Posts filed under 'Class'



Finals Week!

With the first session of autumn coming to an end this week, there’s only one more thing between the MAcc class and session two… FINALS! On top of this, we are at the time of recruiting season when firms are interviewing candidates and extending offers for office visits and second interviews. While these past few weeks have been especially challenging for these reasons, I can already see how rewarding my experience in the MAcc program is. The ability to work with other highly driven, success minded individuals requires the class to perform at their top of their game. The faculty, career services, and administrative staff have been tremendously helpful, whether explaining a particular aspect of an accounting transaction, or offering advice on how to best prepare for a potential career opportunity.

Thompson Library at The Ohio State University

I’d like to end this blog post with a quote I think is fitting for times such as this when I really need to focus on working hard to accomplish my goals:

“Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.” – Theodore Roosevelt

Now time to get back to studying!

If you’re interested in learning more about the Thomson Library, I suggest you check out the great post by Sabah Sufi (fellow MAcc blogger).


Class is in Session

As we begin to wrap up the first of our seven week sessions, our first set of SMF classes is coming to a close.  These classes are imperative to success in the program as they provide the foundation for many of the other classes that we will take.  For those students without a finance background they also give them the opportunity to learn many of the basic financial concepts and theories.  During the first 7 weeks all members of the program have taken the same four classes: Turbo Finance, Financial Modeling, Industry Risk and Pricing, and Data Analysis.

  • Turbo Finance:  This class is taught by the SMF program director, Dr. George Pinteris, and as its name suggests, provides a full overview of the many financial theories and concepts that are necessary for success in a rigorous program such as the SMF.  This course covers a set of fundamental techniques for financial analysis.  In this class we have examines the investment decision in detail looking at both the NPV and IRR of projects to determine their viability. We have also spent a third of the class on valuation analysis looking at both the multiples and DCF methods.  The third key focus of this course is financial statement analysis and we will focus on using a set of tools and methods to analyze companies and sectors.  This class also involves a company report where we will apply all of the techniques that we have learned in the class to analyze a particular company.  In my case we are working on an analysis of FedEx.
  • Financial Modeling:  This class is taught by Professor Daniel Oglevee, a former Wall Street Professional with a great deal of experience in financial modeling from his time in the private sector.  In this class we have constructed dozens of models that could be applied in our future jobs from NPV analysis to forecasting financial statements.  This class serves as one of the foundations for the program because the skills learned will be used in every other class we take.  In addition, in almost any job in the business world, knowledge of Microsoft Excel and financial modeling are extremely important and employers actively seek candidates with these skills.
  • Industry Risk and Pricing:  This class is taught by Dr. Michael Brandl, and provides an overview of applied microeconomics.  What sets this class apart from many other economic courses I have taken is not only Professor Brandl’s enthusiasm for the subject, but also the application of economic theory to real-world financial situations.  He stresses for each of us to think as an analyst and in order to fully understand the influences and forces on a company or sector, you must understand the economics behind the growth or decline.
  • Data Analysis: This class is taught by Dr. Daniel Magestro, explores some the most common techniques used in financial and investment analysis.  One of the main focuses of the class, as evident by the title, is data analysis which is the application of quantitative methods to characterize financial datasets, including which to use in different situations.  In this class we also create analyst reports on various topics that allow for students to apply many of the techniques we have learned in a real world application.

Decisions, Decisions

Even though it feels like classes just started, second term is only weeks away, and it is already almost time to schedule for spring semester. That means I need to start thinking about which track I will be specializing in: corporate finance, investment management, risk management, or real estate. Right now, my SMF classmates seem pretty evenly divided between corporate finance and investment management, with a handful of others pursuing risk management and real estate. I personally am still torn between the corporate and investment tracks. Not having a finance background, I think it will take me a bit longer to determine what jobs interest me, and into what categories those jobs fall.

Luckily for me and other students in a similar position, the SMF program is designed to help you find the right path. During the second term, which runs from mid-October until Winter Break, all of the SMF students are required to take Corporate I and Investments I, along with Leadership, Derivatives I, and Data Analysis II. This allows everyone to get a taste for the two main tracks and, from what I hear, I should know pretty quickly in which direction I am leaning.

However, if I still cannot make up my mind, I am sure the SMF faculty and staff will continue to be a great source of guidance. One piece of advice I have heard from several of our professors is to read—read the textbooks, read newspapers like The Wall Street Journal, and read magazines like The Economist. Then think back on what topics, industries, and companies caught my attention, what was I naturally drawn to, even if seems like a far-fetched career path. That could help point me towards not only a track within the SMF program, but also possible employers for the future. Because, after all, shouldn’t the end goal be to get not just any job, but a job I actually love?

Check out the full list of spring semester electives here!

 


Industry Tour- 31 Gift

 

Last Thursday our professor David Widdifield led us to a distribution center of 31 Gifts, a handbag and accessories manufacturer in Columbus.

Before that, we first had a guest speaker from KMH Systems, who presented to us about what they provided for their clients on solving supply chain problems. He gave us an idea about how to implement automation in supply chain and how to design a warehouse. 5 factors were brought out, which are space, layout, equipment, information systems, and management. Actually there are still a lot to learn. After that, we went to the distribution center near Easton, where it is more convenient to provide goods with flexibility and high-velocity.

When we arrived there, the chief operation manager welcomed us and gave us a brief introduction about their company. Ten years ago, 31 was formed with a goal of helping women by giving them an opportunity to own their own business. Around the corner of the meeting room, we could see a huge pink heart shape poster. The manager said they actually import materials from China originally,  and customize those semi-products into what the consumers want, to meet their own need. Also, they reduce the return percentage through quality control and good service. Then, he showed us the warehouse. Some pictures of the distribution center are shown below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The most amazing part is that they don’t have a lot of workers, instead they purchased automotive machine sewing and stitching machines. All they need to do is create designs according to the customers’ requirement.  They had a bunch of templates in their database, so that they could choose what they need easily. Then the machine could operate itself. As you can see below, usually, it takes 3 minutes to complete a whole design.

By applying automation, they could be able to reduce the cost and increase the profit, while improving the productivity.  At the same time, they could take the advantage of economy of scale. After they complete the manufacturing process, they continue the quality control process and handling them into different category according to different customers manually. As we could see in the picture, they record the whole process on the board in order to observe and improve the process.

After all these, they could sort them into several packages and ship them to different destination. We observed the whole process and have a general idea about how they operate. I still feel there is a lot to learn but I was able to gain more experience in the field.


Non-Accounting Background, Not a Problem-It’s all about Diversity

To start off, I want to back track a little and introduce myself. I was so excited to tell you all about the sites in the area in my first few posts, that I left out this little detail. My name is Sabah, and I received by undergraduate degree right here at Fisher with specializations in Finance, Risk Management and Insurance. So I must admit, I was slightly nervous coming into a Master of Accounting program having taken only a few basic accounting classes. But as time has passed, I have realized that I may have to work a little harder, but the material is very interesting, the professors are incredibly helpful, and the student body is very welcoming and friendly, so it hasn’t felt like I am missing much. In fact, chatting with the Director of MAcc Admissions and Recruiting, Rob Chabot, I learned that the Fisher College of Business prides itself on having a diverse MAcc class.

But you don’t just have to take my word for it. Here is some input from a few of my fellow classmates:

Yanchao Ma

Undergraduate Major: French, International Economics and Trade

First few weeks in the MAcc program: I definitely felt a little intimidated at the beginning of the MAcc program, worrying that I may not have as much accounting experience or knowledge as other students. But as time goes by and I become more familiar with the material, I become more confident of myself. I have also learned a lot from my classmates.

Yanchao’s Advice: My advice is to take advantage of every opportunity to learn, not only from professors but also from fellow classmates and to maintain a positive mindset.

Tyler Turner

Undergraduate Major: Bachelor of Arts in Music

First few weeks in the MAcc program: The first few weeks have been very busy and having career fairs and interviews not even a month after the start of classes has been more than a little overwhelming. But the experience so far has been great; the classes are interesting and the professors are wonderful. A couple professors told me that coming from a non-accounting background wouldn’t be much of an issue, and as skeptical as I was, it turns out they were right. The Pre-MAcc program* (accounting boot camp), as awful as it seemed at the time, was great preparation for the MAcc program.

*A fellow blogger, Victoria, wrote a great post a few weeks ago on the Pre-MAcc program. Read it here!*

Tyler’s Advice: The best advice I can give to students with similar situations is to use the resources that are available. And the best of those resources are the people. Get to know your professors, faculty and fellow classmates. Everybody involved with the MAcc program and Fisher want you to succeed and all of them are ready to help you in any way possible.

Mayuran Chandrakanthan

Undergraduate Major: Biology with a certificate in Entrepreneurship

First few weeks in the MAcc program: My first few weeks in the MAcc program have been extremely busy. I have had to spend some extra time learning the material because my background in accounting isn’t at the same level as some other people. I have enjoyed my first few weeks but I still think I think about accounting differently than many students. Many students accounting comes naturally but for me, I sometimes forget I’m an accounting student and try to solve problems using a different approach. Overall though, I feel as though my hard work will payoff in the long run.

Mayuran’s Advice: As long as you put your mind into being able to accomplish something you will be successful. Make a lot of friends, ask questions and get involved. If you want to be successful you will be successful.

Hope this information eases a few minds!

A big thank you to these MAcc students for taking the time to share their insights! Until next time, O-H…I-O!


Tests and Teams

A school without football is in danger of deteriorating into a medieval study hall.”      -Vince Lambardi
We have reached the time for our first exams of the semester.  For some this is a dreadful process and for others it is a walk in the park.  At the graduate level, you should expect tests to be composed of open ended questions and essays that cover material from readings, case studies, and classroom discussions.

The first test is somewhat worrisome because you don’t quite know what the professor wants or how they grade; and, it doesn’t help that there are usually only two tests and a project for each class.  As long as you actively read and apply it to class discussions you will be prepared.  Still, most of my classmates were a little nervous.

After completing the first test, two essay questions.  I feel good about my effort and knowledge.  Unlike undergrad exams, the questions were very broad and required a comprehensive understanding of the subject.  There was an organic meeting with some of my classmates after we finished the test and there were mixed feelings (although I feel we all did just fine!)

When I was in 8th grade, I had a teacher that said being able to work in teams is essential to getting ahead in life.  The MHRM program places a great emphasis on teamwork.  As a full time student, I am taking one semester long class and four half semester classes.  Each course has a component that requires teamwork to complete a paper and presentation.

The purpose of our current projects are to identify how organizations implement the elements of business that we have been studying.  For example we have been been reading and discussing about high performance organizations and how to determine if a business could be considered one.  As HR professionals, we will carry much of the burden of developing these aspects in the organizations we represent.  These projects have deepened my professional network and allowed me to understand what HR managers actually do… well at least gain a better understanding.

Aside from gaining valuable insight into actual businesses, our groups are composed of students with different backgrounds and some from different countries.  In my opinion, this is the best way to learn how to work with others.  With three projects going simultaneously,  I am sharpening my time management, organizational, and leadership skills.  As a former coach, I enjoy working with a tight knit group to accomplish a goal, and this is exactly what you can expect from the MHRM students in the Fisher College of Business.

On a side note, Ohio State football is awesome!  On home games, there is a sea of scarlet and gray all around campus.  The camaraderie and school spirit at Ohio State rivals any school in the country.  You can feel the excitement when you walk through the miles of tailgaters, join in the chants of “OH” “IO”, and smell the cooking from thousands of grills.  If you aren’t fortunate enough to have a ticket, I would suggest joining the crowds in one of the local bars or restaurants.  Just make sure your wearing the right colors and join in the spirit of Buckeye nation!

 


Keeping Pace

There was a saying that we used in the Marine Corps: “It is easier to keep up than catch up.”

This phrase mostly applied to things like running or forced marches in that context, but it seems to me that is is quite applicable to an MBA program as well.   Time management is a crucial skill that is needed in order to thrive in this sort of environment.  In the Marines they begin training in stress inoculation and time management almost immediately.  It is not uncommon in boot camp for something simple, like making a rack (bed), to be given an impossible, or nearly impossible time restriction, and it progresses from there to more complex issues with seemingly impossible time constraints.

Important life decisions.

Time management and the ability to work under duress are two of the many valuable skills (along with leadership), that the Marines helped instill in me.   So, back to the MBA program, during the program, there are a lot of priorities that need to be balanced.  Some of the main ones are:

  • School:  Not just going to all of my classes, but doing homework assignments, studying, and working on projects.
  • Future Careers:  Especially for people like myself looking to switch careers, I need to actively work on building my professional network, attend company info sessions and events, job fairs, apply for jobs, hopefully interview for jobs, work on my resume, and meet with my career counselor.

    First Career Fair as a graduate student today!

  • Student organizations:  There are a myriad of student organizations at Fisher, and they all offer valuable opportunities to students.  There is certainly not time to join all of them, but I have joined several, but each additional one requires an additional time commitment.
  • Personal:  This is possibly the easiest to neglect, but humans need sleep, and to eat, and every once and a while to relax.  Things like going to the gym take time, but it is something that should not be neglected.  Also, having a social life within the program is important.  A big part of business school seems to be networking, so doing things like going to happy hours, and football games are important to building strong relationships with classmates.

All of these areas need to be kept in balance, and maintained, sometimes one is going to be more in focus than the rest, but that doesn’t mean the rest can be neglected.  If I neglect an area, then I am going to fall behind in it, which means that in the future, I will need to expend the same amount of energy needed for it now, plus the energy needed for it in the future, in order to catch up.  That is in addition to meeting all of the other requirements from the other sections of my life.  So, a short term sacrifice now, causes long term harm if I decide to slack in one or more areas.  So, even though it might seem overwhelming sometimes, keeping up with it all is easier than trying to catch up with it all in the future.  I should thank my Drill Instructor for the life lesson.

 

Four simultaneous Script Ohio’s is an amazing thing.


It’s Good To Be Back

As the title of my post relates, it is good to be back.

As my wife and I were making the drive back to Columbus from Minneapolis she asked me if I was ready to start my second year of business school. I hadn’t really thought if I was ready or not but I did know that I was excited to return. Some people may think that is crazy, but let me explain what I mean when I say that it is good to be back at Fisher.

Here is what I am looking forward to at Fisher this year:

  • Camaraderie – Oddly enough this reminds me of my days playing sports. When you are on a team, or in business school, you develop very close relationships with others. Why? Because you are all going through the same trials and challenges and celebrating similar successes and accomplishments. Business school is a mentally and emotionally grueling time of life and great friendships are established that will last a lifetime. To put it simply, I’m excited to see all of my friends from b-school that were off in different parts of the country (and world) completing their internships.
  • Education – I like to learn. If you are in business school and you don’t like to learn, you may as well drop out. School isn’t the only place where education and learning take place. They continue on into the workplace. If you don’t like to learn new things and stretch yourself, you probably shouldn’t be in b-school. I love the challenge and love to learn from others experience and knowledge. This year will be even more exciting as I focus my classes on my majors of strategy and marketing.
  • Buckeye Football – I have to be honest, right? I love sports and I love football. Put me in a school with one of the best teams and storied programs in the country and it makes for some excitement. Not only is it fun to gather weekly with classmates, but it is fun to feel the buzz in the air surrounding football season here in Columbus. You may not show up to Fisher as a Buckeye fan, but I can guarantee you will leave as one. It’s inevitable.
  • Exposure – Being a students here at Fisher comes hand in hand with loads of exposure to recruiters, top faculty, and great alumni. During my first year I was able to meet with numerous recruiters that were very interested in Fisher students. They have had great success with Fisher students in the past and they enjoy recruiting here and meeting more potential candidates. The faculty and alumni are beyond generous and have been a great asset to me as a student. It has been fun to see a few of them and fill them in on my experience with 3M this summer.

Like I said, it is good to be back. Good to see friends, talk with faculty, and enjoy the community feeling of Ohio State. Hopefully this year won’t fly by too quickly!

 


Summer in Gerlach Hall: The PreMAcc Seminar

As a current MAcc student at Fisher, who did not major in accounting as an undergraduate, I chose to complete some of my prerequisite courses through the Pre-MAcc Seminar. This program, which is administered by the Fisher College of Business Office of Executive Education, allows students to fulfill the Intermediate Accounting I & II prerequisite requirements the summer before beginning the MAcc program. This seminar lasts approximately 2.5 weeks and provides students, particularly those who hold Bachelor’s degrees in disciplines other than accounting, with some of the additional foundational knowledge that they need to be sufficiently prepared for the MAcc program. This past summer, the Pre-MAcc Seminar went from 9:00 am until 5:00 pm for approximately 13 days.

During the program, our instructors, Marc Smith and Stephanie Lewis, would introduce new material through lectures and practice problems and would then give students the opportunity to try additional problems on their own in order to gauge their comprehension of the material. Given the small class size of about 18 students, the seminar lent itself to significant interaction between the students and instructors as well as small-group discussions. Not only was I able to better prepare myself for the Autumn semester in the MAcc Program by completing this seminar but I was also able to meet a variety of students from different educational backgrounds and many different countries. I feel that this seminar allowed me to transition more easily into the MAcc program since I didn’t major in accounting as an undergraduate.

Since I moved to Columbus about five weeks before the start of the Autumn term, I have had plenty of time to explore the city. It’s difficult to keep track of the many great restaurants and entertainment venues around Columbus, but a few that really stand out are Huntington Park (home of the Clippers), Due Amici and Rigsby’s Kitchen. Be sure to check back here for more on the MAcc program and life in Columbus!

Stephanie Lewis
Senior Lecturer, Accounting & MIS

 

Marc Smith
Senior Lecturer, Accounting & MIS


The Importance of Orientation

SMF Students at Orientation

As anyone in the business world will tell you, one of the most important factors in being successful is building relationships.  Whether with potential clients, co-workers, or in our case, fellow students, the importance does not diminish.  Getting to know your classmates and their interests will be paramount not only to building relationships with them, but also to your success.  In a program that is as team oriented as the Fisher Specialized Master in Finance, getting to know your classmates is even more important because they are also going to be your teammates.

William Oxley Statue

That being said, the SMF program does a great job of helping us to get to know our classmates through a two week orientation period.  During this time we did activities to get to know our classmates as well participate in seminars that would help us to understand the expectations we should have for ourselves.  This orientation period was a great time for us to get to know each other outside of the classroom as well since we had plenty of free time with classes not yet in session.  Our program set up a picnic at a local park where we were able to not only meet all of our other classmates, but try food from different cultures.  We also had the opportunity to take a tour of campus with pre-assigned groups which gave us the opportunity to get to know our way around campus as well getting know more of our classmates.

As we start to get into our classes and split up into groups for our many projects, the many activities we did the first few weeks are really showing their importance.  Ensuring that you are working with the best possible group of people for you is paramount to your success and we would not have been able to gain that knowledge before classes start without our efforts during orientation.  In closing, the main lesson is that even when you have downtime there are plenty of things you can do that are going to set you up for success once school really starts.


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