Posts filed under 'Class'



Scheduling Woes and Wins

Scheduling can either be a walk in the park or it can be a stressful experience. Unfortunately, no matter how much you prepare and plan for your next semester’s schedule, something is likely to go awry. Whether this is missing out on a class or getting wait-listed there are always some issues regarding your new schedule. Because of this likelihood, I am glad that I will never have to schedule classes again! While there are issues with every schedule, there aren’t any bad classes to take within the MAcc program so that can serve as some comfort.

Scheduling classes in the MAcc can be especially interesting because of all the elective options. With all of the different courses you can definitely find something that is unique and will grab your attention for the term or the entire semester. I think some of the best advice for scheduling classes is to try and talk to the students who have already taken the classes. Before I started the program I talked to some current students and got the lowdown on what classes to take. This turned out to be valuable information and I will make sure to write a future post about some of my favorite classes to ensure that future MAcc generations receive the same knowledge I did!

Another piece of advice around scheduling is to talk with the professors. They will be able to provide greater insight into the main goal of their course and the workload associated with it. I have learned that the accounting faculty are always willing to discuss their courses and what you may learn from the material. This will help when it comes down to narrowing your elective choices.

Finally, I would say the last piece of advice I have regarding scheduling courses is to go outside your comfort zone! There are so many wonderful courses here and just because you may not have a ton of background or prior knowledge about a subject matter, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take the course. You can find unique courses both within the accounting electives and outside of accounting through the MBA, Finance, and Human Resources programs.

If you prepare ahead of time and plan out your year, scheduling becomes a whole lot easier and much more fun!

 

 

 


Winding Down…On to the Consultation Saga

As the end of the first term has come to a screeching halt, it is hard to believe that graduation is only a couple of months away. The feeling is bittersweet to say the least. While I am dying to graduate and put my new skills to the test, I have made plenty of friends that I will miss when we all go our separate ways.

Nonetheless, this last semester is extremely important to all SMF students. You will finally participate in the coveted team projects. This is a staple of the SMF program. All SMF students participate in a team project in the final term of the spring semester. This project is very much like a consulting project. You are given multiple projects to rank and then you are assigned these projects based on a multitude of factors. These companies include Nationwide, Wells Fargo, Owens Corning, The OSU Wexner Medical Center and many more.

I was lucky enough to get The OSU Wexner Medical Center, which was my first choice! I will be working with 2 classmates to develop a model that helps them determine whether it is more beneficial to outsource or make in-house. Our first meeting with our client is within the next few days so stay tuned for the next edition in the Consultation Saga!


Guess Who Came to Speak at Fisher?

So, I’m not name dropping or anything…

BUT….

Jamie Dimon came to The Ohio State University.

This is Jamie Dimon talking to the OSU football team

This is Jamie Dimon talking to the OSU football team

 

Due to the stature of Jamie Dimon, this event could not be released before his visit. Jamie Dimon came to address our SMF Corporate Finance 3 class taught by Karen Wruck. (Other students were allowed to attend if seats were available.) It was very interesting to listen to all that Mr. Dimon had to say. He reads about 5 different newspapers every morning and is constantly reading everything else and just soaking in knowledge. He spoke to not only working hard, but working smart. He also noted that he likes to talk to an expert in whatever he is interested in learning more about, because listening to him/her for 10 minutes is worth more than hours of reading.

Fisher tends to bring in quite a few of amazing speakers, such as the CEO of L Brands, Les Wexner, and the CEO of Cardinal Health, George Barrett. Last year students even flew to meet with Warren Buffet. Who wouldn’t want to play guess who and see who will be here when you come next year?!


Second Semester First Years: A changing (still busy) life

As a second semester 1st year, it’s very interesting to look back and see how things have changed since the end of August.  We all went from being strangers to creating great friendships in the span of just a few months.  The program allowed us to participate in so many things first semester that it was a complete whirlwind.  From info sessions and case competitions, to exams and interview prep, we were busy from August through mid-December.  Second semester hasn’t been any less busy and in fact, I sometimes feel like we are even busier.  However, there have been some changes since the beginning of January and it has definitely kept our entire first year interesting.  There are few main changes I think the whole class has seen:

1) Less Exams, More Group Projects

Our first semester included classes like Finance, Accounting, Data Analytics & Econ.  As you can probably guess, these were very heavily data and fact-based, which led to lots of midterms and final exams.  This semester we have classes much more based on discussion and theory.  The shift has led us to many less tests and many more group projects.  While there are pros and cons to this shift, I know we can all say that we have a new appreciation for time management.  I have never seen Gerlach as busy on Sunday as it has been these past few weeks.  Multiple projects mean multiple group meetings, multiple deadlines and multiple deliverables in the form of papers, PowerPoints and presentations.

2) Less Information Sessions, More ‘Development’ Sessions

As soon as we arrived on campus in August, companies began to flock with info sessions.  It was great because it made us realize that Fisher has a very well respected MBA program.  It also meant we spent a lot of lunch hours and evenings in information sessions.  Now, we spend more of our lunch hours and evenings in what I will call ‘development’ sessions.  From learning how to personally brand yourself and marketing to millennials, to learning about the real estate process and hearing from influential leaders in the corporate world, we are learning a lot that can be applied to our careers and lives.  While there is definite value in every ‘extra’ event on campus, I think we are now learning how to stretch ourselves even more as leaders and businessmen/women.

3) Less Interviewing, More Celebrating

The interviewing process is definitely ongoing throughout our whole first year.  In fact, most of us don’t secure our summer jobs until the second semester.  However, it is great to feel the stress level drop as people get and accept offers.  Interviewing and interview prep has been a main part of our year and the celebration feels that much sweeter when all the hard work pays off.  I am also extremely happy to see how many of my peers are getting the internships they dreamed of.

By the end of this semester, we will all feel like pros at the MBA lifestyle.  It’s crazy to think the end of year one is already rapidly approaching and I am excited to see new and exciting changes continue to come our way.


Things to Consider When Considering the Fisher MHRM Program

Thinking Monkey

I received my acceptance letter to the MHRM program about a year ago. So I thought I would share some of the things I considered when making my decision to apply to the Fisher MHRM program and also accept my admission.

•At the time of my acceptance I was working full-time, and I appreciated that the courses were designed for the working professional. Classes are scheduled Monday-Thursday 6:00-9:15pm, so they compliment the working professional’s work schedule very well. Most students in the program utilize this flexibility because most work in some capacity, whether part-time or full-time. For those thinking classes seem late, don’t worry. It may take some time, but your body adjusts.

•I really appreciated the program’s Core Human Resource Skills curriculum that provides a generalist’s perspective, as well as the Business Context curriculum. I think being able to speak the language of business is critical to being a strategic partner. Effective Human Resource professionals must be able to explain how Human Resources impacts the bottom line and contributes to the organization, and the program is well-designed in providing a breadth of knowledge so that individuals acquire business acumen and exposure to different areas within the field of Human Resources. In addition, I liked that the program required either a thesis or internship experience (majority of students select the internship) during the summer between their first and second year in the program. This allows students to apply and connect what they learned in the classroom to practical experience.

•The active and supportive Office of Career Management (OCM) was also something that distinguished Fisher’s MHRM program. They provide ongoing counseling, support and preparation. More importantly though, they sincerely care about each individual they work with. The OCM goes out of their way to ensure students feel ready and confident to secure and pursue internships and jobs. It was also comforting to know that the internship placement was 100% and the job placement was 93%.

• I was also impressed by the faculty and their areas of expertise. Fisher has a great mix of faculty who primarily have experience in academia, and others who have more experience in the corporate world. Again though, similar to OCM, the faculty are incredibly passionate about the field of Human Resources and take an interest in their students as individuals. Many of them are more than happy to meet with students outside of office hours to serve as mentors or advisers. Additionally, because the class size is typically around 50 students, this allows for more discussion during class and more individualized attention.

•I also liked that the program is diverse. Students come from different previous fields of study, different work experiences and years of prior work experience, and some work full-time while pursuing the program while others work part-time or not at all. Furthermore, there is a strong presence of international students in the program who add a lot of value to the program and class discussions.

•Lastly, location, location, location. I was born and raised in Northeast, Ohio. However, Columbus is something completely different than any other part of Ohio. It is such a thriving city with so much to do and see. There are several small communities/areas within Columbus that all have their own unique cultures and characteristics, which I absolutely love!


What is Accounting Research?

As part of the Master of Accounting (MAcc) program at Ohio State, there are four required courses. One of these courses is called Accounting Policy and Research, and it is taught by Prof. Tzachi Zach. When I first heard the name of this course, I wasn’t too surprised that our Master’s program requires that students take a research class. However, I didn’t really know what to expect. What is accounting research anyway?

Prof. Zach started off the class by explaining to us the four primary topics of accounting research: financial accounting, managerial accounting, tax, and audit. Within each of these areas of interest, academic researchers use different tools to explore their research questions, such as accounting theories, surveys, and market data. In Prof. Zach’s class, we read and discuss accounting research papers about various market phenomena and corporate management behavior.

Right now, everyone in the MAcc program is working on Prof. Zach’s group project that’s due the last week of classes. We are tasked to conduct an event study in order to see how stock prices react to a particular trigger in the business world or in our everyday lives.

For example, my team is looking to see if stock prices of S&P 500 companies that are headquartered near NFL stadiums increase after the nearby team wins the Super Bowl. We’re looking at all of the past 49 Super Bowl games, so there’s a lot of data to collect!

Do the results of Super Bowl games affect the stock market?

Do the results of Super Bowl games affect the stock market?

We’re really curious to see if there is any difference in stock prices between the companies we’re looking at and stock markets indexes in the two days following each game. I’m looking forward to hearing all of the class presentations to see what events other groups studied. Hopefully that gives a bit of insight into what accounting research is all about!


Get Flexible!

One of the best things about the MAcc program is the flexibility students have when completing the program requirements.  The program only has four core courses all students must take, accounting for 10 of the 31 required credit hours.  Outside of these required core courses, students have the ability to take MAcc, Finance, Human Resources, and MBA courses.  While students don’t specify a “concentration” or “specialization”, students can gear their class schedules to topics of interest.  Another way the program is flexible is by breaking semesters into two terms.  This makes classes only 7 weeks and allows students to take more courses over a variety of different disciplines.  Here are a couple elective courses I am currently in, and some I am looking forward to taking next term:

Fraudulent Financial Reporting – This course focuses on developing techniques for detecting fraudulent reporting in financial statements and accounts.  The course is case-based, and we focus on detection techniques, which in turn shows us how the fraud was perpetrated.  Every class is very interesting and it forces you to think outside the box and get creative when trying to detect fraud.  I can imagine this course coming in handy when I least expect it as I continue with my professional career.

Negotiations –  Obviously we are all familiar with negotiating, even if we have very little professional experience.  This course provides us with the theory and processes of negotiating as it occurs in different situations.  The course is structured around practice negotiations to help students gain a little bit of experience and confidence when they start to negotiate professionally.  Whether it is negotiating a job offer or negotiating a contract between a buyer and seller, I would strongly recommend this course.

Developing High Performance Teams – I am really looking forward to taking this course.  Working in groups and teams are becoming more and more commonplace in the business world.  While I won’t start off my career managing a team, I imagine in the future I will be in a position where this course will provide me with knowledge to lead and work effectively in a variety of different team settings.

Fraudulent Examination: Asset Misappropriation - Clearly you can tell fraud interests me.  While the first fraud course focuses on financial reporting which is more often perpetrated by management, this course focuses on asset misappropriation which is more often perpetrated by employees.  This course will emphasize motives and factors that play into employees committing fraud, as well as prevention and detection methods.


Shape your degree

One of the best things about getting a Master in Finance degree at The Ohio State University is the ability to shape your degree in any way you want. Aside from being in your available electives for your specialization, such as, Corporate Finance 3 & 4, Financial Statement Analysis, Enterprise Risk Management 1 & 2, etc, there are many other classes you can take to further your knowledge in specific area. For instance, I am taking Managerial Accounting for Decision Making. I plan on pursuing a career in Corporate Financial Planning and Analysis when I graduate. Because of Fisher’s ability to let you branch out, you can take classes in many other areas such as strategy, accounting, operations, and many others. If you feel it will benefit you and your career search, Fisher can probably make it happen.

With these classes, I was able to mold my degree into exactly what I want. I am taking a few accounting classes (Financial Statement Analysis 1 & 2 and Managerial Accounting for Decision Making) to further my knowledge in accounting to become a better analyst. By being able to read financial statements, understand managerial accounting (contribution margin, pricing, budgeting) and understanding the past performance of the company, I can better understand what has and hasn’t worked and more accurately project the future and improvements. I am also taking negotiations with Prof. Lewicki. Negotiations, while it may not benefit me much now other than negotiating my salary and benefits when accepting a job (which is reason enough), will allow me to become a better CFO or manager when I take part in acquisitions or anything else that requires me to negotiate a price with a seller, supplier or whoever it may be.
In the end, being able to mold your degree will help you to mold your career…….which is why we are here, isnt it?!


Do You

In business school, there are so many options available to you – different majors, tracks, classes, case competitions, networking events, student organizations, internships, and other opportunities.  No one does the same thing in business school.  Sure, some people have the same major.  Others intern at the same company.  Still others are on the same student organization leadership boards.  But everyone has slightly different paths through this program.  And that’s a good thing.  So my advice to current and incoming students is this: Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing.  Do you.

This past week the Class of 2016 started Semester #2 of our MBA career.  This term was the first we were able to choose an elective.  I chose corporate finance.  Although I ultimately want to work in marketing, I also want to learn about finance while I’m at Fisher.  The first few days back were filled with people asking about each others breaks and what extra classes they were taking.  Invariably, when I gave my reply, there would be a shocked gasp and a “Why?!”

My background is in literature and creative writing, and I will freely admit that I like words better than I like numbers – but I see a lot of value in understanding numbers.  It’s important to know how to invest and save money.  It’s important to understand your finances and to know your limits – what you can and cannot afford.  Right now my philosophy about money is pretty squirrely – literally.  Birthday money?  Put it in the bank.  Christmas money?  Put it in the bank.  Everything extra goes into savings.  Always.  We’re storing up for winter, folks!  But that isn’t always the best way to do things, and especially not once you start working and making a bit of money.  So I plan to complete the investments track at Fisher and learn how to be a smart investor.  I don’t really care if I struggle with some of the topics (though I did very well in my Finance I and II classes).  I may get a B or two, and that’s okay.  What’s important is that I’m learning, and I’m learning about something I think is valuable.

And maybe a lot of people think finance is scary.  And maybe there’s a stereotype that words people can’t take numbers classes.  And maybe I will struggle more than the average finance student at times.  But ima do me.  And I’m going to get the most I possibly can out of this program.  And that’s what’s most important.

Team 13 santiago's birthday

Team 13! Abhijit is sitting on my left – he’s my corporate finance partner in crime this term!

 

 

 


Time for Electives

The beginning of the SMF program was very structured: everyone takes the basic list of courses, which includes Corporate Finance I, Investment Management I, microeconomics (formally, Industry, Risk & Pricing), and several others. Certainly, one has the opportunity to take a few electives during the first two terms, but up to only three.

There are only two required courses in the third the fourth terms collectively, which are macroeconomics (formally, Global Financial Markets) and Team Projects (which are essentially client projects the program acquires for students to work on with the clients), which allows for up to ten electives in Spring semester.

Because I am specializing in corporate finance, I’ve chosen to take Corporate Finance IV with Professor Karen Hopper Wruck. Professor Wruck is a widely published and recognized expert on corporate restructuring. Our first two classes have combined cases that she has written demonstrating how value can be created through different types of restructuring (e.g., borrowing roughly the net worth of a firm, paying the proceeds out as a special dividend, and using the increased leverage to effect prioritizing cash flow).

Another elective I’m taking is Enterprise Risk Management with René Stulz. Dr. Stulz is a world-renowned expert in risk management and is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Global Association of Risk Professionals. Our first two classes have focused on the mechanics of many of the derivatives crises, such as Barings, Lehman Brothers, Orange County, and Metagesellschaft, with the primary lesson that many of these crises came about not because derivatives are inherently bad, but because derivatives, like the machinery of almost any profession, need to be handled with care and with full knowledge of the associated risks.

In terms of fascinating classes and distinguished professors, the list goes on, and I continue to both broaden my knowledge of the various areas of finance and dive deeper into corporate finance and how firms create value for creditors and shareholders. 


« Previous PageNext Page »


The content and opinions expressed on this site do not necessarily reflect the views of nor are they endorsed by The Ohio State University or Fisher College of Business.