Posts filed under 'Class'



Wrapping Up First Semester

It’s hard to believe, but my first semester of the MAcc program here at Fisher is winding down. Unfortunately there is one thing in the way before everyone can go home for break and enjoy time with friends and family – final exams. I thought it would be helpful to give a brief overview of what types of final assignments/tests I have so those interested in the MAcc program can get a better idea of what to expect when finals come around.

  1. Professional Research in Accounting: This is one of the four required accounting courses. Throughout this class we have been learning how to do accounting research using several different sources and then had to use this research to complete group research papers. For our final assignment, each student was presented with several paragraphs of information about a company and we have to use accounting research tools to answer several accounting-related questions about the company. This assignment is to be completed outside of class and individually.
  2. Tax Accounting 2: This is an elective accounting course. During this class we have learned about the federal income tax treatment of business corporations and partnerships. Throughout the class, most of our assignments have involved reading the textbook and completing practice problems to obtain a better understanding of the material. We have an in-class final exam that covers all of the material we have learned throughout the 7 week course.
  3. Assurance Services and Information Quality: This is an elective accounting course. In this class, we have been focusing on the role of assurance services in enhancing the quality of information for financial decision making. We have completed numerous group case assignments throughout the 7 week course. A portion of the final exam is an individual take-home assignment, and the other portion is an in-class final exam.
  4. The Business of College Sports: This is an elective non-accounting course. Throughout this class we have learned about the OSU athletic program from a wide variety of speakers as well as taking tours of several athletic facilities. A couple of weeks ago we took an individual final exam in class that covered all of the material from throughout the semester. In addition to the final exam, the class is split into teams, and each team is required to do a 20-30 minute presentation on a topic of their choosing related to college sports.
  5. Negotiations: This is an elective non-accounting course. During the semester, we have developed our skills to become more effective negotiators. Much of the class has been spent getting to actually negotiate with our classmates. Most of our assignments have involved preparing for in-class negotiations and completing assigned readings. For our final exam, we have an in-class exam covering the topics we have learned throughout the semester. We also have a group paper due that we must complete with our teammates from a negotiation that took place over 3 different class days.

final exam


How to Pick your Second Semester Schedule

The Ohio State MAcc program is unique in the fact that the university operates on a semester schedule, yet the MAcc program offers half-semester 7-week session classes. This means that when students enroll in classes, they will enroll in the next two 7-week session’s courses! While this quick rotation through classes keeps MAcc students refreshed on course topics, it can complicate how students schedule for their final semester schedule.

Your first half year in the Ohio State MAcc program is fairly structured as each student is required to 3 of the 4 required core course in the first two sessions. This simplicity, combined with terrific guidance from the MAcc advising staff, makes scheduling for the first two sessions a breeze (even though students are not even on campus yet).

It is the second half-year scheduling where things become a little more complicated. Normally, second semester scheduling windows open sometime before Halloween; this means that students have had roughly 10 weeks to get acclimated to the MAcc program and its courses prior to having to select your courses for your final semester!

While this might seem stressful, it is actually a very exciting time. Since there are so many elective course offerings, the Graduate Programs Office hosts a lunch where professors of second semester courses come and talk about their course topics and expectations. The purpose of the lunch is to help students choose which classes would be best for them. Aside from attending this lunch, there are other keys to take away the stress of scheduling that I have learned by finalizing my schedule.

The keys to take away the stress of scheduling are:

  • Make sure you have met all of the program requirements
  • Talk to professors to gain more information about their classes
  • Make a primary and a backup schedule
  • As soon as your scheduling window opens, SCHEDULE! Classes are assigned on a first come-first serve basis based on when your scheduling window opens.

While you will have a lot of decisions to make regarding which courses to enroll in, take comfort in the fact that all the professors in the MAcc program are the very best that the Fisher College of Business has to offer. Any class you choose to take while in the MAcc program will be interesting, engaging, and fulfilling!


What is a cohort?

A quick search on the internet reveals that it is a group of people who have something in common. Being in the MHRM program for only three months, I emphatically declare that this is a pale definition of my experiences.

About a month ago, one of my classmates included me in the group text that is shared by most everyone in the class. I am still grateful to her for inviting me to participate in it. It is primarily used as a social network for us to contact each other and ask questions. Lately, we have received many texts regarding an onslaught of birthday wishes to classmates. Each birthday wish submitted becomes more and more amusing. This also supports my earlier claim that there is definitely a culture of support and encouragement within our class. It is truly wonderful to be immersed in that enthusiasm.

Recently I posted a text stating that I am thankful to be a part of such an amazing group. There are certain people that I absolutely love listening to, when they present, because I learn so much.   also find it fascinating to observe the improvements that many of my classmates have made with respect to their presentation style. Coming from a performance background (in music), I feel comfortable presenting. The difficulty for me lies in translating a performance ability into a presentation ability. The distinction is important and I have slowly been working on adjusting it. I have not been entirely successful, but I will get there! The classroom is a superb proofing ground for the business world. It is meant as a place to refine skills, if you allow it to be. I am not the best presenter, but I acknowledge the feedback from my peers, teachers, and experiences to be better. Ultimately, my cohort is there to help make me better and has always supported me in my development.

Finally, the cohort structure provides access to a wealth of experiences on which to learn and share. Recently, I asked one of my peers, who hosted a conference, to help me with a proposal that I have to spearhead a conference with my company. His input was well received and extremely helpful.  My classmates will become my professional colleagues after we graduate, so it is crucial to also develop your professional network through interactions with your peers. Take the time to get to know your cohort!


It’s difficult to just shut off HR

Harkening back to the working full time / school full time model, I have encountered another interesting phenomenon; I can’t just turn off the training easily. Many of my books from classes are on my desk at home and my wife has taken up reading a few of them. She said that she noticed me using some of the verbal techniques with her and she told me to stop using them. I never really thought about it, until she mentioned it, but she was right! Thinking about it more in depth, I realize that on class days (with a full time job), I spend close to 16 hours practicing HR thought and speech, 12 plus hours on non class days, and apparently some time at home practicing it. It is an excellent testament to the effectiveness of the potency of education to have such long lasting effects!

Another fact is that at heart, I am an analytical thinker. I like to take my time being thoughtful and considering my answer. During my Thanksgiving break, my head was whirling with respect to thinking about the time I would be spending with my family, projects and proposals that I am managing at work, assignments and tests that I have for the end of the semester. Going back to my EMT days, I realized that I was experiencing a type of emotional shock. This led me to discover that I need a decompression period between work, school, and home life. Especially when a break is approaching. The other clarity is being able to express the need for this decompression to my family, so that they understand the process and can help me to adjust.

It’s not to be critical, but more aware that this behavior is a “side effect” of the MHRM program. Taking a step back from the program, I realize that the whole process is quite elegant. In the grand scheme, I am slowly being acclimated to the experiences of business culture. Of course, in the everyday, I sometimes feel like it is moving a mile a minute. I may not be able to shut off my HR training completely, but I can recognize what is happening and perhaps minimize it’s presence when I am at home.


On Fisher’s Difference – A Reflection

Reflecting on my first three semesters here in the Fisher FTMBA program, I find the question that I’m most often asked by family, friends, and applicants to the program is: “What differentiates Fisher from other MBA programs?” Over time, I’ve realized that my best answer is not really my answer; it’s Dr. Tony Rucci’s.

Dr. Rucci is a clinical professor of management here at Fisher, and all first year students in the full time MBA program take his Leadership course as a part of the core curriculum. His impressive resume contains stints in the C-suites of Cardinal Health and Sears Roebuck and Co, and Dr. Rucci is actively involved in the community through several advisory roles and multiple philanthropic ventures.

Dr. Rucci could have continued his successful career in the private sector, but he chose to teach at Fisher.

Dr. Rucci could have gone and taught at any business school of his choosing around the country, but he chose to teach at Fisher.

During the first week of Dr. Rucci’s core leadership course, while leading a class conversation on a project concerning the development of our team’s purpose and values statements for Fisher, I recall asking him, “Why Fisher? What makes this program special to you?” After a contemplative pause, Dr. Rucci replied:

At many other MBA programs, students go to class against their competition, fighting to take their next step in life over the fallen body of their vanquished foe. Here at Fisher, students go to class with their friends, and everyone works to take their next steps in life together, arm-in-arm.”

Three semesters later, I can still remember Dr. Rucci answer my question as if it had just happened yesterday. I think part of the reason why this memory has remained so fresh is that I see this message in practice every single day in the interactions among Fisher students. “How firm thy friendship” from Ohio State’s alma mater Carmen Ohio and “Go Beyond” from Fisher’s branding campaign seem like nice sentiments on a page, pamphlet, or computer screen. But seeing them lived out in person packs a potent, palpable punch so powerful that even previously cynical me has become a believer in Dr. Rucci’s words.


Business Excellence 2: My Favorite Course

It has been 3 months since I arrived in the U.S. and started my graduate life. It is hard to believe that the first semester is almost coming to an end. In this semester, I learned a lot from different courses, but my favorite course is MHRM 7321: Business Excellence 2, taught by Professor Schaffner.

Every class began with Professor Schaffner’s question: “What is in your mind or what did you find interesting about HR this week?” Then students brought their different topics and discussed. We might spend half of the class in these topics. In these discussions, we can talk about the problems we met in HR work and then classmates offer opinions and suggestions. Overall, we are free to voice our opinions and Professor Schaffner always pushes us to think deeply by asking thoughtful questions.

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The exams of MHRM 7321 are different, too. Instead of concluding and remembering authors’ opinions, we analyze a certain case with what we have learned in the course. There are two principles of these exams. First is “show off what you have learned.” I think applying the theories, models, and approaches we learned in the class to a case maybe is the best way to link theory to practice. And the professor really encourages us to think beyond the case to our work experience. Second is “creative,” in which we can use different materials and our own experience to support our opinions. As Professor Schaffner says, “Surprise me. Teach me something.”

image2

Last class was even more interesting. We spent almost one and half hours to “design a wallet for your partner.” It was not an activity but a process in which we learned how a design process works. What surprised me most is the result of design process: some really cool or even amazing designs! It is not just a process to design something different, but is a process to think differently.

I was not very used to the course at first because it was so different from classes I had before (both in China and in America). Actually, I never had a course as creative and thoughtful as MHRM 7321. After three months, I found that my mind was changed: now when I analyze cases or read an article from other courses, I tend to use the thoughts I learned from 7321. Some said this course will affect them in 5 years, while I think maybe this course will affect me in my whole lifetime.


Top 10 Most Memorable Experiences from the 1st Semester:

Tepper

1: Tepper Case Competition – This past weekend I traveled to Pittsburgh to participate in an international supply chain case competition with three others from Fisher. While our team didn’t advance to the finals, we learned a TON, networked with executives from a handful of companies, spent 30 hours working on a LIVE company problem and experienced a first-class wine and dine experience. #istillneedtocatchuponsleep

OHIO

2: Football games – I used to think OSU was the evil powerhouse team that wins too much. Now, I’ve drunk the scarlet Kool-Aid. #punintended #O-H…

3: CEO of Cardinal Health – About every other week a C-suite speaker comes in for a lunch seminar. My favorite has been George Barrett from Cardinal Health. Here is the article (I was even quoted in the article!) #freepaneralunch #greatopportunity

4: Fisher prayer – every other week between 3 and 10 of us gather to talk about how life in Fisher is impacting our lives. Then we pray for 20 minutes. Great memories reflecting and opening up to classmates.

5: Winning the MBA poker tourney. We are a competitive bunch! #thisblogpostinnowaysupportsgamblingbutdangitsfun

Urban

6: Urban Meyer spoke on leadership to the College of Business just 24 hours before JT Barrett was arrested for a DUI. I snapped this picture from my seat!

Red Lobster

7: Red Lobster – Our marketing final involved a 24-hour deep-dive into a case about Red Lobster’s effort to re-position itself in the market. This required some memorable late night studying sessions and the obligatory trip with my family and classmates to Red Lobster for ‘market research’. #thebestcheesybiscuitsontheplanet

8: Diwali celebration – Learning about Indian culture from dozens of my classmates and professors. A true highlight and such a fantastic cultural exchange. #deliciousfood

9: This coming weekend…. There are still a few weeks left in the semester, but I’ve been looking forward to the coming weekend. Fisher Follies, MSU vs. OSU, and a families of Fisher parent gathering!

10: I love classes. Seriously, I am SO grateful for a number of my classes this semester. Honorable mentions also go to Data Analysis and Econ and Leadership. The personal development and challenge we have been given to grow our emotional intelligence in leadership is invaluable!


A New Toy

One of my classmates and I were chatting about doing the program full time, working full time, and raising a family full time! I told him, “Classes are invigorating, because I feel like I am constantly getting new toys to play with!” Both of us are fortunate to be working in HR fields and have the capability and opportunity to “play” with these new models in practical settings. On another level, it was nice to be able to talk to someone else that could empathize with managing multiple life roles.

We visited a Frito Lay company today in preparation for the case competition next Friday. I enjoyed the whole experience from being on a bus with my cohort to the plant visit. One classmate had a ‘charades’ app in which you place the cellphone across your forehead. A phrase, name, etc pops up and the group gives you clues to help the person holding it to figure out what the word is. It helped the time pass pretty quickly. We also discovered that one of my classmates is extremely adept at recognizing pokemon names. In two minutes, he was able to name 16 pokemon characters. The day ended with me coming home and carving pumpkins with my little ones.

On class days, I come straight from work to campus (getting here around 4:30 pm) and sit in the grad lounge to smarten myself up before class by looking over the notes I took while reading the class material. Sitting here today, I realize why there is a recommendation not to work full time and go to school full time. I can already see the orientation people smacking their heads in exasperation for my late recognition of this phenomenon. I recognize what I am missing out on. I hear many of my classmates talk about the parties they attended together or the intramural sports that many of them are participating in together. It is likely that many of my classmates are truly getting to know each other and are beginning to form deep friendships. Although it may not be in the same method as many in my class, I have been fortunate enough to find quite a few friends myself! I think the key takeaway is that there are many different strategies to find connections, but it is absolutely crucial to do so if you are to gain more than a piece of paper by the time that you graduate. In my earlier post, I wrote about the benefits of working full time and going to school full time and that works for me! However, there are definitely some benefits into really diving into the experience of getting to know people as not just classmates, but friends.


A different mood

Please forgive the unique composition of this blog!  I have been concerned that I was posting too much and wanted to approach it using a different method to see how it goes!  I am going to post a summary of my week, so it will be a bit disjointed until I get a better feel of how to summarize the experiences of the week.

My wife and I thought it would be nice to Skype on the days that I went straight from work to school, since I most likely would be unable to see my kids that day. My kids were thrilled.   My daughter showed off a pretty ‘Minnie’ dress that she was wearing while my little boy kept kissing towards the screen.   My daughter kept saying that she wanted to “see the people” and so I turned the screen towards two of my classmates that I was with.  They said, “hello” and my daughter turned away silently.  My boy just sort of stared at them, not saying anything.  Turning back to the screen, I talked to them for a bit and then had to say “goodbye” as I went to prepare for a new class.

Sitting in the classroom and getting ready for the Talent Management course.  The most noticeable thing is that we are in a different and smaller room than we were accustomed to.  Despite the decrease in the availability of seats, everyone is actively talking with each other as if they have all been friends for a long time.  This is only month three of our program and the dynamic is much different then the first class that we shared where everybody was more hesitant and cautious.  It truly seems to be shaping up to be a cohort.  Everyone is getting more comfortable with each other.

There are so many “unscheduled” opportunities to take advantage of while you are pursuing your degree.  Taking the opportunities to get to know your classmates (future working colleagues) by spending a few minutes after class discussing how classes are going or debating various topics.  One of my classmates and I sometimes will spend an hour or so after class, just talking to each other about the program and classes we are in.  It’s really nice to talk to another person who can empathize with the experiences at Fisher.  In another sense, it reminds me of the potential that all of us have and how listening inspires so many new ideas.

The more that I am in this program, it seems like ideas perpetually creep in to my head.  I am in the midst of proposing a staffing coordinators conference and keep getting more and more information to make it better.  There is a certain allure to running something on this level.  It is the kind of thing that would be a great way of encapsulating concepts that I am currently learning and at the same time, strengthening the organization that I work for!  Almost every class provides ideas to implement in the work setting:  Getting to know the clients of our company better and learning more about how to effectively develop solutions while experimenting with innovative ideas.

To end this week, I want to express my gratitude to everyone who has been reading my blog.  Please let me know if this has been interesting, helpful, or if there is something else that you want to know!  I look forward to hearing from you!


Class presentation, you are blessed not doomed

Being in a foreign country, getting used to the new style of learning, hunting for the internship, getting invited to all kinds of events, these can be fun and too much. Even though I barely stop, I still missed something and I didn’t even stop to learn from the things I have already experienced.

food

There’s an info session every noon with lunch, why not go there. One day, I wanted to get my bag out of the classroom where an info session just ended, but it seemed another one had begun. I still needed my bag, so I went in and didn’t want to leave when I heard a speech given by professor Ankerman. I saw that event on the hub, and it’s for MBA, so I didn’t sign up for it. But it doesn’t seem to matter if it says for MBA. After that, I engaged in all the following lectures about communication skill. They are amazing. And I used the strategy in my class presentation.

Speaking of presentation, I am really surprised that the American students are willing to let me present out the group project, given that my oral English doesn’t always works well, and the presentation matters. I’m grateful for these opportunities and with the tricks I learned from the lectures, the presentation actually went well. What surprises me even more is the kindness of the classmates. Before the class, they will encourage you. Even after the class, they will remember to tell you how nice your presentation is. My nervousness totally turns into excitement. And although the American classmates are native speakers, they can also be nervous about it, just like we do when we give speech in our language in front of a lot of people. It reminds me another important thing I learned from the orientation. We are not the only ones who will have trouble integrating into the new environment.

presentation

After the career fair and a series of classes and events, I recalled an appointment I have with my career consultant. When I made the appointment at the front desk, it can only be scheduled after 2 weeks. We don’t usually make an appointment with faculties in Chinese university, but it seems the career consultant here is really a hotspot. I assumed our talk will be finished in half an hour at most, since I don’t have much to say. But when we began the conversation, I actually can’t even stop. Jill is amazing, she can just look at you and come up with all the names or resources you can reach out to. I describe my problem and she can always figure out the core problem and help with it.


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