Posts filed under 'Class'

A Hard Day’s Grind!


As a grad student, I have had to relearn how to get into the grind. It seems most of my time is spent reading textbooks, keeping up with my to-do list (life saver), exploring job opportunities, and more than anything…drinking coffee from the best grinds (personally prefer Hazelnut & Columbian). Though the picture above seems to sum it all up, it is not so. As it happens sitting in Professor Pinteris’s class and learning about how analysts value corporations is of great interest to me. From using Multiples to discounting Cash Flows, we are exposed to how most firms are valued. The To-do list in the picture is the full picture in terms: Though it looks cluttered, there is a method to its madness. On there I have important class dates, meeting dates, corrections to previous notes, homework assignments due, and notes to remember to watch a financial segment on TV. The pamphlet from Fifth Third is one of the driving goals of my education. I want to use the material learned in class to make a difference one day with a big firm …But the grind does not necessarily just reflect nights reading as we see below…

As I walk from class in Gerlach Hall to the south side of campus towards Thompson I am reflecting about the grind that I went through the night before completing assignments, applying to Fifth and Third, running to Krogers to pick up a fresh bag of ground Columbian coffee beans to make my vietnamese coffee. I am thinking about how I am starting to get used to and like this grind. This grind although it takes up a large amount of my time is well worth it. And so as the gears in my head are turning …..grinding rather.. I am thinking about my next move. Do I walk faster so that I can get that magical fourth floor spot at Thompson? No its Wednesday and the seats are probably full. Should I reach out to an other alumni through linkedin or finish my leadership paper that is due next week? I pull out my To Do notebook and notice that I have annotated both “To Dos” in my notebook. I then stop and realize why it is that I strolled across campus in the first-place knowing that I would not get a spot at Thompson this early ……….

Every chance that I get while the weather is still nice, any couple of  minutes that I am able to steal from my studies and assignments or career search on beautiful days such as this Wednesday, I try to sneak in a pass by Mirror Lake. It has this calming presence about it. It is almost a poster like entity that makes The Campus so much more meaningful and motivating. I stand there and snap a couple of pictures and passerbyers whether students, faculty, staff or regular visitors smile and walk by. Some are engrossed in their phones, some in the conversations they’re having with their peers and some others I notice are just like me; they’re enjoying that moment of quiet and peace that Mirror Lake offers before getting back to the grind. I put my phone back in my pocket and remember that by now the fourth floor has started to clear up and that there is much more to do, a lot more to read, a lot more to learn, a lot more coffee beans to be ground. Back to this grind that I’ve come to respect.


My First Presentation at Fisher

Last Wednesday, I made my first presentation for the course: Foundation of Labor and Human Resource. Actually, because of my undergraduate background (I did my undergraduate in business school), I often made presentations in classes. But it was my first time to make a presentation in English and in front of my American classmates! What is more, the presentation was too long- 15 minutes! Just imagine if you were asked to do a presentation in Chinese for 15 minutes and you will understand my feeling.

This presentation was a part of our group project. In the project, we had to choose an organization, evaluate whether it is a high performance organization, and then give our suggestions. Luckily, I was on a “high performance team”: we were efficient and everything went smoothly. However, because one of my group members had a business trip on presentation day, the other member and I had to do the presentation. I felt a little bit stressed as I was afraid the presentation would suffer from my not-so fluently spoken English. So I spent a majority of my time practicing my presentation, which made me less nervous.


But the nervousness just came back to me on my presentation day. When the previous group were making their presentation, I could feel my hands were cold, my heart started to beat fast and I kept thinking “Come on, just make everything finish as soon as possible.”


Finally, it was my turn. I even could not remember how I got to the stage. I just remembered some of my classmates gave me encouraging smiles. I felt better. I found my classmates were nice and patient, which made me feel comfortable. After the presentation, I felt a sense of achievement: I made it. I knew there were still some opportunities for me to improve my presentation skills: for example, because I was so nervous, I spoke too fast. But with this successful experience, I knew I would do better and better.


One Term Down, Seven To Go

Although the Full-Time MBA program technically includes four semesters and one summer internship, those semesters are truthfully split into two terms each. Eight fast-paced, blurred seven week terms that take novice economists, marketers and businesspeople and fill them with enough information to make the most brilliant minds ache. (Full disclosure, some of our core courses do cover the full 14 week period, but not all.) I have no doubt that Term 1 is the tip of the educational iceberg here at Fisher. The mere fact that some courses are called “Marketing Management 1” and “Operations Management 1” plainly shows us that we’re nowhere near finished. Not yet.

As I mentioned, we’re 1/8 done (not that I’m counting). I couldn’t tell you what we covered in each class period or which exams were what week. All I know is that I’ve learned more in seven/eight weeks than ever before. Completely foreign concepts like analyzing accounting statements and corporate finance (or, let’s be honest, finance in general) are now familiar tools I use each week. Maybe I don’t use these tools perfectly, but still.

Before the program started, I had serious reservations about my ability to pick up the business concepts I knew we’d cover in our core courses. I majored in the humanities in college and graduate school, worked in PR and corporate communications and hadn’t touched math since 2009. Luckily for me, the courses are structured in a way that allows non-business background students to keep up and even flourish. That’s not to say that someone with a weak finance background won’t have to work harder than a former financial analyst in our corporate finance course, but the opportunity to do well is there. As Dr. Gray (data analysis guru) loves to tell us, you need to do the problems and practice outside of class. With my more than seven weeks of expertise in the field, I can tell you he’s right. Do the problems. All the problems.

I’m excited to see where these next 49 weeks of class take me. I don’t know where I’ll end up but I do know that I’ll be ten times as prepared as I was before entering Gerlach Hall for that first day of school.


MId-Terms Round 1

It has been many years since I was sitting in a classroom as an undergrad student taking mid-terms. That changed last week as the first wave of Mid-Terms were here. Five over the course of two weeks to be exact. The majority of the first year MBA students were nervous about our first mid-terms, myself included. First was Marketing, then Finance, and economics followed by Accounting and Data Analysis.

As I walked through Fisher this past week, I have seen nothing but groups of my fellow students helping one another out with mid-term prep. Students who were strong in one subject were helping other students who were not as strong. Then the next day the same students that were doing the helping were now being helped by others. It was amazing to see the help and support that was offered by my fellow classmates. I can personally speak to the group of 7-8 individuals I have been studying with. Each one of us leading a different study session that we were particularly strong in.

As test day arrived we were anxious to take our first mid-term and get it over with. After the test there were multiple opinions on how we did ranging from: great to horrible. Once we got our mid-terms back, many people did better than they thought and non-to our surprise our study groups paid off.

Everyone you talk to says the culture in the Fisher MBA program is like no other. Mid-term week proved that to be accurate. Although we are competing for the highest grade and some of the same jobs, everyone wants to see everyone else be successful.

Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) Equity Research Report

So far, my blogs have only been about social events (football) and the joy of returning to Columbus. I figured it was time to write about something academic so here’s a little bit about the project I’ve been working on for the past 3 weeks…Chipotle!


Who doesn’t love a good burrito!

The SMF program is broken down into one 3-week, pre-term, “turbo” course and then two 15-week semesters that contain two terms each. In the “turbo” course, we revisit some basic corporate finance fundamentals like time value of money, the capital asset pricing model, weighted average cost of capital and different valuation methods (Discounted Cash Flow and Dividend Discount Model). During the first real term, we take a number of classes including Corporate Finance I which delve deeper into valuation and different capital structures.

The largest grade in Corporate I is an equity research report based on a company of our choosing. My group and I spent a fair amount of time scouring the S&P 500 for a company we liked that wouldn’t be overly challenging and guess what company came up??..Everyone’s favorite fast-casual Mexican restaurant, Chipotle!

chipotle 2

Why is Chipotle always so busy?? Ask me and I could ramble on for a while..

The report requires us to dive deep into the company culture, financials, operations, labor force and management to be able to make assumptions about these factors going forward so we can make a forecast of revenues, costs, expenditures and cash flows. More than anything else, the project is supposed to help those of us who want to work as analysts practice our ability to make assumptions and take a view on a company then be able to back up this view with solid projections.

All-in-all, it has been a great experience and I can’t wait to present my report to our class..I wonder if I can get extra credit for having Chipotle cater our lunch…

The Bad with the Good

In my first post, I mentioned how intense the Pre-MAcc was – packing Intermediate Accounting I & II into two and a half weeks was no small task. As it turns out, the rest of the semester so far has been just as busy! Between recruiting events, interviews, group meetings, classes, and studying, it can be difficult to keep up at times. That said, I’ve been just as busy many times in the past – both working and during law school – and it has never been as enjoyable.

This really came into focus the other night as I left a Sunday group meeting at around 7:30pm, having been at the school since 9:30am (again, this was SUNDAY) with a smile on my face. Yes, it can be a pain dragging yourself to school to do homework on the weekend, but it makes a huge difference when you enjoy being around the people with whom you’re working. Everyone that I’ve encountered since starting the MAcc program, from students to recruiters to professors, have all been fantastic. And for every frustrating moment when I don’t understand something in class, or feel buried in work, or consider setting up a cot in Gerlach, there are twenty moments that more than make up for it.

I know saying that the people are what make the difference is horribly cliché, but in this case it’s actually true. It’s much easier to get through the work when you’re having a good time, and the camaraderie you build with your classmates is really the best part of being at Fisher. And while I may have had to miss a few NFL games, the studying has yet to interfere with any Buckeye games, and that’s the important part!

The benefits of working and going to school

The more I participate in the program as a full time parent, worker and a full time student, I realize that I am absolutely foolish. It is very difficult managing all of these tasks and doing them well. My boss is an amazing mentor, so I have begun to utilize techniques and theories that I learn in school in my full time job. At first, I felt weird incorporating these concepts after just learning them, but as it turns out, they were really great and my bosses couldn’t be happier. In a very short time, I have made observable contributions to the company and have been given more autonomy to incorporate more ideas. Unexpectedly, I truly believe that it has helped me in school. It is almost like a perpetual motion machine. The more I study and apply my education to my job, the more that I understand the information better. I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but it seems like it is working so far…

My first month at Fisher

It’s been almost a month since our MBA classes began. I thought this would be a nice time to highlight some of the activities I was involved with in the last month to help you better understand student life in the Fisher MBA Program.

  • Pre-Term: In the 2 weeks before our MBA officially started, we had our pre-term where we got to learn more about the program structure, professors, resources, and fellow classmates among many other things. Over many creative team bonding exercises, we were able to understand our key strengths (and weaknesses) and make new friends along the way! We also had a few career foundation seminars that helped us get a better picture of the different career paths ahead of us. The pre-term ended with the ’Fisher Challenge’ where each team had to present a case analysis with their core team, which was extremely exciting primarily because it is your first group exercise with your team. As an International student, we also had an additional 3 days of orientation that helped us in our transition. My favorite part was a workshop on American Football 101, conducted by a couple of ex NFL players (and Fisher Alums)! In a nut shell, the pre-term helped the students understand what it means to be a part of the larger Fisher community.
My Core team: Team 22 (that should explain the hand signs) From Left: Lucy Liu, Sarang Nampoothiri, Andrew Wolff, Adriana Castro and Rob Harrison.

My Core team: Team 22 (that should explain the hand signs) From Left: Lucy Liu, Sarang Nampoothiri, Andrew Wolff, Adriana Castro, and Rob Harrison.

  • Career Management – The career management team at Fisher is one of our strongest assets. Within the last month, I have attended multiple career fairs and got to meet and network with many potential recruiters. We have Information Sessions conducted by companies on a daily basis. This is a great way to learn more about a company and meet their representatives in a bit more relaxed setting. Apart from these, we also have individual meetings with our career counselors. They help you streamline your job search and refine your approach.
Fisher College of Busines

Fisher College of Business

  • Student organizations – I think I might have gone a bit over the top here. I have signed up for 5 student organizations for the upcoming year even though I was advised to restrict it to 3 by many second year students! But in my defense, I found value in all 5 of these organizations! Career specific student organizations help conduct some of the company information sessions. They also help their members prepare for interviews and can be a great resource for networking.
  • The Ohio State University – I joined Fisher because it was a small program within a very large university. There is always something amazing happening around you. I have signed up with the Buckeye Leadership Fellows program for some of their Luncheon Sessions, where they invite outstanding community leaders to interact with a group of students in a small and intimate environment. As a fan of music, I also volunteered for a Music experiment conducted at the School of Music!
  • Mid Terms – Here at Fisher, we have our semesters divided into two terms. One month into the program and I have already finished most of my Mid-terms! In a way, this is good as it always keeps you on your toes. :)
  • Calendar App – I think this point sums up my first month at Fisher perfectly. A few days into the program and you will soon realize the true value of the mobile calendar app! This one app is going to be a life saver here as it helps you keep a track of all the events every day.

If my next two years are as exciting as my first month at Fisher, I am sure this is going to be my most rewarding and enriching journey!

Listen better

I presented in front of the class for the first time last night.  My task was to report the changes that my team had come up with regarding a case study given by our professor.  I thoroughly enjoyed working with my classmates.  The time seemed to fly by as I listened and kept notes on all the suggestions that we discussed.  It was a truly great experience to suggest, defend, and assimilate information from different people.  I put a lot of effort into listening what we all discussed and synthesizing it into a coherent summary.  The next great thing was listening to my other classmates present.  Many of us had similar ideas, but every now and then, I felt a ‘wow’ feeling when someone would put an idea forward that our group hadn’t considered.  In a more broad sense, it helped remind me of the potential of everyone.  In my current position, I deal with individuals who are sometimes overlooked or discounted because they work in industrial level jobs.  Today, one person came up to me and almost immediately we were on the subject of the passing of her husband in July.  She just wanted someone to talk to about what she was going through.  The conversation floated into different things, but at the end of the conversation I expressed my gratitude for telling me her story and I wished her a good day.  Listening is not only a powerful tool for business, but also a simple way that we can help to strengthen each other.

BSBA/MAcc Crossover Program

One of the great benefits to being an Ohio State student is being able to take advantage of all of the fantastic opportunities that are offered to the student community. Whether it is the 1000+ student organizations, football Saturdays, recreation facilities, or top-notch education programs, Ohio State has it all. One amazing program available to Undergraduate Accounting students in the Fisher College of Business is the BSBA/MAcc program.

What is it?

The BSBA/MAcc is a program in which a student can gain both a Bachelors of Business Administration and a Masters of Accounting degree in four years (3 years as an undergraduate Accounting major, 1 year in the Masters of Accounting Program).

How do I know if I am eligible?

In order to apply students must be:
1) An Undergraduate Accounting Major
2) Have at least a 3.5 Cumulative GPA
3) Have at least 120 credit hours prior to enrollment in the MAcc program
4) Have all undergraduate required classes completed except for ACCMIS 4200, ACCMIS 4500, ACCMIS 3400, and BUSMHR 4490
5) Have taken the GMAT

Why should I do the BSBA/MAcc program?
The BSBA/MAcc provides a terrific opportunity for accounting student to get an undergraduate and graduate degree in a shortened time frame.  The BSBA/MAcc is also a terrific opportunity for students pursuing a career in Public Accounting to satisfy their 150 credit hour requirement to sit for the Certified Public Accounting (CPA) Exam!

Next Steps:

If you are interested in hearing more information regarding the program, stop by the Graduate Programs Office in 100 Gerlach Hall!

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