In early September, I flew out to Redmond, Washington for a final round interview with Microsoft for a finance position. Even though I am in the Master of Accounting Program, I decided to explore other career paths besides public accounting when deciding where I wanted to apply.
When I first stepped foot on the Microsoft campus, I was instantly reminded of Ohio State. The campus is very green and large yet easy to navigate. People were outside running and enjoying their time on the basketball, soccer, and volleyball courts that are scattered throughout the Microsoft campus. Microsoft also has a bus service that takes employees around campus, similar to Ohio State’s CABS system. I enjoyed being able to see technology of the past, present, and future at Microsoft’s Visitor Center.
After walking around campus to get the nerves out, I went into my “Super Day” where I had lunch, four interviews, and dinner with Microsoft finance professionals. I had an awesome experience talking with employees from the company and decided to accept a full time position with them the following week.
No visit to Seattle would have been complete without visiting the Space
Needle! I was stunned by the amazing views from the top deck of the 605 foot tower. There is also a deck a level below that has a rotating see-through glass floor. Having never been to the Pacific Northwest, I was amazed at how beautiful the natural environment was.
Signing my name on my offer of employment was a huge stress reliever. After having interviewed with dozens of companies throughout my college career, my best advice to someone in the job hunt is to just be yourself! By landing an interview, you have already demonstrated to employers that you have the background of someone who is a potential fit for their company. Now, it is time to make sure you are a cultural fit for them and they are a cultural fit for you! Most people do not realize that interviews are meant to find a mutual fit. It is important to do your research and have a strong list of questions prepared to learn more about employees at the company you are evaluating.
A fun fact about the MAcc program is that all students receive a career consultant to work with as we are searching for jobs. I utilized mine to help with evaluating and negotiating my various offers. There are so many different career paths that you can take after the MAcc and I am glad Ohio State provides us with the resources to figure out which path is best for us.
Well, as was promised to us on our first day of pre-term, time flies in the SMF program and I have made it through to the end. Graduation is over, and soon I will be off to Houston to start a new job and a career. It was sad saying goodbye to so many good friends from the program, but it’s also inspiring to see all of my classmates headed off to jobs all over the U.S. and the world. I know I’m certainly excited to begin this next phase of my life. Saying goodbye makes you realize how much people mean to you, and so to future students, make sure and forge strong relationships with your classmates because you don’t have much time, and there are tons of good people in the program from all kinds of backgrounds.
The program is intense and can really overwhelm you, but I can honestly say that I have learned more about finance in my one year at Fisher than I did in 4 years of undergrad. It’s like my dad has told me, education is like most things in life, you get out of it what you put into it. With those words in mind, I encourage all future students to put everything they have into their 9 months in the program. Both in terms of school, and all the extracurriculars that go along with it. Because it’s so short and intense doing so will wear you out, but it’s the best way to guarantee you won’t have any regrets at the end.
As I said in my first post, blogging was a new activity for me, but overall I found it to be very therapeutic and it was a regular reminder for me to stop and put things in perspective. I hope that this blog has given insight to anyone out there considering grad school and maybe even helped them come to a decision. With that I want to say best wishes to future classes and if anyone is in Houston, don’t be afraid to reach out to this proud alumnus!
As my MHRM journey comes to a close, I’ve found myself spending a lot of time in my head reflecting over what the the last two years have meant for me. But because you only ever hear from me, I wanted to give a voice to some of my classmates. Below, graduating MHRM students share some of their fondest memories in the MHRM program.
My favorite part of the program is the family I’ve created within Fisher. Being surrounded by students and faculty who are passionate about HR like I am have made me even more excited to start my career. Grad school can be intense, but I’ve had so much fun attending events like grad school prom, Fisher Follies events, Varsity Club outings after class, intramurals, and football games. The people are what I’m going to miss most! I can’t wait to see the success my classmates achieve and to continue to share ideas as the field of HR changes.
– Kelly Mayer
My favorite part was really day one. Sounds super cheesy, but being separated and away from Georgia for the first time ever was a daring (and scary) adventure. I just remember doing the scavenger hunt during orientation and meeting a lot of excited, eager people. That really brought to light that Ohio would be home for two years or more and I was ready.
– Chase Lakhani
I will never forget winning the HR External Case Competition (Jen was on my team). I was so tired and so proud of our recommendation and presentation. It was really rewarding to win and be recognized for our hard work.
Also, on a lighter note, I really loved how good we were at potlucking. I don’t know if that’s an HR quirk or if we are all just awesome. We could have a potluck for anything and we always came through, it was so fun.
– Kate Clausen
My most memorable day was when I realized that I had been accepted among all the domestic students here. It was the last day of Professor Shepherd’s class and we had a potluck. I had a chance to bring in an authentic Indian food. I was reluctant as I didn’t know if everyone would like Indian food, but then I received a lot of appreciation from all of my classmates. I was overwhelmed with the amount of love and support everyone has shown. Be it group projects or team meetings, I have always been treated well.
– Divya Selvaraj
Grad school can be really hard and life-consuming, especially when you are at a business school. We are consumed with cases, strategy, ROI, and all kinds of other things that many people don’t ever think about. The “business school bubble” is what I call it. Tell any average person outside the school what you obsess over in your studies and they just look at you with wide-eyed confusion. So with that in mind, one of my favorite grad school memories is the Fisher Follies Variety Show. At the end of the spring semester, we have a chance to pop our self-made bubble and make some fun of it. It’s always entertaining to step back are realize how ridiculous our business cocoon can be, and to have fun and laugh about it. Each year I attended, I was entertained and delighted by the level of craftsmanship and wit in each of the short videos. And in those moments, I realized how amazing our Fisher community is.
– Chris Schoo
One of my favorite memories will always be winning Internal Case Comp my second year. I still can’t believe how much better Case Comp felt after a year in the program; just a real testament to how valuable the Fisher experience was for building my business acumen and professional presentation style.
Having the Varsity Club Thursday night tradition really was a special part of business school for me, too. Knowing you’d always have some time each week to catch-up, decompress, and just have fun. This is my second master’s, and my cohort never had anything like that in my first grad school experience. I’ll always have a special place in my heart for “the VC.”
– Billy Dunn
When I think about my favorite memory from my time here, I wouldn’t say it’s a particular event. Rather, I think I would say it’s the overall closeness of our class with students at a wide variety of stages in their own lives– ranging from fresh out of undergrad to a recent grandfather or from being local to moving across the country and the world. Witnessing the relationships that have formed and the lifelong friendships that have developed is what I will truly value and remember for the rest of my life.
As our year in the MAcc program comes to a close, I asked a few soon-to-be graduates what participating in this program has meant to them. Although we were only here for a year, we know that we will continue to feel Fisher‘s influence throughout our lives.
Max Smith is grateful for the opportunities he found to give back to our temporary home in Columbus:
“I am grateful for the experiences and activities that are available outside of the classroom. As an undergrad, volunteer opportunities were around if you sought them out, but the MAcc program really makes it easy to get involved and help out in the community. Hopefully, this will be something I can continue in the future after the MAcc program.”
“I am most grateful for the friends I made here! It was a blast to be able to connect with people from such different backgrounds who all want to go out and make an impact in the accounting industry. I couldn’t be more excited to see how all of us will go out and change the world after graduation!”
And finally, I am grateful for the all the opportunities this program has afforded me. I engaged with research, participated in community service, and made lifelong friends. From Big Four recruitment to living in a large city, this program has pushed me and exposed me to ideas and opportunities I would not have otherwise had. So, on behalf of the MAcc Class of 2018, thank you, Fisher!
Special thanks to Maxton “Max” Smith and Andrew “Ace” Lassman for their assistance.
As my two years at Fisher comes to an end, I can’t help but reminisce on the many experiences I’ve had while completing the Full-Time MBA program. When I first began the program, all the second-year students would say, “Enjoy your time. It goes by fast!” and I would just smile and think, “yeah, sure,”as I could only focus on my seemingly never ending to-do list of homework assignments. Now that I am one month away from graduation, I finally understand. It really does go fast!
So naturally, as I become sentimental and reflect on the last two years, I have to share some of my favorite moments– with photos!
#1 – Meeting my Core Team
So, this was slightly awkward at first. We all sat in silence for the first 10-15 minutes of meeting. But now, we are actually the best of friends! We look back on that day and laugh. You become very close with your core team throughout the program and I am thankful to be graduating from the program with friends who feel more like family.
#2 – KeyBank Case Competition
There are numerous opportunities for development while at Fisher, and one that I feel helped me the most was competing in case competitions. There are both internal and external case competitions and my favorite was the Key Bank Case Competition. Working closely with this team was a great experience that challenged me to explore outside of my comfort zone and provided me the opportunity to work with two students who have now become close friends of mine. Plus, we placed in the top 5!
#3 – UTSAV
Fisher has a diverse class of students and throughout the program, there are numerous opportunities to engage with individuals from different backgrounds and to celebrate their cultures. UTSAV does just that! UTSAV is an event held by the Fisher Indian Student Association (FISA) in April each year and involves both faculty and students. UTSAV shares Indian culture with the Fisher community through Bollywood music, Indian dance performances, delicious Indian food, and some fabulous entertainment. “UTSAV,” which means celebrating life, is a manifestation and celebration of the diversity within the Fisher community. I performed last year with my core team and had so much fun! I’m looking forward to attending this event again next week.
When I was younger, my brother gave me a poster from one of his soccer magazines. To most, this would seem like a small thing. After all, kids save posters and random papers all the time. But this poster was different. For the next ten years, the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team hung above my closet door, inspiring me through every achievement.
Although I love soccer, I myself am not very athletic. I never aspired to be a professional soccer player. In fact, my aspirations were pretty fluid. Archeologist. Psychologist. Mathematician. When you’re constantly finding new interests, there may not be a constant female role model in your own field (especially since you’re not even sure what you want your field to be). So instead, I looked up to this group of women on my wall who would never share a career path with me, but motivated me nonetheless.
As I got further into college and discovered a passion for accounting, I never forgot the team of women who inspired me to dream big and go after what I want in life. I cheered them on in the World Cup. I felt my heart swell with pride when they fought for equal pay. And last Thursday, I finally got to see them play in person.
By some miracle, I won discounted tickets in the OSU ticket lottery to go see the “She Believes Cup” in Columbus. And when Megan Rapinoe, my favorite player, scored the only goal of the game, I knew without a doubt that Columbus and the MAcc program are exactly where I need to be. Out of all of my experiences this year, this is the moment that I truly felt like I had come full circle– back to that little girl who dreamed big and went after what she wanted.
This fall, I start my career as an auditor. I will be the first person in my family to have a bachelor’s degree and the first to earn a master’s degree. I will be living in a major city that I have grown to love. I will meet strong women in my own field. And on my phone will be a picture of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team to remind me to dream big and go after my goals.
Roughly one year ago, I submitted my deposit for the program and solidified my change from a Political Science/International Affairs undergraduate student to a Candidate for the Specialized Master in Finance program at the Fisher College of Business. Arguably one of the biggest decisions of my life, I switched from a pre-law track to a finance track. Looking back, it was the defining moment in my life.
I have been exposed to a vast array of financial instruments and models that I will use in my future career. The amazing faculty and staff here have been awesome in supporting my growth as a student of finance and a student of The Ohio State University. In addition, the friends I have made here will last a lifetime, coming from backgrounds all across the globe and from different avenues of business. One thing you may have noticed throughout my blogs was the influence of the different cultures in the restaurants we visited. That is one of the greatest attributes of our program.
With all that being said, this is my final week at Fisher and my final week serving the program as a graduate ambassador. I have never been great at goodbyes and thus will keep this soliloquy short and sweet. To everyone at The Ohio State University, it has been an amazing ride. I am excited to see what the future holds for us in our future careers.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!