Posts filed under 'Graduation'

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.


Bucket List for My Last Couple Months in Columbus

At the beginning of January, I accepted a job and will be moving away from Columbus. After nearly five years of being in Columbus and just finishing finals for the third term of the Fisher SMF program, it’s finally hitting me that I will be leaving Columbus. Here’s my bucket list for my last two months in Columbus:

Catch the Rocky Horror Picture Show live performance at Studio 35 in Clintonville, OH.

Spend a day at The Book Loft—I’ve been there many times, but I’d love to spend an early Spring day just strolling among the books.

The Book Loft in German Village (photo credit: Bookloft.com)

The Book Loft in German Village (photo credit: Bookloft.com)

Catch a Blue Jackets game before the season ends.

Catch a musical performance by Perfume Genius at the Wexner Center in a few weeks.

Try as many quirky coffee shops, restaurants, and bars in Columbus that I haven’t tried, particularly on South Fourth Street, Broad Street, and Downtown.


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!


Looking Back On My Time At Fisher

Where have the past two years gone? I still remember sitting through orientation at the Blackwell and listening to various administrators and faculty members telling students that their time in the MBA program would fly by. I remember even more vividly thinking to myself that they were full of it.

A few weeks later, during my stats, finance, and accounting classes, I recall thinking that the program might never end.

Now, two years later, I realize that they were absolutely correct. The full-time MBA program flew by.

As a recent graduate of the MBA program at Fisher I’d like use my last blog post as an opportunity to reflect back on my experiences here as a student. Here’s a glimpse into what I have loved and enjoyed about being a Buckeye MBA.

  1. Friendships – Some people refer to this as “networking” – another lame business buzzword. It’s almost as ridiculous as leverage and core competencies. Real “networking” is being a good human, looking out for others, and making friendships that last a lifetime. If those friendships help you in your career progression, great! If not, you’ve made a great friend with whom you can share your joys and sorrows as you go through life. The friendships that I have made with many of my classmates are real, authentic, and don’t include a bogus 60 second elevator pitch. I look forward to staying in touch with my classmates over the years. I feel indebted to them because they have helped me grow and become a better person.
  2. Development – During my time at Fisher I have had the chance to learn and grow in so many ways. Classes, case studies, interviews, guest speakers, job offer negotiations, and many other aspects of business school have given me a greater understanding of myself and what I can become. Business school is a grind which seems to break you down the first year and build you back up the second. The process is incredibly challenging but worth every minute, even when you are awake at 2:45 in the morning studying for a final.
  3. Community – This is what the Fisher College of Business is all about. When I was analyzing business schools to attend I spoke with many different people from Fisher. I talked to alumni, admissions staff, current students, and associate deans. All of them kept mentioning the word community throughout our conversations. Now I know what they mean. Fisher isn’t just a place to attend school and gain a piece of paper. There are plenty of places to do that. Fisher is a community of diverse individuals all striving for excellence. Not only is everyone welcome within the community but others help and encourage everyone to succeed. Successes are celebrated and accomplishments recognized. Students help one another succeed by working together to prepare for exams, negotiate job offers, analyze career opportunities, etc. Professors and administrators offer their wealth of knowledge and experience to students and alumni.

To summarize, Fisher has been an incredible experience and I am grateful I decided to attend school at The Ohio State University. Good people. Great education. Incredible community. I’ll never forget my time at Fisher! It’s been life changing!


Jessica Reynolds, MBA

I GRADUATED!

This past weekend was such a mix of emotions, family, friends, graduation celebrations — and lots of food and good times. Maybe a little bit too much food and good times, but hey, it was graduation!

Reynolds  family at graduation!

Reynolds family at graduation!

On Saturday, May 3rd, the Fisher College of Business held its “hooding ceremony” for all graduates. It was a great ceremony, and perfect for family, friends and loved ones to attend. The hooding ceremony (or pre-commencement) occurred at Mershon Auditorium, and is the first step of graduation weekend. All Fisher master students are encouraged to attend the intimate ceremony, and it’s a great opportunity for pictures. What can I say? I am a sucker for capturing all of the great memories. :)

As an undergraduate of OSU, I attended the big graduation in The ‘Shoe. Because the school was still on quarters, I graduated in the month of June. Personally, I thought it was HOT and LONG. However, it is a cool experience for those that have never attended – and now graduation is in May, so it is significantly cooler. If you chose not to attend the OSU graduation on Sunday, you can pick up your diploma the following week.

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One of my best MBA buddies – Kelly!

For the Fisher pre-commencement/hooding ceremony, a few speeches were given, and then graduates for each program were called by name. You walk across the stage and a professor puts the Masters’ hood around you neck. Lucky for business students, it’s the beautiful color of drab (we all know it wasn’t a marketer that came up with THAT name!). At the end they play a slideshow (only part where I got slightly choked-up), and a brief reception is held after. It was a great time, and I was very happy that my parents and best friend were able to attend.

Me and the beautiful Melissa!

Me and the beautiful Melissa!

So, I am closing the MBA chapter of my life, and starting my journey as a young professional. I will begin my career at Alliance Data in a few months, and can’t wait to see what happens next. Entering this program was one of the best decisions I have ever made – and the laughs, tears, struggles and TONS of learning were absolutely worth it. I know that I am going to miss my business school friends that are moving across the country like crazy, but am so proud of my entire class and all our accomplishments. And, this means I have lots of people to visit!

I have made best friend, found mentors and created relationships that will last forever. None of this would have been possible without the support of my family, friends, everyone in the GPO and the Office of Career Management — and for that, I am extremely grateful.


Still feels a little weird to consider myself a Master of Business – but hey, that’s what my degree says. :)


OSU Commencement and Closing Thoughts

As much as I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to Ohio State as a student, Spring Commencement was celebrated on Sunday, May 5.  Over 8,000 graduates were packed onto the field in Ohio Stadium, and I was surrounded by my MAcc classmates as we listened to President Obama, OSU President E. Gordon Gee, and many others encourage us to dream big and change the world.   OSU graduates were fortunate to have a sitting president speak at our commencement, and I’ll share my favorite message from our keynote speaker:

The point is, if you are living your life to the fullest, you will fail, you will stumble, you will screw up, you will fall down.  But it will make you stronger, and you’ll get it right the next time, or the time after that, or the time after that.  And that is not only true for your personal pursuits, but it’s also true for the broader causes that you believe in as well. 

There were so many wonderful moments of graduation:  walking across the field to receive my diplomas as the victory bells chimed from the stadium, meeting my friends’ families after the ceremony, and plenty of hugs from my proud parents and sister.  Of course, we had to stop by Fisher after commencement, where many business student graduates were gathered to take pictures and say their goodbyes.

I’m going to miss this place!

As I write my last blog post for My Fisher Grad Life, I’m not sure there’s a better way to leave than by closing with the words of “Carmen Ohio,” the alma mater of the school of which I am now a proud member of a group of over 500,000 living alumni.  So, here goes…

Oh! Come let’s sing Ohio’s praise, 
And songs to Alma Mater raise; 
While our hearts rebounding thrill, 
With joy which death alone can still. 
Summer’s heat and Winter’s cold, 
The season pass, the years will roll; 
Time and change will surely show 
How firm thy friendship — O hi o.

Some great friends I’ve been lucky enough to spend my last four years with at Fisher!


Fisher MAcc Graduation Ceremony 2013

It’s hard to believe my eighty classmates and I have completed our Master of Accounting degree from the Fisher College of Business!  On Friday, May 3, we gathered at the Ohio Union with faculty, family and friends, to celebrate our success in this program.  The evening was complete with a reception where I was able to meet the families of many of my close MAcc friends and chat with faculty members one last time before the summer.  A formal ceremony followed with touching remarks from our director, Professor Arya, and many others.  Several students were also recognized for different successes in the program, including the top ten percent of students based on academic performance, the top performers on our MAcc exit exam, and the members of MAcc Council.

One recognition that was particularly special was the E&Y Award for Excellence in Teaching.  This year’s winner was Professor Zach, our instructor for the academic research course in the program.  I had the pleasure of having Professor Zach as an instructor for my first accounting class as an undergraduate as well, and I was so happy to see him recognized for the fantastic job he does in encouraging students in research and academic development.  For all of the future MAcc students who will take his research class, you’re in for quite the experience!

Professor Zach, this year’s MAcc Professor of the Year, and me at the MAcc reception!

Awards, speeches, and other formalities aside, this celebration was a great way to end the program.  I can’t begin to describe how amazing my final year was at Ohio State because of my decision to pursue my MAcc degree.  There are too many people who made the year special to name them all, so to all of the incredible faculty and classmates – thanks for an unforgettable year!  I will miss this group…

The graduates of the MAcc Class of 2013


On to Spring 2!

It is that time again…the start of a new session after a quick seven weeks of the Spring semester has already flown by. I only have four more classes left to go before I officially earn my Master of Accounting degree! The end is so near that even commencement information has finally been released. Here is my schedule for Spring session 2:

1.) AMIS 7010: Ethics in Accounting and Business with Professor Esselstein

2.) AMIS 7250: Government and Non-Profit Accounting with Professor Mittendorf

3.) AMIS 7520: Misappropriation of Assets with Professor Turner

4.) BUS MHR 7230: High Performing Teams with Professor Dumas

I think that this schedule will be a perfect balance between accounting and other relevant topics in business that I will use in my future career at GBQ.

Another exciting piece of news is that the University commencement will be hosting President Obama as the guest speaker in front of 12,000+ graduating students! Regardless of any political views, it is an amazing opportunity to hear a president’s speech, especially one tailored to OSU! Check out this news article in the Washington Post announcing Ohio State’s spectacular graduation ceremony to come. Perhaps First Lady, Michelle Obama, will make an appearance on campus as well! Check out this video of Michelle Obama’s commencement speech to Virginia Tech graduates last year:

I can only imagine how President Obama’s speech will compare to the one above! Stay tuned for more commencement details and Spring session 2 updates!

President Obama at a previous rally held on OSU’s campus.

 


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