the visit, my decision was made and I applied right away.

Mason Hall 2

Coming back to Columbus this time was a little bittersweet because I knew it could be the last time I pull off the highway and look at Ohio Stadium knowing I have another nine months in this beautiful place. Who knows though, maybe soon I will look upon Columbus as my future home as a finance professional.

Looking Back and Looking Forward

fisher college


I am a second year full time MBA student and am set to graduate in about a month.  There is a mix of reflection and excitement (even more so from my wife who has endured having her spouse in a full time graduate program).

The Past

When reflecting on the past two years and what I’ve gained from them, I’ve thought of the relationships I’ve made and how walking out of this experience confirmed the things that brought me here in the first place.  When talking about Fisher, we talk a lot about the small class size being a key component of the overall experience.  The small class size lends itself to more intimate settings which, in turn, lend itself to more opportunities to connect with classmates, faculty and career management.  This all made logical sense, but I’ve been able to now have the experience of living it out and I can say it’s all true.  Friendships-I have been able to get to know several classmates in a deep way over this relatively short period of time, and I fully expect to continue those relationships even after the program is finished. Professors-even having gone to Ohio State for undergrad, I’ve seen a world of difference in the depth of relationships I have with my professors at Fisher.  Most of them are in the Ops/Logistics field (my focus in the program) and I have been able to cultivate these relationships and to lean on them for better understanding a concept and also for career advice.

Another area that sticks out to me is the Corporate Mentor Program.  As a student, you fill out an “application.”  It’s more of an info sheet on what you’re looking for in a mentor, and they pair you with an executive in the Columbus area.  The program is only supposed to last for a year, but often the relationships extend for more, and that was the case for me.  My mentor has been a great source of advice and has graciously connected me to others in the supply chain profession.

The FutureFuture path

Looking now to the future.  Currently, I am searching for a supply chain position in the Columbus area, but am hopeful that something will come through soon.  Coming to an MBA program is somewhat of a gamble, albeit a calculated and relatively low risk gamble (92% of graduates last year had jobs within 3 months of graduation).  You’re essentially putting all of your chips in and hoping the investment pays off.  Thankfully it almost always does, but at certain times tries your resolve.  I’ve found in those times it’s been helpful to focus on the good things in your life and to know that life is more than just what job you have.  For example, my wife and I just welcomed our daughter to the world a couple weeks ago (see picture below).  What a blessing!


The MBA program has been a great re-calibration experience for my career and I’m looking forward to a brighter future than when I entered.

No Diggity, No Doubt

Three fantastic things have happened this semester.

1. I correctly predicted how long it would be for me to write another Fisher Grad Life blog post.

I was definitely right when I insinuated this semester was going to keep me busy. The best part? I have enjoyed the chaos. The classes have been interesting and filled with invaluable content – most of which is almost immediately applicable to a Human Resource Professional’s current job or internship.

2. I have gotten to know my classmates better (which is a HUGE feat when you have an *almost* three year old).

One of the best pieces of advice I can give to incoming business students (MHRM or other), take the time to get to know your classmates. Sure, networking with them is great. But more importantly, establishing real connections with people in the same boat as you will offer you lasting support and friendships. Whether you go to Thirsty Scholar at the completion of the week, or you sit by the same people in every class, GET TO KNOW YOUR PEERS. This will define your experience at Fisher almost more than anything else.


3. I HAVE AN INTERNSHIP (and, consequently, I found a fantastic daycare for my kid). Saying I’m “excited” to start my internship is an understatement. The projects, the brand, and the people I’ll be working with make me beyond excited to begin. I can’t wait to fill you in when I get back.


Board Announcements!

Last week, the first year Fisher Board Fellows had their board training session. We learned about the fundamentals of non-profit work and serving on a board from Janie Levine Daniel, a former board fellow herself, and we also learned about non-profit accounting from Brian Mittendorf. The session, combined with the Bridges To The Boardroom luncheons over the last few terms, have helped the first year fellows become more comfortable with the board process and get a better idea of what to expect when we begin serving on our boards.

After the training was over, our board assignments for next year were finally announced. I will be serving on the board of Catholic Social Services, which I am thrilled about! They were my first choice board, and I’m already doing some pro bono marketing work with them, which will be a good way to learn more about the organization and its needs before I begin my board project.

Each of the boards is different in terms of how often they meet, and when they want their fellows to start. Some fellows begin attending board sessions over the summer, and some don’t start until the fall. Some boards meet once a month, and others only quarterly. Because of these differences, the second year FBF leadership team has organized a banquet for the first year fellows and representatives from their boards to meet before the end of the school year. This way, everyone has at least touched base with their board before leaving for summer internships.

My first meeting with the Catholic Social Services board will be next week, and I’m really excited to meet everyone on my board. This meeting will be a little different than most, as the Bishop will be inducting new members onto the board. It’s kind of a new beginning, in a way, and they felt it would be a good time for me to start, along with the new full-time members. I will also be attending a strategic planning retreat next Saturday, which will be run by Professor Rucci, who has been working with the organization and helping it come up with a new strategy over the past year. I’ve never been on any kind of professional retreat, so I’m interested to see what one is like. I can’t wait to start working with my board, and I’m very excited to see what kind of projects they need help with!




Tackling the CPA Exam

We only have about a month left in the MAcc program, and so many of my peers are studying for the CPA Exam. Some students have even started taking sections of the exam. We get a lot of questions about the CPA Exam in our admissions inbox, so here are some Q&As that will hopefully clear up some things:

1.  What’s on the CPA Exam?
The CPA Exam is a computer-based test that has four sections:

  • Auditing and Attestation (AUD): 4 hours (90 questions & seven task-based simulations)
  • Business Environment and Concepts (BEC): 3 hours (72 questions and three written communication tasks)
  • Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR): 4 hours (90 questions and seven task-based simulations)
  • Regulation (REG): 3 hours (72 questions and six tasked-based simulations)

You can take the sections in any order you choose, and you must complete all four sections within 18 months.

2.  Am I eligible to sit for the CPA Exam?
It depends! The requirements vary by state, so I will use Ohio as an example. Please look up the state you intend to practice in on NASBA’s website to find that state’s specific requirements. For Ohio, you must:

  • be at least 18 years old
  • have completed 150 semester hours of college education and meet one of four educational requirements. (For more information, click here)

After completing the MAcc program, you are eligible to sit in Ohio.

3.  Does the MAcc program help prepare you for the CPA Exam?
While the MAcc program does not teach towards the CPA Exam, a lot of the topics covered in MAcc classes are on the exam.

4.  How much does the CPA Exam cost?
The application fee and examination fees for all four sections total $869.08 for first-time applicants. You can apply for one or more sections at a time, and you are advised to only apply for a section if you are ready to take it within the next six months. If you need to retake any section, there are additional fees.The other cost of taking the CPA Exam is the cost of a preparatory course, but a lot employers, especially public accounting firms, will help subsidize the cost of a CPA review course. Some also cover the fees to take the four sections the first time.

5.  When do most MAcc students take the CPA Exam?
With the credits that they have earned thus far, some of my peers are already eligible to take the CPA Exam. On the other hand, some students, including myself, have to wait until the end of the program before they can start taking sections of the Exam. Most of my peers who will be working for public accounting firms have start dates in the late summer or early autumn. Therefore, many intend on taking all four sections of the exam (or as many as they can) during the summer.

To learn more about the accounting profession and the CPA Exam, check out this website by the AICPA. Oh, and remember:


Team Projects

One of the great features of the SMF program is an action-based course in the last academic term. Students have a number of projects from which to choose, from investment management to corporate finance to risk management, and students rank all the projects. Professor Pinteris then assigns people to groups based on their specializations, previous coursework, grades, and other factors. I was assigned to be team leader for a corporate finance project with Ohio State’s Treasury Office. My team and I are working with the office to model operating cash flows based on historical data, determine how much cash the university needs to keep in interest-bearing deposits, and addressing a number of pending considerations for Treasury.

The people with whom we are liaising on this project told us that they would like a candid assessment of Treasury’s results, so this project is already testing my knowledge of government and non-profit accounting. Plus the project is very relevant to the job that I took in public finance, so I’m really getting a great transition from school to the workplace.

Q&A with a MHRM Student: Bagyasri H.

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Bagyasri Hari – MHRM Class of 2016

Hometown: Bangalore, India

Undergraduate Major: Business Management

Hobbies and Interests: Sketching/Painting, Anime, Jigsaw Puzzles and Music

What you like most about Columbus: I appreciate that it is a pretty calm and relaxing city with very friendly people.

Favorite things to do in Columbus: I enjoy shopping at the many malls and shopping centers in the area, and am really happy that Columbus has a Godiva store (I love Godiva chocolate!)

What interests you about HR: Human Resource serves as a link between a business idea and its effective implementation. It is a live wire connecting and converting ideas into happenings. I want to be actively involved in attracting and retaining the right talent, as people are the most important asset for any enterprise.

Favorite aspects of being a MHRM student at Fisher: The knowledgeable faculty, class times that allow students to balance a job and school, the atmosphere in class and the curriculum.

What advice would you give incoming first years and/ or prospective students: If you are an international student (on F1 visa), it is important to understand that it can be difficult to find an internship/job in HR as it is not a STEM field, but it is not impossible. So please be mentally prepared to be optimistic and work hard. Use the resources available like the career management office and company information sessions to network.

Dat CPA Life

It is almost given that all MAcc students will be ~*aTteMPTing*~ to pass their CPA at some point in the upcoming year. While taking the exam is a given, the real decision is when you want to begin studying.

Depending on what state you want to sit in, you may or may not have the requirements to sit before you graduate. Most students who have the hours to sit are trying to get at least a couple done during the school year. Some eager beavers are even sitting in other states to begin taking the exam even if the state they will be practicing in doesn’t let them sit yet.

Unfortunately, I am one of the students who has begun studying for the CPA. I figured it would be better to start now and have more time this summer before I actually start working. Balancing the normal amount of school work with the additional amount of studying for the CPA can be difficult, but it is definitely manageable.

One thing I would recommend if you are planning to sit is to start in the spring term. I loaded up on coursework in the autumn and specifically enrolled in fewer courses in the spring in order to balance my CPA studying. If you have an offer from a Big 4 firm, you will more than likely be using Becker to study, but there are plenty of other options if you have a different offer or if you are looking for a more financially friendly way to study.

I would say the biggest hurdle to CPA studying is actually ordering your books and starting to study. It’s a big step to order the books, but an even bigger step to actually crack them open and begin to study. The MAcc program is not tailored to CPA studying but I know the information I have learned in the MAcc will help me a lot on the CPA, especially with Reg and FAR, with many topics being introduced and explained in the classroom. I am also happy I have begun to study while I am in school because I am already in the studying mindset! If I started this summer I would be used to break and would not be as motivated to get studying started and completed.

Overall, the CPA is manageable but it takes some dedication to consistently study and prep!

The Saga Continues…

Spring Break has finally rolled around! It is 70 and sunny here and I cannot wait to spend half of the week outside 90% of the time. However, just because Spring Break is here, it does not mean that you can slack on your responsibilities. This definitely includes your SMF team project. A few days of your Spring Break should be devoted to working on really diving into your team project and getting a head start.

We have successfully navigated through our initial consultation with the help of Prof. Bob Lane. We determined the scope of our project, the deliverables and the communication we should engage in with our company. It really is a great experience for those who have no work experience, as well as those who have previous work experience and are looking to get back in the work force after graduation.

BUT…To the great news…

I can say with uncertainty now, that these team projects do present you with a gateway to showing your company what you are capable of and can give you the opportunity to interview with your company. I guess Friday I will see if I can continue in the interview process!

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