A Year in Review

Reflecting on the last nine months brings to light many memories with the Fisher MAcc program at Ohio State.

What I learned in Grad School is… What I’ve come to realize is that grad school really isn’t about technical knowledge or skills. That’s one misconception that I personally came here with. Grad classes aren’t about turning in a worksheet, doing hours of busy work each night, or cramming for that exam. In fact, grad classes are the opposite. What I once hated about undergrad classes is now what I love about my grad classes. Group projects are a blessing (that’s right, I said it). My biggest takeaway from grad school as a whole is how to better work with others. With literally almost every assignment being worked on in groups, there are many opportunities to improve your interpersonal skills.

Graduating from the MAcc program on May 5th will be a bittersweet moment for me. My college years are over as well as my time spent in Columbus. The stereotype of Midwest kindness is real; these really are the nicest people you will probably ever meet.

Couldn’t have made it through this year without them!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, what’s next for me? Following graduation, I will move back to sunny Florida. I’m excited to connect with my family and friends that I have missed over the school year. This summer, I hope to finish taking the CPA exam (currently half-way there!!) and relax before I start working at Deloitte’s Boca Raton office this fall.

As always, go Bucks!

Tailgating during the football season with MAcc classmates
O-H-I-O!!!!!!

 

The End Is Near

I spent a part of this morning going through photos from the past year, and man, it is crazy how quickly these past eight months have gone. Reminds me of this old country song by Trace Adkins. As our email inboxes get flooded with graduation information, ways to purchase regalia, and other information regarding diplomas; graduation is starting to become a real idea indeed.

Looking back on these photos brought back great memories. For example, I remember our orientation and our Turbo Finance class, where I was planting the foundation of my current financial knowledge and getting to know my new classmates better. Another example is the numerous dinners that we went to as a class and all the great food and conversations we had.

My first team at Fisher

Fast forward to the Fisher Follies Auction event in the fall, to accepting my job, to traveling to NYC and meeting with the banks, to finishing out the first half of the program on a strong note. Christmas vacation was an awesome time to have some rest, start studying for the CFA exam, and begin to prepare for the second half of the school year.

Classmates and me in NYC in the fall.

Looking back on the past two months, I also did a lot of traveling: Denver, New York, Chicago, and Islamorada. It was awesome being able to enjoy these places with family, friends, and classmates. It was also nice to do a little traveling while I was still in school and before I started my job.

Skiing out in Denver at Keystone.

Now, we have just over one month left and I am going to cherish these moments a little bit more than the rest as I recognize that this is the end. We have a few more events planned, including the Fisher Follies Variety Show event and a few other SMF events. I am looking forward to this next month and walking across the stage with my classmates at graduation.

Wrap Up of the Year!

Wow, it’s hard to believe the MAcc Program is coming to an end! It feels like we just started, but then again, we did only start about 8 months ago. Even though the year is almost over, there are still more events to look forward to. One event is Fisher Formal. This is a formal end of the year celebration at a Cathedral in which all graduate students at Fisher are invited. We are allowed to bring guests to this event as well. Another event is an end of the year celebration for the VITA program at Dave and Busters with all of the VITA volunteers.

Final exams are coming up in the last week of April and then graduation takes place on May 8th. There is a Pre-Commencement ceremony taking place 2 days before graduation to recognize MAcc students and professors specifically. There is certainly a lot to look forward to the rest of the school year and the weekend of graduation!

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This summer I will be staying in Columbus and studying for, taking, and hopefully passing the 4 sections of the CPA exam. I will be starting my full time position in federal tax at KPMG in Columbus this upcoming October.

Overall, this has been a fantastic year. I have met so many new friends, some of which are staying in Columbus, and some that are moving to other places. I hope to stay in contact with the people I have met in the program. I have also really enjoyed all of the cool classes I have gotten to take this year, both accounting and non-accounting courses. Finally, I enjoyed all of the events I was able to attend as a student here such as football games, basketball games, volleyball games, and volunteering. This is definitely a year I will never forget, and I am so grateful that I had the wonderful opportunity to attend such a great program and university!

Is it Graduation Time …already…!!!???

linkedin Didier Hirwantwari aka “SMF for life”

Graduation = Closer to reaching Personal and Professional Goals. 

I would first like to thank all my followers and fans. This has been a truly great experience and continues to become an even greater experience as I approach the finish line of this program. I have enjoyed writing these blogs and have put all my heart into them trying to share my daily musings and articles and great pictures. It is an experience that has given me much more than I have given.

I started my collegiate career here at the Ohio State University in 2010 and was granted entry into the business school as an undergraduate in Finance shortly thereafter. It was a great and challenging experience and it still is now as I finish up my graduate studies here. I think the biggest part of this school and university as a whole are the people whom I’ve met. I can honestly say with a hundred percent that it is because of the people I have met that I am here right now. I did well in my studies but it was always the people whom I would meet who would push me to even want to work harder and give an extra ounce.

Thank You to my family and friends for believing in me and carrying me when I was tired. From my stats professor Doug Evans who wrote my recommendation letter and made it possible for me to gain an internship with the FDIC; Thank You. To Professor Albert for everything, from advising to explaining the foreign exchange to listening to my worries. From my undergraduate adviser Jane Palmer who guided me throughout the halls of Schoenbaum so that I could work harder and harder to standout as a finance student and for hugging me at my undergraduate graduation and making me almost shed tears (don’t tell anyone) ; Thank You to Professor Kewei Hou for believing in me and writing a recommendation letter that I am sure helped a lot when I applied to this great SMF program. To Dr. Pinteris; Thank You for this great opportunity, it has been a blast meeting my classmates and learning from you. To Professor Lou Zhang, I would recommend your class to everyone; one of the best learning experiences I have had.  To Caroline C., Thank You for your guidance throughout the first semester, it helped me grow in so many ways. Thank You Rebecca Z. for asking me about my experiences with the program and making sure that I have everything I needed; It definitely helps me to stay centered. To Rob C., I cannot say enough thanks for the opportunity, but many thanks. To Claudel; Our talks have made me so much more confident to go out and face the world, thank you. To all my classmates, if you ever read this. I would not be the better person (I think 🙂 ) without you all. Thank You all !!!

I am sure I missed some people but if they (you) ever read this…Thank You.  So …. graduation is around the corner. I have been thinking if I will do the dab like Coach Urban Meyer did in my earlier posts. As I start approaching this date, the impact of what I am going to achieve here grows larger and larger. In such a short amount of time I have learned so much and met so many people. I never stopped learning while here and I doubt that I ever will. There are great things coming down the line for the SMF program and I am very excited. For the incoming SMFs if you read this; Welcome to what I feel is one of the top finance programs into one of the top business schools into one of the best states with the best football team, best damn band in the land, …..Welcome to your Buckeye Experience !!!

Go Bucks

Yours Truly … Didier Hirwantwari

Wrap Up!

As the fourth session begins to wrap up, I look back on the past year in the MAcc program and think “wow, where did all of the time go?” It truly does not feel like 9 months ago I was sitting in orientation, eager to begin working towards a master’s degree. However, as I write this last blog post, I am reminding myself of all the memories that I have had in the MAcc program, all of the incredible people I have met, and all of the information and skills I have learned over the past 9 months.

Commencement at The Shoe!

The most obvious part of my MAcc experience that I can reflect on is the classes. Like any program, there were some classes that I absolutely loved, and some that were a little more challenging to get excited for. However, all classes had extraordinary professors who provided valuable learning experiences. After my first three years in Undergraduate classes at Fisher, and this past year in the Graduate classes, it is clear, the professors are the best assets that Fisher has. Regardless of class title or professor, you are going to be challenged in the way that you think, which is the best way to learn.

Another place where I spent a large portion of my time this year was working as a Graduate Assistant. As a graduate student ambassador, I was the first point of contact for many people who were interested in or being recruited by Fisher. Seeing this other side of the business school has taught me many hard skills that will make me a better business person, but has also instilled a strong sense of Fisher pride in me. Having to pitch the program and the College to people I hardly know has made me realize that I truly love the Fisher College of Business, and more importantly The Ohio State University.

It will be a very bittersweet moment when I walk across the stage for graduation in a few Sundays. Bitter because I am leaving campus, friends, and memories, yet sweet because I have so many memories to look back on as an Alumnus (wow, that sounds weird)! After graduation, I will begin studying for the CPA exam. If all goes well, I will hopefully be majorly done with the exams prior to starting at EY in Chicago come September!

Memories of Graduating MHRM Students

99-749-35 Fisher College pillar 9-14-99 Photo: Jo McCulty

  • “I would say that without a doubt my favorite memory from this program has been the opportunity to travel to Brazil for the global business expedition class. I enjoyed this so much because I got to meet students from all the other Fisher graduate programs and travel with them to different companies such as Nike, GlaxoSmithKline, etc. I learned so much about what it means to do international business in an increasingly global world. I was able to apply the concepts we’ve learned in our HR classes, and also gain additional business knowledge through the other graduate students at Fisher.” –Kaitlin Bressler
  • “One of my favorite memories from my time here at Fisher was at Fisher Formal, which is an event where multiple programs get together to celebrate the end of the school year. It was a great time to hang out with other MHRM students and also get to know people in some of the other programs Fisher offers!” –Katie Baird
  • “It’s hard to pick just one, but my favorite memory is the Welcome to Campus mixer for returning students and incoming students during Orientation 2015.  There was just so much buzz and excitement in entering a new academic year, meeting new people and hearing about everyone’s summers and internships.  That’s the best part of the program.  Meeting so many smart and diverse people and developing those friendships.” –Craig Baker
  • “My favorite memories from the program always involve spending time with the wonderful friends I have made. Whether we are staying up late working on a group project or having fun on the weekend, we always create memories that I will never forget.” –Taylor Boyer
  • “One of my favorite memories for myself, may be a little more stressful for others, however for me, I really enjoyed participating in the 1st year fall recruiting season. I have never been in an environment where I had a legitimate opportunity to apply and pursue internships with such prestigious companies, and actually be desired amongst these companies.  It was the first sign that I knew I chose the right school.” – Brennan Brumfield
  • “Aside from having a summer internship, participating in case competitions is the single-most valuable thing that I have done during my time at Fisher. Sure, I’ve learned important theories, methods, and skills in the classroom, but those things hold no value without real-world application. Case competitions have provided me with an opportunity to practice what I’ve learned in the classroom, and to improve soft skills like leadership, public speaking, and persuasive communication.” –Marlina Frederick
  • “My favorite memory or most memorable parts from the program were my internship with Cargill and support from Jill Westerfield. Jill was most encouraging and positive. The insights she gave helped make my internship happen. The internship itself was a priceless component of the program. I also came away very grateful for the opportunity to do what I love, teaching as a Teaching Associate and get paid for it. The best was Dr Noe. His support, listening and guidance made the difference and helped me have a high quality experience!”-Rodney Adewole
  • “Fisher Formal was one of the most impressive memories for me during my two-year program time, because it is a brand new experience for me hanging out with friends dressed in casual elegant. Friends in our program helped me to get involved and enjoy this wonderful time, and I love to embrace this part of a new culture and tradition since then. Thanks Fisher, and thanks MHRM!” – Zhechuan Sun

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Ohio
#BuckeyeForever #HeartIsInOhio

 

Rounding Third

It’s hard to believe that we only have five weeks left of our time at Fisher, which is both exciting and sad. This is my second graduate degree, so I knew it would be fast, but somehow, I’m still surprised to find myself this close to graduation. So here is my advice to the current first year class and the incoming class of Fisher MBA’s, as the Class of 2016 rounds third base and heads towards home:

1) Do you. I said this in a post I wrote last year, and I stand by it. You will be in class with people who are brilliant, people who already have established careers, people who have started successful businesses, and people who already have graduate degrees. There won’t be anyone who is exactly like you or who wants the same things, and if you find that you’re on a more non-traditional career-path like I was (non-profits) that’s perfectly okay. Don’t compare yourself to others. Twirl down your own road. There are opportunities at Fisher and ways you can network to get yourself where you want to go. I joined Fisher Board Fellows simply because it was something I loved, and that’s how I got my job.

2) Find kindred spirits. They will advocate for you harder than anyone else. I doubt I would have made it through my program without Dr. Shashi Matta, Michelle Petrel, and Professor John Barker. They are wonderful human beings and I am so grateful for them. If you aren’t finding help through what seems like the more traditional pathways, start knocking on office doors and see who will sit down and talk with you.

3) Never stop asking for help. Ask for help from your teammates, from your friends, from professors, from staff, and from alumni. People are much more willing to help than you think they are, because everyone had someone to help them (or several someones). So ask. And make sure to follow through with a thank you and maybe some chocolate. Everyone likes chocolate.

4) Learn how to be a team player. Work hard to learn how to work with other people. This doesn’t mean be a pushover or a people-pleaser, it means learn how to work together to accomplish a goal. Be a leader when you need to be, but know that the best leaders know how to step back and let others lead, too.

5) Network. Look at everything as a networking opportunity, and a way you can meet new people. Don’t think of it as work. Don’t think of it as asking someone for a job. Think of it as making friends. And you can never have enough friends.

6) Take a leadership position in a student organization. My time on a leadership team pushed me in ways I didn’t expect it to, and it taught me how to adapt to the very different needs of the people on my team. I learned the most about leadership by being on that team, and I’ve seen the most growth in myself because of it.

7) And last, but not least, try not to stress out too much. Two years goes fast, folks. So go to follies, go to girls’ night, and hit all the happy hours. Because the work will be there, whether or not you panic. So try not to panic, and enjoy the time you have at Fisher.

How to Make the Most of Your Last Break

This December, I was faced with the realization that I was approaching my final “break.”  I have no additional grad school in my future, and I don’t know when I will take more than 2 consecutive weeks of vacation during my career. Moreover, future vacations will always be at least a bit overshadowed by thoughts of work left undone. It is a unique (and wonderful) feeling of freedom to finish final exams and presentations and “check out” for 4 weeks.

I am normally one to over-schedule my time off (as well as my time on), but I took a rewarding step out of my comfort zone this year and planned nothing over my break. By “nothing,” I mean that I had a couple of weekends set aside for my wife and me to go visit family over the holidays, but nothing in the way of a big trip or project. I was worried I would end the break with regret that I hadn’t taken full advantage of it, but having a more relaxing, spontaneous schedule was exactly what the doctor ordered.

Instead of having an epic, 4-week adventure, I scattered a number of “micro-adventures” throughout the break. My wife and I have a 1-year-old pup, an American Brittany Spaniel named “Gus,” that we have trained for hunting. I used the break to take him out about a dozen times to different bird preserves and local conservation land I hadn’t yet visited for both hunting and trail runs. In the afternoons/evenings, I worked through a long list of to-dos that have been accumulating over the year. Fortunately, these were much less chores and much more projects I have been hoping to accomplish with this much-needed free time. Lastly, I took the opportunity to make a small trip down to North Carolina to visit my favorite professor from undergrad, a much overdue trip.

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Most importantly, I ended the break feeling two things: first, despite not having a big trip/adventure, I felt the excitement and satisfaction of nevertheless having an adventurous break. Secondly, I felt relieved – normally I come to the end of a vacation or break to the realization that I have to get caught up with the things I missed, but by spreading out activities and projects alike, it made for a great blend of spontaneity and accomplishment.

For those who still have the luxury of 4-week breaks or who are looking forward to them in future plans of grad school, I encourage you to do a few things:

  • Change your routine: Whether that means waking up earlier or later, take the opportunity to “buck” the routine – it will be a relief in its own right
  • Manage your to-dos: Find the right amount of things that actually need to get done and will feel good to accomplish, and make sure not to overload your time with chores that you won’t enjoy
  • Have Adventures: Even if you can’t travel, find places close-by that you haven’t visited, go for runs in new neighborhoods, and do whatever else you can to make sure your eyes fall on new scenery
  • See Friends: I love staying connected with my friends, and it is hard when they are spread across the country. Time spent face-to-face with old friends is easily the most rewarding use of my time.

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The Home Stretch!

For many students in the MAcc program here at Fisher, this semester is the last semester of schooling they will have in their life (with the exception of PhD students and students who may return to school after working). This brings on a certain degree of finality and sentimentalism.

For myself, being a BSBA/MAcc crossover student, this semester is not only the closing of my masters of accounting degree, but also of my undergraduate degree. Realizing that I have already attended my last Football game as a student, scheduled for the last time, and had my last Christmas break, I have decided that I am going to milk my final semester for all that it is worth.

In order to achieve this in my final semester, I am taking majorly elective classes that have peaked my interest, I will become more involved in Fisher community activities (such as food truck Friday), and plan on attending as many campus events as possible (such as basketball games and concerts) prior to moving on into the working-world . I am excited to share these experiences with all of you as a close the book on what has been an exceptional college experience!

Looking Back and Looking Forward

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graduation

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

The Past

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

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

The FutureFuture path

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

Evie

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